AN- 4/24/07- I have started editing this story and as such I will be removing old Author Notes as well as all of the Disclaimers but the one on this chapter. These changes are minor and in no way changes the story from it's original posting. Due to certain rules on the various Fanfiction sites that I upload my stories to, any questions/answers will be posted to my yahoo email group. All are welcome to join in to receive updates on my stories, join in or start discussions about this story and others, or to just drop by to say hello. You can find my group here:

http://groups. - This story will contain situations that are not appropriate for those under 16 yrs of age or is faint of heart. Though I have not tried to depict the violence in graphic detail, it is still present. There will also be some limes/lemons in later chapters. This will be a Sesshomaru/Kagome pairing. Also there will be some OOCness to the canon characters in later chapters but hopefully it will be explained within the context of the story.

Disclaimer - I do not own any of the Inuyasha characters or the storyline story line they belong to. This is my vision of what may have occurred after the Shikon no Tama was destroyed. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Chapter 1 - Heartbeat Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

She could hear it, a slow, steady rhythm pulsing quietly instead of the racing, quivering flutter she had expected. Blue eyes as deep as the midnight sky slid closed to listen to the calm pace of her heartbeat.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

There she found the peace she needed, acceptance of her unique situation. The steady drumming a beacon in the storm of turbulent emotions, an anchor for what she knew was about to happen.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Centered, her inner ear trained on the internal rhythm, Kagome opened her eyes and looked down at the shimmering pink jewel in her cupped palms.

The Shikon no Tama, an object of untold power and her curse, softly glowed, a faint pink light surrounding the multi faceted jewel. Once broken into shard fragments, it now lay whole nestled securely in her palms, its power pulsing to the very rhythm that soothed the young miko.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Kagome watched in fascination as the jewel slowly rose to hover mere centimeters from her hands. The soft glow lighting her youthful features, an angel to any who stopped to notice amongst the chaos, and the ethereal light engulfed her as she felt herself lifted from the ground. She knew in that instant that the time had come.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Darkened eyes glistening with unshed tears locked with soft amber. Her heartbeat never faltering nor picking-up its pace, though she felt it break as she stared into those sad eyes.

"I promised…" she began, her voice so low she feared he would not hear her.

Soft white dog-ears swiveled in her direction letting Kagome know she had his full attention for once.

"I promised," she began again, her voice slightly louder. Heartbreak filled her voice and a single tear made its way over her smooth cheek. "The wish is yours, Inuyasha. Do you still wish to be a full demon?"

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Her heartbeat filled the silence as she waited for his answer and the world narrowed for one single moment to just the two of them.

The spell was broken as the dog-eared hanyou looked down at the woman who lay unmoving in his protective embrace. Her ghostly pale features relaxed and serene, something Kagome had never seen in the woman before. Those dark eyes were closed, rich black lashes created a dark crescent against her flawless ivory skin. Long straight black hair spilled over the red fabric that protected Inuyasha.

For a single second, Kagome felt a stab of jealousy run through her only to be squelched by pure determination. She had already come to terms with Inuyasha's undying love for Kikyo, she would be damned if it got to her again.

"No," his voice replied, harsh against the eerie silence that spread across the distance between them. " I only wish to fulfill my promise to Kikyo." He sighed nuzzling closer to the motionless form he held.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Kagome could feel her heart tearing apart at his words, felt her world crumble around her, but her heartbeat remained steady. Maybe it remained so to keep the jewels powers at bay or perhaps the jewel simply kept it at its steady pace, timed only by the Shikon's pulsing powers. Kagome didn't know which it was.

Sad eyes broke away from determined amber to gaze around at the others that stood with them. Those that somehow, against all odds had survived Naraku's onslaught.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Sango sat cradling her brother's lifeless body several feet away. Her doe-like eyes clinched tight, her face buried with the boy's shoulder as if trying to hide her tears from the others. Her failure to save her brother being poured out with broken words and heavy sobs that tore at Kagome's breaking heart.

Miroku, the lecherous monk sat behind Sango, trying unsuccessfully to comfort the woman, his own joy at being free of the Kazaana over shadowed by her heart wrenching cries.

Both were battered, bruised and bloody, the life fluids of countless enemies mixing with their own.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

The jewel pulsed stronger, its glow becoming even brighter as Kagome turned from her two friends to look lovingly toward the one who had become like her own child. Shippo, his bright orange shock of hair pulled freed now from the bow he always kept it in, lost somewhere in the midst of battle.

