Well everyone, an early update, but for a very special reason. Displacement was first posted this very day last year, so what better to celebrate its anniversary than with its ending?
I put a lot of work into researching this fic and writing it and your reviews and compliments are all the thanks I need. I hope you all like this final chapter and check out my other stories sometime. Well, enough of my rambling. Enjoy the conclusion and thanks for reading!
Oh, and a final note about Oinari. I never quite got to work this into the story, but I had originally designed him to be Shippo's ancestor. Go back and check out his appearance when I described him and you'll see the similarities. Just FYI.
EDIT: The awesome author InuGrrrl commissioned a fanart of this story from the excellent artist InuIlrusa-Chan, as a birthday present for me. You can view it here (just take out the spaces): http: / / inuirusa-chan. deviantart. com/ art/Father- and-son- 96628893
"Just hold still," Kagome muttered. Yuka rolled her eyes and looked away as Kagome splashed some antiseptic on a laceration on Yuka's upper arm. The neko yowled and shot her a glare.
"That stings!" she hissed.
"Oh please, Inuyasha's been gutted a dozen times and he takes it with less whining than that," Kagome replied, pouring a little more. Yuka winced but kept her mouth shut, her pride keeping her in check this time.
"So, you travel with Inuyasha seeking a way to defeat this Naraku," Yuka started.
"Yup," Kagome nodded, fishing out a roll of gauze. Good thing she had stocked up before they had ended up here.
"I have never heard of a miko and a hanyou working together in such a way," Yuka snorted. "How bizarre a world Japan must become."
"You think that's bizarre, you should see my modern era," Kagome laughed.
"Well, I am a full-blooded neko. Perhaps I will someday," Yuka smiled. "If I survive to see your time, perhaps I'll track you down." Kagome thought for a moment.
"Well, I have a human friend named Yuka," she said.
"Not me," Yuka shook her head. "I wouldn't hide like that." Kagome smiled back as she finished wrapping Yuka's wound. "I thank you for your aid, but there are humans who need your help more and I will be healed with a day."
"I know, but I like taking care of people," Kagome shrugged. "Considering how much I bandage up Inuyasha, I've become a natural at it. He's always rushing into fights and getting hurt and telling me it's just a scratch and not to worry and he'll be fine. Then I bandage him and clean him up and he grumbles the entire time without muttering a word of thanks."
"And that is alright with you?" Yuka asked.
"Well, not really, but I'm okay with I guess. Inuyasha isn't one to mince words, as I'm sure you've noticed. Once you get to know him, you get to hear the stuff he doesn't say better than the stuff he does," Kagome explained. Yuka eyed her suspiciously, and Kagome squirmed slightly. "What?"
"My brother once spoke of a woman with that same glow on his face," Yuka smirked. "You love him." Kagome blushed and looked away.
"Yeah, I do," she admitted.
"And does he love you?" Yuka asked.
"Well…I think he does," Kagome sighed. "I'm not sure."
"I thought you could hear the words he doesn't say?" Yuka reminded. "Well, take care of him. He's a good man, even if he acts like an ass sometimes." Kagome smiled and nodded.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Toga asked quietly, looking down the hill as the camp packed up. In the distance, the army of Han was vanishing onto the horizon, Liu Bang's troops restored. The Han prince had offered no shortage of gratuitous words to Toga before they left. Inuyasha had his legs folded beside Toga on the grass, and shrugged.
"I dunno…I didn't know how," he admitted. "Would you have believed me?"
"No," Toga said, drawing the Tenseiga. "But I have seen and heard many things this past week I would not have believed before coming here." Toga looked down at his reflection in Tenseiga's blade.
"Tell me about it…" Inuyasha agreed.
"So, tell me more about Sesshomaru," Toga asked, sheathing Tenseiga.
"Why him?" Inuyasha muttered.
"I have learned much about you. I wish to know about him now," Toga replied.
"He's an ass," Inuyasha spat quickly. He frowned. That wasn't really fair anymore. "Well, not really. He used to be, but…he's got a kid."
"A child? He mates?" Toga asked.
"Well, not a real kid, a human. Rin. I don't know how he came across her but she follows him around and he doesn't seem to mind. If anything he's gone after Naraku for endangering her."
"Hmm…" Toga mused. "And tell me, from your experience prior to this, how did he feel for humans?"
"Hated them. Claimed they had made you soft and weak and that my mother and I dishonored our family," Inuyasha sighed.
"Do not believe such things," Toga said sharply. "I do not know why Sesshomaru feels this way, but if that is true then I understand why it is he who needs Tenseiga. And if your actions against this Naraku your companion mentioned are true, then you bring nothing but honor to me."
