Disclaimer- i do not own any of the characters of Inuyasha.
A/N- well this is it. the last chapter. i would like to thank all 200plus for the absolutely wonderful, sweet reviews i have received. i want everyone who reviewed and who did not that i appreciate them. and now on to the conclusion of 'Tender Love'
The early spring days had a dreamlike quality at the western castle. The flowers in the garden provided a multitude of colors as their fragrant perfumes, sent heady scents in all directions. Birds chirped noisily as they went about their business of building nests, high in the tall trees. The Sakura trees were in full bloom as a gentle breeze sent some of the petal raining down around the garden and the palace. The palace of the western land was a quiet and comforting place to rest. Anyone who looked at it would think that perhaps the gods themselves had touched down on this spot and taken their pleasure in the things about them.
"Is it not wonderful, my love?" said Inuyasha sitting under one of the Sakura trees with Sesshomaru's head resting in her lap. "I can hardly wait until my grandmother and father and the others arrive."
"Of course, beloved. It shall be wonderful."
"You sound a bit gruff, Sess. Is something wrong? Are you not pleased that they shall be staying for a week?" She raked her claws through the sliver bang that rest across his forehead.
"I only worry for you, my sweet." He raised one hand to gently rub her extended belly. "I fear you may try to do too much and do something to harm yourself."
Inuyasha snorted as she rolled her eyes and smiled down at him. Her tender smile filled his very depths with warmth. "I had thought you would not worry so much now that we have already had two children. No harm came to me then and none shall come to me now." She planted a chaste kiss against his forehead.
"It does not matter how many times you give birth. I shall always worry about you." Sesshomaru said raising a clawed finger and tracing the outline of the silver star in the center of her forehead. He had asked her about the mark but she said she didn't know why it appeared. Sesshomaru figured the mark wasn't hurting her so why bother about where it came from. He smirked. 'Maybe it is a sign for me. Letting me know that Inuyasha will always be my guiding star.'
Inuyasha sighed as she inhaled the sweet fragrance of the cherry blossoms as a small smile played across her lips. Life for her had taken a full turn since she had left China. She had been a child then, but after almost four years of living as Sesshomaru's mate, she was a woman.
Her father along with her brother Shion, Suzu, her son Yuki and her old nurse, Jun would be arriving tomorrow. And the next day, her grandmother will arrive. After the death of Nishimura, control of the east was given to the old lord's eldest son. Unlike his father, he had plans to return the east to the way it use to be and til this day, he has kept his word. Though it will still take more time to clean up the mess his father had made, Lord Sakufu had indeed started to revive the eastern lands.
Since the eastern lands were in the hands of her eldest son, Lady Kohei had taken to visiting her granddaughter quite often to make up for the lost time. Inuyasha was more than glad to welcome her into her family, and after some hugging and tears, Akemi was pleased to introduce to his mother her youngest grandchild.
Inuyasha rubbed her swollen belly. The healer told her that it won't be long before the castle is filled with the sounds of an infant once again. She just can't wait until her family gets here. In a matter of days, she will present her husband with another child, her father with another grandchild and her grandmother with another great-grandchild. Her joy was filled to bursting with this pleasant thought.
Oh she knew there would be more tears over the years and some bitter disappointments and feelings of regret. But always there would be Sesshomaru. No finer gift could she ever seek than him.
Just then Shippo, who looked like a 12-year-old human boy, and Keitaro and Keitano who looked to be six in human years burst out of the rose bushes and ran zig zagging through the row of Sakura trees playing a game of tag. Both watch their children at play and smiled in peaceful bliss. Sesshomaru stared up at his mate and gently tugged at her long hair.
"What are you dreaming about, my beloved?" He then began to stroke her cheek. "I wish to partake of your dreams also."
Inuyasha smiled. "I was just thinking that I am the luckiest person in the world. I have wonderful, dear friends, a loving family, three happy and healthy sons and another child on the way. And the most wonderful, sweetest, kind, arrogant, pig headed, passionate mate in the world."
"Pig headed," snorted Sesshomaru as his hand made its way up to her ear and began stroking it and she moaned. "That is no way to speak to the person that has given your body so much pleasure."
