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Serenity Trails by TamashaToko

Obligations of a Third Kind

To think she lived in a time of equality and acceptance.

Hah! Those might all be lies just as well, because she thought she had also lived in a time where you married the man you loved rather than the one picked out for you.

Unbelievable! Her kind had approached a new century, but somehow she found herself stuck in an arranged marriage.

Just because her grandfather knew of a man who was interested in a wife without all the pressures of dating and conflict, and her mother agreed that it would be good for her she was being forced into such a life. It also helped the decision along that the arrogant bastard, who thought he was too good to date and find love, also provided a dowry of money and property.

How could her family betray her in such a way? She was only 17, and her wedding would be on her birthday to insure they still had guilt free control of her until the ceremony. When she demanded to know why such an injustice had been placed on her she was told that a city-girl such as herself would have a hard time finding love, and it would be easier to fall in love after committing to family.

It didn’t matter how much she argued, they had won. It was Grandfather who had made the decision since her family’s shrine, that they’d been guardians of, was having budget problems while her mom just didn’t think straight anymore.

Even if they wanted to change their minds, it was too late. All the wedding preparations had been made, and Sesshoumaru Murashu, her fiancée whom she never met, had already bought her a house in the country.

The country, she wasn’t too thrilled about that decision either. It wasn’t as though she was one of those high maintenance city girls that were afraid of humidity or bugs, or anything she just didn’t like having to rely on vehicles to get to a store when there versus public transportation, or a department store that carried everything only one block away.

“Tomorrow I’m doomed,” she muttered in her room looking out the window.

“What was that Kagome?” her mother had entered the room with a smile despite the fact that she had sentenced her daughter to a horrible life sentence.

“Nothing,” she mumbled before taking a bite out of a chocolate chip cookie.

She had about seven or eight of them in the last hour of sulking. Maybe the wedding dress wouldn’t fit her by tomorrow if she kept at it. The dress would tear and the wedding would be delayed.

Or maybe he would be so disgusted with her appearance he would change his mind. Had this mystery man even seen her picture?

“I think you should shower tonight before bed Kagome. The wedding is quite early and the preparations will take a while.”

“Fine.”

“And smile. I know you might hate me right now, but I bet you will look back at it and-

“Mom this isn’t one of your romance novels where the woman falls in love with her arranged husband, and why must we live in the country? I thought Sesshoumaru worked here somewhere.”

“He does honey, but people like Sesshoumaru enjoy homes where it’s peace and quiet. Kind of like a nice get away from the hustle of the office.”

“Have you met him?”

“A few times yes.”

“What’s he like?”

Her back was already turned ready to leave the room, “You’ll find out in the morning dear.”

She would find out in the morning! After that it would be too late; not that she had much of a choice now. Still it would be nice to know who her country prison warden would be.

=^=^=^=^=^=^=^=^

He had many things on his plate for tomorrow. Now that the floor plans for the Takeda building were finished they would have to be faxed over to his clients and await their decision, he planned to have breakfast with his firm to discuss his latest ventures, he would be married, and then he had to have an important scale prepared for a presentation.

That was right. Tomorrow would be his wedding day.

It was a good thing that word of what he looked for in a woman had gotten out, because it made his hectic life as a pressed architect a lot easier.

All he wanted was an attractive wife who would do errands in exchange for a comfortable lifestyle while providing him with children to continue his blood line, and that’s what he had waiting for him tomorrow.

He hadn’t had time to look at any pictures of her, but he had been told Kagome Higurashi was quite beautiful, and she was quite young.

Young wives made happy mothers. He had read that somewhere.

He remembered now, not that he should have been thinking about literature when he had some important meetings to be scheduled. It had been said in Romeo and Juliet by Juliet’s betrothed.

The theory had never been proven though, because that stupid girl had to fall in love, and as result she died. If she had just done as her parents requested her life would have been a lot easier. Love wasn’t worth cutting life short for.

Such a useless story. Then again since when could humans write epic realistic tales?

If only his kind wasn’t on the verge of going extinct then perhaps someone would find the time to write a real story about fear, lust, and honor.

He wondered if his fiancée knew what she was getting into, but he doubted it. Her grandfather knew what he was, but that senile fool probably didn’t tell anyone. Not even most of his workers knew that he was indeed a youkai.

Before resting he took out his schedule book to see what he had planned. He had a house now that he had just purchased, that would be change. Usually he stayed in many different hotels since it was paid for by the company as well as any food he consumed; meaning he was already pretty wealthy even if it wasn’t for being paid well, because he had never had the need to withdraw any money from his savings.

His house had been his first purchase ever and he cleared some frivolous things out of his schedule for tomorrow night so he could visit. It was also customary in both his culture and his fiancée’s that they would mate after being bound together.

