The last chapter at last, thanks to all of you for sticking with the story for so long. You have all been wonderful.
Oh and because I haven't said it in a while….I don't own Inuyasha
Shippo was rolling on the floor his stomach held in his arms as it cramped with laughter.
"Sesshoo…sess ha ha ha was disguised as Kagome….psss ha ha ha"
"Don't laugh Shippo kun….he did it to save her….he didn't want her to come back here and get hurt"
Rin was adamantly hitting the small fox pup with a wooden fan.
"Come on Rin…you have admit that is funny…just think of it the stuck up Sesshoumaru dressed up and looking like a girl…it's hilarious"
Miroku sat with his hand over his mouth trying not to encourage the pup to make any more fun of the demon lord, but he also had to admit it was pretty funny.
"Maybe we should give him a ribbon for his long hair…a nice pink one"
"Hoshi sama….that isn't ..nn…that's not …mnn nice" the laughter had crawled up into her cheeks as well and try as she might she couldn't push them down.
"Ok…all of you are just mean" Rin's lower lip was pushed out in an enormous pout and her tiny knuckles were white from the grip of her fist by her side.
The only one not laughing besides Rin was the one person they all figured would still be poking fun at his brother for the drag show, but he only sat on the roof top sulking most of the morning and all through the afternoon.
-Kagome…which will you choose? ... An immortal life with Sesshoumaru… or a mortal one alone-
He sighed heavily and rolled over on his side to stare out into the forest where the well sat silent and waiting.
Kagome sat at the breakfast table the complete shikon jewel in her hand and a note scratched in crocked lettering.
-Thank you Inuyasha-
"Kagome your tea is getting cold"
Kagome looked up at her
mother with empty distant eyes, "oh, sorry…"
Mrs. Higarashi stepped behind her daughter wrapping her arms around her shoulders in a tight embrace. "daijoubu yo"
Kagome lowered her eyes trying to stop the tears from flowing again.
"It doesn't bother you to be near me?"
Mrs. Higarashi pushed herself away to take a seat next to her daughter taking her hand in hers and patted it gently.
"Of course not… no demonic aura can ever keep me from loving you…, but I think you should search deep in your heart for what you really want… one way or another we will be separated in this life. Wouldn't it nice to have someone you could keep forever"
She stood up patting her daughter on the head and set off into the kitchen.
Kagome watched her mother leave then stared down at the dark purple marks adoring her bare legs.
"Hey mom… how is Souta?"
Mrs. Higarashi stopped mid step on her way back with an arm load of laundry.
"He's fine… he will probably have a scar for the rest of his life… it really was pretty deep… but Kagome… Sesshoumaru did everything in his power to keep that sword from hurting anyone…Souta was just in the wrong place at the wrong time… you shouldn't let that effect your decision"
She gave her daughter a warm patient smile and headed up the stairs with the clean bedding.
Kagome stared back down at the small piece of note book paper in her hand.
Kagome…. What Sesshoumaru gave you was a mark to protect you from others that would harm you for as long as you live…. the marks will fade if you choose to stay with him… it will then be his job to protect you… my mother chose another life or rather it was force upon her by my father's death, but really she had already chosen to stay mortal it really would not have matter if my father had died or not… life just can not be shared between a human and a demon… I hope you understand
Kagome crumbled the piece of paper and held it too her chest. – I understand Inuyasha… I just don't know what to choose-
She pulled her hands away from her chest to stare down at the jewel glowing faintly in her hand. –I wish I could just ask you to look with in my heart and choose for me… but I suppose that would be cheating-
"How long are you planning on sitting in that tree"
Golden eyes slid over to find a small wood pixie floating beside him.
"What do you want… pixie"
Yumi gave him a bit of a knowing smirk, "would you like to check in on her"
She pulled a small orb from her pocket and held it out to the demon lord.
"Go ahead just ask it"
He had already turned his head away from her and continued to stare down at the well as if she had never been there at all.
