Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Inuyasha characters that are trademarked by Rumiko Takahashi. However, other characters in this story are rightfully mine. I am merely writing on the basis of entertainment and for S/K fans.
Full Summary: Every 10th century, there is a tradition amongst demons of high class. For one year, demons gather to choose a demoness who outshines the others by beauty, talent, wisdom, elegance, and uniqueness and is then titled as 'Hime'. This title entrusts the demoness with high power within the demon society. As Prince of the Western Land, Inuyasha is forced back into demon society while dragging Kagome along to act as his intended mate. When Kagome witnesses that Inuyasha is hated by the entire demon society, she decides to become Inuyasha's real intended mate and compete for the title of 'Hime'. But...what if Kagome falls in love with another?
Dark bags marked visible beneath amber colored eyes.
White ears twitched at the smallest sounds made.
Brows furrowed constantly, even in sleep.
Kagome knew for certain that something was bothering Inuyasha, but he would always divert the conversation whenever she tried to bring up her observations. A year had passed since the defeat of Naraku. Sango and Miroku had married and left to build up the taijiya clan once again along with Shippou and Kirara. The well had closed blocking her way to her time, even though the Shikon no Tama hung around her neck. So after the devastating realization that she was unable to return to her family, she began to travel alone with Inuyasha jumping from village to village as the Shikon Miko. And ever since then, Inuyasha's anxious behavior became worse and more noticeable.
Something was bothering him.
Kagome's brows creased as she knew something serious was bothering him.
Catching Inuyasha's white ears twitch at a distant sound Kagome could not have heard with human ears, she noticed him freeze. Emotions that looked like hopelessness seemed to flash through Inuyasha's amber eyes. Worry began to eat away at her heart as she saw Inuyasha express such an anguished expression.
Suddenly sensing a demonic aura approaching towards their resting site, Kagome glanced at Inuyasha wearily. He didn't seem to grasp the hilt of his Tetsusaiga, which usually indicated danger, so she remained seated. Hearing footsteps nearing their camp, Kagome heard the footsteps suddenly stop. She looked towards the figure that caused such an expression to appear upon Inuyasha and noticed it was Sesshomaru. Kagome couldn't help but quickly turn her eyes towards Inuyasha in shock that he was not readying for an attack. Instead, she saw Inuyasha's gaze turned away from Sesshomaru and glazed over with iciness.
"Your time is up, Inuyasha," Kagome heard Sesshomaru state stoically before vanishing within the forest again. She sat still as several thoughts raced through her mind in confusion. Usually when Inuyasha encountered Sesshomaru, there was nothing short but fighting, bashing, and insults thrown at each other. Yet, watching both brothers remain calm and cold to each other was definitely freaking her out. Though Kagome was about to send Inuyasha query look, her look vanished as she noticed Inuyasha's face covered by devastation.
"Inuyasha," Kagome continued to voice seriously. "Tell me what is going on." She stared straight into his eyes with a steeled look to demand that he tell her what was causing him such sorrow. She watched closely as Inuyasha's bangs covered his hooded eyes from her sight. For a second, Kagome thought Inuyasha was not going to reveal anything until she heard his mumble.
"I only had a certain amount of centuries of freedom before returning to the Western Land and resume my duties as the Prince," Inuyasha said as Kagome looked shocked. She knew he was the son of a Lord, but she didn't ever consider that Inuyasha would have the title of Prince since he didn't act like one.
"Freedom?" Kagome questioned, now curious as to her friend's reason for not doing the regular duties of a Prince.
"Ya, every Prince or heir to the throne are given 200 years to find their supreme power. When the time is over, they need to return and resume their duties to the Land."
"So, the Shikon no Tama…" Kagome trailed off as she was beginning to understand why Inuyasha wanted the Shikon no Tama. It was to wish upon the jewel and become a full demon, thus obtaining supreme power.
"Ya, so now that 200 years are already over, I need to return to the West," Inuyasha said with a grimace.
"Wait…then why was Sesshomaru trying to kill you all this time?" Kagome inquired confused.
"Keh, that's his way of sparring," Inuyasha retorted with a snort.
The shocking news of Inuyasha being the Prince of the Western Land confused her greatly. But after hearing his explanation, it all seemed to make sense now. She understood that resuming the position of a Prince could be nerve wrecking, but why did it make Inuyasha's expression look so sad? She wished to know, but knowing Inuyasha she doubted that he would tell her anything…yet.
"So, are you leaving me?" Kagome asked quietly, fully knowing the answer to her question but couldn't help asking.
"I'll accompany you to the next village and then leave. I know you are strong enough, you don't need me," Inuyasha answered roughly trying to hide the hint of sorrow. Indeed she had grown stronger to handle her own fights, but to lose her friend and companion was irreplaceable.
After a few more hours of journeying to the nearest village, Kagome saw smoke rising into the air indicating that they were very close by. Stepping past the thick trees, the sight of a village appeared; a demon village. Kagome glanced nervously towards Inuyasha knowing that he always felt uncomfortable when they passed through a demon village due to his brand as a hanyou. Noting the cold hard ice behind his amber eyes, she began to worry.
"A human and a hanyou? How dare you to think you can just walk through our village and soil our grounds!" Kagome heard a demon growl out harshly.
"Do you require a healer?" Kagome asked nonchalantly, used to demons reacting roughly towards her in the beginning.
Hearing the demon scoff, Kagome repeated, "Do you require a healer?"
"I heard you the first time, human," the demon yelled back angrily. Unimpressed by the demon's rude behavior, Kagome crossed her arms and released a bit of her aura.
