Title: The Mating Game
Rating: M – for language and later chapter(s) which contains mature matter.
Pairings: Sess/Kag ; Inu/Kik
Disclaimer: Sadly I do not own Inuyasha. I am merely using the characters for my own sadistic pleasures. So thank you very much for allowing me to do so.
Summary: Kagome has been dragged into Sesshomaru's mating challenge. In order to save her pack's reputation she's forced to play. It's a battle of past vs. future and Kagome is playing to win. How far is she willing to go to succeed in this game? Story told in segments.
Notes: I was at work one day back in 2008 and I was reading through a new magazine which had the different types of sugar through the ages and this story idea came from that. How? Why? … No idea! Then, like all my story ideas, it morphed and evolved into this. I do hope you enjoy. This story is 75% written.
When Kagome emerged from the well carrying the massive cargo, the first thought running through her mind was to scream for Inuyasha. She was going to make the strong half demon carry what he should have been here to carry in the first place!
Then she was going to 'sit' his sorry ass for making her carry out the heavy and awkward cargo from the depths of the well. If she had Inuyasha's strength, she would have placed everything in a giant plastic bin. However, she could only carry partial of his strength, so everything went into bags and that meant there were MANY heavy bags, and many trips back and forth through the well.
Kagome collapsed against the well once everything was brought up. After shard hunting for four years, the supplies needed grew. Ramen, chocolate, food, bathing supplies, herbs, material, medical supplies, art projects to keep Shippo occupied, schoolwork… the list was endless.
She closed her eyes and relaxed against the splintered wood while she regained her strength and wondered how she was going to get all this down to the village. She had no more strength. Those bags were a workout.
She didn't know how long she snoozed, but the gentle kick to the sole of her shoe told her she was no longer alone in the woods. Kagome cracked open an eye half expecting it to be Inuyasha. She opened her mouth to give him a good tongue lashing about being late, and realized it wasn't Inuyasha in front of her.
There were three strong male demons on either side of her, effectively blocking any escape path. Today was not Kagome's day. Her mind raced with all the good and bad possibilities that would come out of this. If necessary she could escape through the well, or if she was stupid lucky, she could purify all three of them with no weapon. There was a bow at Kaede's and one sitting in the well house at home. With all the supplies she brought through the well, she knew something had to get left behind. She only forgot the life saving weapon—of course. That was Kagome's luck.
Trying the diplomatic angle first was always her best option. "Good afternoon gentlemen, how may I help you?" She managed to keep her voice from cracking in fright.
"Lady Kikyo, you are to be prepared and presented to our Lord." The dog demon to her right told her.
Kagome blinked a few times looking at him, "Why?" was the first thing out of her mouth. She wasn't Kikyo, but she was curious why a demon lord would request one of the most famous and powerful priestesses of this time.
"Our Lord is furious you mated the next crowned Lord without permission or consent of the elders."
Kagome's mind drew a blank. "Huh?" She asked confused as all hell. "What?" Who the hell did Kikyo mate? She was too busy shacking up with Inuyasha in the woods…
Inuyasha? Make a commitment? Like he could commit to anything but ramen and shard hunting!
"Lord Sesshomaru is upset at your and Lord Inuyasha's disrespectful act on the Lord's house, especially on the eve of his own event of taking a mate. You are to come with us to beg for forgiveness before the Lord and the House. Hopefully, if you come willingly, the Lord will be merciful with his punishment."
Kagome sat there digesting everything. Inuyasha actually made Kikyo his mate? How could he not tell her? Tears were starting to well up at the back of her eyes.
"It's okay my Lady, I'm sure our Lord will forgive you. You are human after all." The dog demon tried to console her.
"Come, my lady, we must leave before the other arrives. Lord Inuyasha warned us to avoid the other priestess that frequents this forest. His words were to grab Kikyo and get back here before Kagome shows up." The second dog demon looked like he was quoting verbatim, which was highly possible.
"This Kagome chick sounds like she's someone I wouldn't want to meet on a dark night. If Lord Inuyasha wants to avoid her she must be evil and scary." The first one commented.
Kagome bit her lip. She swallowed the large lump at the back of her throat. She was stuck between crying and raging. Instead, she came up with a plan of sweet revenge. She, after all, was a teenager from the 21st century. Inuyasha was going to wish he could time travel like she could when she was done with him.
"You are absolutely right." Kagome tried to keep her voice even and steady but it wavered slightly. "We should get out of here. Inuyasha was supposed to help me bring these supplies, but they are too heavy for my feeble human arms."
The remaining dog demon sneared at her remark. "I don't know why he mated a weak human like you anyway."
"Soldier, hold your tongue!" He scorned the officer. "I apologize my Lady, we would be honored to carry your bags."
"You gentlemen are too kind." Kagome smiled. She had just gotten two dog demons to carry her bags, and a dog demon to carry her. Sure she was probably going from the frying pan to the fire, but she would make sure that Inuyasha was nice and sizzling before she stepped into her own fate.
