InuYasha tried to hide his smile as Kagome dropped her bag on the bed and shifted her glare to him. "What's so funny?" she demanded as she rubbed the small of her back furiously. "And it had better not have a thing to do with the way I walk, either."
InuYasha schooled his features and blinked innocently. "Funny? What? I wasn't laughing."
Kagome snorted and turned to the side as she smoothed her blouse over her distended belly and glowered at her reflection in the mirror over her bureau. "I look like I swallowed a whale, InuYasha," she whined. "Look at me!"
"Well, wench, you're so damn big, I can't help but look at you," he deadpanned then ducked when she threw a paperweight at his head.
"You're such a jerk," she pointed out as she rummaged through her drawers for something else to chuck at him. "You're worse than Miroku-kami, I can't believe I just said that."
InuYasha did chuckle this time as he leaned forward to catch Kagome around the waist and pulled her down onto his lap, flattening his ears as she squealed. "You're the one who wouldn't give it a rest. You're the one who just had to have a pup," he pointed out.
"Well, I didn't hear you complaining about it," she shot back. "Weren't you the one who had to announce it to everyone?"
InuYasha snorted. "Keh! That wasn't my fault."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "It was," she argued.
"Keh! Shippou knows better than to go hurling himself at you, anyway."
"At the time he didn't."
"But he does now."
"Now, sure. Then, no."
InuYasha made a face. "They'd have figured it out sooner or later anyway," he pointed out.
She rolled her eyes again. "You bellowed it loud enough for everyone in a hundred mile radius to have heard you, dog-boy."
He couldn't hide his smile this time. "I did, didn't I?"
She shook her head. "You're a lost cause, InuYasha."
"Can we go back now?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, in a minute," Kagome agreed as she struggled to stand up. In the end, InuYasha had to give her a little push which made him chuckle until she pinned him with a pouty glare. His chuckling escalated as he hopped up, snatching her backpack so she wouldn't have to bend down to retrieve it. "The doctor said that everything is fine and that it's normal to put on more weight with a hanyou baby," she remarked as she followed him into the hallway, "but this is just ridiculous. I've gained nearly sixty pounds, and I'm not even due for another month!"
InuYasha cleared his throat loudly as she stepped down on the first stair behind him. She snorted but obediently gripped the railing since it wouldn't do any good to argue with him about that, either. "You know, this won't really do much good if I fall," she pointed out.
"Yeah, well try not to, wench. You'll crush me with your extra sixty pounds."
She narrowed her eyes. "I ought to fall on purpose for that remark."
"Nah, you'll hurt the pup."
Kagome sighed. "Did you remember Marisaiko's birthday present?" InuYasha glanced back over his shoulder as a step creaked under Kagome's foot. "Say it and I'll hurt you, InuYasha," she warned before he could make a comment on that, too.
"Yes, I stuck the present in the bag. No, I wasn't gonna comment on the toll your weight is taking on the house, and you know, you're really grouchy today, Kagome."
Her eyes flashed dangerously as she stomped down the last few steps. "You're such a-"
"Kami, Kagome, was that you or were we having an earthquake?" Souta teased as he stuck his head out of the kitchen.
Kagome's cheeks blossomed in indignant color as her features shifted into an irate scowl as she yanked her coat off the wall peg. "Bye, Mama! I'm going back now so I don't knock down the shrine with my massive weight!"
InuYasha had to run to catch up with Kagome as she streaked toward the back door. She slammed it in his face, and with a few choice swear words that accompanied his amazement that she could still move that quickly, he stopped in time to avoid crashing face-first into the edifice. Teasing, Kagome could stand. Today, though, she was definitely being more touchy than normal. 'All right,' he allowed as he jerked the door open and darted outside after his wife and mate, 'maybe I should lay off for awhile.'
She was sitting on the side of the well with a mulish expression as she kicked her feet against the ground. InuYasha skidded to a stop and leaned in the doorway, wondering what the odds were that he wasn't going to have to apologize for his obnoxious behavior. The last time she'd been this irritated with him was months ago when she'd informed him that she didn't want to know what sex the pup was. When InuYasha had found out that it was possible to find out before it was born, he'd wanted to know. Kagome wanted it to be a surprise. They'd argued about it awhile but when Kagome had pulled that face on him, he'd given in, and they still didn't know.
The trouble was, she was just too adorable in her pup-induced chubbiness, and since he tended to get tongue-tied when faced with something like that, he resorted to the only other way he had to tell her. Unfortunately the teasing was obviously getting to her. He sighed. 'Baka.'
Shifting his gaze from her to the silver band on his finger, InuYasha smiled. To get her grandfather off his back, he had married Kagome just after they'd returned from bringing Kagura back to life. At least, that's the reason InuYasha gave in, or so he let them all think. To add insult to injury, Kagome had happily invited Sesshoumaru and Kagura to their wedding, and damn his rotten luck if the bastard hadn't agreed to come.
