Sorry for the really long delay. Had computer problems. Midwinters Eve is soo different, and farlonger, then Midsummer's eve was. It has been about seven months since the end of Midsummer's Eve. I hihgly advice you read the last few chapters of Midsummer's Eve so you will have an understanding of what is going on if you have not already read it.
I have not finished writing this one, so delays are expected. Please have patience while I try to keep ahead.
Disclaimer: Don't own Inuyasah
BIG HUGS AND THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO REVIEWED THE LAST CHAPTER OF MIDSINTER'S EVE.
A New Birth
The battle was getting hard to win. The addition of such a great evil had her nearly overwhelmed and she thanked kami that the one in possession of the jewel was so pure of heart and soul else she would have lost already.
She was still weak from the time the jewel was in Naraku's evil hands. The shattering of it didn't help any either, forcing her to spread out her power and essence to keep the youkai souls contained.
For every youkai she managed to purify and dispose of, her power weakened under Naraku's, and other youkai's, care. While many lesser youkai where now gone and destroyed, the ones left were flying to Naraku's banner, eagerly joining their power with his.
It was her worst nightmare. She was in a fix and had the barer been evil, she would have been defeated by now and the youkai released as the jewel would shatter under the force of their combined youki. As it was, pure or not, the jewel was in danger of being destroyed from the inside out by this new enemy.
"Time. I need time." She thought as she used the last of her power to kill off a few of the lesser youkai and to hide herself from this new villain.
She felt guilty about making Kagome take up such a large portion of the burden of keeping the jewel pure, especially since she was with child and stress would not be good for her, but if she were to die the new foe would be able to shatter the jewel from within and escape. She could not allow that to happen. She could not be responsible for the release of a Kurokami on the world when she had fought so hard to seal it in the first place.
"Mom, I'm home." Kagome said as she walked in the front door, Sesshomaru right behind her.
"Hi dear. My lord you have gotten big." Her mother greeted warmly.
In the last eight months she had grown considerably, though her relationship with Sesshomaru had not changed much, other than he was quickly reminded as to why men tended to hit the deck when a woman was pregnant. Her mood swings were completely unpredictable and her eating habits even more confusing and unpredictable.
She sat down slowly and gingerly, Sesshomaru sitting behind so she could lean against him. The trips to visit her mother were getting harder and she figured this would be the last one until after she had given birth. Traveling in the dead of winter, even on Ah-Un was not easy.
"Can I get you anything dear?" Her mother asked.
"Tea please. And the largest aspirin pill ever made. Gee mom, after having me, what ever possessed you to have Souta?" She asked.
Her mother chuckled.
"Oi. Anyone home?"
Kagome sighed as Inuyasha walked in.
"He must have picked up our scents." She grumbled.
"In here Inuyasha." Her mother called to him.
Kagome sighed as he walked into the room, his eyes widening in surprise when they fell on Kagome. True it had been two months since last they had seen each other. He had been made to come tell her the great news that Miroku and Sango were getting married. Nothing could keep her from that wedding, though the trip there on Ah-Un had nearly done her in.
But oh it had been worth it to see Sango positively glow in delight and to see Kohaku smile when his eyes settled on Rin, followed by Sesshomaru's scowl. All in all it had been a perfect wedding on Midwinter's eve, and the village couldn't have asked for a better couple to move in.
Youkai attacks were almost a thing of the past as its new defenders, Sango, Miroku and Inuyasha, made sure that life was relatively easy for the villagers in exchange for food and clothing. Not to mention few youkai wanted to piss off Sesshomaru and it was a well-known fact that his mate had a soft spot for the humans of that village.
Keade, on the other hand, was not fairing so well. Age had caught up to her at last and it was an effort for the elderly Miko to even get up in the morning. However, Keade did say she would hang on until after Kagome's child was born. Kagome's grandfather was also in the same boat.
"Hi Inuyasha." Kagome greeted.
