A/N: Again the poetry is mine; I have all rights to it. Wow! I wanted to get to this epilogue for so, SO long. I said that this would develop what Sesshomaru's plans for Tsukiyume at his castle were, but I've decided to cut that. It's unrelated to this general plotline anymore. Suffice to say that Sesshomaru wanted a hostage to make sure Sasugainu and Shimofuri were loyal to him and did their part of the deal, but not only that he also wanted her because she's hanyou. She would keep Rin company while he's away fighting wars and what have you. Also he planned to train her to be ready as a teacher for his and Rin's offspring one day. Who better to teach hanyou children than a hanyou instructor? Anyway, that was that idea, but I cut it, killed it, murdered it dead. It's buried somewhere in a shallow, unmarked grave. Enjoy the epilogue!)

Disclaimer: Nope do not own them

Last chapter: Tsukiyume went home. Taikokajin died. The end. Well, sorta. Almost. Maybe.

Epilogue: I Don't Like Ramen

In this summer that we pass
Away from the bitterness, we lie
Watching the cotton ball clouds pass us by,
While in the heavens, stars twinkle at night
Away from the bitterness of the past, we lie
Staring at the same sky, seeing the same light

"Leh-go!" Koinu screeched in his high pitched toddler's voice, "Leh me go!" this was followed by little grunts and growls.

"Inuyasha!" it was Souta's voice, calling frantically, "Please!"

The aforementioned hanyou was awake, sprawled out over the Higurashis' kitchen floor near the door, waiting for Kagome and her mother to return home. They'd left hours before for an appointment with a doctor. Inuyasha had wanted desperately to come as well—like a guard dog he hovered over Kagome continuously, protecting her possessively—but Mrs. Higurashi had insisted that Kagome go with her, to turn it into a mother-daughter event. Inuyasha couldn't shake off the feeling that they were out there, with whoever that doctor was, talking about him…

He'd been lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling with his amber eyes wide open and irritated ever since.

For a long time Koinu had been with him, also worried over his mother much like a dog. But as a toddler he lost interest in his father's waiting game swiftly and was enticed away by his uncle Souta and great-grandpa Higurashi. They'd tried to play with him at first, teach him a little, showed him new toys they'd gotten for him—but then they'd decided to try and give him a bath…

Inuyasha kept one ear pinned to the fight upstairs in the bathroom, listening with growing annoyance to his son's cries. It was an instinctual response. Koinu's cries made him want to harm Souta and Grandpa Higurashi, even though he knew they were right, Koinu needed that bath.

"Inuyasha!" Grandpa's creaking old voice rolled from upstairs. There was a splash of water, followed by more screams.

A loud thumping sound, and then the wet patter of tiny feet. That noise was also accompanied by a sniffling, snuffling crying. Inuyasha knew it at once and sighed. "Koinu?" he called.

A toddler padded into the kitchen, dripping wet, leaving small puddle footsteps behind him. His skin was pink from the warm water in the bath and probably from scrubbing. Inuyasha could make out the patterns of adult fingertips on his son's plump toddler body. The little boy's hair was wet and plastered his head and neck, half-blocking his eyes. His ears, however, stood upright defiantly, even more pronounced because the extra fluff of his hair was pinned down by the water. He was steady on his feet for only being a year and a half old, and already a good talker.

"Daddy!" he whimpered, throwing his wet little body onto Inuyasha's chest. "Daddy, help me!"

Inuyasha sat up, wrapping his arms around the toddler. Kagome, in his place, might've started talking to their son to soothe him, but Inuyasha had a different strategy. He smoothed his fingers gently through his son's hair, touched faintly on his little white ears.

Souta and Gramps appeared at the top of the stairs, huffing. Gramps was the first to cross his arms and harrumph. "It's impossible!"

"I'm sure Kagome can do it." Souta sighed, running a hand through his hair. He glanced at his watch distractedly. "I need to call Chiwa!"

"Oh no you don't! You aren't getting away that easily, Souta!" Gramps snapped, "That's your nephew down there! We need to have him all cleaned and dressed before Kagome and your mother get home from the doctors!"

