Disclaimer - Sesshy-sama does not belong to me, so don't sue me. All other original character however, do belong to me.
A/N - Much appreciation to all those who took the time to leave reviews and comments. And for those of you who have stuck with me for so long, I figured I'd give you an extra special Valentines' Day present!
So, without further ado, I give you:
The End is Before Us
When Kaida opened her eyes, she was quick to figure out that she was still on a boat. How she'd gotten there was another question all together, especially considering that the last thing she remembered was hitting the water. Her thoughts immediately went to Sesshomaru when she realized where she was. Her last memory of the Western lord had been bleak and blurry, a picture of him locked tooth and nail with a blood-starved Seiti. Her demon energy expanded quickly, unconsciously searching for his. A few seconds later, she picked out his energy signature mixed in with half a dozen others farther back on the deck.
The Southern demoness blinked in the dark, trying to adjust her eyes to the slivers of light that were slipping through the pulled curtains of her quarters on the Southern flagship. The disorientation lasted only a few more seconds, and she gingerly pushed the light coverings off before slowly getting to her feet. Her body was sore, and she had no doubt that the tightness around her chest was due to the multitude of bandages.
"Whaddya think you're doing? You can't sleep in here!"
"I could if you didn't talk so loud."
Kaida's head turned towards the door, easily picking out the voices of Raika and Yukio as they continued their perpetual arguing and bantering. The Southern noblewoman walked a few steps, trying to work the soreness out of her beaten body.
"Of all the ridiculous….You're not even supposed to be here, you overgrown brute! Don't you have your own ship to infest? Hey! Are you ignoring me? You are ignoring me, aren't you? How rude!"
Ignore her? How could anybody ignore Raika? Kaida had tried on multiple occasions to do just that, and every one of them had failed miserably.
"Yell a little louder, bossy. I don't think they heard you on the mainland. And you know the General is still resting, so shut up already."
'She's not resting anymore, you bunch of loudmouths.' Kaida thought dryly. She reached out and pulled a long white robe from the desk chair. With stiff movements, she pulled her arms through the sleeves and tied the sides off.
"Well if you'd just listen and quit ignoring me, you'd…."
"I'm not ignoring you... I just have better things to do than acknowledge your presence."
Kaida rolled here eyes, knowing well enough that Yukio's comment was going to send Raika off into a tangent. And, like always, the fiery demoness was quick to fulfill her place as quite possibly the most annoying creature on Earth.
"And here I thought it was just because you knew it irritated me."
"Ooohhh, you aggravating bastard…"
Kaida snickered quietly as the two soldier's footsteps grew dimmer. From what she could tell, it was either early morning or late afternoon. She could feel the auras of everyone on the ship, but the majority of them seemed to be sleeping or resting soundly.
Resting or not, she wanted to find out what had happened after she'd been knocked out. Her concern for the injured was wearing much more heavily on her conscious than the still healing wounds on her body. She needed to know what the status of her soldiers were, and she needed to see Sesshomaru and her brothers to make sure they were okay.
She reached out and opened the door that led to her quarters, stepping lightly onto the deck of the ship. It was, just as she had expected, early morning. The sun's rays were barely breaking through the clouds on the horizon, and the misty sea air was still thick with the night fog. She made her way automatically to the front of the ship, thankfully not passing anyone else in the process.
Kaida watched the rippling water pushing off the bow of the boat, her mind in a complete haze of emotions and questions the longer she looked out. The lapping of ocean waves against the wooden hull did not lull her worries away as it had done so many times before. Unsurprisingly, only a few minutes passed before she felt a comforting aura drawing closer to her. She glanced over her shoulder, easily picking out the tall form of the Western Lord as he walked towards her.
"Good morning, Sesshomaru."
"You have recovered sufficiently?" he asked without preamble.
"Enough to sneak out without Keisha and Rin noticing." she commented. She remembered seeing the Western headwoman and Eastern Lady in her fevered dreams, and had thought it all to be just a, well, dream. But she'd picked up on their energy signatures after leaving her cabin, and figured that they had actually been at her side. "You aren't under lock and key as well? I am surprised."
