I don't own anything Inuyasha.
Please don't hate me.
I don't own anything Inuyasha.
Unedited. If there is anything glaring, just let me know.
Part 1 of 2: The Centuries before the Girl Who Overcame Time
Two full moons had passed since he had received sovereignty, but it wasn't until this cold winter night that Sesshoumaru could leave the Western castle. Dusk blanketed the overcast skies and the harsh winds etched across his face as he flew towards the last known hiding place of the adulteress princess. The lordly silks he donned gave no protection against the frigid elements, but the newly appointed alpha's blood ran hot in anticipation of reckoning his sire's wrongs with the hanyou babe's life. The wait had been tortuous, and turbulent.
Unrest had nearly torn the kingdom apart in the days after the fall of his father and the most prominent aspect was the divided Chuujitsu soldiers. Few, Tomatsu included, immediately conferred their allegiance to the young ruler. The others, however, wished to create a more feudal system that was becoming popular with humans in their territory. During the last conference on the matter, he remained quiet while their arguments for adopting such a hierarchy in the West continued for ages. Each once loyal warrior prattled on about the benefits of such a governing rule, but Sesshoumaru saw through their clever plans for what they were.
There was little belief in his competency. He was the youngest to ever assume command. He did not have his father's charisma or mother's comfort in affluence. Other than traditional rights, the inuyoukai had to yet prove himself in battle. The elder Chuujitsu recognized these misgivings and sought out a solution which handed them greater power.
The last of the potential usurpers bowed at his final words towards the young lord and took his seat. Every eye in the room was set on him, awaiting his response to such a drastic suggestion. Unbeknownst to all, Sesshoumaru's heart hammered in his chest, but he kept his emotions hidden behind his practiced, stoic mask. The indifferent gaze he leveled across the room hushed the murmuring crowd before he stood up and darkened his voice. "There will be only one alpha here. Any more discussion of modification will be silenced by death."
There was a small uproar from the opposition's supporters. "How can you disregard them so quickly, pup?"
"How do you hope to maintain control?"
"What blade would you uphold your commands with?"
Sesshoumaru growled, and those close enough to hear snapped their jaws closed, but it was the flurry of unfettered youki to his right that silenced the rest of the room.
A feminine snarl resonated from around the tense chamber. "You dare speak against your alpha in such a way!?"
Standing side-by-side in deference to the silver inu was the three who had challenged him for the role. Kimiko had done the scolding, but Daichi and Osamu were the ones to brandish their weapons.
"If we hear another word that is not the equivalent of obedience, it is OUR blades you will answer to," the bear demon forewarned.
Annoyed with their interference, Sesshoumaru spoke low and dangerously. "I do not need your assistance."
"We are aware, Sesshoumaru-sama," Osamu countered, still bandaged around his arm from their battle, before curling one side of his mouth in a friendly smirk. "But you have it anyways."
Metal upon metal echoed throughout the great room as the fickle elder youkai unsheathed their swords. "And who are you to threaten us?" one bit out assertively.
The three growled back until Sesshoumaru placed a poised hand on the brown inu's shoulder and answered, "My Chuujitsu."
The usurpers faces fell and the younger demons tensed as the leader continued. "Other than the few who have already claimed loyalty, you are all disbanded. Return to your homes, share your shame with your families, and if any decide to challenge me…" Sesshoumaru stepped back a few feet to the throne at the head of the room and proudly took his place. "You know where I will be."
Since then, the settling of the kingdom that began in his home spread throughout the land. Even the dragons of the East, who originally demanded retribution for the sealing of their general, quieted once they met with the threat of Sesshoumaru and the new Chuujitsu leaders. It was winter's eve when the heightening level of stability allowed him to set out for his pound of flesh in infant blood. The half-breed prince of the west and his ningen mother had taken refuge in a prestigious village on the outskirts of his province. If they believed themselves safe, if the hime had thought his father's sacrifice would protect them from his wrath, then they were gravely mistaken.
The sweat and smoke of the human city blossomed in his senses and the youkai smiled ominously. His youki reached out to discover the bastard hanyou's own, but ran into a very familiar aura instead. He stopped short and landed within the thick forest that outlaid his destination to seek it out and was stunned once he did.
The scent that lingered on the blade coursed through him, aching his joints with compunction. Tensaiga, awaiting his arrival, hung from a haphazard note and nail in the trunk of the old tree demon Bokuseno, whom the scabbards for the Inu no Taisho's swords were carved from. Noticing his arrival, the magnolia youkai's frustration shook his leaves and splintered his brow.
"It has been quite a long time since we last meet, pup." After years of separation, both demons found it easy to slip into conversation.
"There has been much to attend to," he responded austerely.
The old eyes crossed to glare at the sword. "And grieve over."
"The foolish mistakes of a compassionate heart are not to be mourned."
"The absence of such a spirit is always worth lamenting."
Sesshoumaru snorted. "Both are weaknesses."
"Denying your own fragility is not strength, young one."
During the pause that followed, the tree did not drop his wise gaze until it was Sesshoumaru who looked away to focus on the sloppy note. "I assume Totosai left you to safeguard the Tensaiga for me."
