Chapter 26

Sesshomaru followed Kagome fearlessly into the well. The trip was over almost instantly. He surveyed his surroundings and new instantly his mate had been truthful. Already the strange sights and smells attacked his senses. He looked to Kagome, who had her little nose turned up. He thought she looked rather adorable.

"Wow, I never realized how much it stinks here," Kagome said as she leapt out of the well. Her mate followed and stood by her side as she peeked out of the door. The light of day was quickly fading and the shrine appeared to be empty of visitors. She looked up to Sesshomaru. "Promise me you will behave."

"I promise, once again, that I will be not bring harm to your family or home," Sesshomaru stated.

"I'm holding you to that, ya know. O.K. then, let's go," Kagome held his hand as they left the well house and headed to her back door. Once she stood in front of the door, her heart began to race. Her mother's reaction to her 'new look' was not going to be pleasant. She glanced up to her demon lord, and suddenly thought how stupid this idea was. He looked so out of place. She was sure that he would win the 'world's worst guy to bring home to mom' award.

Sesshomaru knew his mate was suddenly filled with doubt and fear. He squeezed her hand in support.

Kagome appreciated his little boost of confidence. She took in a deep breath and cracked open the door a little. "Mom, Souta, Grampa, I'm home!" After hearing her mother's excited call to her, Kagome pushed the door open and stepped inside. Her mom ran toward her with outstretched arms muttering the whole time about how glad she was to hear her voice. Then she stopped.

"Ka... Kagome. What are you wearing on your face?" her mother looked pale. Kagome knew this was going to be a shock.

"Mom, please sit down, I need to explain," Kagome calmly tried to leads her to the kitchen table. Once she was seated her mother looked up at her again, and then looked behind her. She knew her mother was a little afraid and very much confused.

"Mom, please don't be scared. He won't hurt you, I promise," Kagome began. "This is Lord Sesshomaru." He is the ruler over the western territories in feudal Japan. Her mom's look of shock appeared briefly before the confused look took over again.

"Pleased to meet you, Lord Sesshomaru. Could I offer you a cup of tea?" Ms. Higurashi asked politely.

"And you as well Ms. Higurashi. Arigato.. No tea," Sesshomaru replied. He tried to add a pleasant note to his usually stoic demeanor, but felt sure it came off as stuffy. Making pleasantries was not his strong suit.

Kagome sat down next to her mom, and began telling her the tale. Many tears and terrified gasps later, Kagome concluded the story of her recent ordeal. Sesshomaru stood just behind her. She knew his looming presence was intimidating to say the least, but he was her mate, and this had to be done. Kagome waited for her mother's reply.

Ms. Higurashi looked up to the tall white haired demon standing behind her oldest child. His looks were no less beautiful than her daughters were. His haughty nature, and white silk kimono spoke loudly of his aristocratic heritage. His fierce weapons and armor spoke of his experience in battle. Her mind raced as the understanding of it all sank in.

Her little girl was now joined to this taiyoukai. Her little girl, who was not little anymore. Ms. Higurashi looked to her daughter. Her beautiful little girl, was now this... this angelic creature sitting across from her. The whole of it was almost too much to bear. With another sniffle, she tried to compose herself.

"Well dear, I am proud that you have chosen a strong mate who can keep you safe. I don't really know what to say, Kagome. I mean... you are my child. Your whole future has suddenly changed. You have suddenly changed. I.. you are so beautiful, she said with a little smile, but... I always thought you were beautiful." A tear fell despite her best efforts. "All I ask is that you don't leave me. I couldn't live my life never knowing if you were safe and well. It's obvious, you will be returning to live in the feudal era, but you have to keep the gate open. You have to keep it open, to come home. This will always be your home."

Kagome hugged her mom, and they both cried for many, many reasons. The demon lord stood silently as the women had their moment. The moment, however was suddenly interrupted by a loud young male followed by a grumbling old man.