"My wounds were merely superficial."
"A sword through the stomach is a bit more than just superficial."
"You were not the one wielding it. Suffice to say it is a minor nuisance." he retorted.
"My, my, what would Rin say to hear you cracking jokes at this hour of the morning?" Kaida asked, slipping her hand into his and giving it a quick squeeze.
"She would say I was delusional and have Keisha drug me into complacency." he deadpanned, returning the gesture before she could let go.
"Undoubtedly." Kaida said quietly. They fell into a companionable silence for a few moments. "What happened after I passed out? All I remember is hitting the water, and then everything went black."
"You fell into the water." a gruff voice said. Kaida turned around and saw Keiji standing there, his face turned down into a half frown. "Both of you."
"You too?" Kaida asked, looking at the placid faced Western lord.
"We were locked talon and claw. I could not get away." the dog lord answered simply.
"You pulled us out?" Kaida asked, looking around as more and more of the ship's occupants came on deck. She could pick out Raika and Rio in the crowd, as well as Sakaki and a few other Western elites. Even her other two brothers were there. And off to the side, she spotted Yuri weaseling her way towards Keiji while Rin and Kentaro stood side by side with Keisha. "How long have I been out?"
"Two days." Ryuichi answered. "We should be in port in a few hours."
"What about the rest of the soldiers from the main…"
"It's been taken care of." Sesshomaru answered quickly.
"Only a few knew what Seiti was planning on doing." Keiji answered. "They were dealt with accordingly."
"And the rest?"
"We stuck'em down in the cargo holds. We'll figure out what to do with them when we hit land." Raika quipped, a smirk on her face. "I don't know about you, but I say target practice."
"Be that as it may, I think that's enough for now." Keisha said suddenly, shooing the soldiers on deck back to their tasks. "Get back to doing whatever it was you were doing before the Lady woke up. She's still recovering, and the lot of you breathing down her neck is not going to help matters any." The group slowly began to disperse, leaving Kaida standing beside Sesshomaru at the bow of the boat. Keisha gave her a pointed look and then jerked her thumb back towards the cabin she'd come out of.
"Ten minutes, and then you go back to rest." she said simply. "I won't have you falling out on deck when you should still be in bed." Kaida just nodded dumbly and smiled as the mothering headwoman turned to shoo a grinning Yukio and smirking Sakaki away from the front of the boat.
"Good to see she's in good spirits." Kaida commented. "When did she get here?"
"Yesterday. Right before Rin and the kitsune siblings." he answered. "They got word of what was going to happen and decided to see if they could be of some use us."
Kaida nodded, but said nothing for a few minutes. Now that everything was over and done, she couldn't figure out why she felt so cold inside. She'd done her job and gotten rid of the cause of the problem just like she was supposed to. So why was she so worried about her actions now? Was it because the one she'd been forced to kill was Leiko? Or was it because the conniving demoness had threatened to take her place by Sesshomaru's side.
"Why did you do this?" she mumbled, more to herself than anyone else.
"Your chances of winning a battle when you are grossly outnumbered 10 to 1 were nonexistent, as I am sure you realized. The reinforcements were necessary to secure a victory. Bano, Sakaki and Yukio seemed to believe their appearances were needed to watch over their supervising Lady General and make sure she did not get into too much trouble. They even threatened to defect from my lands had I done nothing to assist you." Sesshomaru answered bluntly. "Besides, your name was not the only one called into question due to your sister's machinations."
"Why?" she stated, not allowing him to steer the subject away from the information she wanted to know. "It's never bothered you before what was and wasn't said about you. Why now?"
"Must you keep pressuring me for an answer?" he asked. "I had thought our interactions before the battle would answer your questions fully."
"Must you keep dancing around the truth?" she asked sullenly.
"What would you have me say, Kaida?" he questioned bluntly. "Because you've already died once, and I refused to watch it again?"
"I was prepared to die." she replied softly.
"If only to gain your freedom?"
"Yes." she said.
"Did you really want to die?" he asked quietly.
"No." she admitted.
"Then perhaps…" he said, forcing her to look at him. "I should grant your freedom another way."
