Author's Note: The last chapter is here! I can't believe it!... Well yeah I guess I can... but still! You know what I mean! Thank you everyone for your reviews, telling me how much you loved my stories, how evil I was and for how nice I am. It means a lot to me. I'm sorry for the delay in the update, but as I was about to post the chapter on the 18th as planned, I found out my server was down so there was pretty much nothing I could do. On the way to Galveston, I got on a friend's laptop and talked to my brother on the phone and taught him how to post it there when our server is up. Well it's finally fixed I guess so now the chapter is here! And no this isn't the last you'll see of me everyone. When I return from Galveston on the 25th, I'll be starting a new story. I've had a lot of new ideas in mind. See you all again soon! Please read and review! Enjoy the last chapter!

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha

Chapter Thirty-Three: Coming of Age

It was not until many hours later that day, when the day was reaching dusk, that Inuyasha and the others had at long last made it back home with weary smiles. Sesshoumaru and Rin had departed and went home after Inuyasha had made his wish. The others understood though, Sesshoumaru wasn't really the life of the party kind of guy. But that was more than ok, and so they didn't mind the two of them leaving so soon.

As the group neared to Kaede's hut, the more familiar things around them became. It was like finally breathing fresh air from being in a house on fire for hours and hours. They knew they were close and too excited, as well as homesick, to stop and rest their aching feet.

Right then, Inuyasha heard the most beautiful sounds he could have asked for at this instant, Kaden and Rikku's innocent laughter. 'I can't wait to finally see them again… I've waited forever.'

When the hut finally came into complete view, everyone in the group sighed and stopped walking, just to take it all in. Inuyasha turned to look at Kagome and he put an arm around when he saw she was crying and smiling at once.

Miroku and the boys smiled as well, very tired and happy to be home.

All Inuyasha could do was only stand there and watch Kaden and Rikku just be free, playing and laughing. They were so lucky… they didn't have a single care in the world. Inuyasha envied their young age for that reason.

He sighed; it was a sight he loved and couldn't help but have his tedious smile grow into a happier one. He didn't stop smiling when he saw Rikku suddenly do a double take toward them. She had tears in her eyes and ran toward him straight away, "Mommy! Daddy!" She cried in both joy and distress. Kaden was very soon to follow and they both were nearing the group.

Inuyasha bent his knees to kneel down to their level just as they practically flew into his arms. It was only then and there that he let his tears fall without any restraint. While he fought Taisuke, there were certain times when he thought he would never return home to see his daughters again. He was ashamed to think that now. He should not have doubted himself. However that did not matter at this time, he was home, he was safe, and he was grateful.

As the girls cried they kept repeating how much they missed him, mom, Taikan and Sanae, how they were so worried, and how they knew he wouldn't lose no matter what, they had always had faith in him.

Inuyasha felt brokenhearted at seeing how much he worried them. Inuyasha reluctantly let them go when he noticed Kagome knelt down also, wanting to hug them as well.

Teishin and Keiko were both crying too, hugging Miroku and Asoka as they did so. "Dad! Asoka! We missed you both so much!" Teishin and Keiko were so joyful that they were back.

Once the both of them went to Asoka to welcome him back now, Miroku looked around attentively, 'Where is Sango?' He wondered and he felt a pang of tension in his heart. Surely nothing had happen to her, right? Otherwise Teishin or Keiko would have told him about it by now. He began growing anxious and walked hurriedly toward the hut where she would supposedly be.

However before he could reach it he heard hurried foot steps coming straight from behind him. Just as he turned around to see who it was, the person had already crashed into him, sending them both on the hard ground with a loud thud. Miroku groaned painfully and looked up to see none other than Sango on top of him, emotions of all kinds gracing her beautiful features. "You're back!" She cried happily and started kissing him all over his face. He didn't mind this at all, however he was trying to tell her how much he missed her.

