I narrowly escaped France when the revolution started.
I rode on the great steam engines across Europe.
I visited the New World and learned the allure of unexplored land. I found the mountains in the west and spent my remaining years there, where I could look out across the ocean and pretend, just for a moment, that I could see Japan. I escaped when people tried to tell me I was less than nothing because of the color of my hair, or my accent, or the shape of my eyes, though I could have changed my shape and eaten them whole.
I watched as Prident JFK was assassinated. I was still alive when Ghandi was killed, and fighters imprisoned for refusing to join in wars. I watched the smoke rise from Europe as wars ravaged the land I knew, and wept in sorrow when the war was brought to the land I loved so much. But my cousin's words were law, and even when the bombs went off and I felt the land I loved cry out for me, I did not return home.
As I sat, old enough now that my hair was thinning and my hands shook occasionally, I watched the television as the Berlin Wall was torn down. People that had been separated for decades had been reunited. That was when I knew it was time to return home, to Japan, and to Sesshoumaru.
In the time that I had secluded myself away, the world had changed greatly. Communication was nearly instantaneous, with the telephone. People were much more cultured, traveling around the world in ease and luxury. The humans had multiplied, had spread unchecked throughout the land, and our people had slowly withered. We could not adapt to them, to the humans, fast enough. We aged too slow, reproduced too slowly. Two or three human generation could go buy before a demon child was old enough to reproduce, and in that time, the humans had adapted themselves to disease and technology. We were being bred out by the humans.
Despite wanting to go, I did not arrive in Japan until the year 1990. The port hand changed drastically. I wanted nothing more than to put my bare feet to ground and feel the dirt between my toes, to once again know that I was home, and yet I could not see dirt in sight.
I hailed a taxi after I collected my bags. I wondered how long it would be until Sesshoumaru-sama felt me in his country... if he still lived. Had he been there when the bombs were dropped during the Second World War? Was he still here? Had he been killed fighting to keep the throne he'd sacrificed everything to keep?
As we drove through Tokyo, I suddenly ordered the driver to slow down as we passed a shrine on a hill. I could still remember the shrine, still remember how it smelled as it burned down. This was not the same building, but the tree beside it was the same. In a heartbeat, the memories returned, of a night ceremony to seal a girl into a tree, and of the woman beside me who reminded me of tiger lilies.
"Does it have a well?"
"What?" The drive was confused.
I pointed a finger at the shrine. "Does the shrine have a well?"
"How the hell should I know?"
I bit my tongue to keep from growling at the man. The world changed, and people still remained unfriendly. "Do you know the name of the shrine, at least, so that I could come back and see it some other time?"
He shrugged. "I don't know the name, but the Higurashi's keep it."
"Higurashi..." It had been so long since I'd heard that name, but Kaede's face immediately came to mind. Was she free of the tree yet? Had her mother been born? If I went up to touch that tree, could I find a heartbeat within? I sat back into my seat. "Thank you."
My hotel room was sparse. I hung up the few clothes I owned and then ventured downstairs to get the newspaper before I again retreated into my room. I had a morning coffee and read the investment section of the paper. I searched the paper for signs of demons—people walking away unharmed from car crashes, long-lived philanthropists, and more—but there was no sign. How did I begin to go about looking for Sesshoumaru when I did not know what name he used?
The first stop, I thought to myself, is to go to the shrine we passed and see what they can tell me. Perhaps if I walk, I might encounter something along the way.
I showered quickly, and inspected myself in the mirror. For my age, and despite the weakness I felt in my body, I still looked young. I wore my hair long and still tied into a trim braid. People had tried to make me cut it off before as a sign of shame and conforming, but I refused. Women seemed to like it, playing with it when offered the chance, but I had only passing interests in mortal women, and none in demon females. My skin bore faint wrinkles, and I walked with a bit of a limp, but my senses were good. I lifted a hand and fingered one of the ears covered by my braid. The scar tissue was still there, a ragged line from when my cousin had torn off my ear.
All right, nearly all my senses were good.
I set off in the direction of the shrine and the Goshinboku. I could not recognize the world around me as Japan. Where were the rice fields? Where were the huts and the young demon slayers practicing in the streets? Where were the hens and the animals? I had known that time had not left my homeland untouched, but whenever I thought of it, I saw the village as it was when I had first met Rin.