"What are you…." she started, only to have him reach up and gently stroke her cheek.
"There will be no more teardrops falling from your eyes on my account." he said, watching her confused expression become only more so as the seconds passed. He reached into the folds of his clothing, withdrawing a small scroll, and then handing it over to her without anymore words.
"What is this?" Kaida asked, unsure of what exactly he was giving her.
"Read it, and I think you will have a better understanding of my recent actions concerning you and the battle you just won."
Kaida broke the seal and slowly unrolled it in her hands. She grimaced when she realized that it was the same scroll he'd given her when he'd arrived with his ships as backup…the same one she'd tossed into a corner in her room and never bothered to open.
There was the customary introduction paragraph stating what the point of the summons was about, but she barely gave it any notice. She'd seen these official agreements for courtship rights before, this one was no different. She scanned down to the bottom, wanting to see who it was asking for her this time. She almost dropped the scroll when she saw Sesshomaru's name in bold black ink where the potential presenter commonly signed. Her father's name was right beside it as well.
It was a presentation contract, asking for her agreement for a male to present himself to her for consideration as a possible future mate.
It was from Sesshomaru.
With her father's signature.
"How….why…" she stuttered dumbly.
"To answer your first question, the Council finally gave up its attempts to find a suitable mate for you, and therefore turned the responsibility solely over to your father." he explained.
Kaida was shocked. The council had given up the search? That meant she was free! Free to live her life as she wanted without anymore demons being pressed upon her. She was absolutely ecstatic at the possibility. 'But why is his name on here?' she asked. 'Unless…"
"As for the second question, it has come to my attention that having you by my side is much more preferable than not. And since you have previously shown an immense dislike to the possibility of being coined my mistress, I took the necessary steps to secure your placement as befits your station."
"Is this some kind of joke?" she asked, glaring at him. "Because it's not funny, Sesshomaru." She had her freedom right there in her hands, and then he had to throw something like this at her!
What was she supposed to do?
"No joke." he said.
"Your mate?" she asked, still not quite believing this. "Why me?"
"You are more than worthy of being at my side." he said quietly. "Having you with me is….right. We complement each other better than most pairs."
"I am the only one who understands you enough to put up with you, Sesshomaru." she chided, trying to lighten the mood when she realized he was struggling with his ability to put into words what he was feeling.
"A fact that Rin reminds me of on a weekly basis." he answered dryly. Kaida smiled and looked back at the scroll. "Will you allow me to…try?"
"I…I have other responsibilities…I can't go back on my word."
"You need not make your decision now that you have received a chance at true freedom." he said. "There is a waiting period after the paperwork has been submitted before the union is officially announced. We have time. Consider it a…courting period."
"You're serious about this." she said, realizing there was not even a hint of sarcasm or guile in his voice. She'd never thought she'd hear the words Sesshomaru and courting in the same sentence, especially when she was somewhere in the context!
"I would not have done it had I not been so." he said, apparently amused at her inability to comprehend the reasoning behind his actions. Kaida just stared at the scroll in her hand.
"What am I going to tell my father?" she asked after a few pregnant moments of silence.
"I believe you will find him quite receptive to the idea." Sesshomaru smirked. "He even sent me with a message."
"Calm her down, even if it does take the rest of your immortal lives."
"Unlikely. I'm the same old trouble you've gotten used to." Kaida said with a smile. Sesshomaru just gave a half-grin and shook his head at her.
"So was that a yes?" Raika asked pointedly, drawing the couple's attention to the fact that every set of eyes on the deck were currently trained on them. Kaida tamped down an uncharacteristic blush, and Sesshomaru just looked at them blankly.
"Weren't you listening?" Yukio asked, his voice tinged with aggravation now that he, along with everyone else on deck, quit feigning interest in their tasks and turned to look at them curiously.
"Of course I was! I'm not you!" the orange-haired demoness retorted. Kaida smiled at the familiarity, needing to hear the bantering between the soldiers she'd come to call friends. She glanced over at Keiji, who looked a bit put out at the sudden turn of action, then at Yuri, who gave her a wink. Not far away, Ryuiji was leaning against the cabin wall, Rio and Ryuichi not far away.