Suddenly Sango pulled away and slapped him right across the face, "Do not EVER leave me alone for that long ever again! You hear me Miroku? Do you have any idea how worried I was about you? I can't tell you how many times I was about to just walk straight to the South to go and drag your ass back here with me but then I thought against it because you know I am just a little thing called "pregnant" and everything but I just couldn't think straight! You see what you do to me Miroku? I ought to kick your ass right here and now for everything you have ever-"

Miroku could only stare wide eyed at her with a hand placed softly on the cheek she had slapped while she just sat on him. And let's just say it wasn't the most comfortable feeling he would have asked for, considering the extra weight of their baby. She was still rambling on and all he could do was stare into her beautiful eyes.

Once she was finally finished she was breathing heavily and glaring at Miroku… "WELL?" She shouted and waited for him to say something. Miroku's eyes softened as he carefully sat up and leaned his upper weight on his elbows and put a hand on her cheek, "So… what you're trying to say is… you love me and think I am too irresistible to pass up?" He suggested with a stupid grin.

Sango was baffled. Her shook her fists and clenched her teeth and Miroku could have sworn her eye twitched… But then she let them fall by her sides and she let her shoulders droop as she looked back at him, "Oh just shut up and kiss me." She said and knocked him to the ground again.

Kagome was the first to see them like that and she couldn't stop laughing. Inuyasha rolled his eyes, "Pfft, get a room." Miroku smiled in the kiss, 'Oh don't you worry Inuyasha, I plan on it.' He thought as though he was some kind of evil mastermind… which was just silly.

Kaede walked out of the hut, much slower and cautious than Inuyasha remembered. And behind her warm welcoming smile, he could sense something had happened.

An hour later, when Sango had ended her so called torturing on Miroku, and when all the welcome backs were said and done, everyone was settled in Kaede's hut.

This time was used for Inuyasha's explanation on how he defeated Taisuke. He told the story so descriptively that it amazed Kagome and the children to no end. The children, save for Taikan and Sanae, sat wide eyed in front of Inuyasha, paying close attention to all of what he said. Kaede and the other adults listened as well, Miroku and Kagome commenting here and there about their parts and what had happened to them.

At the end Kaede straightened her back that ached somewhat, "I am glad to hear that you have fought your best Inuyasha. Surely the world would be doomed without ye and Sesshoumaru to help overpower Taisuke."

Inuyasha nodded, "But Kaede, will he come back? Is there any chance that he may return to this world?" He asked in complete caution. If this demon were to ever come back, he and Sesshoumaru would surely want to be ready to take him down for the second time.

Kaede smiled, which instantaneously made everyone else follow in suit, "No, he will not return Inuyasha. And I know of this for the reason that Kikyo told me so."

Inuyasha was surprised by this, "Kikyo told you? When? In your vision that you had earlier?" Kaede nodded, "Yes, she had told me wonderful things of ye Inuyasha… And as well as ye aslo Kagome." She glanced at the younger miko with a warm smile.

Kagome was dumbfounded for a second and pointed to herself, "Me? What could she possibly have to say… about me?" She wondered.

"She had heard your wish child." Kagome brightened at the news, "And, it has come true, right?... We haven't checked for ourselves to see as of yet." Kagome admitted. Kaede shook her head in dismay, "No it has come true Kagome, but there is one thing Kikyo told me about it that is not what you expected."

Inuyasha narrowed his eyes, "What do you mean Kaede? Something went wrong with the wish?" Kaede looked at him now, "No no, it is just that the wish will not take place today, nor tomorrow." The hanyou was in shock, "What the hell Kaede! It won't happen soon? But it has come true nonetheless?" He demanded, to which Kagome put a hand on his arm to calm him down.

Kaede sighed and shook her head, "Nay, it will happen, in one day, for only one day, and when that day comes… you will know." She looked straight into Kagome's eyes which were filled with uncertainty.