"But Gramps—Chiwa expects me to call at…"

"I don't want to hear your excuses, boy!" Gramps shook his head, pinching his old wrinkled lips together. "Now go get Inuyasha to help us because you're not going to get to call Chiwa or Kumi or Shina or Sarah, or Nokoma, or…" he threw his hands into the air helplessly, "Whatever their names are, you can't call a single one until you finish with my great-grandson."

Souta immediately let his shoulders fall in a pout. "Gramps…" he whined. "That's not fair! The kid kicks and claws and screams…"

"And you're a coward, Souta! He's just a baby!"

"Yeah—but Gramps, you've never seen what Inuyasha can do with claws just like that."

In the kitchen Inuyasha sighed again and at last rose to his feet, holding Koinu in his arms, and moved toward the stairs. "Hey!" he shouted, interrupting their fight. The two men, one young and one very old, stared down at the hanyou expectantly. "When is Kagome coming back?"

"Not soon enough…" Souta grumbled.

"Ah," Gramps cleared his throat and clasped his hands together, "Inuyasha, these appointments usually take time, but she should be home soon."

"Feh." Inuyasha snorted and shifted Koinu higher on his hip. "Nothing takes this long, she's just dawdling!" he scowled, "And what's the matter with them anyway? Leaving me here…"

Souta smirked, "I think it has something to do with your ears, Inuyasha. That and Koinu cries like a hellion when both of you go somewhere without him."

Koinu reacted instantly with his name, turning to look up at Souta with a fiery scowl, mimicking his father. His ears turned backward, "Meanie!" he shrieked, making Inuyasha flinch because his son's high voice was so close his ears. "Souta!" he might've tried to say more but the other words were more growls than anything else, rumbling high in the toddler's chest.

Inuyasha frowned at Koinu, "You need to get dressed."

Koinu pulled back from his father just enough so that he could stare back with his wide, horrified blue gaze. "No!" he squeaked. "No!"

"Yes, yes." And with that Inuyasha started up the stairs, moving toward Kagome's old room. Souta and Gramps watched him pass, a little flustered. Gramps tried to speak up, asking if Inuyasha wanted Koinu to finish his bath.

"He smells clean enough to me." Inuyasha threw the response over his shoulder; sighing again as he entered Kagome's bedroom and dug through the pack his wife had brought with her full of baby supplies and baby clothes. Koinu struggled in his other arm, punching his father with tiny fists of fury.

"No! Don't wanna! No! Don't wanna!"

Inuyasha ignored the temper tantrum, much as he might've ignored Shippo years ago while they were hunting Shards.

He picked out some underwear—Koinu had half-potty trained himself from a young age, he was more interested in peeing outside like a dog anyway—and some pants, a soft dark blue color. They were the most comfortable, some of the only stuff that Koinu wouldn't rip off—well, not as often as he tore off his other clothes anyway.

He set Koinu onto the bed and the pup half-crawled, half leapt away from him, ears flat and eyes narrowed with a challenge. "Don't wanna!"

"Koinu," Inuyasha had adopted his fatherly warning voice now, a sure sign that things were about to end disastrously for the pup. "When your mother gets home you're gonna be dressed, you understand me?"

Koinu crossed his arms and frowned. It was disturbingly familiar for Inuyasha, seeing the pup's stance, his mimicry. At times Koinu was too much like him, particularly with something like this, getting his way. He was beginning to wonder if he and Kagome would need a subduing spell for Koinu just to discipline him. Koinu was stubborn and hard-headed, and that worried Inuyasha.

Although he was proud of his son he often worried about him. The world would not be kind to Koinu. Like Inuyasha he was impure, neither human nor youkai. Only his family would accept the pup as an individual, ignoring his mixed heritage. If something were to happen to Inuyasha and Kagome…as a parent Inuyasha found himself thinking like that more often, worriedly. If his son was alone, would he survive? Was he strong enough?

The pup was like him, hardy, stubborn, block-headed. Those were not necessarily good survival traits. If the pup were alone and ran across a much more powerful youkai, would he be smart enough to run away, rather than stay out of stubborn pride to fight and die uselessly?

