Apology: For the insane time taken in writing this, I have no excuse. But I'll give you my reasons, so perhaps you could understand my dwindling interest.
In the beginning, I wrote the original "Transformations" after seeing only a handful of Inuyasha episodes. For those of you who've been with the story that long, the very first "Transformation" was deleted from after about eight chapters. But I'd been writing the chapters, at that point, in a way that deleted the previous chapter. Because of this, I had to buckle down and rewrite it from the beginning.
The second version of "Transformations" took a very different turn, given I'd seen many more episodes and because I can't keep to a plot worth a damn. It was posted in 2003, finished in 2006. And it was quite a ride, something I didn't want to end – at the time.
In the Alternate Ending, "Changing Lives," I wanted to take the story in a very different, even more radical turn that didn't involve changing Kagome, but centering on her wish to change herself for Inuyasha's sake. By this point in time, I've seen every Inuyasha episode, read every manga chapter, and burned myself out as far as interest goes.
Yes, Inuyasha and Kagome are such adorable characters. Yes, they have a deep-rooted and endless amount of trust for one another. Yes, their destinies lie with each other and yes, they deserve to be together. But by this point, I'm tired of writing about them.
The only reason why this chapter was written at all is to end the Transformations series, to give it a happy ending and closure. And for the fans, everybody who followed this series and gave their feedback. The story was an accidental, unintentional hit, and it kept me writing when I didn't think I was any good at it.
Thank you for reading and, honestly, I'm glad it's finished.
AE Sixty Two: Last Chapter
Kagome couldn't hold back a string of giggles. She was eighteen today, a long-awaited day for her. Soon she would graduate high school, she had already received a driver's license, she was thinking hard about college. . .
And, in front of all of those thoughts, was Inuyasha. He had certainly gotten used to her time over the past three years, she thought. He could wear a t-shirt and jeans just as easily as his fire-rat outfit, though he still obviously preferred the latter.
Today she'd been treated to the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls as she awoke, to find that somebody had baked them (probably her mama) and Inuyasha had brought a plate of them upstairs to wake her. Then the family – Inuyasha included, as always – had gone shopping for her sake, though she couldn't pick and choose what her gifts would be, despite prodding.
For lunch her friends had dropped in with a cake large enough to feed them all (and Inuyasha had selfishly taken the largest piece) and presents of their own. They came back with several stuffed animals, most of which were white puppies with the most adorable expressions, an obvious point at Inuyasha – which he didn't miss, and wasn't pleased with.
Even as the evening dragged on, pleasantly enjoying her big one-eight, she knew the night wasn't over. She knew Inuyasha had plans. She could tell with the way he eyed her, then the clock, then the sky, incessantly.
She wasn't disappointed.
He finally pulled her from her family, who seemed to understand why; she figured they were all in on it. But she wasn't expecting when he took her outside, and promptly blindfolded her.
She'd laughed outright. After all, this made her wonder harder what he was thinking, and it made her more excited. She couldn't wait to see what he'd done.
For her, her mind stressed.
It was a very familiar thing, to climb onto his back like she'd always done in the past. Yet it was very different blindfolded – it was like riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed, not knowing which way it would turn next. Saying she lost her bearings quickly was a bit of an understatement. She wasn't even positive they were still right side up.
Her delighted laughter every time they fell from a leap only served to spur Inuyasha on more, she noticed. But of course, how many times had she allowed herself to really enjoy trips like this? In the past – when they were necessary – it had always been to outrun something, to keep up with or meet someone. His runs had never been a simple point of amusement or exhilaration.
It was now.
She felt a little disappointed when he landed for the last time, allowing her to step back from him. He must have noticed her pout, because he laughed. "Don't worry," he said, taking her hand, "we get to do this again on the way back."
"You've convinced me," she giggled, leaning into his strong embrace. For a moment she laid her head on his shoulder, pressing the curve of her nose into his neck.
Actions and words forever differing, his hand came up to smooth through her hair even as he growled, "Hey, don't get too comfortable. I've got plans and you're gonna play along."
She grinned. "Plans, huh? Since when do you plan?"
A giggle escaped her lips, acquiescing by lifting her head. "Alright, then. Lead on, handsome." Then she squeaked, surprised at the sudden pressure on her mouth. The moment she realized it was kiss, it was over, much to her disappointment.
"You know better than to call me that," he ground out, even as he started to pull on her hand to guide her.
