Sesshomaru, Kagome, and the others stood around the little shrine that they had erected for Inuyasha at the God Tree. Sango, now five months pregnant stood in Miroku's arms weeping as they interred his ashes. "It is where he would want to be, Sango," Miroku said quietly. "The God Tree is on Kagome's family's land in her time, he will always be attended." Sango nodded as she cried.
After saying a few words, the group moved to a secluded of the woods. Waiting there was another resting place for Kagome's beloved grandfather. As she clung to Xiang Hua, Kagome watched as his ashes were placed in the ground. "This is where my father's ashes are going to be placed in the future." Kagome looked deeply into Xiang Hua's eyes and said, "We are family. You will stay with me and I will watch out for you and you will watch out for me too," she said quietly taking Xiang Hua's hand as she made her pledge. "You'll never be alone."
Tears gathered in Xiang Hua's eyes as she squeezed Kagome's hand in hers. "Your grandfather said the same thing to me when he first found me," she crushed Kagome to he and cried. "I'll never leave you." They stood holding one another and crying as they started a new beginning.
After paying their respect to the deceased, the tiny group made their way to Kaede's village to look in on her. Kaede was happy to see all of her old friends and plied them all with questions since she had not seen them for so long. They all took turns regaling her with the sad truth of Inuyasha's possession, how Kagome fell in love with Sesshomaru, Inuyasha's death, Naraku's mother, and Naraku's defeat. Kaede invited them all to stay for the evening meal, casting worried glances at Kagome every now and again.
"Sorry Kaede, we can't," Miroku said. "I've got to get my woman home and make her rest before my son decides to move out of her too active womb too early." Sango slapped Miroku and everyone laughed.
"Miroku, will you ever learn," Kaede asked forlornly. Everybody said their goodbyes to Kaede and walked to the door to leave. "Kagome, lord Sesshomaru, will you spare this old woman a moment please," she asked nervously. Everyone stopped and turned around to look at her, "Alone."
"It's okay guys. Go on, we'll catch up," Kagome said as she handed Shippo to Sango.
Sango gave a sideways glance to Kagome and said, "Sure, we'll go. It was good to see you again, Kaede! We'll see you next month."
"You take care, Sango. Rest!" Kaede yelled at her departing back. When she was left alone with Kagome and Sesshomaru, her nervousness increased because of the task laid in her lap.
"What do you want of us, old woman?" Sesshomaru asked.
"Sesshomaru!" Kagome snapped. "Go ahead, Kaede," she shot a silencing look over her shoulder at Sesshomaru because he was growling in his impatience. "Whatever it is can't really be that bad, can it?" she asked gently.
Kaede turned and grabbed Kagome's hands, "Kagome, are you truly happy with Sesshomaru? Did you turn to him to rid yourself of Inuyasha's memories and the hurt he caused you?" she asked quickly expecting death.
Sesshomaru was ready to strike the old bitch down where she stood. He uncoiled his light whip and poised to strike when he heard Kagome say, "Kaede! Why would you…how could you! I love Sesshomaru with every fiber of my being! I would die for him!" She calmed a little when she realized she was trying to purify the aged priestess. "What I felt for Inuyasha was a child's love. After a while, I realized that. When Inuyasha died, I felt like a piece of me died, but I knew I could carry on without him. If Sesshomaru died, I know I wouldn't want to live anymore. Inuyasha was my friend, probably my best friend, but I wasn't in love with him."
"But, Kagome, if Kikyo had stayed dead, if you and Inuyasha actually had a chance…"
"It wouldn't have mattered. I have taken my future into my hands, Kaede. I've embraced it. I was destined for Sesshomaru and him for me, why else would he not mate until now? He's at least five hundred, isn't that right, baby?" she asked saucily hoping to distract Sesshomaru from killing her mentor. Kaede meant well, but she could tell by the waves of anger assaulting her from behind, Sesshomaru didn't care.
"Impertinent wench," he said. He knew Kagome feared for the old lady, so he put a tight reign on his anger and moved away from the pair of them.
"You see there Kaede? Has the great lord of the west ever let anyone talk to him like that for as long as you have known of him? He loves me, though he has never said it, it is never the less true. Please, Kaede, I know you mean well but I truly am happy."
Kaede saw the happiness in Kagome's eyes and knew that she was not lying. "Very well, Kagome. I will let the matter drop."
"We will leave now, miko," Sesshomaru said. He had an odd look in his eyes as he took her hand and began to turn away.
"I have one more matter at hand, lord Sesshomaru."
Sesshomaru ground his teeth until he feared they would break. The old woman had pushed his patients about as far as they would go and the next step was physical punishment. He wanted to talk to his mate alone and clear up a little matter that was irking him to no end. "You try my patients, old woman," he barked.
"Please, my lord. It is important. It has to do with Inuyasha."
"Then it does not interest me," he began to walk from the hut.
"Please, Sesshomaru?" Kagome asked. He looked into her beautiful eyes and knew he couldn't deny her so he stood silently by as the old woman had her say.