He still couldn’t believe he would be marrying a human; a creature he had always thought to be lowly even though his work served them. He had always wanted a female youkai who knew how to the proper mate, but it had been years ago since the youkai were banished from human areas and forced to live in the woods. While banished they held deep malice for the humans that were otherwise weak and in no position of power if it wasn’t for their high priced weapons.

He should have been out there with them plotting revenge, but instead he did what he could to live in their society by getting documented and getting a job. Now he was successful. It was better to useful to the world than a filthy animal out in the forest any day; even if it meant answering to those weaker than him.

At least with a human wife he would have someone to show dominance over. Both him and human males had something to agree upon, and that was his that his home was his castle.

=^=^=^=^=^=^=

The Murashu Higurashi wedding day had come, oh joy.

Sango walked down the hallway fearing the worst would happen in a few minutes. Knowing Kagome she would be fast asleep and waking her would be a huge war in itself let alone getting her prepared for the ceremony.

Honestly her friend should have been happy that a handsome rich man was willingly to marry her without playing a frivolous dating game.

She would jump at a chance like that. She was out of high school now and had gotten through boot camp to become a demon slayer, and despite what her friends had said, her looks must have not been appealing enough, because she had yet to find a boyfriend.

Right now she would just like to find someone to have long conversations with, and then get married to so she could have children and not die alone. Then again what man would want her? Men seemed to always have to be the one in control of every situation, but they wouldn’t get that with her.

Ever since her twelfth birthday she had been an aspiring slayer that would be in charge of protecting the city from any youkai that could try anything. She had learned to show respect for the life forms she killed by not keeping track and making a game of it, but she would estimate that she had killed more than a thousand so far, and that was excluding the three or four taiyoukai she that she had slayed with her brother and father years ago when her father was a general.

Yep, too much blood for any decent man to stand.

She had no intention of quitting though. She made that vow three years ago when a spider demon had killed her parents and brother Kohaku. The spider demon had got away, but she had a feeling that if she sent enough of it’s buddies back to hell it would draw it out, as well as make her feel a bit better.

“Kagome.” Sango tried lightly knocking on her friend’s door at first even though she knew that would have woken up to that in a million years.

She smiled when she saw the girl snoozing beneath her pink blankets. At least she had Kagome, and that was a friendship that would never falter.

Not only was she there for her after her family was slaughtered, but Kagome also begged her parents into letting her live with them at the shrine.

“I love you like a sister Kagome,” Sango spoke softly at first before standing up and jerking the blanket away, “But you need to get your ass up!”

“Leave me alone,” Kagome cried not caring that she had fallen to the floor with her blanket, “too early.”

“Have you forgotten that today is your wedding?” Sango was prepared with a water bottle that she had at her side, that she quickly splashed on to Kagome’s face, “I know it will be hard, but maybe it will be good for you.”

Kagome groaned. “Thanks for reminding me Sango…now can you please turn around while I jump out of the window.”

“If you do that then do us all a favor and get dressed first, that way if you do survive you’ll be ready for the ceremony.”

She didn’t think that was too amusing and just grumbled about it as she helped her adopted sister gather everything needed for the preparations. Hair accessories, make up, the dress, the shoes, and everything in between.

It wasn’t long before her mother also came in with some supplies and got into a fight with her daughter once again about forcing her into this.

“Stop complaining Kagome,” Sango sighed brushing her hair, “I wouldn’t mind this one bit if I was you. In the end all men really want is what your husband wants anyways. Hell, I’ve never been on a date before and I’ve figured that much out.”

“Sango.” Kagome’s mother smiled, “I never knew you thought about it that way, and technically you are my daughter and I do know another man who has decided to just mimic Sesshoumaru’s ways and-

“No!” her friend shouted, “Sango don’t fall for it! If I get stuck in an arranged marriage and you get stuck in an arranged marriage then before you know it everyone will be doing it and we might as well be living in the feudal era.”

“At least back then men weren’t slobs trying to burp the alphabet while acting tough.  Until, of course, a demon raid takes place and my kind are depended on.”

“Can’t argue with that logic I guess,” Kagome appeared to be remembering a few of her past dates.

“Anyways Mrs. Higurashi if you can find out anymore about that offer I guess I could look into it. At the rate I’m going an arranged marriage will probably be the best I can ever do.”

Her mother looked simply delighted. “Absolutely Sango. Kagome why can’t you be more like her? No one go anywhere…I’m going to get some flowers to put in her hair.”

It was dead silent when the two girls were left in the room. Sango knew Kagome was going to be in a bad mood today, but like this?

“Come on Kagome me and your mom are just trying to make you feel better.”

Her friend sighed in a way that signaled she was ready to be mature about the whole thing. “I know, and I’m sorry with how I’ve been acting. I guess this is for the best. Somewhere out there I’m sure there is a girl my age starving on the streets while I’m getting the offer to live in the suburbs and have my family well financed in exchange for marriage.”