"You really are a jerk some times…although I still wonder how you managed to fool the crystal… we all saw Kagome…this thing should have shown you no matter what disguise you chose" She shook it slightly and held it to her ear like one would light bulb,
"I wonder if it's broken"
"There is nothing wrong with your crystal ball pixie…. The shikon no tama held a piece of Kagome's aura along with my own… as long as I was near; it was a simple matter to fool your crystal"
Yumi gave him a bit of a pout, "Well you're no fun at all… well then maybe I'll ask it how she's doing"
She held the small orb up in front of her and closed her eyes and spoke her question softly then opened them again. The sphere clouded then swirled around until an image of the dark haired priestess emerged. It was very difficult to see her; she seemed to be some place rather dark. –Wait I know this place… she's-
She quickly placed the orb back into her pocket and turned back to face Sesshoumaru.
"Well, I must be going…. I hope you don't rot in this tree"
Despite who she was talking to she stuck out her tongue giving the demon lord a raspberry and disappeared in a flash of light.
- Insolent pixies –
His eyes had not left the well even when the pixie was being so rude to him, but the flash of light blinded him a second; when his eyes focused again a dark head was emerging from the well.
Kagome hauled herself over the edge of the well and threw her legs over the side. She sat there for a while as she considered her final decision. –I guess in some way I should do this anyway…after all, the jewel is my responsibility…. I don't want to leave it with someone else to have to deal with the hoards of demons that will come for it.-
She sighed heavily and pushed herself up from the well's edge, the shikon no tama squeezed tightly in her hand.
Sesshoumaru watched patiently as the girl seem to be settling on something then stood up and walked off in the direction of the village. He followed her silently among the tree branches until she reached the old priestess's hut. He settled in a tree branch near the hut, but out of view so he could listen to what the young priestess had to say.
All eyes turned toward the grass flap of the hut as it was pulled aside and in stepped the dark haired girl they had all missed so much.
She smiled a sort of forced smile as everyone ran to greet her. It wasn't that she hadn't missed every one; it was just there was something very heavy resting on her mind.
"I'm happy to see everyone back safe… after I discovered I couldn't come back I prayed that all of you would be safe."
Each heart felt light and heavy at the same time. They were happy that she had come back, but there was something in her voice that sounded so sad and uncertain.
She smiled at everyone as she looked around the room for the one person she needed to talk to the most.
"Where is Inuyasha?"
Miroku smiled lightly at her and pointed up to the roof… "I'm actually surprised he hasn't jump down here the moment you came"
"But… I didn't see him up there when I entered the village"
"Really… I wonder where he went"
Sango was now beside Miroku leaning on him ever so slightly.
The priestess's dark eyes fell, " I really needed to talk to him about this….I think I'll go look for him….please everyone wait here until I come back….I want to hear everything that has happened" she smiled in a reassuring way and ran out the door.
They all watched the grass flap sway in and out of the hut then looked perplexingly at each over. A certain demon lord watched as well and followed at a safe distance.
Kagome ran half way towards the well and in the loudest voice she could muster she yelled, "SIT"
Some fifty yards off something red and heavy fell from one of the trees. She turned in its direction and ran for it.
When she reached the half demon he was still plastered on the ground.
"Kagome…what the hell was that for? ... You could have just called me"
Kagome knelt down in front the over abused half demon and smiled.
"I wanted your undivided attention… I have to ask you something….and I don't want you avoiding me"
A dark brow shot up into snowy bangs and he narrowed his amber eyes at her.
She took a deep breath and waited for him to push himself into a seated position.
"I want your permission… to use the jewel"
She looked away for a moment trying to cool the blood in her cheeks then turned back to face him.
"Inuyasha… I know you wanted the jewel to become a full demon… and I don't think it would be fair to take that from you…. I know it will be difficult for me to watch my friends and family die…but… I also thought that if I could…I want to protect them and all their children for as long as I can….so what I am saying is….I want to stay with Sesshoumaru…and watch over everyone…. If this is ok with you"
Blotches of red pooled at his cheeks and he turned his amber eyes away from her.
