Chapter 39: Redemption and Happily Ever After
Inuyasha lays, a broken man, sobbing over Kagome's body as the servants come out, curiosity overriding caution at their master's howls. Eyes peer carefully around the doorway, narrowing at the sight. Finally, the two who doubtless would find out, do, and Souta comes running into the room, tears flowing freely. "KAGOME!" he calls out, voice hoarse. Inuyasha moves away, squatting on his back legs, his bangs hiding his eyes as his true love's young brother goes through the same denial he did, then her grandfather, all the while staying unreachable, apart from everyone else.
Soon enough he is left alone, feeling as if he'd had his heart ripped out and served to him. The last few rays are breaking into the room when he feels a presence that he hadn't felt in ten years. "Inuyasha…the time has come. I have watched you, and it is now time for my judgement."
"I don't care. Leave me be, please, my day's been Hell, and I don't care about your stupid judgement anymore Kikyo." He says, not even bothering to look up.
The long-gone witch smiles, "I know Inuyasha, though I believe you may be interested in hearing me out. I have watched how you interacted with people and faced the major problems that were put against you. Inuyasha, you were willing to give your control of your body, in essence your 'self', to protect this girl. In turn, she gave herself to save you. The requirements have been met, you are free."
Inuyasha just scoffs, angry, hurt eyes now piercing her with their gaze, "Free? Free! Who the hell cares about being free! The reason I've stayed alive this long is dead. She's dead Kikyo, because I was to weak to stop her from getting hurt. So…just…go away. Turn the others back to normal, but just leave me to mourn."
Kikyo smiles softly, "Inuyasha, remember, Naraku said that the jewel you gave her could be used."
Inuyasha's eyes soften immediately, "You mean…it's possible…"
Kikyo chuckles, "More then possible Inuyasha. I can do it quite easily. Watch." With that, she walks over and plucks the jewel from the young girl's neck, holding it to her chest. She's silent for a moment before opening her eyes and holding the jewel in front of her and over the body, grasping it only by the strings of the necklace.
"Jewel of Light and Four Souls, I beseech of you, turn towards your new master. Heal her in the way that only you can, with each of the four souls that lies within you. Use aramitama to give her the courage to make it through the spirit realm that holds her back to the mortal plane, megimetama to remind her of the friends that mourn her loss, sakimetama to rekindle her love for the one who mourns her most and kushimetama to give her the wisdom to begin living again. Spread your light through her, so that she may spread your light to others." As she speaks, the jewel begins to glow, becoming brighter and brighter at mention of each of the souls. Finally, she moves away, leaving the jewel floating there, like a miniature star above the still lifeless body of Kagome.
For a moment, it just hangs there, suspended in the air. Then, it began to turn, slowly at first, then quicker and quicker, picking up speed and brilliance as it went, until finally, all have to look away from it to keep themselves from becoming blind. The great light-purple light shines for many moments, eclipsing everything, sight, sound, smell, all was the light. Finally, Inuyasha hears a voice, one he hasn't heard in an even longer period of time then Kikyo's. "Inuyasha…"
He opens one of his eyes and lowers his arm, which he had raised to shield his eyes further, amazed at the sight before him. "M…Mother? Father? What are you doing here? You're dead."
The couple chuckles a bit before looking to their son, holding each other close, "Yes we are my little puppy, but the jewel decided to give us a few moments to for you to see us while it picked up that charming young lady that you've seemed to have fallen for." His mother says, smiling a bit mischievously.
Inuyasha can only blush as his father jibes him slightly, "So, the one we picked out not good enough eh? Don't worry son, you have a real eye, she's quite the looker." Is all he gets out before being elbowed in the gut by his wife.
"Really honey, that's nothing to be telling our son." She chides him before turning back to him. "Oh my little boy, you've grown up so much since I've seen you last! Remember son, no matter what else happens in life, your momma and poppa love you, and so does that girl. Take care of her, alright sweetie?"
Inuyasha rolls his eyes, "I know Mother. I…I love you too. Good bye Mother, bye Pops."
This causes them both to smile, "Goodbye son, and know that we are always proud of you."
With that the two disappear from view, then the light recedes as well, until finally Kikyo, Inuyasha and Kagome are alone in the room once again, and the jewel drops down to her side, looking dull and unempowered whatsoever. The first noticeable thing is that there is now no blood anywhere in the room, Naraku's corpse having been seared away by the light.
The next thing one would notice, had one been present earlier, was the completeness of Kagome's form, throat and all, along with a soft kind of glow that seems to emanate from her. Finally, if one looks carefully enough, one can see the soft rise and fall of her chest. Inuyasha stands still, barely daring to breathe as he watches her. Kikyo finally stands beside him and says simply, "Go Inuyasha, and know that your love was what truly saved her."
That's all he needs to hear before he breaks off, running to her side and plopping down beside her. He picks up her head and gently lays it in his lap before beginning to shake her. Slowly but surely, she opens her eyes, blinking up at him, "Huh? Inu…yasha? I had the weirdest dream…" is all she gets out before being crushed against his chest. "Inu…?"
