Disclaimer All rights for Inu Yasha belong to Rumiko Takahashi. The legend of the Dragon King belongs to the people of Japan, and we hold no rights to it. This fiction is only for entertainment purposes. And if any part of this fan fiction resembles another it is purely coincidental.

Chapter Seventeen

:Home:

Light crested over the horizon, its weary gloom woke a young woman tucked safely next to her guardian. Large bright eyes fluttered and a huge yawn cracked her mouth open wide, only then to settle into a happy smile.

"Morning Lord Sesshomaru." She called out while standing and stretching her waking limbs.

Golden eyes blinked and a pale head tilted minutely, "Eat your breakfast, Rin."

The child nodded her head, then paused, her nose crinkling in thought, "Lord Sesshomaru, the air is unhappy?"

Sesshomaru held back a sigh; his eyes gazing up to the storm clouds that were still present.

"Yes Rin, the land is unhappy."

The young girl quirked her lip in thought for only a moment before she dove into her morning meal. Her youth allowing her to forget the sadness that hung in the air for a moment while her innocence coiled around her in a protective bubble.

Sesshomaru's gaze remained to the sky a silent sigh escaping his lips.

"Farewell, Kagome."


"Sesshomaru?"

The phone line was silent a moment, "Shippo, where is Mr. Higurashi?"

Shippo tried to quell the burning feeling of dread that was rising up, "He went out for a bit, I can leave a message."

Shippo waited once more for several moments until Sesshomaru's soft voice replied in his normal dead pan way, "Leave a note and get over here immediately. Kagome is dying, I give her maybe another hour."

Fear froze his heart. This was it, he was going to loose his mother once more. Closing his eyes, Shippo leaned against the doorway his forehead pressed against the smooth wall, "I'll be there in as soon as I can."

There was a gruff cough from the other line before it went dead. Shippo slowly lowered his hand from his ear and dropped the phone on the carpeted floor. No matter how many years he had waited for this day to come, it still was a shock and it was all he could do to maintain a strong image. Tears rose to his eyes as he violently swiped them away, he had to get Taro. He had to get Taro to the hospital to see his mother before she went on.

His own anguish pushed aside, Shippo darted for the door, in his haste forgetting his shoes and running as fast as his legs could take him. He couldn't dare to waste any time as his nose tracked Taro's faint scent. It was so much like his father's, a scent he wouldn't forget till the day HE died.

Memories of older days pasted behind his green eyes of another time and another person flying through the air in his haste to get to Kagome. The man that Shippo had considered a healthy mixture of brother and father, a man in red clothing and a nasty right hook.

"I won't let you down, Inu Yasha."


"Its called a spider lily, very rare and often used in folk remedies. It's rather strange that you have one considering they are not indigenous to this area, and of course very rare. Might I ask where you found this?"

Taro gazed at the small white blossom in his hand and frowned, "It was given to my mother, a long time ago as a gift."

The elderly man's eyes widened slightly before he spoke softly, "Ah, well then it was meant to have been a very special gift." His aged eyes flashing briefly before he continued, "would you like to know how to make this into its particular cure?"

Taro nodded faintly, his attention already lost, "Yeah, sure."

The old man chuckled lightly before he pulled out his book and explained the basics Taro would need to know if he ever decided to use the flower. One of the most interesting things about this particular blossom was that even with age and being cut from the ground its medicinal properties didn't fade. So it could be used whenever needed.

An hour later and nearly asleep, Taro bid farewell to the strange old man with his mother's flower in hand. He had just turned to leave when the door literally flew off its hinges.

Violent emerald eyes bore into Taro's stunned violet.

"We have to go NOW, mom is dying!"

Taro froze. The flower in his hand fell to the floor as his legs moved from under him into a fast sprint. Shippo wasted no time and jerked Taro on to his back before taking off into the night once more.

The old man sighed and moved to pick up the flower that had been forgotten. His aged eyes shifted and the wrinkles surrounding them vanished, his weak muscles strengthened and the aged skin brightened. Standing now where an old man had once been was a youthful man with striking yellow eyes.

"I see you didn't remember, Kagome. You didn't take those words to heart."

In a flash of light the man and the building disappeared leaving only an abandoned restaurant in its wake.


White walls with green tiled floors and heavy doors with a tiny view window greeted Taro and Shippo as they burst through the ward Kagome had been moved too.

Intensive care.