"Oh?" was her response. "Why's that? Are you afraid you might actually meet my standards?"
"Your standards are broken," he commented, absently helping her climb over a rock.
She could hear a stream or brook, too. He'd led her somewhere outdoors – probably deep outdoors, far from anybody else, if she knew him right. And she did. "If my standards are broken," she replied, "and you meet my standards. . ?"
"You shouldn't have worn that dress," he said sharply, changing the subject.
A plain yellow sundress with a few floral patterns near the hem had been chosen for today, along with a matching ribbon keeping her hair back in a ponytail (which was quite a bit longer given she didn't cut it much). She'd picked it because it was simple, and she didn't tend to like the more complicated outfits worn by her generation.
"What's wrong with it?" she asked idly, still following his lead, sidestepping obstacles with ease thanks to how he led her. "Is it gonna get dirty?"
He didn't reply right away, finally saying, "It'd better."
Her heart thudded a littler harder in her chest at that, though from a different kind of excitement than before. Her mind filled with thoughts of what the rest of tonight might be, no longer noticing where Inuyasha was taking her nor the sunlight on her bare arms. Oh yes, she was ready for whatever he had in mind – had been for a long time.
She wondered if he knew that. And if he did, he was that much more admirable, holding back whenever they grew passionate even if he had to dig his claws into his palms to do it.
With a sudden compassion for what he must have gone through, waiting for her, she stopped and pulled on his hand to bring him back.
"What's the matter?" he asked sharply, concern evident. "Did you step on something?"
She trailed a hand up his arm, shoulder and neck to coordinate herself, then stood on her toes to kiss him. She almost missed, catching the corner of his mouth more than his lips. He gave a chuckle, replanting the kiss for better contact. In an odd form of gratitude, she exhaled lightly against that mouth in a half-moan.
When he drew back, the first thing he said was, "What was that for?"
Brash as always, she thought with an inner grin. "That was for 'because I love you,'" she answered.
He was silent for a moment, then snapped, "Don't say confusing things." She laughed, expecting him to start pulling her along again.
Instead, he swept her up to hold her to his chest. Automatically, her arms linked around his neck. With a giggle, she said, "Was I going too slow for you?"
"Keh!" was his response. "You're always going too slow."
Yeah, I love you too, she thought to herself, grinning. After so long together it became easy to read his mind, to decipher what he didn't say.
As he continued the trek, she snuggled into his neck, enjoying the warmth she found. On second thought, she decided to start planting feathery kisses wherever her lips could reach, and was rewarded with a soft yet throaty growl from her hanyou.
In an attempt to stop her, he gave her a jerk that was more of a toss, and she squealed at being momentarily weightless.
She thwapped his chest in response. "That was mean," she said.
"Keh!" He growled. "You should know better."
"Oh, so now I can't kiss you when I feel like it?" she teased, punctuating the sentence with a kiss to his jaw.
Another growl came from him. "Not when I'm trying to concentrate. I can't think with you all over me," he told her sharply.
"I'm not 'all over you' yet," she countered. Though I am planning on it, she amended mentally.
His reaction was so subtle she almost missed it: a slight tightening of his grip on her back and knees. He was thinking of the future, too, then. That made it all the better.
Obligingly, she kept her hands -- and mouth -- off him for the rest of the walk. Which didn't take long; he'd stopped the run-jump part of the trek close to the destination. He set her down, turned her pointedly in one direction, and said into her ear, "We're here."
The blindfold came off as she shivered, fully enjoying the feel of his breath on her ear. She had to blink a few times to get used to the light, but when she did, she caught her breath. Absently, one hand lifted to her mouth in wonder.
She was overlooking an amazing view of the wilderness. Two very big mountains where in her sight, swelling to the left and right of the setting sun. A few clouds strung about in the sky, painted red and orange in the fading light. She could see a glimmering stream of water, too, leading between those mountains, disappearing completely into the distance. The entire scene was breathtaking -- and it reminded her of a familiar view she'd seen a handful of times in the past.
The far past.
She spun on her heel to see Inuyasha, taking in his slightly bashful expression. Was he worried she wouldn't appreciate what he'd shown her? She threw her arms around him in a tight hug, all too happy when he returned it. "It's beautiful," she commented.
"It's all yours," he replied, quietly.
Shock went through her and she leaned back in question. "Mine?"
