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Day Break

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CHAPTER 1: A Wedding

Sesshomaru landed in the clearing and glanced around at the group expectantly. He sniffed subtilly, trying to pinpoint Inuyasha’s location but the whole group and camp smelled so heavily of him that it was impossible to tell without making a fool of himself as he wandered about. Instead he slowly approached and watched as the group tensed. Inuyasha was not around the fire nor was he in easy line of sight, something that was unsurprising to Sesshomaru given the night, but an annoyance all the same. 

“Where is Inuyasha.” He demanded, voice even and cool, failing to convey the agitation that sizzled just under his skin. It was the monk who spoke up, only after sharing a glance with his companions and Sesshomaru could already tell that he intended to lie.

“He is out hunting my Lord, perhaps we-“

Sesshomaru’s whip shot out, scorching the ground in front of him silencing whatever else he was about to say.

“Lie to me again monk and I will sever your head from your body.” 

“I’m up here you bastard.” A familiar voice called to him then, and he turned his gaze past the fire and upward, high into the canopy of trees to see a splotch of red among the leaves. “You have some nerve showing up here tonight. What the hell-Whow!” Inuyasha exclaimed as Sesshomaru leapt and landed gracefully on the branch before him. A fully human Inuyasha rested, pressed against the tree trunk and obviously doing his best to hide. Below him he could hear cursing as the camp prepared itself for a potential battle, a battle he was greatly tempted to give them, if only to give an outlet to his annoyance. 

“Little brother, your human form is as disgusting as ever.” He commented, looking down at the creature in front of him. At least on normal nights Inuyasha had their father’s blood running through him: both a blessing and a curse in Sesshomaru’s mind, after all it was that blood that put them in their current situation. But tonight was the one night even that abandoned him leaving this thing in its place. Nothing to it but the human wench that his father had died for. He wondered every time he saw Inuyasha like this if that woman had looked like him on this night. He had never met the human, had refused to the one time his father had asked, and now it was a curiosity he knew he would never have answered. 

“You have a reason for being here or are you just here to insult me?” His brother tried to growl in annoyance, his rounder face scrunching up in distaste and Sesshomaru’s own face twitched, holding back the need to growl back in return at the terrible attempt the human had made. It was best to get to the point so he wouldn’t have to suffer this creatures presence or voice any longer than necessary. 

“We have been summoned.” He said as he tossed a bundle of clothes he had been carrying with him. His voice conveying his disgust at the word ‘summoned’. “The prince of the badger clan is marrying and given his status as one of the west’s vassals we are expected to be in attendance.”

Inuyasha cursed, catching the bundle before it could fall from the tree and more accurately converting Sesshomaru’s own feelings about the situation. Below them the humans shuffled, obviously trying to figure out what was happening. One called up  sounding worried and Sesshomaru could hear the sound of a bowstring being pulled a little tighter.

“It’s fine Kagome. I’ve got it handled alright?” Inuyasha called down and Sesshomaru waited in silence for Inuyasha’s reply.

“I take it you already tried rejecting the invitation?” He asked, Sesshomaru stayed silent, it wasn’t a question that required an answer. “Right.” Inuyasha mumbled into the silence before shifting on the bench he was on. “And when exactly is this wedding”

“Tomorrow.” Sesshomaru replied simply, before answering Inuyasha’s next question before he could ask it “the counsel seemed to be under the impression that, if we were told too soon, we would find more important places to be.”

“Ya, no shit,” he grumbled “Damn it.” Sesshomaru watched as Inuyasha leaned forward on the branch and curled up around their father’s sword slightly. “Can’t you go for the two of us?”

“You know I cannot.”

“More like won’t, if you have to suffer so do I right?”

“I will be back at sunrise to collect you. We will head out then.” He told him instead of answering and turned, jumping from the branch into the middle of the group of humans which parted easily as he made his way through. “What was that about?” He could hear one ask as he went. If there was an answer he didn’t bother to listen for it.

———-

As the future Lord of the West, Sesshomaru had certain obligations that could not be overlooked unless there were more important obligations already in existence. While dealing with Naraku was personally high on Sesshomaru’s lists of obligations and attending weddings very low the counsel and current Lady of the West did not see it like that, which was what left Sesshomaru, and by extension Inuyasha, in their current situation. Sesshomaru had been summoned urgently to the Western Palace and while Sesshomaru knew it was likely a trap and not a true emergency he had an obligation to at least check in on the summons. He had left Rin with Jaken and Ah-Un and taken to the skies intending to simply check in and see just how much his mother was playing with him. 

As always the answer was: a lot. 

Clothing had already been prepared for them when he had arrived and Sesshomaru doesn’t mask his disgust at the intricate kimonos and additional layers he had been presented with. “Mother-“ he had growled in annoyance but the lady of the west had simply unfolded her fan and huffed out a sigh. “Really Sesshomaru It’s only for a day,”

“I refuse.” He said outright but knew there was no fighting it. He would simply have to put up with it and hope that etiquette would keep any from commenting. HE was to represent him mother at the event after all and few would dare to cross him on normal occasions. Inuyasha’s own formal attire had been similarly packed for him and given to Sesshomaru with the explicit instructions that both were to present a united front. His mother and the counsel had done much to hide the strife between the two and, as much as Sesshomaru hated it, he knew the counsel was right to do so. Outside of the court and his obligations he was free to do as he pleased and treat Inuyasha as he pleased, but showing a hatred for him in front of other noble houses could lead to unwanted advances at best and war at worst. He had no qualms about a war, enjoyed the few he had participated in, but the battle with the cat demons of the north was still fresh in his mind and he knew that it was not him that he needed to fear war for. Besides, he was still dealing with Naraku. Now was not the time to plant seeds of doubt about the strength of the west.

So, with annoyance in every step, he had turned from the Western Palace in search for his brother. 

