You know...seeing 'Shiori's Family and InuYasha's feelings' finally got me motivated to write this fic; it's about Inuyasha's earliest years, and what he and his mother, Izayoi, had to go through. Now, at the time of this writing, that's as far into the series as I have scene, so if this was covered later in the series...oh well. I have, however, found a website with a summary of the third movie, Tenka Hadou No Ken, so I at least have an idea of what goes on in the very begining. Oh yes...and i don't own InuYasha. Otherwise, enjoy the first chapter of 'Willow Trees and Sakura Blossoms'

Willow Trees and Sakura Blossoms

Rated: R for violence and language, and on a few occasions, abuse.

Summary:
Izayoi runs from Setsuna Takemaru's burning castle, newborn Inuyasha held close. She escapes, and finds a home away from the castle, where she can raise her son. But men can be as cruel as youkai, even to their own, even to a woman. From Inuyasha's birth to her death, incidents of violence come and go, until finally; she can fight no more.

Chapter One:
Shikatsu- Life...and Death


"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on" -Carl Sandburg

It was a cool night when she ran from that burning castle, child held tight. A wave of heat blew over her, blowing back the covering on her head. She turned, watching in horror as the castle burned behind her, knowing that he was still trapped inside.

"Take Inuyasha and get out of here, Izayoi!"

"Inu...yasha?"

"The child! The child's name is Inuyasha!"

A rafter came crashing down behind him.

"But..."

"RUN!"

Tears threatened her eyes; he wasn't going to make it out of the ruins alive. Her heart told her that. Izayoi dropped to her knees, still clutching the child tight.

"No!!!" she screamed, watching Setsuna Takemaru's castle burn. A mournful howl passed up from within the flames. The Inu no Taisho was no more.

The child began wailing, squirming in the swaddling clothes. Izayoi comforted him, and turned and ran, away from the flames, and the memories.

The sun lifted from the horizon slowly, bright rays of firey hues shining down on the earth. Izayoi halted; she could run no more. Her legs fell underneath her, and she sank into the shallow pool of water.

She looked down; the infant was restless. The woman managed a small smile.

"You look like him" she sighed, lifting the baby gently so that he could feed. He suckled softly and contently. Izayoi sighed and felt at peace for the first time in a great deal of time. She closed her eyes.

"Oi! Who's there?"

The new mother looked up, seeing someone coming in the distance. Hurriedly, she pulled the red blanket closer over Inuyasha's head to hide his ears. Her legs nearly gave as she tried to stand. The stranger; a woman probably not five years older than her, steadied her. A worried look held her face, epecially when she saw the bundle in her arms.

"Oh dear...you must've just given birth..Here, come to my house; I'll help you.."

Izayoi smiled softly in acknowledgement and leaned on the woman as they made their way to the nearby hut. The woman handed Izayoi a small cup of water.

"Here"

"Much thanks..."

Izayoi drank.

"It seems from your dress that you are from nobility"

"Of sorts, yes." Izayoi set down the cup and sighed, hugging her child closer.

"How so?"

Izayoi bit at her bottom lip trying to think of an answer.

"Setsuna Takemaru. I was bethrothed to him"

"Setsuna Takemaru?" The woman's eyes went wide, "he?"

"Aye"

"The child is his?"

Izayoi instinctively pulled the child closer, and did not respond. The woman asked no more.

"Later, I will fetch the leader of our village; he will give you shelter befitting your status, miss..." there was a note of suspicion in her voice.

"Izayoi" the new mother responded.

"Izayoi, then."

The peasant woman did not lie; the leader indeed came, eating a meager dinner with them. His gaze turned to Izayoi.

"I hear tell that you are nobility; bethrothed to Takemaru-sama. Why have you come here after birth?"

"There was a fire, set by some young fool," she lied, casting her eyes downward, "had I not run, I would have died"

"And the child?"

"What about him?" Izayoi had never let the child go, not once yet. Her voice hardened.

"Be calm; I only wish to know if it is healthy and breathing."

"Yes."

"Very well," the village leader stood and helped Izayoi to her feet, "we have accomadations for you, close to the river."

"Arigato"

"When we arrive, the priest shall see if your child is well."
Izayoi tensed, but hid that fact.

"As you wish"

It was a modest sized, three roomed flat; one for entertaining visitors, one for sleeping, and one for whatever use the owner wished, within law, of course. Izayoi sat down on one of the cushions, smiling in that soft way of her's. She was left alone with her child to wait for the priest.

"Inuyasha...," she whispered, "oh, what will they do when they find out?" A tear snaked its way down her face, and she dried it quickly, hearing the tamp of footfalls on the small porch.

The priest was a gentle looking man in his late fifties. A thousand laughs were etched into his face, along with a thousand tears for the grief he'd borne, burying the dead.

"Izayoi-sama, hello"

"Hello" her voice was barely a whisper.

"I see you have a child; swaddled yes...very wise. Is it your first?"

"Yes, he is"

The old man smiled.

"Unwrap him; I need to see how fit he is. Buddha knows what would happen if I had to bury another child.." his voice trailed. Izayoi cautiously set Inuyasha down.

"Obousan, I must ask of you...do not think ill of me"

"Dear woman," the old man's eyes twinkled, "I would do no such thing." He took Inuyasha into his arms and gently undid the red and white cloth, setting down the naked infant on it.

"A demon child..." he murmured, drawing an ofuda from his robes.

"No!" Izayoi cried, "don't! It's my son...please don't kill him" she knelt over, head to the ground, crying.

"Are you human, then?" the monk asked, keeping his voice quiet enough so that the leader of the village would not hear him; not yet, anyhow.

"Yes...I beg of you, Obousan, spare him...he will cause no trouble."

"I see"

The priest stood after swaddling the infant once more.

"Very well then. If he holds to that vow, Izayoi-sama," he spoke, handing her her child back.

"Arigato!" she gasped, holding her child close.

The holy man slid the door closed behind him and slipped his zori back on. He descended the steps and stood before the leader of the village.

"It is a half-demon child, Hitoritenka-sama."

"I see.." Hitoritenka folded his arms, "she shall be allowed to stay. I bear no ill will against her. She has done nothing to earn such"

"And if that should change? If the child grows angry at humans and attacks? "

Hitoritenka laughed quietly.

"If so, I will have them slain. It is as simple as that, Horyuu."

The priest shifted uneasily.

"My name, dear boy, is Ryuujou. Being the leader does not mean you. While it may grant you power to punish your subjects as you wish...I would warn you against it. Those actions to not bode well"

"You're a babbling old man, Horyuu. I did not ask for your counsel."

"Aye, that you didn't."

The priest and leader left.


Glossary of Terms:

Inu no Taisho- Lord of Dogs...since Inuyasha's father has not been given a name by Takahashi-san yet.

Obousan- Buddhist priest

Hitoritenka- undisputed leader. Here, it's just his name.

Horyuu-purple willow/infirmity/delicate constitution. Not really the priest's name; Hitoritenka is insulting him.

Ryuujou- willow twig. The priest's real name.

-sama: means Lord or lady...I believe.

That's the first chapter? Do you like? Do you not? Either way, review, onegai?