"I thought I caught a whiff of your scents. Why didn't you stop to say hi?" He demanded.
"I wanted to see my mother first." She answered.
"Keh, you were avoiding me."
"Inuyasha, I still owe you for our return party. I guarantee it we were not avoiding you. In fact, I am surprised you were dumb enough to show up here. Now we can finally get our revenge."
He cringed at that as she smiled evilly at him.
"However, I still haven't found something to punish you with yet that fit's the crime."
"But I think Sesshomaru might have."
He cringed even harder as he turned his gaze from Kagome to his older brother, who had the faintest hint of a smile on his face, causing his spine to go very, very cold.
"You, hanyou, will return with us to our estate and provide for our child while we are busy ruling our lands."
"What?" Inuyasha shouted in shock.
"That's right." Kagome smirked at him. "You will be responsible for changing diapers, feeding, burping, and entertaining my child until you have worked off your punishment."
"Keh, you can't make me."
"Damn it. I hate this thing. Don't you think it is time to take it off?" He grumbled.
"Perhaps when you grow up." Kagome answered.
She suddenly grimaced as a spasm of pain took her back.
"I am never having another child again." She vowed.
"Of course not dear." Her mother agreed as she handed both of them a cup of tea.
"I mean it. Never again so help me kami." Kagome groaned.
She had been feeling weaker and weaker over the last month, and a lot of her power was going to the jewel. She was starting to get worried about that since she was also losing power due to her pregnancy. She feared something was wrong with it, a side effect from being shattered and corrupted by Naraku.
"Kagome?" Sesshomaru called softly.
"I'm fine. Just tired." She sighed, putting more of her weight against him.
He nodded his head in understanding. The rest of the visit went well, despite her discomfort. They stopped briefly in Keade's village to visit her friends there before returning home.
"Soon. Not more then a week." Sekira smiled as she met them in the courtyard.
Sesshomaru helped her off of Ah-Un and set her down gently in the snow-covered courtyard. Apparently it had snowed while they were gone.
"Better snow than ice rain." She thought grimly.
The cold weather was not making things any easier on her. The mansion was freezing, no mater how many fires they lit. The only time she was warm was when she was curled up in bed next to her mate, who somehow always seemed to radiate heat like a constant furnace.
"The sooner this child its out of me, the better." She grumbled.
"Have you though of any names?" Shippo asked as he and Rin joined them, both dressed up in winter gear.
"A few." Kagome admitted as Sekira helped her back to her room.
Sesshomaru headed back to their study where he had to, once again, do ALL of the paper work, leaving her in Sekira's care. She felt guilty for making him have to do it all, especially after he had to do it alone for so many years.
There was no deep love in their relationship. It was more of a strong partnership then anything, perhaps even friendship. There was most definitely respect, she had earned that during their fight with Naraku and in the battles defending their land before her pregnancy started to interfere.
"I won't know a name for sure until after the child is born." She answered.
"What names had Sesshomaru-sama suggested?" Rin asked.
"None really. He said the naming of the child was my choice." She answered.
They made it to her room where they continued Rin's and Shippo's school lessons. Both of them were very sharp and she was running out of material to teach them with. Still, considering the time period, they already knew more then any other child, short of a prince, would know.
The rest of the evening went by fine. It was late at night when she started to feel pain. She breathed heavily as Shippo called for Sekira, who was by her side in an instant. They helped her to her bed and she realized that this was only the second time she had ever laid down on it.
Sekira banished Shippo from the room, ordering him not to let anyone in. She ordered Rin to stay and help. Kagome took deep breaths, remembering how things had been with Souta and thankful she had watched all those movies that just happened to have child birthing in them.
"Breath deep, my lady." Sekira ordered softly as she helped her.
Kagome did as was asked of her, trying to ignore the pain she was in. Her hands were clutched so tightly she was drawing blood. Sekira walked her through it, ever calm. Sesshomaru arrived at one point, when she didn't notice.