Tiny flakes of pure snow fell lightly from the graying skies above. Everything was lightly covered in frost, the homes, the ground, the trees, the mountains. It was beautiful, this winter especially, for no one knew why, but it just was. It had a certain, joyous feeling to it, not like any other winter had brought.

"Daddy Daddy, lookie I made a snow angel!" Kaden smiled in pointed to the snow angel on the ground she had made all by herself. Inuyasha smiled, "I see it sweetheart, it's beautiful." Inuyasha called back softly from where he was standing in front of his home, leaning against the outside wall of it, keeping watch over the kids as they gladly played in the snow.

Miroku and Sango would have been here as well, which they almost always were. However Sango was having abdomen pains and headaches. Kaede said she was not in labor, not as of yet, but nearing soon, in about a few weeks. And so, Miroku stayed behind with her, which was both a great pain causer and reliever for Sango.

And as such, Inuyasha and Kagome babysat their kids. They didn't mind, they were practically their aunt and uncle for all anyone knew. That was how their kids always addressed them by anyway, Kagome especially loved that.

Inuyasha kept careful watch on the seven kids as Kagome was busy inside making them all hot soup.

Inuyasha watch as a snow ball hit Teishin in the face and he fell backwards from the impact. Everyone laughed and Asoka helped him up, "You ok?" He chuckled and Teishin smiled while rubbing his cheek, "Yeah, but who threw that?"

Everyone looked at young Rikku who was jumping up and down, "Yes yes! I got you I got you! Did you see that Daddy? It was a perfect shot!" Inuyasha laughed out loud, "I sure did sweetie." Inuyasha called back with a loving smile. Rikku stopped jumping and instead punched the air with her tiny fist in victory, which she had gotten from Taikan. All the children laughed and began throwing more snowballs at one another.

A moment later Kagome came outside and stood next to Inuyasha, pushing back stray locks of hair behind her ear that had escaped her low ponytail. He put an arm around her as she laid her head on his shoulder, "They're having so much fun." She said and Inuyasha nodded, "Yeah."

Just then, Kagome narrowed her eyes in concentration. 'What am I sensing?' Inuyasha felt Kagome slip away from him, walking forward a few steps and turned to face her right side. The hanyou grew concerned and wet to her, "Kagome, what's wrong? Do you see something?" He tried looking at whatever she was, but she absentmindedly shook her head. "Inuyasha… I think… I sense the power… from the well." Inuyasha's eyes widened. This was it, Kagome's wish was finally coming true like Kaede and Kikyo had said. When the miko said that it would happen one day, that Kagome would know, and she does.

Inuyasha immediately stepped forward to the kids, "Everyone come inside, and don't ask why. Taikan, Asoka, watch the others, Kagome and I will be back in a while." He said and guided them inside. Taikan turned to him, "Is everything alright Father?" Inuyasha smiled at his thirteen year old son, "Everything's great we'll be back soon. Everyone eat some soup that Kagome made and keep the fire going." Inuyasha said and watched Asoka and Taikan give him an affirmative nod that they will keep watch over everything.

Inuyasha turned around and went back outside with Kagome. He stood with his back to her and kneeled down, "Ready?" Kagome glanced down at him and smiled, "I've been ready for nearly fourteen years Inuyasha." She replied softly and carefully situated herself on his back, and while getting a firm grip of her legs, Inuyasha took off in the direction of the well.

Taikan pursed his lips as he threw another block of wood into the fireplace. And as expected, the flames grew and the heat increased, filling the home with comforting warmth, 'I still don't understand.' He thought. If everything was ok, then why did his parents have to leave in such a hurry?

Taikan sighed and stood up, turning around to see the others were in line with bowls in their hands, receiving soup from Asoka who was trying to be careful not to spill any. By the look on everyone's faces, Taikan knew they were wondering the same thing he was.

