(A/N: Here's the chapter. Sorry it took so long. For the one who asked if I posted this in adult fanfiction, I didn't. In fact, I don't have an account there and I don't even know about that. That's all. Hope you enjoy the chapter.) CHAPTER 18: Hope

Sesshoumaru arrived backed at their chambers. As he looked around at the people who loved his mate dearly, he began to wonder if he had not been absent very long or if time just stopped or the world froze over. Everybody was as he had left them. He looked at them with a detachedness that was the Sesshoumaru before Kagome ever entered his bleak life, the taiyoukai who was cold and calculating. Slowly, he let his senses extend through the room. He would have been amused if the reason for their melancholy and immobile state was anything other than Kagome's seemingly lifeless condition.

His eyes first landed on InuYasha. He was outside sitting on a tree, his eyes full of sadness as he looked at the sky. Sesshoumaru would have even mistaken him for a statue if it were not for his steady breathing and the occasional sighs that escaped the hanyou's lips. And from time to time, he would glance at Kagome through his peripheral vision.

At the corner of the chamber sat the wolf prince, just as he left him. His head was bowed in grief. Once in a while he would glance up to the bed as if hoping that Kagome would be there, smiling at them.

On the floor opposite the bed was the monk and the taijiya. Miroku was holding Sango as she silently weeps for the friend that she had loved like a sister. And for the first time in his life, the monk was able to reign in his wandering hands, also very much affected by the events that resulted to the woman he had treated as a young sister to lay unconscious for days now. The kitsune and Rin was huddled with them, also crying for the woman that had loved them like her own children.

The old miko who had treated Kagome like her own daughter was silently looking at Kagome while she sat opposite the taijiya and the monk.

Lord Shitare stayed at the entrance of the chamber, observing everyone and looking at Sesshoumaru with concern. He knew that behind Sesshoumaru's cool exterior, he was the one that is very affected by Kagome's condition. Kagome was the first woman to ever elicit a reaction from the demon lord.

Lastly, Sesshoumaru's eyes strayed to his mate and his heir. Mikihiko was sleeping peacefully beside Kagome while sucking his thumb peacefully. Slowly, he walked inside the room, ignoring everyone although he felt their gazes bore down on him. He walked and sat beside the only woman he had ever loved. He gently held her hand and bowed his head. How long will she stay like this? She is not dead but she isn't alive either. How long will he be able to take it? How can he live without her? Now that he knew that his life is so much better with Kagome in it, how can he give that up? No, he can't. He could never give that up. Not without a fight.

"Aishiteru, Kagome," Sesshoumaru whispered with all his being. "Come back to me. I need you."


InuYasha felt him even before he entered the chamber. He knew Sesshoumaru had returned and he observed him as he walked inside the room. He was calmer now yet very much determined. But he could still sense the intense sorrow that the strong demon exudes. And he understands this sorrow that his brother feels.

He had experienced the same when he lost Kikyou. And he is also very much affected by what happened to Kagome. She had been the first person to ever accept him as he is. She never did want to change him into anything else. She had loved him for him and he had wasted that chance to be with someone who genuinely loves him. Instead, he had hurt her on so many occasions.

And now, she belongs to Sesshoumaru. It was quite ironic how it all turned out. Everybody thought Sesshoumaru was a cold-blooded killer. But they were all proven wrong. He was the one to realize how special Kagome is. He had loved her, more than InuYasha ever could. And Kagome? She had been the one to see through Sesshoumaru's cold exterior. Her warmth and kindness had been able to melt Sesshoumaru's hardened heart. Her smile touched everyone's heart and not even the most powerful youkai was able to resist its effect.

And now, all he wishes is for both Kagome and Sesshoumaru to be happy again.

InuYasha jumped from the tree and back inside the chamber. Sesshoumaru was sitting beside Kagome and cradling Mikihiko, now oblivious to everyone around him. One by one, he gathered his and Kagome's friends. They had left the chambers quietly. As he closed the door, he whispered, "Kagome, come back soon."


