Warning: This first chapter is safe and relatively inoffensive, but the rest of the story is strictly for mature readers who can accept yaoi, slightly dark, Sesshomaru-Inuyasha pairings featuring coercion, which therefore means the detailing of somewhat non-consensual sex. Please do not read this story if you are underage or immature, or if you do not like incestuous yaoi tales that contain fairly explicit scenes.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, and make no money or profit from writing this fanfic; Rumiko Takahashi has all the rights to the original manga and anime and the characters in them.

The Demon Lord

Once upon a time, in the Age of the Ashuras, a time also known as the Era of the Warring Demons, there lived a demon lord who ruled over a vast kingdom in the west. This lord could take both the shape of a man and the form of a great dog as large as any dragon that flew in the sky, for he came from a royal line of powerful canine demons.

The lord had a beautiful queen and a perfect son, both of whom were like him in that they could assume human or canine form, but he was restless in his own castle, for his queen was icy and distant, and their son favoured his mother. The young prince had the long mane of silver hair and golden eyes of both his parents, but like his mother, he bore the mark of the crescent moon on his brow, and his beauty was like hers.

One day, the demon lord and his queen disagreed so violently with each other that the queen left her lord's lands and returned to her own kingdom, leaving her son behind, for the prince was the great lord's only heir.

The prince, Sesshomaru, missed his mother for a while, but he knew that the quarrel between his noble parents had been as much his mother's fault as his father's. And he hoped that he would grow closer to his father now that each was the only family the other had in this kingdom.

However, the young prince so resembled his mother that whenever his father looked at him, he was reminded at once of his cold mate, whom he had always found so hard to love. He ensured that his son was brought up well, as a prince of his rank should be, and that he had the best of everything. He was also proud of his son's strength and talents, which he was certain would surpass his own one day, but he never found it easy to be close and warm to him, or tell him how much he cared for him, for he was too much like his mother.

The more the prince saw that his father was a perfect father to him in every way except in the ways of the heart, the colder he grew to everyone near him, and the more impossible it became for the lord and his son ever to be at ease with each other.

Some time after the queen had left her family, when the prince had almost reached the age at which he would be considered full-grown, the demon lord fell in love with another beauty. She was a mortal princess, not a great demoness as the queen had been, but she was as lovely as the moon in all its glory, and she was kind and gentle and warm, everything that the queen had never been, so the demon lord was very happy with her indeed.

Prince Sesshomaru, however, was angry that his father had fallen for this new lady, and that he treated her better than he seemed to have cared for his former queen. Although the lady wished to be kind to the prince, and to love him as if he were her own child, he remained aloof and held her in contempt.

The prince's anger grew even greater when the lady came to be with child by his father, for he had been an only son all his life, and had no wish to share with a brother or sister what little love his father would give him.

But before the princess' child could be born, trouble came to the land. The demon lord's enemies had begun to gather against him when his powerful queen left his kingdom, and they gathered in even greater numbers when he chose as his new wife a mortal woman, for demons considered mortals weak, and they regarded the lord's choice of a second wife as a sign that his power was waning.

The lord was not afraid for his own life, for he had lived a long time, even for a demon. And he was not afraid for his kingdom or for his son, for Prince Sesshomaru was grown now, and had become a powerful demon in his own right. His father knew that he would rule these lands as capably as he himself had, once he was gone. However, he feared for the safety of his lady and their unborn child, for she was mortal and defenceless.

Knowing that the demon lord and his lady would be most vulnerable when their child was being born, his enemies armed themselves in preparation for that time.

The prince said to the lord: "Father, will you throw everything away for the sake of a mortal female and the half-breed child in her womb?"

His father's answer was: "I must protect that which I love."

"And do you love them more than you love the son you already have?"

"No," the demon lord replied. "I may have been a distant father for reasons that were not your fault, but I have always loved this son who stands before me. That is why my lady and I will remove ourselves from this place, and from you, so that you will not be drawn into our war. This is not your battle."

"Nonetheless, the battle will come to me," said the prince angrily. "For your enemies hope to take all that is yours, including this castle and your lands and my life."

"Then defend what is yours. I give this castle and these lands to you from this moment on. I have no doubt that you are more than able to protect all of this."

"You know I am, Father. But what will you do?"

"I will protect what remains to me – the woman I love, and the child she carries within her body. Those enemies of mine who seek my destruction will come for us, and I will defend my lady and our child to my last breath. If I perish, my title shall also be yours, and what then happens to your stepmother and your half-sibling will be determined by you."

With that, the lord took his lady and left the castle, and he found her the best shelter he could obtain from among a choice of mortal dwellings, for they no longer had access to demon forts, as every demon warlord had turned against them. When the time came for the child to be born, the demon lord's enemies divided themselves into two armies, one to assault the castle that the prince now held, and the other to attack the lord and his lady.

Prince Sesshomaru was as strong and capable and brilliant as his father had raised him to be, and he fully lived up to his name, which meant "Destroyer", for he slaughtered the enemies who attacked his castle, wiping them out so completely that none remained to bury their dead.

But the demon lord had to fight his enemies all alone without a stronghold and with no armies to command, and he sustained wounds from which he knew he would not recover while protecting his mortal princess, who had begun to bring their child into this world.

He slew his last opponent even as the child's first cry pierced the darkness of the night, but his injuries were great. He lived only long enough to see that his beloved lady had borne him a healthy and beautiful son, and to name the child Inuyasha, "The Dog who Pierces the Night", to mark his proud descent from the mighty dog demons of old. He also gave the child a red robe spun from the fur of the legendary fire rat, which could withstand the heat and flames of mortals and demons alike.

The princess wept over her lord's death, but she had her newborn child to care for. So, bearing her precious burden, she trod carefully across the field of battle over which their enemies lay gutted and torn limb from limb, and made her way back to the castle, over which Sesshomaru was now lord.