He sat next to her, letting her mutilate his own hand over hers. He was surprised at the strength a human woman could have. He was sure at least two of his bones were broken and he was bleeding from where her nails had dug in.
It wasn't a fast process either, nor did it seem easy for Kagome. He had no interest when Inuyasha had been born, but suddenly wished he had watched it so he would know more about what was expected and how to help her.
It was dawn before the child emerged, coming into the world as the light came over the horizon. Sekira took the crying child and wrapped it in a blanket, cooing softly as the child quickly calmed down.
Kagome was bathed in sweat and clearly exhausted, but she held her arms out to Sekira, silently pleading for her child.
"A girl." Sekira smiled as she handed the child to a smiling Kagome.
Sesshomaru looked down at the child and was shocked by her appearance, as was Kagome. She had elements of both of them, but there was no mistaking her youkai heritage.
Other then her hair, which was a deep, silky ebony, almost everything was a mirror image of Sesshomaru. Her eyes were golden and her ears pointed. The crescent on her forehead was golden. She had a single stripe on either cheek that was a cerulean blue. Twin striped were on her wrist, thighs, and ankles, also cerulean blue. She had the markings of a Taiyoukai. In fact, Sesshomaru was shocked to notice she didn't even smell like a hanyou.
"This child is full youkai." He said, shocked beyond belief.
"But how?" Kagome asked. "I am human."
"Perhaps it is because you are also a Miko?" Sekira suggested.
"Perhaps." Kagome agreed hesitantly as she looked up to Sesshomaru, whose eyes were displaying his silent joy.
"What is her name?" Sekira asked.
Kagome spoke without hesitation.
Sesshomaru stared at her in shock, wondering where she had learned that name.
"You do not approve?" She asked him, concern in her voice and hurt in her eyes.
"No. I agree with it. It seems appropriate." He stuttered. "But, how would she know my mother's name?" He wondered, slightly mystified and extremely honored she would wish to name their child after his mother.
"I thought you would." She smiled down at the child in her arms.
Shippo came in at this point, Rin had retrieved him, as they cooed over the child before Sekira chased everyone out and firmly ordered Kagome to rest, which she gladly did, telling the kids they could see the child in the afternoon.
"Do you understand the significance of the name you have chosen?" Sesshomaru asked as soon as they were alone.
She turned her smiling gaze from their child to him.
"Of course. Inutashio told me during that vision and the moment I saw her I knew it was right. Still, how can she be full youkai?" She wondered. "Could the fact I most likely conceived on Midsummer's eve have something to do with it?" She asked.
"Perhaps. My youki was very high that night and your miko powers were very low due to your fear. Perhaps some of my youki fused with our child. That might explain why I was so drained that morning."
She nodded her head, accepting that explanation.
"Kagome, in five months time the child will be old enough to be named my heir."
"What?" She looked at him in shock.
"This child, our child, will be my heir."
Tears welled up in her eyes at that proclamation. She never dreamed he would take their child as his heir. She had figured it would be some future, mate's child after she died. He smiled down at her, picked her up, baby and all, no easy task with only one arm, and carried her to their bed.
She was not going to sleep in the sweat and blood soaked bed she had giving birth in. He set her down and climbed in beside her. She smiled as she leaned against him and handed him their child so he might hold her.
Reimei yawned sleepily and settled down, falling asleep instantly. He smiled down at her as Kagome followed suit, passing out almost instantly.
This new creature, a fusion of almost all of the youkai in the jewel was stronger then anything she had ever faced.
Naraku was in the past; this thing was a full-blooded youkai fused of greater and lesser youkai. A few lesser youkai still hung around, too pathetic for this new villain to notice and too terrified to approach and join with it.
She had been shocked when the powerful youkai she had hoped dead had come out of hiding and easily absorbed Naraku into itself. Now she was the one going into hiding, trying to evade the furious creature who desired to rip her soul to shreds from trapping it here.
