InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Midnight Meets Moonlight ❯ Explanations ( Chapter 12 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, its characters, the plot, or anything. I'm just a poor college student who has nothing to do with the plot bunnies in her mind except write them out.
(A/N: I'm going to keep this short. THIS STORY IS FAR FROM OVER. We clear? Good.)
Midnight Meets Moonlight
Many feelings were associated with the falling of rain. Drowsy comfort. Lonely isolation. Cleansing of the soul. Deep sorrow.
As the broken miko stood sheltered in the strong arms of the TaiYoukai, it was obvious she was only feeling the latter emotion rather than the former. Her body shuddered and shook with the force of her sobs, the air filled with her plaintive cries that reverberated throughout his soul. He could FEEL her pain and had to clench his teeth against it. It brought back too many memories, too many years without her, too many tragedies that were destined to happen all because of some damned jewel and an evil bastard of a hanyou.
He smelled the sadness coming off of her in waves, and cursed his senses, as he felt her seem to choke on her own breath through her sobs. He tightened his arms around her, giving her comfort in the only way he knew how. He didn't know how long he stood in the rain with her…a few minutes…an hour…it didn't make a difference. He would have stood there forever with her if it took her pain away.
Slowly, slowly, her crying died down, becoming hiccups now and again, but she still rested on him. Trusted in him to keep her safe. He had waited forever to hold her like this, with her fully aware of his actions and the reasons behind them, and as she tried to move closer to him, he could not burying his face in her hair and nuzzling.
After some time, he felt her body grow weaker and weaker in his arms, and realized she was falling asleep. Gently, he picked her up and cradled her to his chest as he walked to her small apartment on the outskirts of the shrine. She had left it unlocked, to his relief, and he navigated his way around until he found her bedroom and set her down amongst the covers as she fell into oblivion.
He stroked her face softly, running his fingers over her eyelids and cheeks, resting on her lips for a forbidden moment, and coming up again to stroke her hair before turning away.
There was much that needed to be said, much that she still needed to know, but she would rest for a while. When she awoke…he would tell her then. Of what had happened in the wake of her departure. In the last five hundred years. It was not going to be an easy conversation for her to hear, and not an easy one for him to have. The memories haunted him…but now that she was here…now that….
He frowned. Yes, he had waited an eternity for this day and now that it had finally arrived…he had no clue as to what was going to happen next. Oh, he had a general idea, yes, one that involved him and Kagome together, but the hard part was how to get there.
He left her house, gently shutting the door behind him, knowing that she was not going to wake up anytime soon and she would want those first few moments to grieve by herself. She knew where to find him. He headed towards the bright lights of the main house as the thoughts whirled in his head.
As much as he wanted Kagome in his arms for all eternity, he knew things weren't going to work exactly like that. For one, the girl had just gone through an extreme tragedy, and if he came on too strong now, she would hate him.
Whatever inkling of a relationship they had begun five-hundred years ago had been shredded and torn apart by the events caused by Naraku. All they had known back then was that there was an attraction between them. But it was more…so much more. And he would show her that…when it was time.
She wasn't ready for his intensity yet…she had just lost Inuyasha, and that was a big hurdle. He had never been completely sure whether or not she was serious about not loving the hanyou, but now that she would not be able to love him anyway due to his absence, Sesshoumaru refused to be leftovers. She was going to love him because she needed to love him, nothing else. And then there was still the fact that she needed to know all that happened after she left. It would leave her emotionally drained, and he would take complete advantage of that fact to move in, if he thought she could handle it. But…he knew she couldn't.
He sighed, feeling like there was a boulder on his shoulders.
Stepping lightly onto the porch, he knocked quietly on the door. He heard gentle footsteps coming towards him and the door opened to reveal a middle-aged woman with a kind face. Kagome's mother.
She smiled at him, a look of question in her eyes, but when she noticed his features, her eyes cleared.
“Well, she was right,” she murmured. “You share some things with Inuyasha, yet you are different. You are Sesshoumaru-sama, I presume.”