-------------

He found himself back at his brothers camp in the somber light of morning to find anger and frustration permeating the air. Most of it seemed to come from the Miko and Inuyasha himself who is now back to his usual appearance. Sesshomaru ignored the rest of the group who was obviously trying to get the pair to calm down as he approached his brother. He wondered vaguely at his brothers relation with the Miko, it seemed to fluctuate so heavily between anger and protection that Sesshomaru could not get a true read on it. Were they lovers? Companions? Were they simply together for an untitled cause? It worried him slightly but he pushed it away. He did not have time for such contemplations. 

“We leave now.” He ordered blandly, forcing Inuyasha to acknowledge him, and turned, expecting him to follow. The morning must have been significantly terrible for inuyasha as he could only just make out angry mumbling from his brother drowned out by the Miko demanding to know what was happening and where he was going. Inuyasha yelled something back to her, reassurance mixed with a demand to shut up, before Sesshomaru heard his footsteps following after him. Inuyasha didn’t try and close the distance that has appeared between them and Sesshomaru doesn’t slow his stride. He did not want to walk side-by-side with his brother and his brother obviously felt similarly as they simply made their way deeper and deeper into the woods.

The badger tribe had their palace underground and so they took a moment above to change. Using the nearest stream to clean off and the supplies that had been packed for them they made themselves look like the royalty they are meant to be. Inuyasha looked annoyed at his formal attire as they made their way through the barrier hiding the entrance to the badger clans palace and Sesshomaru was unable to keep a small comment to himself. “Be thankful you are not being forced to dress as I.” He said, raising an arm slightly to show off the number of layers he was being forced to wear, none of which were something he would have chosen for himself. It was a peace offering, one that Inuyasha took with a snort and a small laugh. They both had to get through this event and they both had to play nice, so it was in both of their best interests to turn their frustrations towards the person who truly deserved it: Sesshomaru’s mother. 

“Ya. Your mom’s a bitch.” Inuyasha said as he kept messing with his own formal attire, his steps echoing through the long cave passage.

Sesshomaru couldn’t agree more.

---------------

The wedding celebration went off without a hitch with the exception of the Western Palaces council members who used the opportunity to corner Sesshomaru and Inuyasha, demanding to know about the goings on of their lives, ambitions, and when they could expect heirs to be born. Sesshomaru ignored most of it, choosing to answer with biting remarks hidden within pleasantry. Inuyasha was far more blunt in his answers, glaring at them and telling them that if they want pups they can either have them themselves or convince the Lady of the West to have more of her own: A conversation that all know is likely to end with heads rolling. 

The celebrations weren’t completed until late in the night, nearly early morning, though underground such things were hard to tell. Once the sake had ran dry Sesshomaru seemed it an acceptable time to excuse himself and Inuyasha was quick to follow his example. They were escorted to the prepared room they would be sharing which neither were surprised by. Sesshomaru had walked around the room, taking note of defensible positions as Inuyasha slumped to the mat on the floor. “I hate this shit. Couldn’t you have told them I was still trapped to a tree?” He grumbled as Sesshomaru moved to sit against one of the sturdier walls, wondering if he should bother with removing any of the layers of his junihitoe.

“If you had not started making such waves after having been freed from said tree then yes. I would have gladly continued to let them believe you were trapped.”

That was met with more grumbling from Inuyasha as he flopped over onto his side, looking over at where Sesshomaru had made himself comfortable. 

“They are really getting on you about the kid thing ha?”

“I am nearing my five hundredeth year of life, it is to be expected.”

“Your mom didn’t have you until she was two-thousand.” 

“A fact I have reminded the counsel many times, though they continue to remind me that she tried for one thousand years before conceiving me.” Inuyasha seemed to quiet then for a very long time, long enough that Sesshomaru would have thought him asleep if not for the rate of his breathing. Sesshomaru looked away after a while before closing his own eyes and leaning back, trying to make himself comfortable within the earthen palace.

“Do you want them?” Inuyasha finally asked, his voice oddly soft, “I know you’ve taken to keeping that human girl around but, you know, do you want some of your own?”

Sesshomaru was silent for a long time, not because he didn’t know the answer, but because he wasn’t sure he wanted Inuyasha to know it. Still, the council had been becoming far more insistent, especially those who were aware of his brother’s current fight for vengeance. They were worried he would be dead soon, or worse: the his first born wouldn’t be with Sesshomaru. Sesshomaru had to agree with them. He was far less worried about his brother’s potential death and far more worried about his brother’s relationship with the Miko that kept his company. Sesshomaru could not help but take notice of it and it brought previously unknown anxieties bubbling to the surface. 

“Yes.” He finally gave in, his voice soft, barely above a whisper. Inuyasha would need to know eventually and the truth was that Sesshomaru had always wanted pups. He wanted to help both his mothers and father’s clans to survive, wanted someone to pass their knowledge and traditions to. He had not had the best relationship with his mother, but he had enjoyed his childhood learning under his father before he had realized exactly how his father felt towards him. He wanted to give that early childhood to a child of his own, and unlike his father he wouldn’t treat his pup as a simple obligation. 

Inuyasha’s relationships were also forcing his hand. He didn’t have time just yet to really contemplate or worry about the complex problem of Inuyasha, his human woman, or the children he owed Sesshomaru but he knew he would have to face it soon. Likely after Naraku was defeated if Inuyasha and the Miko both lived that long. Inuyasha needed to know that Sesshomaru intended to have children, he doubted it would change anything in how Inuyasha acted or approached his Miko, but he needed to know.

“Yes.” He wasn’t one to repeat himself but this was important and he needed to make sure Inuyasha heard.

He could tell Inuyasha wished to ask him more, likely the same question that Sesshomaru had struggled with answering for so long. ‘Do you want them to be mine?’ hung heavy in the air between them, the answer to which was ‘no, but we have no choice. Not if I want them recognized. Not if I want them to live without the mockery of what we are.’