The young hanyou got a bowl himself and stood in the small line, "Listen guys, I know what you're thinking and we'll discuss it." He announced. As he said this Asoka poured some soup for Sanae and stammered a 'your welcome' when she said thank you. He looked at Taikan, "I'm sure it's nothing to worry about Taikan. It's probably that Lady Kagome's wish came true. Lady Kaede said it would, one random day, right?" He explained and he saw his best friend nod in response, "Yeah, but-" He was about to say something else, but decided against it.

Kaden turned to look at Taikan after she sipped some of her soup, "But Taikan, I kinda wish I got to go with them, you know?"

Taikan nodded to her, "I understand how you feel Kaden, but it wasn't our wish, it was Mother's. She really wanted it, and I was sad for her, because all my life, I could tell she was a little miserable inside, because she missed her old home so much." Kaden saddened and looked down, but then she felt Taikan's arm around her shoulders and saw him smile, "But it's ok, she finally gets to see her home. She finally gets to be happy… really happy."

Everyone sat down as Taikan left his younger sister's side to go retrieve blankets for everyone to wrap themselves in.

Rikku sat by the fire and gazed out the window into the falling snow, 'I don't think Mommy will be happy for long… and I don't know why.'

Kagome shut her eyes tight against the freezing winds that practically slapped her face with cold frost, just as hot tears were surfacing. 'This is it, I… I have been waiting for this moment for so long… and never thought it would come.'

Inuyasha could feel Kagome's emotions, and smiled vaguely, "Don't worry, we're almost there. It'll be ok, you'll see." He said loudly over the sound of fierce winds that filled their ears because of their fast pace. Kagome gripped his haori tighter and turned her face to rest against his shoulder, "I can't wait." She smiled. This moment that was to come, it meant everything to her. She finally got this chance to see her mother and brother again. Oh how much they must have changed. All these years… finally, Kagome could see her younger brother, whom she knows must be much taller than her. This brought more tears to her eyes and her smile grew to quiet laughter. She wondered if maybe he had a steady girlfriend, or maybe even married already, like her. And her mother, Kagome wondered if she let her hair grow out. She always said she would.

Inuyasha's run slowed to a jog, and soon enough to walking, which thankfully broke down the fast winds that had made his face cold and hot at the same time. He could barely feel his bare feet beneath him, pale and covered in snow. He didn't mind it thought, they were always like that in the winter times.

The hanyou gently set Kagome down and they both stood a few feet in front of the well.

As anticipated, the well's power felt so much stronger to Kagome. In fact, she saw it glow a very faint light purple color. The tops of the wooden well were covered with thick vines that had grown wrapping itself all around it, tangled and dying form the cold weather and sprinkled in snow. Kagome sighed very shakily and she stepped forward, gulping her fears of failure from her thoughts.

Inuyasha sensed her doubt and held her hand, "Do not be afraid that the well won't work Kagome… Look." He whispered softly, "It's glowing… right before us… it'll work… I know it will." He said and placed his hand on her cheek, turning her head to face him. He smiled and kissed her, relieving her of all the worries she could possibly have.

He pulled back after a while and took her hand in his once more. They stepped forward right in front of the well now. Kagome cried without a sound, just looking down the well brought back so many memories of her jumping in and out of it in the past when she was in her teens. She missed it so much and felt she had taken it all for granted. Kagome sighed once more and roughly grabbed the wooden sill of the well, snow smashing under her hands and it grew numb quickly. Inuyasha placed his foot on the sill and they both looked at one another, "We'll jump in together, like old times." He whispered and she nodded with a grateful smile.

With one unsteady leap, Inuyasha and Kagome jumped down the well, feeling the cold never leave them.

They reached the bottom softly, the power of the well sort of carrying them in a way. Once it faded, Kagome and Inuyasha both looked at one another in the near darkened well, then at the same time, the both looked up, and saw complete darkness. Kagome smiled and sobbed her fears away, "We…we made it." She cried happily and hugged Inuyasha tightly. He hugged back, "It's just what you wanted Kagome… you're home, I'm so happy that you're home."

