This is the second and last part of this. Read, review, enjoy. ^^;
**Choices to Be Made**
Clutching the jewel to my chest, I let out a sigh. Whatever decision he makes… I'll be okay with it… I think. I thought to myself as I reflected on my earlier thoughts regarding what InuYasha would choose to do with the jewel. I shook my head and made my way over to the Goshinboku that I knew InuYasha was lounging in at the moment. "Neh, InuYasha," I looked up and inquired softly.
He made a slight noise acknowledging my presence and quickly leapt down from the branches, landing with a soft thud in front of me. I cleared my throat and looked to my feet.
"So… what were you doing up there?" I managed to get out. I was pretty sure I knew what he had been doing. He'd just achieved one of his life goals of defeating Naraku and was probably fairly overwhelmed with thought regarding it. However, I was nervous, and I wondered if InuYasha sensed that at all. I could see him surveying my expression for a moment before simply shrugging.
"Thinking and… stuff. Keh- why do you want to know?" I smiled to myself, typical InuYasha answer.
"Just wondering… I uh…" My sentence was cut off when InuYasha's eyes averted to the object I held in my hands.
"Kagome!" His eyes widened, "What are you doing with the Shikon?" I opened my mouth to explain but InuYasha continued. "You're going to get yourself killed stupid! Youkai are going to come after that thing and… at this time of night…"
"It's for you!" I stammered out before he could finish reprimanding me. InuYasha jumped back, a startled look in his eyes.
"The Shikon no Tama. It's yours InuYasha." I repeated myself quickly, still nervous and hesitant about it all, then moved a bit closer to him and switched my gaze to his hands, which he held clenched at his sides. The look on his face was one of pure astonishment, and he seemed rather frozen in surprise. I took advantage of this opportunity and shakily reached over to clasp one of his hands gently in my own, and to carefully unclench his fist. I placed the jewel in his opened hand, closed his fingers over it. With a cautious smile, I took the hand I had placed the Shikon no Tama in and pressed it up against his chest.
"You're giving it to me?" He finally managed to stutter. I simply nodded. "Why?" the tone of his voice was cautious, yet curious and questioning, a tone of voice I rarely from him. I sighed and looked him straight in the eyes, before faltering a bit and averting my eyes to InuYasha's chest, where he still held the jewel.
"I decided a long time ago InuYasha," I said delicately. "You originally set out on this journey with me so you could complete the Shikon no Tama for your own use. You've worked hard and I… I want you to have it." InuYasha unclenched his fist and began to roll the jewel in his hand.
"I trust you InuYasha." I smiled and made complete eye contact with him. This time my gaze did not waver. InuYasha quickly looked away from me, and a frown crossed his face as he stared at the object in his hand.
"There's nothing I can do with this." He stated simply. My heart jumped in my chest and I grinned widely. InuYasha gave me a strange look when he noticed my beaming smile but continued. "I won't use it but… I'll keep it."
"InuYasha." I said relieved. To tell the truth, I knew deep within me that InuYasha would make the right decision. I trusted him wholeheartedly. But… it still felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest.
"What happened to Kikyou… I don't want it to happen, and I don't want..." He lowered his voice to a hoarse whisper--- the tone he used when he was most concerned, "I don't want you hurt either." I found myself with a light blush.
"I understand." I replied after a moment of thought. "Thank you," I finished gently. InuYasha nodded and continued.
"So I'll keep it… I'll guard it and I can keep it safer without… bad stuff happening." He cut himself off. I could tell he was nervous, but that was okay, I was just so pleased with the decision he had made.
"Fine then InuYasha," I beamed cheerfully. "You can guard the Shikon but… I'm going to help you." InuYasha crossed his arms across his chest.
"Keh- like I need help!" He retorted quickly.
"How do you know you won't? I want to help, and I'm supposed to anyway!" I answered a bit playfully. InuYasha crossed his arms.
"Well fine, but I'm still not gonna need it!" He argued rather lamely. I shook my head and shrugged good-naturedly, in too cheery a mood to even argue. I then proceeded to snatch InuYasha's free hand in mine. His face reddened a bit, but he clasped his hand around mine in return.
"Let's go back to the village InuYasha." I paused and looked over to him, "It's getting late." InuYasha nodded and we began a slow paced walk together to Kaede's hut, both of us taking our time, and both of us, thinking on what the future had in store. I'm glad it happened this way. If InuYasha and I protect the Shikon together, if we trust each other like we have for so long… everything will be perfectly okay. I just know it will be.
A.N.- This fic was once part of a huge post battle with Naraku perspective piece called "Aftermath." I decided some parts of it will never be written, but most likely many planned parts will be posted as one shots at later points. ^^