He was slightly taken aback for a moment, not knowing that Kagome's mother knew of him. He grimaced mentally when he realized that there were a LOT of things Kagome could have told her about him, the majority of them not pleasant. He nodded as she stepped back and allowed him to step into the front hall.
“I apologize for interrupting you, but there have been some recent events that I think you should know about.”
She gave a little frown at his serious face and tone, and hesitated before replying, “I see. Would you like some tea while you explain to me?”
He nodded again, not because he wanted tea, but because of politeness. He followed her as she led the way to the kitchen, passing the living room along the way and seeing a young boy playing video games and an old man sprawled in a chair, snoring.
The old man stirred as he walked by, muttering something like, “Demon begone…” and Sesshoumaru couldn't help but let a little smile escape him. He arrived in the kitchen where Kagome's mother was taking out a teapot to set on the stove. She set water to boil before taking out the tea leaves and setting them on the counter, so they would be ready when the water was. Then she came and took a seat at the table, indicating that he should sit as well, which he did gracefully. She folded her hands demurely on the table before asking him, “So, Sesshoumaru-sama, what is it you need to discuss with me?”
“The well is sealed,” he stated without preamble, and saw her hands clench, knuckles turning white.
“I…I see,” she said, and he knew by her scent that she was fighting to stay calm. “And Kagome is…”
“Safe in her apartment, sleeping,” he assured her, and saw her relax. She forced her hands apart to lift a stray hair from her cheek and place it behind her ear. The stench of her panic and fear dissipated only to leave sadness in its wake.
“I see,” she said again. “And I'm assuming that means Inuyasha and the others are on the other side?”
He nodded and she sighed. The water on the stove began to whistle, and she stood up to prepare the tea, talking to him as she worked.
“I can't say that I wasn't expecting this day to come…I knew it would happen someday. Kagome was not meant to stay in that time, and I think she realized it, but she just couldn't give it up willingly. A big part of her life was there.”
“Inuyasha,” Sesshoumaru stated.
Her mother frowned in thoughtfulness. “Yes, Inuyasha…of course Inuyasha. But there was also everyone else. They were her family…Sango, Miroku, Shippo, Kirara…she's talked about them so much it feels like I've known them all of my life.” She turned to face him. “How is she?”
“Broken,” he stated simply. “But she will recover, with time.”
“Yes…time. It seems as if time started this whole thing, ne? Past…present…and now her future.” She set down two tea cups on the table and settled back in her seat, taking a sip as he did the same. “Tell me, Sesshoumaru-sama, are you going to be her future?”
He fought to hold the tea in his mouth and keep his face impassive, but she must have seen right through him. “You seemed surprised,” she said, her eyes twinkling. “She has also mentioned to me that she saw you in the past. You can't sit there and tell me that, five-hundred years later, you are sitting at my kitchen table speaking about her and not have an attachment to her.”
He set down his cup and regarded her through narrow eyes. She saw many things and had a knack for seeing through the surface…so like her daughter.
“She's going to need someone to hold onto,” her mother was saying, taking another sip from her tea. “I can only do so much for her, but you've been to where she's been. You most likely know what she's going through, and you seem strong enough to hold her up. She speaks very highly of you, of your honor and goodness, and she has affection for you. I could hear it in her voice. So now, the question is, are you going to be there for her?”
“Yes,” he said, without hesitation, knowing that he would not have to state more than that with this woman.
Her eyes crinkled around the edges as she smiled. “Good.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, listening to the rain outside and the occasional yells of Souta in the living room. Haltingly, she asked, “Inu…Inuyasha…did he suffer? I mean, after Kagome…”
He set down his teacup, not meeting her eyes. “Honestly? Yes, he suffered. He could not forget your daughter so easily, nor this day. It followed him for the rest of his days, but…” A flash of the forest at night filled his mind, a figure lying in the darkness. “But,” he continued. “I think that, in the very end, he found a semblance of peace.”
He met her serious gaze then, and saw the tears hovering on the edge of her lashes. “That's good then,” she murmured. “It would have made things worse if he were left heartbroken.”
He set down his tea and stood respectfully. “I imagine that Kagome will want to speak to me when she wakes up,” he began.
“I understand,” she broke in. “I'll make sure she has a way to you.”