The sadness deepened in her dark blue eyes as she watched the kit huddle closer to the fire-Neko, Kirira for safety. Now in her smaller form, Kirara had battled fiercely to protect the kit from Naraku's minions when no one else could reach him, saving his life more than once that day.

His face was buried in her soft fur and Kagome longed to hold Shippo close to her. She wanted to comfort him, tell him that everything would be all right, but she knew she could not; the jewel would not release her. Even if it did Kagome knew she could not promise him something she didn't know.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.

Kagome's heartbeat was louder now, drowning out most of the other sounds. The jewel pulsed stronger along with her own heart, its power demanding yet begging at the same time.

Once more Kagome turned away from the ones she loved to look to her once enemy turned ally, Sesshomaru.

Twin pools of molten gold tinged in red stared unblinkingly back at her from a cold pale face. Only those eyes showed any sign of emotion, all else hidden behind his stoic mask. Long silver strands of silken hair framed a well-muscled body. Chiseled chest left exposed when his hoari was ripped open, the spiked armor broken by Naraku's tentacles.

Beside him stood the small beaked, green toad, his ever-faithful servant Jaken, the staff of two heads held tightly in his grasp.

Both had fought along side Inuyasha helping to rid Feudal Japan of Naraku's evil. Sesshomaru had come seeking an alliance for unknown reasons, but Inuyasha's brash behavior had delayed the negotiations. Only Kagome's interference and persistence had won out in the end. The silver-haired Taiyoukai had proven to be a great asset that day, one Kagome would eternally be grateful to.

Slightly behind and off to the right stood Rin, Sesshomaru's human ward. Her wide brown eyes full of tears and surprise as she watched her friend become engulfed in the pink flames, the ever-present Au-Un; Sesshomaru's twin-headed dragon gently nuzzled the child in a gesture of reassurance and benevolence.

Kagome knew that Au-Un would protect the small human with his dying breath should it be required to ensure her safety.

Midnight eyes softened, a look of apology for the girl who had come to look up to her in the few months they had traveled together. Kagome knew Rin viewed her as a mother figure just as Shippo did, and she loved the small child as much as she did the kit.


The rhythm grew till it drown out all other sounds, the instant pounding becoming an all consuming noise she could no longer ignore.

Her eyes slid closed knowing she had a wish for each of them. Each their own special place in her heart. The jewel knew, picking up on her inner most thoughts even as Kagome had looked to each of them in turn.

Kagome did not really know what to wish for; each in their own right deserved a happiness that had eluded them all for the sake of the glowing sphere in some manner or another. She only wanted her friends to have that, to be able to give back what had been taken from them.


Kagome forced herself to look down at the glowing orb where it hovered above her palms. Her thoughts turning to the series of events that led to the jewels creation.

Two souls battled it out within its tiny confines, Midorikos's and the demon she fought against. Kagome could feel that struggle even now. One was trying to influence her with his darkness, while the other seemed to be patiently waiting for her wish.

Everything depended on her now and for once Kagome was at a loss as what to do. Her heart ached for the ones trapped inside, waiting to be freed from their eternal prison.


A second passed, a heartbeat that seemed to stretch for an eternity yet as trapped in time as those within the jewel. A longing stronger than any rose above all else and Kagome unknowingly made her wish.

A wish for only her friends with no thought to herself or the consequences she may pay. Kagome wished simply for their happiness, a heart's desire torn from each.


The Shikon reacted, a brilliant light flashed and soft pink tendrils reached out from her aura to touch on each of them. Strangely, Kagome found herself watching as each in turn began to glow with the same soft light.

She seemed to be the only one to notice, none stirring from their place of rest as each wish was silently granted.


Kikyo's eyes flew open to stare up at her only love in a state of shock. Her chest once still and breathless, now rose and fell as life-giving air filled her lungs. A scream shattered the silence and the filled the air as a soulless body was filled and began to change.

"K…Kikyo?" Inuyasha's voice held despair as he clutched her tightly to him. His tear brightened eyes watching in horror as pain flicked across her lovely features.

Kikyo stilled as if listening to something only she could hear. Tears glistened in dark chocolate colored eyes, a deep sigh of acceptance between pale pink lips.