When he tried confiding these concerns to Kagome she'd actually laughed at him, to his surprise. "All toddlers are like this Inuyasha. It doesn't mean he'll retain all of this—even though his father did." She'd tweaked his ears, kissing him to stop his further complaints and huffing at her semi-insult. "And besides, if you haven't noticed it, Koinu has a very soft heart. I see myself in him everyday." Of course he'd stared at her skeptically, unbelievingly. There was not an ounce of Kagome in their child. She touched his face, stroking him until he was calm and listening again, not thinking and worrying. Then she'd whispered, "I know you don't believe me—but just wait. Watch him. It's there."

Inuyasha sighed, ears lying flat, much like his son's. "Look Koinu, you might as well come here and let me get you dressed…" the pup looked unconvinced, stubborn. Inuyasha decided to try it from a different angle, "What will your mother think, Koinu? You're going to get me into trouble."

The pup's expression rippled, suddenly transforming into a wrinkled mask of tears. "I'm sorry!" he sniffled and crawled out of the corner obediently. "I'm sorry, Daddy." He was staring up at his father with big round, teary blue eyes, begging forgiveness. He was still wet; he left wet patches on Inuyasha and on Kagome's old single bed.

Inuyasha grinned down at his son, "That's more like it!" he knelt to be more on level with the pup and began drying him off with the sleeves of his haori—not the battered and worn out red one, but this one a light brown—a gift from Miroku and Sango earlier in the year. He didn't much care for it, a fact that he let Kagome know about frequently when she forced him to change out of his favorite red one. It was fluffier and nicer than the red Fire Rat robes though, it worked quite well to mop up the old bathwater on his son's skin.

Koinu was still whimpering when his father had at last dried him completely and was trying, delicately, to get Koinu to lie down so he could slip on the toddler's little scrap of cloth underwear. "I'm sorry, Daddy."

"Quit apologizing, Koinu. It's okay. You're forgiven."

"Will Mama still be mad?"

"I dunno—probably not." He was preoccupied with fighting with Koinu's pants, trying to slip the trousers over the pup's legs, getting the elastic cuffs over his son's ankles. "Damn." He cursed under his breath when Koinu moved and the cuff slipped off again.

"Damn." Koinu repeated, tasting the new word. He was only a year and a half old but he was word-hungry, and unwittingly Inuyasha had already taught him many adult words.

"No, no, no. Koinu, don't say that word. It will make your mother mad."

"Okay." He smiled, proudly showing a few teeth and his fangs, extra sharp and pointy, like a puppy's "milk teeth." (A/N: We have a puppy that just finished teething and we're all very, very pleased about that. His puppy teeth, "milk teeth" were needle-sharp and painful. Imagine Koinu has the same sort of thing but in human form, so he will have these sharper teeth until he's five or six years old…)

The pants were finally on. Inuyasha sighed with relief. "All right. Let's go wait for your mother to get back from that damned doctor's."

Koinu sat up, reaching for his father at once. "Daddy, Daddy!" Inuyasha picked up his son and walked back toward the stairs. Koinu babbled from his high vantage point, "Hurry Mama! Hurry! Damn doctor…" he was tasting both newer words now, and enjoying them. His tiny clawed fingers played with Inuyasha's hair.

"What did I tell you about that word?" Inuyasha grumbled.

"I dunno. What's doctor?"

"A big waste of time. How about we get your mean old Uncle Souta to make us some Ramen?"

Koinu scowled, "Icky."

"I know, Uncle Souta's a meanie, but you'll like Ramen." Inuyasha reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around, searching for Kagome's pesky younger brother. "Where is that little Miroku-wanna-be anyway?"

"Mama gave me Ramen." Koinu made choking noises and squirmed in his father's arms. "Don't want any more."

Inuyasha paused and then threw his son an incredulous look, "What was that, Koinu?"

Souta appeared then, having heard his name amidst their conversation. He had a phone cradled against one shoulder and was frowning, half-distracted, at his brother-in-law and nephew. "Can I speak with Chiwa please?"

"I don't like Ramen." Koinu shoved one thumb into his mouth and gazed innocently around the room. "Where's Mama?"

Souta's expression, beginning to crackle with mirth at Koinu's words and Inuyasha's stunned face at the news that his son didn't like Ramen, abruptly switched to one of horror. He turned away, one finger blocking out the ear that wasn't attached to the phone. "What? This isn't Chiwa's house? Who's…" there was a pause and then he half-choked, saying, "Suki? What? No! Chiwa is—she's my friend—uh—Enji's girlfriend, yeah…"

Inuyasha had momentarily forgotten his son's announcement to smirk at Souta's backsides. "Feh. Serves him right." His ear tweaked, twitching, as a sound reached him from just outside the house. Inuyasha lost interest in Souta's plight and walked for the kitchen, plastering a scowl on his face. Koinu held onto him, gazing out at the world with bright, curious blue eyes.