He nodded his thanks and turned to leave the room, leaving behind a woman who had risked everything…her daughter's happiness over safety, never once saying a word against the dangerous time travel…thinking of a boy with golden eyes and puppy ears who hated her curry and could make her daughter's full, beautiful spirit come to the forefront, and mourning the losses of the day.
Still the rain fell…
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Back in the sanctuary of his home office, Sesshoumaru finally allowed himself to lay his head on his desk. He closed his eyes against the cool wood, and just didn't think for a moment, gathering his mental reserves and stamina. The night was far from over. If he were a drinking demon, he would have a nice shot of whiskey on the rocks next to him, but instead he reached into his desk drawer, retracting the small box he had taken from his museum office.
He takes out the familiar rosary beads, feeling their smoothness and the weight of the necklace, before laying it on his desk. `Inuyasha…' he thought, before an unwelcome scent hit his nose. Sighing, he placed the beads back into his desk, just as he heard the yelling start outside his door. His doors burst open a moment later, and he gave a glare to his three uninvited guests.
“Sesshoumaru, why didn't you tell me that you had found Kagome?” Blue eyes flashed angrily at the TaiYoukai. “You knew that we wanted to see her, damn it, and-”
“The well closed tonight,” he said quietly, and that stopped the speaker in his tracks. Serious now, the blue eyes looked behind him to meet striking green and deep violet.
“How is she doing?” the owner of the green eyes asked softly.
“As well as can be expected,” Sesshoumaru replied. “However, I would like to explain to her what has happened these past five-hundred years before she sees you. I am expecting her later, and I will call you when I am ready for her to see you.”
“When YOU are ready for her too?” Blue Eyes spoke angrily. “You are still as pompous as you've ever been. Fine! Keep her from us! You are just going to make it worse for her!” With that, he stomped out of the room, growling the whole time.
Sesshoumaru's amber eyes met Green Eyes across the room. “Why didn't you stop him from coming?” he demanded, and scoffed as the other could not meet his gaze. He looked to the owner of the violet eyes. “And what the hell is HE doing here?”
“Nice to see you too, bastard,” came the reply, and Green Eyes quickly grabbed on to the man's arm and escorted him to the door.
“You know,” he said, “I wonder if you realize that you are the only human who can get away with calling him that. Lesser men have been melted. Just wanted to give you fair warning.” With that, he closed the door behind the man and turned to face Sesshoumaru.
“I trust that you settled her down comfortably?”
“If you mean `cried herself to sleep', yes, she is settled,” came Sesshoumaru's slightly sarcastic reply. A frown was his reaction.
“I think I liked it better when you still SEEMED emotionless…” came the muttered reply. Clawed hands were placed on narrow hips, as he sighed and looked at some point on the far wall. “Kouga might fight for her, you know,” he said almost casually, even though it was a warning. “I'm only saying that because I know how you feel about Kagome, and I don't want you to kill him, no matter how much of an idiot he is. He still thinks Kagome is his, no matter how much time has passed or things have changed.”
Sesshoumaru thought about that. Yes, the wolf might have thought Kagome was his, but he didn't know the half of it. Kagome had never been his. She never would BE his. Sesshoumaru had not waited five-hundred years in anguish over seeing her again, only to have a moron try and sweep her away. That was one thing he was sure of, and if he had to fight for her…
Green Eyes saw the slight smirk on Sesshoumaru's face, and stiffened. It was a hard smile, uncompromising and powerful with some dark emotion. “She is not his,” the TaiYoukai said, standing up slowly and walking out of the room, leaving his guests to leave on their own, giving one parting statement.
“She is mine.”
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There was a pounding in her head, right behind her eyelids and on her temples, causing her to moan. Her skin felt prickly and hot, like her muscles were trying to jump out of her body, and her whole being screamed.
For Kagome, it was not a pleasant way to wake up. Moaning once more, she sat up slowly and put a hand to her forehead, enjoying the coolness on her flushed face. Her eyes felt swollen to the size of balloons and stung with the remnants of salt water.
