I don't suppose it was bad, my last few days as human. I mean, I really never got the chance to use my miko powers to begin with, so it wasn't like I was missing something. In any case, they didn't stay gone for long. The adoption ceremony turned me into an inu-hanyou, yet I got back my miko powers, and I still basically look the same. I just have dog ears now like Inuyasha does instead of normal human ears. I don't mind. I think they're cute!

I was adopted into the family by Taisho – my blood father, now. He cares more for me than my true father ever did. So now my name is Kagome Takahashi, younger sibling of Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha, and I could not be prouder of the name. I love those two as if we were born from the same mother.

We defeated Naraku, but it wouldn't surprise me for someone else to come after Sounga. People are stupid sometimes, even youkai. Especially the power-hungry ones. But when they come, we'll be ready for them, all of us – Izayoi, Taisho, Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha, and me. We'll beat them back into whatever hole they crawled out of. And I could do it too; Sesshoumaru and Taisho have been training me, and Inuyasha spars with me all the time. I'm just as good as he is now, if not a little better. We're progressing at the same time, though, so one day we'll both be able to beat Sesshoumaru down, even though he keeps saying we'll never get that good. Taisho just laughs at us.

"Happy Birthday, Kagome!"

I look up and see Izayoi, my mom, placing a large birthday cake in front of me. I can't keep the silly grin off my face. It's my first birthday as a Takahashi – and consequently my first birthday party. The entire Inu Gang is here – Sango, Miroku, Shippou, and Rin, and of course the family as well. Sango gives me a nudge and points at the candles.

"Go on, Kagome." she urges. "Make a wish."

"Yeah." Inuyasha adds. "Before the candles burn the cake down."

Sesshoumaru bops Inuyasha on the back of the head and I stick my tongue out at him. "Hey, there's not that many." I protest. "You're just jealous because Mom can't put a candle for every year you were born on your cake."

Taisho chuckles. "If she did that the cake would collapse." he joked. This time both brothers shoot him a glare. He just laughs it off as if it is nothing. Considering he's the one who perfected that glare, I doubt is has any effect on him at all. That hasn't stopped any of us from trying yet.

I close my eyes for a moment and think of a wish. Kinda hard now, considering I have everything I've ever wanted from life. A slow smile spreads across my face, and I blow the candles out in one try. Izayoi grins and takes the cake away for a moment. "Now for presents!" she exclaims. I can't help but laugh; I think she's more excited about this than I am.

She hands me her present and I quickly unwrap it. It turns out to be a silver charm bracelet with little dogs hanging from it. It's a tad girly for my taste, but I'll humor her and wear it. She's never had a girl to shop for before.

The other presents are much the same – a necklace from Sango, a photo album with all our pictures in it from Miroku, a watch from Shippou and a new bow from Rin. Then Sesshoumaru places his present in front of me, and I can tell all the male Takahashi have chipped in on this one. They look just too dang pleased with themselves. I quickly unwrap the box and open it. I gasp.

There, twin sai, the ones I've been drooling over in the sword shop for months. It's well-known I can't fight very well with Tenseiga – the sword is too bulky for me to handle easily. With a shorter weapon, I'd be able to maneuver a little easier.

And they just had to get me the perfect one. I try to hug all three of them at once, chanting "Thank you!" over and over again. They all laugh at me, but I can tell they're pleased with my reaction. I let go of them and take the blades in my hands. The thrum with energy, and I look questioningly at them.

"We added a little bit of demonic power to them." Inuyasha says smugly. "Now they'll be just as useful as Tenseiga."

I laugh then, and I know my wish for the future will come true.

Whatever happens, I don't want to lose this family.

Yes, bad things will continue to happen. A new Naraku will rise up, maybe not after Sounga but after another equally dangerous weapon, because that's just the way the world works. And when it happens, we'll be there to stop them.

The Takahashis.

My family.


AN: Do you have any idea how hard it is to type in present tense when you're used to past tense? Either way, there it is, the final chapter of the story. Hope it was up to your standards. Drop me a review, and until next time,

Your writer,