"Thanks," Inuyasha smiled, looking up. Toga nodded.
"So…how do I meet your mother? What happens to Hatsutenka that our relationship breaks?" he asked.
"No clue, on either count. Sesshomaru never told me. I'm not even sure if your mate is alive anymore," Inuyasha shrugged. Toga snorted.
"Well, one cannot know everything about their future. I suppose that spoils the surprise of living it. Tell me, do I at least die well?"
"In battle protecting mother from her murderer after reviving her with Tenseiga," Inuyasha nodded. "Your last words to her were what to name me. I had just been born. She saw you last battling Takemaru in the castle. He wasn't all bad, or so Myoga told me, but he fell in love with her and killed her because he couldn't stand her loving a youkai."
"Wait, he was a human?" Toga growled. "I die in battle with a human…disgraceful."
"Well, you were weak. You had just fought a dragon," Inuyasha explained. Toga smiled.
"Ah, a dragon. That is pleasing. Do I kill it?"
"Seal it. I killed it after Naraku let it loose." Toga chuckled and reached down to pat Inuyasha on the shoulder.
"That's my boy," he replied. Inuyasha grinned sheepishly. Toga smiled down at him, then raised his head.
"Now, tell me of this 'Tokijin' blade you said Sesshomaru wielded. What was the name of that ogre who broke the sword?"
The doors of the throne room burst open, and Li Si jumped a foot as Ying Zheng marched inside and sat on his throne.
"All of you, leave!" he snapped, glaring at the guards. The guards quickly filed out of the room as Li Si bowed.
"My lord, you return! How goes the battle?" he asked.
"Battle?" Ying Zheng growled.
"Against the traitorous Japanese my lord," Li Si clarified.
"I do not recall any Japanese here," Ying Zheng said, looking at his advisor. "Are there any records of this?"
"Yes, of course!" Li Si was confused, but rushed and collected three scrolls. "The spy reports, my lord." He held them out, and Ying Zheng looked at them. With a quick motion of his hand, he grabbed them and flung them at the wall. One of them landed sideways on a torch, catching fire and falling to the floor. Lord and advisor watched as the three pieces of writing caught flame.
"I will ask again, Li Si," Ying Zheng said slowly. "Are there any records of a Japanese army on our soil?" Li Si shook his head. "Then you must be mistaken, for I am sure there was never any such army. Now…leave." Li Si bowed and hurried out of the room. Ying Zheng looked back at the scrolls as they burned and lifted a hand. He flexed his fingers, watching the wrinkles there appear over and over as his muscles clenched and relaxed.
"At the end of the battle…you're just a man."
Ying Zheng let out a breath and continued to stare at his hand in silence, the only sound the faint crackling of the torches and the smouldering of the scrolls.
When Li Si returned several hours later, the scrolls were mere embers in a burnt spot on the floor. Ying Zheng was still in the position Li Si had left him in.
Night had fallen and the camp was packed up. Toga had revived many of the horses the Qin had brought and loaded them up for preparation for the journey to the Chinese coastline and a ferry back to Japan. The Qin soldiers, however, Toga had left dead. A few soldiers from Chu had come to investigate when they had heard of the battle, but seeing Toga was leaving they turned back and did not snoop.
"Will you be alright?" Kagome asked. Ryuichi nodded.
"It will be good to see my homeland again. I fear my welcome here has been worn out," he replied. The man had chosen to return to Japan with Toga, knowing full well what lay in store for him if he returned to Ying Zheng. Toga had accepted him with no hesitation.
"Be careful," Kagome said.
"And you," Ryuichi replied, smiling. He left to help Oinari and another human load up a horse. Kagome turned to see Inuyasha standing behind Toga.
"What's he doing?" Kagome asked, running up to him. In response, Toga took a small box from his robes and opened the lid. The castle before them whirled up into a dust cyclone and spun into the box. Toga snapped it shut and slipped it back into his clothing.
"Our business is concluded here. We leave tonight," he said, turning to Inuyasha and Kagome. "If you return with us to Japan, we shall begin seeking a way to return you home right away."
"Thank you," Kagome nodded. Toga nodded back and turned back to overseeing the camp packing. Kagome sighed and sat down on the grass, turning to face the hill overlooking the sight.
"You think we can find a way back?" she asked, looking up at the hanyou. Inuyasha's face was framed by the green aurora in the sky overhead.
"I hope so," he replied. Kagome lowered her head. The aurora in the sky looked brighter than normal tonight than it had been the last week. The green and blue lit up the ground, giving an eerie glow to the corpses of the Qin on the hill and the blood across the grass. The blades were more red than green, and the ground itself looked on fire.