Kaede looked into the fire as she began her story. "I was sleeping one night, about three days ago when Inuyasha came to me. Be begun to shake me until I awakened. He told me then that he was dead and that he needed me my help desperately. He told me to get dressed and rush down to the river. I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but he wouldn't allow me to do so. I climbed out of bed and went to the river, but found nothing. Inuyasha told me to be patient and wait, so I did. Then, from out of nowhere it seemed, a little basket came bobbing along down stream. 'Get it Kaede, hurry!' Inuyasha yelled to me. I reached out and snagged the basket and peered inside. 'Good, Kaede. Now take the basket home and when Kagome comes, give it to her and my brother. They'll take it." She looked Kagome then Sesshomaru in the eyes as she stood, "Follow me." She led them to the back of her hut that she had sectioned off for a private room for sleeping. She drew back the curtain and said, "There it is. Look inside before you pick it up, I don't want you dropping it after I went to so much trouble scooping it out of the river."
Kagome and Sesshomaru looked at one another and knelt on the floor beside the basket. Kaede dropped the barrier surrounding the basket and stepped back. Kagome tentatively stretched out her hand and pulled back the blanket covering it and gasped. Inside the basket were three baby pups flailing their arms, fighting with the now gone blanket. "How?" Kagome whispered.
"Inuyasha was laying with a girl in this village who was not very fond of you, Kagome. She became pregnant and when Inuyasha left to retrieve you, she went into a rage. She tried to kill the pups while they were still inside her body, but demon babies are strong. After they were born, she put them in a basket and dropped them in the river to drown. Instead, she was caught by the currants and carried under. The babes survived. Inuyasha said you would take them, will you?" she asked looking directly at Sesshomaru.
Sesshomaru gazed down at the pups as they crawled around, their eyes closed. He felt a rage inside him as he realized how close they had come to death. If the human scum that had attempted it was still alive, he would kill her himself. "Yes, we will take the pups," he said quietly. Kagome looked him with such love in her eyes, he felt invincible. He scooped up the basket and said, "It is time to go, miko."
Kagome hugged Kaede fiercely and whispered, "Thank you! You have given Sesshomaru a little piece of Inuyasha back." She followed her mate without looking back.
They mounted AhUn and took off into the sky. Kagome looked down at the babies. They all had little pointed ears doggie ears, and fangs. Two had black hair but one had a head full of gleaming silver hair. "I thought since Inuyasha was a half demon that the babies should look more like a human and not like a half demon themselves."
"Our father was a very powerful demon. It will take years for human features to assert themselves if they continue to mate humans, that is. If they mate full blooded or half demons, their descendents will look like a full blooded demon."
"What will you name them?"
"Yes. It is a father's right to name his offspring. They may not be ours by birth, but they are now," she smiled at him.
"This one shall be named for your grandfather."
Kagome shook her head, "Xiang Hua and Renji should have that honor. She knew him as her father."
"You name these two," he pointed to the twins with black hair.
"I will name him Riku for my father and I will name her Rukia for my aunt. I think they would be pleased with that."
Sesshomaru looked at the last pup in the basket. Sensing it was being looked at, it turned its face upwards and sniffed the air. With an angry yowl, the pup cracked one amber eye and glared up at his uncle. Sesshomaru stared at the infant for a long time before saying softly, "Inuyasha. You will be called Inuyasha."
Kagome swallowed the lump in her throat and said, "He reminds me of Inuyasha."
Sesshomaru patted the pup on his head and placed him with his brother and sister. "Miko, I wish to discuss something with you."
"What is it?"
"Why did you tell the old woman I never say I love you?"
"You never have. It doesn't matter though. I don't need you to say it."
"How could you be so stupid? I tell you I love you every time I take you in my arms, every time I kiss you, every time I make love to you."
Kagome waved a dismissive hand. Her lip trembled when she said, "I know. You're a demon of few words who values action to words," she turned her face from him.
He grabbed her chin and turned her face to him. "Kagome," he said gently, "I love you."
Kagome burst into tears and threw herself into his arms minding the precious burden between them. "I'm sorry, Sesshomaru! I was afraid you didn't love me. I knew you wanted me, but I wasn't sure…"
"What other than love could possibly drive me to mate an undisciplined half human such as you?"
"I love you, Sesshomaru! I'm going to make you happy for the rest of your life!"
"I will hold you to that, miko," he replied.
AhUn turned toward the west. As they crossed the border to their land, Kagome looked at the man of her dreams. They were going home to their family. Rin and Shippo would be excited to welcome the newcomers to the family. Home. To Rin and Shippo, Sango and Miroku, Xiang Hua and Renji, Xi Qi and Shoji, as well as their hundreds of subjects that lived at the castle with them. Kagome ruffled the hair of the now sleeping infants then smiled up at Sesshomaru. Her future no longer frightened or worried her because she now knew what one gets if they just embrace their destiny.
A/N: Thank you all for being patient and receiving this piece so wonderfully. This was my first fan fic and I love it more than anything I am now writing. I cannot tell those of you who reviewed how much you guys inspired me. You kept me going even when I wasn't sure I wanted to, therefore I dedicate my first and favorite work to you. I hope I did not disappoint you all too much and I hope you will continue to enjoy it. Thank you all! Later for now!!