Shikyomi wrapped the shimmering white robe around Kagome’s nakedness, her body having been rubbed with lotion and scented lightly with sakura blossoms. The fabric was so soft and light, it barely felt like she wore anything at all. She lightened her eye lids with white iridescent powder before lining them in black, making the blue of her eyes stand out even more. Next she gently brushed the girl’s waist length hair until it dried in silky waves around her. Standing back, she admired her work. Kagome was breathtaking. She had even run her bottom lip through her teeth, unknowingly making it appear slightly darker as one who had just been kissed. She was perfection. Standing before the grand mirror in her chambers, she watched as Kagome took in her image. “Are you alright?” she asked, smiling faintly. She knew this was the point when most brides would look at themselves and ask ‘what the hell am I doing?’
Kagome’s thoughts were jumbled together. Part of her was giddy, nerves happily bouncing under her skin, while the other was worried if she was really ready for this and all that it meant. The most prominent thought in her head as she gazed at the lovely person in the mirror was how did she appear so calmly serene when inside she was a big jumbled mess. “I think I’m stuck between happy and virgin sacrifice.” Then she covered her mouth, unbelievingly.
“Ah, good. Then you feel as a bride ought to.” Lady Shi chuckled. “If you think that you’re bad, the men will be twice as worse. Touga once confessed to me that on the night of our mating, he was so nervous that he could not stop pacing. Then he saw me and everything just fell away.”
“Were you worried?” Kagome asked, sitting on the edge of her bed. “You also had to mate, didn’t you?”
“No. Touga and I had a special bond, there were times when I hated him as much as I loved him, but I do not remember a time that I was not close to him. We fought, laughed, and loved powerfully. He said that I was the craziest, most aggravating inu ever born, but I was also the most unforgettable. Yes, we had little choice about whether to mate or not, but it was still a choice that I would make over and over again, even knowing that he would eventually leave me alone in this life, the pain of it would only make me want to be with him that much more.” She wrapped her arm around Kagome comfortingly as her eyes shimmered with tears, amused. “You really are a sensitive one, aren’t you?”
Kagome made a face at her, “I am going to have to agree with him on the aggravating part.” She muttered.
Lady Shi shook with laughter. She did so like this girl’s spirit. “Careful now, or I will have to see to it that you are a blushing bride.” Kagome hid her face her hands and groaned loudly.
Inuyasha could not be still. After he had left the spring, Aoi, the bird yokai from before, led him into a small room. There across the bed were a pair of white silk pants, which he quickly put on. He was a complete mess, his thoughts kept running between Kagome and what had happened in the hot spring. He walked the length of the room and back again, trying to calm himself. This was crazy. He nearly jumped when a knock came at the door. The blue yokai had returned to guide him once more.
Sesshomaru calmly walked into the one room he had never seen in his mother’s home. From the time the house of Meiyo had occupied the sky palace in the western mountains, this room was dedicated to the mating ceremony of the inuyokai. The room was quite dark, only broken by a few large white candles glowing in the corners and the center of the room. The gentle light was reflected off the ceiling by many imbedded crystals, making it appear like the stars in the night sky. Beside the central flame was a tall glass carved of naturel stone, veins of silver and gold flowing throughout its blue-gray surface. The only other thing in the room was sure to give his future mates pause. It was a large raised platform covered in furs made in the colors of the five great houses. It was also their bed for the night. He was sure he would be amused by their first reactions to it.
Unlike his future mates, he was not nervous or uncertain of the night to come, as firm in his decision as he had been when he made it. The white silk of his pants glowed in the muted light as he walked to where the ceremony would be held, just before the candle and stone cup. The sound of the door opening drew his attention as a wide eyed Inuyasha walked into the room. As predicted, he froze when he spied the bed, his comical face greatly amusing Sesshomaru. “Do you like it, Otouto? This has long been a tradition in our culture.” He told him turning back toward the light, hiding his smirk.
Inuyasha slowly entered the room. He was not the type of person that got overly impressed by much of anything, but this was something else. He did his best to avoid looking at the giant bed of furs again. However, the only other thing for his gaze to fall upon was the pale figure in the center of the room. Just the sight of him had Inuyasha blushing, how the hell was he going to get through this night? Dark red lines stood out as they followed the lines of his body, some just barely visible above the waistband of his pants. Shaking his head, he followed his brother to the center of the room. “What exactly is the tradition?” he asked, relieved that he sounded like his self and not as lost as he felt.
Sesshomaru took his wrist and pulled him in front of him. “In this cup is a draught that subdues your yoki and opens your mind. When the ceremony starts, the matriarch will ask you your vows and then you will drink from the cup. She will then join your hands. From that moment, she will leave and you have until dawn, until the draught wears off, to complete your mating mark. If you fail in it, instead if joining you together, your yokai will instead tear you apart. That is another reason a life partner is carefully considered. Once you start, there is no going back.” He rested his hands on Inuyasha’s shoulders.
“We knew from the beginning that there was no turning back.” Inuyasha said quietly. He relaxed under his hands, preparing himself for what was to come. Experimentally, he let himself lean back against him, surprising the western lord for once.
Just as quick, he moved away, only to be stopped by one strong arm coming across his chest. “Stay, Otouto.”