Kagome gasped and leapt to her feet, turning as Inuyasha walked away towards Yuka.
"Inuyasha!" she cried. "We have to get back to the palace!"
"What, what's going on?" he replied, spinning around.
"Tonight, this is the night we go home!" Kagome explained.
"What do you mean?" Toga asked, the miko's outburst attracting his attention.
"Lady Zhou… a priestess, she told me…we can go home…"
"We can?" Inuyasha asked.
"When the sky glows green and the ground glows red, the path home shall open," Kagome quoted, looking at the hill. Toga and Inuyasha turned to look at the unearthly glow of the bloodstained grass, then up at the aurora in the night sky.
"Son of a bitch," the hanyou muttered.
"You are certain of this?" Toga asked, looking down at Kagome.
"It has to be, even if it's not we have to go and make sure!" Kagome replied. Toga thought for a moment.
"If you are wrong, then you may return with us. If you are correct, I will go with you," he decided.
"Hey," Inuyasha and Kagome turned as Yuka and Oinari approached them. "We'll be seeing you again, if we can," Yuka said, clasping Inuyasha's hand. The hanyou nodded as she went to speak to Kagome behind him. Oinari grinned and threw his arm around Inuyasha's shoulder.
"Gonna miss ya," the kitsune smirked. "Hey, can I ask a question?"
"Just as a 'what if', if you can't go back…you think I got a chance with her?" Oinari jerked his thumb towards Kagome. Inuyasha swiped at his head, and Oinari ducked.
"Like hell," he growled. Oinari laughed and wagged his finger.
"If the farewells are aside," Toga muttered. Inuyasha and Kagome turned to each other as Yuka stepped back.
"Kagome, got your bag?" Inuyasha asked. Kagome nodded and turned slightly to show him. "Alright, hop on," he ordered, kneeling.
Three Qin soldiers cried out as Toga and Inuyasha bounded over the wall of the palace, touching down in the familiar garden.
"We've been spotted," Inuyasha muttered, looking at the guards rushing over the palace walls and down the path towards them. Toga snorted and turned to snarl at the troops.
"Anyone who wishes to die, step forward!" he growled, cracking his knuckles. The soldiers stepped back, and Kagome got down from Inuyasha's back.
"We won't be long!" she groaned. The three walked towards the well in the garden. Neither noticed the doors to the garden open.
"My lord, they have returned!" Li Si hissed. Ying Zheng watched the three from behind them.
"Call off the guards," he said bitterly, turning and leaving. Li Si watched him go in shock, and then gave the signal. The guards slowly stood down.
"This is it," Kagome sighed, looking over the edge of the well. She stood up and faced Toga.
"It was an honor to meet you, sir," she said, bowing. Toga nodded.
"Same to you, Kagome. My son has chosen his woman well," he replied. The two sputtered at his remark, and Toga smirked. His words had the desired effect. That done, he turned to Inuyasha. The hanyou's blush receded and he lowered his head.
"I…I don't wanna say goodbye," Inuyasha admitted. "If I go down that well…I have to, but…I'll be losing you again." Toga was silent for a moment.
"Draw your sword, Inuyasha," he commanded. Inuyasha looked up at Toga and unsheathed Tetsusaiga, the sword glowing in the moonlight. Toga drew his own past version of the blade, and gently touched the flats of the two swords together. Inuyasha watched in awe as the swirls of the two swords promptly began spinning around each other, yellow and red youki auras from their holders mixing in. Toga's hair fluttered slightly as he looked at Inuyasha over the two Tetsusaigas, the blades aglow in a blaze of yellow light.
"I am always with you, my son," he whispered. Inuyasha slowly nodded, and Toga withdrew his sword. The glow vanished immediately, and the two Tetsusaigas returned to their sheathes. The hanyou stared at his father for a moment, and the little pup inside caved. Toga grunted as Inuyasha threw his arms around him, embracing him. With a sigh, Toga closed his eyes and let it slide.
"You have no idea what these last few days have meant to me," Inuyasha said, pulling back.
"I think perhaps I do," Toga replied. Inuyasha nodded and turned to Kagome, taking her hand. Kagome nodded and swung her legs over the lip of the well. Inuyasha sat on the edge, and looked over his shoulder.
"See ya," he whispered. Toga simply nodded, and Inuyasha turned back.
"Ready Kagome?" he asked.
