Chapter two

Three years ago, Inuyasha and Kagome were stocking up a hidden cave with tins of food, dried baby formula and other goods in preparation of the birth of their first pup. Apparently, they had discovered the remains of such items in a cave on the Shrine property and using it as a reference, had found it in this time. They had not intended to live in the cave but it was to be a safe bolt hole; Inuyasha had learned caution early in his life and had several places all within fairly easy reach of each other and all stocked with the essentials for survival.

His foresight was just as well as it happened and when the villagers came to drive them from their beautiful home, Inuyasha had just picked up Kagome and run. It had been hard on the Miko, many of the things that she had brought from her time were destroyed and of course were irreplaceable and she had never been subject to such a hatred before. She had become depressed and for a while a distraught Inuyasha thought she was regreting her mating with him and there had been many tears shed between them, the hanyou especially feeling really guilty at the treatment she had suffered because she was his mate.

Sesshoumaru was getting more angry at what he was hearing, but he was not prepared for the next part of Miroku's tale. Inuyasha had done his best in making the Miko comfortable; but the stresses of everything had pushed her into labour at least a month early and when he had run back to the village to beg the new Miko to help his mate in delivery, he had been refused. Even if the Miko had been willing to assist, she was not permitted to leave the confines of her hut; until the hanyou had departed. That left a completely inexperienced Inuyasha to help his mate deliver their early baby.

The child had survived thanks mainly to it's hanyou blood and Kagome was able to feed him for his first couple of weeks, but her own bleeding did not stop fully and neither of them knew how to make it do so. That was when the friend came and agreed to take a letter to Sesshoumaru asking for his presence and the Tenseiga, just in case as the pup was not strong. The man had also gone to the village Miko again and asked if she had any herbs that could aid Kagome to strengthen her and close the womb properly, before he set off for the Western Lands.

Sesshoumaru told the monk that the old man in the village suspected that the messenger had been murdered before the message could be delivered and now he suspected that Inuyasha thought that he hadn't cared enough to come. He aimed to put that right immediately and asked once again where the little family could be found; it was vital now that they be brought into the safety of his household. The couple looked at each other before the monk answered, saying that they didn't know where the cave was; Inuyasha had brought Kagome and the pup to them asking for help.

The Daiyoukai nodded, it was the next logical step and he would have immediately looked here had he received the letter and he looked around to see if he could catch sight of a nearly three year old hanyou pup amongst the children that were playing outside but nearby. Observing his actions, Miroku swallowed and told him that they no longer lived here; the journey and all that had happened took it's toll on Kagome and there was nothing they could do. She had died peacefully in Inuyasha's arms; just slipping away, a few days after they arrived.

Inuyasha had held her body for three days in a terrible and silent grief as he held vigil; hoping for Sesshoumaru to answer his letter and bring Tenseiga with him, but as time went by and he lost hope he seemed to sink in on himself and they thought that they would lose him as well. It was his pup who kept him alive, the little one needing his strength of aura to feel safe and eventually Inuyasha traded Kagome for the baby and allowed them to cremate their friend. She had been buried in the village as Inuyasha didn't trust the villagers near Goshinboku, even though that is where he would rather have laid her to rest.

He had stayed with them in the village until the pup was stronger and Sango had been able to help him learn what to do with the stored baby formula; Inuyasha was unable to read as well as was needed, to make sure that he got the mix right. Then one night, they had gone; a note had been left to say thankyou; but Miroku knew that they had gone into hiding, as Inuyasha was now once again afraid of anyone turning against him and the pup. His friends had not seen the pair since and even though they had searched with all their skills, Inuyasha and his pup had vanished and Sango was so afraid that they too had died.

Sensing the genuine sadness that came from the pair, Sesshoumaru informed them that his brother was not dead or he would have known; but it was even more essential that he be found. His brother's life bond with his mate had been torn asunder and normally death for the survivor was an almost inevitable consequence, except in exceptional circumstances; one of which was the needs of a pup. The youkai got up to leave, his desire to find his brother growing in the light of his tragic news; he would have no difficulty in locating the boy, not with his superior senses and he promised to let Miroku and Sango know when he had done so.

Using his knowledge of how his brother thought, Sesshoumaru knew that he hadn't gone too far away from Goshinboku or Kagome's remains; therefore it was likely that he was still in the unknown cave which was on the grounds where the new shrine would be built in the future. He had a store of food secreted there after all, but even so a pup would need fresh food as would the hanyou and stored food would still only keep for so long before it spoiled. Once he'd put his mind to it, the pair's hideout was easy to find tor him.

It had to be near water for their scents to be hidden and in the area he found only one place that fit, that was not too close to the village; a tiny waterfall that was near impossible for humans to reach, surrounded as it was by rough rocks and scree. It was an uninviting place; but once around the corner the scene changed and there was grass and a small beach, which had some pebbles dotted about in a most unnatural manner. Sesshoumaru smiled to himself; that was the work of a small child playing if ever he'd seen it and he had, with Rin and a long time ago Inuyasha had played in a similar way.