Taro held back the feeling of dread that burned down his throat as the neared the nurse's station. Shippo taking charge and asking for thier room, Taro didn't miss the look of pity in the nurse's eyes as she solemnly told them where Kagome was.

She was only 42. 42 and dying of some rare bone disease the doctors had no cure for. He was going to loose his mother at 23, she was dying.

Taro tried to fight the denial that was coming to the surface in such a situation, his face twisting in worry and fear. What would he find on the other side of that door?

Shippo paused before the last door in the hall, his hand clenched the handle tightly and his voice cracked, "Taro, don't let her see the sorrow in your heart. Let her pass on happily, she's been through so much we own that to her."

Taro wanted to glare at the tall youkai in front of him, but he couldn't. He was right; his mom didn't need any more worry than she already had.

"Okay, I'm ready."

The door eased open with Shippo's inhuman strength, creaking lightly before reveling to them both their mother and her doctor.

"Glad to have you join us, your late." The cool tones of Sesshomaru voice broke their hard stares.

Shippo growled softly but otherwise ignored the tall lord his eyes turning and resting on Kagome.

"How is she?"

"She's dying." Though the words were blunt and emotionless, Taro caught a spark of something within the taller man's eyes.

"How much longer, Lord Sesshomaru?"

Sesshomaru started for a moment before sharing with them a rare smirk, "I see the runt has finished your story. Or what he knows of it anyhow. She has only a couple of minutes."

Taro felt his heart clench, and a strange anger burn in his veins, "How the hell would you know? You're not God."

Sesshomaru's golden eyes flashed hinting toward his annoyance, "Boy, I have seen death in many ways. Watched as it took lives before my eyes hundreds of times, do not question this Sesshomaru's words."

Shippo smirked and elbowed Taro in the side, "Biggest clue to when this prick is mad is when he starts speaking of himself in the third person."

"Watch your language and don't insult Sessy..." voice soft and incredibly frail, all members within the room froze and stared hard at the woman lying on the bed.

"Mom?" Taro called out softly, his voice cracking as he held back his tears.

"Taro, I'm glad you're here." Her voice grew weaker with every word she spoke.

"Don't talk Kagome, we're all here now." Shippo sat at her feet his hand reaching out and holding hers.

".. 'M glad, so glad."

Taro had to hold back the hysterical sob that threatened to break free when her once bright eyes slowly dimmed. "Mom, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I wasn't around all the time." Tears sparkled in his dark lashes before falling and rolling down his cheeks.

Dimmed eyes turned toward her son and Kagome smiled weakly, "Come here Taro, I want to hold you."

Taro moved and felt his mother's soft embrace around his shoulders, "You too Shippo, come here."

Both men held their frail mother in their protective embrace, wishing, hoping that somehow their presence would steer death away from his goal. A shiver ran up their spines as Kagome squirmed suddenly, her chest heaving and fists clenching tightly for one final time. "I want to go...let me go..."

Taro choked on a sob that broke free, tears rolling swiftly down his face, "Mom, I, I love you. Go to him. Go to Inu Yasha and, and tell dad I said hi."

Her frame stilled and Taro sobbed. Tears streamed down Shippo's cheeks, his face nuzzled her neck, "Go, go to them mom. You're free now, go, to them."

Both men tightened their arms around the single woman that had meant so much to the both of them. Both men grieved as her embrace loosened to nothing, her thin arms falling against the pink blanket of her hospital bed. Both cried out as her breath left her in one single puff, strangely echoing one word above their sobs.

"Home."

Sesshomaru watched on, his emotionless mask breaking if only for a moment as Kagome's last breath escaped. Her expression was peaceful and he again saw the young woman he had meet 500 years ago.

One elegant hand reached into the side pocket of his white doctor's uniform and wrapped his fingers around and small tuff of paper that Kagome had placed there moments before the boys had arrived. Her expressed wishes were for him to only read it after she had passed on.

Lifting the paper and now reading it, Sesshomaru frowned and sighed. Written in her delicate script she asked one last favor of him.

Sesshomaru crumbled the paper and tossed it aside, 'you owe me for this, wench.'

"Taro Houshi Higurashi, it seems your mother wishes this Sesshomaru to finish your story."


Kagome carefully exited their room, her footsteps silent, experience gained from escaping Inu Yasha. Her faded yellow bag slung over her shoulder as she crept down the wooden hall. Eyes free of tears even though with every step her heart broke a little more.