Kagome was led down a dim corridor. Before her was lady Shikyomi dressed beautifully in white ceremonial robes, hers going all the way to the ground and marked with silver and gold embroidery. Her long hair was pinned back, held with a simple circlet also of silver and gold. She opened a plain wooden door. “Please wait inside. I will be with you soon.” The lady smiled reassuringly before giving her a small push inside.
She walked carefully down a short darkened hallway, her hand trailing the wall. When it widened into a large room, the first thing she saw was the two of them, Sesshomaru holding Inuyasha, their backs to her. Kagome found, beyond the burst of heat that hit her, was she was glad that they were not fighting. She gave herself a mental shake to get her weakened legs moving again as they turned toward her, but then her eyes fell upon the bed. She closed her eyes. ‘how the hell am I going to get them to move now?’ Kagome swallowed hard, aware she was blushing madly.
Sesshomaru let go of Inuyasha as the turned toward her. How stunning she was, the darkness of her hair against the white of her robe making her appear angelic, until you looked in her eyes. He saw the way they darkened when she looked at them before she had been distracted by the bed. He was positive that their little priestess held quite a bit of wickedness behind that innocent appearance, her blush stirring his beast and his blood.
Inuyasha almost wished that Sesshomaru had not let go, his head a little light from the vision in front of them. He swore she had stolen his breath away. All the nervousness, the questions and worries left him. She was what made his world right again. He smiled as the red spread across her cheeks, her eyes closing. He shared it with his brother. Together they walked to her.
Kagome got control of herself, breathing deeply a few times. She opened her eyes to the greatest sight she had ever beheld in all her much fucked up life. Two of the most gorgeous men she knew stood before her wearing near to nothing, their hands outstretched toward her. They were the perfect pair, Sesshomaru with his pale beauty, the dark lines that graced his arms and chest making her hands itch to follow them to where they disappeared into his waistband, and Inuyasha, more golden due to a life out doors, with his well-defined muscles calling to her as well. She slid her trembling hands into theirs and allowed them to guide her to the center of the room.
Kagome looked at the stone cup on its pedestal. Sesshomaru noticed that it had caught her attention. “Do you know what it is for?” He asked, still holding her hand.
“Yes,” she did not look away from its smooth surface. “Shi explained everything to me.” She told them quietly.
“Are you alright, Kagome?” Inuyasha asked concerned for her most in his mind.
Though her cheeks remained red, her eyes sparkled brightly in the candle light as she glanced up at them. “I believe so. I can’t say that I am not anxious, but I do not regret this choice.”
“Good.” Shikyomi said, coming into the room. “It is time to begin.” First she took Kagome and set her out directly in front of the candle and pedestal, next she placed Sesshomaru to her left, then Inuyasha to her right, nearly an arms-length away from each other. Then she stood before them, all playfulness gone, every bit the cold, proud matriarch of her people. “Children of the inuyokai, descendants of the five great houses, understand that this day you join your lives together, bound in life from this day onward. You will be to each other strength when you would be weak, courage when you would know fear, wisdom when you would need guidance, honor when you would fail, and grace when you would fall. This is the promise you make to one another.
Turning, she carefully lifted the cup. Somberly she stood before Sesshomaru. “Sesshomaru, lord of the western lands and the inuyokai people, take you now to mate Kagome, priestess of the shikon no toma and Inuyasha, second heir to the west. To be their alpha and dedicate your life and strength to their protection, your mind and heart to their comfort and your body to theirs for the continuation of your blood?”
“I will” he replied as coldly as ever, making his mother want to smirk, but one did not do such things during solemn mating ceremonies. She held the cup out to him and he swallowed the amber liquid within it.
Next she came to Inuyasha. “Inuyasha, second heir to the west, take you now to mate Sesshomaru, lord of the western lands and leader of the inuyokai people and Kagome, priestess of the shikon no toma, to be obedient to your alpha to the best of your ability, dedicate your life and strength to their protection, your mind and heart to their comfort, and your body to theirs for the continuation of your blood?”
“I will” he said without hesitation, grateful that she had added the best of your ability to the vow. Neither Kagome nor he was any good at blind obedience. She held the cup out and he to swallow a mouthful of the amber warmth within the stone.
Lastly, she stood before Kagome. “Kagome, priestess of the shikon no toma, take you now to mate Sesshomaru, lord of the western lands and leader of the inuyokai people and Inuyasha, second heir of the west, to be obedient to your alpha to the best of your ability, to dedicate your life and strength to their protection, your mind and heart to their comfort and your body to theirs, to bear their children for the continuation of your blood?”
“I will.” Her voice was quieter than Inuyasha’s had been, but the words were steady. She held out the cup to her and she finished the sweet fluid inside, almost like drinking warmed honey. Lady Shikyomi took her and Inuyasha’s hands and led them to Sesshomaru, placing Kagome’s hand in Sesshomaru’s, then her other in Inuyasha’s, then Inuyasha’s into Sesshomaru’s. She backed away. “Sesshomaru, lord of the west, Inuyasha, second heir to the west, and Kagome lady of the west, you have agreed and bound your lives together, may they be long and your pups be many. You have until dawn to complete your bond.” She smiled at them as she turned and left the room.