Kagome and Amber sat around the dormant fire pit of the hut, sharing a pint of Triple Chocolate Fudge ice cream they had brought along and giggling as the miko related tale after tale of the predicaments Izayoi would get her brother into when they were children and occasionally a story of a particularly "Inuyasha"-esque moment back when they and their friends were searching for the jewel shards.
After 18 years of searching, the last four shards still had not been found. They remained hidden somewhere in Sengoku Jidai. Inuyasha wasn't as impatient in regards to searching for them as the years went by, only because his children were still young and he didn't want to endanger them by taking them with them when they traveled- and he also didn't want his pups to end up orphans in case something went horribly wrong.
Now that the "pups" were grown up- one with a mate, no less- he was ready to start searching some more- something that Kagome wasn't sure she really wanted to do. She was in her mid-thirties and already borne three children- trekking all over Japan just didn't hold the anticipation and thrill that it used to.
Inuyasha and Inusouta had been taking care of a few rogue youkai problems for the last couple weeks. Kagome believed it was because, like usual, they wanted to be blasting things with their swords.
The older hanyou had tracked down old Totosai and convinced (read: threatened) the ancient swordsmith to make Inusouta a weapon.
The senile old man did better than that- he made the young hanyou two. Twin katanas that could be locked together to create a double-bladed sword had been forged from both Inuyasha's and Inusouta's fangs.
Ryokukenmeiyo- Strength and Honor, as Inusouta had dubbed the weapon/s, was capable of blasting youkai just as easily as Tetsusaiga. He had yet to discover the techniques the blades were capable of, but he had plenty of time to work on that.
A soft knock preceded Kohaku, holding her newborn daughter, Midori, in her arms. ("I'm not interrupting, am I?")
The two women giggled again. ("No,") Kagome replied with a grin. ("We're just sharing embarrassing tales of our husbands.")
Kohaku grinned back. ("I've got a few about Shippou that would have you laughing for weeks.")
The kitsune poked his head in, eyeing his mate. ("Don't even think about it,") he warned her before waving hello (and goodbye) to Kagome and Amber as he removed Midori from her mother's arms and disappeared with the infant.
The three women laughed aloud and soon Kohaku was supplied with a spoon to help devour the rapidly depleting supply of ice cream.
Izayoi walked into the hut slowly, causing the three giggling women to glance up, somewhat surprised. The young woman looked like she had something serious on her mind.
("Izayoi? Honey, are you okay? What's wrong?") Kagome asked as she put down her spoon and stood up, moving over to her daughter.
Gold eyes remained locked, focusing on something in the distance. ("I… I don't know, exactly,") she replied, sounding very confused. ("I just feel… a weird sort of pulling.") She pointed out the door towards the distance. ("In that direction.")
Kagome stepped outside and was shocked when she, too, felt the familiar pulling sensation. ("That's a jewel shard!") she exclaimed, looking at her daughter. ("And you can sense it?")
Izayoi nodded. ("Yeah… I've felt it before, pulling me toward your room where you kept the chunk of the Shikon no Tama, but I didn't think I should tell you.") She looked down at the ground, suddenly saddened. ("Chichi would be horrified if he knew I could sense the shards. He'd never let me go look for them.")
The miko regarded her daughter in new light. ("You… do you want to go look for them?")
She nodded firmly, her eyes dead serious. ("I've always wanted to… but it seemed like Chichi only wanted Inusouta to help him look.") She shrugged. ("Chichi doesn't want me to do anything. So I acted like I didn't care.")
Kagome sighed. ("Sweetie, I'd love to let you go,") she said as she led Izayoi back into the hut, ("but you don't have any sort of weapon or protection. You can't hold your hanyou form during the day for more than an hour so far.")
Gold eyes looked embarrassed. ("I… I've been practicing, Okaasan,") she whispered.
("Practicing? Practicing what?")
("With your bow. I can shoot sacred arrows, too.")
Amber whistled. Kagome blinked. ("You… you've got miko abilities?")
Again came the shrug. ("Looks like.")
Kagome squealed in delight as she pulled her daughter into a fierce hug. ("Honey, that's so fantastic! I thought any miko powers would've been blotted out by your hanyou blood!")
Amber chuckled. ("You keep talking all serious and proper like that and I'll start calling you Oji-sama Sesshy's unclaimed whelp.")
Izayoi snorted delicately. ("Hardly. Inu still holds that prestigious title.")
Kagome turned and looked at the kitsune hanyou girl. ("How do you know how Sesshoumaru-sama talks?")
Amber blushed furiously. ("Never mind.")
Izayoi laughed in delight. ("You didn't tell them?")
("Of course not! Are you nuts?")
The inu-hanyou smirked at her sister-in-law. ("She and Inu were having a bit of a tree-branch rendezvous, and Ojisan Sesshoumaru happened to wander underneath their tree just as Amber's kimono happened to fall. Luckily the garment landed on his head, so he didn't see anything at first, but you know how his sense of smell is…")
Amber shifted to hanyou form and bared her fangs at her. ("Izayoi-neesan!") she growled, swishing her long golden tail.
