A/N: Yeah, it's a one-shot, kill me if you wish.
Disclaimer: Nope, not a single scrap of ownership.
Twigs break in half and jagged rocks jut into the soles of his feet as he ran blindly through the woods. Jerking to the right as gently as he can, he narrowly avoids another thick oak tree before barreling through a wall of brush. The wind screams in his ears as he cuts through it like butter from the speed he'd somehow managed to reach. Ignoring the slowly numbing sting in his legs from the strain his muscles were exerting, he presses on. It's a foreign feeling to him. He had never ran fast enough long enough to get the 'runner's high' as he had heard before. The feeling is odd, pain being so strong that it burst into itself becoming unrecognizable in his mind.
This is because he had never had a more burning need to get somewhere. He needs to get there. He needs to BE there NOW!
The brush turns into more thick trees and he growls in frustration. The point is to be gentle! Dodging trees at this speed, jerking side to side is not gentle! He has no choice though, this is the fastest way to get there.
He tenses in shock for a second at the sudden sound, forgetting that he had come along as well and now held for dear life to his shoulder as they attempted to beat the speed of light.
"Yeah?" He can tell his voice has too sharp of an edge for the young fox demon, but the kit doesn't seem to notice or just doesn't care.
"Her breathing is getting heavier again." Shippo looks at her face. It's as pale as snow, drenched with sweat and ribbons of tears shimmer down her cheeks in pain. She's slumped against his shoulder and draped across his arms in front. Her loose kimono sleeves are clinched in her fists as she tries to fight off the pain. He doesn't dare glance down at her legs, he'd already made that mistake once. Despite the fact her bottoms are black, it couldn't mask the water and blood soaking the material and darkening the sleeves of Inuyasha's fire rat kimono where he held her legs. He can't stand to see his adoptive mother in so much pain. After what she had done for him all these years, it's frightening to see such a strong person in a weakened state.
He's pulled out of his musings when his elf-like ears catch a sharp intake from Inuyasha.
"Shippo, start counting when she relaxes again and stop when she tenses. None of your fast-as-you-can counting when you play hide-and-seek, counting like Kagome taught you, ok?" Inuyasha steals a glance at the small fox kit. Shippo nods his head in a confident yes and looks down at her. A few moments later, Inuyasha can feel her relax in his arms and hear Shippo start counting softly to himself. He allows himself a second to glance at her and can feel his heart being ripped into two. It hurts him so much to see her in pain with nothing for him to do to ease it. He looks ahead and leaps up a little to jump a fallen tree. His mind starts spinning as he dwells on how it's his fault she's in so much pain. He mentally curses himself. How could he have done that to her? Yes he loved her more then anything then and some how even more now, even more then his desire to gain all the shards of the sacred jewel. But in the end, no matter what she said, it was his fault.
It had been just over six months ago during the village's annual harvest festival on its second night of celebration. Venders passed out their surplus items varying from delicious stews to sake to dumplings. The sake was the most popular item for obvious reasons. Many adults called out toasts and raised their glasses to one another, downing one after another throughout the night, taking full advantage of the surplus. The celebration ran from sunset till whenever the venders decided to pack up for the night, but even then, the sake never seemed to run low. Of course, the group had never really partaken in the consumption of alcohol, other then a small amount at dinner's held in their honor, so relatively speaking, they were lightweights.
That didn't keep them from celebrating though.
Other then Inuyasha, everyone thought they deserved a break from their constant travels and dived into the sake. After a few shots, he finally gave in and started participating as well. The night blended together that night and no one could remember what exactly happened. The one thing they do remember though, is waking up to a very naked, very cozy Inuyasha and Kagome in Kaede's hut the next morning. No one said anything at first, merely accepting that no one would mention it.
Didn't happen so well when Kagome realized she was pregnant about a month later.
She didn't seem upset, much to everyone's surprise, instead, she seemed thrilled! When she was finally asked why about a month after the realization, she smiled and admitted to everyone when Inuyasha was away. She said "I may never be the love of his life, I may never fill the hole in his heart, I may even just hurt myself in the end, but I love him. When all of this is over, I don't know what will happen…But by having a baby with him, I'll always have a part of him with me. I can go back to my time and live the rest of my dull human life there, but I'll have something to love and remind me of everything that happened here and most importantly, remind me of how much I love him."