"It's a yes." she acknowledged. Kaida wasn't sure, especially considering that her admittance had caused the entire boat to erupt into applause and cheering…but she'd have sworn that she heard Rin mutter a distinct:
"It's about damned time!"
In the end, the fallout from the battle was much farther reaching than any of them had expected.
The state of things on the mainland was chaotic when word reached the lands that Seiti and Shinegori had been killed in battle. Since the funding for Shinegori's revolution and subsequent invasion into Seiti's lands had been thwarted, the fighting came to a screeching halt. The last Kaida had heard, Shinegori's lands had been divided and annexed into the surrounding areas. As for Seiti's territories, word had it that there was a fight brewing. Seiti's many heirs, both legitimate and illegitimate, were trying to figure out who would take over for father's position. As far as Kaida was concerned, it didn't matter who took over the lands.
The state of things within her own family, however, was no better. The mainland flagship had not been burned as she had ordered due to everyone's attention being thrown onto the fight between Sesshomaru and Seiti. It was only after she'd woken up and looked across the waters that morning that Kaida had realized the ship was still afloat.
It had been searched thoroughly, much to her disgust, as soon as they had returned to port in the South. The look on her father's face had been so saddening that Kaida had forced herself to look away when he knelt down and wrapped her body in a white cloth. Leiko may have been a manipulative witch, but she was still as much her father's daughter as Kaida was. And seeing one of your own children dead….well it was hard, no matter who you were.
Touga had arrived in the South the day of the fight, looking for his missing bride. He seemed to be taking the disappointment rather well, but Kaida didn't stick around him very long to find out what he was planning on doing now that he was not attached to her heathenish sister. The dragon demon had honestly seemed distraught at the fact that his mate had been killed.
As for Koto, her body was taken back by Saburo and Atsuko for burial as soon as the Northern neko's received word of what had happened.
No one ever asked who had killed Leiko or the other two traitors, and Kaida did not dispute it. Still, she had a suspicion that her father knew all too well who had been responsible. Not even Kei, who had accompanied Touga and Daisuke back to the Southern Lands when word had reached them of Leiko's death, had questioned her.
The only ones still alive who knew the real truth were herself and Sesshomaru. And for some reason, Sesshomaru didn't strike her as the type to rehash the nastier events of a fight. And she sure as hell wasn't about to voluntarily admit to doing it. If her father asked her, then she would tell him. But otherwise, she was keeping shut about what had gone down.
One good thing that had come out of the entire mess was the abolishment of the Southern Council members from their coveted positions of power. Ryu had been far from pleased when she'd finally sat down and talked to him about what had happened. The shock of finding that Leiko had been the one responsible for most of the mess had affected him greatly. It was even worse when he'd seen Uragiru's limp body being pulled from the mainland flagship. After finding out Uragiru's part, her father had launched a full out investigation into exactly what his councilmen were doing without his knowledge. When proof had surfaced of the other member's guilt in the farce, Ryu realized that something needed to be done.
Less than a week after the fight had ended, Kaida had stood proudly at her father's side in the council room when he forcibly dismissed every single one of the old hags. The elderly demons had been indignant, and fought against the dragon lord. But Ryu had threatened bodily dismemberment to everyone of them if they didn't pack their stuff up and get out of the castle.
After that, things went back to relative peacefulness for all the lands and their respective Lords. Kaida's time was spent running missions for her father. And when she wasn't doing that, she was finding reasons to get into the Western Lands. Word had it that some of her Father's ex-councilmen had keeled over deader than a doornail when word got out that she would be mated to the Western Lord.
Not that she intended to keep up with what the old codgers were or weren't doing. The Lady Kaida had enough to keep herself occupied with during the coming months…
A couple months later…..
The Western Lands had never seen a frenzy like it was one late summer evening. There were servants running here and there, following orders from Keisha, who had taken it upon herself to make sure nothing was out of place for the occasion.
After all, her Lord was only going to have one mating ceremony. Everything had to be perfect!
