The Heir and the Spare

The Continent of Japan is in danger; humans and demons are engaged in a deadly war. To avoid calamity Princess Kagome, a human, finds herself betrothed to the heir of the demon-dominated Western Lands, Prince Sesshomaru. Too bad she finds herself falling for her future-husband's younger brother, Inuyasha.

.xx.

Inuyasha lay comfortably on Sesshomaru's bed while his brother paced the length of the bedroom. After Izayoi left with Kagome, Inutaisho dismissed the crowd in the foyer and instructed Sesshomaru to 'wait until called upon.' Sesshomaru grabbed his younger brother's upper arm and dragged him away just as Inutaisho's command left his lips. Inuyasha allowed his brother to drag him off, albeit reluctantly. Inuyasha was more interested in what his mother and Kagome were talking about.

"Why didn't you stop me?" Sesshomaru whirled unto his brother and Inuyasha cocked an eyebrow.

"If I recall correctly, brother, I attempted to. And I distinctly remember you saying to me that we had dogs dying on the battlefield and your presence was mandatory."

Sesshomaru growled and resumed pacing. "Yes but that was before I... I mean that was prior to... you should've stopped me!"

Inuyasha smirked. "Yes, oh great heir to the West; all of this is my fault and I'm the reason as to why mother and father are upset with you and why your bride likes me more."

And I like her too... but you do not have to know about that.

"You aren't helping!"

"The role of a younger brother isn't to make your life easier, Sesshomaru." Inuyasha propped himself to lean on his elbow with his head pressed against his palm. "My job is to ensure that when you've fucked up that I'm here and ready to point and laugh at you when deemed appropriate."

Sesshomaru was prepared to retort but the approaching scent of his mother stopped him. Inuyasha and Sesshomaru both glanced at the door just as Izayoi pushed it open, her eyes focusing on Inuyasha. Sesshomaru took a step towards her and began to say his piece: "Mother I-"

"I'm here for Inuyasha." Izayoi raised a hand to silence her elder son. "I must have a few words with him," her eyes were narrow when she glanced at Sesshomaru. "You, son, I will deal with when the time is appropriate. And consider this a blessing; I am very upset and you wouldn't want me to speak to you right now. Inuyasha, if you please."

Inuyasha wiggled his eyebrows at Sesshomaru while getting up off the futon. He raised his arms behind his head and stretched for a brief moment, taking the time to crack his back and neck. "Ahhh, release." Inuyasha's body sagged, releasing his muscles of the poised posture he perpetually held, and followed his mother out of Sesshomaru's room. Good, he could have a moment with her. Inuyasha really wanted to know how the conversation with Kagome went. It was a crucial period in time and Inuyasha needed to know how the situation was unfolding.

He was positive that he would not be able to bear Kagome being with his brother, and if that meant putting up a fight then so be it.

Inuyasha would.

.xx.

"How are you taking your brother's return, Inuyasha?" Izayoi inquired when she deemed that she and Inuyasha were an adequate distance from Sesshomaru's room. The last thing she wanted was her elder son to eavesdrop in her conversation with Inuyasha. The topics to be discussed were akin to top secret.

Inuyasha shrugged. "I'm taking it."

"In stride?"

"I suppose."

"And the fact that your brother will, in a mere few days, be bonded to Kagome under the Decree of Demon Matrimony?"

Inuyasha tried to hide the wince that involuntarily came. So that hurt a little bit more than he hoped it would, but he had no control over Kagome's fate. In honesty, he had no control over his own fate either; he had to accept everything thrown at him and make the best of the situation.

Even if it meant losing the one woman he ever learned to care about, for whatever reason that may be.

"It isn't my place to say anything." Inuyasha muttered, his indifference sounding fake to even his ears. "It was decided that Princess Kagome would wed Sesshomaru and I was merely a stand-in while he got over his… lack of courage."

Izayoi shook her head, amused. "You aren't okay with it, son."

"You can't tell me how I feel or don't feel."

"No, but I can remind you of how you do."

Inuyasha stopped dead in his tracks and turned to face his mother. Her words struck a chord in him and he knew she knew. "What are you trying to say?"

