AN: While taking a break from working on one of my stories I came across a challenge by YukimuraShuusukeGirl that I thought sounded interesting, so here we go! I'm a big fan of both La Corda d'Oro as well as InuYasha, and I hope that I did a decent enough job. If not, feel free to tell me so I can try and do better next time~!
Disclaimer: I do not own any recognizable characters! Azuma, Miyabi and the grandmother are the product of Koei Co., and Yuki Kure while Kagome is the product of Rumiko Takahashi.
Music may be his life, but medicine was his future. At least, as far as his family was concerned. And truly, what right did he have to refuse their wishes? Was his love for the flute really worth risking everything he had worked so hard for? Actually, was it even right for him to say that he loved the flute?
Certainly not, as he hardly loved it enough to give up everything in the pursuit of it.
Azuma knew perfectly well that it was not his biggest love in life, no matter how much he may enjoy playing. His biggest love was something else entirely. And for that he was willing to take the risk.
"Azuma, you can't be serious! You're going to tell her?"
Cutting his eyes to his younger sister he gave her a long stare before looking away. Folding his arms over his chest he took a step away from her, feeling that it would be safest to get out of her reach before he gave his answer.
"Yes," he replied calmly. "Although I can understand your shock," he continued when he saw her mouth open, probably to scream at him, "but I have thought this through. You cannot talk me out of doing this."
Miyabi gave him a pained expression. "But she'll be really mad! Don't you care? What if she decides to shun you? You'd be… father and mother would—"
"My dear sister, like I told you, I have thought this through. Although I have let her wield her power over me for years, on this matter I shall not relent. This is one time I will not let her have her way."
Azuma shook his head when his sister opened her mouth again. No matter what she said he wasn't going to change his mind. He had already given up first the piano for the sake of his brother, and he knew as soon as he graduated he would have to give up the flute. But… this… this was too important.
"Unless you wish to bear witness to grandmother's rage, I suggest you find something to do," he told the younger girl casually. "Who knows, some of it may end up being directed at you for some reason."
Without waiting for a response he marched purposefully up to the door to his grandmother's study. Without missing a beat he raised a hand to knock. However, before his knuckles came in contact with the wood he hesitated. Years of obedience told him that this was a terrible idea and that he would regret going against his grandmother as he planned to. On the other hand, he would regret not doing this as well. He was painfully aware that if he didn't stand up for himself now he may not get another chance in the future. So, taking a deep breath to calm his nerves he knocked.
A few seconds later a reply came from within, "Enter."
He did. Although he was hardly in the mood to be polite, he knew that so long as he was respectful she may be more merciful than if he wasn't. Stopped in front of the table she used as a desk he gave a half-bow.
"Grandmother," he greeted. Straightening he went on, "There is something I must tell you."
The older woman looked up from whatever document she was reading and raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And what may it be about? Have you decided to end this ridiculous hobby of yours sooner rather than later?"
Azuma mentally bristled at her words, though he didn't let his resentment show on his face. Instead he smiled politely, looking her in the eye. "I don't suppose you know this, but for the past four months I have been seeing someone."
Her eyes narrowed. "Who might that be?"
"Her name is Kagome Higurashi."
"Higurashi? I do not recognize the name. What of her parents?"
He had known that question would come sooner or later, and although he was prepared for it he knew this would not end favorably. "Her family owns a shrine." Best to not mention that her father was dead, her grandfather could very well be partially insane, and the girl herself was a priestess. No, none of that would make this situation any better.
"A shrine?" The disgust was evident even in her voice. "Azuma, I forbid you to see this girl again. She is not the right sort of person for someone like you."
"Someone like me?" Azuma repeated, amused. "And what exactly am I, grandmother? I am a third son whose job it is to support my brothers. I hardly see how dating Kagome affects that in the slightest."
"Do not talk back to me, boy. This girl is obviously a bad influence on you if you are speaking to me in that manner."
"A bad influence? Really, and I thought you would mention her background again."
"Why shouldn't I? Her background is far too different for her to fit in with our circle."
