NOTE: Definitely AU. Some episode spoilers. Sango has joined the group. They've met Rin, Sesshoumaru's ward. Things are tense between InuYasha and Sesshoumaru. Naraku is still on the loose.

NOTE: I've used japanese and english terms intermittantly. I'll probably post a glossary or reedit the file some point in the future but right now I'm impatient to get the fic up for reviews so enjoy!!

AN: Last Chapter. Sort of Epilogue.


~*~ The Outcome of Choices ~*~

Naru Hiragushi absently wrung the dish towel in her hands. Her heart told her that her daughter was safe, that she was alive and well in the past but her intellect insisted she had to be dead. Why else would Kagome have been gone for so long? Yes she spent a great deal of time hunting shards of that mystical jewel in the Feudal Era but she always visited occasionally to stack up on instant ramen. It had been two months now.

Souta Hiragushi eyed his mother nervously. At first he thought it was cool, having a sister who traveled to the past, was friends with an inu-youkai, a houshi, a kitsune, and a tajiki and had adventures and stuff but now… Souta was worried about his mother. She spent a great deal of time doing household chores and cooking oden, Kagome's favourite dish, 'Just in case she came home'.


Naru brought her attention to the now. "Yes Souta-chan?"

"I forgot to tell you but you got a phone call when you were out shopping."

The older woman paled. Was it…?

"It was from a Kaimaru Mahasaki." Souta wrinkled his nose as he pronounced the name slowly. "He said he would be visiting the shrine tomorrow. Who is he okaa-san?"

Naru Hiragushi's brown eyes widened in mingled pleasure and alarm. "Mahasaki-san is a very wealthy business man Souta-chan. When your father died for a time it was difficult to pay the taxes and maintain the shrine. I was afraid I would have to sell it when Mahasaki-san offered to help maintain the estate. He said the expense would count as a tax benefit for him."

Souta's eyes widened. "Why didn't you tell any of us mum?!"

Naru shrugged. "What could any of you do Souta? Nothing. Mahasaki-san has been a gracious benefactor. If he wishes to visit the shrine he can visit the shrine." She spoke in an iron-clad 'is-that-clear' tone that no one would dare to challenge. Then her expression relaxed into panic. "Oh dear, I have so much of cleaning to do."

With the experience and verve of a four-star general the Hiragushi matriarch set about assigning cleaning chores to the shrine residents. The two males groaned but obeyed without question.


Several miles away a slim female pulled away from the reassuring male embrace and sat up in a huge king sized bed before throwing her legs over the side and standing up clad in a short silk nightshirt. Her bedmate did not speak immediately. He knew what was bothering her; a side-effect of being bonded then formally mated for so long.

"What is it koishii?" He asked the question to get her talking. He had learned this technique from her.

"I am afraid Maru," she whispered as she pulled a scrap book from a dresser drawer and flipped through the pages.

Photos, report cards, newspaper articles, descriptions, conversation transcripts. She had studied and handled each one so many times she practically knew the information by heart despite distance and the passage of time.

She turned to him her eyes bright with tears. "Will they hate me? For choosing to remain silent for so long?"

Her lover merely smiled and shook his head before raking back long locks of hair, the one vanity that he refused to concede to modern trends, as he rose from the bed clad in just a pair of silk draw-string pants.

He gave the concern some thought. "They may be mad at first but they will listen and understand. They love you koi. If they didn't they never would have allowed you to leave home and travel in the first place."

She bit her lip drawing blood.

"But I'm late." She whimpered. "I let them worry for weeks now without any notice of my well-being."

"And you have a valid excuse." He countered sternly grabbing her shoulders in both hands. "You have a very good excuse that will thrill any loving mother."

With that he brought his head down kissing her harshly, lingeringly, deeply.

A soft moan escaped her lips as she responded to the passion wrapping her legs around his waist pressing her heels against the small of his back even as she sinuously pulled herself up and against him.

He spun about tumbling against the large bed with his giggling partner underneath him.

Nothing was said for a long while but the soft moans, whispered urgings, and muffled screams from the couple in the oversized bed.


Naru Hiragushi paced with unexpected nervousness. Normally she was the calm, even-minded, practical one. Now the role was usurped by her son and father-in-law.

"Mom, calm down!" Souta shifted feeling awkward in his a hakama and haori. "Mahasaki-san is just here for a visit."

"I know, I know, I just want to make sure he is pleased with everything."

"Naru, don't be a silly feather-head, anyone can see you have done a wonderful job managing and maintaining the shrine." Sano Hiragushi rumbled as he smoothened his formal priest robes. "Now sit down!"

Naru sighed and sat down.

"Good. Now, tell us what do you know about this Kaimaru Mahasaki?"

Naru shrugged. "Not much. He is a wealthy and influential businessman. He owns majority share of Taishio Enterprises." Two pairs of male eyes widened in awe when she named the huge conglomerate with divisions in entertainment, manufacturing, textiles, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

"Cool!" That was the only word Souta felt was suitable to sum up the situation.

Naru smiled. "Yes, cool. I have never met Mahasaki-san personally of course but he is a very personable correspondent. I have often invited him to join us during the festival celebrations but he often refused. This is the first time he showed an interest in visiting the shrine personally."

Souta frowned. "No one knows what the owner of Taishio Enterprises looks like Okaa-san. He is very fanatical about his privacy. His employees are also very loyal to him. There were rumors about his affairs and some lady claiming she was pregnant with his kid but his lawyers proved she lied. His PR department made an official statement saying he was happily married and did not appreciate such false paternity claims."

Naru blinked. "That is nice dear. Does he have any children?"

Souta shrugged. "No one knows. Well, if they do, they aren't saying."