"Thank the gods that you're alive." Is all the answer she gets.
"Thank the gods that I'm…" she trails off for a moment before pushing him away enough so that she can look him in the face, a bit shocked at the tears that are evident there before pushing that to the back of her mind so she can ask, "Inuyasha, was I…?" All she gets is Inuyasha not looking her in the eyes.
"As touching as this is, I came here to do something, and I rather hurry up with it." A voice breaks through, causing them to look towards it.
Kagome's eyes widen, 'That woman, she looks just like me. Then…she must be…' "Kikyo…" she mutters under her breath. She then turns to Inuyasha, "Inuyasha, what's she doing here? What did she come here to do?"
Kikyo chuckles, "Inuyasha, you mean to tell me that you never told her? Well, I suppose I'm not completely surprised, you never were one to let others fell sympathy for you. Child, I have come because I said I would. To pass final judgement on whether or not this arrogant beast deserves to stay in his present form or not." Both Kagome and Inuyasha's eyes narrow at the name-calling, and Kagome almost says something, but is stopped when Kikyo continues, "Inuyasha, come stand in front of me."
Inuyasha growls, but stands up and goes over to stand in front of the witch, despite Kagome trying to hold him back. "Just hurry this up witch. The less time I have to look at you the better."
Kikyo simply nods before her face becomes serious, "Inuyasha, on the final night of our marriage, I cursed you with the form that you are in right now. I did this because you were arrogant, ignorant and completely lacking of compassion of any sort. You treated everyone either as an enemy or an object. Thusly I cursed you to look as you do.
"However I also told you that in ten years that I would return to see if you had changed your ways. That day, is today. I have watched you over the day to see if you have changed sufficiently from the boar that you used to be. I am inclined to say, that though you still charge at danger rather then stay for a second and think things through, and your temper is as violent as it ever was, you have changed. I have seen your love for this girl shine through even your anger, and thusly, I will change you back.
"Now you have a choice. I made you as you are, and I can change you back, however, my powers do not end there. If you were to wish it so, I could make you human, so that those you rule would more easily accept your reign. You have known much fear and prejudice in your life Inuyasha, what I offer you now is acceptance. What say you?"
For a long moment, Inuyasha is silent, as if considering his options. Finally, he looks back to Kagome, a softness in his eyes that she reciprocates all to easily, before turning to face Kikyo again, "Sorry Kikyo, I already have acceptance. Just get me out of this body and get out of my sight and I'll be perfectly happy."
With that Kikyo nods, "Very well." Is all she says in response before lifting her hands so that they are positioned several inches in front of his chest, "Curse! This is the one who laid you! I command you now, dissipate! Leave this poor soul no longer tortured by your presence! Let him become what he once was, so that he may find everlasting happiness!"
With that, Inuyasha's body goes entirely rigid, his face turning skyward in a silent scream while a great white light pours from every possible pore of his body. If one were to look, they could see his claws becoming a bit less sharp and his fangs retracting slightly. "Inuyasha!" Kagome calls out, her eyes widening at the fantastic display.
Then, as suddenly as the process began, it ends, leaving behind a man who is decidedly without fur, only to faint as the last of the light recedes. "Inuyasha!" Kagome calls again, rushing to his side before lying his head on her lap.
Kikyo lays her hands to her sides and walks to be beside Kagome, though facing the opposite direction, and simply states, "You're a better woman than I child. You tamed what I could not. Take care of him, for the both of us." Before walking out of the room and this story, never to appear again.
A few moments pass, Kagome brushing Inuyasha's bangs to the side gently, 'He looks almost normal.' She thinks, chuckling a bit at the sight of the much-loved dog ears, which twitch slightly. She then brushes his cheek slightly while whispering his name. Slowly but surely, he opens his eyes, and she's automatically swept away by the beauty of the amber orbs that peer back at her. "Hey there, you okay?" she asks tenderly.
He blinks a couple of times, seemingly focusing and unfocusing his eyes for a few moments before sitting up like a bolt of lightning, checking his hands, arms, and then feeling his face, seemingly in awe that he, indeed, is furless. He then turns back to look at Kagome, clearly wonderstruck, only able to mutter, "Kagome…"
She can't help but tilt her head at the sound of his voice, it was strange. It was his, yet, not. It sounded, softer, as if some of the edge had been scraped off. She has no more time to go on with that line of thought as she is yanked off the ground and spun around. She gives a yelp of surprise and it takes her a moment to recognize that the reason she's being spun around like a proverbial top was that Inuyasha is holding her over his head, smiling at her and laughing like no tomorrow, "Kagome! I'm normal! I'm back to normal!"
Eventually, he puts her down, still gazing lovingly into her eyes, both smiling at the other like idiots. Inuyasha opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted by Souta, who comes crashing into the room "What's the matter? I saw that weird light and ran here as fast as I…" the boy trails off as he takes in the sight of a transformed Inuyasha and a sister that was very much alive. He stands there for a moment before screaming, "KAGOME!" and running towards her. She smiles softly and breaks away from Inuyasha so that she can scoop her little brother up into her arms. Souta can't help but sob "I thought you were gone for sure!"