Now, more then ever, she needed Kagome's purifying power. And now, more then ever, that power was gone with the exhaustion of child birthing. So much of her power had gone into keeping her full-blooded child safe from her own purifying powers during the fight with Naraku.
The power was all but gone. She could not hold them in any longer. She fought, using every ounce of her power to keep the seal, but it was breaking. She could feel the first shattering start. Unnoticeable to human or youkai eyes, the first cracks appeared in the Shikon no Tama. Soon Ankokukiki no Kurokami would be released upon the world. And this time, she did not doubt, the blood that would be spilt would make the last war he started look like child's play.
"She's so cute." Sango cooed at little Reimei.
"A charming child." Miroku agreed, sitting beside his wife, who was two months pregnant herself.
Apparently Sango and Miroku's wedding had been very eventful. Kagome couldn't help but to smile at her friend as she cradled Reimei. The child seemed to know what Sango was and had been shy at first, but now was gurgling contently.
Kirara was on Sango's shoulder, peering down at the child and not once had Reimei's eyes strayed from the two-tailed nekoyoukai. The child seemed quite fascinated by Kirara and Kirara seemed equally entranced.
"She is a beautiful child Kagome." Keade agreed as Sango handed the child over to the elderly Miko.
"And full youkai too. How is this possible?" Keade wondered.
"Sesshomaru thinks it is because his Youki was so strong the night I conceived that it kind of merged with my child. It seems like the best theory to me."
"Kagome-sama, does this mean…." Miroku started.
"Hai. Reimei will be named Heir of the Western Lands." Kagome beamed.
"Congratulations Kagome-chan." Sango hugged her warmly.
"Where is Inuyasha?" Kagome asked after returning Sango's embrace.
"He picked up your scents and bolted." Miroku answered confused.
"We got him." Came Shippo and Rin's excited calls as a blast of cold air entered the hut. The two children came bounding happily in, trailing snow in their wake. They were followed by the muffled curses of said Hanyou and the sour expression of his older brother.
Kagome laughed as Sesshomaru dropped a bound and gagged, snow covered, Inuyasha on the floor before dusting some off the snow off of himself.
"He gave us a good run, but we caught him. Right Sesshomaru-sama?" Shippo said proudly as he and Rin got out of their snow gear and warmed up by the fire, eagerly taking the cups of hot chocolate from Kagome.
"Hai." The taiyoukai amused him.
"Oh, please tell me more of this daring hunt." Kagome begged playfully, clapping her hands together.
Shippo and Rin puffed out their chests in pride as they told their tale.
"Well, it all started when Sesshomaru-sama picked up Inuyasha's scent running from us. Rin and I took to the air on Ah-Un while Sesshomaru-sama chased him down on the ground." Shippo started.
"Ah-Un had to fly really fast. It wasn't easy to keep up." Rin added.
"We spotted him running across a clearing and directed Ah-Un after him." Shippo continued.
"I shouted down to Sesshomaru-sama that we saw him." Rin added.
"We flew Ah-Un above him and I jumped off and landed before him, tripping him." Shippo said prideful.
"I patrolled above them."
"While he tried to get up, Sesshomaru-sama arrived by then and held him down, though he thrashed good."
"He managed to get up and tried to run, but I got Ah-Un to blast the snow before him and Shippo-chan tackled him."
"While I tangled him up, Sesshomaru-sama managed to pin him again and I tied him up while he was held down."
Kagome, Miroku, Sango, and Keade were bawling with laughter, Kirara was rolling on the ground, Rin and Shippo were smiling proudly, and Inuyasha silently fumed. Sesshomaru also allowed a bit of a smirk. Not even he was immune to the amusement of this situation.
"So, you thought you could get out of our punishment?" Kagome challenged after everyone recovered.
"Keh." Inuyasha tried to snort, though it was garbled from his gag.
