Summary: When Izayoi flees from the West, she encounters and ancient demon called Naruto. With his help, Inuyasha casts aside his human half, and becomes a powerful daiyoukai.
Disclaimer: I own neither Naruto nor Inuyasha...I'm not that cool.
Chapter 1: Past Encounters
'Just a little farther.'
Though her hands bled and her muscles protested, Izayoi continued to climb the rocky mountain. Inuyasha was huddled against her chest tightly for warmth, sleeping peacefully. Whenever she would tire or her body would ache, she would look at Inuyasha's peaceful face, and remember that she was doing this for him; to keep him safe.
Inutaisho had thrown out of the castle, by order of Tsukiko, Inutaisho's demon wife, and while he wasn't the one who had ordered her banishment, he also didn't do anything to defend her.
He was just as guilty.
Sesshomaru had seen her off, if only to threaten her should she ever return, and she fled in the middle of the night.
Izayoi was now past the Western borders and in the Eastern territory, ruled by the Kitsune Clan. She had been climbing a rocky mountain for hours, and while she was already almost to the top, she was so very tired. Her hands bled and her body was cold from the frigid mountain air. Everything about her situation was so horrible that she wanted to cry, but she would stay strong for her baby, her Inuyasha.
'I can do this.'
Delicate hands bled.
Smooth flesh tore.
'For my Inuyasha.'
Skin turned an alabaster pallor.
She kept going.
Until her body was broken.
'Mommy's got you.'
'Stay safe, my baby, my Inuyasha.'
'At least he's safe.'
Still protecting her baby.
The room was extremely spacious, as big as an entire town, and made of pure white marble that shone orange with the rising sun. Sunlight shone through the large doors, towering several hundred feet tall, and bounced off of every inch of the walls, creating a glowing effect. The ceiling was so high that she felt as if she was gazing at the clouds and beyond, leaving her feeling oddly peaceful.
A movement by her side caused Izayoi to look down, and she gasped in happiness as she gazed upon her sleeping baby, whose white hair glowed brilliantly in the light. It fell out of the dark blue blanket in downy tresses, looking as soft as they felt.
"So you have awoken."
Izayoi gripped Inuyasha to her chest, shielding him as she spun around. Standing in the doorway was a large fox, roughly the size of a large bear. Its fur was the purest white she had ever seen, but on its face were three crimson lines stretching across each cheek like whiskers, and its irises were glowing scarlet. Red outlined its eyes, contrasting its fur and irises and making its gaze seem more intense.
"W-Who are you?" Izayoi stammered. She should have felt fear gripping at her, paralyzingly her on the spot, yet she could only feel content as she stared at this mystical fox. Its presence demanded respect and screamed power, and yet, looking into ruby red eyes, she could only feel as if her very soul was at peace.
"I am many things." The fox murmured in a deep, soothing voice that sounded of ringing chimes and warm summer breezes. "I have gone by many titles, but I do believe that the people of this time have come to know me as Inari."
"Indeed. I find myself most curious as to why I found you outside my domain, half dead and carrying a child. These lands are not very forgiving, and I must question your sanity for endangering a young one such as this by bringing him up here, hanyou, demon, human, or otherwise."
"I had no choice." Izayoi whispered quietly, petting Inuyasha's hair lovingly. "I was banished from my home after I had my baby, under threat of death should I return. I couldn't just stay there, so I took him and fled. We have no where else to go...No where but forward."
Inari stood inches away from Izayoi, angling his head downward so that he could look her in the eyes. Even as she stood in the face of an almighty beast, she was as tall as as his elbow!- she showed fear not for herself, but for her child.
"What a beloved human..."He murmured, switching his gaze to the bundle in her arms. A little hanyou, a dog by his scent, with snow white hair and rather adorable puppy ears. "A halfling? I haven't seen one in many years..."
Izayoi clutched Inuyasha tighter, fearing for her sons life. Though Inari-sama didn't seem like one to judge by species, hanyou were not well liked, and were often hated and rejected by human and demon alike.
"You need not worry about I, child. I will harm neither yourself nor your pup. Though I find myself wondering about how it is you stumbled upon my domain. What are you called by, human?"
"Izayoi. This is my child, Inuyasha, son of Inutaisho and I."
Inari's eyes lit up in fascination as he nodded, moving in circles around Izayoi in a way that was so graceful and predatory that it could only be called stalking. She was intimidated, to say at least, as Inari-sama's beauty was otherworldly, and his presence was divine.
"I see. The daiyoukai of the West? I never thought that the day would come where that dog would have pups. Still, he always was a family oriented one, why would he cast you away?" Inari murmured, addressing Izayoi at the end.