"Kikyo!" Inuyasha's startled voice come once again bringing a smile to Kagome as she watched the lovers embrace. She knew they would be all right.

"You're a demon!" Inuyasha pulled away from Kikyo enough to take in the pink teardrop that now adorned an ivory skinned forehead, pointed ears and clawed fingertips.

"As are you my love," Kikyo smiled up at him, her look full of warmth and love as long forgotten emotions swelled inside a beating heart.

"Huh?" Inuyasha looked confused at her words reached up to scratch behind an ear that to his amazement was no longer where it normally was.

A soft chuckle escaped Kagome as she watched her best friend's look go from confusion to understanding as he felt the regal pointed ears that now adorned the sides of his head. Twin scarlet stripes raced across his high cheeks, the mark of his station appeared.

She would miss those fuzzy, white dog-ears, but knew that it was for the best. The Shikon had granted his wish, enabling him with the power to control the beast that resided within him.

Both stood and turned their gazes toward the one responsible, gratitude and happiness shining in their meaningful stares.


Kagome turned her attention to Sango and Miroku, her smile widening even more. There the woman who was like her sister stood embracing her brother, a living Kohaku. The boy's eyes were no longer veiled with Naraku's evil, instead they were bright with unshed tears, tears that in time would fall so his healing could begin.

Miroku stood with them, his arms wrapped around both protectively as Shippo nestled close in the crook of his neck. Kirara wove her way between their legs, her happy trilling over-powering the cries that now were tears of joy. All of them looked toward her in the same joyous gaze as Inuyasha and Kikyo's.


A tiny gasp of delight escaped parted lips as Kagome's deep blue gaze settled on Sesshomaru. His attention had shifted down to the clawed appendage held out for his inspection. Magenta strips adorned the wrist a perfect match to its twin; his restored arm gave her hope for what was to come.

Jaken, his faithful servant stared gape-mouthed at his master, his bulbous eyes bulging even more in pure shock. Rin happily clung to the proud demon's leg staring adoringly up at her guardian as Au-Un hung back watching intently.

Whole now, his ability to shift restored; Kagome knew he would be able to continue protecting his human ward. Kagome hoped that as Rin grew, she would always hold a special place in the outwardly cold demon's heart.


Her heartbeat receded back into her body, no longer sounding like thunder to her ears. Sadness permeated her spirit as Kagome felt her time growing shorter. Each moment that passed no more than a rushed blur toward the end.

"Inuyasha?" Kagome looked toward the one she had once secretly loved. Now things were different, her heart recognized that it was a love one would have for a best friend or brother.

"Kagome," He breathed her name in a hushed whisper, yet she heard him clearly. She saw him take a step forward, pulling from Kikyo's embrace. "Don't leave."

Kagome smiled, sadness evident in the endless pools of night sky.

"Forgive me Inuyasha," she begged. "I won't be able to keep my promise."

"Why not?" He demanded only to stare in horror as her clasped hands unfolded. Dust drifted from her delicate fingers, the only remains of the once feared Shikon no Tama. It swirled around her, twisting, turning, and whirling in undistinguishable patterns as the waves of power caught the minute grains up.

Kagome looked each over again, memorizing their faces for fear she might never see them again. The power swirled faster, whipping her long ebony hair around her.

Kagome gave them a gently smile, letting them know she would be all right.

"If the fates allow," Kagome told them, her heart believing the words even as they fell from her mouth, "we will meet again."


She felt her heart slow, steady itself against the onslaught of emotions she felt. Her time was at an end and Kagome felt herself drifting away.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled leaping forward, his arms outstretched in an attempt to draw her to him.

He graced with a sad smile as his arms passed through her body. She had slowly become nothing more than a specter, suspended precariously between this world and the next.

"You'll always be with me," Kagome told them, tears sliding freely down both cheeks. How she longed to stay with them but she knew it was impossible at this moment. Destiny had other plans for her.

Her heart rate slowed, till it was no more than a hesitant rhythm in her chest, as if slowing descending into peaceful slumber.

The last thing she saw was the saddened look of those she called friends. The last thing she remembered before blackness swallowed her were the golden eyes of the Western Lord watching with suppressed wonder and some unknown emotion. Then the world went black, the remaining power whisked her away.



AN- Since the Inuyasha manga is still in the making, this was simply my version of how things might end for our dear characters on her first visit to the Feudal Era.