~Broken Petals: Epilogue~

Hey ya'll! The last chapter to Broken Petals, sequel to Unshed Tears! Woo! We've finally made it to the end. I had a lot of fun writing this for you and I hope you had fun reading it. Here is your last chapter. I will try to make this go out with a bang!

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Ryu was glued to the picture album. Sakura was playing with her little sister, Mikomi. They had grown up a lot and it was much different than when they were children. Kurama walked in the door, frowning.. until he saw his mate. Botan greeted him with a bright smile and kissed him gently.

"How was work?" She asked, her eyes shining.

"It was okay." Mikomi, Ryu, and Sakura raced over to smother their father in hugs and kisses and questions. "One at a time, please!" He laughed. "At least let me get through the door!" He closed the door and sat down on the couch. Botan stared fondly at them. They had been married for eight years. Ryu and Sakura were both eight and Mikomi was six. She had never been happier. Kuronue and Nariko now lived in the house next door. They had two beautiful little boys. Yuusuke and Keiko had a baby boy. Yukina and Kuwabara had a little girl. Hiei was single and still the same good ol' little koorime.

"Kurama, I'm going over to Shizuru's to help her." Shizuru was pregnant and a newly wed. She had met some guy and they just hit it off. "She wants me to take little Mikomi."

"Okay." He smiled slightly. "When are you going?"

"In a few hours." She answered. "I'll make all of you dinner first." She smiled and walked into the kitchen. She thought about her children.

Ryu had dark blue hair with silver streaks and a silver strand of hair on each side of his face. He had bright amethyst eyes, like hers. He had a slight temper but he was good-natured. He was very polite and caring.

Sakura had red hair with the silver streaks and a silver strand of hair on each side of her face. She had pretty jade green eyes, just like Kurama's. The girl was happy, almost cheerful. She had a slight temper and was very polite and caring.

And last was little Mikomi. She was a bit of an oddity but she was beautiful. She had green hair with silver streaks and a silver strand of hair on each side of her face. Her eyes were a golden amber color that was probably the characteristic of Youko. She was sweet and charming with a dangerous air around her. She was strangely almost full demon. They had trouble hiding her fox ears from the world. The doctor had trouble believing it and thought he had eaten too much hospital food.

Botan smiled dreamily. She was never happier. A knock at the door brought her thoughts to a halt.

"I'll get it!" She opened the door and found Yuusuke there, grinning widely.

"How's my favorite assistant?" He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She smiled at him.

"I'm fine, Yuusuke. How are you?" He nodded. "What about Keiko and little Ringo?" He nodded again. "What are you doing here?"

"I came over to borrow a cup of sugar."

"Two blocks for a cup of sugar?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Still as sharp as ever, I see." He walked in and closed the door behind him. "Actually, I'm here for a visit. Keiko's cleaning house again."

"That's more like it. You just don't want to work." She put her hands on her hips.

"Caught me with my hands red!" He laughed then gave her a look. "No telling Keiko, right?"

"No, I suppose I won't.." She narrowed her eyes at him.

"I did my share of work yesterday! Today was my only day off since last week!" Kurama and the others came out to see him. "Hey, Kurama! How's my favorite fox-boy?" Botan sighed and sweat-dropped.

"I'll set another spot for dinner."

"Uncle Yuusuke!" Mikomi said, pulling on his pant-leg to get his attention. He reached down and picked her up. He tweaked one of her small silver-furred ears and kissed her cheek.

"How are ya, shrimp?" He asked, smirking at her. Her face lit up.

"Happy." She said. "I'm goin' wit' mommy to see Auntie Shizuru today." He smiled and turned to Botan.

"That's right. I forgot you were goin' over. How is she doing?"

"She's doing all right. She just needs a little help and a little company now and then. Jiro can't do it all when he's working those long hours. Three months already." She walked back into the kitchen. Yuusuke went with Kurama into the living room and sat with him. Ryu and Sakura sat down on the floor, playing with their toys. Mikomi stayed in Yuusuke's lap.

"How are you two doin' after eight years of marriage?"

"It doesn't even seem like we're married." Kurama admitted. "What about you and Keiko?"

"Well.. she still hits pretty hard.." He smiled. "Nah, it's still the same." He sighed.

"Father life is treating you well?" Kurama asked, ruffling Mikomi's hair gently.