"Kagome," her mother's gentle voice called to her.

Slowly, Kagome opened her eyes to the parents she had just met but have loved all the same. She understood why they left her. She was destined for great things and now she could live with them. But how can she leave her other family behind?

"It is time to decide," Arima, her father said gently.

"Choose whatever will make you happy," Hiromi, her mother said.

"I can't," Kagome whispered sadly. "It's too hard. I can't just choose among you. I don't know if I can ever live without one or the other."

Arima hugged her daughter to him. He had waited so long to be able to hold her and now he will make the most out of it. "Listen to your heart and do what is says," he whispered in her daughter's ear. "That way, you can never be wrong."

Kagome closed her eyes and felt her parents' longing for her. How can he be apart from them again now that she had known how much they love her and how much they suffered? And she loves them, too. With all her heart. And yet, there are other people who loves her and whom she loves in return. How can she choose to lose the others so that she could keep the other? A pink glow from her chest and as she looked at the half of the yin yang pendant he felt a warm presence envelope her being.

Aishiteru, Kagome… Come back to me… I need you…

A tear escaped Kagome's eye as she heard that familiar voice. She hugged her parents tightly and whispered, "Gomen nasai… Sesshoumaru…"


Gomen nasai… Sesshoumaru…

Sesshoumaru's eyes snapped open as he heard Kagome's voice. It was full of sorrow and finality that his heart constricted. He looked around and saw that he was alone with Kagome. He vaguely remembers Sango taking Mikihiko with her.

She had decided. And she didn't choose him. He held her tightly as light enveloped them both. Soon, the light died and he was again surrounded by darkness and silence.

It was all his fault for not telling her sooner how much she means to him. It was his fault for not showing her how much he loves her. It was his fault for not being able to tell her sooner everything that he felt. It was his entire fault. And now Kagome is gone. She will no longer return to him. He had hurt her and neglected her. And now he will pay the price.

A tear traveled down his cheek and landed on Kagome's closed eyes. "Kagome," he whispered brokenly. "Gomen for not treating you right, for not showing you how much I love you. Gomen." He closed his eyes and gave in to the sorrow that overwhelmed his entire being. He held her quietly and closely and accepted that she will never return to him. He just hopes she is happy wherever she is.

He stood up to call the others. They have a right to know. Sesshoumaru was about to open the door when he heard something that he had waited days to hear. He whirled around and saw that there is a pink glow on Kagome's chest. He looked at the source and realized that it was the half of the pendant that Kagome had given him. He glanced at his own pendant and saw that it was also glowing. Soon, Sesshoumaru was beside Kagome. He saw as she took her first breath since the day Naraku was defeated.

Her eyes flickered. Slowly, it opened to reveal those beautiful blue orbs that he had missed so much. Finally, he had released the breath that he didn't even realize he was holding. Sesshoumaru remained speechless as he gazed at his mate who is now smiling at him, her eyes twinkling with all the love she felt for him.

"Gomen ne," Kagome finally whispered. "For making you wait this long."

Without a word, Sesshoumaru enveloped her in his arms and burrowed his face in her hair. "I'm just glad you're back," he whispered with all the feelings he had kept at bay. "Aishiteru, my mate."

"Aishiteru, Sess-chan," Kagome said with a smile as she stroked his silky silver hair. "I could never leave you and Mikihiko."

"Just like I could never bear to lose you," Sesshoumaru said as he looked deeply in Kagome's eyes. Slowly, he lowered his face to hers. Kagome met him halfway and they shared a sweet kiss that held all the love and longing that they felt for each other.


Sesshoumaru and Kagome lay holding each other inside their chambers. They decided to stay alone for a little while.

"I thought I lost you," Sesshoumaru said, breaking the comfortable silence that reigned between them.

