Note: I have to do some studying before I write the next chapter. I'm a well of knowledge when it comes to Green/Roman mythology, a beginner scholar on Egyptian mythology, and a fairly well informed Christian. Unfortunately, Shintoism is a complete blank.
---side note: I have a little Buddha that I bought from Romancing the Stone (which I think is now Earthbound). He's carved out of wood and supposed to be for love (that's what the note on the bottom said). He's so adorably pudgy, I couldn't resist. Only, my mom didn't think so. Boy, did she have a cow.
Scroll Five: The Waiting Game
When Midoriko was gone, Kagome touched Inuyasha's arm. "You should visit with your mom. You might not have a chance like this again." She smiled and he leaned in, kissing her, emboldened by the fact that he hadn't seen her in three years.
In the corner, where Izayoi and Hana were sitting the low hum of "Ms Mary Mack" could be heard as the younger girl taught her grandmother various hand games. Inuyasha joined them and Hana stopped her game long enough to climb into his lap.
Kikyou smiled a wistful smile. "He makes a good father," she confided in a soft voice. "And a good husband. You healed him."
Kagome shook her head. "We - we healed him. All I did was finish what you started." She drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs. "What's going to happen tomorrow."
"I don't know what the outcome will be, but I can tell you what the proceedings will be like." When Kagome nodded, she continued. "Midoriko-sama will stay with you through the hearing while Izayoi and I watch Hana. Guardians aren't allowed in Great Hall, just messengers and gods -"
"Wait, what's a guardian and a messenger? I've never heard of any of this stuff before."
Kikyou motioned to herself and Izayoi. "Izayoi and I are guardians. We are spirits who have asked to be allowed to watch over one or more family members or loved ones. When I first arrived, I petitioned the gods to be Kaede's guardian and I was granted the position. Then, when you were born, I asked again to be yours as well."
To say that Kagome was surprised to hear this would have been an understatement. This Kikyou who sat in front of her was nothing like the passive woman she'd known during their quest for the Shikon shards. But Kikyou ignored the bemused expression on her counterpart's face and kept going.
"Izayoi is, of course, Inuyasha's guardian. This is one of the guardian houses. The messengers have another house to themselves. A messenger is a spirit who has been selected by the gods to act as their go between. The messengers relate orders and wishes from the kamis to the guardians and to the other spirits in other parts of the Divine Realms. If you hadn't already figured it out, Midoriko-sama is a messenger and has been for a long time."
"What about Inuyasha's father?" Kagome asked, the question suddenly coming to her. If Izayoi were around, then perhaps so was the great Inu no Taishou. It would be wonderful if Inuyasha could finally meet his father. "Will we see him?"
((Note: Does anyone know what Inu's father's real name is? Is it ever mentioned?))
Not having meant to be listening in, but unable to stop herself, Izayoi spoke up. "Kin is Sesshomaru's guardian so, yes, he is here. He actually stays in this house with me, but he's off on some errand having to do with Sesshomaru. I should think that he would be back before your hearing has been completed, however." Her eyes shown with excitement when she turned them back to Inuyasha. Though she'd known it was near impossible and extremely dangerous at the time, she had hoped that they and their son could be a family while they lived. Unfortunately Ryukotsei had to end that dream.
Inuyasha keh'd under his breath, though inside he was excited as well. It had always seemed as if his old man hadn't cared about him and he wouldn't let anyone know he hoped it wasn't true. "Whatever. Finish what you were sayin' about the hearing."
"Alright. There'll be a panel of five deities who have been selected to represent the majority and will be present for the entire hearing. Various other messengers or gods will probably also attend to see what happens, but they won't have an participation. You'll be asked questions and the arguments for and against your being together will be heard. You'll both be given a chance to speak. Then it'll be up to the panel to decide what happens."
Kagome bit her lip and turned her head to look over at her husband who looked just as pensive as she felt. Neither was comfortable with the idea that their future would be decided by five elected gods or goddesses whom they'd defied in order to be together. The probable outcome was not looking favorable.
That night the family lay on the cushioned dias, the sheer curtains closed around them for more privacy. Inuyasha had taken his ni-hizumi haori and spread it over the three of them as a blanket. On his left, Hana curled against his side, sleeping soundly. His right arm was wrapped around Kagome and she lay with her head on his shoulder, neither even contemplating sleep.
