Disclaimer: Neither the characters from the storyline 'Inuyasha' by Rumiko Takahashi, nor the plotline from the movie 'Overboard' with Goldie Hawn, are mine.
Author's Note: I just watched the movie. I couldn't help but imagine it was Kagome, instead of sweet lil' Goldie Hawn in that terrible situation.
On with the story…
Sesshoumaru leaned back and sighed. It had been another endless day at the office. He wondered if he failed to show up one day, whether his Father would notice and appreciate all the work he did, or whether the old man would simply be glad his son was taking time off. Assuredly, if he slacked off like his accursed half-brother Inuyasha, then his Father would say something.
The boy was in college now, but he barely worked any harder than in high school – which was to say, not much at all. Everything was about partying, drinking, girls, or bar-fights to him. Sesshoumaru knew his funding would have been pulled, his inheritance denied, and quite likely he would have been disowned, had he pulled the stunts his step-brother currently did. Sneaking into a sorority house, after hours, and calling his hated step-brother to bail him out of prison? Really! It was shameful. Sesshoumaru had been sorely tempted to leave the boy to his own devices, that time.
Somehow though, he always dredged up the resources and the willpower to assist his step-brother, whenever the boy landed in hot water. It was not from pity. No, Sesshoumaru was merely protecting their family name, thereby assuring his own success. If he felt anything toward his half-brother at all, it was not pity – it was carefully guarded, deeply denied jealousy.
Yes, although he hated to admit it even to himself, he was jealous of his half-brother. Inuyasha had multiple girlfriends and many companions; he led an easy-going life. Father doted on the boy and gave Inuyasha anything he requested, never questioning whether the college student deserved it or not. Sesshoumaru, on the other hand, had made a single, small mistake, and Father had refused to look his way again.
Of course, just one small mistake was all it took to get a girl pregnant.
Kagura. He had been introduced to her at a company function. Wearing a traditional kimono, yet simultaneously breaking the rules in modern high heels and stylish-looking earrings, she had grabbed his attention immediately. Something in her eyes had reminded Sesshoumaru of himself – she seemed defiant but resigned, angry and sad all at once. He wondered if she felt trapped too.
Back then, he had been a college student, as Inuyasha was now. Even so, he had interned at his Father's company, working to earn a place in society. Between his job and his education, he had been overworked, too stressed to think clearly, too eager to please.
And despite his good looks, he had never had a girlfriend. Somehow, he had never found the time – there was always something else that needed doing, errands, homework, after-school activities, earning money… It wasn't that he was shy – he was just… bad with words around women. Was it any wonder that he had fallen for her?
Kagura was from a high-standing family; she knew how to be deferential when the need arose, but otherwise she had a fiery disposition. Sultry and scintillating at the same time, she had laid on the charm, and Sesshoumaru had been extremely attracted to her. When his Father had approved of the match, he had followed her lead, rather like a lost puppy.
But although his Father approved of Kagura, he did not approve of scandal. Sure, Touga had his share of extra-marital affairs; his current wife was a testament to this fact. How else would Inuyasha have come into existence, after all? Touga had cheated on his wife and family, impregnating his mistress and marrying her only after his first wife died, ensuring that no money was lost during a messy divorce. Still, his Father did not want to see his sons repeat the same mistakes. So, when Kagura got pregnant, his Father had immediately flown into a fury.
The hypocrite. Secretly, Sesshoumaru thought his behavior was not nearly as reprehensible as his father's had been. At least he hadn't cheated on anyone when he lay with Kagura. At least he had not drawn out his affairs for years on end, hurting his family when the truth came to light.
Besides, Kagura had said she loved him… Perhaps he was overly sensitive on the subject, but when he heard these words, it had lightened a weight on his shoulders. His parents had never had time for such words. His mother had cared more about clothes and riches, while his father had been more concerned about propriety and property. For years, he had sought his father's approval and never measured up. Even now, it twisted a knife inside him to watch his Father freely slather affection onto his half-brother and step-mother Izayoi, knowing the man had been an emotional miser toward his first family.
Needless to say, things had come to a head between Sesshoumaru and his Father when Kagura conceived. Furious that his eldest had disobeyed him, endangered their reputation, and ruined a poor girl's honor, Touga had demanded either an immediate marriage or an abortion. A shot-gun wedding was not an option, however, once Kagura revealed her secret – she was already engaged! Her husband-to-be was named Naraku, and the marriage had been arranged long years ago.
Swearing that she loved Sesshoumaru and not her fiancé, Kagura had begged for his forgiveness to no avail. Dishonesty and cowardice were the two things Sesshoumaru despised most, and she had displayed them both in abundance that day. Acquiescing to his Father's demands because she could not rightfully marry Sesshoumaru, Kagura had agreed to an abortion.
It had been the worst day of his life, and not because of any pro-choice, pro-life arguments. Instead, he had been appalled – at Kagura for being so eager to get into bed, and so hopeful to be rescued from a situation of her making – at his father, for treating his sons unequally and unfairly and applying a double standard where Sesshoumaru was concerned. Heaven only knew, Touga and Inuyasha both had their share of affairs, while he worked hard and played it straight. Then, making things worse, his father had overreacted to his one tiny error, trying to pretend it had never happened.