He watched as Inuyasha glanced away again and eventually he heard him fall into a light slumber. He knew this conversation wasn’t over but he was also glad to not speak of it again that night.

————- 

When he had found out he was to marry his bastard half-brother his reaction had been anger greater than he had ever felt baring his own father’s death. He had lashed out, harming many within the palace before his own mother had been forced to subdue him. Even when he had regained his own mind his anger had not dissipated and she sent him off to kill to his heart's content and settle down. He had killed for years and probably could have kept doing so but he was finally forced to return home when the subject could not be put off any longer. 

They explained things to him again, explained why this was happening. Why he was being forced into this, and he felt his anger starting to boil up once more, this time at the logic of it. Logic that he felt was pointless as it hinged on one thing that was not fact at all: it all hinged on the idea that Sesshomaru actually cared for the fate of his father’s illbegot second son.

“This marriage is to ensure his safety,” some in counsel had said, “Without it he would not be able to gain his inheritance” others had gone on, “The titles that would rightfully be his would be lost.” Again and again they droned on, acting as if the disgusting creature that was the cause of his father’s death had any right to anything his father had won. Had any right to inheritance that should have been his. The debate forced him again to face the fact that Inuyasha, his father’s child born from love and not obligation had been his father’s favored child even before the half-breed had been born. 

Finally Sesshomaru had had enough and he spoke up: “I care not for that creature ,” he told those assembled, watching some flinch, some deflate, and others smirk. Those loyal to his father were the ones avidly fighting for this marriage, while those who had despised him smirked. It was those that were indifferent that Sesshomaru found his true interest lied in. “Tell me.” He said, directing his question at them “tell me why I should let you force this upon me when I would like nothing more then to see my father’s second son dead.”

His mother had smirked sharply at that, a fan out to cover it though Sesshomaru knew it was there. In the end it was not Sesshomaru who would make the final call regarding this topic, it was her who chose. He was not yet Lord of the West and as such choices regarding their family line still fell completely to his mother: the Lady of the West. He could attempt to sway things in his favor though, could attempt to get her to agree with him and not the counsel but knowing his mother it would be a hard fought battle.

“My Prince...” one counsel member spoke up and trailed off for a moment, obviously catching himself in a near blunder as Sesshomaru’s eyes narrowed on him. “While what others say is true: that it is common practice for bastard children to be married into the family they are bastards to in order to ensure they lives and safety, they are typically not married to someone so...high ranking nor have there been any instances of doing such with a half-breed. Yet as you are the last of your late father’s line there is no one else that could possibly take this burden.”

“That still does not explain why I should not simply leave him to die.” He reminded the other to which another counsel member spoke up. 

“I hate to say it, my Lord, but to do so would shine poorly on your late father’s legacy and call your own blood into question. While the power in your mother's line is of no question-“ And here the counselor bowed lightly to his mother “your father made a title for himself and proved himself through power and military might alone. Your father’s Ill choice to take on a human wife at the end of his life did much to sully not only his two-thousand years of service, but to call into question the strength of his blood, the very blood that runs through your own veins.”

“That is just more the reason for her to reject the Hanyou!” Another counsel member jumped in, glaring at the one who had spoken. “Rejecting that monstrosity would be a show of rejecting the late generals faults and that she, excise me, he does not suffer from the same illness!”

“I must disagree!” One of his late father’s supporters spoke up, the small voice calling loudly as it could from atop the table “a rejection would show that he has no respect for his father’s blood! And let us not forget that this decision is our Lady’s final choice, no offense to my Lord, but should our Lady reject the Hanyou it would look far worse the Lord Sesshomaru doing so!”

“I must agree with Myoga” a soft voice spoke up, light as the wind, “I’m sorry to say my Lord but because the final choice is your Lady mothers it is she who must worry about how this choice would affect your reputation.” The counselor turned her attention to his mother, giving her a slight bow. “Should you choose to reject this final will of Toga it would show you held little respect for your late generals wishes and little respect for his blood. And while none would question young Sesshomaru’s eventual claim to your throne, it could certainly breed strife and war if others were to believe half his blood to be weak. Yet taking on the Hanyou possess its own risks:” The counselor went on “It could lead to your subjects considering you weak, perhaps even that Toga managed to taint you and the whole of the west with his sensibilities. It would also introduce human blood into the royal line which would no doubt lead to its own mess of problems. I...wish I could provide you with a definitive answer My Lady but I’m afraid that, like with most things, there isn’t one.”

“It is possible that the Hanyou might prove himself yet.” An old voice spoke up, cracking slightly with age, “most here know of and had seen Toga’s strength. Given time the child, Inuyasha, might prove himself worthy of his father’s blood.”

There were murmurs from around the table of both agreement and doubt until finally he heard his mothers fan close with a snap. she spoke up, voice clear and commanding within the room “Very well. I believe I have heard enough. You are all dismissed. Sesshomaru, with me.” She ordered and the counselors stood as one, bowing to her before leaving.

———-

In the end his mother had chosen to go along with the marriage, somehow Sesshomaru knew she would. His mother, a very powerful demon in her own right, had ruled the western throne for thousands of years and was expected to rule it for thousands more. For her the ‘threat’ of one of Sesshomaru’s children ever, truly, ascending to the throne was a far off worry while preserving the honor within her family and Sesshomaru’s name was a far more pressing matter. 

Or so she told Sesshomaru, though the smile upon her face as she said it told Sesshomaru that the true reason his mother had chosen to take this path was because she thought it would be the most entertaining.  

----------

The marriage had been an extravagant affair, a show of wealth before anything else, and Sesshomaru forced himself through every excruciating moment, keeping his eyes from bleeding red through pure force of will. Inuyasha had been too young to truly understand what was going on, barely one-hundred by then, His mother had pulled the creature from the wilderness that he had been living in to be polished up until it seemed as if he had never known a life outside of the castle grounds. An idiotic ruse in Sesshomaru’s opinion but he could have no say in any of this. He was simply expecting to sit quietly and not make a fuss. Inuyasha had been instructed to do the same and Sesshomaru almost felt bad as it became obvious that Inuyasha’s own silence and stillness was driven by paralyzing fear and perhaps some of his mothers magics. 