The front door opened and in slipped Mrs. Higurashi, her arms loaded with grocery bags. She nearly plowed into Inuyasha and gasped. "Oh—hello Inuyasha! How are you?" from the fowl look on his face she knew the answer to that question wasn't positive.

"Where's Kagome?" he demanded, "And what took you so long?"

"Doctor." Koinu spoke up from Inuyasha's arms, "Big waste of time!"

"Oh actually it was lovely Koinu-dear." Mrs. Higurashi started to gush, slipping carefully past Inuyasha to place the bags of groceries onto the kitchen counter. "Kagome and I met with the doctor and he actually gave us a tape of—"

Kagome entered then, her arms also laden with grocery bags. Inuyasha moved immediately, scowling angrily as he moved to intercept his wife. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Those are too heavy for you!"

"They are not!" Kagome tried to move past him but Inuyasha mirrored her movements on purpose, always staying in front of her to prevent her from moving. Mrs. Higurashi sighed from across the kitchen, rolling her eyes as her daughter fought the ever-losing battle with her stubborn, over-protective husband.

"They are too!" the hanyou turned and set Koinu onto a counter, pointing a finger at the pup warningly, "Don't move."

"Okay." The pup answered, calm and innocent. He looked between his grandmother and Kagome, smiling wide with his little fanged canines gleaming. His parents fought frequently, but unlike most children, who would have reacted to tones and words themselves to identify emotion, Koinu could smell his father's worry, not anger. It was worry that made him fight with Kagome, not anger. Anger was the decoy, the cover story to prevent the weakness of worry from being discovered.

"Inuyasha—I'm fine." Kagome huffed.

"Put those things down."

She sighed, giving in and putting the grocery bags onto the floor. "Are you happy now?"

"Mama's mad." Koinu announced, looking toward his grandmother. "Daddy did a stupid." She was, after all, the only one in the room that couldn't smell the emotions underlying the fight, so Koinu figured he'd better let her in on the secret.

At his words Inuyasha's ears turned backward and Kagome heaved a heavy sigh. "Aren't you even going to ask how things went at the doctor's, Inuyasha?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

The hanyou scowled at her, "Going there was a big waste of time, Kagome—"

Mrs. Higurashi interrupted him, her voice eager and happy, "The doctor gave us the tape of the sonogram, Inuyasha! That was certainly not a waste! Now you can see your new baby before it's born!" she was grinning, beaming, full of happiness for her daughter in spite of the usual squabbling.

When her comment was greeted for several seconds by a very confused stare from Inuyasha, Mrs. Higurashi reached into one of the grovery bags near her and revealed a deli box, still steaming. "Who wants barbeque chicken? Kagome was having cravings in the store so we stopped and bought some of this—and," she stopped, suddenly remembering something, "That was when we ran into poor sweet Hojo too! And then we got the ice cream, Inuyasha you have to try the flavor we got you, and some chocolate for my little grandson too…"

But Inuyasha had long since lost interest in her rant. His amber eyes were back on Kagome, narrowed and dangerous. "Hojo?" he growled.

His nostrils were flaring wide, searching Kagome's scent to make sure Hojo hadn't made any moves on his wife—he was relieved, but still irritated, when he noted that the scent left on Kagome was little and hardly noticeable. Mainly he could only smell barbeque on her. She was in the cravings stage of her pregnancy, always ravenous, enough that she rivaled him and Koinu.

"Yes, Inuyasha, we ran into Hojo while we were in the store. He stopped and said hi and asked how you and Koinu were. Nothing more." Her eyes were soft and held a tired, almost pained look within them. The last time she'd seen Hojo had been just before—Inuyasha stopped, suddenly feeling his guts clench up. Just before Garou abducted her.

He continued to stare at her, too stunned to react just yet.