She had said her good-byes to Miroku the night before, in every kiss, every caress, and every gentle murmur. They had made love several times during the course of the night, both trying desperately to squeeze a lifetime of loving into one simple night.

Shippo had crawled into bed with them sometime close to dawn. Kagome had spent the last couple of hours simply holding him and soothing his worries that he would be all alone again. Miroku had woken during that time and it was him that had eased Shippo's fears, he would never be alone, Miroku would make sure of that.

After both had fallen back to sleep, into the R.E.M. sleep she knew would be their last for the night, Kagome had risen, packed and left. It would be better this way if she was unable to return; there would be tears but even she knew the pain would ease after time.

Her silent footsteps stopped but her head refused to lower, if this were to be her destiny then she would face it as Inu Yasha had taught her. Her head held high.

"Are you ready, my young miko. Have you said your good-byes?"

"I'm ready."

Their trip was silent. Kagome spent these last moments lost in her memories; her hands fingering the necklace she now wore. A long braid of Inu Yasha's silver hair with a single prayer bead, Ryu had only smiled sadly when she told him what it was. This necklace was her memory, it was her "Truth's Tears", something to remind her that no matter what era, the truth would always bring pain and tears.

She had lost so much in such a short time. Her innocence had long ago been taken before Inu Yasha had claimed her. His death alone opened her eyes to the pain that flowed through her veins. Miroku's love re-warmed her heart she had once again found joy and happiness, only for it to be torn away from her mere weeks later. And now as she was walking this dusty path, toward her fate, the only thing keeping her moving, the only thing keeping her emotions from showing was the pain in her soul. Love, anymore, felt more like a poison, a disease, than a comfort. Was it her fate that every time she came to love someone, they would be yanked from her embrace? Was it written in her fate that her heart would continue to ache from being torn from her chest so many times? That her erratic emotions would continue to fuel the fire of cold resentment that burned in her belly? Was that her fate?

Fate was a cold and cruel bitch with a horrible sense of humor.

Ryu sighed, heavy and full of pity for the young woman trailing behind him. He could physically feel the pain, the anguish, the anger that rolled from her aura in waves. There was nothing to do about it; this was the lesson she would have to find answers for on her own. No one could help her with this task; it was her own problem.

They entered the field, standing below them as still as stone was Kagura and Kanna sisters under Naraku. Kagome pressed forward, her heart humming within her breast, the Tama was there with them, she could feel it.

Blood mixing with adrenaline, body readying itself for battle and her mind wiping itself clean of all other thoughts, Kagome continued to move forward. Bow in one hand as the other reached for the slender arrow held in the quiver, she would end this today.

Blood red eyes clashed with brown, calm winds clashing with the violent power of a miko. The battle was over before it started.

Kagura's arm disappeared within the folds of her kimono, pulling from the many folds a small object and tossing it to the young woman standing just before her.

"Take it. This has caused me too much grief."

The shimmer of tainted lavender sparkled in the air for a moment before being plucked from the air. Light flashed as the small orb exploded, small rays of pink and white covered the grassy field and all present covered their eyes.

The light dissipated reveling the soft form of a woman, Kagome gasped.

"Lord of Dragons, King of the seas, this one wishes to return home." Words spoken softly were directed to the man/God standing beside Kagome.

Ryu smiled and Kagome frowned, the man beside her suddenly looked older more tired than the youth she had been traveling with.

"Yes, my Tama lets go home."

Another flash of light and the figure was gone leaving only the jewel, untainted and no longer calling to Kagome while nestled within the palm of Ryu's hand.

Crystalline yellow eyes opened, sending a narrowed glare toward the women standing before him.

"Kanna, Kagura, though your souls were held captive by the beast you have committed actions of your own that have caused the loss of life and the abuse of the power within this jewel. Are you ready to receive the punishment I shall bring down upon you?"

Both were silent. Both stared blankly at the God standing before them. Kagome almost felt sorry for them.

"Kagura you shall be a mortal woman, with all their weaknesses except you shall retain your immorality. Your control of the winds shall be stripped from you and your new lot in life shall be to observe yet never interfere." Bright yellow eyes flashed briefly before turning toward the younger of the two.

"Kanna of the void. Of all Naraku's children you are the most dangerous, you who have been blessed with the ability to kill without regret due to the fact you hold no emotions, no remorse. From this day on, you shall know the ones you have killed intimately as well as no longer continuing to be empty. I give you the power of the 6th sight and emotion. From this day on you will understand the sorrow and the agony you have brought onto hundreds of others before you."

