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The Lady of the West by see03

Yellow Camellia :: Longing

 Disclaimer: It took me a very long time to decide to post this story on Dokuga, because the story is told nearly entirely from the perspective of Sesshoumaru's mother, and features her life and troubles in a new light. There's many theories about the history of the West, and how Inu no Taisho came to betray Satori for Izayoi (heck, Sesshoumaru's mom doesn't even have an official name!), and no doubt this will become one of many. I do hope, however, that you'll enjoy the telling of it and that it will inspire discussion and thought into the lives of our favourite Inu Clan before the manga began.

That being said, this story IS a Sesshoumaru and Kagome pairing, made evident in the last chapters (yes the story is finished). Without giving too much away, Kagome ends up playing an integral role in the story. The amazing ~WiccanMethuselah also has read the story, and has given me permission to post it here. Do enjoy!

 

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 Chapter One :: Yellow Camellia (longing)

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My wooing at the hands of the Inu no Taishō was as romantic as any female could possibly desire.

He came in my 200th year to my Father's court, resplendent in heavy, gleaming armour, long hair in a top knot and his uniquely twin tails laid respectfully over both shoulders. To do so was a sign of deference – our tails, which contain our excess power while in a mortal form, are also the key to reverting to our bestial forms. By laying them over a shoulder, you demonstrate a lack of aggression.

He came unannounced into my Father's throne room, and told him that as the new Inu no Taishō, he sought a mate to share his life with, and only the best would do. I, as the only daughter to the Imperial House of the Moon, was his choice.

On the one hand I was deeply offended – how dare this upstart general come to my father's court and all but demand my hand? And yet, I could not help the way my heart fluttered and my breath caught as he turned his eyes on me. No courtier had dared to look upon me with such vulgar familiarity, and yet the lust I could see in his golden orbs made my body respond in ways I hadn't before. I knew without a doubt that he was not going to leave without me.

Our courtship began the next day. He was granted a place in our court – if only because he was the top general for our House – until my Father decided if he would be allowed to pursue me.

Against my Father's orders to not approach me, the Taishō found me in the gardens and presented me with a yellow camellia.

Longing.

Once my Father found out that he had called on me, he kept the Taishō under strict watch, but the demon still found ways to present me with courtship tokens, using the unique skills of a flea demon named Myoga. Thus began the first stage of our courtship – attention, and the Taishō had certainly caught mine. I quickly became the recipient of pearls, gems, clothing, and many other beautiful objects.

At first I coquettishly ignored his gifts, refusing to wear them. For the longer I held out on his advances, the more his eyes burned when he looked at me from across the room at the many balls we held, and the more elaborate the presents became.

Finally, my Father granted the Taishō permission to court me, and the game truly began. Gifts now came directly from him – large furs, dragon scale pelts, and other demonstrations of his power and ability to provide were now presented to me directly from the Inu no Taishō – Takeshi, he begged me to call him. With my Father's permission and my own newfound desires, I decided to take our courtship to the next level – recognition.

I began to wear his tokens – first, I wore the pearl earrings he had gifted me the day after he found me in the gardens. The way his eyes widened and fiercely glowed when he recognized them caused a pleasant tingle to race down my spine.

We were not allowed to be alone together without a chaperon, so Takeshi began writing me letters. They were often serious in nature, seeking to gain knowledge of myself and gift me with the same. On occasion, however, I could see the effort he put into attempting to sound romantic on paper, and I could not help my soft sighs as I would sit down each evening and compose my letters of reply.

I learned that Takeshi had had to work hard to reach his station of Inu no Taishō. Unlike most of the men in the Imperial Army, he was not from a High Pack. His parents had been Low Pack courtesans of Father's court. When they died in one of our many skirmishes with the Dragon Clans of the Imperial House of the Sun – the reason why the Palace of the Moon became a moving castle – Takeshi had no one to turn to. To avenge his pack, he decided to join our Imperial Army.

He began with one of the many regiments as a foot soldier, and through years of dedication, perseverance, and struggle, managed to become a Brigadier. This gave him command of three battalions.

As a member of the Lower Packs, Takeshi was not allowed to advance passed that point by recommendation and appointments alone – if he wished to become a General, he would have to challenge an existing one. If he could defeat a General in combat, he would assume that position. If not, he could be killed for his mutiny.

In order to have the opportunity to more personally engage the dragon demon who killed his family, Takeshi decided he would have to not just become a General, but the Great Dog General of the Imperial House of the Moon – the Inu no Taishō.

He challenged the Taishō, and by some miracle, managed to defeat him. Disgraced, the former Taishō appointed Takeshi to his station, and fled our kingdom.

Very quickly I found I desired more. Writing each other letters was not enough, and so one evening, after he had escorted me to dinner and we had sat down, I subtly reached between us with my hand for his. For a man and woman who were not courting, this could be excused as a way to get the man's attention. But for Takeshi and I, who were by then well into the courtship rituals, it was a sign that I wanted to advance our relationship.

Takeshi's hand immediately closed around mine, his thumb drawing light patterns across my knuckles. My skin prickled delightfully at the touch, and I lowered my lashes over my eyes demurely as I gazed at him. While I had been courted by many demons before, I had never reached this stage in the game. I found myself feeling like a fish demon out of water, and happily let Takeshi take the lead.

That night, we shared our first kiss. Holding my hand, Takeshi took me from under the watchful eye of my Father out onto the terrace, and beneath the new moon pressed his lips to mine.

It was a rather chaste kiss – I had participated in such exchanges with my Father and Mother – but from Takeshi, it felt so much different. My heart raced and my breath caught, causing my lips to open. Our kiss immediately became more heated, and I desperately closed my eyes tight to ground myself, for I felt as is I was floating on a cloud.

From there everything progressed rapidly, until I found myself standing beside my Father, listening as Takeshi made his formal proposal to me. When my Father looked to me for my verdict, I agreed to mate Takeshi, and plans for the ceremony were soon put into motion.

In hindsight, I see that I should have taken more time, used the safety of my Father's court and the availability of trusted chaperones to learn more about who he was, and what we could be together. But at the time, I greatly desired him – maybe I even loved him. He had proven to all that he was powerful by his station, and to me, he shown that he had the ability to lavish upon me anything I desired. He seemed to be the ideal mate.

Surely, I thought, our future together would be a bright and happy one.

How naïve I was.

 

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