Yep, definitely a sucky way to wake up. She promised herself then and there that she would never wake up like that again and if she did…wait, why in the hell did she feel like that in the first place?
Suddenly, it all came rushing back in one big gust, and almost bowled her over. She lay back down on her bed, her knees coming to her chest with her arms around them, assuming the fetal position as she rocked gently back and forth and whimpered quietly to herself.
She was trapped in a nightmare…she had to be trapped in a nightmare. There was no way she was never going to be able to see Sango…Miroku, Shippo, Kirara, Kaede…Inuyasha ever again. It just wasn't possible.
`Face it, Kagome…they're gone. You can't see them again. Deep down, you knew this would happen…you can't say that you didn't. You will cry about it, you will miss them, you will remember them and grieve over them, and then you will get on with your life.'
She really hated the practical side to herself. Yes, she knew the pain would eventually fade over time, but right now, her heart felt as if a hot knife were being pressed inside, and it hurt, oh it hurt so much.
Sango…her sister. The girl who had lost so much, yet remained so strong. The woman who fought fiercely to protect those she loved, even though everything had been taken away from her. With a loyal fire cat as her companion, she had become a stable fixture in Kagome's heart, her confidant and friend…and now…
And Miroku, the perverted monk…her soul of wisdom. Behind the straying hands and ability to get into trouble with the opposite sex was a man who knew what it felt like to die a little each day. The Kazaana had been such a burden on him, knowing that eventually he would be sucked into a black abyss to be lost forever…Kagome had never felt happier when she realized that he would never have that fear again. He was their mediator, a skilled fighter, and one who knew exactly what to say at the right time and do the wrong thing at another.
Kaede, who was like her grandmother. The one who took her in when she had no clue where, or in what time, she was. The old woman took her under her wing to guide and give encouragement to…now she was gone forever.
Inuyasha was a part of her heart. Her first love, her first heartbreak, and her source of strength. Her loved had turned from romantic to friendly, and she considered him her fiercest protector. Even though he was the one who needed to be protected from all of the prejudices around him, all of the slander against his blood and species, and protected from the darkness in his own heart. He had known betrayal more deeply than anyone, and yet still trusted a mere human girl. He had almost died for her countless times…and she would never see him again.
And Shippo…a stray tear escaped her eyes as she thought of the orphaned kit whom she considered her own son. The clever fox was a trickster, and though he should have been an innocent child, he had seen more than he ever should have had to.
Even Kouga was lost to her…the demon who claimed he loved her. There would be no such claims anymore.
`But you have Sesshoumaru now…'
Her eyes opened. Yes, Sesshoumaru. What would happen to them now? Five hundred years was a long time, and while there had been something between them, even a small something, was it gone now? Did he still feel for her?
She sat up and slid off of the bed, padding into her small bathroom. She scrubbed her sore face with cold water, and dried off. She looked in the mirror to see her own hollow eyes staring back at her, and wondered how long it was going to take before she was back to normal.
Even though a part of her knew she had never been normal to begin with.
She set the towel down and walked into her living room. It was obvious Sesshoumaru had left her to her own privacy, and for that she was grateful. Now he would expect her to find him, and she would. She still needed answers. She would not be able to let go until she got them.
On her table, there was a note. Curious, she picked it up and saw the neat-handwriting of her mother. Beneath the note were her car keys, and inside, Kagome felt gratefulness to her mother. They would have a long talk later about all that had happened, but right now, she needed to get to Sesshoumaru's.
Driving through town had never seemed so long or surreal to her as it did that night. She felt out of place driving here…but maybe it was the fact of knowing that she was stuck here, in this era of modern technology and steel instead of clear skies and wooden structures. She almost began crying again, but managed to hold off on her tears. She doubted she had many left at all anyway.
Finally, she was able to pull into Sesshoumaru's driveway, and with a pounding and heavy heart, she knocked on the door. Less than a moment later, he was standing at the door, not seeming the least bit surprised to see her. He glanced at her form from head to toe, seeming to make sure she hadn't broken anything.
