Sure enough it was his brother looking relatively pathetic. He had not been a mile off, and by his brother's third howl he'd managed to reach him. When he saw Sesshomaru he growled in warning. Clinging desperately to the young priestess in strange clothes. The similarity between him and his brother was apparent at that moment. His brother was following right down his path. Rebellious streak, settling down then having it all stripped away. Surprisingly it was painful to watch. He'd gone through this once before and did not enjoy it anymore now that it wasn't him. Sakura's face flashed in his minds eye. His son's. His daughter's. Inuyasha had also killed the on who destroyed his world but he doubted he cared. Inuyasha was gone, the least he could do was put him out of his misery. Sesshomaru stepped closer, and Inuyasha made to get up when Sesshomaru grabbed for his sword. But not the one he expected. In his haste he had grabbed Tenseiga. The sword his father left him. He saw her life force fading. Then something surprised him. The girl had been pregnant, and the unborn child that had only been inside her for a short time, maybe two days, had died instantly. But the girl wasn't beyond his swords reach. Apart of him asked why he should do anything about it. When his sword let out a wave of energy, Because it's the right thing… Was that his thought? The girl was still at the border of life and death. Do it… Useless or no the sword is yours. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from it… Was he thinking this? His head hurt and there was only one way to stop it. Unsheathing his sword he walked to his brother who, though still growling, allowed him to approach. He raised the sword and brought it down quickly.
"Is this death?" Kagome asked the void of darkness that had imprisoned her. Then she saw a faint glow that brightened until it was blinding. When it dimmed there floated a teenage girl, who she automatically knew was Zara and another. Kikyo. Zara giggled and Kikyo said nothing.
"Welcome, mother, to the Crossroads!"
Kikyo spoke up, "It is the place between life and death. This child has been it's guardian for a little more than fifty years. Every since her destiny was set. She has crimsoned it the Crossroads." she didn't look at Kagome, and it hurt to hear how hurt Kikyo sounded.
"The destiny to be your daughter!" Zara giggled again.
"It is her destiny to be your child… Yours and Inuyasha's."
Kagome didn't know what to say. She just watched Kikyo. Searching for a way to phrase her question. Slowly she started to ask it, "I've wanted to ask you something… Why did you… Why just seal Inuyasha to the tree?"
Kikyo's eyes snapped to hers. "What?"
"You could have destroyed Inuyasha with a sacred arrow, but instead you sealed him to the Sacred tree knowing you'd.. You know…"
"I didn't mean to. The properties of an arrow fired without really thinking are drawn straight from the heart…" she paused then looked away. "Mine didn't… Still doesn't want to kill Inuyasha."
Kagome nodded. Then she thought of something else, "I thought you were in the world of the living, a-"
"That is only a part of me. I remain torn between the worlds as long as that… Thing walks with the living. How much damage has she caused?"
"Not that much…" She lied. Not mentioning the part about almost dragging Inuyasha into eternal oblivion.
"Hmm… Really? You know, as my reincarnation I wondered why we are so unlike each other. I've figured out our connection. We're like two sides of the same coin."
" You are outgoing and cheerful. I was secluded and distant. I am the past, and you are the future. You are warm where I am cold. You lay people down gently where I am painfully honest. Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. Sun and Moon. We are separate yet the same. Each needing something from the other. I just gave you my part of the exchange. I gave you that knowledge and my debt is paid."
Kagome saw it now. Different but the same… "But I didn't give you anything…"
Kikyo smiled, "You did… You freed Inuyasha didn't you?… Just make him happy."
"Are you sure?"
"More sure than I've been in the past fifty years."
"Momma, don't worry, there are some happy times ahead. There will be… I AM the keeper of the Crossroads after all. Just try not to let Papa's attitude discourage you!" Kagome didn't understand. Suddenly behind her a pale white light broke through the shadows. "Bye, momma!" Zara called as Kagome was pulled away.
Kagome stirred in is arms and he stopped growling. She opened her eyes just as his filled with tears. She sat up and Inuyasha grinned the tears in his eyes dried quickly and he stood, offering his mate a hand. Then he held her close. The older demon turned to walk away. "Sesshomaru!" his brother stopped, "Why?"
A strange thing happened. Sesshomaru turned and chuckled, "Why not?"
Inuyasha looked as if he'd been told that the sun was made of turnips. Had Sesshomaru just been… PLEASANT. And what was with the laughing? "I'll never understand you."
"It was the right thing to do."
"Since when do you care about right and wring?"
"Since just now."
"I'll assume this was a one time thing then."
"Brother you of all people should know what happens when you assume."
"Yeah, yeah. I'm still not buying this. What's the catch?"
"No catch. I didn't throw anything."
"Oh no you did not!"