Naru hmmmed thoughtfully as she fingered the edge of her navy blue kimono edged with white sakura flowers over a sky-blue inner gown.

Souta's ears perked up and he dashed towards the window. Brown eyes widened.

"Okaa-san, there is a black limo pulling in! It has three doors! There are two jeeps behind it! It must be Mahasaki-san!"

That was enough to get the three Hiragushi outside to catch the earliest possible glimpse of their mysterious patron.

Souta was dancing from foot to foot impatiently as the driver and passenger of the limo got out with one of the jeeps passengers. They were obviously employees dressed in subduded suits. Their protective stances, ear-pieces and shades indicated they were body guards or security personnel.

After making sure the area was secure they opened the passenger doors of the jeeps and limo allowing a flood of adults, teenagers, children and toddlers. After some consulting they arranged themselves into two groups around the occupants that emerged from the limo. The Hiragushis could not help but feel unnerved by the intensity of the many pairs of eyes studying them with barely repressed excitement.

A tall exotically beautiful man with a mane of waist-long platinum blonde hair restrained in a silver clasp. An athletic lean-hipped form clad in a tailored wool-silk blend rust suit of such fit and restrained elegance Naru Hiragushi it must have cost more than an entire year's salary for her. He wore a pair of slim rose colored shades that simply emphasized the delicate feminine bone structure though no one could deny he was a man with his lithe swimmers build. He moved gracefully, with precision, without waste or concern, for anyone but the companion he helped exit the limo.

A pair of slim long legs shod in black stiletto sandals. A petite but shapely form dressed in a peacock blue silk and black lace suit gilded by gold buttons. No one could see much of the pale face that was hidden behind the veil and wide brim of the black hat.

The lady moved silently and to the back of the man who stepped to the front. Naru Hiragushi could see his eyes were light amber-brown, almost glowing gold in their intensity.


Naru gathered her composure.

"Yes, I am Naru Hiragushi. This is my father-in-law Sano Hiragushi. And my son, Souta Hiragushi." She indicated each person in question. "Please call me Naru."

The stranger inclined his head.

"I am pleased to finally meet you in person Naru-san. My name is Kaimaru Mahasaki."

Naru smiled and shook his hand with a warm but hesitant smile.

"I am pleased to finally meet you as well Mahasaki-san. Though I am curious as to the reason for your visit after so many years."

A slight pause before the blonde man began speaking.

"It is a long and complicated story Naru-san. It has to do with your daughter Kagome--."

Brown eyes widened with urgent fear and concern.

"You know about Kagome? Is she all right? I truly believe she decided to remain and had a long life in the past. Did she leave a message with your clan?"

Mahasaki started at this outpouring of confidence. He hesitated before speaking.

"In a manner of speaking yes. Kagome met someone she cared for deeply in the past and chose to stay with him. They had several children and grand-children. The people you see before you," He waved at the people behind him. "Are your descendents, in a sense."

Naru Hiragushi's heart was filled with joy and grief. Happiness her instincts were confirmed, her little girl met someone she loved in the past and had a family. Grief that Kagome would never be returning again, that Kagome had died in the past. Yes, she had a long and fruitful life but she would never be returning home again.

Doe brown eyes moistened with tears. She brushed them away.

"It is so nice to have my feelings confirmed. Are you a great grand-son?"

Streaks of red stained the high cheekbones.


Naru was confused. "Oh."

"Oh, give it up Maru," a soft husky female voice interrupted. The peacock lady stepped forward carrying a blanket wrapped bundle Naru did not notice before. One slim hand flipped the veil up to reveal a pair of blue eyes swimming in tears before she hesitantly rearranged the blankets in her arm to reveal the round head of a small form, a baby. The small fragile head was covered with wisps of black curls. The tiny form squirmed and stretched and yawmed. Big golden eyes blinked up at Naru awakening her natural nurturing instincts to cuddle and coo.

"Okaa-san, I know I'm really late but I have a good excuse." Blue eyes begged for understanding and forgiveness. "This is Amaya, she was born six weeks ago. She is my youngest pup. You are a grand-mother six times over and a great grand-mother to five."

Brown eyes widened before Naru embraced the blue-eyed lady fiercely.

"Kagome! How is this possible? I mean, you are here but you didn't use the Bone-Eaters Well, did you?" The last question was spoken accusingly.

Kagome shook her head with a shy smile as she allowed her mother to take the baby and coo over the tiny form.

"No. I'm more than five hundred years old."

Naru was confused. "But how? You should be dead, not having a baby!"

Kagome shrugged. "Part of it is from being the Protector of the Shikon no Tama. The rest comes from being a tai-youkai's mate."

"What?!" Triple echo.

Kagome wrapped her arm around Kaimaru Mahasaki's waist as she wriggled into his embrace under one arm. One small hand patted the soft rust material of the suit over his sternum as she smiled impishly ignoring his patent discomfort.

"Okaa-san, this is Sesshoumaru, he is InuYasha's elder brother, and my husband."

Naru looked over the people in the yard.

"And what about the rest?"

Kagome blushed before answering.

"Our children and grandchildren. Youkai mature at different rates than humans." She explained mumbling.

"Wow." Souta was awed. "This is so cool. I'm an uncle and a grand uncle and they are all older than me!"

"Souta!" Naru cuffed her son torn between laughter and horror before giving into laughter. "Oh, what the heck! He's right!" She handed the baby she carried to the teenage boy. "Here, hold your niece while I give your sister and brother-in-law a proper hug."

Laughter and hurried introductions and conversations filled the air of the Hiragushi Shrine as one family met a distant branch that had thrived despite being separated by time, convention, and blood.


The End.


AN: So. What do you think? I hope you enjoyed the story so...

Please review, no flames though...