Azuma laughed, though the sound was humorous and hollow. "Grandmother, just because her family doesn't have the kind of money that the Yunoki do doesn't mean she is any less important."
"Yes it does. She would make a fool of herself, and you, and by extension the rest of the family as well."
"Grandmother, she is studying to be a doctor. She is a good person who cares about other people, and she loves me—"
"A working girl?" If it were possible, he could have sworn that her disgust had visibly grown.
"Yes, she plans on working. And I see nothing wrong with that. I love her, grandmother, and I simply wanted to tell you that I have asked her to be my wife." He paused, feeling a rush of glee at the horrified expression that came over the old woman's face. "She said yes."
There were a few seconds of silence before the tirade began. As he had expected, she went on and on about how Kagome was not fit for him as well as how he should marry a nice girl from a rich family. Also as expected she told – or screamed, as the case was – him that if he went through with the marriage he could expect to never see a penny of the Yunoki money ever again. When she stopped for breath he decided it was time to end things.
"As much as I respect you, I will not break off my engagement, nor stop seeing her. You may say what you like about her, and do what you like to me, but that is final. I hope that the next time we see each other it will be under more pleasant circumstances."
Turning his back on her he strode out of the room, her words falling on deaf ears. Opening the door he raised an eyebrow when Miyabi jumped away, looking ashamed. Stepping into the hallway he closed the door behind him, glad to be out of the room.
"Listening at the door now? My, my, my Miyabi… what would grandmother say to that?"
The girl made a face and stuck out her tongue. "Like I care, Azuma. I was just looking out for you."
"For that I thank you… though I hardly think it will be necessary in the future." Tilting his head to the side he smiled faintly. "You did hear, didn't you?"
Miyabi sighed, and nodded. "Yeah… but…" Here she tried to look hopeful. "Maybe she didn't mean what she said. I'm sure she'll let you come back! She's just angry now. Later, after she gets a chance to cool off she'll—"
"Miyabi, wishful thinking will not get you very far in life." He shook his head. "No, I am not nearly so hopeful for the future. Still, it had to be done and I am glad that it is over. I will tell mother and father tonight."
"After you see Kagome, right?" Miyabi asked with a grin.
Azuma smirked. "Exactly."
"Okay… well… I'm going to try and calm down the lioness." Twirling around she lowered her head. "Azuma…? Promise that you'll still talk to us, okay? I don't want to lose my brother."
"Don't worry Miyabi, you won't lose me. Not that easily, anyway."
"Good!" Raising her head she held a fist up, a smile on her face. "'Cause otherwise I'd have to come and knock some sense into you?"
He laughed. "I'll remember that. I'll see you again later."
"But are you sure this is okay? I mean… you know, what you want?"
Azuma sighed at his fiancée's persistence. "Yes, I am sure. Kagome I told you before and I will undoubtedly tell you again, you're more important to me than my family."
Kagome bit her lip, still looking unsure. "As you keep saying, but I still think that you shouldn't do this… family is important."
"Kagome, you are my family now. You and Miyabi, anyway. If mother, father, grandmother or my brothers want to be a part of that they will just have to come around, now won't they?"
"I… I guess…"
Taking her hand in his he smiled. "Trust me."
"I do," she whispered, blushing. Wincing, she giggled slightly. "God, I can't believe you can still make me blush! We've been going out for months… do you do it on purpose or something?"
Joining in on her laughter he shrugged. "That's for me to know, my dear. Now… on to something more happy." Giving her hand a tug he pulled her onto his lap, causing her to squeak.
"Azuma!" she pouted. "What are you doing?"
Lowering his lips to hers he gave her a chaste kiss before pulling away slightly, smirking. "That."
Kagome shuddered slightly. "I-I…" Closing her eyes briefly she smiled. A few seconds later she opened them. "I love you. And…I do trust you."
"I know," he told her gently. "And I love you." With that he leaned in and once again captured his lips.
Yes, this was more than worth the risk.
EN: So... not particularly long, but it's still longer than I thought it would be. Hopefully I'll get more chapters to my other stories out before too long... I just have to finish up a final course (by this Monday) in order to get a much needed credit. So I hope you'll be patient with me!