She would never tell anyone or show anyone, but she was deathly, absolutely, completely terrified when her little girl (Dear God, she still remembered the sweet innocence when that little girl tripped and fell, scraping her knee and begging her to kiss it better) would smile at them in that same way as always, follow the man she loved into that dark hole and might never come back.

Oh, she couldn't show it, of course. She was, after all, Mom.

Mom, who stayed absolutely calm and serene no matter the circumstance, who would smile and nod as her daughter explained things completely out of her understanding, who knew that Kagome refused to be pushed or cajoled into talking, and would let her daughter come to her in her own time.

But no matter how calm she tried to be, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to grab at Kagome's shirt and pull her backwards, lock her in her room and make sure she never came out until she was too old for fairy tales, too old for magic jewels and swords and demons, for dashing young men (half men, anyway) and comrades and enemies, and far, far too old for a silly old well.

Yet a bigger part of her understood that would kill her daughter even faster than a demon's claw or fang ever could, even faster than the broken heart that her little girl would wear on her sleeves sometimes, walking out of the well with shoulders broken by the weight of the world.

Because her daughter was a Hero, a real, honest-to-God, fairy tale heroine who stood up and fought for Good, for Right, for all those nice things that she had taught her daughter to believe in during fairy tales and assumed she'd learn to accept that things weren't Good, but rather gray.

And heroes don't get locked up in their rooms and stay at Home for the rest of their lives.

Otherwise, there wouldn't be a story, would there?

Damn, she thought one day, as she cleaned off a bit of blood from Kagome's shirt and tried very hard not to cry out because that just wouldn't be something that Mom would do, I did too good a job. I raised a daughter who's too damn GOOD for her own good.

It's a bitter irony, to have succeeded so much where others have failed, and to hate yourself for it.

But she can't turn back time and she can't move the clock anytime, and there's no way she could ever lock Kagome in her room, not when she watches her daughter pretend to be annoyed when the silver haired young man (or demon, or... does it matter, really, she wonders), who is out of place in this era, in this world and yet perfectly at home with her daughter, comes to get her.

She knows that behind the complaints and the half hearted wheedling, her daughter is really too fucking Good to leave behind any mess that she started.

She can't stop her daughter from growing up, and she can't stop her from trying to save the world.

She has a Hero for a daughter, and it kills her to know that.

But she can do this. She can do one thing to insure that, even as her daughter became a Hero, she could have some piece of mind. She makes sure that Kagome is reminded that, even as she's taking on some grand adventure, she has a Home.


That sweet, wonderful face that she had first looked upon so many years ago stared up at her with that same absolutely gorgeous smile as before, shoulders squared and eyes glinting with determination, her knight in red cloth standing nearby.

And like all the other moments, standing at the doorway, waiting at the doorstep of Home, like all those moments before this moment, she knows that she is staring at a Legend, a Hero, and her daughter.

She cannot help but be proud of that last fact most of all.