“What is going on?” Inuyasha asked, aware that he had missed something important. He had been so caught up in the story, he missed the fine details. Never before had he heard so much about his father and the life that he led beyond the time when his father had loved his mother. He wanted to go after Kagome as well, but with the way things were between them, his presence might have made whatever was worrying her worse.
Sesshomaru walked up to him. “Listen carefully, Otouto. Two inuyokai of the blood and a bride, bound in death made a weapon to kill their foe. A weapon that can only be wielded by a bride bound in life to two inyokai of the blood.” He could tell the moment his brother got the implications by the widening of his eyes. Sesshomaru would have to discuss this farther with him, but his instinct was urging him to go to the priestess first. “I will go to Kagome.” He expected Inuyasha to argue with him, but he just nodded absently, dealing with his own thoughts at that moment in time.
“Fuck,” Inuyasha said, watching him move away. Inuyokai mating was complicated and nowhere near the human version of couples. It meant a great many things for him alone, much less what Kagome would be going through, but all his heart would hear was that he would be Kagome’s mate. This was his second chance to be with her and he never once thought of saying no, even if it meant taking Sesshomaru too.
Shikyomi approached her mate’s son. In truth, she should have been his pack mother, but it was not what Iziyoi had wanted. Shi had not fought her on the matter, both women drowning in grief and the human was certain she could make a home for him among her people. How they had all wronged this pup, her no less than her son, simply by doing nothing. “Inuyasha. Do you know the customs of your people?” She asked gently.
It felt strange, the way she just automatically placed him with the inu’s. Was this warm sense the start of belonging? “I know only what my mother told me from the time she was with father.” His ears twitched a little as he looked down.
“Are you aware of what takes place between those in a mate bond of more than two?” she asked, her lips twitching when the boy’s face reddened. He did know. How cute the pup was, he had his father’s looks, nature, and temper, but was balanced well by his mother’s kindness. Touga had said that was one of the things that had drawn him to her, along with her stubbornness and fearlessness.
“Yes.” He muttered. He was not thrilled with the idea, but he would have Kagome. Perhaps in time, his inu nature would allow him to embrace the mate bond fully and find peace with it. Right now saving the world, being mated to Sesshomaru, having to submit to him as a beta to an alpha, all faded behind having the right to have her love once more. He walked slowly away, following the path his brother had taken to Kagome.
“Inuyasha.” Shikyomi stopped him. “You know her best, will she do this?” She watched with worried eyes.
He paused only for a moment, not turning back. “I have never known her to place her own comfort above anyone. Even if she hated the idea with all her heart, she will still do it, because it needs to be done. Never doubt Kagome and her willingness to do for others. It is just the way she is.” He left the others staring after him. ‘I’m counting on it.’ he thought to himself.
Miroku and Sango had been standing back, allowing their friends the space they needed. Sango was aware of the inuyokai customs do to her training. She was having trouble keeping the images of the brothers from her mind. She was torn between thinking Kagome was cursed or damn lucky, her thoughts putting a light blush on her cheeks.
“Lady Shikyomi,” Miroku bowed slightly before her. “Would you please explain the inuyokai mating customs to me?” He gave her his best lecherous smile.
Though she was still worried about the others, it was something they would have to work out on their own. Shi could not help but respond favorably to that smile. From the way the slayer placed her hand over her face, shaking her head, this was something the monk did often. Her leer well out matched his grin. “Certainly.” She ran her hand gently down his face, tilting his chin back as she leaned in close to him. She began to speak in a low voice, holding in a giggle at his shiver. How entertaining this one would be.
Kagome pressed her back against the cool stone, closing her eyes. The image of her mother’s living room filled her mind, her mother sitting, calmly drinking her tea. She saw herself run in, “Hay mom, I just wanted to tell you, I got married to Inuyasha and his brother, you know the one who used to try to kill us all the time? Anyway, love you, bye!” Then she ran back out again. ‘Yeah, that would go over well.’ She thought.
Getting a grip on her mind, she tried to reason it out in her head. There was Sesshomaru, whom she had gained a deep regard for. She had come to respect and like him in the time they had spent together, but never in her wildest thoughts did she imagine that she would be mated to him. Heaven knew the man was gorgeous, attraction was not a problem at least. Both of the brothers could steel breath from the coldest heart, no doubt about it. There had been mornings she had woken form vivid dreams, having to run to the water before they caught the scent of desire on her. There was a reason she liked bathing so much, being a hormonal teenager in the middle of these other worldly men. Sometimes she swore there was a tiny Miroku on her shoulder, laughing gleefully.
Then there was Inuyasha. She still loved him, she just had not allowed herself to hope for him anymore. Now she had the choice of whether not to allow that love to grow strong once more. Would she just be inviting more pain into her life, would he hurt her again by going to Kikyo once more when she needed him? True, he had not seen her since that day and had killed the last soul collector that had come searching for him. it was not that she was jealously expected him to love her alone, it was that he had often abandoned her completely in pursuit of Kikyo, had said horrible things when comparing the two of them, especially in the beginning, had believed her over Kagome as well. She could forgive him that, knowing he had been in a difficult situation, but she never wanted to feel that pain again.
She groaned. Looking at the problem logically, there was not many options open to her. Making herself look at the matter more, there were only two. Going back to her own time permanently was out. She had long ago accepted that she belonged in the past, even felt that if she did not, the future would never be. So that left option one, marry the brothers, defeat an ancient, powerfully demented snake and possibly come to love them, or option two, get kidnapped by an ancient, demented snake, get raped, give birth to a child that would become even more demented and lead the world to terror and darkness. Truly, there was only one choice, she only hoped her heart survived it.