Izayoi's eyes clouded with sadness as she recalled her life in the palace. "Taisho is a good man. He has a large heart and good intentions, but he is also a daiyoukai. He has a responsibility to his country over responsibility to his family." She recalled how Inutaisho would often have to leave to run his palace and keep his land in order. "But he also has a demon wife. It was an arranged marriage and he does not love her, but the Lord's Lady comes before his love. She demanded that I be thrown out of the palace, and many of the others readily agreed with her. Taisho's wishes had nothing to do with my banishment, and one can not imitate real love which I am sure we had, yet he also did not lift nary a finger to stop Tsukiko nor help me."
Inari nodded in understanding.
"I see. It seems that humans and demons have yet to settle their differences and end this petty feud. It never ceases to amaze me how much hatred there truly is in the world, even now. This war between human and demon is as old as time itself, and the only side I pity is that of the hanyou, who is neither human nor demon, but a combination and yet is accepted in neither and cast out of both. It is they who are are alone and they who suffer." Inari shook his head. "I pity the weak minded whom cannot see past flesh and blood. Those who fear or hate what they cannot comprehend, and would sooner shun it rather than understand it."
Izayoi nodded sagely, wordlessly agreeing. After hearing Inari-sama's thoughts on humans and demons, she felt much more safe for both Inuyasha and herself. Inari stopped circling and came to a stop in front of Izayoi, gazing into her eyes and making her feel vulnerable, as if he was picking her apart and could see every little thing about her.
"You are a good being: with a kind heart and a pure soul. If only the rest of the humans' intentions were one with yours. It's a pity, though. The human race is vile, as could be said with demons. Alas, corruption will never cease,and the world will continue on in its' ways of fear and domination." Inari shook his head, laying down and resting his head on his mighty paws. "This world has damned itself. The moment ill intent appeared, everything was doomed to forever fall to greed and fear."
Izayoi placed a hand over her heart, feeling her soul aching and reaching out to Inari-sama. His words were filled with such deep sadness that she felt as if she should weep for all that he had seen, and his tone was absolute, resigned to the fact that nature was nature, and as such, humans and demons could not be changed.
The cycle of fear and hatred would likely never be broken.
"Thank you for allowing us asylum within your domain, Inari-sama. I am forever grateful, but I believe that it is time for Inuyasha and I to make our own path."
Inari nodded, tucking a lock of white hair behind his hair neatly.
Weeks after Inari had taken Izayoi in, he felt that she should know of his more human form. He appeared to be rather young, forever the age of twenty two, and yet his flawless pale complexion and regal features made him seem younger. His pure white hair fell straight down to his thighs, tied in a low ponytail at the base of his neck. There were three crimson lines on each cheek like whiskers, as well as pairs on his biceps, forearms, thighs and calves, and a stripe overlapping each rib. Crimson eyes were outlined in deep red, making them stand out more, and she noticed that his pupils were slitted.
His ears were slightly pointed at the ends, appearing rather elvish, and a fang earring hung from each lobe. He wore crimson hakama with a white sash that fell rather low on his lithe form, and an equally crimson sleeveless Chinese mandarin shirt that was meant for women, but he didn't seem to mind nor care. Inari never seemed to wear shoes, as he could 'gather natural energy better without them hindering his contact with nature,' whatever that meant.
She didn't know what happened to his clothes when he transformed, but they were always on him when he shifted into his human form. For this she was grateful.
It never ceased to amaze Izayoi how much Inari resembled Sesshomaru, or perhaps Sesshomaru resembled Inari, seeing as Inari is without a doubt the older of the two. Of course, she didn't like to compare them, as Inari is much kinder than Sesshomaru ever was.
"Very well." Inari smiled, standing from the shade of a blooming sakura tree. How these all grew on top of a mountain, Izayoi would never quite know, but she attributed it to Inari-sama's domain being special. He was, after all, the closest thing to a god there was.
Inuyasha clutched her side, not wanting to leave the peaceful place that he had known all of his life (which was only four years, actually). Inari had been the closest thing he had to a father, and leaving him would make him sad.
"Before you leave," Inari murmured, standing in front of Izayoi and Inuyasha. "I will entrust to you something that I have not uttered for many centuries. My birth name."
Izayoi's eyes widened, shock and warmth filling her with the information that Inari-sama trusted her and her son enough to tell them something so intimate and secret, as no one knew what Inari's name truly was, or that he even had a different birth name.
"Please, you may know me as Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto."
With that, his complete and utter trust in them was solidified, filling Izayoi with joy of the likes she hadn't felt in a long time.
