A/N: This is so heartbreaking! I loved writing this story and now it has to end. It's highly unlikely that I'll be writing a sequel. I just think this epilogue will be enough closure to the story. Besides, I'm already working on my next story called "The Broken Miko". It's a Sess/Kagome fic and the first chapter will be posted sometime next week. I'm also beginning to formulate another Inu/Kagome story, an AU based on the fairytale "Thousandfurs" – the original version. See the bottom for a list of all the reviewers I've had so far for this story. I love you all!

Golden Fire


My heart leapt in joy as Ah-Un landed softly in Sesshoumaru's courtyard. It was good to be here again. While sliding off the dragon's back, I could hear the guards calling to Jaken that we had arrived.

"Um, Kagome? Mind helping me out here?" Inuyasha's voice came to me as I stared at Sesshoumaru's palace in awe. Every time we visited, I was amazed at my brother-in-law's good taste. I turned around to face my husband and began laughing when I saw that our one month old baby, Toshi, had tangled his tiny fingers into Inuyasha's forelock of hair. His face was twisted in pain as our son tugged on it.

I lifted our little tyke out of his arms and carefully extracted the white hairs from Toshi's hand.

"Aunt Kagome!" yelled a tiny voice.

Cradling Toshi, I spun around to see my three-year-old nephew, Haruko, running towards us. He had been named after his maternal great- grandfather, who still commanded Sesshoumaru's army, but he was practically the mirror image of his father. Inuyasha moved in front of me and captured him, swinging the laughing boy up into his arms so he wouldn't barrel into my legs. "Hey there, kid," he greeted the tiny copy of Sesshoumaru. I grinned as I watched Haruko hug his uncle.

"Hi Uncle Inuyasha! Where were you? You've been gone a really long time." He pulled back and pouted as he brushed away his blue hair, the only indication that he was also Yuki's child.

"We've only been gone a few months, Haruko," I answered. "And now you have a new baby cousin." I showed him the now sleeping Toshi.

His eyes grew wide and he smiled at me. "Oh, okay." He peered closer. "Rin will like him a lot." Haruko's smile grew wider as he spoke of his human sister. Sesshoumaru and Yuki had officially adopted the little girl after Naraku's defeat. Over the past five years, she had grown quite a bit and I knew that, human or not, many youkai would be asking for the adorable girl's hand in marriage when she came of age.

Just then, the girl herself appeared at the top of the steps that led into the palace. "Aunt Kagome! Uncle Inuyasha!" she called as she ran down the steps.

"Don't run, Rin," a cold voice spoke out from the dark doorway. Rin stopped in her tracks and smiled sheepishly as Sesshoumaru and Yuki appeared.

"Yes, Sesshoumaru-sama." Rin had never gotten used to calling the Western Lord 'father', but he didn't seem to mind.

Shippou, who had been asleep on Ah-Un's back, immediately woke up and ran to his best friend with a cry of happiness. "Rin-chan!"


Yuki patted the now chattering pair on their heads as she passed and moved towards us. I grinned at my friend and sister. She had been the one who was so insistent on keeping our odd family together. Sesshoumaru had actually acquiesced to his mate's requests of constant visits. "Kagome- chan. I've missed you and Inuyasha so much." She smiled down at the bundle in my arms. "And this must be Toshi. He's adorable." She lightly touched the white ears that topped my son's head and he opened his eyes to reveal his golden orbs. "A true hanyou. He really does look like you, Inuyasha. Congratulations."

"Thanks for sending the dragon so we wouldn't have to spend a week walking here with the kid. Dragon's a lot faster," Inuyasha said offhandedly, as he glared at Sesshoumaru. As much as my husband liked Yuki and Haruko, the two brothers had only achieved strained civility with each other.

Yuki and I ignored their looks. "Where are Kohaku, Sango, Miroku and the children?"

I laughed. "Kirara had them on her back, but they stopped awhile back because of the children fighting. They'll be here soon, I'd imagine."

"That's what you get when you have three children in five years," Yuki answered with a laugh of her own. "When they grow up, they'll be the greatest of friends though."

"Probably. Sango keeps swearing that she won't have any more, but you know how they are."