Kagome turned and looked at Sesshoumaru's eyes. She smiled at him and gently caressed his face. "It wasn't an easy decision," she said honestly. "I wanted so bad to know more about my real parents and at the same time I can't leave the family who had loved and raised me like their own."

The demon lord nodded.

She sighed. "But then, the pendant glowed," she said wistfully. "And then I heard your voice. And I knew I left my heart with you. And that I could never leave you."

Sesshoumaru hugged her to him. "Never ever leave me again," he said. "I don't know if I can bear it anymore."

"I promise I won't," Kagome said.


By dinnertime, Kagome had decided to reveal herself to the others. As she and Sesshoumaru walked to the dining area she felt the sorrow and grief of the others. She smiled at Sesshoumaru and walked faster.

"You go first," Kagome whispered to Sesshoumaru.

The demon lord obliged and gently opened the door. Kagome hid behind him. Everybody was quiet as they ate without much enthusiasm. They were oblivious to everyone around them. Kagome even wondered if they could taste the food that they are eating. She shook her head and stepped out quietly from behind Sesshoumaru.

"Why the long faces?" she asked cheerfully. She grinned as she saw everyone's shocked faces.

InuYasha gaped at her, his food was halfway to his mouth.

Kouga dropped his chopsticks.

Sango's hand flew to her mouth, her eyes had gone all teary.

Miroku smiled benignly at her.

Kaede was nodding, her eyes showing her happiness.

Lord Shitare looked from Kagome to Sesshoumaru, confused but at the same time happy for his friend.

It was Shippo and Rin who broke the spell that seemed to have affected them all. They jumped up and ran to Kagome with a shout of "Okaa-san". This seemed to snap them all out of their trance. In an instant, they were all on their feet, running towards her.

Sesshoumaru instantly went in front of her to prevent the others from "attacking" her. Kagome giggled at their shocked faces as she hugged the two children. Jaken was also beside her instantly with Mikihiko in his arms.

"Welcome back, Mistress," the toad youkai said sincerely as he handed Mikihiko back to her.

"Thank you, Jaken," she said and took her son who squealed happily.

"Oi!" InuYasha butted in. "What's the big idea scaring us like that? And you running off to face Naraku alone? And you tricking us into coming to your era and sealing us there?"

Kagome blushed. "Gomen," she said, bowing her head. "I just…"

"Feh!" InuYasha interrupted Kagome. "Whatever. At least you brought Sesshoumaru out of his dreamland."

Kagome smiled at InuYasha. He really did miss her too. "I missed you, too, InuYasha," she said gently.

Everybody began speaking at once, asking about what she feels. Kagome was beginning to get dizzy from trying to catch everything they are saying. However, they all stopped when they heard Kagome's stomach grumble in protest.

"I guess that answers our questions," Kouga said smirking.

"Let's just let Kagome eat in peace," Sango said cheerfully.

Miroku nodded. "Why don't you sit beside me, my dear Sango?" he said and began to lead the taijiya back to their seats.

As they all walked to their respective places, they heard a loud slap resound the whole dining room. And as they looked at the source of the sound, they saw a handprint on Miroku's right cheek and a goofy smile on his face as Sango walked away seething, a blush staining her cheek.

Kagome turned to Sesshoumaru who remained passive but could not hide the amusement in his eyes. She is happy. And one day she would once again meet with her family in the future. But until then, she would live with her mate and her friends. And she would be happy. As long as Sesshoumaru, Mikihiko and her friends is with her, she will be happy and content.

"Aishiteru," Kagome whispered.

Sesshoumaru turned to his mate and wrapped his arm around her small waist. "Aishiteru koiichi," he echoed with all his heart. "No one else."


(A/N: Hey guys! It's finally over I know the title of this chapter sucks but I can't think of anything else so sorry. I'm so thankful to those who read through my first fanfic especially to those who told me what they think about it. Thank you! This is really a big achievement for me and I appreciate everyone who supported me. Bye! I'm going to miss you all. (,) Sayonara!)