Kagome only chuckles, "Oh Souta, come on now! Surely you knew that Inuyasha would find a way to save me? He's invincible you know."
Souta wipes his eyes and nose on his sleeve before nodding, "Of course I know he is! Big brother can beat anything!"
Inuyasha raises an eyebrow at the term of 'brother', but Kagome only chuckles once more, "Right, now go and hurry to Grandpa and tell him that I'm fine. Wouldn't want him to do anything rash, right?"
Souta nods again and as soon as he's let out of her arms he races from the room. Kagome looks after him, smiling to herself before being brought out of her thoughts by Inuyasha clearing his throat. She turns around to find him smirking at her in the way that is his and his alone, while saying, "Now, where were we?"
Kagome simply smirks back, replying with, "I think right…about…here." Before leaning up to capture his lips with her own. As she does, and he responds, several lights appear all over the castle, only one of which is in the bedroom with them.
Soon enough, they part, having not even noticed the grand display, and they have their attention drawn to their surroundings by a light moan. They look towards it, only to be surprised to find a young man with jet black hair wearing a monk's robes lying on the ground, clearly unconscious, though just beginning to come around. "Miroku?" Inuyasha mutters, "I'd totally forgotten he was in here."
Kagome chuckles and nods her head, "So did I. Boy, is HE going to be surprised, he missed out on all the action!"
Inuyasha smirks a bit before going over to the inanimate body of one who had served him loyally and selflessly for longer then he could remember. He shakes the body gently, aware that Kagome is behind him, leaning over the body as well. "Hey, Miroku, wake up. Come on, it's not like you to sleep on the job."
Miroku wakes up violently, his brain obviously picking up where it had left off, which happened to be not a very good moment, "MASTER INUYASHA!" he yells, causing the hanyou's ears to flatten against his head.
"Quiet idiot, I'm right here." He says, a bit disgruntled at the unwelcome noise.
"Oh, Master Inuyasha! You're awake, and look none the worse for wear! I thought for sure that I had…failed…you…" he trails off, suddenly taking notice in the changes in his lord, "Master, your face…and your eyes…they are as they were…and you seem…smaller. Does that mean…dare I hope…?"
Kagome takes over at this point, "Yes Miroku. You can dare hope, because it's true. You're human again!"
A look of shock comes over the boy's face as he stutters out, "I'm…I'm…I'm…" over and over, like a faulty record. As he does, he looks blankly down, at his hands, his clothes, in essence, the rest of his body, like it's a foreign vessel. He then looks up at Inuyasha, a smile slowly breaking across his face, "Lord Inuyasha, you broke the curse! We are free at last!" And with that he gives a joyous whoop and jumps to his feet, only to fall straight back onto his butt. He merely laughs at the concerned looks on the others faces, "I have legs! Ha ha! That's going to take some getting re-used to! And everything is so much smaller now!" He then works himself back onto his feet, this time helped by the other two, and wobbily makes his way over to the bed.
Over the next few hours, it was found that everyone had regained their proper forms, much to the surprise of Souta and Grandpa, who had to once in a lifetime opportunity to watch a clock turn into a young woman and a cup turn into what appeared to be a small boy with a bushy tail. It takes a while, but finally Inuyasha and Kagome are able to get everyone into the main hall and explain exactly what had happened.
By the end of the story, every person in the hall, human and demon alike, let out a joyous whoop. The clamor is so great, the windows rattle in their frames. And as those below celebrate, the two who had done the explaining look on, content in each others arms, like they were posed for a picture. And if anyone were to look at them, they'd swear that the old King and Queen had come back from the dead and stood there, royal and kind as ever. And so we leave them, so that we can say, as all good stories end, they lived happily ever after.
A.N. sniff sniff 'That was it! Finito, done, completed!' sighs 'I can't believe that it's done! You guys don't understand, besides one-shots, this is the FIRST thing EVER that I've actually completed! It's been a wonderful time, I can't even put into words what you guys' reviews and words have meant to me. They have been an encouragement and a beacon of light to me when I felt that I could go no further!' Many tears stream down my face before I'm whacked upside the head by my muse 'OW! Alright, alright, I'll stop being so dramatic, but really guys, thank you SO much. I'll probably put an epilog onto this, just to round it out, you know, tie up loose strings, but besides that, this is it! And now, for possibly the last time ever on this story, onto Reviewer Replies! First off, a very heartfelt thank you to silveryuki06, Lil-Yasha, Neko-Yuff16, glenlightarrow, C.A.M.E.O1 and Only, AkeryouSesshoumarusmate, galaxy guardian, Inu Youkai Gurl, Inu Kirby, fluffyrachel, Ame Arashi Hiwatari, SitDog-Boy, Animegurlzrule. For their wonderful reviews! Well...I guess that's all folks. I'll see you in the epilog, then it'll be syonara to everyone in this story. I don't plan on making a sequel, but if anyone has ideas for one, I'm not opposed to listening to them. Well, that's all for now, R&R everyone!