He was thankful once the night was over and even more thankful that Inuyasha was too young for other wedding traditions to be deemed necessary. It meant that, once the wedding feast had been completed Sesshomaru was allowed to retire to his own bedroom while Inuyasha was taken to another on the other side on the mansion so far away that Sesshomaru could not even smell him.

Sesshomaru had left the next morning as soon as the sun had risen and had not looked back. He would not stay and play along with his farce of a marriage nor would he suffer through the presence of his half-brother and those who had forced this fate upon him. It wasn’t until much later that he found out Inuyasha had been kicked out of the palace himself soon after Sesshomaru had left. He wondered if his leaving had prompted it but he simply did not care, Inuyasha had been pulled from the wilderness for the wedding and it was appropriate that he be returned to it now that it was done. As for Sesshomaru himself he turned his attention once more to increasing his strength, fulling intending to surpass his late father. 

Sesshomaru had not returned and would not return to the palace for another fifty years and only then to inform his mother for Inuyasha’s fate: trapped to a tree with no way of freeing him. It was certainly too bad that the last part had not proven to be as true as Sesshomaru had hoped. 

————

Sesshomaru dropped Inuyasha off near his friends and turned to leave. He didn’t have anything to say, he never did after these small moments of truce between them were over, but it seemed the same wasn’t true for Inuyasha.

“Hey” he called after him, and Sesshomaru paused, “look just...let me know when okay? I might not like it much either but...if you want to try for kids, I'm not going to be a jerk about it and tell you no. I know I’ve got an obligation to you so just...tell me when.”

Sesshomaru didn’t reply, in truth he didn’t know what to say, and so he left.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 2: Obligations

Inuyasha knew that neither him nor Sesshomaru were happy within their arranged marriage. He figured for Sesshomaru it was because he saw Inuyasha as someone far below him, but for Inuyasha their marriage meant a long list of obligations without any gains. He was left to fend for himself and fight for his life until he was ‘needed’ and then suddenly he was whisked away and dressed in fine silks and ordered to pretend like nothing was wrong and act like his life had always been like that. It pissed him off. The first few times it had happened he had been too overcome by fear at the number of demons surrounding him to do anything. Once he had gotten through that he had tried to rebel and ended up making enough of a mess that he had nearly started a fucking war and ended up having to fight off more assassination attempts then he liked to count. Eventually he had learned to just grit his teeth, deal with it, and to find more important other places to be when possible. Thankful Sesshomaru more often than not took care of that aspect of this mess for him which he was reluctantly thankful for. It turned out having an ice cold bastard for a ‘spouse’ had some perks. 

He knew that his position was supposed to award him certain benefits though, almost none of which he actually ever saw. On paper he could technically show up to the western palace and demand he be treated as the future “master” of the west that he was but every time he had gone there he had left with the sense that, should he ever actually try and return when he wasn’t required he was likely to be met with a swift knife in the back and a poisoned meal. He also knew he technically had access to the palace treasury and funds, something that he had been oh so tempted to dip into on nights when he had been starving, but somehow the thought of doing so made it feel like he was actually accepting and acknowledging his marriage, something he refused to do. Add that to the fact that you actually had to fly to get to the western palace since the damn thing was in the sky, well, it became pretty obvious that he wasn’t welcome.

There were some perks that came with his ‘title’ that he couldn’t reject though: the first being Myoga who, as annoying as the flea was, was helpful on some occasions. It also meant he got something of an education - again from Myoga - and it also, apparently, meant that he got to keep Tessaiga no matter how pissed off Sesshomaru got about the whole thing. Another perk was that, in general, powerful demons couldn’t lay a finger on him without potentially risking war. Not that Inuyasha thought Sesshomaru would actually go to war over him but the threat was there and, well, if Sesshomaru ever decided to expand the western territories then going after someone for ‘attacking’ his spouse was one way to do it. Of course weak demons and those without land didn’t heed the warnings but Inuyasha was capable of dealing with those...mostly.

In truth he hadn’t really thought about his marriage to Sesshomaru in a long time. Once Sesshomaru had gotten old enough to tell his mother ‘no’ and got proficient in avoiding obligations Inuyasha had hardly been bothered about his place in the west. The number of events he was required to attend dwindled until they were almost non-existent bar the one yearly celebration of the moon. He had only really started to think about it again when he learned about the shikon jewel and was presented with the possibility of becoming a full demon. Would he be able to end his marriage then? He wasn’t sure, after all he would still be a ‘bastard’ child. But even if he couldn’t end his marriage surely his titles and obligations would be more bearable as a full demon? Maybe the court would accept him more like that?

And then Kikyo has presented him with another possibility: An out from demon life altogether. If he became human, fully human, then they would have no choice but to end his and Sesshomaru’s marriage. He would no longer have any of his father’s blood, he would have no connection to Sesshomaru. Ya he would lose his inheritance, which he had assumed at that point to simply been the clothes upon his back, but he would gain Kikyo and a life with someone he truly loved and wanted to be with. It had seemed perfect. If Naraku hadn’t gotten involved it would have been.

He hadn’t had time to think about his marriage after that, being pinned to a tree didn’t really leave much room to think. Then he had had to suddenly deal with the Shikon jewel in shatters, a half Demon trying to destroy them all, gaining his actual inheritance, and Sesshomaru trying to kill him for it. So ya, thoughts of his marriage to the bastard had kind of fallen to the way-side of just trying to stay alive.

But now...now he was thinking about it again and it was all that damn weddings fault. Or, more specifically, his conversation with Sesshomaru that night.