Inuyasha turned red as she reluctantly removed his hand. "You know you shouldn't do that," she groaned. "Not when I am in this condition."
"I'm sorry love." He tugged her hair pulling her head down and he sealed his lips against hers in a passionate kiss. "But I cannot help myself. You are desire made flesh and I cannot seem to get my fill of your luscious body." His other hand came up to gently squeeze her breast.
"Hentai," she said in mock shock slapping his hand gently.
As Inuyasha sat back up, she turned her gaze back on her playing children and Sesshomaru felt his heart soar as he watched his sons at play also. He had at last found his own piece of paradise, here in the west with his Yasha, where he could forever keep his love safely by his side and the gods willing many more Aokis would find the same contentment he has, here in the west. Slowly he turned back to stare up at his mate. She turned her golden eyes back down to him and smiled. "You are my life, sealed in my heart, Inuyasha Aoki, and forever more shall you stay so," he declared lovingly.
"I love you, my heart, my love, my Sesshomaru." She leaned down and sealed her lips against his in a passionate kiss.
Two weeks later.
"It is a daughter, Lord Sesshomaru," said the healer placing the infant in his arms.
Sesshomaru smiled down at his daughter as she started to suck her fist. Her tiny eyes slit open and he could see a thin slit of purple in her eyes. She had a patch of pitch black hair and a tiny star in the center of her forehead and elf like ears. She was beautiful.
Not being able to wait any longer the excited grandparents, great-grandmother and friends burst into the room to gather around the couple. In her arms, Sango held her own one-year-old son. She sat on the bed beside Inuyasha as Miroku stood at her side. Ayame and Koga were on the other side sitting at the foot of the bed. Koga had Koji upon his shoulder while Ayame had laid her own twin cubs on the bed. Akemi, Inutaisho and Kohei were around Sesshomaru cooing at the pretty little angel asleep in his arms. Keitaro and Keitano were trying to see the baby but the adults crowded them out. Shippo was trying to calm them but the boys wanted to see their baby sister.
"We wanna see!" yelled Keitano. Everyone fell silent and looked at the angry youth. Sesshomaru smiled at his youngest. The child looked just like his mother when she pouted.
"I'm sorry little ones," said Sesshomaru kneeling before his sons and let them see their sister.
"She's so small," said Keitaro in awe.
"Of course, she was just born," said Akemi smiling at his grandson.
"She's so pretty," said Keitano looking wide eyed.
"So, have you two come up with a name?" asked Sango.
"No," grumped Inuyasha crossing her arms over her chest. "We came up with a hundred boys' names because someone just knew we would have another son." She glared at her mate.
"So I was mistaken," Sesshomaru said shrugging his shoulders.
"Look Shippo, Keitano, she has a star on her forehead just like the star princess, Rumiko from our story," said Keitaro.
Everyone stared at the children. "What a lovely name," said Ayame. "Rumiko."
"I like it," said Inuyasha smirking at her mate. "At least the other males in this family don't have a one track mind." She looked to her son and smiled. "Thank you Keitaro. Rumiko is a lovely name for your sister."
"I said I was wrong." Then he turned back to his sons. "Now boys, as the elder brothers it will be your duty to protect little Rumiko."
"You needn't worry father," said Shippo. "We will always watch out for our little sister."
Sesshomaru placed the infant into his mate's arms and stepped aside to let Inuyasha's father sit near his daughter. He and his father went to stand near the opened window.
"Congratulation son," said Inutaisho resting a hand on Sesshomaru's shoulder. "You have yourself a fine family."
"Yes, I consider myself very lucky," said Sesshomaru. "I have been meaning to thank you. You old dog. If it hadn't been for you setting up this mating between Inuyasha and myself, I do not think that I would be so happy now."
"I knew she would be perfect for you. She takes after her father in temperament and her mother in beauty. I could think of no one that could be perfect for you than the daughter of my old friend."
"You are right father." Sesshomaru turned to his mate and smiled at his growing family. "Inuyasha is and always will be My perfect mate." Then they went back to join the others.