"Of course it is. Ringo is just like me. Rough around the edges but the best damn person on the inside." Yuusuke said with a proud look on his face. "He's with Keiko. She wanted him to help out.. I feel bad for the poor little guy." Ryu got up and sat on his father's lap. Sakura sat on the other half of Kurama's lap.

"And I can't feel my legs half the time.." He smiled. Botan came back in a little while later.

"Time to eat."

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Shizuru sat at home, eating non-fat foods and other such things that she was craving. She needed to eat some ice cream and chocolate.. not to mention pasta and pizza.. She was craving weird things. She was currently eating yogurt.

"Botan.." She couldn't cook so she was waiting on her friend to come. Suddenly, a knock came at the door then it opened. A little girl ran to her and jumped up onto the couch, hugging her. "Hey, shrimp." Botan came in next, bringing in a container.

"Brought some spaghetti for you. Stopped at the store and got ice cream and some chocolate, too." She said, sitting down with a sigh.

"Auntie Shizuru!" Two young voices chirped. Ryu and Sakura ran in with Yuusuke and Kurama behind them. Shizuru sweat-dropped.

"Family outing?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Husband and freeloader didn't want to stay there with the other two." Shizuru laughed, staring at the two boys, who blushed lightly and looked away. "I guess I can't ask for much more than this."

"Are you exhausted?" Botan nodded. "Motherhood or being a wife?"

"Wife is more exhausting. Keeping up with the husband.." Botan smiled at Kurama, who looked insulted. "I'm kidding. Kura-chan helps out a lot. Being a mother can take a lot out of you."

"Thanks for helping me out. Jiro just isn't here enough." She set her hand on her stomach. "Hand over the spaghetti." Botan laughed.

"I was waiting for you to say that." She handed over the container with a fork.

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Night was settling over Japan; a star-filled night without a cloud in sight. A gentle yet cool breeze blew through the streets and alleyways, rustling tree branches, blowing against windowpanes, and nipping at anyone who was outside. Botan prepared her children's beds, smiling as she pulled the sheets to the side. She turned around when they came in, done with their baths and ready for a bedtime story. Botan always loved to tell them of the true tales of the spirit detective and his team of willing and brave fighters. Mikomi was the last to wander in, her amber eyes showing weariness.

"Into bed with you." Botan said softly, lifting her up and setting her into bed. Kurama came in, drying off his hair and face. "Did you get another bath?"

"Of course. Happens every time I give them their baths." He looked at the kids, who laughed and hid themselves under the blankets. "What story are you telling them tonight?"

"Well.. I was thinking of the one where my brave heroes entered the Dark Tournament." She answered. He turned around.

"In that case, I think I'll go and get ready for bed." Botan crossed her arms.

"And why is that?" He stopped and turned around, a sheepish grin on his face.

"Because I relive the memory every day.." He trailed off, turning back around and leaving. Botan knew she wouldn't get far in telling it. They would be fast asleep before she got to the ending of the first battle.

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Botan flipped on the light of her room, leaning against the door frame. She crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow when he looked up at her.

"They love to hear about their father.. but he never tells them about his battles and his hardships. You know that they will get their urges to fight and you will feel that anxiety and worry. You can tell them about the pain of battle.. I never could. I never fought." She sat down on the edge of their bed and rested her hand on his. "I can never prepare them for what they will feel."

"Nor can I, Botan. It is different for everyone. I can tell them of mine.. but it will not be similar for them. They are half-demons and I am not. The thrill of battle and the nature of pain will feel differently to them." Kurama replied with a shake of his head. She nodded.

"They will want to hear from you about those battles someday."

"And, when they are ready, I will." She got up and turned off the light, walking through the dark to the bed. She lay down and felt his arms wrap around her, banishing the chill of the unused blankets. She snuggled closer to him and smiled.

"I love you."

"I love you, too." He smiled and sighed, shifting slightly to get more comfortable for the long night's sleep that awaited him.

"'Night." They said in unison.

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The End.

-_-; Another fic has come to an end. Prepare for others ending as well.. I'm not exactly certain which ones are the closest. I know that DP will be ending soon.. just how soon, I have no clue! ^_^; There will be some new fics. I'll be changing them in my.. info thing.. so yeah. Check that out soon and it'll be updated.

Thank you for your patience and for your reviews. Your comments made me happy. I was pleased to know that many of you liked this! I am proud.

-Jess a.k.a. MysticBluAngel