A/N: Last chapter, hope it answers any other questions you might have. Thank you, everyone, who has stuck with me 'til the end.
Toya's Gurl, CoyoteChi, Inuyasha'swife15, lady Kcassandra, Alanna Adele, AzNDrAgOn37, FlowersfromHell, SangoKirara711, Tahitianbabe, serenity-james17210, Owari Nai Yumes, TaintedInuShemeeko, Kirro, gohan757, Ally Inu, MagicV, dieforinuyasha, kikyohatermagor, MiniSparky, kagomereincarnated, LuvzRock16, Soon to be world renown Gracie, inuyasha's2hotmiko, GnomeInuyasha, Infinite Entity, forgotten angel, xsachi
Disclaimer: I do not own any character created by Rumiko Takahashi.
Kagome sat in the grass under one of the large trees in the demon slayer's village and flipped through one of the magazines her mother had given her, eyeing the flat-stomached models in disgust. Wedding dresses were not made for pregnant women, she decided, rubbing her already swelling abdomen. However, she had to find something soon or her mother would pick it for her.
All things considered, her mother had taken the news of a grandbaby (she refused to use the word 'pup' or 'kit' when referring to her grandchild) pretty well. After a few heavy sighs and a coerced promise from the both of them to have a proper wedding before the baby was born, she'd started planning for the baby shower. Kagome had a deep suspicion that her wedding had already been planned but figured she'd gotten off pretty light.
Souta, when he'd heard the news, had made the 'shk-shk' sound of a shotgun being loaded. Kagome had whacked him Grandpa's newspaper, which he'd dropped in shock.
"Don't tell me you've mated with a demon and are now carrying demon-spawn?" the old man wheezed, not even missing his paper.
"Oi! Old man, I outta…" it was Inuyasha's turn to be hit with the newspaper.
"Uhhh…didn't mom tell you we'd mated?" Kagome twisted the newspaper in her hands, ignoring Souta's firing noises.
"I didn't, dear," her mother spoke up. "I thought it would be best if you told everyone yourself."
"I think it's cool," Souta enthused as he lowered his air shotgun and grinned at Inuyasha with hero-worship. "You think the baby will have his ears?"
"Pup," Inuyasha grumped, flicking the appendages in question.
Kagome rolled her eyes. "I hope so. They're awfully cute." She dropped the paper to tweak one silver ear, giggling as she remembered the first time she'd done that. He'd been fast asleep, pinned to Goshinbuko with Kikyo's arrow. How far they'd come since that day…
They'd set a date that was now only a month away; just a simple, small ceremony at the shrine with only her closest family and friends. She'd invited her friends, but had yet to tell them the entire truth, including her demon nature and pregnancy. She'd been putting it off for a couple of months now, but she could no longer hide her pregnancy and didn't want to hide her nature. Also, she had to apologize to Hojo. The fear of rejection was the main reason she'd waited to say anything.
To her surprise, Inuyasha had agreed to the wedding without much of a fight. He was almost more excited about the pup than she was, probably because he could still see his feet and didn't have to pee every twenty minutes. Their shard and Naraku hunting had been put on hold for the moment though he'd assured her that hanyou pups were tough from a young age and could accompany them after only a few of years. Kagome had looked at him doubtfully but he'd pointed at Shippo.
"Runt's still a kit and he's been following us around for two years."
"Keh. Pup has to learn to fight, anyway."
Kagome turned the page and gasped as one of the bridal gowns caught her eye: a café colored gown in silk chiffon trimmed with pearls, creamy ribbon and tiny mocha flowers. The empire waist would allow for her tummy and still look elegant. Sending up a quick prayer to Kami that the gown wasn't on backorder, she marked her place with a blade of grass and set the magazine aside.
They'd agreed that she would have the pup in Sengoku Jidai because it was where the both of them felt most at home. That was beside the fact that the pup would also be hanyou and would attract the same kind of attention that Inuyasha's or Kagome's demon features would. Kagome could hide hers, but Inuyasha couldn't and it would be several years before the pup could even try. They also had no guarantee that they could bring the pup through the well once it was born.
Kaede had agreed to deliver the pup as payment for saving their village from the mole youkai and Kagome hoped that she and the miko could repair their relationship. She missed the old woman's wisdom and advice, and she still wanted to learn about herbs and remedies even though her miko powers were dormant except on her human nights. Every couple of weeks, she and Inuyasha would visit the old miko for a check-up. Human doctors of her time were out of the question, of course.
