Title: Leaving Youth Behind
Genre: Romance/Introspective/Drama
Pairings: Inu No Taishou/Izayoi and Inu no Taishou/Sessmom
Word Count: 259
Rating: PG
Summary: Young love isn't always true love...

The former wife of the Inu no Taishou had no regrets. Her marriage to the great youkai had given her happiness in the form of a handsome and powerful heir.

She had loved the man she'd given herself to, as one loves the passion filled summer fling they have in their youth. The joy that it had given her would never be forgotten, and she loved the Inu no Taishou of those days still.

But neither she of her youth, nor he of his existed now.

And because of that, nor did their love.

Izayoi was human; a flighty dreamy girl in the guise of a beautiful sophisticated noblewoman. The young princess was not perfect. She was not faultless.

But she understood why Inu no Taishou had chosen to intertwine his destiny with this human lady.

She was strong. She was kind. Izayoi was the woman he needed now that he was far from being a youth. He wished to protect her, wished to better himself for her.

Izayoi and the Inu no Taishou wished to grow. To take on life's responsibilities and not ignore them with the reckless abandon of young romance.

She had been his first love, but Izayoi was his destined. This, the youkai woman understood.

It did not hurt her, for it had been over one hundred years since the two shared the warmth of each other's love. Then they began to drift apart, breaking the ties of youth that held their love fast.

And her heart was unburdened and free, and would forever be.