("Not to mention Kana-kun was with him… and he didn't get his vision impaired by falling clothing.")
By now both Kagome and Kohaku were nearly rolling on the floor with laughter. ("Don't tell me,") Kagome gasped, as she fought for air. ("He pulled the kimono off his head and gave them his "hanyous-are-so-barbaric" look before walking away as if nothing ever happened.")
Izayoi grinned. ("Almost. He had to pull Kana-kun away by his ear because his son wouldn't take his eyes off the scene in the tree. Ojisan Sesshy's parting words were something like, 'Mating in a tree… typical hanyou behavior.'")
Amber was now scarlet, her ears flattened against her head. ("I seriously doubt he's never done it in a tree,") she muttered under her breath.
That brought another round of laughter- louder this time.
Kagome shuddered between her gasps for air. ("Ewwww… Sesshoumaru-sama and Kagura-sama messing around on a tree branch… that's a pretty scary picture.")
Inuyasha and Inusouta took that moment to wander inside, taking in the scene of three hysterically laughing women and a bright red kitsune hanyou in a glance. ("Maybe we should go out and come back in again,") the younger hanyou murmured to his father.
("Keh! What in all the hells is so funny, wench?") Inuyasha poked Kagome in the shoulder.
Kagome seriously could not compose a complete sentence at this point, she was laughing so hard. ("Inusouta… Amber-chan… tree… clothes falling on your Onii-sama… dragging Kana-kun away by his ear…")
Inuyasha turned towards his son, who was now as red as his mate. ("What were you doing in a tree that caused your clothes to fall on my teme oniisan?")
("Never mind, Otousan,") came the choked reply.
Kohaku stood up and, still giggling, bid everyone good day. Izayoi chuckled as she stared off into the distance- in the direction of the jewel shard she could sense.
That sobered Kagome up quite a bit. ("Inuyasha… there's a jewel shard nearby.")
His gold gaze snapped to her face. ("Say what? Where? Let's go get it!")
His mate shook her head. ("No, I think maybe we should let Izayoi go. She can sense the shards and she's got your hanyou blood… so it'll be just like you and I were going.")
("Absolutely not!") he roared. ("My baby girl isn't going anywhere if I'm not there to protect her!")
Izayoi growled at her father as Inusouta moved out of their way and over to his kitsune hanyou mate. ("I'm not a pup anymore!") she yelled back, shifting to her hanyou form in her ire. ("When are you going to wake up and see that I'm not your baby any longer?")
("You've never been trained how to fight!") her father exploded. ("You wouldn't last a day out there!")
("Inusouta's been training me to fight!") she retorted, causing her brother to groan.
Inuyasha's irritated gold eyes flickered to his son. ("You'll get yours later, pup,") he growled.
("And I can use Okaasan's sacred arrows!")
The older hanyou blinked at his now-silver-haired daughter. ("You… can what?")
("I can use Okaasan's miko powers! I'm more than capable of finding the rest of the jewel shards on my own!") She stood defiant in front of her father, staring him in challenge.
Inuyasha pondered that a moment as he calmed down. ("All right… you can go after that one shard, and if you come back without a scratch then I'll consider it…")
Izayoi threw her arms around her father in a tight hug, causing his white ears to flatten briefly against his skull. ("Oh, Chichi, arigatou! I won't let you down!")
Inuyasha took a deep breath as he sighed. ("I know you w-") He broke off as he pulled away from her and sniffed the air. Kagome, Inusouta, Izayoi, and Amber all looked at him in confusion. He sniffed again, his gold eyes narrowing.
("Inuyasha?") Kagome asked, worried. ("What's wrong, itoshii?")
The hanyou stepped back and gazed at his mate and his daughter-in-law from where they sat side-by-side, staring up at him in alarm. He sniffed again, leaning down closer to them.
Amber blinked as she leaned away from her father-in-law- closer to Inusouta. She still remembered that awkward moment during the night of the new moon when she had mistaken him for Inusouta. ("Wh-why are you sniffing us?")
Inuyasha sat back on his haunches and almost glared at the two women. Izayoi stood on the other side of her mother and scratched a furry white ear with a claw in confusion.
("I smell a pup.")
Confused gazes all around. ("Well, hai,") Kagome said, baffled. ("Kohaku-chan had brought Midori-chan in with her for a little while, earlier…")
("No,") came the terse reply. ("I smell the kit, but that's an old scent. This one is still here, still in the room.")
Inusouta grunted in irritation. ("Chichi, out with it already. What the hell are you saying? Someone's hiding a baby in here?")
Gold eyes stared at Kagome, then shifted to Amber and then back again to Kagome.
("One of you is carrying a pup.")
Ta-da! And thus is Destiny finished! For my next trick…The Amber Dragonfly
I plan on telling Izayoi's story next, telling how she fights against the over-protectiveness of her father and proves her worth both to the legendary hanyou and to herself, and somewhere in the process finds her one true love. Tis called "Written In The Stars" and is currently being worked on, albeit SLOWLY. –wince-
Thank you to EVERYONE who has read and reviewed both Destiny and Fate- I hope you will stick around for the next one!
Arigatou and sayonara for now!