If only he had looked in her heart…
Motioning her inside, he walked her silently to his office, depositing her gently into a soft armchair and settling a throw blanket over her legs. He left her for a moment to go into the hallway, and Kagome could see him on the telephone. He hung up less than a minute later and walked back to where she was after closing the door. He sat on the floor in front of her comfortably and looked at her expectantly.
She realized that she was to begin the questioning and cleared her throat.
“I…I thought she was going to kill everyone.”
He didn't have to guess as to who she was talking about. “Even if she could have killed everyone,” he said in a slightly scoffing voice that reminded her so much of his old self that she had to stop from tearing up, “she didn't. In fact, she probably managed to save everyone.”
Kagome took a deep breath. “How? What happened after she sealed the well?”
Steadily, Sesshoumaru told her what had happened in the aftermath…of Shikon no Tama's purification, Kikyo's suicide, everyone's reactions. Kagome absorbed it all, silently thanking Kikyo for her sacrifice, yet mourning at the same time. She imagined the pain Inuyasha must have felt after Kikyo died for the second…technically the third time, and how everyone else must have felt.
“And after that?” she asked in a shaky voice when he stopped speaking. “What happened to them afterwards?” `How did their lives go?' she fought to say, but he seemed to understand.
“The monk and taijiya married, as I assume was planned. They relocated back to her slain village and rebuilt it. The monk gave up his vestments to become a father and they had many children that thrived. They were happy, Kagome, even though they were grieving over your departure. I believe that the monk died first…he was very old and an epidemic spread throughout the village. His body was just not strong enough to fight it. The Taijiya left this world soon after him, her body giving up the fight without him by her side.”
Kagome had been crying silently, glad that her friends had led long and happy lives together with each other, yet mourning their deaths. Sesshoumaru continued on, almost gently, “I still have contact with a few of their descendants. If you would like, I will take you to where they were buried. There is a small shrine there honoring the village of the youkai exterminators.”
She nodded her head. “I…I think I would enjoy that…when the time is right.” She hesitated. “And Inuyasha?”
Sesshoumaru broke her gaze, looking off into the distance, lost in his own remembrances.
“He left soon after the well closed, never returning to the forest that was his namesake. There were accounts of a hanyou rescuing random villages here and there from evil youkai, and I know he visited the monk and Taijiya occasionally, but after they were gone…he disappeared.”
Her whisper reached him through the veil of his memories, “Did you see him again, Sesshoumaru?”
She waited a full minute for his answer. Softly, so she had to strain to hear him, he replied, “…yes.”
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Two-hundred and fifty years after the disaster at the well, Sesshoumaru wandered. And wandered, and wandered, and wandered. There was never a destination in mind, just the need to escape his own sorrows and heartache, and he achieved that by roaming.
He felt shock for the first time in what seemed like a century when he felt Tenseiga begin to pulse. Placing a hand on the shaking sword, he knew there was only one reason.
Calm and unhurried, he followed the pull of his sword deep into the forest. Dark shadows followed him, but his vision was perfect. Perfect enough to spot Inuyasha as soon as he came into view.
Saw the dark black hair curled around the hanyou, due to the lack of a moon in the sky, and the pool of blood on the ground beneath him. As Sesshoumaru walked towards his brother, he could smell that death was almost upon him. The hanyou looked much older…jaded…exhausted. Tetsusaiga rested next to him, unsheathed, yet the rusty blade was free of bloodstains. It seems like Inuyasha was the only one sporting wounds.
“Trust you to get into a fight on your weakest night and then lose,” Sesshoumaru said softly, no malice in his voice as he neared the fallen human. He saw one violet eye crack open, opening fully as he realized who was there.
“Yeah, and trust you to be the one who finds me like this,” came the weak reply as the elder knelt down next to him. Silence reigned under the tree for several moments, the quietness of the dark seeming to shelter them. Inuyasha shifted his head away, looking into the trees beyond.
“I'm going to die,” he stated.
“Yes,” Sesshoumaru said.
“I could've take him if I was in my true form…but the bastard took me by surprise and it's a long time until sunrise.”
Sesshoumaru said nothing.
Minutes ticked away as more and more blood fell out of the gashes on Inuyasha, and he coughed slightly. “You know,” he said, his voice oddly choked. “I was thinking about Kagome before you came.”