There was another aspect as well. Sesshomaru and Inuyasha were not the last of the inuyokai, but were the last of the great houses, the ruling body of the inuyokai. They were literally princes, which was very evident when you looked at the western lord. Kagome would have to learn to live in basically a new culture. It was a lot to think of even if you did not have life threatening matters going on.
She felt Sesshomaru’s presence as he drew close to her. Though she had already made up her mind, she was not ready to share that just yet. The moment Kagome told them of her decision, life as she knew it would be altered forever, for good or bad.
Sesshomaru stood in front of her, seeing her clearly in the dark, her eyes shut. His instinct urged him to touch her. He had already chosen her before now, the circumstances did not change that in the least. He was confident that she would choose to be with them as well. He reached out and ran his fingers through her hair, enjoying the way her eyes opened and widened.
Kagome was astounded. He had never touched her before, even just in passing. She could barely make out his face, but she felt amusement from him. It seemed that she was going to meet a new side to him as well. Taking a breath, she asked the question most on her mind at that moment. “Sesshomaru, can you tell me of inuyokai mateings?”
He was beginning to see his mother’s humor in these situations. “Physically or socially speaking?” his voice was perfectly calm. The red that spread over her face was quite pleasing to him.
“Soc..ial..ly.” she said, damning her blushing face and stammering lips.
“We mate for life. It is in our nature to make large packs. Mate groups are more common than mate pairs because of this. Everyone in the mate group is mated to each other, which is why you must choose your partners carefully. You must take into consideration that everything that you do will affect those connected to you.” He leaned closer to her. “When you accept the mate bond, you are binding your life, literally. We will share thoughts and emotions. They say when a mate dies, it is like dying yourself. You must understand this, Kagome. There is no out once it is done. Each mate group has an alpha, a leader of the group. The rest defer to him or her in most decisions. These are the main things you will need to know when making your decision.”
“So you and Inuyasha,” she swallowed at the images that flashed into her head. “You will be mated to each other as well? Is it normal for siblings to mate?”
“It is not uncommon. We are not humans, we do not live as they do. Does it bother you?” He asked.
“No, not really. The time that I come from, humans are not as they are now. There are many types of couples or even some groups, but it is not common.” She answered him. She heard Inuyasha moving toward them, him not trying to startle her. “Why have you decided to do this, Sesshomaru?”
He waited for his brother to join them before answering. “Coming to know you as I have, I do not think you will like this one’s reasons.”
“Even so, I would like for you to tell me.” Kagome and Inuyasha both waited.
“This one had already decided to take you both back to the west, though not quite for this reason. I wanted you to be a part of my pack. Through you I will gain strong heirs, full blooded without having to join my house to another. This one has no patience for other peoples whining. Lastly, I would fulfill the vow of my family, it is my honor and duty to avenge my people.”
“Your right. I don’t like some of your reasons, but I cannot find fault with them.” She turned to Inuyasha. “And you, what have you decided?”
“I will do this.” He said immediately, no doubt clouding his voice.
“Just like that?” Kagome was startled, “What of Kikyo?” She really did not want to ask, but it was something she needed to know.
“Kikyo died a long time ago, I have accepted that now. All that is left is her bitterness and her hate and I can’t save her. I will never leave you again, Kagome.” He was so firm, steady when he spoke, her heart fluttered a little. She closed her eyes and let herself believe in him.
Sesshomaru studied his brother. He was a little surprised at how quick he had agreed as well, but for now, Kagome’s answer was most important. “What is your choice, lady Kagome?”
She sighed, closing her eyes once more. There was only one choice, she just hoped that when all was said and done, they would find happiness together. “I will consent to this mateing.” She said quietly.
Sango could not hold in her laughter any longer. She could not hear what the lady was saying to the monk, but the look on his face was beyond price. He had a blissful, stupefied smile, his eyes dazed. She could have sworn that Shi was half holding him up. She had accepted long ago that Miroku was just the way he was and you had to take him that way, but it was hilarious to see him meet his match.
The three walked in together. Sango’s suspicions were confirmed when the monk stumbled back, sliding down the wall by Midorico’s portrait when she let go of him, goofy smile still on his face. “Is he alright?” Kagome asked.
Sango smiled at her. “He is fine, he just found someone more hentai than he is.”
“It is not perversion, it is natural to an inuyokai.” She went to the three of them, calmly surveying their faces, her eyes settling on Kagome. “Have you decided?”
“I have,” she blushed slightly. “I will consent to this mateing.” Kagome repeated again.
Both men nodded to her question. “Perfect.” She pulled Kagome against her. “We will have the ceremony at my home.” With that, she and Kagome disappeared, an orb of light flying through the tunnels.
“Where are they going?” Inuyasha asked his brother.
“It is two days travel to my mother’s home. We will likely make camp tonight, so we will catch up to them quickly.” Sesshomaru told him.
Sango dumped her remaining water over Miroku’s head, grinning anew at his sputtering. “She likely just wants to discuss things with her, woman to woman.” She laughed again. “Poor Kagome, I hope she survives it. Lady Shikyomi is truly masterful with her words.”
“You have no idea.” Miroku said as she helped him to his feet.
Sesshomaru graciously ignored the comment. “You will follow as well and meet up with us later tonight.” They nodded, aware of the changes that came with the joining of their packs. “Otouto, come.” He held out his hand to him.
Inuyasha hesitated only momentarily. He understood that this was part of what he had agreed to. He was pulled back against Sesshomaru’s chest before they too disappeared in a flash of light.