He sat staring at the fire as his friends slept, his own sleep refusing to come as his mind swirled. Kagome had asked non-stop questions as soon as he had gotten back to the camp and his vague answers had left both her and him in a fowl mood. He knew him wandering off with Sesshomaru and vanishing for a whole day had looked odd but some aspects of his life were none of her business. Besides, it wasn’t like him and Sesshomaru hasn’t been getting along a little better lately. They had actually managed to talk after Sesshomaru had saved her from being poisoned. But even with that excuse she hasn’t been happy and he could see by the look on Sango and Miroku’s face that they hadn’t been thrilled with it either. He hadn’t given in though, not even when he had been ‘sat’. There were some parts of his life that he just wanted to ignore and having his dreads know about it wouldn’t help with that.

But right now he couldn’t ignore it. Sesshomaru wanted kids. Why hadn’t he ever even thought about that fact before? Sure Myoga had kind of mentioned the need for heirs in passing but there had always been a distance there between the idea of kids and himself but now ...Now Sesshomaru wanted kids and Inuyasha didn’t know how to take that. Did Sesshomaru want kids because he actually wanted kids? Or was it because they were both obligated to have them? Did Sesshomaru want multiple kids? Did he like being a parent? Was that human kid that followed him practice for when he eventually had one of his own?

Had he already picked someone to have kids with or...or did it have to be with him? Was that another reason that Sesshomaru who, before, simply left his hatred to biting remarks had taken to trying for his life instead? Sure Inuyasha knew him gaining their fathers sword was a huge turning point in their relationship but maybe the counsel getting on him for pups had been another. Maybe for Sesshomaru the idea of killing Inuyasha was something that came only with benefits.

Then again, before Inuyasha had proven he could use their fathers sword Sesshomaru had simply acted annoyed at him like always, like he was a presence that wasn’t welcome in his life. It was only after the sword hadn’t rejected him that Sesshomaru had really tried for his blood. And yet Inuyasha knew Sesshomaru had had plenty of opportunities to kill him recently and the bastard hadn’t. Even going so far as to help Kagome restore him again when his demon blood took over. At least if his friends are to be believed.

He rubbed his face with his hands in agitation. Sesshomaru was a confusing bastard but he wasn’t the focus of this situation. Kids were. And if he was going to figure out what the hell he was going to do he would need some advice. No, he would need counseling. 

Fuck.

————

He didn’t have time for that though as life and battles took over again, this time with far more intensity as the shikon jewel got closer and closer to completion. He got surprisingly used to seeing Sesshomaru and his odd group around as they both hunted Naraku in their own ways. Still, he couldn’t help but notice how well parenthood seemed to suite Sesshomaru the few times their groups met up. and while there really wasn’t much time to dwell on it, he couldn’t help but feel something about seeing the care Sesshomaru took with the little human girl and later Sango’s brother. It made his nervous, made a cold sweat break out on his skin, but he forced it away, he had to.

Everything happened too quickly after that and there was no more time to think, there was only time to fight and desperately try to stay alive and to keep everyone else alive. And then…

Then Inuyasha had too much time to think.

Kagome vanishing back through the well took a hard toll on him but he was hopeful for her return. He knew she would come back, he could feel it, and so he stayed close to the well and did menial tasks around the village. Mostly he spent his time helping Sango and Moroku, building them a house, helping Moroku with his work, and helping them build a life together in Kaede’s village.

They had kids soon after Naraku’s defeat and he was reminded, again, of his conversation with Sesshomaru and his obligations to him. He was forced to think about his future, not only with Kagome but Sesshomaru as well. What did he want from his brother? What did he want from Kagome? Would he be able to have a life with Kagome while still fulfilling his obligations to Sesshomaru? Was it better to get those obligations done and over with before Kagome came back or…Or after she had died? He didn’t like to think about it but both knew he would out live her by a lot so waiting was still an option if Sesshomaru let him. 

He didn’t know what Sesshomaru would want though, what he wanted or even what Kagome would want. He thought maybe he should have brought this all up with Kagome before, let her know about all of this but there had never seemed to be time. No, that was a lie. He hadn’t wanted her to know. Telling her meant acknowledging his fucked up marriage. Telling her meant her knowing he had obligations to uphold. Her knowing meant potentially losing her.

So no. Her not knowing was better. Now he just had to decide if he wanted to fulfill his obligations to Sesshomaru now or later because there was no way he would fulfill them when Kagome was here. He wouldn’t, no couldn’t do that to her. Not after how much he had hurt her still running after Kikyo. He knew it wasn’t the same, but she deserved to have his full loyalty if she chose to come back to him.

He needed to talk to Sesshomaru, but first he needed to know the specifics about his obligations which meant Myoga and, thankfully, the stupid flea had taken to hanging around more often then not.

————

“Hey Myoga?” Inuyasha asked softly the next time the flea dropped by, trying to be quite so he wouldn’t alert the sleeping humans around him. He was thankful to Moroku and Sango that they let him stay with them while his own hut was being built, but he now had to be far more careful not to wake the twins.

“Hm?” Myoga asked, seeming to nod back out of his own sleep and blink up at him “Yes Master Inuyasha, What is it?”

“I uh. Need some advice. Some… ‘counsel of the western lands’ advice.” He prompted softly which seemed to get Myoga to fully wake up and look at him.

“Oh my. It’s been a while since you’ve asked me anything like that.” He noticed the flea shooting a look towards the beads around his neck and knew exactly what and who he was thinking of..

“It’s not about her.” Inuyasha insisted, voice holding a slight annoyed growl, though he supposed it was a decent assumption to make given the last time he had bugged him like this. “It’s about Sesshomaru.” He admitted for more meekly.

“I...see.” Came myoga’s thoughtful reply and the flea sat himself back down. “I will try to be of whatever help I can. Please continue Master Inuyasha.”