He helped her stand up, and never let go of her as he jumped up high to get out of the well. Once he landed on the ground, he let one arm free from her, and they both looked around. They were in the well house. Kagome was so joyful, she felt like dancing. "This can't be real." She whispered.

Inuyasha stepped in front of the doorway, his hand leaning on it, "It's real Kagome. It's all real." He replied softly and pushed the doors open slowly, the gray light of day filling the darkness. They both saw the shrine, the sacred tree, and the house.

Kagome couldn't feel herself breathe as she blinked, and let more tears fall. 'It's here… everything is still here.' She felt her legs uncontrollably take her forward as she looked at everything around herself, smiling and laughing. She held both her hands together to her chest in excitement, "Oh Inuyasha… nothing has changed… it's still my old home… it's all still here."

Inuyasha felt his heart soar as he watched her, twirling around and raising her arms up to the sky as high as she could, feeling free. He walked up to her, "Come on, let's go find your family." He watched her eyes brighten and she grabbed his hand. They both hurriedly jogged toward the shrine together hand in hand. It was so wonderful, the felt like they were truly young again and just married again.

Kagome felt like she was in heaven. She was aware of her old feelings of everyday school, cleaning, babysitting Souta, and hanging out with her friends, all taking place in her heart. She honestly felt fifteen again.

Without warning, Kagome instantly stopped running. Inuyasha didn't and sort of accidentally pulled her a few steps forward, which she followed but he could feel it was forced. Inuyasha turned to look at her to see why she had stopped, but she did not look back at him, not once. Inuyasha looked to what she was looking at and saw someone looking to be about in their twenties nearby the shrine, sweeping the snow to clear the walkway. He was not dressed in the proper shrine robes though; he was dressed in dark blue jeans and a black shirt with a black leather jacket over it. He also wore dark gloves on his hands; they had holes in them so all the fingers showed through.

The miko felt her face pale in delight as she had a suspicion of who it was. Kagome walked a few steps closer to make sure, then, with an unsteady voice she called out softly, "… Souta?" She grew nervous as she saw the man lift his head up and turn his upper body slightly to look at whoever had called his name.

Souta's expression turned from sad to shock when he saw Kagome near the sacred tree with Inuyasha. At first, he thought he was losing his mind. But then he dropped the broom and turned to face her fully, "It can't be…" His deep voice said aloud as he took one step forward, trying to get a closer look at the woman he thought to be his sister.

Kagome came closer as well; she called one more time, tears blurring her vision as she smiled. " S-Souta." She said it softer, though not in a question like last time, she knew it was him and she knew he heard her.

The young man instantly bolted toward her, tears filling his dark brown eyes. As he came closer, Kagome saw his face that was so similar to the young boy she knew so well before. Although now, his features were much sharper and darker, he was much taller than she was and even very built, maybe even a little more so than Inuyasha. "Kagome!" She heard his deep and unfamiliar voice call to her just as he hugged her to him so tight she couldn't breathe.

Both their bodies rocked with sobs, "I can't believe it's you Kagome… you finally came back…. I missed you so much… You're' here…. You're here." He kept reassuring himself in a soft voice that she was real.

Inuyasha stayed back, watching the brother and sister come together again after all these years of separation. It amazed the hanyou how strong the resemblance was between the both of them now that Souta was older.

Inuyasha felt so happy for Kagome he couldn't even describe it. He was so glad she had this chance to see her family again, this time, for the last time.

He couldn't believe how much the young boy had grown into this man before him. The hanyou grew sad; he never knew how much he would miss the young, calling him his hero.

Souta pulled back, moving his arms to her shoulders so he could really look at her. He was amazed and confused. He carefully looked into her eyes and spoke slowly, "…Kagome… you… you haven't aged a day." He brushed her bangs lightly as he felt himself become even more confused at why she was still so young. Kagome nodded, "I-I know. It's because, when Inuyasha and were married, I received his lifespan, so that we would live together at the same time… I … I don't think I will change in more years to come." She said softly and he nodded now in understanding.