"Souta! Grampa!" Kagome yelled in excitement. She jumped over and hugged them both as they stood frozen; torn between staring at her and staring at the tall male youkai warrior in their kitchen. Kagome gave them both the reduced version of the story, and laughed as Souta cheered for her victory over Nuraku. He ran over to Sesshomaru and pelted him with questions about his powers. Kagome had to pull him away, as Sesshomaru appeared to be at a loss for words.

Kagome's mom couldn't take her eyes off of the demon lord. She was attempting to surmise what kind of man her daughter had chosen to spend the rest of her life with. He was simply unreadable. He was not unpleasant in any way, but still she felt darkness in him. She looked to her daughter. How beautiful. 'She doesn't even look real.' Her thoughts were interrupted when Lord Sesshomaru stepped up to the table.

Sesshomaru stepped up before Ms. Higurashi and untied the bag from his sash. He laid the sack on the table. "I hope that you will accept this offering of good faith. Tradition dictates that a male youkai of high rank offer the parents of his potential mate a dowry of sorts. My deepest apologies for not speaking to you before the mating." Sesshomaru took Kagome's hand in his and looked into her violet eyes as he said, "Your daughter has rendered me lightheaded with her beauty and kindness of heart."

His words were poetry and his sincerity made it more so. Kagome blushed under his intense gaze. The moment ended with Souta's little giggles. Ms. Higurashi decided at that moment that her daughter made a good choice. The gold poured out of the velvet pouch on the table. She smiled warmly at Lord Sesshomaru. "I can't accept this. The knowledge that my daughter is happy and safe is all the payment I wish for."

"I must insist," Lord Sesshomaru replied.

"Mom, please accept it. He will be offended if you refuse," Kagome said to her mom. Feudal Japan held many old fashioned customs that Kagome knew were honored with the utmost respect. In the modern world these things didn't occur to often, but it was common place in the past.

Finally her mom stood and thanked the demon lord with a bow. Afterwards, Kagome's grandfather gave Sesshomaru some advice on keeping the wife happy while her mother helped her gather her things.

All in all it went pretty well. She spent a few minutes writing several notes to her friends, and helped her Grampa come up with an excuse for her leaving school. To marry a wealthy Lord from abroad, should do, and it was not a lie. Kagome's mom packed her a few snacks for the trip before they parted. She made Kagome promise to return soon for a visit.

Kagome and Sesshomaru stood in front of the well. "Well, what did ya think?" Kagome asked him.

"Your family are honorable people," was his reply.

"Yeah, they are," Kagome agreed before taking the jump back to feudal Japan.

Sesshomaru took in a hearty breath of the fresh air. It was good to be back in his own time. The human smells in the future would take some getting used to, for they were offensive to his nose. He still found it amazing that his little mate was from 500 years in the future. It certainly explained a great deal about her behavior and speech.

She told him that youkai were nothing but a myth in her time. He refused to believe that. The strong numbers of humans must force them into seclusion. That had to be the explanation.

The hour was late and the taiyoukai scoured the area for any threat, before reaching down the assist Kagome out of the well. Assistance was not really need, for she barely touched his hand as she leapt out from its depths. They headed toward their camp to check on Rin. When they arrived they were pleased to see the little girl fast asleep curled next to Ah-Un.

Kagome deposited her huge bag under a tree close by. She and Sesshomaru went for a stroll under the stars. Tomorrow he would take her to see her new home. He told her about it's beauty and history as they walked. She listened as he spoke to her of the youkai courts and the other lords and ladies. She gathered that she, herself, was quite the topic of conversation since Sesshomaru had taken her as his Lady. Butterflies churned in her stomach as she imagined meeting these fascinating youkai aristocracy.

Sesshomaru never felt happier in his long life. This woman was meant for him, and him alone. Her company pleased him more than any other. His loneliness was over. She would be by his side forever more. He grasped her hand in his and held it high in front of him while he took one step back. He turned his lip up just a little and said, "Miko, you have made this Lord Sesshomaru, the happiest being in this world."

Kagome was startled by his sudden declaration, and quickly a huge smile appeared on her face. "I love you too, Sesshomaru."

The End