“At the badger wedding,!The counsel was really, you know, hounding us about...about Sesshomaru having kids and I...need to know the rules here. Do...they have to be mine?” 

Myoga seemed surprised by the topic but quickly furrowed his brow to think for a long moment, rubbing a hand under his chin and the longer the answer was in coming the more nervous Inuyasha got.

“Well...Sesshomaru is under far stricter rules regarding the production of heirs then you are. that is: unless you want all of your children to hold places of regard within the Western Kingdom as your father did for you. The rules regarding children for you are the same as those that applied to Toga: any child you have with someone who is not Sesshomaru holds no place within the western kingdoms hierarchy. In other words, they would simply be another subject of the throne and never be able to claim it.” He nodded, as if confirming his own thoughts. “But like I said: Sesshomaru is trickier seeing as technically any child he has would be royal inuyoukai therefore they would all hold some kind of power within the kingdom and would be able to reside within the palace should they choose. But...well...while they might be held in high regard and treated as royalty, only a child born between you and Sesshomaru would have rights to the throne given you are his spouse.

“Still,” Myoga went on, “it is best that his first and second born be with you that way there is no question of who will Inherit the throne, after all, an illagitated first born battling for rights to the throne against a legitimate second born would be quite a mess.”

Inuyasha rubbed a hand down his face, hating the complexity of all this shit. “So, in other words, I have to give Sesshomaru at least one kid and I’ve got to give it to him before anyone else.”

“Um...two actually, just in case. Unless of course you die at which point Lord Sesshomaru would be free to marry again but…well...to be honest Lord Sesshomaru hasn’t exactly struck me as being the type to have many lovers.”

“Not like I would know if he did.” He growled in annoyance, “You old farts all realize were siblings right? Half-siblings But still!”

“Yes.” Myoga answered a little meakly, though he still tried to defend the counsels choice like he always did. “There was a...a very long and drawn out debate regarding that in fact and I will freely admit that I was in support of the marriage going forward. While marriage between half-siblings is indeed heavily frowned upon we were left with little other choice. Sesshomaru has no other siblings and no cousins, he is the last of both his father’s and mothers line. It was him or no one.”

“And no one meant I would have been left to die. Not that that’s much different from what actually happened ha flea?!” He said in annoyance, squishing the demon before tensing as one of the kids whined softly. They both stayed quiet for a long moment but eventually the kid seemed to fall back asleep allowing them to relax.

“I am aware that you still did not receive the life you were technically entitled to,” Myoga stated back again, still squished between inuyasha’s fingers, “but please understand Master Inuyasha we certainly tried our best but there was only so much we could do to overcome the prejudices of our land”

Inuyasha hmmphed and crossed his arms in anger, glaring at his huts dying fire. “Well what the hell am I supposed to do now.” He grumbled as Myoga hopped his way back up to his shoulder.

“What do you mean my lord?”

“Sesshomaru wants kids. He told me at that stupid wedding and I don’t know what to do about it. Obviously I’m not about to die just so the bastard can have a kid with someone else. Call me selfish but I want to keep living.” He grumbled, glancing over at his friends kids and knowing that, for the first time in a very long time he actually had a future to live for, friends to live for. Kagome would come back, he knew she would. He wanted to live. “But that apparently means I have to give him a kid instead. Two kids. Shit.” He grumbled, though the words were more to himself then Myoga.

Myoga let out a soft ‘oh’ sound at that but had no other words of wisdom to give, though it perturbed Inuyasha to hear a note of excitement in the fleas voice. Inuyasha didn’t bug him for any further advice, he had an idea about what Myoga’s advice would be and he really didn’t think he wanted to hear it.

—————

He was seeing Sesshomaru more and more now that Rin was living in the village with Kaede but their interactions were awkward and strange. He didn’t really know what to say or how to act around him. His brother had Rin with him almost every time they ran into each other and the sight of them together always made him tense: was that a sign that Sesshomaru wanted kids soon? Wanted them now? Or was there another reason he had the kid? And If wanting a kid was the reason was he prepared to act so soon on all of this if Sesshomaru asked?

Sesshomaru, thankfully, didn’t seem to know how to act around him either. they had learned a lot about each other while fighting a common enemy and Inuyasha knew that he had begrudgingly acquired his brother respect. For his part Inuyasha had never hated his brother, not it any true sense of the word. He had hated the way his brother had treated him but there had always been a stupid part of him that had been hopeful that Sesshomaru would one day accept him, not as a spouse but at least as part of his family or, if not that, someone who was just as trapped in this world and situation as him.

Which was another thing he had to worry about with giving his brother a kid because their kid would have human blood and there was no way around that. But if Sesshomaru was ever going to accept him and that human blood it was probably going to be now. With Sesshomaru raising a human child and his regular visits to a human village it maybe gave them a chance. Inuyasha was under no impression that Sesshomaru actually liked humans now, but, in a way, Sesshomaru was showing that he could learn to like some humans and, more importantly, that his prejudices had a capacity to change. He wasn’t an idiot, he knew his brother would never fully accept him or want him but there was more than just his human blood that drove Sesshomaru’s hate. Inuyasha had to wonder if that hate, beyond his human blood, would extend to their own children. Would he hate them simply because they were Inuyasha’s? Because he had no choice but to have them with his hated brother who had caused their father’s death? Or would he love them? Would he not care that they were an obligation and instead treat them as something he wanted? Would Sesshomaru care for them as much as he cared for Rin? 

It had taken Sesshomaru’s mom one thousand years to conceive and as Inuyasha watched Sesshomaru with Rin he made his decision. He didn’t want to give Sesshomaru a chance to start hating humans again. To have something happen that would screw up all the progress his brother had made both with humans and him. And, well, if it had taken Sesshomaru’s mom that long to have a kid they might as well start trying. If he was lucky they could have both before Kagome could get back and then...then he could separate himself as much as possible from his marriage to Sesshomaru, his obligations to him being done, and focus on his life with Kagome.