"Like they have rabbit demon blood in them? Yes, I know." Yuki laughed again as she gathered her son from Inuyasha's arms. "So, little brother, is fatherhood agreeing with you?"

Inuyasha flattened his ears against his head. "Yeah... although I think I'm going deaf."

Yuki touched noses with Haruko and the boy giggled. "Yes, I'm aware of the strength of babies' lungs."

"I never made a noise, right Mommy?" asked the tiny demon.

The Western Lady opened her mouth but didn't speak for a moment. Finally, she put him down and gave him a gentle push towards Sesshoumaru. "Go ask your father." She straightened up and gave me a half-smile. "I don't like being cliché, but that excuse comes in real handy sometimes." She let out a breath. "Well... let's get you two and that baby inside where it's warmer."


Sango, Yuki and I watched as our seven collective children played on the floor, under the watchful eye of a youkai nurse and a teenaged Kohaku. Haruko had been right; Rin had been holding Toshi as much as possible in the last few hours.

"Mom! Akio and Kimi are picking on me!" wailed Midoriko, Sango's youngest child and second daughter.

"Stop it you two," warned Sango, without so much as a flinch.

"You've really taken on the mother role in the past five years, haven't you?" asked Yuki.

The demon exterminator sighed happily. "Yes, well... that happens when you have a four year old, three year old and a two year old all at once." She ticked off her children on her fingers.

I smiled at my friend's obvious bliss, even if it was a noisy bliss. "Well, I think the ones who have really changed are our husbands... err, mates. Whatever." Inuyasha and I had both ceremonies performed for us, so that we would be recognized as what we were by both demon and human alike. "Anyway, I think that fatherhood really agrees with them. They've become... sweeter somehow."

Yuki looked at the men on the side of the room. They were evidently discussing the latest battles in the nearby lands, if their serious expressions could be any indication. Sesshoumaru was digging his claws into the armrest of his chair. "Um, darling?" Yuki called across to her mate. "Let's not replace that chair again." He glared at her and she turned back to me, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, real sweethearts."

I watched the Western Lord and blushed as I remembered my old question. "Yuki... I've been wondering this for years... What's the fluffy thing around Sesshoumaru's shoulder?"

Sango burst out laughing, causing everyone to look at us. Yuki just grinned and stood up. "I'll do better than tell you. I'll show you. Haruko," she called to her son. "Come here."

"Yes, Mommy?" The child looked up at his snow demon mother in adoration. It was rather amazing that she was such a wonderful mother, considering that she had attained the position of being Sesshoumaru's deadliest assassin as well as his mate.

"It's time for a nap. Ask your father to take you to bed, okay?"

"Can I fly?" he asked, with a pleading look and clasped hands.

Sango and I looked at Yuki in confusion, but she just nodded and shooed Haruko off to her mate. The little boy ran up to his father and held out his arms. Sesshoumaru picked him up and immediately made an expression of annoyance as his son talked to him. His eyes burned into Yuki's from across the room, but she just smiled in return.

"He may be the Lord of the Western Lands, but he's still helpless when his son asks something of him," Yuki whispered to us.

I watched in amazement as Sesshoumaru stood up and unwrapped the fluffy thing from around his shoulder. He sighed slightly as Haruko clapped his hands in delight. The fluffy thing quickly curled around his son's waist and lifted him up off the floor. Haruko shrieked with joy as his father turned around and walked out of the room, carrying the boy behind him with what I realized was, in fact, a tail.

"Bye, Mommy!" the little boy called, waving his hand as he 'flew' down the hall to his bedroom.

"Have a nice nap, sweetheart," answered Yuki. She glanced around the room at our shocked faces. "Well, now you know."

After I recovered, I began to laugh so hard that tears came to my eyes. "That was one of the most hilarious and sweetest things I've ever seen."

Yuki smiled and sat down next to me again. "I see it as a trade-off. He actually shows affection for his own flesh and blood and I dress as a Lady should." She indicated her royal robes, which had so many layers that I wondered how she could move. It reminded me of the clothing I had seen Inuyasha's false mother wear. "I know," she whispered, noticing my dubious look. "I would kill for a tank top and some jeans."

It was one of the first times I could think about my original era without getting depressed. "You'll get to wear them again. Maybe even the black leather."