Sango was in tears, Miroku looked as though he were in shock, Inuyasha was in shock. He had sat in the tree listening the whole time because he too was curious for her reasoning. He knew Kagome wouldn't tell him, but he knew she'd tell Sango. So after making an obvious departure, he snuck back within hearing distance to hear her reasoning. After a second to snap out of shock, he leapt out of the tree and walked into the clearing. Kagome turned red, knowing he had heard everything. She had opened her mouth to try and explain herself, but he captured her lips with his. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she kissed him back. After smelling her tears though, Inuyasha pulled back to give her a rare smile.
"Am I that good at hiding my emotions, or are you just blind to seeing it?"
Both could hear Sango, Miroku and even Shippo mutter "both" under their breath.
Ignoring them, Kagome wrapped her arms around him, crying on his shoulder.
"I love you Inuyasha, I really do." She muttered into the thick fabric.
Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her too. "I love you too Kagome, and don't ever forget it."
That had been five months ago.
"Stop!" He yells over the wind to Shippo. He can feel her tense again hear her try to swallow a cry in pain, only to choke and whimper loudly
"I counted to one hundred three times, and then 23," he replies in a eager voice. Inuyasha is surprised at how high he got and that he was able to remember how many times.
'I'll praise him later, after all of this is over. Kagome will be so proud of him. He jerks out of that thought when his mind registers the actual number. Screaming a curse word he slows down and begins scanning the area.
"Inuyasha?" Shippo's voice shows no attempt to mask the fear in his voice.
"It's under 600." Inuyasha growls in frustration again. "We'll never make it back to Kaede's in time, we're still at least a half hour away!" He spots a dip in the landscape and races towards it. "We need to stop now." They lucked out, the dip, in fact, does contain a decent sized pond surrounded by short grass from the constant trickle of grazers that visit the pond for water.
He finally slows and stops at the edge of the grass near the water. Pain begins to register in his legs again and he pants uncontrollably. He didn't know he was this tired from running.
Kagome stirs in his arms and looks up at him in understanding. Things weren't going according to plan, they were going to have to do this alone.
The original plan had been that one week before the due date, they'd head back to Kaede's and have the delivery done by her, a professional that had done this for most of the women in the village. Of course, Kagome's mother had been devastated when they told her that her she wouldn't witness her daughter give birth. After many tears and fruitless pleads, she finally accepted their reasoning. It would be too risky, with a half demon being the father of the child, they couldn't risk doctor's appointments and a hospital birth in their time for fear of there being abnormalities from demon blood. So for the time of the pregnancy, all their information and advice came second hand from mothers with plenty of experience. But even with advice and information from human mothers, there still came one major problem.
How did demon babies differ from human's development and birthing wise?
Of course, after a month after realizing she was pregnant (about two and a half months over all), they realized that development wise, demon babies developed fully in about five months. Even though the baby would be only one quarter dog demon, apparently it didn't bring the pregnancy much higher. The baby would be due in seven months, much to Kagome's horror.
Her pregnancy wasn't pleasant either.
The mornings were filled with constant sickness. Many times Kagome would wake up and within minutes of opening her eyes, she'd be doubled over, heaving the remaining contents of her stomach. Every time Kagome got sick, Inuyasha would be at her side though. It hurt him how little he could do, but did what he could do. He held her hair, wiped her tears and rubber her back in soothing circles, trying to ease her discomfort. Also, she would get days where she felt exhausted to the point where she couldn't get out of bed. Those days were primarily due to the rapid growth of the baby taking a great toll on her body since it isn't built to hold a baby growing in seven months. Luckily though, Kagome managed to escape the dreaded mood swings that so many companions feared would take a toll on their relationship. But a finale, and more recent, side effect of her pregnancy were false labor contractions. After about three scares, they denounced any further contractions and that was what lead them to their current situation.
They were at the neighboring town catching up on rumors of recent demon activity. It was nothing dangerous and not far from Kaede's incase the baby decided to come early; meaning, it SEEMED like a good plan. The due date was in two weeks, giving them a week before arriving at the village.