That was almost two and a half years ago now. Hard to believe that it had been that long. Harder still to believe that Marisaiko was three years old. The girl was an odd mix of miscreant and angel, and InuYasha didn't doubt for a moment that the 'miscreant' part was her father's influence. 'Course, with a mother like Sango and a doting 'aunt' like Kagome, he also didn't doubt that the girl would outgrow her father's impact.
Sighing as he stared at his mate once more, InuYasha's ears flattened guiltily when he saw that the upset in her expression hadn't lessened. "I'm sorry," he grumbled as he waited for her tirade to begin. She didn't speak, and his ears flattened even more. "I didn't mean it," he hurried on to say as he forced himself out of the doorway and hopped down the stairs.
"InuYasha . . . ."
He winced. "I said I was sorry," he grouched.
"No, InuYasha . . . ."
He frowned. Something in her voice . . . . Kneeling down in front of her, he pushed her hair out of her face and scowled. "What's wrong?"
She shook her head as her eyes met his. "It's time."
InuYasha's mind blanked. "Time for what? You hungry again? If you don't stop eating, wench-"
"Baka! It's time for the baby!"
If his mind had just blanked, it stopped functioning completely at that. "Wh-wh-what?"
Kagome winced as she pitched forward. Reflex alone moved his arms to catch her as her face contorted in pain. A low whine escaped him as an unsettling sense of déjà vu crept up his spine. "Y-you can't have it yet!" he insisted as he swept her up and ran for the shrine. "It's not supposed to be done for another fucking month!"
"Tell the baby that," Kagome grunted as she tried to breathe.
"Damn it!" InuYasha growled as he kicked open the back door and bellowed for Mrs. Higurashi.
"Oh, no!" Kagome moaned as she tried to squirm out of InuYasha's arms.
"Mari's birthday . . . . I promised Sango we'd be there . . . ."
InuYasha blinked in amazement then snorted as he shot Mrs. Higurashi an imploring look. "Don't you think this is just a little more important, Kagome?"
Mrs. Higurashi was trying not to smile. "Of course it is, dear. I'm sure Sango will understand."
Kagome started to cry.
InuYasha winced as he followed Mrs. Higurashi out of the shrine toward the waiting minivan as Souta revved the engine. If having the pup was going to be as trying as it had been when she'd had Marisaiko, he was in for a very, very long night . . . .
Because this is the epilogue, the A/N are more extensive than normal.
Looking back at this story, this is probably the least enjoyed of my fictions. That's sad. In many ways, it should have been the one I loved most, I think. It had more serious subject matter, more heart, more emotion. It also had more controversy and maybe that was the real reason I felt the way I did. While I hope it wasn't noticeable, it got to the point, probably around chapter 45, that I just didn't want to write it anymore. There's only so much bashing one person can take, and I'd had enough. What many of you didn't see were the nasty emails, the vindictive things that were said to me because I dared to keep Kagome in character, because I chose to let her do something that she really would do for a friend. I kept writing for me, and I kept posting for the people listed below, both betas as well as reviewers, and for the countless people who read every day, even if they never reviewed. Sure, I was sad when I finished this story. A part of me is always sad to see something end that I wrote. On the other hand, I have to admit, I'm glad it's over.
So what's next? Well, I'm going to finish up Purity 3 and Purity 4. I also have some other responsibilities now that limit my writing time, as well. I will keep writing, and I'm figuring the next story to get started somewhere in mid-March to early April. You guys have given me courage and strength to keep writing, even on those days when I felt like just stopping. It's for me that I may write the stories. It's for you that I upload them. I do have one request, and it is one that really does matter to me. For those who read this story, for those who read the author's notes: please don't review this story. It really has been nothing but a hurtful thing, and reviews really don't help. Don't think this is a sick ploy to get reviews. It isn't. There is nothing that can be said about this story to make me feel any differently, and even some of the more 'well intentioned' reviews just make me feel sad.
Okay, enough of that. The real Author's Notes begin now:
Notes from my beta readers:
These are the gals that keep me laughing, aggravate me to no end, and generally tell me off when I start whining. No joke, they're a huge reason why Meta was completed. It's only right that they should now be allowed to speak whatever they've got on their minds.
Sari-15 (Hentai Beta #1 aka The Baby-Belly-Beta):
During the end of Chronicles, Sue began brainstorming what exactly she wanted to do for her next story. When she mentioned having Kagome carry a child for Miroku and Sango, I was shocked. All I could think about was poor Sango, Sue sure had a knack for torturing her by not letting her have children. The only real concern I had, was how people would react to Kagome having Miroku's child, though I had no idea the controversy it would snowball into. Some of Sue's younger fans couldn't handle the idea of Kagome having Miroku's child, refusing to see past the point that it was Miroku's and Kagome's baby. It was not...It was Kagome's sacrifice to Sango, given to her from pure love. The way that Sue handled the whole situation moved me; she didn't discount the fact that her choices would be difficult ones to make for Kagome. That they would hurt her, she would feel guilt about the way it made her feel. Kagome is human, although an extremely caring and giving one. I wonder if any of the early readers who were so adamant against her having the baby for Sango are still around reading. I am curious to see if they now think differently about how they felt about Kagome's choice.