"Tisk Tisk. Don't make me say it. We told you what your punishment for our return party was going to be and by kami you are going to submit." She chilled.
He silently fumed some more. He barely stood the month he had spent in his brother's home after the defeat of Naraku. He sure as hell didn't want to spend six months there taking care of Reimei.
"Don't feel so bad Inuyasha. I'll be there." Shippo consoled.
Kagome chuckled, then sighed as she lost what little energy she had.
"We should get going." She sighed. "Two days of rest is just not enough and I still have to visit my family."
"You should have waited longer Kagome-Sama." Miroku chilled.
Kagome just nodded her head. She hadn't wanted to wait longer in fear Keade would pass on. She held the same fear for her grandfather. This winter, both here in the past and in the future, had not been easy on either and she did want her grandfather to see his great-grandchild, despite the fact it was a youkai.
"Thanks for stopping by Kagome-chan. When will you come again?" Sango asked.
"Summer." She answered firmly. "On a bright, beautiful, sunny day."
They others chuckled.
"If we stay overnight in my time, can you care for Shippo-chan and Rin-chan?" She asked calmly.
"Of course." Sango agreed instantly.
She stood up, stretched, took Reimei back from Keade, made sure Reimei's blankets were snug around her, and followed Sesshomaru out the door, a cursing Inuyasha thrown over his shoulder.
"Oh, calm down Inuyasha. You don't think we are stupid enough to leave you unguarded do you?" She asked sweetly.
He glared at her.
She chuckled. They walked to the well and jumped through, Kagome first least the well reject Reimei. It didn't. Sesshomaru followed with Inuyasha. Souta met them in the courtyard, busy shoveling snow.
"Kagome." He cried happily, dropping his shovel as he ran up to her, stopping when he realized she was no longer fat and was holding something in her arms. "Kagome is that…."
"Your niece." She smiled as she went down on one knee for him to have a better look.
Souta stared at the child in awe.
"Once we are inside."
"Alright. Mom!" Souta shouted as he ran for the house. "Kagome's here, Kagome's here."
Her mother met her by the door and hugged her before turning her attention to her granddaughter. Kagome let her hold Reimei while she took off her shoes and jacket before following her mother to the living room.
Sesshomaru dumped Inuyasha on the floor, who was rescued by a curious Souta. The moment he was free he jumped to his feet, spitting curses at his brother, Shippo and Rin.
"Osuwari." Kagome snarled.
He growled up at her.
"Do not use such language in front of my daughter." Kagome scolded.
That statement seemed to shock him. Only then did the fact he was an uncle finally clicked in. All at once his eyes lost their violent temper and was replaced by a softness so rarely seen by him.
He picked himself up off of the ground and hovered over Kagome's, mother's shoulder. He frowned as he noticed something that took him by shock.
"She looks so much like her father." Kagome's mother commented.
"She's full youkai." Inuyasha gasped.
"Cool." Souta said as he sat next to his mother and held his niece for the first time.
"What's her name?" Kagome's mother asked.
"Reimei." Kagome answered.
"It's pretty." Souta smiled as he handed the child off to Inuyasha.
Inuyasha took her gingerly, astounded at the fragile life in his clawed hands that shared blood with him. A small smile lit his face as he stared down into golden eyes that stared back at him.
Reimei giggled, then got a hold of a lock of his hair. He chuckled as the child played with it. Reimei dropped the hair and reached out instead towards him, as if trying to catch something.
His ears twitched and she giggled again. He twitched them again and she squealed louder. Catching on, he deliberately twitched them, much to her amusement.
"Perhaps taking care of the little runt wouldn't be so bad." He thought as she giggled and cooed before falling asleep.
Kagome took her back by then. Her grandfather finally arrived. Souta helped the elderly human into a cushioned chair. Kagome sat next to her grandfather, who was too infirm by this point to hold onto something as heavy as Reimei.