Izayoi wrapped her arm around Inuyasha's and continued to guide him on their aimless path. "What I'm trying to say is that Kagome is only required to wed an heir. Not the heir."

"Even if it means she marries the spare?"

"I knew you wanted to marry her."

"Damn it!"

His mother got him there. He didn't even realize what she was doing… mother is one sneaky ass wench. Ugh! Well, he stuck his foot in his mouth, he may as well get used to the feeling. He was, in no way, sweet talking himself out of that one.

"Not marry… per say."

Izayoi tugged on Inuyasha's arm, it was her way of disciplining him. "You can never hide your true feelings from you mother, dear boy. I know what you're feeling before you even realize yourself. The Miyaji River legend isn't just… oh, how did you put it? Pure bullshit?"

"Mother!" Inuyasha gasped. "You are not allowed to swear! It's just so… wrong…"

Izayoi rolled her eyes. "Boy, I taught your father how to swear. He was such a little princess when we first got married."

"Such things mustn't be said in front of me!" Inuyasha pressed his fuzzy appendages flat against his head. His mother was beginning to scare him—she had never been so open with him before and, to be frank, it was unnerving him. Izayoi laughed at Inuyasha's discomfort; oh, she loved her sons so much.

"I spoke to Kagome about the same thing I am trying to speak to you about."

That caught Inuyasha's attention. He didn't think his mother would willingly bring up that conversation. He was ready to battle it out with her in a war of wits; he was prepared to slew her with his sharp tongue and witty disposition. Alas, Izayoi did not let him accomplish what he wanted.

I can't win them all.

"Aren't you the least bit curious about what she said?"

Inuyasha snorted; a sound that was rather not princely. "I am, but I was prepared for an argument before you relented and told me what I wanted to hear because my wit is something you cannot compete agai—ow! Why'd you hit me?"

"For being a smartass."

"I forbade you from swearing!"

Izayoi smacked him again.

"And what was that for?!"

"For forbidding me." Izayoi grinned widely as she watched the confusion spread across Inuyasha's face. He sure was the funnier between her two sons, even if he didn't know he was being funny (which was most of the time, in Izayoi's opinion). "Can we please veer back on track and not stray off topic?"

Inuyasha pouted and mumbled something along the lines of: "It isn't my fault."

Izayoi chose to ignore him. "Well, are you curious?"

Inuyasha bit his tongue before he snapped out another retort. His mother did not stop from using physical violence in showing him a point. And the fact that his mother's smack hurt bugged Inuyasha- he was a strong half-demon! His mother's pathetic swings shouldn't feel like any more than a fly landing on him!

Probably has something to do with that mother thing she always talks about. 'A mother knows all, a mother sees all' yadda yadda. He mocked his mother inwardly.

"Yes, I am curious. What did you two speak about?"

"The lack of emotion in your voice concerns me."

Inuyasha growled. "Dammit, mother! You're toying with my patience because you find it funny! Can you tell me already?!"

Izayoi threw her head back and laughed. Her son was right; she was testing his patience. Inuyasha's boiling point was so amusing. "Okay, okay. Can't a mother have some fun around here?"

Inuyasha pouted but did not comment. Izayoi considered that to be Inuyasha's way of telling her to continue on with the point. "She did not tell me outright, but I know she cares about you. And I promised her that I will ensure that the right thing happens."

"Which is?"

"You marry her."

Inuyasha's eyes widened and his eyes locked with his mother's. "Wh-what?"

Izayoi nodded. "Yes, Inuyasha. The girl cares for you as much as you do her and don't pretend that this is a surprise. You knew that fact as well. She, from what I can tell, is more than just smitten with you and I find it utterly unfair that she has to marry Sesshomaru because he is older. She was sent here to be the catalyst to end a war, but that doesn't mean she has to be unhappy about the choice made. Kagome can choose to be happy, and if happiness means being with you while ending the war, then I do not see what is so wrong with it."

Inuyasha's heart was racing… well, wasn't that something?

"So what happens now?"

Izayoi unwrapped her arm from Inuyasha's. "Now? Now you must woo your bride, dear boy. Let mother handle the rest."