The tanuki demoness picked up her skirts as she walked briskly down the hallway towards her Lord and master's quarters. Preparations were almost complete, and she was anxious to make sure Sesshomaru was presentable.
Centuries of pedigree breeding at its finest could not prepare the Western Lord for the task that lay ahead of him on this day. Sesshomaru swore he was going to snap and be forced to maim someone before the day was out. His nerves were just that bad.
"My Lord?" a slightly exasperated voice called from the entrance to his quarters. Sesshomaru tore his gaze from the ceremonial white and red garments that had been arranged on his bed, looking back at the motherly tanuki as she entered the room. Keisha took one look at him, then at the clothing that he was wearing, and finally at the clothing he should have been wearing by then. Her arms went to her hips and she openly scowled at him.
"What do you want?" Sesshomaru asked through gritted teeth, already knowing what the headwoman was going to start harping about.
"My Lord, no disrespect intended, but would you snap out of this already." Keisha asked curtly. Sesshomaru glared at her. "Don't give me that look. It quit working centuries ago."
"What are you doing in here?"
"Checking to see if the Lady was going to be joined to an improperly dressed Lord." she said.
"Tell me again why I am doing this?"
"Because one day you're going to need heirs to take over the lands because you will be ridiculously old and decrepit." Keisha deadpanned. Sesshomaru glared even harder at her.
"You mean like yourself?" he retorted. Keisha bristled and returned the glare a hundred fold before going into what Sesshomaru liked to call mother-mode. "I think you just want another generation of my family around so you can have someone to baby and boss."
"Finally figured it out, have you?" Keisha said, grinning at him. Sesshomaru turned his attention away from the demoness, focusing his attention outside the windows that made up half the wall of his personal library. "This is most…."
"Confusing? Nerve wracking? Scary?" she supplemented.
"That happens to the best of us, I'm afraid." she said gently. "And just so you know, despite his bravery in battle, your father was a wreck before his own union with your mother."
"Am I doing the correct thing?" he asked the demoness. Sesshomaru had been hesitant to propose the idea of Kaida's joining into his family simply because things had been fine up until then. He'd heard stories about how a pair would be absolutely fine with each other during a courting stage, only to have the relationship degenerate into bloodshed within a year of the mating ceremony.
It wasn't a scenario he particularly cared to have happen with himself and Kaida.
"I'd say you are. But if you're still asking yourself that at this point, I'd say you either need to call this ceremony off…or make up your mind pretty damned quickly." she answered bluntly. Sesshomaru regarded the headwoman with little more than a nod, until she came and set one withering hand on his shoulder. He glanced back up at her, and for once saw the age lines that had slowly been making their way into her fair skin. "I helped raise you since you were a pup, and your father asked me to watch over you until you found someone who would. And I'm telling you right now that there is a demoness in this castle who is just as nervous as you are right now."
Sesshomaru felt a bit of relief, knowing he wasn't the only one with probably thoughts of high tailing it out of the already overcrowded fortress. If Keisha's words were any indication, Kaida seemed to be having her own nervous jitters to deal with. In truth, neither himself or Kaida should have been the least bit nervous. They'd already talked extensively about the mating, and what would happen afterwards. They knew what was going to happen. Apparently though, it hadn't quite sank into either of their heads until they'd woken up that morning and looked out to see the various nobles and courtiers milling through the fortress corridors and gardens.
At least that was when Sesshomaru had gotten the sudden urge to run away, very fast.
Logically, he knew that he shouldn't be nervous about the union. He loved Kaida, and she loved him, so there was no logical reason for his cold feet.
But since when did his logic and his emotions ever agree about anything?
"My Lord?" Keisha asked, breaking him out of his internal monologue. The Western Lord shook his head and gathered his thoughts.
He was about to be joined to the Lady Kaida. And after the hell he'd went through just to get her at his side…he'd be damned if his nerves were going to force him out of it at this point.
"Thank you." he said quietly. Keisha smiled slightly and patted his shoulder gently.
"You're welcome. Now get dressed." she ordered imperiously. "You've got guests in the courtyard, and a mate waiting for you."