"These days, Sesshomaru owns most everything," he explained. "He gave this area to me, and I'm giving it to you."
"Sesshomaru gave you this land?" she echoed, having trouble believing it.
"Everything within sight of this spot is yours, now," he corrected.
It was mind-blowing. She could hardly conceive of it -- this gift -- and knew without a doubt that she never would have expected it. She was still trying to wrap her mind around it when she saw, behind him, a cloth laid out with a few boxes set atop it.
"Oh, Inu," she murmured, wondering seriously when the gifts, the affection, would end. He was being far too thoughtful, even for her birthday. . .
He glanced behind him at the square, plaid cloth and shrugged, not the least bothered by his nickname. "The land was just for you," he told her. "The rest of the night belongs to us."
How she ever got this man, she never knew. She gave him another hug and kiss, taking his hand. "You have my undivided attention." She was smiling.
He gave her one more kiss, saying, "You know how I love that smile."
Oh, that she did. She was grinning brightly as he led her to the cloth to sit. Well, he more lounged on his side than sat, eyes on her alone. Eying the three boxes, she wondered which she should open first. Her lovely hanyou wasn't giving her any clues, either, so she supposed it didn't matter -- he probably thought the presents were but affection, whereas 'love' would come after.
She was giddy, she had to admit. With one more sweeping look at the boxes before her, she decided to go in the natural order: right to left. Opening the first box, a pale blue with a violet ribbon glued to the top, she had to laugh outright. Although the box was medium-sized, the present inside was small.
She pulled out a mimicry of Inuyasha's prayer beads, smaller than his. He was smirking at her now, clearly enjoying the joke. "I love it," she assured him, "but I'm not gonna wear it." She let it fall back in the box.
He shrugged. "I wasn't expecting you to."
The second box was bigger than the first -- and it had another box inside of it. She rolled her eyes, pulling out the second box and opening it, as well. Inside was a small, round cake with centuries-old kanji on it, spelling two words: "love" and "Kagome." It smelled delicious, but given how much cake she already had today. . .
She closed it with a smile, "Later."
This time, he frowned. "The lady who took the order for that cake thought it was hilarious."
"I bet it was," she laughed.
"She didn't even know the characters to write!" he blurted. "I had to write them for her."
"It is ancient, Inuyasha," she told him. "Besides scholars and historians, not many people are gonna be able to read it."
"You can," he pointed out.
"That's because I spent over a year of my life in ancient times," she shot back. "If I couldn't read it, well, I'd hardly have been a miko, now would I?"
"With your power, reading and writing are overkill," he countered.
Overkill, her mind echoed. He'd been playing too many Final Fantasy games with Souta. "May I open the last present now?" she asked with a laugh.
"It's your gift," he shrugged. But she saw, well-guarded, the nervousness in his eyes. This was the 'big' part, was it? She wondered what could possibly be bigger than ancient kanji on a cake, prayer beads, and acres of land. The third box was smaller than the first two, and like the second box, it had another box within it.
The shape of the box instantly had her focus. If she didn't know any better, she'd swear it was the kind in movies that always has a ring or set of earrings in it. It certainly felt velvety. Now she was nervous, and no amount of curiosity was going to make her open it quickly. She eased it open.
A ring shown back at her. The band looked like white gold, set with three small, glimmering diamonds on both sides of the centerpiece: an oval gold-colored jewel. It looked like amber.
And, looking up at her hanyou, the color was awfully close to his own eye color. She clutched the tiny box to her chest, more touched that he'd known to get an engagement ring than she was amazed by the ring itself. A tiny part of her mind told her that it was probably Sesshomaru who gave Inuyasha the ring, or at least the advice to get one, but it was very quiet.
Inuyasha pushed himself out of his relaxed pose, taking a knee, and clasped her hands in his. Her heart was going a mile a minute.
"This is how it goes, right?" he asked. He looked so nervous. . .
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak just yet. After all, they'd never actually discussed marriage; it had always been a kind of unrealized certainty hanging over their heads. And she never really believed he'd propose, at least not the way it was done in the movies.
He pulled the box from her hands, took out the ring, and -- head down -- said, "This finger, right?"
He had her left ring finger lifted. She swallowed, saying, "Yes."
As soon as that little ring was slipped onto her finger, she launched herself forward, knocking him back. She kissed him over and over, managing a sentence between them: "I -- love you -- so much -- Inuyasha."