She continued with a growing smile, "But you Souta, you don't look nearly at all the same... as you use to…" She saddened, a part of her felt like she was hugging a stranger, but her heart knew, it knew he was the same Souta she loved. The man nodded and blushed from the comments, "I know, but it's still me Kagome… I'll never change on the inside." And he was right. Kagome smiled and nodded as well, he was still a crybaby. And that made Kagome so happy.

Kagome turned to Inuyasha who was still a few feet from them, then glanced back at Souta, "You must have missed Inuyasha too haven't you?" She laughed a bit and the man smiled as a chuckle escaped his lips, "Of course I did."

Both men walked toward each other and shook hands as they patted one another on the back, "What's up man." Souta said and Inuyasha took his turn to laugh, "Nothin' much kid." They both laughed, and Inuyasha realized what he had said, "I guess I shouldn't call you a kid huh, heck you're almost taller than I am." He said as he rubbed the back of his neck. Souta laughed, "Don't worry about it Inuyasha, I kinda missed it."

A sudden bright shine caught Kagome's eye. She looked at Souta's left hand and gasped with excitement, "Souta, you're married?" She came closer and saw his golden ring clearly. Souta blushed and looked at her, "Yeah, sure am." Kagome giggled. "Well tell me all about it." She put a hand on his shoulder and waited for him to answer.

Souta smiled, "I've been married for four years now to the love of my life." Kagome nearly giggled when she saw the far off look in his eyes and knew he was thinking about her right then. But he looked back at his sister and continued, "We live not too far from here, and we have two kids, a boy and a girl." He said proudly. Kagome hugged him another time, "Congratulations Souta! I'm so happy for you!" He hugged back, "Thank you sis." Souta rubbed her head softly, "So what about you guys? I bet you've got tons of kids right?" Kagome giggled and went to hug Inuyasha, "We sure do! We have four kids, one boy and three girls." She smiled at Inuyasha who smiled back. Souta nearly face faulted, "Three girls? Man Inuyasha, as beautiful as my sister I know they have got to look just like her." He chuckled, "You must have to be watching those girls close huh. Keepin' the young boys away." He laughed and Inuyasha nodded with smirk, "Damn straight."

Kagome hit his arm softly, "Inuyasha." He just shrugged and took the defensive, "What? Haven't you noticed it by now? I've been doing damn good job at that lately." She rolled her eyes, "Oh really, if you ask me it looks like her and Asoka are really getting to know each other." Inuyasha narrowed his eyes at her, "What the hell do you mean Kagome?"

But then seeing her smirk he knew she was telling the truth. He groaned and slapped his forehead, "Damn it. You've got to be kidding me, he's a lecher just like his father!" He knew the young boy wasn't, but hey he had to make some kind of point to back himself up. Kagome rolled her eyes again and looked back at Souta who looked as though he was enjoying the little scene. Inuyasha crossed his arms over his chest and muttered, "I'll deal with this crap later when we get back home."

Kagome smiled and turned to Souta. She was so excited that she even jumped up and down once just like Inuyasha had seen Rikku do earlier back home. "Souta where's Mom? I can't wait to see the look on her face when she sees me! Oh tell me how much she has changed. She must be so different now like you." At seeing the sudden slight terrified look on Souta's face, Kagome stopped and felt her smile fade, "Souta… what's wrong… Isn't Mom still here?... She didn't move away or anything like that right? That's not like her at all." She said and was becoming very distressed.

Inuyasha noticed this sudden tension and so slowly let his arms fall down by his sides. Something told him that Kagome was going to be hurt.

Souta bit his lip and looked the other way, not wanting her to know at all what had happened to their mother, not at all.