Up till now everything had been anti-climatic, leaving Kagome a burning feeling within her breast that this was all a waste of the time she could have been spending with Miroku and her friends.

Ryu's soft steps alerted her that he was ready to finish.

Kagome paused. Brown eyes snapping quickly to the God's, her throat tightening a single word was barely squeaked out, "Now?"

Ryu nodded. His smiling face never changing, his attitude one that he was doing a great favor and she should be thankful.

Kagome wanted to scream, to cry, and to slap the ridiculous smile off his face. But she was unable to do much more than nod her head and choke back the tears that wanted, begged to fall.

"Alright."

Her eyes closed and she waited; the agony of what was happening tearing her apart. A few wayward tears escaped as Kagome struggled to remain emotionless before the God.

"Are you not going to ask for some other way, my little miko? Are you not going to try to stay here with the ones you love?" Ryu's voice was soft again, a touch of worry coloring them.

"Would it make any difference? Would you be able to stay your powers and let me live here?"

There was silence then the soft exhalation, "No, I fear I wouldn't be able to do so."

Kagome chuckled softly, her eyes opening and gazing into the handsome planes of his face, "Then why bother asking."

Ryu tilted his head and gazed at the woman before him, smiled and nodded his head in understanding.

"Farewell Kagome."

His softly spoken words broke through the dams to Kagome's emotions; her tears flowed hotly down her cheeks. She had sworn to herself that she would no longer cry, but the tears came and as she glanced once more around her taking in the time had become more of home for her than her own, she cried.

Large brown eyes met with turbulent violet.

The light pulsed one last time, enclosing her, trapping her within time and yet the tears remained unrestricted on her cheeks as she sobbed. Forever his expression of pure agony etched into her memory as her legs crumbled from underneath her.

"Miroku."


Miroku ran, his legs propelling him across the tall grasses in speeds he had never known he possessed. He needed to get to her, needed to see her one last time to hold her one last time before she vanished from him forever.

Long robes tangled in the brush slowing his movements in a fit of frustration they were torn from his person leaving him clad in only his pants. A fine layer of sweat covered his chest while he pushed every last ounce of his strength to his legs. Trees flashed by, the trail disappeared and a bright light could be seen just over the last hill.

Fear froze his stomach, "No. No, not yet. Kami not yet."

A clearing came into view, and with it four figures that were slowly being devoured by the light.

"Kagome!" He could see her. His legs cried out in protest as he dashed down the hill, fear in his eyes, "Kagome!"

Tear filled chocolate eyes turned toward him, arms that had held him only hours before reached out for him petal pink lips formed his name.

"Kagome!"

Then the light flashed stronger, enveloping everything within a 50 foot radius Miroku's cry ringing loud throughout the clearing his eyes wide as the light dimmed to nothing. Anger, grief, denial rose up from his throat in a sound of nothing less than pure agony.

"Kagome! No, Kagome, Kami no!" Hot tears fell freely from his eyes, shimmering in his eyes before falling to the cold ground now under his knees. It was over, he had lost her, he would never see her face again, never hear her laughter, never embrace her. She was gone.

"Kagome. Kami, Kagome, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

Winds shifted and a shadow fell over the grieving man, "Miroku would you like to know her secret? Something not even she knows right now."

His face sorrow drawn and tear streaked; Miroku's violet eyes bore into Ryu's, "Fuck you."

Ryu sighed, his face turned toward the clearing she had stood in only moments ago, "Hate me, curse me but know this our Kagome now carries something special. A gift from me and a piece of you," thin lips curved yet the smile didn't reach his yellow eyes, "she carries your unborn son."


Silence surrounded her, enveloped her in its embrace. The air around her was icy yet hot, burning her lungs with every harsh breath.

'I failed them. I couldn't fight back.'

Dewy tears streamed from closed eyes, leaving a trail of glitter behind her as she traveled through time for the last time. The vortex whispered to her, held her close, tempted her to stay between the times, forever. And for a moment she wanted to. She didn't want to go back to a life without, back to a life she no longer felt a part of. She was different now. She was alone.

All alone.

Her tears fell faster. Branding her with pain. No longer did the swirls of time comfort her. No longer did their embrace ease her tattered soul.

She was completely and totally alone.