"I gave you the jewel to make your own decision….I've already decided to stay this way…. Aren't you the one who said you liked me this way" the red deepened into near purple.
The weight lifted from her heart and she flung herself into his chest.
"Thank you Inuyasha"
She pushed herself away a little embarrassed and red, but happy.
"Well, now I guess I just need to find Sesshoumaru"
Inuyasha gave a little growl in response and said, "He's behind you"
Kagome turned to see a tall white clad figure jump down from a tree only a few yards behind her.
"So you heard"
Sesshoumaru gave her a shallow nod in response. He walked up to her resting his hand on her shoulder than stepped around her to Inuyasha.
Inuyasha pushed him self up staring his brother down as he walked closer.
"You going to rub this in my face too"
His brother remained silent continuing to walk closer until he was close enough that only Inuyasha could hear what he said next.
Inuyasha's amber eyes widened and he backed away from his brother. He took one last look past Sesshoumaru's to Kagome then disappeared into the forest calling over his shoulder, "You had better take care of her Sesshoumaru….I'll see you later Kagome"
Kagome stared at the demon lord's back wondering what on earth he had said to his brother.
He continued to stare out into the forest in the direction Inuyasha had just gone. Once he was satisfied that his brother was far enough away he turned back to Kagome.
She stood there rubbing the back of her arm nervously and avoiding eye contact as much as possible.
"I thought of a way, for me to stay with you….I talked to Midoriko about it she said she would help…and I…"
Before she could finish Sesshoumaru had taken a hold of her chin and forced her to look at him. Her eyes drifted to the side still trying to avoid looking him in the eyes.
The sound of her name coming from his lips pulled her dark eyes back around to his face.
"I am glad you chose to stay"
The heat from his lips pressed into hers and spilled down into her cheeks turning her red all over. Her eyes closed as her mind began swimming in a blissful fog. He took a hold of her hand and she could feel something warm glow between their palms. The jewel that had been cuffed in her hand was now absorbing some of Sesshoumaru's aura. When the jewel took in enough it slowly sank into her palm and disappeared. When she opened her eyes the world some how seemed more complete than before, it had more sounds, more smells, more details some how. Sesshoumaru stood before her a little different some how too.
She blinked a few times as a minute smile pulled at the demon lord's lips.
"You look beautiful"
Kagome looked down to find the dark purple strips had disappeared only to be replaced by new ones a slightly different color and maybe more delicate. Her hands had sharp little claws at the end and she could feel something brushing the backs of her legs. She turned around to find a long silver fluffy tail swishing happily behind her.
"I've got a tail!"
She turned around a few times still looking over her shoulder; she really did remind Sesshoumaru of a pup chasing its tail.
He stopped her little dance wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her close. He buried his face into the top of her head and whispered, "You have ears too"
Kagome gentle shoved Sesshoumaru away and felt the top of her head. She rubbed the side of her new ears gently and melted. –Wow this really does feel good-
Sesshoumaru simple smiled at her; she was being rather cute.
"Do you want to see?"
Kagome let go of her new ears and nodded. He scooped her up and took her to a near by lake so she could look at her reflection.
He set her down and she timidly walked to the lake's edge. She peered over the water to see light brown eyes flecked with gold staring back at her. Her hair was now silver with streaks of ebony. She swished her tail happily and this only made Sesshoumaru's smile widen…if you didn't know better you could swear he was laughing.
Kagome spun around grabbing Sesshoumaru by the hand and tugged him toward the village. "Come on I want everyone to see"
That night in the village Kagome sat curled up next to Sesshoumaru a very tuckered out Rin and Shippo in her lap. With the excitement of the day taking its toll on her as well; her lids grew heavy. But before should could allow herself to sleep she just had to know what it was Sesshoumaru had said to Inuyasha.
"Sesshoumaru….what did you say to Inuyasha back in the forest?"
He stroked her hair fondly and said, "Only what he needed to hear"
She frowned a little at his answer, but knowing Sesshoumaru that was probably all she would get.
However, Inuyasha would never forget the day his brother told him, "Thank you"