That is, it's a good plan until the water breaks.
They had been walking down the main road of the town in care free attitudes, almost as though they were on vacation. Kagome and Sango were looking at produce being sold and the guys were merely tagging along, chatting most of the way. Kagome was joking most of the time about how large she had gotten. Her stomach now stood out a good two feet from her narrow frame and sat on the waistline of her kimono pants since it could no longer fit in them. Occasionally she would pull the top up a ways to point to the red stretch marks streaking across her middle from the rapid growth, but would mostly gossip with Sango about how being a mother would be. Just as soon as they approached another stand, though, it happened. All of them heard it since they were sounding so close, a soft Pop! and Splash! Water gushed down Kagome's legs and pooled at her feet. No one said a word. Everyone in the group, even the woman at the produce stand just stared at the expanding pool at her feet. After several moments of dead silence, Kagome finally spoke.
"I think…" She had stopped mid sentence and looked up at Inuyasha. His eyes were huge with hardly any black in his pupils showing. "I think my water just broke…" As soon as she uttered her last word, she gasped and began to double over. If Inuyasha didn't have lightning fast reflexes, she would have hit the ground. She began to pant and squeezed the fabric of his kimono as a contraction sent searing pain through her. Inuyasha cursed but held her until if finally lessened in pain. She looked up at him, eyes filled with tears of pain.
"Why didn't you tell me you were having contractions this morning?" His voice was gentle, but still held a rough tone.
"I…" She took another deep breath before continuing her sentence. "thought it was…another…false contraction." She had managed between pants.
Inuyasha then gently scooped Kagome into his arms and looked over at the others. Sango and Miroku were holding hands and looking at him for advice since neither knew what to do then while Shippo was perched on Kirara's transformed head who also seemed to be waiting for an order.
He didn't know what to do at the time, none of them had expected it to happen! Finally, he spun around to face the direction of Kaede's village.
"Meet me there!" He had yelled.
He had just taken one step when Shippo had leapt onto his shoulder with a defiant "I'm coming too!" Before they all zoomed off into the distance, leaving Sango and Miroku to try and keep up on Kirara. They couldn't keep up though, which is why they were separated now, leaving them to do this as mate and adopted son.
Kagome cries out, bringing Inuyasha back from his memory of what had happened less then an hour ago. He panics. He has no clue what to do! All the books Kagome read to him, no matter how red they made him, told him nothing of what the mate's role should be during the birthing process, only suggestions of holding their hand and being there. That didn't help though! Their situation called for HIM to do the delivery with only a young fox as an aid! Kagome beings to crumple to the ground and Inuyasha quickly helps her down to her knees in a slow decent. She crushes the fabric in her fists, crying and screaming in pain into his chest. He wraps his arms around her and holds her until she slowly catches her breath and releases her death grip from his kimono. She looks up at him, eyes red and shimmering from crying.
"In-Inuyasha." She hiccups and blinks, causing a few stray tears to stream down her cheeks. "I'm scared."
He holds her closer. "I know Kagome, I am too."
Shippo steps up to Inuyasha and gently tugs on his sleeve. After getting his attention, he speaks. "What can I do?" His voice is soft, as if afraid speaking too loudly would cause her pain.
Inuyasha looks at Kagome's pack a few feet away. He'd had it on his back during the run, but dropped it when they reached the pond. Its contents are spread out and loosely organized by Shippo. He smiles at the kit in a silent thank you before giving his order.
"Take the pot and fill it with water from the river, I'll find kindling for a fire."
Shippo doesn't even ask what it's for, he merely nodded in understanding before hobbling off to perform his task. Inuyasha gently lays Kagome down on the grass. She grabs his sleeve and gives a soft whimper. Despite himself, he smiles.
"I'll be back in a second, I promise."
She gives a small nod and falls back onto the grass.
Inuyasha turns and runs back towards the edge of the woods, gathering as much kindling as he can for a fire. He grabs a handful of dry grass and begins skimming passages of the birthing process he can remember.