picesanela007 (Hentai Beta #2 aka All Things Dogs and Dirty Beta):
It's been a long interesting ride with ups and downs, both in the fanfic itself and in the controversy that it created amongst the readers. Personally, I greatly enjoyed this fic and found it to contain a very interesting subject matter. I am very thankful that Sue is willing to share her wonderful stories with myself and everyone else who reads them. These are wonderful pieces of writing that have helped brighten my life during some dark moments. Not only have I found great stories to read, but I have found great friends in Sue and the other betas-for this I am eternally grateful. Because these are my friends, I don't like any of them to get hurt. I thank the people who sent it nice reviews to Sue: these make her day. However, for those of you who cannot get past your petty jealousness and send very hurtful reviews… I wish I could make it so you could never review a fic again, but there are laws that protect against those sorts of things. If you have a problem with a fic, then stop reading it-you don't have to send hurtful reviews. But, if you have something to say…have the balls to say it somewhere that Sue can defend herself. I'm sorry there are so many ungrateful peons out there, but those of you that read these fics and enjoy them, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to anything else Sue writes in the future, and remember there are always betas lurking around somewhere. )
angelica incarnate (Hentai Beta #3 aka the Baby Beta):
I started working with Sue as she was finishing up Chronicles and starting to plan out Metamorphosis. Since day one, it had been an honor and pure pleasure. Sue is probably one of the funniest, most intelligent people I've ever spoken with and Metamorphosis shows that. This story shows incredible emotional depth and character growth. For those who begged for lemons? Sue writes emotion-love-making, not sex... go find some nice, hentai PWPs… don't make Sue cry by lowering her beautiful scenes to fanservice. To the faithful reviewers, ESPECIALLY DarklessVasion of MMorg, you guys are great, I love reading your reviews. Ironically enough, so does Sue. (HINT: read mine, they're often planted and drop hints, lol.) To the other betas and Sue… I have no words for you girls… you are so far beyond fantastic and some of the most wonderful friends anyone could have. Can't wait for the next adventure to begin.
KimberCat (NONhentai beta):
As always, seeing one of Sue's stories come to an end is a bittersweet moment. I know I'm not alone in saying that. We spend the entirety of the story wanting to know what happens, what the conclusion is after we've felt like we've been beside the characters every step of the way, anticipating and dreading the end almost equally. Metamorphosis is, to say the very least, one of the most beautiful, emotionally driven, fanfic story I have had the pleasure to read and honor to beta. Thank you Sue, though that doesn't say enough. I would like to say to those reviewers out there that gave Sue heartfelt, kind and polite comments that your words mean so much to her. It's for people like you that these stories are put up and shared. To those that were less polite, I hope that you will take what I just said into consideration.
Heyyoudiana (The Grammatical Wiz Beta, Mistress of All That IS Mokomoko-sama):
The adoption of a fictional world implies an awareness of a disunity with reality where there once was unity: the conscious human decision to adopt the fictional world must have arisen from a sense of loss or absence and the desire to bridge the chasm. I adopted Sue's fictional world; "Metamorphosis" becoming the conduit to characters whose lives I refused to disassociate myself from. Buttressing the characters (which are proudly disclaimed each chapter) is an intricate weaving of one's life. Sue is willing to offer up her thoughts - mind, emotions, and soul - for public viewing. An exacting task completed without recompense. Offerings in kind are appreciated… Vain derision is not. As a panegyrist I may be flawed, but yet I ask before the epergne is sealed, throw a laurel upon the briar.
:Gasp: How could you not tell what the baby is?
Isn't it enough to know that they'll have their happily ever after?
Was Metamorphosis written before I posted it?
Nope. Well, most chapters were done the day or so before they appeared. They did have to go to the betas for pickings!
Do I have a grudge against Sango being able to have her own babies?
Heh. No. I really needed it in Chronicles, as a reason for her and Miroku to WANT to go to the future. I needed it here to be a catalyst for Kagome and InuYasha's relationship. Metamorphosis has been hugely the story of Kagome's inner changes, of her choices, and of what she feels in her heart.
Will I ever write an alternate pairing or an A/U fic?
Though I hate to say 'never', I think it is safe to say it here. Nope, never will I write an alternate pairing (nothing but Yasha/Kagome, Sango/Miroku, Sesshoumaru/Kagura-or her reincarnation). Ehhhhhhhh… I also won't write an Alternate Universe.
What is my next real project? Hints?
Hmm… It is a Yasha/Kagome fic, it is a continuation, and it should prove to be humorous, if not a little angsty, as well. There's no working title as yet, but … well … it should be goooood…
I've done many original fictions, some of which can be found on Media Miner, so feel free to check those out!
Totally Useless Statistic:
Total Reviews for all five posted websites: 4550+ Reviews archived, and yes, I've read every one of them, and they are all very precious to me! More precious than many will ever realize.
Final Thought from THE SUERIC :
Muahahahahahhahahahaha … you asked for a hanyou baby, there it is… you never said you wanted to know if it was a girl or a boy …
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Metamorphosis): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.