Kagome was silent most of the ride. It was awkward being carried bridal style, but so long as she didn't have to walk, she was okay for the moment. The kind soldier carrying her informed her that she would have to lodge in a small room towards the back of the manor. This apparently was supposed to be punishment for not allowing the house's consent to the mating.
Kagome wasn't too mad about it. A demon compound and a mortal priestess that could potentially kill them, yeah she would have taken the isolated and protected little room away from everyone too.
Kagome watched as people flocked from the inside rooms to watch them land in the center of the courtyard. The trip was faster and smoother than a normal ride on Inuyasha's back.
The dogs quickly ushered her to her room so she could deposit all her belongings and rejoin her mate in the main room. Kagome's smile took on a sinister look that went unnoticed by everyone. The shoji door slid open revealing Inuyasha and the dead priestess standing next to him.
"I brought her Kentaro, you lose. Tonight is on you." A fourth dog demon laughed and made his way over until he stopped and looked at the fellow soldier. "What's wrong?"
"If that's Lady Kikyo, then who is she?" He stepped aside to reveal a fuming Kagome.
Inuyasha was the first to say something. Instead of taking a step forward, he took a step back. He knew what happened when he confronted her when she was this pissed. He could feel the heat she was radiating from his position yards away.
"Kagome, I can explain." Inuyasha pleaded. "If you just calm down …"
Now, Kagome was livid. Kagome took a step forward and the guards took a step to the side allowing her passage. Kagome's aura burned with a dark rage, her eyes promised pain the pits of hell would be jealous to know. Those in the room stood with baited breath waiting to see what the woman would do. They had been warned about 'Kagome', now they feared they were going to see why.
"Inuyasha..." Kagome circled around him. Inuyasha's ears laid flat against his head, his head bowed low, ready to take any punishment coming. "You should have told me." She was disappointed.
He flinched at the low, hurt tone of her voice. "I'm sorry Kagome."
Kagome stood in front of him and stroked the side of face and lifted his head to meet her eyes. "I forgive you." Kagome watched as the sigh of relief exited his body. She turned on her heel and took a few steps away. She growled, "Sit boy!"
The looks of horror, shock and amusement on the faces of everyone in attendance made Kagome a tad less furious. It was almost therapeutic.
Kagome could hear some mumbling from the crater in the floor. "Just because I forgive you Inuyasha doesn't mean I'm not pissed." The tone in her voice chastised him, while her voice still managed to be soft. "Sit."
Kagome took a seat and watched as the half demon struggled to get out of the crater only to be placed deeper into it a few moments later. Kagome got comfortable, she had a funny feeling the rage inside her wouldn't disappear any time soon. "Sit boy."
Kagome and Inuyasha were sitting at a table several hours later eating their evening meal while Kikyo watched. "You shouldn't have came Kagome. Now I can't save you."
"You should have told me Inuyasha! I thought I was your friend…"
"You're my best friend Kagome, which is why I couldn't tell you!" Inuyasha reached over to grab her hand, which she pulled away.
"That makes no sense at all!" Kagome was trying to understand Inuyasha's logic and was failing miserably.
Inuyasha was about to speak when Kikyo cut him off. "You're failing to see because Inuyasha is leaving a vital statement out. His brother, Lord Sesshomaru, is looking for a potential mate. Any unmated or unwed females in any of his kin's pack is brought forward and put to the test to see if they are worthy of becoming mother to his children. Inuyasha thought you would be safe in your own time, or that you would be overlooked for being weak and human."
Kagome smacked Inuyasha. "You could have told me and I would have stayed at home. The truth wouldn't have hurt, you ass."
"He is male, therefore doesn't think." Kikyo responded blandly.
Kagome laughed while Inuyasha growled at his mate. "So what now? Can I go home? How long will this take? I'm human, I'm the last thing he'll pick. So dropping out will solve everything, right?" She asked hopefully while her companions weren't giving her reassuring looks.
"Wrong." Inuyasha started. "You being here means you'll have to compete with all the other candidates. Failure to do so will result in your death, or so I've been told."
"I'm screwed aren't I?" Kagome groaned and banged her head on the table. "How do we get me out of this mess?"
"Simple. Play to win. Becoming a mate isn't all about physical power." Kikyo stepped forward and joined the conversation. "Win and you can decline. You have resources even demons would kill for. I know of the herbs you give Kaede. Those are vast fortunes you give away with little regard."
"Don't worry Kagome, we'll help you." Inuyasha reassured her while Kikyo nodded once from her spot.
Somehow Kagome wasn't feeling reassured.
Kagome didn't sleep much that night. She was too busy thinking how she could use the future to her advantage. Her bags were here and they were filled with many things even demons would kill for. She needed to make sure none of her things would be stolen or tampered with.
There wasn't much to her room. It was a single room with a futon, a pee pot, and a box to store her items. It wasn't large enough to fit all her supplies, so she decided to carry around what she couldn't fit in her chest. The chest would be guarded with wards Miroku had made for her ages ago. She could always get Kikyo to put up a barrier if anyone ever tried to tamper with it.
