Midwinter's Day Dream by ButtButtDoodle

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: Inuyasha and it's characters are the intellectual property of Rumiko Takahashi. I only write fanfic about it.

Midwinter's Day Dream


One can never see nor hold

the same flake twice,

but that cannot be said

for the Princess whose skin

is as white as the Sun and just as warm.

To hold her would be

a different type of burning

than snow in one's cold hand.


Slowly, deliberately, Sesshoumaru lifted his right arm - the one closest to her - and opened his hand. Before Kagome's stunned eyes a sphere of ice bloomed, floating like a miniature ice storm atop the calloused knuckles of his palm. Kagome shivered; she had never seen real snow in her entire life, only in picture books and tapestries documenting the Summer Court's long war against the Winter People, and the sight of it made her heart race painfully. How could something so deadly be so beautiful, she asked herself, trying not to draw parallels between the icy element and the man who had so casually called it forth.

Suddenly, the sphere shrunk and began molding into a more familiar shape which, once finished, Sesshoumaru plucked from the air and laid, almost ceremoniously, between them on the wooden banister. The object glittered like a thousand starlights and Kagome's throat tightened in disbelief.

It was a ring.


It was a wedding band.

"I am not fond of repeating myself, Princess, but under the circumstances I am willing to allow myself leniency on the practice." Sesshoumaru inched forward, boldly capturing Kagome's chin between his thumb and index finger, the barely-there touch feather-light, and urging her face up to look away from the ring and into his gaze. The action was so gentile it might have been mistaken for tenderness, but that was impossible. She was his mortal enemy, after all.

"Marry me." Sesshoumaru whispered once more, and to Kagome's dazzled ears it sounded almost like a plea instead of a command from one of, if not the, deadliest creatures in the land of Fae. Kagome pondered, her brain abuzz, if Winter fae had the ability to freeze opponents with their gaze, for that was the only explanation as to why she was not currently jerking her body away at Sesshoumaru's proximity. Distantly, she mentally remarked on the curious fact that his touch was not freezing as she would have expected, but rather warm, familiar.

Sesshoumaru did not give Kagome a chance to react because, just as quickly as he had moved forward, he pulled back, seeming to come to his senses. His hand dropped, falling to his side and closing around the nothingness in a tight, aching fist. The Winterlings were not accustomed to physical touch, and idly Kagome wondered if he too felt it; the tingling burning his touch had incited, his lingering fingers leaving little trails of fire on her skin.

"Think my proposal over with care." the Winter King said cooly, once more the intimidating figure of lore that she was used to hearing about. "I will return tomorrow evening for your answer." With a quick movement, Sesshoumaru slid silently back into the shadows and in a blink was gone.

After a stunned silence, Kagome tore her eyes away from the spot he vanished in and towards the offered gift. With mild trepidation, she picked it up off the railing.

To Kagome's mild surprise, the ice ring was not freezing to the touch either. It's quite pretty, she thought fuzzily, turning the ring hesitantly in her fingers. The band itself was a thin weaving of silver and white gold, and trying it on she realised it fit her finger perfectly. The massive sapphire attached to the ring caught the rays of moonlight, the glimmer nearly blinding. Yet despite the overwhelming size of the rock teetering on gauche, Kagome could not help but feel a twinge of maidenly admiration. It was quite clearly a wedding ring fit for a Queen.

But was this how she wanted to ascend the throne?

Kagome stood for a long while at the balcony, ignorant to the cool breeze and songs of the Summerland's nighttime, her mind ablaze with confusion. Looking out into the distant darkness, she could almost imagine the famed glittering white lights and aurora borealis of Tôr Hivern castle. Her father, the Summer King, had regaled a young Kagome with many a story about the ice kingdom, and had promised to take Kagome there one day, once his dream of peace between the kingdoms was achieved.

Her father had been slain soon after and that day had never come for them…but perhaps now, she could make her father's promise and dream a reality. She had the power to end this war.

The King of the West, Master of Moon and Shadow, Lord Sesshoumaru Taisho…had asked Kagome Higurashi, The Summer Princess, to marry him.

Kagome felt laughter bubbling up her chest, and she clutched the railing for support, the wave of hysteria overwhelming. This was insane. The winterlings were evil, bloodthirsty demons, who raped and ravaged with abandon. Despite her father's best intentions to teach her to keep an open mind free of prejudice, Kagome had grown up hearing about the ice people's depravity and cruelty; and their royals, she'd been warned, were even worse. Kagome wouldn't be a fool to accept Lord Sesshoumaru's proposal; she'd be suicidal.

'Marry me, Kagome.'

The Summer Princess' grip on the wood tightened, the wedding ring pressing painfully against the inside of her palm.

And yet, despite all her misgivings…Lord Sesshoumaru hadn't seemed like a demon, at all. He'd looked every bit as normal as any man she'd ever met…a shockingly attractive one at that. He bore the signature attributes that marked his people as distinctly different from those of the Summer Court: the white-pale skin interjected with traditional tattoos (his visible ones being two stripes across his cheeks and a crescent moon on his forehead), silky snow-white hair down to his waist and an imposing height that dwarfed most Summerlings. The yellow eyes, reserved only for the royal family - as most winterlings had devil-red eyes - had been quite startling to witness in person and a stark contrast to her people's earthier brown orbs (except for the monarchs, who had eyes as blue as a summer sky). Truthfully, Kagome had been expecting a monster, and her expectations had been dashed away by a broad back, elegant features and captivating yellow eyes.

Most confounding yet, was his attitude.

Loathe as she was to admit it, Kagome empathised with the weariness which bowed his shoulders, with the pain he carried in his gaze; they had both lost so many to this senseless war. The young princess opened her eyes, unfocused and unseeing. So many dead. 'My subjects. Duke Kouga. Mother and Father…'

Kagome had forgotten how the war had started. It had been so long though, that all that the people remembered was the fighting, the bloodshed.

The Summer Princess couldn't take full credit for wanting to end it. Her father, the Summer King, had been the first to propose it, wishing to unite the two realms once more as it was in the old scriptures. King Oberon and Queen Titania had held the courts bound for years; surely their children could achieve that unity again. But it had been folly. One beautiful spring morning, the Summer King had left Vera Sol Castle to talk to the previous Winter King, Lord Inutaisho...and by evening he had been murdered. The Winterlings swore the Summer King had never made it to Tôr Hivern; the people of Fär Elphame had called them liars; and so the war continued.

Until now.

If Kagome had to sell her soul to the devil to end this senseless war…then so be it. She owed it to her kingdom, and to her late father, to try.

Kagome turned away from the railing, silently glided back to her quarters and stepped out into the hallway. She walked with a calm determination that belied the fire raging in her heart. As she clutched the wedding ring on her right hand like a last lifeline, she pondered how to best convince her advisers that she was not, as a matter of fact, bat-shit crazy for this.


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