But there was no other sign of habitation and no sign of life either, but that did not worry his lordship; Sesshoumaru entered behind the waterfall to a small recess behind. Here there was also no indication that anyone lived here and the youkai examined his surroundings more carefully. He walked in to where boulders lay right at the back of the cave and his keen sight noticed two that had less rubble around them and moved them with ease, uncovering a small tunnel with badly hewn steps leading up.

Following these with caution, he entered a large cavern which was obviously serving as a child's playroom if the toys were anything to go by; it was immense and served it's purpose well. The child would not have need to go outside much to excersise with all the things in here; many of them from Kagome's time it seemed, as the crayoned pictures decorating all the walls also would indicate. Suddenly Sesshoumaru knew he was being watched and he turned round to see a miniature version of his brother staring at him with a smile on his face.

The pup was not exactly like Inuyasha now that the Youkai could see him properly; the colouring and general look was the same down to the puppy ears on the head of silver, but his features and happy smiling exressions were those of his mother. The little pup was unafraid of the intruder, noting the family likeness by sight and scent and the lack of hostile intent in his uncle's aura and he went up to introduce himself as Hissori (deserted) then he immediately ran to his father to notify him of their guest.

Inuyasha was of course already aware and had come into the cavern and just stared at his brother blankly; with no expression on his face matching his brother completely. Hissori had run to Sesshoumaru and reached his hand to grab his uncle's hakama to lead him over to his Papa; the Daiyoukai could at first only stare at the minute hand holding on to him, just as Inuyasha had once done and as had Rin. Inuyasha too stared at his son, but noticed that his brother's eyes had softened as he regarded the pup and he knew that his brother would not harm his precious son.

Sesshoumaru approached his brother, never taking his eyes from those of the hanyou and noting the lack of sparkle and generally apathetic air that he gave off with concern.

"Inuyasha, I am sorry; I have heard all that has transpired and regret deeply that I did not receive your letter. Know that I would not have hesitated to come to you and your mate had I known." His amber eyes burned with emotion for his brother and Inuyasha saw it and knew that all his own fears about his brother's indifference were groundless; then as if a plug had been turned off in him, he collapsed in an unconscious state on the floor. Ignoring the dismayed cries of his nephew, Sesshoumaru gathered up his brother then told the pup to cease wailing and collect anything he wished to take with him immediately to the Western Palace.

Thankfully the pup was not stupid even though he was very young and he realised that Sesshoumaru was not going to hurt his Papa, so he grabbed his toy sword and stood waiting on his uncle. Sesshoumaru held Inuyasha supported in one arm and picked up the fascinated pup in the other, after bursting a hole through the roof of the cave; then launched them all on his cloud of youki and flew off towards the Western Palace. Inuyasha did not wake or even stir during the journey and this was not a good sign; he already weighed about a third less than he should do being nothing but skin and bone, Sesshoumaru could feel how slight the boy had become even through the protecting fire rat.

When they reached the West, Sesshoumaru placed Inuyasha in the care of the healers; Hissori was good and went willingly with a gentle nursemaid trusting in Sesshoumaru's words that he would come back as soon as the healers had finished. Rin had come too and was shocked to tears when Sesshoumaru explained all that he now knew of Inuyasha's life and she went to fetch the little motherless pup from the nurse, wanting to come to know him and offer him comfort while his father was tended.

There was nothing that the healers could do for Inuyasha until he came round at least and as always, he only disturbed and roused himself in answer to his pup's call. For Inuyasha the darkness of dreamless sleep was the only escape he had from the crushing hole in his very being that Kagome's death had left; even his pup who was the joy of his life, could lift the prospect of a bleak future for only so long. But that night, Hissori crept into bed with his Papa and whimpered; he was not afraid of the dark, besides he had a nightlight and his nurse was also resting in the room, but he missed Inuyasha's warmth.

As nothing else could, Hissori woke Inuyasha who tightened his arms around the boy and comforted him with low growls while he tried to work out what was happening. He knew that he was in the West with his brother and was being tended, plus all that had happened that day came back to his mind. Now he no longer had the anger and hurt that he had fed his mind to help him keep going, he was exhausted and weak; he knew that Sesshoumaru did not lie, besides Inuyasha could tell his brother's sorrow was genuine, he had not betrayed him.

A whisper of silk caught Inuyasha's attention and he turned his tired eyes to his brother as Sesshoumaru came to sit by his bed and was further astonished when he felt gentle fingers pet him soothingly and he couldn't stop himself whine a little, as he turned his head into the caress. Inuyasha had been so alone since his mate died, his pup notwithstanding; in his heart he was lost, just as he always had been before Kikyou and not like he'd been since Kagome freed him from the tree. Sesshoumaru knew that a broken mating was devastating and Inuyasha had had nobody to understand or give him support.