Inuyasha continued on. “I was thinking about how even though I've lived this long, I will never be able to live until her time. About how I had her by my side for years, and yet it only took one fucking instant to have her taken away. She'd probably be pissed off at me for dying like this.” A laugh came out sounding close to a sob. “I wasn't strong enough to protect her, Sesshoumaru. She was like my family and I couldn't prevent what happened. I was weak.” His face turned to Sesshoumaru again, and he could see the unshed tears. That was Inuyasha's strength…
“But you were never weak, Sesshoumaru,” he said, his voice becoming stronger. “And you will live to see her again, won't you?”
Sesshoumaru nodded slowly, and Inuyasha smiled.
“You better take care of her, or by Kami, I swear I'll haunt you.” His statement was punctuated by another coughing fit, blood trickling at the corner of his mouth.
“Stupid hanyou,” Sesshoumaru said, his voice a bit deeper than usual. “I thought I told you long ago that I am the only one allowed to take your life.”
Inuyasha laughed weakly and replied, “Yeah, well a bastard other than you beat you to it.”
There was quiet again as the wounded man's breathing grew slower.
“Hey, Sesshoumaru?” Inuyasha raised his arms slowly to his neck, and pulled off the necklace that hung there, gripping the impotent beads in his hand. “When you see Kagome again, give her this.”
Sesshoumaru reached out a clawed hand and grabbed the beads from his brother's hand. “Why did you keep them?” he asked curiously.
He didn't think Inuyasha would answer, and when he did, his answer was soft. “To remember…I needed to remember the one person who always thought I was worthy…”
Sesshoumaru clenched his hand around the beads. He remembered all of the battles he had fought against and with the hanyou that was dying on the ground before him, the life Inuyasha must have led, the scorn he had received from himself and all of the world, abandoned by the only family he had. Inuyasha grew up believing he had no strength.
“You are worthy…” he said quietly, and saw Inuyasha's eyes snap disbelievingly to him. “You are worthy to be called my brother and a part of the Inu clan, my clan, our father's clan.”
The hanyou's eyes widened slightly at the statement he had fought for so long to hear. “Keh,” was all he said, but his voice shook tellingly. “Like I ever wanted that title in the first place.” He ended that statement with a smile, and for once, Sesshoumaru smiled back.
His breathing quickly grew labored after that, and Sesshoumaru knew it wouldn't be long. “There is Tenseiga,” he suggested quietly.
Inuyasha's breathing quieted, and Sesshoumaru knew it was the calm moments before death that was taking place. Inuyasha closed his eyes. “No,” he said, his voice fading slightly. “I've…I've been alive a long time, Sesshoumaru, and I've had a lot of things taken away from me. If I don't die today, it will be sometime soon. I've felt my body begin to give up on me even in my hanyou form. It's…I think it's time for me to go.”
“All right,” came the soft reply.
“Remember what I said about haunting you…” His voice was fading.
“I'll remember. Only you would be stubborn enough to follow through with the threat.”
“Damn straight. Take care of her, Sesshoumaru. She's a weak human who needs protection.”
Moments later, the breathing stopped, and the legend Inuyasha passed on into the afterlife, leaving his brother sitting there, still clutching the beads…
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Kagome's voice jarred him out of the memory. “Are you going to tell me about Inuyasha?”
She saw him hesitate. “No,” he said.
She stared at him disbelievingly. “I believe,” he said quickly, “That it is a story best saved for another time.” And as some familiar scents hit his nose, he thanked Kami for their good timing, for once.
She let her tense form relax, even though she was disappointed. “Then tell me about Shippo. Was he happy? Was he taken care of?”
“Excuse me for a moment,” Sesshoumaru said, standing up abruptly and headed to the door, leaving her gaping as he left her. If he was doing this to piss her off, now was so NOT the time to be doing it. She heard muffled voices murmuring in the hallway, and looked at the doors curiously as they opened again to reveal Sesshoumaru, who walked back into the room followed by another man. She gazed at the newcomer, noticing his tall form and dark red hair tied into a high ponytail. Her eyes took in his sharp green eyes and the cunning smile he had playing about his lips, and she felt confused. Something was tugging the back of her mind…
The man stared at her intensely for a long moment, his eyes looking her up and down, drinking in her features. His mouth broke into a wide grin as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Usually,” he said, his voice smooth, “This is the time where I would jump into your arms, but I'm a little too big for that now. How about a hug?”