"Let's do it," she agreed. The two took in a breath, and pushed off the wood. The darkness of the bottom of the well rushed towards them, and they tensed. Suddenly, dirt and wood vanished in a sea of sparkling red and green, and Kagome's eyes lit up. Their hands never left as the kaleidoscopic swirls of color flashed past them and eventually receded. Kagome let out a small grunt as their feet touched on solid ground, and wood and dirt walls appeared around them.
"Which time are we in?" she asked, looking up. Inuyasha sniffed and recoiled, lifting the sleeve of his haori to block his nose.
"Yours," he coughed. Kagome nodded, and the hanyou wrapped an arm around her waist and leapt to the top of the well. Kagome let out a sigh of relief at the sight of the well house and ran up the steps to slide the door open.
"We made it," she smiled, looking out over the Tokyo skyline. Inuyasha looked up at the glowing aurora in the sky and nodded.
"Yeah, seems so," he replied.
The smell of the leaves and bark obscured most of the smells of the city, much to Inuyasha's relief. Kagome had gone straight to her room and to bed the previous night. Her family had been surprised to see her, but Kagome had had to go to school, naturally, so she told them she'd explain it to them when she got home. Inuyasha wasn't sure how much longer that was.
"Did we change anything?" he wondered. His father had exposed his charade and he had willingly told him a lot about his life and adventures with Kagome and the others, especially the parts dealing with Sesshomaru and the fates of his swords. Toga had been particularly interested in So'unga, seeing as how his past self hadn't found the sword yet. Inuyasha had told him about it in as little detail as possible, which considering how little he actually knew, wasn't difficult.
"Inuyasha!" Inuyasha lowered his head to see Kagome staring up at him from the ground. "Come down here, I wanna talk to you!" Kagome called.
"I'm fine," the hanyou replied.
"I said I'm fine!"
"Alright then," Kagome huffed. Inuyasha lifted his head and reclined against the trunk with his hands behind his head. There was a thump and a grunt, and Kagome let out a small cry. Inuyasha looked down to see her struggling to pull herself onto a lower branch.
"What the hell are you doing?" he muttered.
"Since you won't come down, I'm coming up," Kagome explained, pulling herself up with a gasp. Inuyasha rolled his eyes and sunk a claw into his branch, then swung down and grabbed the back of Kagome's school uniform. She cried out in protest as he swung the both of them up onto the branch.
"I could have gotten up here alone you know," Kagome glared.
"Sure," Inuyasha smirked. The miko took a breath and looked out at Tokyo through the leaves.
"I went to the library at lunch today, did a little research," Kagome started.
"There are no official records of any Japanese contact with the Qin at any time during, after or before the Qin Dynasty. No armies, no yaoguai, no dead lord who came back to life. According to the history books, Ying Zheng went on to conquer Chu and founded the Qin Dyntasy."
"Keh, I ain't surprised," Inuyasha snorted. "You think that asswipe would have recorded a loss?"
"I know," Kagome shrugged. "But that's good. I never read anything like that before, so this means we didn't change history. We came out alright."
"Whatever," Inuyasha muttered. Kagome eyed him.
"What's wrong?" she asked. Inuyasha took a breath.
"I…" he stopped himself and rolled his eyes.
"Come on," Kagome urged. Inuyasha thought for a moment.
"It's just…I was always jealous of Sesshomaru. I mean, sure he's an ass and he's got an annoying imp for a servant, but…he knew the old man. He fought alongside him, he lived with him, he was…with him."
"And you know what that's like now?"
"Yeah…before I couldn't even remember his face clearly, never had a clue to his name even. Now…he wasn't perfect, considering me and Sesshomaru I guess that's no surprise. But he was my father. And I knew him. Even if he didn't know it for most of the time. I talked to him, I learned from him, fought with him…even if just for a week…" Inuyasha lifted his head and looked up.
"For a single week…I had a father again. I know what Sesshomaru had, what he must have felt. I met the old man and I liked it. I know what that's like now, having someone there for you."
"My dad died when I was little too," Kagome said quietly. "But I had Mama and Grandpa and Sota, even if he was just a baby. He said when he was four, that he hated me, because I knew our father and he was too young to." She shook her head. "But I guess that's not the same. I had a family when my dad died…"
"I know. I had mom, but…she died too,' Inuyasha admitted. "I'll always remember her, but the old man…now I remember him too. It's like he told me, he's still with me," Inuyasha lowered his hand to grasp Tetsusaiga's hilt, repaired and enhanced with his own strength, built up on his father's. "I don't feel so alone."
Kagome smiled as he turned back to the skyline and shifted closer. Inuyasha tensed as she laid her head on his shoulder and reached up to put a hand on his chest.