He cornered Sesshomaru once his choice had finally been made when it became apparent that Sesshomaru wasn’t going to make take first step. He approaching him as calmly as he could and asking carefully if they could talk, alone. Sesshomaru had looked at him blankly, as if trying to assess exactly what Inuyasha wanted, before dismissing Jaken and leading him deep into the Woods.

It was the first time they had had sex. It wasn’t very good as neither was experienced enough to make it good but that hadn’t been the point. The point had been conceving a child and good sex wasn’t needed for that. Once they were done they simply re-dressed and went their separate ways and Inuyasha had to wonder just how often they would have to do this before something stuck.

The answer came the next time he saw Sesshomaru. He looked no different but there was a slight glow under his skin that made him look like the moon was constantly shining upon him. If Sesshomaru told anyone of his pregnancy Inuyasha didn’t know, he didn’t even tell him outside a small nod of confirmation as he walked by. Inuyasha wasn’t sure if the shock he felt at learning that their first time together had shown on his face but if it had Sesshomaru showed no reaction. 

Then Kagome arrived back and he had no more time to think of Sesshomaru or his pregnancy as he went about setting up his life with her as he had dreamed for the last three years. Maybe if they were lucky Sesshomaru would have twins and they would both be free to live the life they wanted. He could only hope.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER 3: The First Born

Sesshomaru hadn’t lied to Inuyasha. He had always wanted kids, but he had never planned on having them so soon. He wanted them when he was well and ready but as he watched his brothers interaction and relationship grow with the Miko in his group he quickly realized that he might not have time to wait. As much as he hated it he couldn't put his first child off for another five hundred years when there was a chance that Inuyasha would have a child with the Miko. 

Whether inuyasha realized it or not his first child would be with Sesshomaru, though this was for far more personal reasons then why his own first born had to be with Inuyasha. He knew the dangers he could create within the line of succession if his first born was with anyone else and he was unwilling to complicate his own life more. If Inuyasha’s first born was with another though, human or demon, it would likely raise questions about any children they did eventually have, especially if Inuyasha’s potentially other children turned out less than adequate. That didn’t even approach the other issues Sesshomaru had with the thought of his brother one day having a child with the Miko, but he would address one issue at a time and right now his first issue was having a child with Inuyasha before anyone else could.

Even knowing that he found he couldn’t bring himself to be the first to approach his brother. He knew he must and he knew that after Naraku’s defeat was the best time to approach him but he found himself uncharacteristically hesitant. He had a brief moment of relief when the Miko vanished thinking that perhaps he had been gifted more time, but it quickly became obvious that his brother was expecting the Miko’s return. It was almost sad really, the way his brother waited around the village like a stray dog for its masters return. Hardly appropriate for one with the title of ‘Master of the Lord of the Western Lands’. It made Sesshomaru’s skin crawl seeing Inuyasha act in such an undignified way and made it harder to bring himself to approach the hanyou. He told himself that it wasn’t his concern, it was hardly like anyone of importance would be seeking him out in this village, no one would know how Inuyasha lived his life. It could not be used against their future children. Not to mention Sesshomaru had his own secrets here in the form of Rin so he supposed he couldn’t pass too harsh of judgment. Still, it kept him from addressing their joint obligation for over two years before finally his brother approached him instead. 

He was genuinely surprised when he saw the look in his eyes and read his intent, knowing after just a moment of looking him over way he was there. He had dismissed Jaken then and wandered with Inuyasha into the forest that bared his name and laid with him for the first time. He had not expected it to take and regretted for a moment that he had not gone to his mother for the potion she so often boasted about that allowed her to conceive. When near two months had passed and it had become evident that Inuyasha’s seed had taken he found himself oddly proud that not only had he not needed it, but that they had succeeded in only one try. Inuyouki were not known for their fertility but perhaps he had gotten lucky and, perhaps that luck would continue. 

-----------------

His pup was born in their true form at just over six months of carrying. The pregnancy had lasted nearly a month over the expected time but he had refused to return to the western palace or to seek out a healer. He knew it was perhaps a stupid thing to do but he prided himself on his complete independence and he had not yet been willing to compromise that. Besides, the pup had human blood and he knew that humans took far longer to produce offspring so he had not let himself worry, the child would come when they came.

When the pup was finally born they were a tiny, The poor thing only reaching about the hight of a human waist. They were healthy though, for all their pettiness, and they fed well and cried quickly enough. Sesshomaru had licked them clean with long brushes of his tongue and watched as the white and gray fur was revealed. The markings upon the pups face were reminiscent of his father’s, jagged and purple, though two marred his pups fur, similar to his own. The mark of the royal inu, the crescent upon their head and the faint smell of human within their blood left little question as to who the pups belonged. 

Sesshomaru had a moment to wonder if his pups human blood would prevent them from being able to transform into any form but this. As much as he would have hated to admit it before: Inuyasha was powerful and, had he been a full demon, would have been capable of transforming between a some-what human form and a proper Inu, a feat only powerful demons were capable of. As it was his brother was stuck between a half-transformation. A mix between the two forms. Sesshomaru could only imagine that not only was Inuyasha’s human blood the issue, but also his human mothers inability to transform while giving birth. Because of this he had intentionally chosen to give birth in his true form as was traditional, in hopes that it would remedy the situation.

He was, admittedly, very proud when his pup was born looking fully dog. It was promising and, even if they never managed to transform into a human form it would hardly matter among demons. The majority of inuyoukai couldn’t transform at all, either being too weak to do so or too proud to do so. Like this his pup would be far more accepted. 

He continued to lick them, making their small triangular ears twitch and prompting them to continue to feed while he listened with half an ear to the forest around them. He knew he could have returned to the palace to have his pup, that he probably should have done so months ago so that proper preparations could be made. He was meant to have informed his mother and counsel as soon as he knew of the pregnancy. There were announcements and procedures and parties that were meant to be had to welcome the new heir to the throne. Only he couldn’t bring himself to do any of that. This was his first, though not likely last, pup and he found himself wanting to savor being the only one to know of their existence.