That was the Kagome she knew! Always looking on the bright side of everything.

It was true though that there was no sense in complaining since there was on control over the situation, but Sango did feel sorry for her friend because there was one thing that hadn’t been said all day that she needed to be said.

“Oh, and Happy Birthday Kagome.”

Kagome’s face lit up, “Thanks Sango, at least you remembered.”

=^=^=^=^=^=^=^=

Frustration was wearing on him as he sat in an uncomfortable chair waiting for somebody to do something.

That damn brother of his. Why did he need a woman of all things? Didn’t he have everything he needed? Money, power, and an overall acceptance from humans?

His dog-like ears twitched annoyed as he watched bridesmaids scurry about to prepare the bride for the wedding. Of course he was given strange looks as they passed, because unlike his brother he would never get anywhere close to respect from humans.

He was lower then what humans were to Sesshoumaru, and he was lower than the lesser demons that inhabited the woods. He was a half-breed.

The only reason he was allowed to walk the streets was because his human mother had done all the necessary paper work one needed to travel the outside world. It didn’t matter though. Both he and she were horribly ridiculed back then, and now rocks were thrown at him on the sidewalk even after she was dead.

He wouldn’t to go to the woods when it got bad and just sit in a tree and curse the human world, because the demons would just continue to attack him to prove how weak he was.

There was no place for him anywhere.

“Finish breakfast with all those richy snobby humans?” Inuyasha dared to ask knowing his brother was behind him after arriving to the Higurashi shrine.

“It isn’t any business of yours hanyou,” he noted rudely, irritated after being fit for a human tuxedo when he would have rather worn a kimono like his kind were use to.

“Can I go then? Like I want to watch you find a fuck buddy. I have better things to do.”

“Like what?”

“Well-

“You have nothing.”

It was true, but it was hard to hear out loud. All Inuyasha could do was growl, which alarmed some humans that had clearly never been around any demon blooded creature before except maybe for the amazing two headed snake demon at the zoo.

“Where do you even live at Inuyasha? In the woods where you are constantly in a fight with the others?  Or perhaps in the hanyou slums where you belong?”

“Shut up!”

“I could say the same to you.”

Sesshoumaru had grown tired with his brother by this point and made his way towards the Higurashi home. The wedding would begin in about twenty minutes, and still he hadn’t seen his bride. It would be better to take a look at her than be pissed off by his half-brother.

After meaningless small talk with both the grandfather and the mother, who was surprised, but didn’t seem to pay much mind at the fact that he was a demon made his way to where his bride was getting her make up applied. Of course the mother joined him, because now that his race was going to be a surprise to the daughter.  Things would need explained to her.

In a way it excited him. It would be a human who would learn to serve him instead of the other way around.

“Hey!” a brown haired girl snapped when he entered the bedroom, “No one is to see Kagome yet.”

“It’s quite alright Sango.” The mother smiled, “this is Mr. Murashu, Kagome’s fiancée.”

He noticed the woman who had been sitting in a chair with her back turned quickly tensed up.

That was the one who would reside in his home and bear his children.

It was the brown haired girl who was most upset though.

“Kag- you’re- marrying a youkai?”

His soon-to-be-bride quickly turned around and also had a look of surprise on her face.

Such things looked foreign on her face. It was as though her face was made for smiles and looks of happiness.

He discovered that he’d also been misinformed. Higurashi was attractive with the right things in the right areas, but beautiful? She was no princess. The white flowers dancing in her ebony hair as well as the white dress with diamonds sewed in at the breast, that he’d paid for, made her look lovely, but still didn’t look right on her.

His eyes once again trailed to the one his bride had addressed as Sango. She looked very livid to find out that he was a youkai. Why was that? It had no effect on her.

It didn’t matter though, so he wiped it from his mind.

“Sango I didn’t know,” Kagome told her friend, “mom there must be a mistake. He’s not even a human.”

A mistake? Was the girl prejudice against his kind like the rest?

It didn’t matter. After today she would be his, and she would learn what to say and what not to say as well is how to act.

There were two things Kagome wanted to do. Comfort Sango because she looked a bit distressed, and go off on her mother for engaging her to a youkai without telling her.

She wasn’t prejudice or anything, not at all. She even believed it would be great for the intelligent youkai such as Sesshoumaru to come out of the woods and live among them.

The problem was she was a bit scared of the new lifestyle being put in front of her. Youkai had different habits than humans didn’t they? Not to mention the strength and claws.

“Sango it will be okay.”

Sango didn’t have a problem killing demons, but being around them was a different story.

Her family wasn’t randomly killed by a lesser demon, their deaths were plotted. So of course this was hard for her.