The sound of a horn made Kagome jump and shoot her head towards the door. She suspected it was to signal the beginning of this game.
She brushed off her green skirt and made her way inside. They would underestimate her because she is human, and for that they would all lose. This was the biggest reason Kagome didn't like sports or games. She played to win. Have a good time yes, but she needed to be the winner. Sportsmanship went out the window with the prospect of winning. A simple game of 'Monopoly' became an all-out war. Family became victims, friends became fodder for her domination.
The room they used to serve breakfast was full of demons. Most looked young, but Kagome knew they were all actually very old. Most were of canine decent, with a few felines and other demons used as servants and aides.
Kagome took her spot beside Inuyasha. A servant placed a tray in front of her and she smiled her thanks and started to eat while silently observing the bustle of demons scurrying to get everything ready or finished. She couldn't understand why Inuyasha was tense sitting beside her. She should be the one worried. She wasn't sure if any or all of the females in this room were potential competitors. She didn't want to see them as enemies. Enemies mean they end up dead. She didn't want them dead, she just wanted to win so she could get the hell out of here.
A young demon child came and rang a bell before walking back out the door. She wondered if this was show time. The way Inuyasha was shaking, she thought she would be walking into her own death.
Inuyasha, ye of little faith.
The room they were all corralled into was massive, amongst all the female candidates Kagome felt like she was a cattle being lead to the slaughter. She just wished she knew what was coming so she could plan and prepare. She needed to find out the rules of the game so she could find out how to exploit them.
At the head of the room sat the stoic demon lord and several advisors. They were all analyzing the females and whispering amongst themselves. Kagome tried to read their lips, but they were talking faster than she could keep up with. At one point she would swear they were talking without moving their lips.
A member of Sesshomaru's council stood and addressed the court. "You are all gathered here today to prove you are worthy of being Mother to the heir to the West. The rules are simple. Succeed in the challenges provided to move on. Failing the challenges brings dishonor to your pack. There is no fighting or bloodshed amongst the females at any time. There will be zero tolerance for bloodshed.
Failure to keep the peace will bring dishonor to your pack. Remember we are all still pack."
"Sounds easy enough. I was expecting some bloodshed and back stabbing and some rich brat hissy fits. This is easier than I thought." Kagome smirked and Inuyasha turned white. The rules were simple: Win and no killing. Her mortality was safe for the moment.
"You're really doing to do this? I'll take the dishonor and the punishment that comes with it." Inuyasha's knuckles were white as he clenched his fists. He was afraid for his best friend.
Kagome was already playing the game. She hadn't even started yet. No bloodshed meant she didn't need demonic power to win against the other females. She liked a challenge, even if it was stupid.
"Your first task begins now. Present your Lord Sesshomaru with a token of your affection and loyalty. If he accepts then you can move on, if not, your journey ends here and dishonor shall fall upon you and your pack." The advisor told the candidates.
Kagome watched as a few presented jewelry, books and scrolls, and garments of all colors. She watched as a few got rejected and wept with their pack or whoever came with them to the West.
Kagome came up with the perfect gift. When it was her time to step forward she took the first step with ease and pride. She would save her best friend's honor.
"My gift is a shard of the Sacred Jewel." Kagome took a bright pink shard out of her pocket and presented it to Sesshomaru.
The crowd gasped in horror and jealousy for not thinking of it first. "You filthy human, our Lord has no need for such false power. How dare you disrespect our Lord in such a manner!" The advisor seethed and ranted as his face grew flush with his rage.
Kagome laughed. "You're a senile old fool who's well past his prime if he can't see the obvious." Kagome calmly retorted and placed her hand in his face, a 'talk to the hand' gesture, before he could continue. "Most know he's after the destruction of Naraku. By presenting Sesshomaru with a shard, I am merely giving him the option of having Naraku coming to him on his own ground and on his own terms rather than Sesshomaru searching blindly on weeks or days old sources. It's a practical gift, unlike everything else here."
The room was silent as Sesshomaru walked up to Kagome and took the shard out of her hand and placed it in his pocket. "Accepted." He stated and turned back to his seat.
Kagome smirked and winked at the shell shocked advisor before taking her seat beside Inuyasha who lost his composure. "What the fuck did you do that for Kagome? You just gave that bastard a fucking shard!"
"Sit." Kagome said softly and sat back down. Inuyasha landed face first with a thud. She knew that even without their demon hearing they could hear every word that was said.
"Are you sure that is wise Kagome?" Kikyo asked not taking her eyes off the demons in front.
"Of course. It's now twice as hard for Naraku to get the jewel. Plus pawning off the responsibility for a bit is my way of taking a vacation." Kagome smiled as Sesshomaru glared at her from across the room.
"I wonder if pawning off my homework would be this easy too?" Kagome wondered as she smiled to herself. So far this game was a piece of cake.