"Bring it on bro!" Kagome sighed. And Inuyasha kept silent. If he kept this up she'd never let him watch her magic box again. Sesshomaru laugh. "Til we meet again." he said with an elegant and flamboyant bow. He then laughed until after he had long left their earshot.
Sango shuddered, "God that was weird."
"I concur." Miroku said looking equally weirded out.
"Something tells me we'll never be the same after this." Inuyasha said, either repulsed or just plain terrified.
"I won't sleep for weeks." Miroku said walking away for the caves of the wolf tribe.
"Me, neither" Sango said following close behind.
"Yup, I'll be having nightmares for the rest of my life." Inuyasha said watching them go before looking at Kagome. "You alright?"
"What was it like?… You know-"
"It was dark. But I was stuck some where between the worlds."
"How do you know?"
"I was told so."
"Zara." Inuyasha was silent. "She's the guardian of the place I was. She said we have happy times ahead."
Inuyasha laughed, "Did she say whether or not we defeat Naraku."
Kagome smiled, "She'll exist. That's enough of an answer for me."
"You didn't ask did you?"
"I wasn't thinking about it. We'll just have to wait and see."
"Some how. I think I like that better." He then kissed her lightly and then yawned. "I don't know 'bout you but I am TIRED! Lets go get some shuteye." he stretched. Suddenly at the mention of sleep, she nodded, giving in to exhaustion she walked forward slowly. He bent down and allowed her to cling to his back and carried her, following the other.
A few years later Inuyasha paced out side of Kaede's hut. After being inside only a few minutes he was sent away for being to fussy. Miroku and Sango sat on chairs next to the door, a three year old boy in his lap with an uncanny resemblance to the monk, save his eyes. Those were Sango's. Sango held another child, a baby boy with big blue eyes. The little family watched him pace. "Daddy?" The little boy asked looking up, "Why's Uncle Inuyasha acting like sush a spaz?" His ch's weren't coming out right. His front tooth was missing.
"Because Auntie Kagome is having a baby. He's acting perfectly normal for such an occasion."
The boy pondered this for a moment, "Daddy?"
"Where do baby's come from?"
Sango glared at her husband and he flinch, then coughed. "Baby's are made after a male and female have intercourse. It doesn't always happen but sometimes it does. Then the baby grows inside the females body and when it is ready to be born it comes out. Causing the female more than her share of discomfort."
The boy blinked, "Oh…"
Sango sighed. Doubting that that was a satisfactory answer. "Miroku, why can't you just lie to your children like everyone else?"
"That just causes confusion in the future when all his friend's tell about their parents version of the same questions answer. I want him to learn right the first time he asks. Besides he's a bright kid. He'd no if I diverged from his question." Sango half smiled, it was unconventional, but the boy asked no more questions.
Kaede came to the door covering and glared at Inuyasha. "If you PROMISE not to smother her I'll let you come i-"
To late. He was already in the door, and next to Kagome, who was holding a crying bundle in her arms. Her hair was a mess, a bloody towel beside her, and she had a smile on her exhausted face. She never looked more beautiful. Inuyasha lend in a little to observe the tiny figure. Her sobs started to subside the she opened her eye. Kaede said that when children are born there eyes are blue. For his child this was not so. This baby had chocolate brown. "She has your eyes…" Kagome said half sighing, half laughing. He put a clawed finger in close and she grabbed it giggling. She cooed and screamed her strange baby talk ad he laugh trying to pull his finger away, but her grip was pretty good. "You wanna hold her?" Inuyasha's eyes went wide and he nodded. She carefully passed him the child and he took her, imitating the way she held the baby flawlessly. His strong arms were suddenly gentle as if made to hold a fragile thing such as his new daughter. It looked down at the child in awe. She was a pretty little thing.
"Zara…" he whispered and Kagome grinned.
He grinned. "Hey kid? You like that name?" The baby only cooed again, "Let's assume that was a yes."
Someone pulled back the doors cover, "I hear I have a niece!" There stood Sesshomaru grinning from ear to ear, unworn by the traveling Inuyasha knew he did to get here this quickly. His lands where to the west of the village, a good thirty miles away. Rin lived here in Kaede's village and was learning to keep a house. A talent that Sesshomaru extremely lacked. Jaken lived out with Sesshomaru and helped him mind the lands that he acquired. Rin planned to join him when she turned sixteen to be his wife. It was all she ever talked about. He over Inuyasha's shoulder, "Yup and she's gorgeous. But then that's expected. She is related to ME after all." If Inuyasha hadn't been holding his infant he'd have punched him.
"If she got her looks from anywhere it's ME." Inuyasha said defensively.
"Let us pray she doesn't grow up to look like you, then."
"Take it back."
"Inuyasha you're upsetting the child."
"Boys stop it!"