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Disclaimer: No, I certainly do not own any of the characters in InuYasha. I do enjoy playing with `em, though.
It had been over thirty years since Kagome had made the one correct wish that had banished the Shikon no Tama from this world. Kaede had lived another fourteen years before passing on to join her sister in death, leaving Kagome to take over her duties as village priestess.
Miroku and Sango now had many children, and even some grandchildren. Much to Kagome's pleasure, Shippou had found a mate and had kits who called Kagome “obachan” and InuYasha “jiji” (much to the hanyou's annoyance).
And yes, Kagome and InuYasha had themselves had pups (as InuYasha called them). Kagome was a little embarrassed at how many and more than a little amazed that she wasn't more “worn out” than she was. In fact, aside from being a little tired from chasing a host of hanyou/miko children possessing various combinations of powers and abilities, she hardly showed the weight of the years at all.
Sango had remarked about it when they bathed together, going so far as noting in their “girl talk” that the miko's breasts hadn't sagged at all. According to the taijiya (who had remained in pretty good shape despite having borne the monk's fourteenth child in this, her fifty-third year), the only sign of advancing age in Kagome was the increased maturity Sango could see in her eyes.
Of course the hanyou wasn't complaining. InuYasha had steeled himself for the time when his beloved Kagome would be turning old and gray while he remained full of youth and vigor. So it didn't bother him at all that Kagome had neither grown any gray hair, nor developed even the slightest wrinkles. Nor did it bother him that she could still keep up with him throughout all their long nights of lovemaking.
InuYasha wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
But Kagome remained a bit of a worrier. Even when her mate accepted her condition as simple good fortune, it still bothered her. Granted, her mother had held her looks well, but this was getting ridiculous.
Fortunately, by this time Kagome and InuYasha had lived into the Edo Period of Japan - a time which included the development of tengen-jutsu - a Japanese fortune telling method based on yin and yang and the five elements. The fortune teller used a person's birth date in the sexagenary cycle and his or her physical appearance to predict the subject's fate. The method had originated in China, but had been systemized in Japan by an early Edo period monk named Tenkai.
And Kagome had met Tenkai during one of his projects, the rebuilding of Enryaku-ji, which had been devastated by Oda Nobunaga (one of the miko's favorite characters from history). It had amused her that Oda would impact her life again (however indirectly) so long after she and InuYasha had helped another Nobunaga (named Amari) rescue his “crush” from a toad youkai in one of their early adventures.
Tenkai had been gracious enough to grant her an audience and had even more graciously had granted her request to tell her fortune.
The results had been…surprising.
The venerable monk had examined the miko using all his powers of observation and divination. And, although it isn't recorded anywhere formally, it is rumored that Tenkai had gone on a days-long sake binge after the reading was accomplished.
Kagome knew that most fortune tellers would find a way to soft-peddle their divinations if they thought a client was going to suffer a serious calamity or even die in a short time. But for Tenkai, his problem was the exact opposite.
Reading this girl's fortune had made him question his own methods.
Although it was seldom a good idea, he had once set out to divine his own future. One never knew what one might find when doing this. What would you do if you found that you were likely to die in a short time? But he had been lucky. If his reading was to be believed (and he chose to believe it), he would live to a ripe, old age - perhaps even surpassing the century mark.
But this girl…
“So what did the old guy have to say, Kagome?” asked the ever-truculent (yet soft-at-heart) hanyou.
“I'm not sure, InuYasha,” answered Kagome. “You know how these fortune tellers love to be cryptic.”
“You should have just consulted the bouzu.”
Kagome smiled at the arcane reference to Miroku and his palmistry. “Getting a reading from the monk Tenkai was too good an opportunity to pass up, InuYasha.”
“But ya didn't learn anything, did ya?
“I'm not sure.” Kagome regarded her own hands. “There really aren't any wrinkles in them, are there?” she thought.
“He said I would live a long and happy life.”
“Feh! They all say that.” The hanyou smiled, nonetheless.
“…and that I would certainly outlive my mother by many years.”
“…and then he said something about going out and getting drunk.”
The monk Tenkai rested quietly. The kamis had granted him a long and productive life and soon he would be at peace. He had, indeed, made it past a hundred. Well past a hundred, in fact. He had nothing to complain about.
He glanced up when he heard a servant enter his room.
“A young miko here to see you, my lord.”
He looked past the servant. The girl behind him looked familiar. “Enter.”
“Arigatou gozaimasu.” The girl knelt beside him. “It's been a while.”
“Do I know you, child?”
He blinked. “I recall the name. I believe I told your mother's fortune, once.”
The girl smiled. “I remember it well. You said I would outlive my mother by many years, I believe.”
The monk looked at the young miko sternly. “It is not good to make fun of your elders, girl, especially when they won't be around much longer.” He levered himself up on one elbow, bringing on a protracted coughing fit.
Kagome massaged his back for a moment and he felt touched by her spiritual powers. His coughing subsided and his heart felt…warm. He focused on the miko and looked into eyes that seemed way too mature for her apparent age. “You are her.”
“How can this be?”
“There's no time for that.” Kagome smiled sadly. “I have been able to help you feel better, but I cannot stop the inevitable. Besides, you wouldn't believe me.”
Tenkai looked away. “Probably not.”
“I can tell you that your reading of my fortune was correct and that it now looks like I will, indeed, outlive my mother by many years.”
“You do not age.”
“I will, someday. I can't tell you more than that. I just thought you'd like to know that your methods are correct and that you were right all along.”
“There is some gratification in that.”
The miko smiled. “There is just one more thing I would like to ask you.”
“I am in your debt.” The monk nodded solemnly to the miko. “If it is within my power in the time I have left, I will answer your question.”
“Exactly how many kids am I going to have?”
Author's Note: Please read and review. Also, I am trying to convince myself to finish “The 500 Year Engagement.” Would anyone like to see that?