Heart broken, she curled around her sorrow. Her tears continuing to fall as she fell into a dreamless sleep.

She was all alone...


The first thing Kagome realized was her head hurt, bad. She wondered briefly where she had last put her bottle of aspirin only to suddenly realize that she was no longer in the past but lying upon her bed.

Her headache quickly forgotten she shot up from her bed and dashed out her room, not even acknowledging her family as she ran out the door and into the well shrine. Praying the entire time that this was nothing more than a horrible nightmare she leapt into the well and fell only to crumble at the bottom against the hard ground. A loud snap echoing throughout the slender well alerting to her that something had been broken. But she couldn't cry, tears wouldn't come she was frozen with fear and denial.

"No. No, no, no, NO, NO!" Her voice frantic as her cries turned to screams and her screams turning to sobs. "No, Kami No! Please, no, Oh Kami no, please." Small thin nails raked against the cold packed dirt digging frantically, hopelessly pleading for the rip in time to appear and let her pass.

"Its no use, stop it Kagome, just stop."

Kagome stopped, tears streaming down her face in sorrow. Of all the people to pull her back, it had to be him, it had to be the same man, no, God that had taken her away from the ones she loved in the first place.

"I hate you."

Tenderly, Ryu reached down and lifted her huddled form into his firm arms, "I know, but for now let's go inside, I have some things I must share with you."

Kagome nodded, her hair keeping her face hidden from the God that carried her effortlessly in his arms.

Dark eyes stared into bright yellow; tears long ago dried still shimmered just beneath the surface. Tan bindings held still the wrist that had been broken as the soft tick, tock of Kagome's living room clock the only indicator that time still continued. Everything else was silent.

"Tell me what happened to them, please Ryu you owe that to me."

Almond eyes closed briefly soft husky words filled the void of silence that hung over the air. Kagome's family staring in awe at the man that sat beside Kagome, their attention riveted to the words he spoke and the tears they brought to Kagome's eyes.

"Miroku was quite upset with me after you left. It was only years later that he finally forgave me for taking you from him, I have Sango to thank for that." Ryu chuckled softly to himself as he delved through his memories from the 500 years ago.

"Did they marry?" Kagome fought down the bitter resentment that those words brought to the surface. She wanted to be happy for them, but her feelings for Miroku were still far too fresh.

Ryu smiled, "Yes. They were married one year to the day you left, and ten months later they were blessed with their only child, a daughter."

A soft genuine smile touched Kagome's lips, "What did they name her?"

"They named her Kimiko, or Kimi for short. She was quite the interesting child, I will tell you that. Taking after both her parents equally, everything from Miroku's lecherous ways to Sango's weaponry skills." Ryu paused to laugh as more memories flashed behind his eyes, "she possessed none of Miroku's spiritual powers, but she had no need for it. Miroku was quite the protective father and if that didn't scare the young men off, Sango finished the task quite well enough on her own."

Kagome chuckled as she imaged her friends sending threatening glares at any young man who happened to show interest in their daughter. The laughter died away, however, as another question rose to her mind.

"Did, did Miroku ever tell Sango what happened? About him and I?"

Ryu nodded his ageless hand reaching out and clasping Kagome's own, his words gentle as he continued with his story, "Miroku never forgave himself for letting you go, that was his only regret as he passed on. And yet he understood that even with the Gods blessing, your relationship was never meant to be. Sango healed him; she had filled the gap that his loss of you created. And as for telling her what had transpired while she was away for those few short months? He was bouncing his second grandchild on his knee when the story finally came free. Sango was a good, smart woman, she had already assumed something had transpired between you two to leave such an aching gap within his heart. And when he finally told her, she had merely smiled and spoke softly that she was happy he had finally told her."

Kagome didn't bother to fight back the tears as they fell this time, she was happy for her friends. Happy that Miroku had allowed himself to love again, and happy that it had been Sango to heal his heart.

Sango.

Her sister, her best friend, she had never gotten the chance to say goodbye. Her last memory was watching as she flew away on Kirara's back to bury her brother.

Tears were still rolling down her cheeks and Kagome sought to change the topic, "What happened to Kimi? You said grandchildren, so I assume Sango and Miroku finally allowed her to marry."

At this Ryu actually laughed. His sudden reaction confusing Kagome, "Ah, yes. Well, Kimi did marry. However, her chosen husband sent her father into quite the rage." Eyes twinkled wickedly as Ryu leaned closer to Kagome and whispered softly, "You see, she married a Lord. But not any Lord, she married the Lord of the Western Lands."