He transformed into his demon form, this time only the size of a common horse (he could transform to just about any size, as she had seen), and knelt down for Izayoi and Inuyasha to climb onto his back. They held onto his fur as brilliant white youkai surrounded his paws, like clouds, and he flew down the mountain. At the base, Inari transformed back to his human form, showing them to a horse drawn cart he had set up, filled with supplies. He handed Izayoi the reigns, offering a small but brilliant smile.
"I wish you good fortune in your endeavors, Lady Izayoi, Inuyasha. May you live long and happy."
Inari and Izayoi embraced, brief but sweet, and Inuyasha gave him tight hug. When they were settled in the seat of the carriage, Inari-sama gave them one last smile, before whispering "Be safe" and sending them on their way.
"Thank you, Naruto-sama!" Izayoi shouted as the horse started pulling the cart,and Inuyasha stared at Inari's figure until he couldn't see him any longer.
Izayoi never looked back, not wanting to somehow tarnish her memory of Mount Inari, where her life seemed to have begun anew. Surely, if she would have looked back, her resolve to find her own way would crumble.
It was the last time she would see Naruto for a long time.
"Lady Izayoi, are you alright? You seem a little sick."
"Oh my, you're heating up! Perhaps a bit of rest would do you some good, Izayoi."
"Izayoi? Iza-Izayoi! Oh my, Hibari dear, where are you? Izayoi needs help! Hibari please, she collapsed, where are you?"
"Lady Izayoi, please, just hang in there. A doctor is on his way, just you wait!"
"Please, please be alright..."
"What do you mean she's sick? Of course she is, look at her!"
"Can...Can't be cured? No, no please! There must be something you can do!"
"I'm so sorry Izayoi, if only we had known sooner..."
"Is there anything you can do for you, Izayoi? Anything at all, just tell us."
"Mount Inari? That isn't far from here..."
"Are you sure Lady Izayoi? Reaching the top is not an easy feat, are you sure this man is still there?"
"Don't worry, if such a man is there, than we will find him. We will not fail you, Lady Izayoi!"
"It seems only yesterday that we sat underneath the blooming sakura trees, and all these years later, you are still beautiful as ever. A true bloom, if ever there was one."
"I-Inari-sama? Is that you?" Izayoi reached out, tracing over familiar whisker marks. "Inari-sama...You came."
"Indeed." Inari murmured, cradling her delicate hand in his. If she seemed delicate before, she looked absolutely breakable now, laying tiredly in bed, weak from an illness plaguing her body.
Still, even in her ill condition, Izayoi laughed softly, eyes alight with happiness and a weak smile playing at her lips."If there is anyone who is beautiful, it is not I, but you Inari-sama." Horrible coughs wracked her body, and Inari watched in despair as she wasted away with a smile."You have not aged a day since I last saw you. Beautiful boy, I would not believe your age had I not already witnessed the wonder that is Inari-sama."
Inari smiled, sensing Inuyasha entering the room. The poor boy was only nine years old, and his eyes were puffy and red from crying. The pup ran straight into Inari's arm, laying in his comforting warmth as he held his mothers hand.
"I-Inuyasha, my baby. I'm so sorry. So sorry that I can no longer take care of you, but know that I will never leave you. I love you so much..." Tears were flowing from the eyes of both mother and son, and Inari couldn't help but feel as if he was intruding.
"Mommy...I-It's okay mommy. I love you, always love you..."
"Naruto-sama," Izayoi rasped, calling his birth name as a sign of complete and total trust. "Please, I beg of you Naruto-sama, please watch over Inuyasha. Keep him safe, make him strong. I beg of you!"
"I will, Izayoi. Do not fret, for I will watch over Inuyasha. I will make him into a strong demon."
"Y-Yes. Please, when he surpasses his human half, help him. Don't let him become one of those cruel demons, please don't let it happen. It would break my heart."
Her eyes started to glaze over, as if staring at something no one else could see. Izayoi smiled, and she looked so serene that Inari knew she was passing.
"I love you, Inuyasha, Naruto-sama..." A soft whisper fell from her lips, and her eyes closed. It was the most peaceful passing that Inari had ever witnessed, and he was glad that Izayoi did not suffer in the end.
He held the sobbing Inuyasha in one arm, using the other to pull the blanket over Izayoi's head. They sat there for hours, and Inuyasha had long since cried himself to sleep in Inari's arms. A sense of loss ate Inari, for the first time in many centuries, as he stroked soft white puppy ears.
He vowed, on that day, that he would make Inuyasha great, just as Izayoi wished.
Ah, first chapter! Always the most awkward to write, in my opinion...Anyway, I don't really have a main pairing in mind, so any opinions would be nice.
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