She stood up, her hands coming to her mouth as the blanket fell off her lap. Tears filled her eyes once more and she let out a shaky gasp. “Shi…Shippo?”
“Hi, Kagome,” he said gently, and in the next moment she was running to him and throwing her arms around him. He squeezed her tightly and closed his eyes, having longed for this moment. When the woman he had considered his mother was taken away from him, it took his mind, that of a child then, a long time to realize that she would not be coming back. When it did sink in, he had cried for a straight week, mourning the loss of his beloved Kagome. He had lived with Miroku and Sango for a time in the village, but once he was old enough, he set out on his own. He grew stronger and more wise with every passing year, using his travels to gain experience, but he never forgot the woman who had loved him. Yes, he had longed for this day a long time.
“Oi, runt, give my woman some room,” an obnoxious voice broke in, and Kagome whirled, gasping. Gazing at his form with shock, Kagome took in the modernized Kouga, grinning wolfishly at her with his blue eyes twinkling.
He waved a hand in salute, leaning against the doorway. “Yo.”
He begins to move forward to give her a hug, and maybe sneak in a kiss, but his gaze met Sesshoumaru's glare, and he stopped. He hated when Sesshoumaru gave him that look…it always promised pain.
“Is it just me, or did the air just get more frigid than it usually does around the bastard?”
Kagome swiveled to meet the new voice, and her knees almost buckled. Long black hair tied into a low ponytail framed a face that housed dark violet eyes, and it looked so familiar to her that her heart ached.
“Inu…Inuyasha?” she whispered.
Shippo placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “No, Kagome, not Inuyasha. This is Inuka.”
“Inuyasha's reincarnation,” Kouga supplied. “Like one lifetime of dog shit wasn't enough.”
“Best watch your mouth, wimpy wolf,” Inuka said back. “I can still wipe it off of you any day.”
“Inuyasha's reincarnation?” she whispered, stopping the oncoming argument with her voice. She walked slowly up to Inuka, who looked back at her seriously. “So then…you don't remember…”
“Keh, of course I remember,” Inuka said cockily, sounding just like Inuyasha used to, that Kagome found herself grinning in response. He jerked his head at Sesshoumaru. “When this guy found me, completely by accident, I might add, we found a way to tap into the memories of my past life. I don't remember all of it…but I remember most. Miroku, Sango, the runt-”
“I would watch who you call a runt,” Shippo broke in, and Kagome noted that he stood a good four inches taller than Inuka.
“I remember Tetsusaiga,” Inuka recalled fondly, cracking his knuckles. “And you,” he finished seriously. He lifted a hand to her shoulder. “I remembered you first.”
A tear spilled over, and Inuka looked panicked. “Oi, don't cry though! It's not something to be upset over!”
“I'm not upset,” Kagome said, wiping her face. “I'm happy, okay?” She looked across the room at Sesshoumaru, meeting his steady gaze. “Happier than I thought I could be right now.” His eyes seemed to glow at her words, but before she could thank him, Kouga took his chance by gripping her hands, just like he always used to do.
“I know you need to recover from all that has happened,” he said seriously, gazing deep into her eyes. He gave a quirk to his mouth. “But, whenever you're ready to become my woman, I'll be right here waiting.”
And Kagome couldn't stop herself from laughing helplessly…
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(Like I said, this story is still far from over. I still have to make the whole bowmchicabowwow happen with Sess/Kag. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Also, I would also like to say that this story has also been nominated for “Best Romance” on the Inuyasha FanGuild site. So, whenever the voting starts there, if you like this story, vote for it. Also, remember that the voting for “A Single Spark” ends April 21st, and this story is nominated there as well. Check chapter eleven for info on that, and even though I think the site is down right now, keep checking it because it really means a lot to me.
Love you all,