"You're not alone. Not anymore," she whispered. Inuyasha smiled and brought his hand up to cover hers, relaxing.
Final Historical Notes
Sometime around the fifth century BC, the royal line of the Zhou Dynasty was greatly weakened. The subsequent kings of Zhou were weak and failed to command respect. True power went to powerful nobles and warlords, and the Zhou ruled in name only. Although this era is recognized today as part of the Zhou Dynasty, it is also addressed as the Warring States Era. During this era, states split into sub-states, made backdoor alliances with each other against other states, and so forth.
In 259 BC, the monarch now known as Qin Shi Huang was born in the state of Zhao. His personal name is rendered as either Zhao Zheng, or Ying Zheng. Born into a time when Qin's laws taught that fear, not respect, was the key to ruling a kingdom, Ying Zheng usurped the throne at age 13 to rule under a regent, then ascended to become King of Qin at age 21 in 238 BC. Ying Zheng went on to begin to conquer all the land, conquering the states one by one. After the fall of Chu, his conquest was all but assured, and by 221 BC all enemy states had surrendered or been subjugated. Ying Zheng crowned himself First Emperor of Qin – Shi Huangdi, commonly shortened to Shi Huang due to naming conventions and posthumously prefixed Qin.
To consolidate his power, Shi Huangdi destroyed many of the walls and encampments separating China's states and ordered their previous rulers moved to the Qin capitol of Xianyang to be closely observed. Weapons and books were confiscated, and many books were burned with only a single copy remaining in the palace library. Qin's standards for measurement and language became the international standard, and to quell any rebellious thought, many scholars of Confusious were burned, and his teachings outlawed. Shi Huangdi also led campaigns against the northern Xiongnu nomads and built a wall of packed earth to protect the north. This wall is recognized as a dirt and wood precursor to the modern Great Wall of China.
As he grew older, Shi Huangdi feared the souls of his enemies, of which he had amassed a great deal, would attack him in the afterlife. To this end he built the Terracotta Army, 6000 clay soldiers as protection for his spirit, and also built a massive underground necropolis for his tomb, burying many of his favorite servants and concubines in it. The room that holds his sarcophagus, so legends say, had the ceiling decorated with diamonds to represent the stars, and the floors filled with mercury to represent China's rivers. Today, although its location has been discovered, the tomb of Shi Huangdi remains sealed, so these legends cannot be proven, although the high concentration of mercury in the nearby soil supports them.
However, even this grandeur proved unworthy of Shi Huangdi, and he thus began to search for the Elixir of Life that could bestow immortality. He sent numerous armies to find the Elixir, and it is believed that they settled in China's outskirts, as if they returned without the Elixir they would surely be killed. Shi Huangdi also began to consume mercury in the hopes of prolonging his life – mercury could dissolve gold and it was believed to possess supernatural powers. As his health deteriorated because of this, he became increasingly paranoid and began to sleep in different rooms of the palace each night and had several look-alikes pose as him. Guards were forbidden to carry their weapons around him, or sometimes to even come near him at all. He also began to rave and rant and became a recluse, rejecting all contact but his closest advisors.
In 210 BC, Shi Huangdi died while on a journey for the Elixir. His chief advisor, Li Si, had a tray of fish carried in front of the emperor's palanquin to hide the corpse's decaying scent for two months, until they returned to the capitol and announced his death. Following this, Li Si and other high-ranked officials, including eunuch Zhao Gao, forged Shi Huangdi's will to place an easily manipulated king on the throne instead of the rightful heir – Shi Huangdi's youngest son Huhai became his successor. This is a matter of historical debate, as it is believed by some that Shi Huangdi, believing he would live forever, never made a will or selected an heir at all. Whatever the case, Li Si and Zhao Gao reduced the new king Huhai to a figurehead with all the power in their hands. In the years to follow, peasants revolted and rebellion began, and Huhai had many of his siblings killed while others fled the country. Huhai committed suicide himself, and his successor Ziying was named "King of Qin" - Qin no longer ruled all of China, he could not use the title Emperor anymore.
Finally, in 206 BC, Ziyang surrendered to Prince Liu Bang of Han, bringing the reign of the Qin – barely fifteen years – crashing down. Liu Bang was crowned the new Emperor of China, took the name Gaozu, and the Han Dynasty was founded. As Emperor, Gaozu replaced Qin Legalism with Confucianism, lowered taxes for peasants, raised taxes on rich merchants, and made peace with the Xiongnu. For these reasons and more, the Han Dynasty became a golden age in Chinese history, especially considering the era preceding it. Emperor Gaozu himself would live until 195 BC.