Why should his Father be allowed such mistakes, while he had to be perfect? An ugly question had reared its head in his mind; Sesshoumaru had wondered – if it had been inconvenient to Touga, would his Father have allowed his eldest son to be born? The old man had been so excited by Inuyasha's birth… Even though the birth of his bastard son meant he had been separated from his wife, Touga hadn't cared. But what if Touga had not "loved" his mistress, Izayoi, or planned to marry her once his first wife died? What if he had seen her pregnancy as a disadvantageous bother? It certainly seemed like he viewed Sesshoumaru this way, most days. What if… he was really nothing more than a burden to his Father?
That night he had dreamt of chains surrounding him, wrapping around his soul, binding him tightly until he could neither move nor breathe. Alive but dead, in his dream he had waited for the denizens of the underworld to come and carry him away from this place. Then, a bright light had overwhelmed him, and he had seen a little girl with a bright smile and messy hair, laughing before him on a bright sunny day. Waking up in a cold sweat, his heart pounding, he had felt terrified for no reason at all.
He had called Kagura the same night and convinced her to keep the baby. Later, his Father had argued against it, but Sesshoumaru had insisted. And once again, he could not quite place a finger on why – he didn't have strong feelings about abortion, he merely could not ignore the warning in his dream and his fears of being unloved by his parents. Even if his Father had never loved him, he resolved he would do better for his child.
Meanwhile, Touga and Kagura worked out a deal in private. In return for a great sum of money, she agreed to lay no claim to the child. In the end, Sesshoumaru had a daughter, just like he had dreamed. His Father had stalked out of the hospital the moment Rin was born, stating he hoped the experience finally taught his son 'responsibility.'
Holding his newborn daughter though, Sesshoumaru had realized for the first time that he could ignore his Father's jibes. He understood responsibility; he would never have demanded to keep the baby otherwise. Little Rin was not a pet dog! Besides, he had spent the better part of his life proving he was responsible. If his Father could not see it, then obviously his actions made no difference. Who cared what the old man thought? After feeling his daughter's tiny fist grip his forefinger, there had been no room in his heart to worry about other things anymore.
Devoting himself to her health and safety, he had hired nurses to care for Rin during the day, while he worked incessantly throughout college and graduate school to keep his position in his Father's company secure. Money was never a problem. First, he put aside enough to move into a spacious house in the suburbs. Later, he hoped to save enough money to start up his own company and escape his Father's control entirely. And maybe someday, he daydreamed, he would surpass his Father, buying out Touga's private corporation.
Long story short, all this made the situation with Inuyasha severely bothersome! True, he wasn't trying to 'prove' himself to Father anymore. It was impossible to please the man. Still, the injustice of it all prickled at his spine. He was hyper-conscious of the way Touga treated his second son, and he could not help forming unfavorable comparisons to his own childhood.
Furthermore, he wanted to ensure his stupid brother did not run their company into the ground, ruining his dreams of going independent someday. In the spirit of fairness, Touga had offered his half-brother an internship with the company, the same opportunity that Sesshoumaru had received at that age. Yet Inuyasha did not take work seriously like his elder brother. Instead of working, or even sitting behind his desk, the boy was always up and about, frittering his time away and flirting with girls. All the pretty secretaries giggled when he walked past, while all the older ones frowned. Worst of all, Inuyasha would often bring his 'girlfriend' to the office to impress her.
Watching his half-brother and Kikyou interact through his office window, Sesshoumaru glared in disgust. The woman was gorgeous – he would admit that much. But she was cold and uncaring too. Perhaps Inuyasha was too lack-witted to notice, or perhaps he had so many girlfriends that he did not mind, but Sesshoumaru found himself hating the girl for her every move. The way she brushed against Inuyasha's side, only to ignore him when he asked her a question. The way she flicked her hair. The way she chewed gum. The way she stared, soullessly impassive and uncaring at her so-called 'love.'
Obviously, the girl did not care for his half-brother. Kikyou barely even spoke to him. She was standoffish and downright disturbing. Clearly, the girl was just another gold-digging bitch with a heart made of clay, and if his half-brother had half a brain, then he would run for the hills. Luckily, Inuyasha was resilient and uncaring himself, so Sesshoumaru felt no compunction to warn him about such women.
Today, as the office shut itself down for the evening, Kikyou was staring through the window at the street far below, carelessly putting fingerprints on the glass. Snapping his briefcase shut, Sesshoumaru sneered at his door and tried not to let his agitation show. She was so exasperating! His restraint dissolved completely when the woman turned around and smirked at him, in what she doubtless thought was an enticing manner.
"Have you nothing better to do with your days then convert oxygen into carbon-dioxide while sullying a perfectly good place of business with your presence and distracting the workers in the midst of their performance reviews?" He couldn't help himself. The comment just slipped out. The woman's eyes grew wide, and she took a step back, before the window prevented her from retreating further. Noiselessly, she shook her head.
With a snort, Sesshoumaru turned away, flipping a yellow manila folder onto an empty desk. "Give this to Inuyasha. It's his performance review for the month. Tell him he urgently needs to learn how to add."