The shrine was deserted, save for an old man sweeping a porch. I could smell a family. The shrine did not get much traffic, it seemed, but when the old man spotted me, he merely waved and went about his business. A fat cat wandered by up to the house without a second glance at me, and I turned my attention to the tree.
It had been so long since I had seen it, I could not tell if it had grown significantly or not. A border had been put around it, and with old man in the vicinity, I dare not step over it to touch the tree, though I longed to. I wondered, for a moment, if I were to touch the tree and think of Rin with all my heart, could it send me back to her time? Could I return to those few weeks when we were together and I was happy? But even if it could, I would still be an old man.
I closed my eyes and basked in the presence of the Goshinboku. I could hear the trees rustling, whispering to me, though I could not make out the words. Slanted sunlight struck my face, warming me. I could almost hear the distant voice of the past. I could almost…
"I'm glad you like our tree," said a young voice. I turned at the sound, startled. While I had been distracted, a young girl had snuck up on me. Hands clasped behind her back, wide blue eyes and a cheeky smile, she looked the picture of innocence, but it was the voice that captured me. It had been so long, but I could still hear how similar it was to Kaede's voice. "Is the tree talking to you, too? Sometimes I like to stand here and listen to it. Don't tell Grandfather, but sometimes I even walk up to it and hug it, and no matter how bad a day I've had, it makes me feel better."
"I think the tree was talking to me, but I don't know what it was saying."
"Try asking the tree a question. That helps some people. If they come here for something specific, sometimes the tree will tell them the answer. Whenever I ask about anything, all it tells me is to wait. I ask if I'll pass math, and it says to wait. I ask if I'll find a boy, and it says to wait. I ask if it will rain tomorrow and it tells me to wait. I don't know what I'm waiting for." She kicked a rock and watched it tumble around in the dirt.
It was the voice which really reminded me of Kaede-chan, but as I watched her, I could imagine Kaede talking to Kissaki like that. I could imagine her kicking at rocks and worrying about life. I lifted my head, sniffing the wind for the scent of Inuyasha, and found none. There was no doubt that she was related to Kaede, but how?
"May I ask you your name?"
"I'm Kagome. Kagome Higurashi." She stuck out her small little hand, which I took with a nervous glance at the house. Didn't the grandfather care that a grown man was shaking hands with a little girl?
But maybe she was not that young. Human lifespans are so short, I have trouble telling them apart. I knew, as I shook her hand, I could not lie to her. "Hatsuhana," I said, though I had long ago stopped using that name. "You may call me Hatsuhana."
She grinned. "That's a pretty name."
She was Kaede's mother. I released her hand and gestured to the tree. "Do you ever talk to it?"
Kagome shrugged. "Sometimes I tell it my troubles," she admitted. "Sometimes I ask for advice."
I knelt down to be at her level, though my leg cramped in protest. "When you next sneak here to touch the tree, Miss Higurashi, would you do this visitor one small favor? Tell the tree about your day. No matter how inconsequential you think your day might have been, tell the tree about the weather, or school, would you?"
She didn't ask why. If she had, I do not know what I would have told her. How could I have told her that there was a being in the tree, locked inside until the day when Kagome would release her?
"I can do that for you, Mr. Hatsuhana."
"Thank you, and now it is time for me to take my leave. You have a beautiful home here, Miss Higurashi."
It was a beautiful home, and I would not inadvertently lead Sesshoumaru to it, in case he was still alive. As I returned to my hotel room, the city did not feel as lonely as it had before, knowing that Kaede was still asleep. It may, I think, have even given me a reason to live, so that I could be there when she woke up, and explain to them what happened after Kaede was sealed away.
Someone knocked on my door the following morning. I drew my wakazashi. Old habits die hard, and I had kept this one alive on purpose. The world was a dangerous place, and I could not always be guaranteed the privacy of being able to protect myself in my true form. I suppose I could have updated with the times and carried a fire arm, but they are so loud, and a short sword is swift and silent.
The tip wavered from the age of the hand holding it, but I opened the door a crack. A man appearing to be only a decade younger than I stood in the hallway. Bright green eyes looked suddenly feverish. "It is you!" he said, unaware of the sword hidden by the door. "I thought I smelled you! Do you remember me? I would have been much shorter when we last met."
Indeed, I did remember him. I let the sword fall, taking in the green eyes and red hair, and faint freckles stubbornly lasting into adulthood. I smiled. "Shippou?"