Inuyasha's grin spread, involuntarily. His mother's voice echoed in his mind: woo your bride. Izayoi nodded, reading Inuyasha's mind as if he were speaking aloud. "Go," she whispered. "She's in the library. Stop her aching heart."

Inuyasha didn't need any more persuasion. He had a bride to woo and woo was what he was going to do, dammit!

.xx.

Kagome ran her fingers over the spines of the ancient books that inhabited the shelves of the library. The musky vanilla scent of aging books warmed her soul; it was a familiar scent, no matter where in the world she is. Her eyes caught a title that piqued her interest: Unity, A tale of an illegitimate love affair, by Lord Inumuteki, revered ruler of the Western Lands.

Without hesitation, Kagome pulled the book off of the shelf. By the ruler of the West? She made a mental note to inquire about the Dog General family tree. Who is, or was, Inutaisho's father... or even grandfather? And why did they pen a book about illegitimate love? Kagome brought the book over to a chaise quaintly placed beside a ceiling-high window. She pushed the cushions aside and sat down daintily, her eyes never leaving the cover of the book.

She ran her finger along the edge of the cover before flipping the book open, reveling in the old-book smell it emitted. Before Kagome could read the first word, though, a familiar husky voice stopped her dead and made her heart jump.

Inuyasha.

"What do you have there, highness?"

Kagome's back stiffened. She paused briefly after hearing Inuyasha's question and gently shut the book. "Your demeanour is quite opposite to that of earlier, prince." Her biggest mistake was to raise her eyes to lock with his. His smirk was so perfect and his eyes were twinkling. Why must this demon look so attractive?!

"I don't believe we have a book titled that." Without an invitation, Inuyasha sat down beside Kagome on the chaise. Kagome's body immediately became rigid and her pores were acutely aware of the heat that radiated off of Inuyasha's body. His smell engulfed her and her senses were beginning to run wild.

This isn't good.

"What are you doing?" Kagome's voice was shaky and that made Inuyasha's heart race. His presence affected her, and that knowledge drove him wild.

"Can't I check up on you?"

"After today's episode?"

"I do not recall there being an episode, highness."

"Your memory is failing you, prince."

"I believe that you are wrong, highness." Inuyasha gently tugged the book out of Kagome's grasp and laid it beside him on the chaise. He did not want her attention wandering—he wanted to be the only thing she thought about.

Only person she felt.

"I believe my memory is still strong."

"Oh?" Her voice was husky. So soft… so gentle.

"But, despite that, I cannot seem to recall how your lips feel on mine?"

Kaogme's eyes widened and, in a rush, she stood up and stumbled back a few steps. "What are you doing?!" She hissed, reality crashing down on her. "Earlier today we agreed that we will not continue this. Your brother is back, Inuyasha! You cannot continue doing this. This is wrong."

"You did not say that to my mother when you spoke to her earlier, did you?"

Kagome froze. She wasn't expecting that—then… wait… Izayoi spoke with him?

"She… your mother…"

Inuyasha smirked and stood up, walking up to Kagome in one stride. He caught her around the waist and pulled her body towards him. "Spoke to me? Yes. I did not know you cared for me so much, highness." Oh, how he drawled her title. It always got to Kagome.

"I… you… but… Sesshomaru?"

"Mother will handle it."

"How can you be sure?"

Inuyasha rubbed his nose gently against hers. "I can't. All I know is once my mother's mind is set, nobody can change it. She's on a mission."

"Oh?"

Inuyasha traced the contours of Kagome's face with his free hand. "Yes. And her mission… is us." Without letting Kagome respond, Inuyasha pressed his lips against hers. All the world around them dissolved as their auras interlaced once more. Little balls of green began to form around them, but both parties were oblivious. It was just like when they were in the Cistern Waterfall, where the waters of the Miyaji River careened majestically over a mystical cliff.

What they say was right.

True love is found on the waters of Miyaji River…

.xx.

Next chapter is what we're all waiting for: Kagome's first encounter with Sesshomaru :D Buahah! Don't worry, this story isn't finishing yet ;)