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Substitute Groom by NicoRavenPen

A Beginning

Disclaimer: I am not the owner of Inuyasha or any of it’s characters…

Chapter 1: A beginning

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    Kagome waited anxiously in a side room, Sango fixing her hair even though nothing was really wrong, and her mom checking the hem on her dress. Everyone around her was brimming with barely containable excitement. But she simply stared into the mirror at her own reflection.     

    Today was her wedding day, and despite how happy she was when she agreed to marry him, she couldn’t help but begin to have doubts. It wasn’t that she had cold feet. It wasn’t simply a burst of paranoia. These thoughts had steadily grown over the past few months, being fed by the things she saw and heard. She’d tried to ignore it in the past, but once she realized that she’d be spending the rest of her life with him she began to examine everything about him, and herself.

    It wasn’t to pick apart his faults. No, if anything it was so that she could accept everything about him, the good and the bad. She wanted to know everything about him, hoping to get a better understanding of him. And so instead of subconsciously ignoring the things around her, she opened her eyes and ears, and began to listen and see.

    It was in doing this that she began to find out things she found she didn’t really want to know. Things that might have been better unsaid or unseen. In doing this, she realized that perhaps he wasn’t the right one.

    She begun to notice all of the little things that she had thought wouldn’t matter. He drank all the time, which she knew of course, but now she began to notice how he acted when he did. He was incredibly rude, uncaring and selfish. Every other word in his vocabulary was a curse, and she realized it was mostly because he never had anything better to say. When he was angry he had no other way to express himself other than through violence and profanities, and it was as if he didn’t know how. Communication had never been his strong suit and she knew that, but she began to understand that he didn’t care enough about anyone or anything to try. If someone didn’t like the way he was or what he was doing than they could go to hell. It seemed to be his motto.

    It wasn’t even all of that that was the worst of it for her. He’d had past relations with many girls, none of whom she’d known. She knew he was a player, and she knew he was a flirt because that was how he’d won her over, but there was one woman in particular who seemed to keep coming back to haunt him. He never really told her anything about her, not even the woman’s name, and it seemed to be taboo among their friends. It was never brought up. Ever. And yet, there were some days or nights when he’d get a phone call. A short, simple phone call. He’d mumble a reply, hang up and leave. Once in a while he’d glance at her before he left. Each time it was the same look, the dark expression where conflict and duty warred. The knowledge that he was doing wrong was evident in his stance, but then he’d turn away without a word.

    Each time when he’d come back she’d have food ready for him and a smiling face, not asking anything. She didn’t want to touch such a sensitive topic. But even so, on the inside she was crying. Only the knowledge that he’d chosen her to marry kept her going strong. Despite whatever connection he had had to that woman, he’d chosen her. And that would have to be enough.

    There was a certain level of maturity, she thought, in order to have a functioning relationship. A certain level that he didn’t seem to have. But she’d always felt that due to the circumstances in her life she’d matured fairly quickly. When her father passed away he’d left behind a lot of responsibilities and as the eldest child with a grieving mother, she’d had to stand up to the plate. She took care of the shrine, watched over her little brother, and helped her mother and grandfather as much as was physically possible. She'd known hardship that she wouldn’t wish on any young family, but she’d endured because that was what she did. No matter what, she’d strive to do her best.

    And so despite all of these things that she discovered about her love, she would still marry him. She knew it wasn’t very logical, and she knew that she might regret it forever, but she felt that she knew what she was doing. Deep inside she hoped that he could change, because she had a never ending supply of faith in people. And deep inside she hoped that she wasn’t wrong about this. She’d seen glimpses of his kind heart many a time; it was what kept them together after all. Whenever he did or said something stupid he’d somehow manage to fix it. He always found a way back into her heart, with a shy hesitant smile and drooping ears. He’d never bothered with apologies, but she knew from his expressions when he was sorry. She knew in how he carried himself that he had thought about it long and hard. And so she refused to punish him further and forgave him time and time again.

    But as she stared into that mirror she began to wonder, how many more times would she have to forgive him? How many more times would he push the limits of what was humanly decent?

    She sighed, reaching up to straighten a blossom in her hair.

    “Oh Kagome, you look so beautiful!” her mother crooned as she wrapped her shoulders in a hug. “I can’t believe my baby girl is getting married,” she sniffed happily.

    “Awww mom, stop, you’ll make me cry and then I’ll have to fix my makeup.” She honestly doubted she’d cry, but she had to humor her mother.

    “Yeah I’ve already had to fix it twice,” teased Sango as she came back to the seat with a bobby pin.

    “Only because I kept getting mascara in my eyes,” she mumbled, grinning.

    “Sure Kagome, whatever you say.” A happy smirk graced her somewhat naturally serious face.

    Kagome sighed as she resigned herself to her decision.

    “Alright, it’s almost time,” she murmured.

    “We’ll leave you to your thoughts for a few minutes,” whispered her mother as she squeezed her shoulders once more. She nodded.

    “Be right back with some water,” smiled Sango as they went out the door, quietly shutting it behind them.

    She sighed again, smoothing her hands over her hair and then down to the fabric of her dress. She didn’t look into the mirror again. It felt fake. It all did.

    “Just bear with your decision, Kagome,” she mumbled to herself.

    There was a small knock at the door.

    Startled she turned, a hesitant “Yes?” resounding. They couldn’t have been back already.

    The door opened slightly, just a crack, and a golden eye peered in.

    She gasped. What..? Her heartbeat sped for a second before she tampered it down and stood.

    She knew it wasn’t him. But who?

    “Come in,” she murmured.

    She watched as a tall man entered. She took in his golden eyes and silver hair, practically staring, and corrected herself. He was youkai. And from his markings he was one of high standing.

    “If I may ask,” she started, “Who are you?”

    His eyes never left her face as he came near but not too near. She couldn’t help but feel like a deer in the headlights under his gaze. His eyes reminded her more of a cat than a dog, with a beautiful golden translucency.

    “You are Kagome Higurashi?”

    It was an odd question. Did he not know whose wedding he was at? Obviously she was wearing the wedding dress.

    “Yes,” she frowned. “Is something wrong?”

    He glanced upwards for a moment as he nodded in an almost hesitant way.

    “In a manner of speaking.” He made eye contact once more before saying in a strangely neutral tone, “Inuyasha will not be attending this wedding.”

    

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A/N: Hope you guys like it! Lemme know what you think! :D And as always, thank you!

    

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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