She waved her hand. "Leather I can find here. I wear it when I go out on my missions. I just want some nice cotton shorts in which to practice my sword fighting. Oh gods, cotton underwear!"

"Definitely," I agreed, adjusting my own kimono. My eyes traveled to Sango, who was now on the floor with her children, holding Toshi. He was reaching up to her bangs and I smiled. My little boy really had a thing for tugging on hair.

Sesshoumaru re-entered the room and I suppressed another fit of laughter. He narrowed his eyes at me before turning to Yuki. "Your son spends an inordinate amount of time talking and not enough time sleeping."

Yuki smiled. "I love how he's my son when he's being difficult, but your son all the rest of the time."

The Western Lord stared at her for a moment and then smirked. "He is our son always." I grinned, realizing that this was as cute as they would get in front of other people.

Quickly, Yuki averted her eyes and found her way back to me. "So..." she began. "Have you heard from Kouga lately?"

I nodded. "Yes, although Inuyasha wasn't very happy about him coming to see me again. It had been awhile since I saw him though. At least a year and a half."

Sango joined us. "You'd think he would've it through his thick skull that Kouga isn't the one you love." She pulled Midoriko up onto her lap and began brushing her fingers through the little girl's matted hair as she squirmed. I marveled momentarily at her ability to juggle all of the children.

"I know," I answered, rolling my eyes. "He was better than he had been before we were married. He didn't draw Tetsusaiga for at least five minutes. Anyway, Inuyasha backed down as soon as Kouga told us the news." I paused and watched Yuki's face light up with anticipation. The snow demon definitely had a taste for gossip. "He's going to take a mate."

Yuki sat back in amazement. "The prince of wolves getting a mate? My, things have changed. I thought he would mope forever over you. Who is she?"

I shrugged. "Another wolf demon. Ayame, I think her name is." I smiled, remembering how happy I had been for the wolf prince. With the news, he seemed to have finally forgiven me for choosing Inuyasha. He was happy and in love again.

"Fascinating..." She stared off into the distance for a moment and then her eyes refocused on Sango and me. "I also have news from an old friend. Lord Kuri has invited my Lord Sesshoumaru, his family and his friends to a gathering. Rumor has it that he's found a mate of his own, but I think he's actually just lonely for some interesting people. Imagine being with all those nobles who were so weak that they didn't stand up to Yama when he usurped the throne."

I nodded. "That would make sense."

"Yeah... so we'll pick you up on the way. It's in a month, okay?" Yuki looked at Sango and me with pleading eyes. "Please don't leave me with those boring nobles."

"Technically, aren't you a 'boring noble', yourself?" I teased.

"You're too funny, Kagome," she responded with dry sarcasm.

We settled into a comfortable silence. Sango lifted Midoriko off her lap and watched her toddle off to play with her siblings and friends.

I let my eyes rest on the thirteen year old Rin and absently toyed with the Shikon no Tama around my neck. I had not even told Inuyasha of my idea, but finally settled on letting him know with the rest of them. I stood up as Yuki and Sango turned their heads to me. "Guys?" I called across the room.

The demons immediately focused their attention on me, but it took a few more pleas to get the humans to listen. Once they all were silent, I took a deep breath. "Okay, I'm kind of going on intuition here... but I think this will work. As you all know, for the past five years I've been trying to figure out what to wish for on the jewel. Inuyasha turned down the opportunity to become a full demon," I paused and shot my husband a kind look, which he readily returned. "Sango and Miroku expressed their desire to live as humans do, with their predestined life spans." I hesitated again, remembering the pain of their decision and what it would mean. "And I have often wanted to wish for the well to open again."

"But you didn't," broke in Miroku.

I shook my head slowly. "I realized that these were all selfish wishes that would taint the jewel and not destroy it. So I think I've finally come up with a solution. I will wish for someone else." I turned to Rin, who had been playing with Sango's children. "What would you like more than anything, Rin-chan?"

Her eyes widened immediately in surprise and joy as she leapt up and ran to hug her adoptive mother. "I want to live as long as Mother and Sesshou-... I mean, Father." She blushed at her words, but I noticed that the Western Lord looked pleased for a fleeting moment. Yuki simply smiled down at her elder child.