"In the flesh!" he laughed, bounding into my room. He flung himself on the foot of the bed, leaving the chair for me. The twinkling in his eye suggested he knew I needed the back support. "How'd you get that kinky leg?" he asked, gesturing to my limp.
"It has been more than a hundred years since last you saw me, Shippou. I have fought many battles since then. Some I barely won."
He was abnormally quiet—but then, that is comparing him to the child demon I knew. This was a grown man before me, old enough to have children himself. I wondered if he'd found a nice female fox-demon to marry. "You didn't come here to try to trick Sesshoumaru into killing you, did you?"
"Oh." He perked up. "That's good. A lot of demons seek him out when they want to start a fight. They can't deal with all the rapid changes in the world, so they find him and pick a fight, knowing that even in his old age, he'd tear them apart. If you ask me, I think it makes him feel lonely. So what are you doing back in town? I thought he told you never to come back."
Shippou was still talkative. "It has been many years since we last spoke. I have not seen him since… since the night that Rin died. I did not even know if he was still alive. If he is, and we cannot mend this disagreement, I will leave again. If, however, we can put all this in the past, I would like to stay, and finish my life in my home. I've had enough of traveling."
The young man before me held his chin high, peering down at me. I disliked how well he read me. "Yeah, your cousin's still alive. He's made himself a nice profit over the year and spends his time secluded from everyone else. He owns a big mansion and hardly ever comes into town anymore. He has a bunch of human and demon minions that do things like grocery shopping for him. But if you ask them, they're chauffers and butlers and maids and domestic servants, not minions."
I nearly smiled. "The names change, but the job description remains the same. He lives alone then?"
"I guess so. He's not married, if that's what you mean. He might have the odd servant that may spend a night or two there in case he needs them in the middle of the night, but you know him. He can't stand anyone's smell getting in the way." Shippou leaned back on the bed. "I think he'll be glad to see you. Sometimes I go and visit him, but he just barely puts up with me, because I was there, you know? All these other people, they weren't. There's not many of us around from the old days. I think, personally, that he's hanging around waiting for Inuyasha to wake up. Well, not wake up, but come and live here with Kagome and they can finally settle everything. He's had a long time to be by himself and think, and I think he's ready to forgive Inuyasha for being a half-breed. At least, I hope he is. It would be a great detriment to his character if he couldn't forgive Inuyasha after this many years, don't you think?"
"Shippou, I'm starting to think that you've barely aged a day," I laughed.
He grinned. "I've married, settled down somewhere close to the shrine so I can keep an eye on Kaede and the shrine like I promised Arashi. It's been great fun over the years. I've played a number of pranks on people there, and tried to help them, too. Eventually people forgot about the kitsune that used to guard the tree. I became a fancy and a myth, but I never gave up watching for her. I have a son now, too. He's put some life back in my batteries."
"Congratulations, Shippou! You're happy then?"
He almost nodded, and then stopped. He stared out the window, and those eyes became haunted. His loquaciousness hid many scars, and I could not begin to imagine them. "My boy, he makes me happy, but it was hard, Hatsuhana. It was so hard. I had to watch them all die. Kissaki, Kohaku, Tetsuya, Arashi… their children… their children's children. The only thing consistent in my life became Sesshoumaru, and Ayama and Kouga. They would all come to check up on me, and they never seemed to age. I did, until after puberty when the aging became barely noticeable again. If it wasn't for them, I would have gone mad long ago. Every time a child got a cold or was in bed with a fever I would wonder 'Is this it? Am I going to dig another grave?'"
"Shippou, if you don't mind telling me, how did they die? Kissaki, and Tetsuya and Arashi-sama. How did they die?"
"Arashi-sama died an old, woman, at least by our standards." He smiled faintly. "She died in the heat of battle. She never married, but neither did Tetsuya-sama. He died only a few years later, of a stroke. Kissaki… she didn't make it very long after you left Japan. She was always so proud, you know. Her hands shook whenever she picked up a weapon. She could never get over what Cook did to her. She found a nice man, and had a child with him, but could not settle down. So one day she gave the baby to Arashi, told her to look after him, and then went and hung herself on the Goshinboku."