"Chief, she is the Shikon Miko," Kagome heard another demon say to the rude demon in a hushed voice. Viewing the rude demon stiffen by this information, Kagome watched with amusement as he quickly bowed before her in apology.
"Forgive me, Miko-sama. I did not know you were the Shikon Miko. There are a few demons that require healing," the chief demon responded in a different tone.
Kagome had found out a few months ago when they passed by a demon village that she was highly respected by the demon society. The fact and knowledge that she had been the one to destroy and purify Naraku had spread, which caused her to have some sort of high status amongst the demons. Though she was not familiar with how the demon society worked, she realized that demons were ranked and held status according to their strengths.
As darkness covered the sky filling the night sky with stars and the moon, Kagome finally finished healing the remaining demons that were hurt. Heading towards the hut the chief had provided them to stay in, Kagome entered the hut with Inuyasha staring straight at her from where he was seated.
"What?" Kagome asked casually as Inuyasha stared at her intently. Silence remained in the air as Kagome thought Inuyasha was ignoring her question.
"Come with me," Inuyasha finally spoke after a while.
"Huh?" she breathed out absentmindedly at his random words.
"Come with me to the Western Lands, Kagome," Inuyasha repeated with more information. Detecting the seriousness behind his words, Kagome knew he was requesting her to come with him instead of commanding her to do so.
She saw a flicker of what seemed like hope behind his eyes.
Sitting down in front of Inuyasha, Kagome leveled her eyes to his. Right now was the perfect time to finally ask him what he was thinking.
"Tell me everything then," she demanded revealing to Inuyasha that she knew there was more behind what he had told her so far. A heavy sigh was released by Inuyasha.
"You're too smart I can't even hide anything from ya," Inuyasha voiced lightheartedly appearing like his usual self for a second. But the lighthearted expression of his vanished just as quickly as it had appeared.
"After my mother's death, Sesshomaru came for me and said I had to perform my duties as the Western Land Prince. So I have been under his care since then. But, my duties as a Prince entails joining the demon society," Inuyasha informed the entire time with a pained voice.
"Oh no," Kagome whispered out the moment Inuyasha explained that his duties required his presence within the demon society.
"Ya, a hanyou as a Prince?" Inuyasha snorted at his own comment, "They hated me, still do."
Tears began to swell within her blue eyes, but she tried to hold them in. She could just imagine the torture Inuyasha went through at such a young age. To be hated by an entire society with no one by your side.
"So come with me, Kagome," Inuyasha continued to ask cautiously, "as my intended mate."
"WHAT!?" Kagome blurted out loudly as the sound resounded against the small hut.
"Pretend, Kagome! As my PRETEND intended," Inuyasha quickly explained while rubbing his sore ringing ears.
"How would that help…" Kagome began to ask, but soon realized what Inuyasha's request was meant for. Sorrow began to sink into her heart as she realized how desperate Inuyasha was. She now understood why Inuyasha's expression looked so hopeless and lost back then. How horrible and traumatic his experiences with the demon society must have been to ask her to act as his intended. With her high status and respect amongst the demon society, Inuyasha was probably hoping that as his intended mate they would be less harsh towards him and overlook his status as a hanyou.
"But I'm still a human," Kagome said worriedly, warning Inuyasha that she may cause him to go through more torment because of her.
"You are an exception, Kagome. Your powers will make demons overlook your race," he replied.
"You are powerful too, Inuyasha," Kagome said honestly, truly confused as to the reason for the demon society to be so hateful towards Inuyasha just because he was a hanyou. She was sure that Inuyasha was more powerful than some of the demons. A disgusted grimace appeared upon Inuyasha's lips and caused dread to fill her heart.
"My Father's scandal will never allow the demon society to overlook my race as a hanyou, no matter how powerful I may be," Inuyasha grounded out angrily.
"Your Father's…scandal…" Kagome echoed as she remembered that Inuyasha's father had mated a demoness but fell in love with a human.
"But even if you were born from such a scandal, your father was still powerful and highly respected. You have his blood streaming through you!" Kagome exclaimed defensively for her friend.
"Keh, you don't know anything about demon society, Kagome," Inuyasha muttered bitterly.
"Tell me, Inuyasha!" she demanded urgently as she glared at her friend.
"Sesshomaru's mother was a Hime. The title of a Hime is given to one demoness every 10th century who is highly respected and approved by every demon. So of course no one dared mock my Father's choice of falling in love with a human when his mate held the title of a Hime. It protected him from any reputation being ruined," Inuyasha said as each word was spit out angrily.
"So their anger towards your Father's scandal was passed down to you since Sesshomaru's Mother's title as Hime didn't protect you," Kagome voiced with an anguished cry, fully understanding the reason for Inuyasha's pain.
Her heart bled for her friend.
Tears that she had tried to hold back overflowed from her eyes.
Sorrow that heavily weighed upon her heart would not be removed.
She knew that this was Inuyasha's first time confessing this to her, to anyone. And it pained her even more to know the fact that there was no one close by his side to heal or hear his painful cry. Feeling Inuyasha awkwardly patting her head to cease her tears, it had only caused her more pain to pierce through her chest.
"I will go with you," Kagome whispered her promise for Inuyasha to hear. And she silently promised to protect him as best she could.
Hime: The word Hime initially referred to beautiful female, though some understand this word to mean princess. Therefore, the title of a Hime is given to the chosen beauty amongst the demon society.
Author's Note: What are your thoughts for the first chapter of this story, dear readers? The full drawing of "The Hime Tradition" can be seen on my Dokuga Fanart page! You are more than welcomed to check that out!
Thank you for reading,
Your reviews are cherished.