The big thing about the birthing process is that the environment would have to be sterile.' Inuyasha thinks. 'Yeah, that's going to be easy out in the middle of the woods!' He groans and grabs another handful of twigs. Boiling water and soaking the towels Kagome carts along is the only sterilizing he can think of, hence the kindling.
He hears Kagome start panting again and races back with a large armful of dry wood and grass. He reaches her just as she lets out a long anguished cry. He can feel his ears pull back, trying to muffle the sound from how loud it is and because it hurts him so much to hear it coming from his mate. Dropping his collection, he comes up behind her and wraps his arms around her middle between her swollen breast and bulging tummy. She grasps his hands and leans back into his chest on her knees. She strains her chin up, hissing short breaths between her teeth with tears streaming down her cheeks. Gripping his hands as tight as she can, she cries out again as a contraction burns and rips at her. Shippo is standing nearby, holding his hands over his ears. Inuyasha gives pity to the poor kit, but focuses his attention back to his mate as the contraction stops and leaves her weaker then ever.
"They're getting closer together." Inuyasha mumbles. He wipes the sweat from her forehead as she tries to regain her breathing.
Shippo nods, continuing to build the fire. He doesn't need to be told twice, he'd listened to Kagome read to Inuyasha even after he'd been told not to. He throws his fox fire on the kindling near the rocky shore before pushing the full pot next to the flame. He knows what all of this is going to be used for, and with Inuyasha comforting Kagome, he's the only one left to prepare the supplies. He then grabs the pile of towels and throws them in the warming water. There's only two unfortunately.
Inuyasha shrugs off his kimono top, realizing what Shippo discovered. The baby will be cold, being the middle of fall so the top will work as a blanket. The fire rat kimono is placed next to him and he looks over at Shippo. Just as he's about to ask Shippo if the water is boiling, Kagome cries out again as another contraction arrives.
Inuyasha panics. The last contraction was less then a minute ago! Inuyasha looks down between Kagome's legs. More blood is seeping out of her. Cursing softly as to keep her from hearing, he looks over at Shippo.
"Grab a towel!"
Shippo jumps to attention and grabs a towel from the simmering water. The water burns his paws, but he pays no mind. Holding the warm dripping towel to his chest he races to his adoptive parents.
"Turn around and don't look!" Inuyasha orders as he begins untying the wrap around Kagome's bottoms. Kagome's hands are gripped on his one hand still on her middle. She hisses and manages to get a sentence out.
"The baby is coming, hurry!" Her voice is week and in shows her pain no matter how hard she tries to mask it.
Inuyasha finally undoes the tie and her pants fall to her knees in a heavy slop! from the weight of the water and blood. Shippo holds back a scream and turns around. Kagome's thighs are covered in think red blood, horrifying the young kitsune. He holds the towel up as high as he can though, knowing Inuyasha will grab it in a second. He does, and places it between her knees.
Kagome looks at Inuyasha as the contraction ends.
"I'm not ready."
Inuyasha leans his cheek against hers. "Yes you are, I know you are." Her cheeks are cold and damp from her tears.
Just as soon as he gets a whimper from her, the worst contraction yet hits her. Her scream echoes through the forest and his hands are nearly crushed in her grasp
"Push." He orders in her ear. "Push as hard as you can."
Kagome whimpers again.
"Push, Kagome." He says more firmly. "You can do this, push!"
He finally feels her tense against him. Her shoulders push down and back as she tries to push with all her might with muscles she'd never used before. She cries out as the baby is pushed further down the birthing canal. She clinches her knee and thigh muscles to push further on her hips, causing more blood to leak out. She can feel pressure between her legs at last. Giving another hard push, more pain explodes within her and she cries out again.
"One more push Kagome!" She can hear Inuyasha take a sharp breath.
Kagome arches her back again and gives one finale, painful push with a sharp cry, she can feel the pressure between her legs get worse for a second before everything feels as though it were put on pause. The pain, the wetness, the pressure all of it disappears for a second.
A sharp, high pitch cry breaks everything.
Inuyasha lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.
Kagome manages to open her eyes and look at him. His eyes are shimmering and directed between her legs. Before she can look down, she can feel his hands let go of hers as he leans down and gathers what she knows is their baby.
