Disclaimer: The characters of Inuyasha are owned by Rumiko Takahashi. But this alternate reality belongs to me.

Chapter Thirty: Happy Endings

"Did she die?"

Kaede laughed. "Don't be silly, Kuusouka. You see Auntie Kagome every month!"

"How come I can't make the well work?"

Kaede patted her sister on the head. "Kagome's magic makes the well work. Anyone else who goes through it draws on her powers. Like when Mama shot the arrow, she was absorbing the power that the well absorbed from Auntie Kagome. Right Mama?"

"Correct." Kikyo kissed her youngest daughters head as she tucked her in. "Would you like me to finish the story?"

Both girls nodded.

"Kagome saw Midoriko pull back the..."

"We already heard that part, Mama," complained Kaede.

"She got shot, remember?" said Kuusouka as she snuggled closer to her mother. "Start from there."

Kikyo raised a questioning eyebrow.

"Please!" the sisters said in unison.

"Kagome was shot by Midoriko's arrow of light. Inuyasha screamed in agony as the woman he loved crumpled to the ground. Though he struggled, he could not free himself. He was angry with the miko for shooting his mate. Angrier still that she was smiling so sweetly as she stood there."

"The arrow disappeared, and Kagome's eyes fluttered open. Midoriko told her that their lessons had been learned, then welcomed her home and disappeared."

"What lessons, mama?" asked her youngest as she tried to smother a yawn.

Kikyo smiled. "I suppose that Kagome had to learn that she was loved, and loved in return, and that she truly did belong on that side of the mirror. Or well, as the case may be now. And my lesson? Mine was to learn that this is truly where I was meant to belong and that it is my life. I had to learn that I was not stealing what belonged to Kagome, that this is what belonged to me all along."

"What about Kagome? What happened when she woke up?" asked Kaede, though she knew the story well enough to recite it by heart.

"Kagome slowly sat up, touching the place on her chest where the arrow had been. But an arrow of purity could not hurt Kagome. Her body had been stunned, and absorbed the energy. The vines ceased fighting and Inuyasha picked Kagome up and held her close. Before the others could congratulate them on a battle well fought, the dog demon picked up his mate and took off with her."

Kuusouka pulled on Kikyo's sleeve. "Where did he take Auntie Kagome?"

"Er... "

"They went to kiss and stuff," Kaede explained. "And that's why we have our cousins Mikomi and Chikara now."

"Why don't I have doggie ears too?" the youngest complained as she tugged on her ears.

Kaede rolled her eyes. "Because you aren't part dog demon, silly."

Kikyo ruffled her daughter's hair. "Ah, darlings. You will have to learn to live with being simply human."

Both girls looked at each other then gave her secret smiles that made Kikyo a little nervous. She wondered if they should explore Hojo's geneaological background to see if he had any... interesting... relatives on his side of the family.

"Good night, you two."

She kissed her daughters and walked to the door where Hojo was standing and listening to their favorite bedtime story. He took her hand in his then wished his daughters sweet dreams. The room behind her took on a lavender and blue swirled glow as she turned out the light. Sometimes she missed the power she once held, but it seemed like her daughters had more than enough for all of them.

Kuusouka called out to her, stopping her from shutting the door all the way. Kikyo peeked back in, knowing what was to come.

"You left out the best part, Mama."

"Oh? What part is that?"

"The ever after part."

Kikyo smiled, experiencing a bit of deja vu. "And they all lived happily ever after."

And they did.


Author's Note:

See, I'm not truly evil. I put up the last chapter the very same day (within hours even!) of the last one.

I want to thank all of you for reading the story all the way to the end. I know this chapter is short, but its just as long as I wanted it to be. I hope everyone's questions have been answered.