The branches creaked as he shrugged. "Begrudgingly."
"Am I expected to accept this with humility?"
"No, but your grace would be appreciated."
The inuyoukai glared harshly at the bark wrinkling around the elder's mouth as he smiled. "You offer your advice too freely, Bokuseno-sama."
"It is you dogs that seem to seek it out."
Sesshoumaru huffed as he took down the sword and tied it to his obi.
"Oh," Bokuseno questioned. "You accept your inheritance, then?"
"I would not deny my father," the alpha explained. "But will not acquiesce to his wishes."
The night fell silent in the late hour and the tree sighed. "Visit me more often. Your father had me quite accustomed to canine companions."
Sesshoumaru did not acknowledge the request in the long silence that followed, and the tree wisely remained passive. The inu snorted again before taking to the skien, but he knew there was much to gain from Bokuseno's wisdom. He had been one of his father's greatest confidants. If any demon knew the delicate plans that were weaved before his death, it would be the astute and stagnant magnolia.
Tensaiga rested silently at his side, personifying its new master's regard. The lesson his sire had wished to impart was superseded by the bitter knowledge Sesshoumaru chose to heed;
Anything that touches the heart can kill you.
He would keep his father's compassion sheathed because with a soul strapped to his hip there need not be one in his actions.
The night grew late before temple lanterns were lit just upon the darkening horizon and the cover of night provided sufficient cover as he traveled directly into the crux of the village's castle. The humans were closed up inside to protect themselves against the cold, but their presence coated Sesshoumaru in their scent. Feeling soiled, he sneered.
It was not long before timid guards were rushed towards him with torches and weapons Sesshoumaru did not even bother to name. Their shaky commands for him to leave the grounds went almost unnoticed. He scanned the crowd, yet his target was not in attendance.
"I seek out the hime Izayori." Silence fell at the low timbre of his voice. "And the wretched filth her womb produced."
There was more shouting for his departure, but all fell silent once he sniffed the air and growled towards the guest wing. Sesshoumaru's stride was even, though his heart hammered, and the humans who did not part away from his path were left withering on the floor in pain.
The thin wood cracked under his eager claws as he tore the shoji from the entrance. He knew he was not acting in control. There were etiquettes to take into consideration and word of what would occur tonight was sure to spread throughout the West, riding the coattails of the previous general's scandalous death and his own ascension, but the young youkai did not care. He wanted these ningen to know fear. He wanted them to be uneasy. He needed them to feel insecure in their own home, because that is what they had done to him through his father.
The dark blue, billowing robes flowed gracefully over Izayori's prone form. Her head was bowed in deference, but she deliberately had blocked a doorway with her small frame in a true act of maternal instinct.
"Please, do not kill him," she immediately begged, bold enough to dare and ask anything from him. "Your father died so he may live, does his sacrifice mean nothing to you?"
Miko's plea, The baby was born out of love… resonated in the princess's words, but he had grown habituated to pushing memories of his imprudent, childish illusion far from his conscious thought.
It still ached to do so, and compounded his feeling of loss. Sesshoumaru gritted his teeth together. "You know nothing of sacrifice, human."
Her head lowered further. "I cannot even being to imagine the extent of yours."
The growl that filled the wide room silenced the meek woman.
Then, from the bulk of her silken layers, a tiny cry rang out. The child was not in the next room; he was hidden in her arms.
The inuyoukai raised tense hand to attack and tried to keep it from shaking.
Izayori gasped and knees shook. The small, round face of her hanyou babe was revealed in her clumsy and fruitless attempt to back away, and Sesshoumaru suddenly found it impossible to breathe.
The boy looked like his father. Even more disconcerting was that he smelled like his father.
And the first thought that assaulted him was that his sire did not deserve this.
The dripping clawpoints lowered and the alpha fought to steady his voice. He could not remember the last time he had felt so off-balanced. "Remember, hime, his life is mine."
She was obviously confused, but took his reserve as a sign of weakness and suddenly felt brave again. "His death may belong to you, Sesshoumaru-sama, but his life will be his own."
He snorted dismissively and his fangs clicked together. "Then, apparently, the worth of a hanyou's life has not been fully explained to you." He could not bring himself to supply death tonight, so delivering indignity would have to do. She balked and he grinned maliciously. "Tell me, how has his reception amongst your kind gone?"
Tears began to form in her eyes. "Then why do you seek out his life if you consider it worthless?"
"It is not his life I am atoning for;" he explained forebodingly. "It is my father's. If you hold any love for him, knowing the scope of the hate and shame he will face, then the boy will grow up never even knowing the word 'hanyou'."
The demon turned to leave, but she called out one last time, clutching the infant into her chest. "Do not discount him so readily."
"Woman," he addressed without looking towards her, "do not speak against this Sesshoumaru again, or his will not be the only death I claim rights to."
The flicker of fear in her eyes waylaid the remaining strength imparted by her demon lover the night he fell, and her head turned from the threat demurely. Sensing the heightened tension, the baby began to fuss louder.
"Shh, Inuyasha. It is okay."