At the rapid rate her belly was growing, Kaede estimated another two months before the pup was born, making her gestational period a total of five months. It would put her due date very close to that of her wedding, but there wasn't anything she could do about that. It would probably be her last trip anywhere until the pup was born.
Quiet footsteps approached from behind, and Sango seated herself next to Kagome, extending a cup of cold, sweet water. Kagome accepted it gratefully.
"How are you feeling?" the taijiya eyed her hanyou friend, delighted by her swollen tummy. "Can I?" At Kagome's nod, she rubbed her belly, a distant smile on her face.
"I felt it move earlier," Taking a long drink and setting down the bamboo cup, Kagome leaned back on her hands, giving relief to her back.
Sango's smile widened. "When my mother was pregnant with Kohaku, she said it was like a fluttering inside her."
"Yeah, kinda like that."
"It will be nice to have children in this village again." For a moment, Sango could see the village as it was, full of life and vitality. Her father, tall and proud, silhouetted against the mountains as he oversaw the training of young slayers-to-be. The ring of steel against steel faded from her ears as Kagome's question brought her back to the present.
"You and Miroku?"
"Well," Sango sighed. "Miroku can't really make that kind of commitment until Naraku has been defeated. I think he'd like to settle down, but… his kazaana is still a threat to his life and I don't want to raise a child alone."
Kagome glanced down, unable to meet her friend's eyes. "I'm sorry. We…we should have waited, but…"
"Don't apologize. You didn't do it on purpose. Besides, things happen for a reason, even if it isn't apparent at the moment." Kagome smiled at her friend and sister, clasping the hand that was still resting on her belly.
Inuyasha stared into the small cooking fire in the middle of the hut, a thoughtful frown wrinkling his brow. Kagome handed him a steaming cup of ramen, then kneeled behind him, awkwardly wrapping her arms around his waist. She could barely reach; her bulging tummy was in the way.
"What are you thinking?" she murmured, leaning her cheek against his shoulder.
He sighed, covering her hands with one of his own. "Kagome…I've wanted to ask you something."
Her heart skipped a beat; his tone made it clear that he'd been working up to it, which was not a good sign. She cleared her throat and tightened her grip. "What is it, Inuyasha?"
"When I….when I defeated Kikyo…" He seemed hesitant to continue, but Kagome remained silent. They hadn't discussed the priestess since the day she had been presumably sent back to hell. Inuyasha hadn't brought her up and Kagome was willing to let sleeping dogs, or mikos, lie. His reticence to discuss his former love extended to all of them, something that had concerned them until they realized that the grief they had expected to overwhelm him was not going to come. Kagome was not naïve enough to believe he had forgotten her but he seemed content with the life they had together and she knew that when he was ready, he would talk to her about it.
"Did the missing piece of your soul return to you?" He turned his head to gaze at her over his shoulder, golden eyes smoldering with the intensity of his emotions. Kagome's breath caught in her throat as he set down the ramen to pull her into his lap and brush the crimson star on her forehead with his fingertips. Unable to speak, she shook her head no.
"What does it mean?" his earnest question tore at her heart.
"I don't know," she whispered, stroking his cheek with her knuckles. "Maybe I'm whole now, with the kitsune soul."
He stared into her silver eyes as if he could see her soul itself. "Do you wish you could have become human again? Returned to your normal life?"
Sighing, she lowered her eyes to her swollen belly. "At first, I was so afraid…I'd lost my miko powers and thought I'd lose you. Kaede and Hojo rejected me for being hanyou." She gently stroked her stomach and smiled, meeting his eyes again. "But I wouldn't trade what we have now for anything."
"You're mine forever," he nuzzled her neck, sending a shiver down her spine.
"All yours," she giggled, and then gasped as the pup moved.
Back stiffening, his eyes widened anxiously. "Does it hurt?"
"No, it doesn't hurt. Here," she caught his wrist and pressed his hand against the being growing within her. She couldn't help giggling again at his awestruck expression, the wonder and joy shining in his eyes.
Scooting backward until his back was against the wall, he laid his head on her tummy, one ear pressed firmly to her body. Kagome's giggles quieted as a wave of contentment washed over her. Comfortable and safe in his embrace, she joined his deep rumble with a purr of her own as her eyes drifted close. No, she didn't regret becoming hanyou. She had lost a lot but gained much, much more.
A/N: I've had a couple questions about sequels – the answer is maybe. However, I might just start over, because developing the romance between the two is a lot of fun.
If anyone is interested, I've started another story called Moving Pictures, also on FFnet and Mmorg under the same handle.