Meanwhile, up in Kaida's quarters, Rin was trying to talk her mentor through a serious case of cold feet that threatened to cause all her hard work to collapse.
"Will you calm down already?" the human girl said exasperatingly. "If you keep fidgeting I'm never going to get this thing tied straight!"
"I still don't see why I can't just wear my armor." Kaida grumbled, looking critically at her reflection in the mirror. The formal kimono was beautiful, no doubt. But it was heavy and cumbersome as well. "It would be easier with the armor."
"There's already one of you that's going to be in battle armor. No need to over do it." Rin said simply, tucking the obi and trying to tie it correctly.
"No buts!" Rin barked, finally loosing her patience. "You are going to hold still, and you are going to let me finish this! Without a word of dispute. Do you hear me, Kaida?"
"When did you get so demanding." Kaida deadpanned, momentarily taken back by her former student's rapid change in demeanor.
"When I found out it was the only time Kentaro would take me seriously." she quipped, a grin on her pretty face as she glanced at Kaida's reflection.
"I can't do this, Rin." the demoness said, shaking her head. "This is a mistake."
"You've been saying that all morning, and have yet to convince me." the human replied calmly. "Calm down."
"I can't calm down!" Kaida hissed. "I'm about to be joined to Sesshomaru for the rest of my life!"
"Scary thought, isn't it?" Rin chuckled, finishing the bow on the back of Kaida's kimono. "You will be fine."
"I can't do this…" Rin simply sat back and watched as Kaida paced back and forth across the floor, muttering incoherently until she finally sat down and looked at the human girl. "I've lost my mind, haven't I?"
"Hardly." Rin chuckled, finding it ironic that the last time they'd had this conversation their roles had been reversed, and she was joining with Kentaro. "But if you don't slow down, you will."
"How can you be so calm about this?" Kaida demanded.
"Because I've already been through it. Remember? Eastern Lands, about nine months ago?"
"I remember." Kaida muttered, turning her attention back to the full length mirror in front of her. Rin got up from her seat and continued to fidget with the heavy folds of the clothing.
"Want me to tell you something that'll calm you down a bit?" the human asked after a few minutes of silence.
"I'm going to be a mother."
"You're joking?" Kaida said, whirling around to look at the grinning teenager.
"Not at all." she smiled, her hand on her still flat abdomen. "We just found out a few days ago."
"I can see you're not going to listen to reason." she grumbled, walking over to the shoji screen and asking the servant for something. Kaida paid it no attention, figuring Rin was sending for some tea to calm her nerves. So it surprised her when her father walked into the room a few minutes later, followed by a smirking Kaze. "If you won't listen to me, than at least listen to them." Rin said, bowing to the men and letting herself out the room.
"Kaida, what's wrong?"
"I think I've lost my mind." she mumbled, standing before her father and feeling like a small girl again, her head bowed.
"I went through this twice, Kaida." he said gently. "And trust me, Sesshomaru isn't nearly as nervous as I was."
"How do you know?"
"His quarters are still intact." Ryu said with a shrug. "Which is more than I can say for me when I joined with your mother."
"Not to mention Jaken is looking more white than green." Kaze added
"He loves you, Kaida." Ryu said. "You know that. So why are you doubting it now?"
"It's not him. It's me." she mumbled.
"Where have I head that one before?" Kaze grumbled. Ryu sent the hybrid demon a stern look, and promptly kicked him out of the room. Kaze just grinned as the Ryu shut the shoji screen. Across the hallway, Rin and Kentaro turned to address him.
"Is she okay?" Rin asked, obviously worried.
"She will be. Just nerves." Kaze answered, chuckling slightly at the concerned look on the human woman's face.
"If it makes her feel any better, Father said Sesshomaru is in the same state." Kentaro offered. "Just staring out the window and frowning. Keisha went in there and gave him a lecture about something and he finally calmed down."
"He's got cold feet too?" Rin asked, obviously a bit exasperated with the whole situation. "What is the matter with them?"
Kentaro and Kaze were saved from having to answer by the quick arrival of Ryu.