Like Keade, his time was running out, and while Kagome felt saddened by the knowledge she would soon lose those close to her, her spirits were lifted by the joy of the addition to the family, the joy of knowing she had been able to share Reimei with them.
They didn't stay long, promising to visit in the spring when the weather made for easier traveling before returning through the well and started the trip back to the castle, a willing Inuyasha following this time, though he still grumbled about it.
She felt so weak, so tired, so drained. She figured it was from traveling so soon after giving birth, but doubted that. Sekira tended to her as best the Kitsune could. The kitsune was so worried she even sent a letter to Lady Akio asking for her assistance.
Lady Akio responded at once, showing up on their doorstep within two days. The eight-tailed Kitsune checked Reimei first, shocked the child was full blooded and assumed that was the reason before seeing Kagome.
After that, she was sure it had nothing to do with Kagome and everything to do with the Shikon no Tama, which hadn't once left Kagome's neck since its completion. For each tail a Kitsune had, the more power and abilities said Kitsune had. Eight tailed was one step from Nine, the highest ranking there was, and rumors spoke of Akio soon acquiring her ninth.
Kagome wasn't certain how a Kitsune earned their tails, or how they lost them, only that the number of tails indicated their power. Akio was very powerful as few ever earned more then four or five with three being very common.
Akio could see the power from Kagome being drained by the Shikon no Tama, and could even see the fractures that were starting to form on the jewel, something most would not even notice. She passed this observation on to her patient.
"I see. I though the jewel was taking more energy then normal, but was uncertain." Kagome sighed. "What do you suggest?" She asked weakly.
Akio sighed, having limited knowledge on the Jewel.
"Is there someway to destroy it completely?" Akio asked.
"I remember that Kikyo wanted to use it to turn Inuyasha into a full human, saying such a pure, un-evil wish would purify and destroy the jewel." She answered hesitantly.
"Then make a wish Kagome-sama. Use the power for something pure and the jewel should be purified and destroyed. Otherwise, I fear the jewel will continue to draw your life force until you are dead, or whatever is causing the jewel to shatter shatters it."
Kagome nodded her head as she thought of a wish to make, something that would be unselfish and pure. Something that would benefit the others whom had been harmed by Naraku's evil. Nodding her head, she took the jewel in her hand, concentrated on its power, and made her wish.
The jewel glowed, then shattered. She stared at it in shock as two forces shot out from it, one white and weak, the other dark and powerful. The dark aura fled at once as the white aura floated off to the side.
They barely had time to notice either one as they suddenly found themselves surrounded by the remaining youkai who had been set free. Instantly the room divulged into chaos. Akio and Sekira jumped on the bed and defended Kagome as best they could.
The door busted in and Inuyasha charged into the room, claws slashing anything that moved and smelt unfamiliar. Sesshomaru arrived a minute later, his face calm but his eyes betraying his worry.
The room was cleared in seconds with all four defenders covered in the blood of their victims without a scratch to show for it.
"What happened?" Sesshomaru asked calmly as he walked up to Kagome, who was out cold, completely drained of energy.
Akio quickly explained while Sekira checked on Kagome. Inuyasha checked the corpses of the youkai he had slain, frowning when he picked up the scent of a human. He followed the scent to the next room, his eyes widening when he caught sight of the unconscious woman lying on the ground.
He went to her side, sighing in relief when he noticed she was breathing. His sharp hearing picked up Akio's explanation and he wondered if this woman had been trapped in the jewel as well.
He picked her up and brought her into Kagome's room, it being the only way to the exit. Her clothing was ancient and damaged, as if she had been in a long fight.
"Who is that?" Sesshomaru demanded.
"I don't know." Inuyasha answered. "I found her in the other room."
Kagome woke up by that point, and Sesshomaru turned his attention back to his mate. Clearly dismissed, Inuyasha left, carrying the strange woman with him, wondering who she was and why she was wearing such outdated armor.