“Sorry Kagome-chan,” Sango whispered, “I shouldn’t be acting this way. I didn’t know you were marrying a youkai.”

“Come Sango,” her mother motioned, “let’s leave these two alone for a bit. It might be nice for them to get to know each other a bit before the ceremony.”

Kagome waited for her friend and mother to disappear before rudely turning her back on her fiancée to readjust her make-up, not that it needed it. She could tell this annoyed him, because there was a light growl.

“You will look me in the eyes when told.”

Kagome still didn’t face him, “I don’t take orders from sicko freaks who take in young human brides.”

She thought she had laid down the rules, but he had no problem from sneaking up from behind and tugging on to her hair.

“I will become both your husband and your mate, and you will show me respect.”

“Let go!”

“Gladly.”

He did so, and she turned around to face him like he had requested earlier.

Such golden eyes, they matched that stoic face of his quite well.

“Like you have discovered I am a demon and you will do what’s expected of you.”

He was ready to retreat since the wedding would be taking place soon. Damn him! Not only did he barge in on her in such a way, but he’d come in, ordered her around, and was now leaving.

“Wait just a minute!” she charged out of her bedroom and into the back yard where he was making his way to the alter.

“Kagome,” her mother gasped, “no one’s supposed to see you yet!”

“Mom how could you let me marry a demon!? Don’t we come from a long line of mikos and priest? This will sully that.”

“Kagome you never cared about any of that stuff before, so go inside until called.”

A miko?

Sesshoumaru watched from the alter as his fiancée was wrestled back into the house by her bridesmaids.

Such defiance. This hadn’t gone like he’d expected. He just wanted a woman who would be obedient and do as he asked.

His blood rushed after seeing how she acted in public. That would be a problem he would have to correct. Actually it could be fun. Maybe he could make a game out of it.

The fact that she was a priestess made it more exciting, and eased the embarrassment of having a human mate. Sure, she wasn’t a warrior or a pure soul for that matter, but he could sense the power inside of her that tempted his youki to subdue.

That feeling stirring inside of him made him see this situation in a new light. Tonight he planned to just consummate their union like traditions commanded while hoping that she would become pregnant, but now he was curious as to how this fiery virgin would be in bed.

The wedding had gone by quick enough for everyone’s liking. Kagome had wanted it over with so bad that she had no problem receiving a kiss from that demon.

He seemed to be able to read her mind and knew what her wishes were, because the kiss wasn’t too passionate or anything, but it was believable. Now it was time for the reception, which she wished would last forever. She wasn’t looking forward to being dragged away to her new home in the country with him.

He was polite to her as well now that they were in public. He even pulled out her chair before she sat down at the head of the table ready to eat some lunch.

“I will return before sundown.” His voice was nice and silky when not trying to dominate over her, “have your personal things packed by then.”

“Wait!”

She quickly scolded herself for sounding like she needed him, but it was a bit strange that he would leave his own reception before it even began.

It was actually kind of rude of him. Every girl looked forward to their wedding with the one they loved, and he’d already ruined that, and now he was going to take off and make her look alone and stupid.

He spared her an annoyed glance with those eyes of his, “Yes?”

She had just met him, and she didn’t like what she saw, so what did she care if he went or not? Things would be easier without him at the moment.

“Never mind.”

She watched him leave before digging into her food kind of hoping he got into a car accident. Not the kind that would kill him, but the kind that caused him to get amnesia and forget he was married. That would work out just fine.

“He doesn’t seem to be that bad of a demon,” Sango commented to make up for tensing up earlier like she had at the sight of him.

“Sango no one expects you to get along with any demons of any kind. Just forget about me and him, I am worried about you.”

Sango stared down at her cake dangerously, “Worried about me? Kagome I’m the demon slayer here and you’re the demon’s toy.”

“Your point?”

Before Kagome could move Sango playfully smashed a piece of cake in Kagome’s face, “My point is that you should be worrying about all the fun I will be having not babysitting you.”

They fought about the whole cake thing for a while, but since her husband wasn’t there to do the traditional ‘smash the cake in the face thing’ it was kind of fun. She would miss Sango so much.

Too bad the last conversation they found themselves in was one that revolved around Sesshoumaru’s brother.

Kagome had made the mistake of introducing herself to Inuyasha before he left since he was the only family her husband had, and that hadn’t been such a good idea. He wasn’t cruel like Sesshoumaru, but he’d also been a jerk. It had been somewhat funny though as well.

It had all been a good escape, but when she was forced upstairs to pack she was reminded of what she was getting herself into.

Sesshoumaru Murashu. He was a demon, and she was his human wife. Not only would she be a homemaker in the suburbs like Inuyasha had taunted her about, but she would be his possession unable to defy him.

“Why me?” she asked watching him come to the door.

 

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