She got chuckles as a response, wondering if he was amused at the broken sentence, her fervor, or the fact that she was giving him no chance to reply. The ring on her finger was a peculiar kind of weight, but one she was fully willing to get used to.
It didn't take long for him to take charge, rolling them over. Her small, quick pecks were drowned out by his own passionate kisses, shifting the mood from one of elation to one of desire. They'd both been waiting a long time, long enough that Kagome herself could hardly believe they'd lasted so long. She wanted him just as much as she loved him -- desperately so. Now they were finally going to be able to act on it.
And judging from the way Inuyasha was touching her, it was going to be a long, fulfilling night.
In one year, a lot can change. Not the least of which is the people themselves. People who were barely acquaintances got to know one another, and in so doing, discovered just how real fate was.
It was strange, but with Kagome's increasingly strong spiritual powers, she recognized Higaru as Miroku -- reincarnated. Some time after, he introduced that he'd married a woman named Akira, who had his same kind of job, and Kagome was even more surprised to recognize the woman as Sango.
Shippou and Kyou, however, weren't at all surprised. They'd already known, they said. And they had four sons over the past five centuries, all with their father's bright red hair and mischievous nature, despite all being adults.
The thing everyone was worrying about was Kagome's future. Of course they tried to ignore any impending doom until the time it would happen. Kagome and Inuyasha were married at two ceremonies, one in the past, one in the present, all friends and family invited. Shippou and Kyou got to attend twice -- Sesshomaru didn't attend the first. But despite all precautions, all protection and everything, she found herself pregnant a few months after her eighteenth birthday. In due time, she gave birth to a daughter as predicted, safe in a hospital room, loyal demons posted at every possible place around her.
As per her wish, the elder Inuyasha came by to see the newborn. He was nearly in tears even before he entered the room. His younger self gave him stern warnings about proximity, which the elder agreed to with a wry smile. Kagome berated him for being so cruel to himself.
But the older man did nothing more than approach and brush back the baby girl's hair. She stirred in response, opening wide blue eyes to see what had disturbed her. Despite Kagome offering to let him hold her, he declined. "It's all I needed," he explained simply. There was pain in his eyes, but a smile on his face, as he thanked Kagome and the younger Inuyasha in turn.
After he'd gone, Kagome wondered if she would ever see him again -- if anyone would ever see him again.
"Aiko," she said aloud, looking down at the baby in her arms.
It was one of the names she and Inuyasha had been debating over. Now that she had solid proof everyone loved her daughter, she wanted to prove it to the rest of the world with a perfect name: Aiko.
"I promise you," Inuyasha said to Aiko directly, "you'll always be loved, and never be alone."
Kagome thought it was a wonderful vow.
PHEW, what a ride! And what a long time it took to write. Oh yeah, it's official: no more alternate endings. This story needs to be 100% finished, for good.
I was originally going to write in some naughty time for the mediaminer readers. . .but eh, whatever. It's a long enough chapter as it is, and I think their first time couldn't ever be accurately printed, anyway. Now, however each and every one of you wants it to be (or prefers not to think about it), that it how it shall be.
A note to everyone who wants to write a fic in relation to Transformations or Changing Lives: go right ahead. I've had a few people contact me through email, asking permission to write a side-story to this fic, and y-know what? I really don't think I need to be giving any permission. Fanfiction is fanfiction, after all.
This is NOT permission to directly plagiarize me. No reproducing this fic, for any reason, anywhere. Got it? Good.
God, I'm so relieved that it's over. Thanks to everyone who read along, everyone who reviewed, and especially, everyone who'd been following this fic for its entire 92-chapter ride. That's roughly the size of four books, you know -- so many words, so many pages!
This may very well be my last Inuyasha fanfiction ever. The most I'm gonna do now is finish DarkWorld and New Age. Once that's done, who knows?
For those of you who don't know yet, the Inuyasha series itself is finished. The anime is over with, has been since '97, if I remember correctly. And the manga just recently ended with over 500 chapters. There's a website called 'One Manga' that you could visit which has the whole manga series up for reading, if you like.
(Website addresses aren't allowed in fanfics, or at least, not for . Besides which, I refuse to blast the whole address to the whole internet. You've been given your clue. Anyone who needs more doesn't deserve to be surfing the net in the first place.)
Signing off for the last time, this is DL-chan, a.k.a. Pam. Good night!