Kagome narrowed her eyes in curiosity and anxiety as she stood in front of her brother and looked up at him, "Tell me Souta… where is she?" After a while she saw tears brim his eyes and she gripped his shoulders tightly, "Tell me! Souta you're scaring me!" She shook him lightly, "Please…. Please tell me where our mother is." She sobbed.

Souta right away hugged Kagome again and said the most dreadful words Kagome hoped to never hear in her life, "She's dead." He sobbed into her shoulder and held her tighter for his own comfort, "She's gone… She died six years ago... She was murdered." He clenched his teeth at the last part he said. The man who killed their mother had done it… just for the hell of it… She just happened to be walking in town when two guys came from behind her and had their way with her. The creep was dead now though, his friend betrayed him and took his life, for reasons no one knew.

Inuyasha was wide eyed and felt his face pale in absolute dismay. Kagome's mother was dead? It just can't be true.

Kagome felt so lost. She thought she would see her mother one more time, maybe never having another chance to see either of them ever again. At this moment, Kagome forgot she was home, she forgot Inuyasha and Souta were with her. She was scared, alone, and helpless. She felt her heart sink and her head feel light. She cringed and screamed a heart wrenching cry, "No!"

Kagome whimpered and gasped in a sob. "She… she can't be." Her mother wasn't supposed to be dead. She was the kindest woman anyone could ever meet, it was unlikely to think that someone like her would just be… gone.

Kagome cried in her brother's shoulder, 'This wasn't supposed to happen. I was ready to see her for so long, and now she's gone… Just like that.'

Kagome pulled back and looked at him intently, "Where…?" Was all the miko was able to whisper carefully, not sure if she was saying anything right at all. Souta put an arm around her and led the way to somewhere she didn't know yet, Inuyasha was on her other side, holding her hand.

And before she knew it, Souta had stopped walking and looked down at a flat gravestone on the ground that was nearly all blanketed with snow. Kagome instantly felt her legs give way and she dropped to her knees. All she could do was keep her eyes set only on the stone that said her mother's name in perfect cursive which it was engraved on. Inuyasha kneeled beside her and wrapped his arms around her tightly. Kagome did not respond… she barely felt his presence… Kagome lightly reached out her hand and touched the stone, carefully tracing her fingers along the engraved name. "She… She's really, gone." Even though what she said was true, it did not feel as so when the words left her mouth. It was a devious feeling and she loathed it.

Souta placed his numbing hands together as he said a silent, loving prayer about his mother. Inuyasha looked into Kagome's eyes which held no life, desperately trying to see what she sees. "Kagome…" He couldn't think of anything to possibly say that would make her feel better. No matter what he said, it wouldn't bring her mother back to life again anyway. He was helpless.

Inuyasha's eyes widened… 'I'm helpless.' He stared at Kagome, realization dawning upon his face. For this first time, Inuyasha devastatingly realized that there were things that any possible words just wan not able to fix.

Inuyasha hugged her tighter but she still kept the far off look in her eyes which never left her mother's name. No, he didn't want Kagome to be like this. He didn't want her to suffer any kind of pain.

Inuyasha felt tears fall from his golden eyes, as he kept his gaze on Kagome, who was still in her own world of suffering.

It wasn't fair! He wanted to protect her!… He wanted to protect her from the world… However there was nothing he could do, nothing he could say. And he felt horrible. Inuyasha hugged her tight and whispered aloud, "It can't… It can't be helped… It can't be helped."

It was so hard… Whenever something is gained, something is always lost. It was so hard to live after something like that. What Inuyasha realized then was that sometimes what is lost, will never return. The important things, the irreplaceable things… They will be lost, and not come back… they just won't.

This life, in both eras, it was so deceitful. Why must she have her happiness taken away from her? Murder… it was life's worst enemy. Honestly, what had people gained from taking the life of another? Brief immortality, for receiving valuable things in return, or maybe just for their own sick enjoyment? It was nonsense. It was heartless. Everyone has darkness in their heart. They shouldn't. We're all alive, we all feel pain, joy, grief, anger. As far as that goes, no one is different… Don't we all know life is scared? Don't we all know we all bleed the same red blood?...

