Still don't own these characters.

Everybody, this is the last chapter of this tale. Enjoy it, or else. Nah, I'm kidding, just enjoy it, please.

Chapter 14

Sesshomaru waited in his car outside of Kikyo's job. He was waiting for her, knowing that she would come out humming that infinitely annoying song about school being out for the summer. He hated that song and he did not think that it was appropriate for a teacher to hum it. It seemed especially weird since she did it in such an upbeat manner, which did not suit her at all. He would put up with it from her because it was her and also because she was going to be his for the whole summer, not that he had the whole summer off, but he had enough time off to act like the rest of the world did not exist when it came to his beloved wife.

The golden-eyed male had learned to manage his time much better now, not to mention he had gained enough clout to turn down some cases in his firm. He had come to a decision a long time ago that while he liked his job, he loved his wife and he liked being with his dearest wife much more. He had a responsibility to his job, he knew that, but he had a much larger responsibility to his wife. Kikyo meant the world and more to him and ever since their near-divorce, he tried his best to show her that he cared about her more than anyone would ever know.

He disliked thinking about how he and Kikyo had been a simple pen stroke away from ending a relationship that was more precious than a million diamonds to both of them. Their near-mistake had remained a secret for a while, just between him and Kikyo, but it eventually got out. What happened was that Kaede made a minor slip about how Kikyo had been living with her and her mother a while ago to Rin and things grew from there. It started a new hell for Sesshomaru for more time than he cared for.

His parents had been ready to skin Sesshomaru and turn his hide into jerky when they became aware as to what happened between him and his wife. The only defense that he could offer was that it was merely a miscalculation that was corrected, which was proven because he was still with Kikyo. He assured them that he was not just married, but happily married and his parents did not slaughter him. They did scold Sesshomaru for a long time until they were reassured that Kikyo was quite content with their son, though.

He recalled how his moron little brother even had the nerve to laugh at him when he found out that Kikyo and Sesshomaru had been a near breath away from a divorce. Inuyasha had not laughed because of the near-divorce; he did not think that was funny at all. He just laughed because he thought it was funny that his big brother was not as perfect as he claimed to be. To Inuyasha that was priceless and he doubted that he would ever let Sesshomaru live it down. In fact, most of the time that Inuyasha saw Sesshomaru, he felt the need to point out that the "arrogant, egotistical sociopath," his exact words, was not as great as he swore he was. The elder brother was a bit surprised that the younger one knew such big words.

Sesshomaru let his little brother laugh all he wanted. He actually believed that he needed to be laughed at, not that anyone knew why. He deserved it because of all of the things that he had done to Kikyo; he needed some kind of punishment. He was thankful that no one was aware of his mistake, except of course the person that mattered most, Kikyo.

The silver-haired male had been making up for everything that he had done, or at least he had been trying to make up for things. Kikyo had, of course, forgiven his poor behavior because she did not think that she had been completely rational herself. He did not think that her just forgiving him was enough; he wanted to show her that he was truly sorry for what he did. He was going to show her that he was sorry for the rest of their lives.

-8-8-8-8-

Kikyo looked up the block for her husband's car; the parking around the school was always rather bad. Usually, he waited in the car just in front of the school behind the wheel, so she did not typically have to trek up and down the street searching for him. She guessed that he had a bit of a surprise for her since he parked the car. She tried to spot the vehicle before something irksome happened, like Naraku walking up behind her. Two seconds later, the irksome happened and Kikyo wondered why the universe seemed so against her sometimes.

"Husband late again?" Naraku inquired in his low and ominous voice.

Kikyo was going to deliberately ignore the ebony-haired male, but found that it was unnecessary because she saw a reason to ignore him and get away from him. She glanced up the street and noticed Sesshomaru get out of the car. He walked around and opened the back door on the passenger side. Kikyo smiled slightly, knowing what was about to happen before anything even took place.

A tiny girl hopped out of the car. She had long, silver hair with one thick black streak in the middle of her platinum mane and deep, vibrant chocolate eyes. She was a very petite creature with chubby cheeks that were common to children of her age. She took off up the street like a little rocket as soon as she was out of the confines of the car, her little sandals slapping the concrete creating tapping noises and her white dress waving in the wind that she was creating from her dashing.

"Mommy!" the girl cried in a joyful tone as she charged Kikyo and leaped into the woman's waiting arms.

"Hello, Izumi," Kikyo greeted the little girl and she affectionately kissed the child's cheek, which caused the girl to smile widely, apparently happy for the attention.

Naraku frowned when he saw the child and noticed Sesshomaru stalking up the street like a hunting puma, eyeing the other man like the rival Naraku wished he was. The pest had forgotten that Kikyo bore Sesshomaru's child and it showed by the distasteful look on his face. The amber-eyed male came up to them and stood near his wife and daughter while glaring at Naraku, as if telling the man to leave the area if he valued his life. Naraku took the hint, as he often did whenever Sesshomaru threatened him with his eyes. Naraku went about his business, walking off in the opposite direction of where the family would be going when they left.

Sesshomaru wondered what it would take for that gnat of a man to stop harassing his Kikyo. Was he going to have to put up with the insignificant, longing parasite until Kikyo retired? Kikyo often wondered the same thing and prayed that it was not true; she was not certain if she would be able to put up with Naraku for that many years.

"Ready to go?" Sesshomaru asked his wife in his usual, indifferent smooth tone.

"Of course," Kikyo answered.

