A/N: This is the last chapter of Perceptions - I tried to write more but it just wanted to end here. Thank you everyone who came along for the ride!
Hearing from the miko that he had pursued for three moons – until it became clear that she was never going to choose him over Sesshōmaru-sama and that he needed to just damn well move on – that they had cornered Naraku and he was invited to join in the vile hanyō's defeat was a true boon. He needed to get vengeance for his tribe's death, or he would never rest easily again. It wasn't a matter of wanting revenge, specifically. It was more a matter of that unless he could see Naraku's death with his own eyes, he would never, ever be able to believe it had happened. The spider was just too tricky and powerful; or at least, he had been before Sesshōmaru-sama had joined up with Inubaka's group and formed a larger, more cohesive, and stronger pack for himself.
Honestly, Kōga couldn't even resent the crazy-powerful jerk for stealing away Kagome because the damned asshole had Claimed her, and a Claim like that was sort of an enormous deal. Especially coming from somebody who nobody ever thought would find a partner to be with because he'd never wanted one. Finding out that – it was blatantly clear from his actions after he cemented his Claim – in all reality he had been desperately lonely and unhappy made the taste of defeat far less bitter for Kōga. At least he had his tribemates and companions. At least he had always had love and support from everybody around him. Sesshōmaru-sama had clearly not had any of that.
When he arrived at the camp, the entire group stood up and Kagome smiled softly at him, tilting her head. "Welcome, Kōga-kun. Are you ready?"
He flushed a bit and nodded, "Yeah. Ginta and Hakkaku are stayin' with the rest of the tribe to protect it. So we can all go now – wait a minute why is the clay -"
Kagome sharply shook her head and interrupted him firmly, "Kikyō has as much claim to vengeance as you do, if not more considering Naraku engineered her death and Inuyasha's sealing from the beginning. If you have an issue with her helping us out, then you can just leave. We can't afford to be divided."
Coming from someone who had nearly been killed by the clay bitch… well, fine. He would just deal. "Right. Okay then."
They left, and soon were in the clearing where Naraku was hiding. Badly. He would have thought it was a puppet it was so obvious but from the way the hanyō was shaking in rage and tentacles immediately began flying everywhere, this was the real deal. Kōga settled in and begin attacking, keeping an eye on the others.
Sango and Inuyasha used their hiraikotsu and Wind Scar respectively to cut swathes through the masses of tentacles. Kagome and Kikyō shot purification arrows at the hanyō's tentacles, clearing the way towards his body. Miroku used his kazaana to clear the air of the saimyōshō flying around. Sesshōmaru-sama – wait what the fuck?
Sesshōmaru-sama was glowing, and soon he was holding a brand new sword – holy fuck did that come from his yōki? – and then dashing into the melee. Kōga watched as he used his own sword to chop at the tentacles around him, dashing in and out between the others' attacks, and the first time Sesshōmaru cut a bunch of tentacles away, Naraku screamed, the tentacles dissolved into molten puddles of goo, and everybody stopped what they were doing for five full seconds before Inuyasha said, "Well I'll be damned. Way to go, let's finish this bastard off!"
That seemed to breathe new life into everybody, and within no time at all there was a clear, direct path straight to Naraku's body, and Kagome shot an arrow glowing so brightly that it nearly blinded him into the hanyō. Even if it had been blinding, he still would have watched, would have forced his eyes to stay on the scene as Naraku was illuminated from the inside out, screaming in agony before he collapsed into a pile of dust.
It was done. His vengeance was complete.
Now that Naraku was gone, all eyes turned towards her as she pulled the Shikon – in all its purified glory – out of the pouch around her neck, and stated firmly into the air, "The Shikon no Tama is needed no longer, so I wish that it would cease to exist and that the others harmed by Naraku would receive peace and happiness!"
Nobody was expecting what happened next, least of all Kagome. The jewel shot into her chest, and soon she was fallen to the ground, screaming in pure agony as the Shikon forced its way into her body. She soon lost track of everything around her except the searing pain coursing through her form as she writhed on the ground, purification exploded around her, before she was consumed by darkness. "You think you have won, little priestess, but now you are cursed. We cannot die, and now neither can you. It will be a pleasure watching you live whilst everything and everyone around you dies. As you live in agony while those around you attain happiness. Your hanyō love now has his own priestess, your ningen friends have found love in each other, and you will outlive even your son. Enjoy your punishment, miko."
Kagome said nothing, firmly pushing down all the retorts she wanted to make as she floated in the cold, unfeeling darkness. If she was immortal – truly so – then her beloved would be immortal too. The mating bond worked like that. So she wasn't going to be unhappy like it wanted from her.
Finally she was spat out of the darkness and Sesshōmaru gracefully caught her, but now she was in agony again and bit back a scream as stinging shocks of ki coursed through her body. "Ngh! Fuck! T-the Shikon-"
Sesshōmaru sent his yōki into her body through a hand on her forehead, and strangely enough, it helped, as he soothed her, "Shh… Talk when you are hurting less, koishi. It can wait. Your plan was successful, by the way. And I shall not need to withhold judgement, for the once-undead miko is clearly a very different person now that she is alive. You might also find it interesting that an ōkami named Ayame – who happens to be the princess of the Northern tribes – breezed in here not even a quarter of a candle mark ago and announced that Kōga needed to fulfil a promise of betrothal he made to her when they were children."
That caused exhausted giggles to spill from Kagome's mouth, and then Sesshōmaru sat down with her and her son climbed into her lap while her daughter cuddled against Sesshōmaru's side. "Mama, mama!"
"Mama, are you okay?" Her son asked.
Then her daughter went next, "Mama why did it hurt you?"
She shushed them and cleared her throat. "The Shikon wanted to punish me for wishing it away. But it truly couldn't just disappear for good so it merged with my soul. I can't die ever again any more."
Sesshōmaru's pleased intake of breath made everything worth it, as did the gleeful squeals of her children. Yes, she would have to watch many of her loved ones die over the years – but she would forever have her mate by her side, and that made everything golden.
Even though she hadn't wished for herself, her wish came true. Everybody she loved was happy, including herself.