Ten years had passed since that cold day. Most things had changed; some stayed the same, the really important things…

Inuyasha walked down the towering stone steps of the castle that he and his family lived in now, his brother's castle. The hanyou had just finished having a discussion with his brother about matters concerning them and the rulers of the East. However Inuyasha knew it was nothing serious to worry about.

Once the hanyou had reached the bottom he walked onward toward the dining quarters, which he passed by a large mirror that was placed on the wall, across from a large fireplace and in the middle was set a long wooden polished table with matching chairs.

Inuyasha still wore his haori, but also with more clothing similar to Sesshoumaru's. He even had armor, which long before he had claimed to not need it, nor want it. He was always a free spirit, and did not like being weighed down by things on him that were useless to him. But Inuyasha was at higher rank of a lord now; he did not battle like he did years ago, which once in a while he missed. And as such, he would at times just take off all the armor and extra clothing just to be in his haori once again, running through the forests, feeling the wind around him, feeling free.

The hanyou made his way down the large halls that were covered in fine red carpeting and various statues, suits or armor, and weapons strewn on the thick brick walls of different shades of grays and blacks.

No one accompanied him on his little journey; he was alone, for the time being. Sanae and Asoka had gotten married, and were off by themselves, enjoying their honeymoon somewhere by the ocean. Teishin, Kaden, and Keiko were at Miroku and Sango's home, taking care of things they could not do any more by themselves, like repair the roof after a heavy storm, and things like that. And with a baby always in need to take care of, Sango was tired everyday.

Inuyasha had yet to know what Taikan and Rikku were up to, but he had a feeling he would know soon. Just as he opened the large doors to the outside he was greeted with the sounds of grunts, punches, and familiar voices. Inuyasha smiled when he saw the both of them sparing just outside with Kagome watching them.

Rikku was just about to spin kick Taikan, but he had seen it coming and so dodged it, as well as making a powerful kick to her on his own.

Rikku fell down with a hard thud and she rubbed her aching side, "Hey now Taikan, how the heck could you see that?" She asked and he smirked, "Well first of all, you're just now learning how to really fight, and I've been practicing this for years now. C'mon, get up, you're fine." Rikku smiled and laughed a bit, "Yeah I guess. But no more cheap shots, jeez." She dusted herself and clenched her fists again. And then they were off.

Kagome was leaning against a tree, smiling as she watched them, but said nothing, she didn't want to disturb them at all. Once she saw Inuyasha walking to her, her smile brightened. "Let's go somewhere else, the sun is about to set." He said to her and she kissed his cheek. "Ok." Inuyasha took off his armor and threw it on the ground, "Taikan take this inside when you're both done."

"Ok Dad." He replied just a she dodged Rikku's punch. He got behind her and had both her arms behind her back. As they were leaving they heard a faint, "No fair!" From Rikku and they both laughed.

Inuyasha and Kagome held hands as they walked a very short way to a large hill that perfectly overlooked the sunset they would always watch together almost everyday. On their way there, they said nothing; they didn't need to say anything. They just listened to the sounds around them that they have grown more accustomed to each passing day.

Once they reached the hill, they sat down together and Inuyasha put his arm around Kagome's shoulders. She leaned into him and they both watched the sun that was now touching the far off mountains in the distance.

This was paradise, Inuyasha had everything he needed. He had everything he could ever possibly want even when, in his far past, that he thought he would die, with nothing. How he loved to be wrong about that.

Instead of watching the sunset this time, he looked down at Kagome, who had dozed off into a light sleep. He smiled and never left his gaze from her. He loved it this way. If time would stop, he really wouldn't mind.

The moment Inuyasha was reunited with everything he had ever protected, the light took the sadness, the heartache, the grief... And so, with the happiness that he knows now he will forever have, he will tell you now that this is the end of his past, and the beginning of his future.