"Mommy, tell Daddy that I can have ice cream. I wan' some an' asked an' asked, but Daddy said ask you," the child, Izumi, explained in an excited tone. She spoke with a lot of energy. She did a lot of things with a lot of energy actually, which was typical of a child her age.

Kikyo smiled a bit at her daughter. Izumi was a three-year-old ray of sunshine to her parents. She helped remind them that they needed to work together to keep everything in their lives stable, especially now that they had a daughter. With Izumi around, Kikyo and Sesshomaru noted that their foolish decisions and childish behavior were down to a minimum. They talked to each other a lot more to make sure that they were of like mind on issues and were making sound decisions, not just to avoid past mistakes, but to be certain that they were doing the best for their whole family. Their family and relationship was coming along swimmingly because of the fact that they talked a lot more now than they did before their near-divorce.

"Sessho, have you been tormenting Izumi again?" Kikyo asked in an amused tone as they all started toward the car.

"Never. She is merely attempting to get me into trouble once again," Sesshomaru replied while caressing the three-year-old's head.

"So, Mommy, ice cream?" Izumi begged with an adorable pout, looking her mother in the eyes for her expression to have its full affect.

"Of course, baby," Kikyo agreed.

Sesshomaru smiled; he knew that Kikyo would give into their baby. Kikyo was such a softhearted woman, but even more so when it came to their daughter. He thought it was fine for the moment because he could play the strict parent when the time came. Right now, though, their daughter only needed attention, love, and to be spoiled to her heart's content until she was a bit older and required some discipline.

-8-8-8-8-

The family went home and relaxed a bit. They all cuddled up on the sofa; Sesshomaru was lying on the couch, Kikyo was on him and Izumi was on her. Izumi was sleeping as they expected her to be; apparently, any movie in black and white put all minors to sleep. Sesshomaru and Kikyo were watching a classic silent movie and he was softly caressing his wife's cheek with his fingertips.

"Beloved, are you sure that you don't want to take Izumi with us on the trip?" Sesshomaru asked after a long silence.

"I wouldn't feel at ease with a hyper three-year-old on such a large boat," Kikyo answered in a low tone. She was fighting off sleep herself because her husband's touch was so relaxing.

"I can see what you mean. Are you sure your mother won't mind having her for two weeks?" he asked. He and Kikyo were going to be taking a trip in a short while and he just wanted to make sure that everything was in order before they left, although he was well aware that everything was perfect. It was not like it was their first time going through what they were and they always had things set up to their liking months in advance, including who would watch Izumi while they were away.

"My mother can handle her. She has dealt with two little girls before, after all. She enjoys having Izumi around, especially since Kaede will be running around all summer with Rin," she explained. Izumi would be able to keep her mother company.

"Izumi is just about the only thing your mother likes about me," Sesshomaru muttered as a joke.

"She'll break one day. Little by little, you do seem to be getting to her."

"Really?" he sounded rather skeptical. Her mother still seemed to hate his guts as far as he could tell.

"You hadn't noticed? She doesn't glare at you anymore or talk about you like you're not in the room. I'm guessing she now knows that you're here to stay," Kikyo commented while leaning into her husband's loving touch more so than she had already been doing.

"I will do my best to always be here," he vowed.

"I know."

"I promise," he said anyway.

Kikyo nodded because she was all too aware that Sesshomaru would do his best and that was all that she asked for. She just wanted to know that she had his attention and that he was thinking of her. He mostly liked to do things big when it came to letting her know that she had his full attention, which was why they were going on a trip for a fortnight in a few days to celebrate their seventh anniversary. She appreciated the big things along with the little things like his tender caresses while they watched movies. She just liked having her husband around and he liked being around.

Kikyo was glad to know now that he did believe their anniversary was special and he had yet to forget one since their near-divorce. He always had something grand planned for them to do, even when Izumi was just a little baby. They had not gone on a trip the past two years like they were doing now because they did not want to leave their young daughter alone for too long, but he still did wonderful things for her on those past anniversaries. He was never going to allow her to think that the day was not special to him.

"We'll have to bring Izumi and your mother some rather grand souvenirs," Sesshomaru commented.

"You just want to taunt my mother, don't you?' Kikyo asked with a slightly disapproving look on her face. He ignored her expression because he knew how she felt about what he did, but he just could not help himself. He did get a kick out of teasing her mother when the opportunity presented itself.

"She can take the gift however she wishes. I am merely giving my thanks for her babysitting out little angel," Sesshomaru explained with a slightly amused smile on his face.

"Like when you brought her back that necklace from our last trip?" she countered. Her husband liked to bring back big, expensive gifts for her mother, knowing the woman would take offense to it because she thought that he was flaunting his wealth.

Sesshomaru smirked, appearing almost wicked because of the expression and the odd twinkle in his eyes. "The look in her eyes was worth two of those necklaces. If looks could kill," he mused in a light tone. Her mother would have slaughtered him infinite times over by now if looks could kill.

"I'm glad you and my mother haven't commissioned deadly weapons for your little war against each other."

"We try our very best to control of ourselves out of love for you," he assured her, sounding like he was joking, even though he was not.

Kikyo laughed a bit and snuggled even closer to Sesshomaru. She agreed with him; she believed that her mother and husband tried their best to get along for her and for Izumi. Her mother and husband were trying their best to accept each other because they knew for a fact that they were stuck together as family for the rest of their lives. Kikyo hoped that they were all stuck together for the rest of their lives, she and Sesshomaru were trying their best to make that so.

-8-8-8-8-

This would be the end of the story. I hope you all enjoyed it. Catch y'all on the next story I write.