Another towel appears and Inuyasha gently starts cleaning the baby. Kagome finally looks down and gasps. There, no larger then the length of his forearm, is a small baby cradled between her belly and his arm as he gently wipes away the blood.
"She's a girl." He finally says.
Kagome smiles and gently lifts her hand, stroking her daughter's patch of silver hair.
"She looks just like her daddy." Kagome says in a hoarse voice.
Inuyasha nods and passes her to Kagome, still supporting her slightly because of how weak Kagome is.
She does look like him. On top of her head are two oversized silver dog ears, just like her father's. Her silver hair is only on the very top of her head, hardly covering the base of her ears. Even though her hands are curled up into small fists, small points can be seen on her nails as well.
Inuyasha smiles at her, his daughter.
A small paw rests on his arm. Looking at the source, he realizes he'd completely forgotten about Shippo.
"Hey Shippo, wanna meet your baby sister?"
Both Kagome and Shippo are stunned at his comment, but Shippo nods eagerly and leans over. He brushes his fingers against her dog ears and stares in wonder.
"What are you going to name her?" He finally asks.
Both Inuyasha and Kagome look at each other.
"Wow, I think that's the only thing we never talked about…" Kagome looks back at her daughter, now wrapped neatly in Inuyasha's fire rat kimono.
"Actually," Inuyasha pauses for second. "Actually I was thinking of one."
Kagome looks back up at him. "Izayoi?"
He nods, not making eye contact with Kagome.
"Welcome to the world Izayoi." Kagome smiles up at Inuyasha. "I'm sure she's honored to have her name carried on."
Inuyasha smiles. "Thank you Kagome, she's beautiful, just like her mother." He leans down and gently kisses Kagome on the lips. He can feel her smile and he grins back. Leaning back, he admires his new family for a second before speaking.
"The others will be here soon, let's get you cleaned up."
Kirara lands softly near the rocky shore. She had smelt the blood of Kagome and reached the pond about a half hour after the others had. Miroku and Sango slide off and slowly walk up to the young family a few feet away. Kirara transforms into her smaller form and trots up to them as well. Inuyasha is leaned against Kagome's backpack with his legs crossed. Kagome sits in his lap with her knees bent up slightly. She's leaned against his chest and appears to be sound asleep. Blood is still seeped in the grass, but Kagome is cleaned up and wrapped in Inuyasha's white under shirt from the waist down.
Miroku and Sango squat on either side of the couple and look at the bundle hidden between Kagome's stomach and knees. Wrapped neatly in Inuyasha's fire rat kimono top is the new addition to the group. She too is sleeping, her head leaned against Kagome's bosom and sitting on her still swollen belly (it'll be a few days before the blood and air from the birth escapes to leave her pregnancy weight).
Every part of Sango wants to squeeze her friend and prattle on about the baby, but she settles for smiling at the proud new dad. He smiles gently down at Sango.
"You missed it." He whispers in a chastising tone.
Miroku smirks. "Yes, well, who knew you could run so fast?"
Inuyasha shrugs slightly and looks down at his daughter. "Amazing it?" Both Sango and Miroku look back at Inuyasha. "After seven months. Seven months of pain, exhaustion and sickness. Seven months of growing and protecting, she gave me a living being. A baby. My baby girl." He gently strokes his daughter's cheek with the back of his clawed finger. "And on top of all that, she gave me a baby girl who looks so much like me."
Both nod in agreement. Her silvery hair, ears, claws, she's a spitting image of her father. Suddenly, she stirs under her father's touch. All three hold their breath, hoping she doesn't start crying to wake her exhausted mother.
God seemed to be on their side.
She scrunches her face together before letting out a small yawn, showing a few teeth already poking through her gums, both being small fangs. Much to everyone's surprise though, she slowly opens her eyes to look at the audience she can sense. All gasp and Inuyasha gins widely.
"Kagome will be so happy." He whispers as he looks at his sleeping mate.
She has her eyes.
A/N: please nothing hateful about how I'm not dedicated to my non one-shots, I realize I'm horrid at sticking with them. Please review, I've never written anything remotely like this and I'm trying to improve me writing skills.