He looked up, and tears clung to his lashes. "You don't understand. Without the ability to fight, she felt she was nothing. She was a warrior, and always had been. She didn't know how to be a mother, how to be anything but a demon slayer. When she healed and found that had been taken from her, she was a shadow. You would talk to her, but it was like there was nothing there. She didn't hear you, couldn't stand to be touched. I think she hung on long enough to give Arashi and Tetsuya the family they had always wanted to have, but were too dedicated to give up their vows for. The two of them raised the baby like their own."
"And that child?"
Shippou smiled, and this time it was happy. "He became a great leader and had many, many children. He was assassinated at a young age, but he did great things in our little village, and all of his children survived. He was a dedicated father with his mother's skill with a sword, but Arashi's temperament and Tetsuya's patience."
I shook my head. "Ah, Shippou. Is there nothing happy on our lives? Are there ever any happy endings?"
"Sure. I just have to remember them when they were young. I remember the first time they called me 'brother', or when they learned to read and write, or their wedding days. I remember all the good they did. Of course, the other answer is no, because nothing ever ends, but if you want my answer... people die. Yes, sometimes it's horrible and tragic, like Kissaki. But no matter what, people die. What's important is how they lived, and my friends led happy lives." He rose and dug into his pocket, pulling out a sheet of paper with an address on it. "And maybe, just maybe you might be able to find your happy ending there. That's his address. Just don't show up before he's had his morning tea."
A human opened the door, a girl. With her round, soft face, she looked terrified. "Does Mr. Shiroishi know you're coming?"
Shiroishi. So Sesshoumaru, like me, had had to change his name now and then to keep from becoming discovered. I shook my head no. "I just got into town the day before yesterday. The address was given to me by a mutual acquaintance of ours. Is that a problem?"
The woman at the door huffed. "Mr. Shoroishi is a very busy man. I will take you to the parlor and see if we can fit you in some time today. If not, then you will have to make an appointment to come and see him."
She led me to the parlor. There was a heavy wooden desk in one corner of the room, European in style. A sedan and a couch surrounded a coffee table in another corner. There was little reminiscent of the palace I remembered. There were no tatami mats, or low tables, or writing brushes. But there was one thing. The parlor had sliding doors leading out to a patio, and in the garden, carefully tended, were tiger lilies.
I slid one of the doors open, and their gentle scent wafted toward me. I inhaled deeply. "Rin…"
The door the parlor slammed shut. Sesshoumaru's sudden presence in the room felt like an icy breeze on the back of my neck. "I thought I told you never to return," he growled.
I turned. He'd used hair dye to change his appearance, making him look younger than he really was. That way, he could age gracefully as "Mr. Shiroishi" and then make another persona once that person "died".
"It's been so long, cousin, and so much has happened, that I didn't even know if you were still alive."
"I'm alive. Now get out."
I huffed. "Yes, I can see that you're alive. I can also see that you've lost your arm again. What happened this time?"
My tone was cruel, but he glanced at the missing arm, and then answered truthfully. Maybe he did that because he knew that the truth would hurt me. "I tried to help defend the country when the American troops invaded at the end of the Second World War. A bomb took it off. I consider myself lucky. The man beside me lost both legs from it." He slid into his seat, suddenly old and weary. "Do you remember the wars we used to have? I thought it atrocious back then, with rotting carcasses left in the sun and horses killed, women and children mere casualties. This style of fighting is no different, but the difference is it all happens so fast. There's no chance to evacuate, even for we demons. A bomb drops, and everything is quiet, until your ears clear from the blast and then all you hear is the screaming."
"I… I hid during the wars. When I found out that America was going to begin enlisting, I left for Canada, only to find out that they were rounding up Japanese Canadians for camps in case they were spies. So I left and headed for Alaska. The whole world fought and killed each other and I stayed in the mountains as a dog demon, eating polar bears."
My cousin stared at me, and then he smiled, very faintly. "Then you were the smart one." He slipped into the seat behind the desk. I took one of the chairs, and the door stayed open, letting the scent of tiger lilies breeze in. "So, polar bears? How do they taste?"
"They're very fatty. So you no longer rule here?"
"I have not for many years. The human numbers swelled, and it was the end for us, but I had given up control long before that. My son took over."
He shook his head. "Don't look at me like that, cousin. I've outlived him. He was in…" Sesshoumaru could not say the words. I took an educated guess.
"Hiroshima. It's a sad day when a man out lives his own child. What about you? Have you any children?"
There was a note of a hope there—the hope of an old, tired demon seeking some kind of comfort. "Sadly, I never found anyone else whom I loved enough to want to start a family. If you have no one else… than it is only you and I left, Sesshy."