Kagome shifted uncomfortably, pushing the door shut behind her after lightly kicking the groceries away. She moved like what she was—a heavily pregnant woman. Walking with a little wider stance than what was normal, and a little pigeon-toed. She was always going to be a skinny woman; even while she was pregnant her most obvious feature was her long-leggedness. The lump of her belly was substantial as she was a solid eight months pregnant—which was one of the driving reasons why Inuyasha was so overly protective.

Their second child hadn't been too long in coming now that the couple understood how to defeat their, or rather Inuyasha's fertility problems. And yet, though conception was a lot easier this time around, Inuyasha's overprotective nature had only grown worse.

"Did you want me to tell him whether he's having another boy or a girl, Kagome?" Mrs. Higurashi was asking, "I know you said you didn't want to know but if Inuyasha wants to know the doctor did tell me…"

Inuyasha at last recovered from his troubling memories of the last time his wife had seen Hojo. He turned to scowl at Mrs. Higurashi. "I already know it's a girl. I've known for months!"

Koinu's ears swiveled, taking in the adults' conversation from his place on the countertop where he had faithfully not moved since Inuyasha had placed him there.

"You can't know that…" Mrs. Higurashi was saying, dismissing Inuyasha's claim.

"He knew last time, Mom." Kagome pushed her way to the counter where Koinu was sitting and picked her son up, grunting and reaching for her back with discomfort as she did so.

In the blink of an eye Inuyasha was there, fussing over her. "Give Koinu to me, Kagome. You shouldn't be lifting anything…"

"I'm fine, Inuyasha." She grumbled.

"No you're not! I don't want you hurting yourself!" Inuyasha followed her out of the kitchen, still bickering.

Mrs. Higurashi rolled her eyes, slowly pulling out the barbequed chicken again, followed with Ramen in her other fist. It was a wonder the couple survived sometimes. She smiled and began to hum to herself as she filled a pot with water and set it on the stove to boil it. The tiny grooves in the surface of the pot made her think of the grainy image of her grandchild in the sonogram, a little girl. A string of pearls for the spine, the faint outline of a face. They'd searched for ears together—an agreement they struck up in private beforehand—but none had shown up, though Koinu's sonogram had been much the same.

She could still remember Hojo's face when they'd met up in the grocery store. The poor young man had been stricken, pale and white as a ghost. He would have died rather than reveal—let alone remember—the story Kagome had told him. The secret was safe with him. He had of course been very pleased to see her, though he'd heard some months ago from Mrs. Higurashi already that Kagome was indeed fine, despite her strange abduction. Inuyasha had rescued her, as he always did, as he always would.

When the water started to boil Mrs. Higurashi added the Ramen noodles, still humming cheerfully to herself even as the sound of continued bickering came from the living room.

Kagome woke with a jolt, covered in sweat and aware that she desperately had to pee—again.

She frowned as she pushed herself up and out of the narrow bed. While she stayed in the future with her family she and Inuyasha used her old bedroom, though the bed was hardly big enough for herself and Inuyasha alone. It barely fit her enlarged mass now with Koinu's. Inuyasha always took the edge of the bed or the floor, or sometimes the corner. Tonight was one of those nights when he'd taken the corner at the foot of the bed, his knees drawn up high and his fair-haired head and white ears appearing against the brown pants she'd made him wear—anything other than the same old Fire Rat red.

Koinu, left alone on the bed behind her, twitched in his sleep, his body coming alive with a dream. He frequently talked in his sleep, murmuring the new words he'd learned in a day. Tonight he muttered, "Damn. Doctor. Ramen. Big waste of time!"

The smile and the frown fought one another on her face. Inuyasha was hard at work, teaching their son to be just like him. But she'd seen snatches of herself in him frequently. He was soft-hearted even as a toddler, careful with his claws even when he was around inanimate objects that could not feel pain. Even his clothes, which he so despised wearing, were torn off with enough care that Kagome never had to mend holes, only had to buy new ones as the child swiftly outgrew them. Had Inuyasha also been as careful, she wondered. Or was it a trait Koinu had gotten from her?

Kagome's mother had commented, watching her grandson eating, that the child was not picky; he lacked his father's more delicate sense of taste, enjoying all ranges of the food spectrum, spicy or bland. He was quick, under most circumstances, to apologize. He wasn't a loner, he was friendly. At home, with Miroku and Sango's children, he fought to keep up with them. Kagome had seen her son compete with Kohimu, Tisoki, and even Shippo. But he was gentle with all of them, even Kasai who the others wanted to leave behind when they were playing. Often times Koinu would hold back to allow the girl to win, and then endured her brothers' teasing.