Kagome gasped, her eyes widening comically, "Excuse me?!"

Ryu chuckled lightly before continuing, "Yes, she married our favorite youkai, Lord Sesshomaru."

Stumbling over her words Kagome sputtered in shock, "But how, what about Rin?"

Ryu sighed, his eyes turning toward the window and gazing across the concrete, "Rin died in childbirth with their second child. The Tensaga did not activate when Sesshomaru attempted to bring her back. It was her fate to die that day, just as it was Kimi's fate to heal the youkai's broken heart."

Kagome smiled a sad smile as she took in the information, "How is he? Sesshomaru, I mean. Is he still around?"

Ryu snorted. "Why don't you ask him next time you stop by the hospital, he's the director of Tokyo Hospital. Arrogant prick. But he is one of the best I will admit to that."

"So his hatred of humans was cured then?"

"Nope, still hates you with every ounce of his youkai body, but even he understands that in this day and age money and power are what you need to stay at the top." Kagome smiled as a wicked glint came into Ryu's eye, his voice dropping into a soft whisper, "That and his wife would kick his not so holy butt if he even thought of returning back to the way he was."

"Wife? Is Kimi still alive then?"

"I'm sorry but no, she was merely mortal and though I wish there would have been some way, some things are best not changed. No our wonderful Lord has found a new love of his life in the form of a cat. Feisty as hell but just as protective of all seven of his children, she's barren you see."

"Seven? Wait, how many are his and Kimi's?"

Ryu smiled, "Two, and both sons. Though it was his eldest son from their union that gave him the most problems."

With Kagome's frown, he continued his eyes dancing with repressed amusement, "Their eldest son, Kyou I believe, was a lot like another friend of yours. That boy was a living bundle of trouble and caused Sesshomaru many, many years of problems." His eyes twinkle mischievously as he continued, "he swore his brother had come back to haunt him in the form of his own son, with the amount of mischief the child got into."

Kagome giggled, "That bad, huh?"

Ryu shared in her laughter for a moment before continuing, "Oh yes, and at times much, much worse. But he was intensely proud of the boy, you see, he was making up for the mistakes he had made with Inu Yasha through Kyou. Their resemblance was uncanny, though Kyou didn't have nearly as many horrid habits as Inu Yasha did, Sesshomaru made sure his son understood he was loved."

"He even gave Kyou his brother's sword." His words were spoken so softly Kagome barely had caught them.

"I had wondered. Kadae had held on to it when Miroku and I started our quest, how did Sesshomaru get a hold of it?"

"Ah that, my dear miko, is for another time. I fear I must be going, but I do want to give you one last word of advice. Sesshomaru may not have changed much of his opinion on humans, but he will protect you. Go to him first and foremost for any care you may need to receive, with him as your doctor, you will be in good hands."

Ryu simply smiled at Kagome's quizzical expression, in a few months time she would fully understand the impact of his words.

Slowly, he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to Kagome's brow, "Farewell Kagome, I will see you again." And just as mysteriously as he had appeared, he disappeared. Leaving Kagome with her family and a new life to live.

That was the last time Kagome ever saw the Dragon King, and after three months had passed her mind was quickly focused on something other than the God she had travelled with.

She was going to be a mother. She was going to bare Miroku's first born son.


"That is your mother's story, Taro. The story she had often candidly called her "Truths Tears". This is the secret she lived with, suffered with, as you grew up. The truths that haunted her, the loved that tortured her and the sorrow that never left. She tried many times to tell you, but as you got older, she grew afraid of the day you would confront her with the questions she was both dreading and hoping you would ask."

Turning away. Sesshomaru gazed out the single barred window to the world outside. Memories of another time flashing in his mind, his voice softer as he finished.

"She has this Sesshomaru's respect."

Minutes later, two men left the room the woman they loved had died in. Quietly saying their good-byes as they walked numbly away to start the procedures for her final wishes. Leaving a once great Lord turned doctor to care for her remains, placing their trust in him that she would be taken care of.

Sesshomaru stood beside the bed, his eyes gazing down upon the peaceful woman. Eyes softening as he pulled a sword from his side, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss upon her forehead and laid the sword over her form.

"Tetsuiga will lead you to my brother. Farewell Kagome. Farewell my Rin." With one last lingering kiss, Sesshomaru left the woman that had once been his love and the woman that now belonged to his brother.