It was two weeks before his pup opened their eyes and he was met with beautiful red and teal. At 6 weeks the pup was no longer struggling to walk or stand up and Sesshomaru was confident that they could travel. The pup was rightfully confused at their parents transformation, but as Sesshomaru’s smell did not change it was easy enough to get the young one used to this form enough to follow him. Again Sesshomaru was aware that he should travel to the western palace and announce his child, the more he put it off the greater the chance that people would think something amiss with the child when, in truth, Sesshomaru was simply trying to keep them to himself a little bit longer.

So instead he turned toward Inuyasha’s forest and village it contained. His brother, being the pups sire, deserved to meet his child after all. It would be a courtesy visit but if it gave him an excuse to avoid his mother a little longer he would take it.

He met up with Jaken and A-Un first. His retainer unable to hide his shock at the presence of the new pup, already twice as tall as Jaken and many times heavier. Sesshomaru had done much to hide his pregnancy and it seemed the little kapa had been caught unawares.

“Jaken,” He said in greeting which seemed to finally pull the kapa from his open mouthed staring “his is Gengetsu, my first born.” He introduced and watched as the kapa fumbled over himself to bow to the new heir to the western throne. His pup was too occupied with keeping close to him and far too young to understand the gesture so Sesshomaru ignored it and started walking. He didn’t say more than that or give a greater of an explanation even as Jaken called out to him. He simply continued to walk with his pup followed easily behind forcing the kapa to ran to keep up while dragging A-Un along behind them.

Inuyasha’s forest was a ways off from where he had settled and his pup could only travel so far in a day so it gave him just a little more time. In the moments of silence when his pup slept and wasn’t demanding his attention he allowed himself to think: about his future, about his pups future, but mainly about Inuyasha the person they were traveling to meet. How would his brother react to their child? Inuyasha wasn’t one for cold indifference which would have been his own reaction should their positions have been switched, but it was difficult for him to imagine any other reaction. He was far more familiar with his brother’s anger and hatred than anything else but he doubted such emotions would be present in this meeting, at least not towards their pup. Still he could not imagine happiness or joy would be his reaction either, what reason would he have to feel joy for a child he was forced to produce? Inuyasha was not like their father who, after a thousand years had apparently been joyous and thankful for a pup. So no, purely positive emotions were unlikely. the pup would probably be met with confusion and curiosity above all else. Sesshomaru himself had not known what to expect from the pup, what they would look like or even be, Inuyasha was likely to be in the same mind set. It would be an acceptable response he figured, at least one that wouldn’t provoke ire. 

His thoughts kept him moving until he reached the border of the town and a familiar smell hit his nose. The Miko was back. He felt a conflicting swirl of emotions at that realization that he hadn’t been expecting but that he carefully didn’t let show on his face. He had not expected her return, even though he knew Inuyasha had been waiting for it, and he found the sudden reappearance at such an inopportune time to be frustrating. In truth he did not care either way about the human woman, she was a powerful Miko and had been instrumental in bringing down the Shikon jewel and in that she deserved as much respect as he could give to a human but on the other hand he was perfectly aware of her budding relationship with his brother. With his spouse. Had the situation been any different he would not have cared, after all, he didn’t want Inuyasha as a brother, much less a spouse but as it was, as he looked down at the pup at his side only months into life, he found that he did care. He cares a lot.

Had Sesshomaru been anyone else, had he had a different childhood, a different relationship with his brother, had their situation been anything else he would not be feeling the sudden onslaught of raw emotions at that woman’s smell. He would not be thinking of how his father’s betrayal has left his hurt and broken. How he felt towards his father for taking on a second wife, at having had another family. The wounds from his father’s death and betrayal were still so raw and as he looked down at his pup, at his first born, he couldn’t help but see that history repeating itself in his child. Would his own pup feel the pain he had felt when Inuyasha took that Miko as a wife? Would he suffer from the same deep rooted hatred Sesshomaru felt towards Inuyasha for his father’s acts and choices? Should Inuyasha have another child with the Miko would he give that child their father’s sword, causing history to repeat itself over again? One thing was certain though: Sesshomaru would never force his child, or any of his future children, into a marriage with any of Inuyasha’s own. He would not do to them what his father did to him and his second born. Inuyasha’s children would be on their own, subjects if the western kingdom and no more. He would refuse to force a marriage between siblings upon his children, no matter what.

His thoughts left him standing there, frozen in place as he warred with himself. He had thought before that Inuyasha deserved to meet his pup, his first born, but the thought of letting Inuyasha show his pup to anyone else, To show it to that Miko, drove his to anger. She would be the source of pain for his pup, that woman which would give Inuyasha other pups, No children, After all, they would be mostly human. She would be at fault and Inuyasha too for feeding into this, for repeating the history their father so distorously laid out. 

There was a solution though, an easy one: he would simply keep them separate, Inuyasha and their child. He would have no part in his brother’s human life and his brother would have no part in their pups life. The pup could not be hurt or betrayed by someone they never got a chance to know. To them Inuyasha would only ever be a sire, a distant figure that they only met when necessary. It would be better like that.

Sesshomaru turned to go. It was sad that Rin would not be able to meet the pup but there was no helping it and his own mood had soured significantly. It was not an appropriate time to visit his almost-adoptive child. Jaken let out a confused “my lord?” As they changed direction but did not complain further as he leaned down and took his pup into his hands and took to the air towards the western palace. He had put off going there long enough and Inuyasha could find out about his pup with the rest of the western lands. And If his brother wanted to see the pup then he could request an audience like everyone else. Sesshomaru knew it was unreasonable but he felt he was allowed it, at least where his pup was concerned.