"That was quick." Kaze muttered, arms across his chest.
"I think you'll find her a bit more cooperative, Lady Rin." Lord Ryu said amicably. The young woman shook her head and gathered her skirts up, looking every bit like she was about to enter some kind of war zone.
"Thank you, Lord Ryu." she said quickly, walking past the men and back into the room where Kaida was still standing in front of the mirror, a contemplative look on her face. Rin shut the shoji and walked over to her mentor.
"Better now?" Rin asked quietly.
"Better." Kaida replied, giving her a half smile.
"Good." the young woman said briskly, reaching for a brush so she could go to work on Kaida's hair. "Now let's get you finished before Sesshomaru has to use Tenseiga to revive Jaken, half the servants and all the guests in this place."
The ceremony was simple, the same one that had been used since the beginning of time to bind two lovers together for eternity. Sesshomaru looked out among the gathered assembly, noticing that there was not a sour face among them. And when a blushing Kaida stood beside him after being proclaimed Lady of the Western Lands, even he fought valiantly to keep the proud smirk off his face. She was with him, for good this time. And he wasn't going to let her get away again.
As the thunderous booming continued, he picked up the familiar sound of Inuyasha's cackling from the side. He looked over and saw his hanyou half sibling with the miko Kagome and their two children. The half demon simply smirked and pulled his smiling miko closer to his side, giving Sesshomaru a thumbs up signal and a look that plainly stated 'it's about damned time.'
"What are you looking at?" Kaida asked.
"Inuyasha and his brood." he said. "The kitsune does not seem pleased to see Rin with her mate."
"Especially since she told him she was pregnant." Kaida laughed, thinking it was a good thing she'd talked Sesshomaru into letting Inuyasha and his family come along to witness the joining. "Rin told me Shippo almost fell out when she told him."
"At least Rin's child will have a playmate soon." he commented.
"What do you mean?"
"Yuri is carrying as well." he smirked, looking up at Kaida's shocked face.
"I should hope so. If not she has some explaining to do." he smirked, knowing good and well Keiji was the only one Yuri would have. "I would like to know exactly what they were doing on his numerous trips to Ronin's lands if it is not his. There will be another ceremony soon."
"Must be something in the water." Kaida smirked, only to sober quickly when she realized her own fertile period had not come to pass yet. "Hold on…I'm not…"
"Good." she said quickly, only to shoot him a questioning glance. "Wait a minute. Not yet? What's that supposed to mean?"
"I intend to rectify that problem." he said huskily, pulling her to his side. "I can not allow Inuyasha to be the only son of my father to carry on the family lineage."
"I'm sure you couldn't." Kaida grinned, shaking her head and getting in with the easy teasing. "And as thorough as you are, I have a feeling we'll be fixing this horrid oversight shortly?"
A/N - Okay, it's finally done. That's it. No more. Nada. Zero. Zilch. THE END!
After a little over two and a half years of work, four tropical storms, two different computers, one major hurricane, and an untimely six month break to rebuild my house after said major hurricane, I have finally completed this monster of a story.
So, with that said, I would like to thank all the reviewers who have stuck beside me through my bouts of writers' block and fights with mother nature.
Thank you all for your continued support. And I have one last request of you. Well…two actually. If you would:
First. Since this story is quite lengthy, I realize there are plenty of weak points in it, be it plot holes, grammar or things of the like. I would greatly appreciate it if my reviewers would give a thorough review of the story, pointing out parts or facets of the story that I should work on in the future. It can be anything, spelling, grammar, structure, anything that seemed weak or that I could use improvement on.
Second. Since I'm just ridiculously curious by nature. I'd like to know where all of you are from. One of my reviewers mentioned being from France, and another from Ireland, I think…anyway, I'm wondering exactly how far this story has managed to permeate across the net. So if you don't mind, if you happen to review that is, leave me a note on where you're from. I don't want an address, just a state or country. I'd really love to know . ;)
I love all of you dearly.
Until next time, and the next adventure…
And thanks in advance to all who take the time to review.
You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. -Sam Keen
The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one person. - Vi Putnam
Story completed: 2/14/2007