Sesshoumaru chest constricted and youki flared at hearing the name. The waves of his power had only made the babe cry harder, grating on his ears and small sense of sentimentality. The mother tended to his wails and the elder brother took off towards home, knowing somewhere deep down inside he was actually running away.
Since their initial meeting, Osamu had become accustomed to wearing plated armor, and the silver youkai did not let it escape his notice that the metal favored weak spots he had exploited during their battle. With a searching sniff to his approaching commander, the lieutenant's brow creased. "I do not smell blood on you."
Sesshoumaru glowered, but walked past his friend.
"Why did you not kill the whelp?"
"Why should I have?" the alpha challenged.
His right-hand inuyoukai did not hide the contemplative scowl in his expression. "What sort of stupid question is that, Sesshoumaru-sama?"
The alpha huffed in annoyance. Osamu had clearly grown too comfortable in his position of authority to voice such accusations. It was either that, or the brown inu could sense Sesshoumaru's respect for his opinion. "I had desired to defeat my father so the power he wielded would be rightfully mine. Since that option is no longer afforded to me, I will kill Inuyasha instead and claim his inheritance." It would have been easy to kill the boy, but it would not have been honorable. His house had suffered a lack of such for too long.
Osamu paused for a step, but quickly resumed their steady pace. "So, that is his name." The hazardous tension increased as he eventually continued. "A battle with half-demon in place of your sire… You do not believe he will be that much of a challenge, do you?"
"You sound like your father."
The subordinate smirked indictingly. "And your reluctant hand is reminiscent of yours."
Servants screeched and the wall crumbled when Sesshoumaru grabbed Osamu by the collar, swung him around, and smashed him through the ancient panels. The brown inu growled out, but his alpha kept him pinned down on the rubble.
"Do not misunderstand, or bait me, Osamu. That hanyou will die by my sword, but I will not dare sully the Tetsusaiga by taking it without a fight. The fang will be mine and, unless you wish to be the first to feel its wind, I suggest you keep your cynical mouth shut."
Osamu kept his teeth bared, but did not reply during the long moment Sesshoumaru let his words sink in instead of his claws. Finally, understanding the unrest his alpha was currently conquering was enough without his trusted kinsmen adding to it, he tilted his head away slightly to acquiesce. The silver-inu removed himself and continued to storm down the corridor, indifferent if his colleague followed or not.
Talk of Inuyasha and the indignity he represented remained hushed in years that followed. However, the day Izayori fell to her inevitable mortality Sesshoumaru had gone to witness what would happen to her hanyou offspring, but the boy had already been run out of town. It did not take long to track him down, or the swarm of youkai hunting the child as well. He caught up in time to see a flash of red ducked behind a cliff face, and the inuyoukai immediately recognized it as his sire's firerat haori. He took the opportunity to remain unseen as the boy hid and stood in the hungry lower-demons' path.
They halted at his presence. "Sesshoumaru-sama!" one addressed. "Surely you do not intend to protect that weakling."
"You are hardly a demon worthy to judge."
The group was taken aback. "Sesshoumaru-sama! You will have us believe that half-breed holds more creed?"
"The child carries my sire's blood in his unclean veins." His knuckles cracked as his fingers tensed for the fight. "His death is mine to claim."
"You should not sully your claws on such an abomination."
"I have warned you once about your tongue." The first of the horde was suddenly crying out as the alpha attacked, and one by one they fell until only the outspoken one remained. "And now, I will silence it."
The sounds of swift death resonated in the ravine before him as they fell in a bloody pile. Sesshoumaru looked towards the echoing and saw the wide, terrified eyes of his father looking back. The ears atop the boy's head twitched, insulting the silver-inu heritage with their tell-tale sign of his soiled birth. The older brother looked down on the frightened boy and gestured towards the demons he had just slain.
"Remember me, half-brother," he threatened. "This Sesshoumaru will one day be the last thing you see."
Inuyasha gasped and ears flattened against his head when the imposing presence of his remaining family approached him. With a quick and harsh grip, the first-born lifted the hanyou by the scruff of the fire-rat and brought him close to his face. The tiny growls that escaped the boy's crooked snarl were barely heard over Sesshoumaru's continued threat. "And on that day, the fang will be mine."
The half-blood's confusion was halted once he was released to land clumsily against the hard ground. He looked back up and tried to regain his breath, but the strong demon with similar features was already gone.
Since that day, Sesshoumaru kept a close guard on Inuyasha for Tetsusaiga's whereabouts. It was only by this coincidence that he happened to witness him growing up as well. The boy was rash, untrusting, and clever enough to not get himself killed. Throughout the years they never again met face to face and both were cold in their isolation of the world. It served their separate purposes to remain distant. Though, Sesshoumaru's frustration over the disappearance of the Earthly Blade bordered on obsession, but precedenting matters within the kingdom began to mount.
In fact, if it wasn't for an uprising of cats, he would have been more aware of what was happening in the human village of Edo.
A/N: I am sorry for how long it took to update! Got a new job that is 10 hour days sometimes, then I have been cheating on SessKag with KakaSaku. I really do love this story, and can't wait for it to play out for you all.
Thanks for reading/reviewing. :]