Without a moment's hesitation, I took the jewel off the chain and held it in front of me. "I wish that Rin would have a demon life-span, so that she might live as her parents and siblings do."

A bright beam of light poured out and struck a smiling Rin where her heart was. She gasped and her grin grew wider until the light was extinguished. When I looked down, the jewel had disappeared. "Rin is going to be with you forever, Mother!" she cried, slipping into her old speech pattern, as she flung herself back into Yuki's arms. Just as quickly, she turned and embraced my waist tightly. "Thank you, Aunt Kagome!"

"Yes, thank you," murmured Yuki as she stroked her daughter's hair in awe. I almost giggled at her unnatural lack of words.

Sesshoumaru got up from his chair and stood next to Rin and Yuki, while bowing slightly in my direction. From him, that was more than enough thanks. Somehow I knew that he would never glare at any of us, even Inuyasha, again. Well, at least not sincerely.

I smiled at the family and moved toward the fireplace, where Inuyasha soon joined me. "You were thinking of this for a long time. It was a good thing to do." He paused and looked at my expression. "Are you okay? You look sad."

I didn't answer at first. I was looking around the room, watching the people closest to my heart. Sango and Yuki laughed together as they fawned over Rin. Miroku was smiling and discussing something with Kohaku. And Sesshoumaru was sighing in defeat as his son toddled into the room with a jumbled sentence about not being sleepy. I turned to Inuyasha, who held Toshi delicately in his deadly claws. "I'm fine, Inuyasha. In fact, I'm great." I kissed my son's forehead and began to rub my husband's ears.

"Kagome... Not the ears..." he warned as his eyes drifted closed. How many times had I heard that weak protest?

I just giggled. Yup... things were wonderful.


It's over! I'm still crying... not really, but eh. Here's to the people who motivated me to finish this and gave me such wonderful praise! (with special notes for a few who went out of their way and gave me special encouragement)

Sunshine – My most loyal reviewer and my best friend... I love you chica! My Sess/Kagome fic is complete dedicated to you...

Kyd Fizziks – It was great talking to you and I appreciate your support. Gracias.

Meagan (Dryad101) – Hey chica. Thanks for all your praise and frequent reviews. You're a great writer but you need to finish your story! Haha. Seriously, tell me when it updates!

Itzjustme – Thank you very much for your reviews, they've been greatly appreciated.

Freaky – Another wonderful supporter! Gracias for all your praise and your emails... not to mention the encouragement to do another Inu/Kagome story!

Senex – Even though you only reviewed once *glares*, you helped me so much by straightening out the plot and characters... Love you!

Hollie Daye – Just a note to thank you for the possibly the most flattering review I have ever read, and definitely the most flattering I've ever received. Great, I'm blushing again... haha... Thanks!

Atlanta-avalon1.1, Gennie Kag's and Sess's Child, *good*looking*man*, sesshoumarupeace, kagome, TwilightSakura, Iolaus-16, LPDramaBabe, Siriusly Serious, Sango'n'Miroku4ever, SilverHanyou1, greeneydgrl74, ~surfbratt~, purplepeopleeater, Morgaine of the Fairies, holyDark, Angel Nina, Mike, Shadow Kitsune67, shizukanayami, foxygrl, midnite sorrow, Angel-chan3, me, LeaMarie F. Rocket, waterdragonmaster, Jade, Nitte iz, I aM cHaOs!!!, RougeCrayon, Blue Tigeress, CometsChaos, Draconic Ban-sidhea, Mad-Cabbage, vic, MoonLightWolf, japanesegurl153, Ryoko Maxwell3, Thief of Baghdad, ladykaa28, Kawaii-Inu-Inutaishou, royjoy, Mara, WHRobinfan13, NeoTokyo- sailor, Skiddy16, badgerwolf, Chrissy, keeper-of-the-triforce, Robinfan13, bloodykitsune, InuGoddess, DarkFencer, 18_T_18, Azrial Saotome, tiffiny, JCCSilkie, IYWriterGirl, JoyfulOne

WHEW! That's a lot of wonderful people! Thank you all, and don't forget to watch for my new stories! Ciao!