He snorted. "Pathetic. The once proud line, brought down to two old men and, some day in the future, a half-breed and their prodigy. Would you like me to have some tea brought in for us?"
"I think, given the topic of conversation, I would like something stronger."
"It's never too early for sake, is it? I'll have them warm up a bottle. Wait here."
"Does this mean that you're not going to try to kill me for disobeying your orders, Sesshy?"
He stopped in the doorway. Slowly, he turned, and this time he was smiling widely. It had taken him several hundred years, but he'd finally learned to let his sense of humor show. "I suppose that I could always be going to get my sword. I guess that you'll just have to trust me, won't you?"
Despite myself, I laughed. He would not get his sword. We were all alone, he and I, the last of a dying line. I inspected the room, and I found a picture on his desk. It was a small painting, the size of a regular photograph. Whoever the artist was, he had described to them Rin's favourite kimono, the orange one. The detail in it was painstaking and perfect. I stroked the curve of her cheek and stared a moment longer before lifting my head to stare out at the gardens.
The door opened. A maid carried in the warm sake and the bowls. If she thought it wrong to be drinking so early, she did not show it. Setting the sake down on the coffee table, she curtseyed faintly and then left.
He saw the photograph in my hands and stopped, as if I would break it out of jealousy. I watched his face. There was nothing fierce in his eyes. "The work in this is beautiful."
"You painted it, Sesshy?"
He shrugged. "How else could I have gotten the face and the clothing just right? How could I describe her well enough that someone else could have captured the gentleness of her eyes and the stubbornness of her chin or the shyness of her mouth?"
I set the photograph back on the desk. "You still love her, don't you?"
"Rin was the first person who showed me kindness. I will always love her for that."
"Bullshit. I showed it to you, too. Don't you remember us being children together? We fought as partners, Sesshy. I was always there to watch your back."
"It was not the same." Sesshoumaru saw I did not believe him, so he continued. "You fought beside me, yes. But after father died, we could not trust each other. You could not trust me that I would not turn on you and remove you from the competition for the throne. I could not trust that you would not stab me in the back while you guarded it. So you left. She loved me unconditionally. She trusted me."
"I haven't even been here an hour. Are we going to fight again already?"
He handed me a warm cup. "Isn't that what old men do? Bicker?"
"Old man my ass. If you had a sword on you right now, this could easily lead to a swordfight. Even if you didn't we could still wipe out a fair portion of Tokyo if we were to change forms and fight. I have only one thing to ask of you."
"Could you paint me a picture of Rin?"
He stared at me a moment, and then those eyes lined with age softened. He nodded, and we drank our sake, drowning ourselves in memories as we talked. We both still loved Rin, but we would not fight over who loved her more. We could no longer afford out pissing contests, as the current vernacular so eloquently phrases it. We were all that was left in the world. All we had now was each other.
I remembered being children with him, baring our teeth and fighting side by side. He was right. I had not trusted him then. I would have no longer been able to fight beside him without having to check my own back and ensure he was doing his job. Now that it was just he and I, there was no one I trusted more.
"I have almost forgotten. I have something for you." He rose and went behind the desk, revealing a safe hidden by a painting. He opened it, and drew out a package wrapped carefully in brown paper. Sesshoumaru set it down before me. "Open it."
Inside was a glass box. Preserved within it was a very old, very familiar, journal.
"Your voice is still needed to finish it and fill in some of the blanks. Once it is done, we will transcribe it, and I will find a publisher for it. Her voice will not be forgotten."
I did not know what to say. When I looked up, I saw he understood. I did not need to say anything.
"Your family is really fucked up, you know that, Sesshy?"
He laughed, long and hard. I wish that Rin could have heard it, but I think that somehow, she did.
Several years later...
"The sword!" she gasped. "Inuyasha, where's Tetsusaiga?"
His face fell, suddenly looking older than it did. There were crow's feet at the corner of his eyes and the laugh lines lining his mouth. His voice was bitter when he spoke. "I don't know where it is. The only other person who can hold Tetsusaiga is a human, or a half… She took it with her…" Realizing what that meant he looked both angry and confused. "Kaede only takes that sword when she does through the well! That stupid bi…" The word died in his throat when Kagome shot him a look that could have killed even a full-blooded demon. Inuyasha controlled his anger, but barely. "If the sword is missing, it means she's gone through the well, but how did she go through?"