"I'm worried," Kagome whispered, twirling a lock of silver hair through her fingers and then huffed a short, breathy laugh. "That's an understatement. I'm terrified. They're gods, Inuyasha. They can do anything and we wouldn't have a chance of stopping them."
"Feh." Honestly, he was worried as well, but he didn't want that to show to Kagome. There was a good chance they would be sent back to their respective eras and sealed away from one another so that he would never see Kagome or Hana again. Before, when he'd lost them, there had always been the chance that they might return to him and so he'd not given up waiting. If it was decreed by the gods that they were not to be together, he honestly didn't know how he'd live.
"That ain't gonna happen." Funny, usually he was the pessimistic one.
Her mouth turned down in a frown. "You don't know that." Deciding it was best to change the subject, she sighed and relaxed against him again. "I missed you. What's happened since I've been gone?"
He was quiet for a minute, thinking. "Shippou's grown some. He's barely taller than Hana now, but he complains about being short still. He's lived with Sango and the letch since...you know."
"Why? What about our house?"
"Your house. I built it for you and I lived there 'cause you did.."
She sat up slightly, bracing herself on her elbow and touching his cheek and looking at him with sad azure eyes. "It was your home, too, Inuyasha."
"Only when you were there," he muttered under his breath and she decided it was time to change the subject again. He was never good at being sentimental or dealing with intense emotions and with all that had happened today, she was sure he'd had quite enough.
"What about Sango and Miroku?" She smiled, an expression that lit up her entire being all the way to her eyes. "How many kids do they have now? Three?"
She felt him relax again under her hands, but only barely. Whether it was from the subject matter or the fact that they were in an unknown place and he felt a need to be on guard she didn't know, but he was remaining awfully tense.
"She had one whelp, Haruko, 'bout three months ago. There was a girl, but she didn't live through the birth. That was about a year after the well closed." As if Kagome's disappearance hadn't been bad enough, Sango had been forced to deal with the still-birth of her first child after having tried so hard to conceive. For a short time, Miroku had feared he'd loose her as well, but the taijiya was stronger than they'd given her credit for and she'd pulled through well enough.
"Poor Sango," Kagome breathed, her own eyes welling with tears. He tightened his hold on her and pulled her against his chest, kissing the top of her head.
"Wolf shit's got two more runts in tow." This time it was he who changed the subject. "He and Ayame passed through yesterday, acting all cocky 'cause he was the one that found Hana in the well and took her to Sango."
"Are you two still at it? It's so immature. You don't even have anything to fight about anymore." She was shaking her head and rolled her eyes.
"He's a bastard," Inuyasha argued, defensively. "He's a spoiled, good for nothing bastard."
Kagome was smiling again. "He's good for pulling little girls out of wells." It was an old feud between Kouga and Inuyasha and she knew that nothing would make them the best of friends, but it was still fun to tease him some.
"Feh, he just got lucky."
She raised up again and kissed him, still grinning. "Inuyasha, I love you."
"I love you, too." Over the years that they had been married, it had gotten easier and more comfortable to say those words. He'd only said it sparingly and with embarrassing difficulty at first, even after the wedding.
Kagome settle down again and closed her eyes, yawning as sleep finally caught up with her. Just as she was about to drift off, she heard him call her name again. "Hmmm?"
"You...Did you...in your mom's time...date?" The thought had been plaguing him for years. Kagome had been a popular girl in her school and it was no secret several guys had expressed interest in her before. An absent husband and a small child wasn't likely to change that fact.
"What!" Her voice was a harsh hiss. She sat up, quickly coming awake again, and shifted so she sat beside him, her hands pinning his shoulders. "Did you just ask me if I betrayed you?"
Too late he realized it had probably been the wrong time and place to bring it up and he swallowed. "I was just askin'."
"Why? Did you?"
"Fuck no!" This time it was he who got angry, but he didn't move from where he lay becaue he didn't want to disturb his sleeping daughter. "You know that!"
"Just like you should know that I didn't either." She poked him in the chest with her finger to emphasize her words. "I love you. When I swore my oath at our wedding, I meant every word. I would never, never betray you. Even if the gods say we can't be together, you're still my husband and there will never be anyone else. You got that dog boy?"
His answer was to pull her to him and capture her lips in a deep kiss. At his side, Hana's smile went unseen as she snuggled a bit closer and sighed, drifting back to sleep, thankful that her parents were back together.