The new demon lord admitted her and her newborn child to the castle, for the babe was of his father's blood, and he would not have it said by anyone that Lord Sesshomaru had left a helpless infant son of his father's to die in the cold.

But he was distant to the princess and to his half-brother, and as the infant grew into a young child, he and his mother spent their days moving uncomfortably around a dark and unfriendly palace in which glowing demon eyes glared at them from every corner, and no one from the servants to the new lord would spare them a single kind word, for all the castle's denizens held them responsible for the death of their former master.

The young prince, Inuyasha, had the golden eyes and silver hair of his father and his half-brother, but unlike them, he could not take the form of a dog. And once every month, when the moon hid herself from the night sky, he would spend that night in the shape of a pure mortal, with black hair and dark eyes and perfectly human ears. At all other times, he had a pair of fur-covered ears that grew atop his head like the ears of any dog, quite unlike his half-brother's discreet ears when he was in human form. The servants' children pulled his furry ears whenever they could, and teased him and tripped him up round every corner, and he learnt to trust no one except his mother.

From across vast hallways, he would often see his half-brother watching everything with his cold eyes, looking like a pure spirit with his impressive height, great length of silvery hair and spotless white robes, but never lifting a finger to protect him. Indeed, from the look on that perfect and beautiful face, it seemed to him that his brother thirsted to drink the blood that spilled from his skin whenever the servants' children tore his ears or kicked him so that he fell and cut his little hands and knees on the hard stone floors. So he grew to understand that he could not only expect no help from his brother, but that he should instead fear and shun him.

Once, when he was being beaten by a group of the servants' children, he got free of them and ran through the castle to hide from them, only to run right into his brother, who picked him up by his collar, lifted him off the ground, and stared at him with a strange gaze that terrified the little prince. His mother, who had come in search of him, saw what happened and was afraid for her son when she saw the peculiar light glowing in Lord Sesshomaru's eyes by the flame of the candle she held before her.

When Lord Sesshomaru saw the human princess watching them from over the taper in her hand, he lowered the child to the ground and walked away, leaving him to rush into his mother's arms and cry.

By then, the princess and her son had lived in the castle for ten years, and she had long felt that she could no longer bear its chilly air. Now, more fearful than ever for her little son's safety amongst these resentful demons, she decided to leave and live among mortals, and to take Inuyasha with her.

Lord Sesshomaru let them go with the very same uncaring coldness with which he had first admitted them. He later heard indirectly from people who came to the castle and gossiped with the servants that the princess and her son had sought refuge with her father's family, who had been descended from human royalty, but had lost their wealth and most of their titles two generations ago. The princess' father had disowned her when she married the demon lord, but after her father's death, his relations took her back in along with her young son, although they feared his half-demon blood, and treated him just as badly as the demon servants had.

Sixty years later, when Sesshomaru was still a very young lord (for demons have vast lifespans), he heard that the princess had died of old age, leaving her son Inuyasha alone in the world, thrown out by his mother's family and rejected by humans and demons alike.

The demon lord thought very little of this, for he was sure that he had never cared for his stepmother or half-breed brother. But once in a long while, he would think of the child's golden eyes and the bruises on his pale skin, and wonder if he was alive. He knew the half-breed was still a young boy, for half-demons too have very long lifespans, and even after a hundred years have passed, they may not have grown very much at all.

He let another eighty years go by before he thought to enquire after the possible life or death of his brother, and when he received word that he was half-grown now, but still living a very hard life travelling between various villages and towns and shunned by all, the demon lord secretly went to the place where he had last been seen, to have a look at him out of curiosity.

From a hidden place, he saw that his half-demon brother was now taller and stronger, still had furry ears on his head, the same silver hair and golden eyes as himself, and that he wore at all times the fire-rat robe that their father had given him. The robe was magical, and still looked as new as the day it had been woven, but the half-demon who wore it looked poorly fed and wary, and had to fight and hunt for every scrap of food and comfort he could get, for no one was kind to him.

His curiosity satisfied, the demon lord returned to his castle without another conscious thought about his half-brother, for he had other matters to occupy his mind and his time. His own mother had returned to these lands, and she was trying to persuade him to choose a queen of his own, so that he could have heirs of his blood to continue his noble line.

One night, she threw a great ball for his benefit. She had invited every unmated demon female from leagues around. Lord Sesshomaru sat on his throne and surveyed the enormous room in which everyone was happy and dressed in their finest demon threads, laughing and talking, eating and dancing. But to his mother's exasperation, not a single soul among that great crowd sparked the least interest in his eyes or lit the embers of his soul. Rather, he seemed troubled by something in his mind, and spent the evening looking as if he was staring at a point a thousand miles from where he was.

His mother left his kingdom after the ball in annoyance with him, and with little hope that her proud, cold son would ever come to care for anyone else. She wondered for a second if she had given him too much of her own coldness and pride, but as was her wont, she did not think too much about the matter after giving it a moment's thought.

That night, the demon lord returned to his bedchamber, bored by all that he had seen and heard at the ball, but troubled by a strange feeling he could not name. He lay down to rest and soon fell asleep, for he had not slept in ten nights, the way many demons do, and he was tired.

But his sleep was a restless one, disturbed by dream images he could not piece together clearly and by emotions he did not believe he had. One image was far stronger than the others. It tormented his visions until, in the deepest hour of the night, he awoke suddenly and sat up in his bed, his senses filled with the physical evidence of his own lust and arousal – and then he knew without a doubt that no one had drawn his notice at the ball because his imagination had already been fully captured by a certain bright, wary pair of golden eyes that looked so much like his, set in a comely young face framed by hair as glorious as moonlight, and as silvery as his own.