As neither were sleepy, they talked in soft voices so as not to wake the pup plus the time and situation demanded quiet; Sesshoumaru told his brother of all he had learned about what had happened since finding the murdered messenger. Inuyasha told him that he had known exactly when Kagome had gone beyond his reach or Sesshoumaru's help; the enchanted beads broke and fell from his neck. The recall caused him to weep anew; although nothing like he had when the beads actually broke. Sesshoumaru made no comment about his emotion, but he made sure that Inuyasha could feel his sympathy; if he wanted his brother to recover at all, the hanyou must not feel alienated.

During the next few days the brothers spoke together as they never had before; all the barriers were down between them, yet neither realised that this had happened and both were grateful for the closeness that had been achieved. Sesshoumaru too had never had anyone he could really talk with and he found his brother surprisingly easy to trust with his thoughts. But over those days of closeness and confidences, Inuyasha hardly ate or drank; he had not had any appetite and had been only subsisting since his son was born and while he had made every effort to make sure the pup had everything he needed, he had not been at all careful for himself.

Inuyasha had readily given his approval to Rin and hoped that she and his brother would be happy together; he also noticed that Hissori had settled in very well and that he delighted his new aunt and uncle with his sunny disposition. In fact he was almost inseperable to Rin, who couldn't help but observe that should she and Sesshoumaru have pups themselves, they would likely look like their nephew or his father. Even Sesshoumaru had remarked to his brother how endearing the pup was and spoke of his regrets at his prior treatment of Inuyasha.

After a year or so of living at the Western Palace everything had settled down admirably, Sesshoumaru and Rin were mated; all the special pictures and belongings from in the cave had been brought out and now decorated their rooms in the private wing. Hissori had the run of the gardens and grounds and had started schooling with a kind but firm tutor and was well loved by everyone including his uncle, for whom he had developed a strong attachment; much as his father had done when he was a little whelp. The pup even deferred to Rin and Sesshoumaru sometimes before his own Papa, but Inuyasha didn't mind; far from it, in fact it suited him to diminish in his pup's life now.

Less responsibility for Hissori gave Inuyasha longer to give in to his daydreams, born of his memories of Kagome and much of his day was given over to these happy times; much to the consternation of those who loved him. Inuyasha found it hard to eat or be motivated to anything anymore and was fading away; his family knew this but there was nothing any could do for the hanyou who was losing the will to live. One night when he was awake and living in his dreams he was called back to himself by the presence of his brother again.

Sesshoumaru pulled Inuyasha onto his lap and wrapped him in his tail and implored his brother to hold on for his pup's sake. He received the sweetest smile back and Inuyasha snuggled into his brother, needing the comfort. Then he said softly;

"You do love him Sessh, don't you? You and Rin will take care of my pup, let him grow up happy and strong; I know he won't be your heir or anything, but please take care of him. Do I have our word?"

"Inuyasha, this is foolish talk; you must recover to bring up your pup, he needs his Papa."

"Promise me Sessh; please, it is different now as to how it was when I was a pup and I know you care for him. I understand I was difficult for you and we have had our differences; but he will be no problem, he's a good boy and yer own pups will be hanyou."

"I promise Inuyasha, of course I do and it was never your fault when you were a pup or later. I wronged you then, but you are my brother and I love you; I want you around to live here with Hissori."

"It aint goin' to happen Sessh; I don't want you to use Tenseiga, I only held on for my pup's sake but I know he'll be safe with you and Rin if you say so."

"Inuyasha, I promise that your pup will be treated as if one of my own..." He trailed off as with another beautiful smile to him, Inuyasha curled into his brother's chest and drew his last breath; his tasks complete. Sesshoumaru let his tears fall on his brother as he held his body close to him feeling the warmth of his life leave and regretting the wasted years; until morning when Rin came in holding Hissori in her arms. This time the pup's wails did not bring his father's golden eyes to open on him and he was brought into Sesshoumaru's tender embrace instead, as the healers took Inuyasha's body away.


Five hundred years in the future, Mama Higurashi opened the door of the shrine to meet a finely dressed family who asked to be invited inside on business. It had been a year for her since the well closed, but when one of the young men took of his concealment charm she stared at him; he looked like Inuyasha but with the face of her daughter; however the other two were not his parents. Mama was no fool and as she looked to Rin and Sesshoumaru, understanding dawned and she blanched. Rin immediately was by her side and gently told her the story of Inuyasha and Kagome, although she hid some of the harder facts.

Hissori came and knelt by Mama's feet holding her as she cried out her loss and let her pat his ears and stroke his hair as she searched his face for her daughter's likeness. His tentative smile gave it to her and she pulled the boy into a hug before offering them all tea. Hissori of course knew of his parent's history and had even been allowed to see them come and go through the well once and so he had an idea of who his mother was, he had wanted to warn them of the dangers they would face; but it was not possible, had he interferred there would be no telling how the future could be changed.

A final task had to be done with Mama's permission and it was granted; the ashes of the two lovers were scattered and buried around the base of Goshinboku where they would have wished to be, Sesshoumaru having retrieved Kagome's casket when they cremated Inuyasha and had kept them together ever since. Then with promises that he would return often to see his Grandmother and Uncle, Hissori left to go back with his adoptive parents; who had faithfully kept their word to his father and treated him as one of their own.