Disclaimer: Of course I don't own them. I just like playing with them.
It had been two days since Inuyasha almost went to hell. Presently the hanyou was lounging in a tree overlooking the two huts his friends were sleeping in: Miroku, Sango and Kilala in one, Kagome and Shippo in the other. Kagome had asked him if he wanted to sleep indoors for a change, but he declined. He knew that Kagome just wanted to be close to him, even if they were just sleeping, but he had almost always been alone at night, and it was too comfortable a habit to change just yet.
There was no Naraku to worry about, no big decisions to be made, and therefore for the first time in a long time, he was relaxed. So relaxed that his eyelids were suddenly very heavy…
"Inuyasha." It was a voice he shouldn't have been hearing, but it was so warm and kind that he wasn't startled by it. So he opened his eyes, not nervous at all of the presence now sharing his tree branch.
"Kikyo. What are you doing here?" He wasn't apprehensive or rude, but very confused.
"You're dreaming," she explained. "It was the easiest way to talk with you." Everything about her countenance was softer now, her voice, even her facial expressions.
He didn't know what to say.
"I just wanted to let you know that you were right. Had I dragged you to hell with me I never would have been at peace," she continued.
"So you're happy now?"
"Happier than I was. I'm myself again." He smiled at that. It was a weight off his shoulders to know that he had made the right choice by sending her alone.
"What of the Shikon Jewel?" she asked.
"We don't know what to do with it yet. We're not sure that it won't close up Kagome's well once someone makes a wish on it." Kikyo nodded once in understanding.
"And what of the girl, Inuyasha? You've chosen her, and yet you're afraid to get close to her."
"Have you been watching me or something?" he questioned. She smiled, and he returned it before sighing.
"Everyone I was ever close to left me. I couldn't stand it if I lost her too."
"You're mother and I didn't leave you out of choice, Inuyasha," she explained, knowing full well who he was talking about. "Those were circumstances you had no control over. That girl has stuck by you through everything, even when it put her life in danger. She'd never leave you, and you'd never let anyone take her, would you?"
"That doesn't mean it couldn't happen," he argued.
"Then you'd regret never having been close to her while you had her."
"Why are you doing this?"
"You've done a lot for me. I just want you to be happy now."
'She really is her old self,' he thought to himself.
They sat in comfortable silence for a while, both content with the way things were between them now. Fate may have been cruel to them over fifty years ago, but at least things were going to be okay now.
Kikyo close her eyes, seeming to be thinking something over. She opened them with a smile just before she spoke.
"When you do make a wish on the Sacred Jewel, don't worry about Kagome's well. I'll take care of it."
"You can do that?" His jaw had practically dropped.
"Consider it a gift to the girl, to try and make up for everything I put her through."
"I… Thank you." He was speechless again.
"And keep an eye on her too. Now that her soul is whole again, she's going to have even greater spiritual power than before, and she won't know how to handle it right away."
"I'm happy you're you again, Kikyo."
"I am too. Is it alright if I visit you again sometime?"
He nodded, and she smiled as she faded away.
Inuyasha woke up then, his senses suddenly aware of the night around him. He heaved a sigh of relief, not because Kikyo was gone, but because she was at peace finally. It was something he had wondered about often.
Kikyo was happy, Kagome was happy, and yes, even he was pretty happy. Everything was right in the world. Well, almost.
He silently jumped out of his tree and onto the ground, padding softly into Kagome's hut. She was sleeping peacefully and Shippo was curled up in her arms. He crouched down over her and gently tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear.
"Inuyasha?" she mumbled as her eyes fluttered open.
Shit. He hadn't meant to wake her up.
"Yeah, it's me," he whispered so as not to wake the sleeping kitsune. "Just go back to sleep."
Kagome watched as he strode over to the corner of the room and situated himself against the wall, positioning Tetsusaiga in his lap and tucking his arms into his sleeves. He closed his eyes to sleep, and Kagome couldn't help but smile largely as she closed her eyes too. Maybe he was finally ready to be close to her after all.
Author's note: I told you the epilogue would be short! I'm not very proud of this, but I just wanted to establish that Kikyo was at peace, and she was letting Inuyasha know that it was all right to move on. And yeah, Kikyo might have been a little OOC, but she was a kind person before she died (something I think they established on the show) and now she's back to her old self in this. So that's my explanation.
Also, I would really really really appreciate feedback on this whole story. I have in mind to write more Inuyasha stories (got a few plots floating around in my head. Yes, real plots), but if I just royally suck at this I'd like to know. So please, be kind, review. Thanks!
And now, my one reviewer response:
IY-luver789 – Yes! Just the reaction I was hoping for. I was trying very hard to keep the readers guessing, even though I had always planned for them to be together in the end. I like happy endings. Nothing pisses me off more than a movie or story with a crappy ending. If people can't work things out for the better, then what the hell's the point?! Anywho, I can't thank you enough for all you're reviews. It made it all worth it to know that someone was enjoying this. Thanks a billion!