"Take care of her brother."


Epilogue


"I want to stay with you. Will you let stay with you, Inu Yasha? I promise I won't leave you, I'll be here for you always."

"Oi! Get up! Or are you planning on laying around all damn day."

"You are mine, Kagome. I claim you."

Bright eyes flew open, a sudden sensation of peace fluttered over her limbs, her voice cracked as she spoke softly, "Inu Yasha?"

"Don't leave me. Inu Yasha! No! Inu Yasha don't leave me!"

A flutter of red and white moved into her line of vision, "who the hell else would be here waiting for your sorry ass." Though the words were spoken gruffly she could hear the tenderness within.

"Go to him. Go to Inu Yasha and, and tell dad I said hi."

Tears streamed from her eyes and she launched herself into his arms, "Inu Yasha!"

"Home..."

An embrace she hadn't felt for years closed around her, a voice that had haunted her dreams soothed her, "Shhh Kagome, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere. Kami, I missed you."

Kagome laughed and sobbed in his arms, her hands reached up and cupped his face as she kissed him. A kiss she had nearly forgotten warmed her heart, she was whole again, the piece she had been missing was finally replaced. He was here, he was real!

"Lady Kagome, it's good to see you again." A voice she would never forget greeted her from behind. Her lips pulled away and a gasp pushed from her lips, "Miroku?!"

Inu Yasha snorted softly, his embrace tightening before releasing her, "Monk, you have terrible timing." Was his deadpan response.

"Miroku?" Inu Yasha helped her stand, his hand rubbed soothing circles on the small of her back.

"Yes Kagome, its me." His smile once more melted her insides and Kagome reached forward.

"Oh Miroku!" Her body was now encased in the second set of arms that she had missed so much during her life.

Miroku smiled, his head lowered to nuzzle her neck, "We have missed you, Kagome."

She pulled out of his embrace and laughed, her hand lifted to caress his cheek her eyes intense, "He looks so much like you, I wish you could have met him."

Miroku smiled fondly, his right hand covering hers, "I am proud of our son, I have always been close by. There was nothing they could do to keep me away from at least seeing him."

"Oh? I distinctly remember someone getting into quite a bit of trouble for groping the wrong woman in order to gain access to the living world." Genteel tones of a woman Kagome had at one time considered her best friend and sister, brought tears to her eyes once more.

"Sango!" The women embraced as the men watched both smiling as the last piece finally fell into place. Kagome, their Kagome, had returned to them.

"We have waited for so long to see you again. We have never left your side, your sorrow was our sorrow, your joy our joy as we watched you through the years. We have missed you so much, Kagome. It's good to finally have you home."

Her soul rejoiced, she was home. She was finally surrounded by the people she loved; she had missed them for so long.

"Ya, ya. Yadda, Yadda, can we go now? 500 years is a long time to wait on an empty stomach."

Kagome laughed, Sango rolled her eyes and Miroku smirked, "Ah but Inu Yasha, we still have to wait for Shippo."

All was silent until the peace was broken by a familiar cry, "WHAT!?"

FIN


A/N

Mystic: ((pulls out ski mask and frowns)) haven't we already tried this?

Inca: ((grins and begins to pull out an arsenal of heavy weaponry)) yes and no.

Mystic: ((sweatdrops)) what's all that for?

Inca: Well, since TT is finished and we can't rely on the generosity of our reviewers for our Pepsi donations....

Mystic: ((O.O)) Please don't say what I think you're going to say...

Inca: ((pulls down mask and laughs)) We're going to raid Pepsi corp. again!

Mystic: ARE YOU FREAKING NUTS!?

Inca: ((cackles insanely))

Mystic: -.-;; Never mind.

And here it is. We won't go into how incredibly difficult the final chapter was or how we could have easily written 2 more chapters. The life of this story was over with this final chapter, simple as that. We want to thank each and every one of you for your support, comments, occasional flame and devotion to this story. All of you have made this fiction so much more enjoyable for us to write as you followed with us through hard times and writer's block. Thank you all so very much!

For the fans of TT we would like to pose a question to you all. We have purposely left this story open for side stories, we are willing to write them if there is an audience that is willing to read them. If we get enough responses, then we will write them.

Link for the flower that Ryu gave Kagome, just remove the spaces:

http :altnature. com/ gallery/ spiderlily .htm