"She went through before the well was sealed, obviously."
"Then the question is not where has she gone, but how do we get her back from five hundred years in the past when the well is sealed from the other end?"
Kagome began to look a little hopeful. "The mask! A… and the demons! Inuyasha! Remember the mask? And that big floating demon thing that looked like a baby chicken playing a flute?" Inuyasha looked at her like she was insane. "Demons exist nowadays as they do back then, and things can be sealed! You were sealed, and so was the mask, and that sword we had, the one that possessed you! Maybe Kaede is sealed up somewhere!"
It seemed like a long stretch, but Inuyasha just looked plain pissed at the idea. They all watched until his face paled to the point where his silver hair began looking darker than his skin. Kagome clutched at his red shirt frantically, leaning on his for support both physically and spiritually. Inuaysha's hands had dropped from her as if her skin had burned him. He even avoided her eyes, and they were surprised to hear his voice sound so feral.
"Don't suggest such a thing," he snapped. Kagome opened her mouth to argue, but his voice grew louder. "Don't! I don't want to hear it! My baby is not sealed away somewhere, do you understand me, Kagome? I was awake for those fifty years! I could feel everything, every drop of rain that fell on me, every bug that landed on my nose that I couldn't fight off, every mosquito bite, every comment that someone made while passing by me… it was torture enough for fifty years! Do you really want our daughter to have gone through all of that for ten times that amount of time?"
"No… no…" Kagome said, shaking. He bottom lip began to shake. Inuyasha stared at her and then crushed his wife to his chest fiercely, promising that he would find Kaede, even if it killed him.
"I know where she is," said Shippou. "Kagome's right. She is sealed away. In there." He pointed at the Goshinboku.
Kagome frowned stubbornly, staring at the tree, thinking. "I know how to get her out of that tree."
"Are you certain?"
"Yes… Haven't you noticed that unsealing things and purifying things seem to be my specialty?" she joked. I watched as Kagome began to turn the slightest shade of glowing, glittering pink. She slowly walked forward, arms outstretched. She slowly reached for the tree… and, like a ghost, her arms passed right through the tree.
I watched in awe as Kagome reached into the tree, and then began to step back. Inuyasha cried out his daughter's name when he saw his daughter, possessed by the same ethereal pink glow which had surrounded Kagome, emerge from the tree, held in the hands of his wife. His bare feet skidded on the ground as he rushed to the tree.
Kagome fell to the ground as she finished pulling her daughter from the tree. Kaede fell with her. She was crying, breathing heavily. She was brushing her daughter's hair as Inuyasha came to a stop beside them, falling over them and crying silently. Kaede was clutching the sword in her hands. He tore it form her grasp and flung it to the side, checking his daughter over for injuries and holding her hands. When she suddenly yawned, everyone jumped, even Inuyasha. Kaede finished yawning and then stared up at her parents.
"Daddy," she said, making Inuyasha cry harder. Kaede reached out a hand and touched her father's cheek. She was every bit as alive, young, and healthy, as she had been when she had disappeared. "Daddy, don't cry. I'm sorry I took the sword without asking you. I just wanted to practice making the sword transform. I didn't mean to get caught back in the Sengoku Jidai! But I had the most amazing time there, Daddy!"
Inuyasha stroked her hair, kissing her forehead. "I'm sure you did, honey, I'm sure you did."
"I wasn't awake, you know. Don't worry. Arashi sealed me well. It seems like... only a minute ago, it was them here, you know? Arashi, and Kissaki, and Rin, and Hatsuhana."
Kagome gave her head a shake, puzzlement masking the relief for a moment. "Hatsuhana? Who is that?"
Kaede-chan smiled up at her mother. "Can I tell you over ramen and ice cream? I know that I just went missing a few hours ago, but it's been months since I've had ramen and ice cream." As her parents laughed and nodded, Kaede could not help but stare up at her father, whom she idolized, and saw so much of his brother in him. She wondered if Sesshoumaru and Hatsuhana were still alive in the current world, and vowed at that moment that one day, she would find them, and reunite her broken family.
AN: The final section about Kaede was added after I read some reviews which wanted to know what happened to her. The parts in italics are, for the most part, copied and pasted from Comrades in Arms, which originaly introduced Kaede's character and her going missing.
Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I sincerely hope that you have all enjoyed it!