He was almost two years old but he already seemed as old as Sango and Miroku's eldest son Kohimu. It astonished her how fast he had begun walking and talking in earnest. She suspected that his sudden growth and development was a demon characteristic. He'd grown rapidly as an infant after all. She wondered if Inuyasha had acted much like Koinu as a baby himself…what would her hanyou have been like if his mother and father had lived to care for him together?

It saddened her to see him growing so fast, but then again she also treasured it. To see his growing strength and developing personality was fascinating. He would also be an excellent help to her and Sango when the new babies arrived. Sango could even be delivering across the time gap of the well even as Kagome thought about it…

She stumbled toward the bathroom across the hall, hearing Gramps snoring in one of the other bedrooms and Souta typing on his computer online, no doubt instant messaging one of his many girlfriends.

When her bladder was at last relieved, Kagome paused, staring at her face in the mirror. She looked tired, fatigued with the long day and with the baby's added weight to her body. But she could still see the strength hidden inside her own brown eyes, the youth in the lack of lines in her face, the firmness of her skin—what would her daughter, still unborn inside her, look like?

She'd been excited from the beginning of this pregnancy, the moment Inuyasha had tentatively begun to announce that she was carrying a girl this time. She knew he was hesitant to announce that—boys were easier for him to determine than a girl because the testosterone scent rising from her was so different from her usual progesterone and estrogens. With a girl there was only an increase in Kagome's female scents, and that could be merely a fluctuation of her natural hormones and not the baby's at all. But months had passed and he had not withdrawn his prediction.

She padded back out from the bathroom and slipped as soundlessly as she could into her bedroom again, only to gasp and Inuyasha's form loomed up in front of her. He smothered the gasp with a fast, firm kiss. She felt his clawed fingertips tickle the small of her back just the way he knew she liked.

When the kiss at last broke she blinked at him in the darkness, "Inuyasha?"

"Hm?" he nuzzled against the crook of her neck, taking in her scent.

"You're sure the baby's a girl still?" she tried to restrain the shudder that passed through her body as the hanyou attacked her neck, nipping and pressing small kisses to her skin.

"Yep." He found that the collar of her nightshirt moved away from one side of her neck, revealing a shoulder. He attacked it at once.

In spite of their constant bickering and Inuyasha's badgering Kagome to keep her "safe for her own good" as the hanyou saw it, there was still plenty of passion to go around, though as Koinu had grown older and more aware it was stifled slightly. Though the hanyou was overprotective Kagome understood why—there'd been so many times he had nearly lost her in the past…

"What should we name her?" Kagome asked, her voice noticeably breathy, half a whisper half a little too overwhelmed by his sudden outburst of affection.

Inuyasha paused his assault, giving her question serious thought. A daughter, not a son. He hadn't named Koinu, the name had been one picked by Kagome at the last moment before she had fled certain death by Sesshomaru years ago. It had almost been fanciful, a name for a child he would never see, but now held everyday in his arms—and sometimes had to scold, bargain, and beg…what name was there for a daughter he hadn't seen yet? But he had an answer to that question because he could smell his daughter through Kagome's own scent. Though she was as yet unborn she still bore her own unique scent that leached through Kagome's skin to touch Inuyasha's delicate, powerful sense of smell.

She was like Koinu, a scent crossed between himself and Kagome. Kagome bore a gentle, calming scent, perhaps like vanilla or like a flower of some type. He possessed a scent that was deeper, muskier and more powerful, almost overwhelming Kagome's own delicate, natural perfume. In Koinu the mixture created a scent that was rich, like fertile earth in the deep virgin forest, like pine trees perhaps. But in their unborn daughter the mixture was gentler, subtle and dominated by the female spectrum.

She smelled almost like rain…

"Akisame?" he asked, pulling back to look her in the eye questioningly.

Kagome's brow furrowed. "Autumn rain?"

Suddenly uncertain Inuyasha pulled away slightly, shrugging. "That's…what she smells like."

For a moment Kagome stared, eyes wide, and then, as she realized Inuyasha's pride—more fragile than it appeared at times—was being slowly injured, she smiled instead and reached out to touch his cheek tenderly. "It sounds like a beautiful name, Inuyasha."

A half smile tried to tug at his lips, "Feh." His ears moved backward briefly and then flicked back into their normal positions. "You have any ideas?"

She smiled, still touching his cheek lovingly. "If she has your eyes I want to call her Hinoiri." Sunset.

Inuyasha scowled. How the hell does she always come up with something so fast?

Worry crossed Kagome's face at his expression. "You don't like it?"

"No I like it just fine—"

"Are you sure?" Kagome still appeared skeptical so Inuyasha moved in and continued his attack on her after planting a long kiss on her lips.

"I'm sure, Kagome." He moved to her ears, touching them with his nose to inhale her scent and then letting his canines nick the sensitive flesh. When she shuddered he smirked into her hair, satisfied that he had soothed her uncertainties. Her hands rose and wrapped about his neck, seeking skin of her own to touch. Her lips moved on his jaw line, on his neck, his Adam's apple…

And then, from on the bed, Koinu made a sharp squeaking sound, jerking half-awake and calling out, "Waste of time! Damn!" his sleepy eyes were bright and glimmering in the darkness. His ears swiveled, searching the room for sound as he realized his mother wasn't next to him any longer on the bed. He whimpered, "Mama?"

His parents sighed, pulling away from each other. "Later." Kagome tweaked one of her mate's ears, making the hanyou growl anew and involuntarily with desire.

"Daddy?" Koinu whimpered, sniffling, seeking his father's scent.

Kagome slipped past Inuyasha and walked her pregnant shuffle back toward the bed and the shivering Koinu. "Sorry, Koinu," she stroked his head, touched his little nose with her thumb. "Mommy's back, time to sleep again. Were you having a bad dream, baby?"

"You made Ramen." Koinu answered her, sleepily. "Icky."

Inuyasha shook his head, staring off with disbelief at the foot of the bed as he settled once more into his corner. He didn't say anything but Kagome knew he was astounded, wondering how any son of his, especially one that looked so much like him and acted so much like him too, could ever hate Ramen. But that was life, and Koinu most certainly hated it. She'd given him a little from Inuyasha's bowl the previous day, chopping the noodles as best as she could up before she spoon fed them to the pup carefully. He'd asked for the banana flavored baby food instead.

She settled into bed with the pup, stroking his hair, his ears. "It's all right. You can go to sleep again now." Koinu nestled into her and was almost at once sleeping again.

From his corner Inuyasha gave a "Feh." And when he saw that he had Kagome's attention he said, "His sister had better like Ramen. They can't all be like you and hate it."

Kagome laughed quietly. "I'm sure she will, Inuyasha." She settled into the pillows, closing her eyes and resting one hand on her rounded abdomen, "I'm sure she will."

(A/N: my apologies, it was a long epilogue I think…epilogues are supposed to be shorter nice little wrap-ups and such, but this wasn't. Sorry. I meant it to be shorter in planning but it just sorta grew and grew, like cheating on a diet. After the first couple of snipped corners you just kinda give in. Well with that speech out of the way, I must ask this:

Inuyasha and Kagome's unborn daughter: Akisame or Hinoiri? I have other ones I like too: Mikomi hope, Muzai innocence, Zarame brown sugar, Matomo honesty. I dunno, maybe they will have a ton of daughters. ;) but I will be open to a vote and to new suggestions. I am usually a person for sounds more than meanings. So these names were picked b/c I find them pleasing. If you have a perfect meaning name that I don't like the sound of, well it's possible if it's just that perfect in meaning that I'll take it anyway, but chances are slim. At any rate I DO welcome all suggestions.

Thank you, it was been wonderful serving you all. Like the review whore I am I hope that maybe we will reach 700 before the reviews stop flooding in. But who knows, and I am happy simply at having accomplished this, finally finishing.

You know my main reason for finishing so doggedly? Thursday this week my boyfriend comes home. I knew if I didn't finish this before then I was likely never to get it done. LOL. Yes, I have a weakness, and it happens to be him.

Again, many thanks! Love you all, I am waiting on the vote, I will keep you posted, just check the profile.)