The lights were low and the crowd pulsed with anticipation. Occasionally, in the seconds before the song began, as the soft thrum of the bass and cello reverberated through the hall, excitement would billow up and one solitary scream would pierce the pure tones building through deft fingers drawing bows along strings, only halos of light from behind illuminating the pages of notes before them.
Standing before them, bedecked in white, her golden tresses long with black feathers woven carefully into loose braids, holding the microphone in both hands stood the Morrigain reborn in the flesh of her only daughter poised to sing once more. When her voice cut through the tension- pure, strong and sure- it was a song of joy that reached his ears. Finally, she heard her sister sing...
The trip to Naraku's offices was made shorter by the urgency of the moment. In the car, Chora and Inuyasha signed the official documents necessary to make their mating permanent. Kagome, Rin and Sango signed their declarations of heritage and all were returned to Kouga with the documents proclaiming Kagome the rightful guardian of Daeg. Kouga carefully sealed them into a manilla envelope after scanning the documents and uploading them with his tablet. Within an hour, the documents would be approved by Kouga's friends in the immigration offices and there would be no way for Naraku to deport any of them. Within an hour, they would be at Naraku's door and Daeg would be safely in the arms of his family. Within an hour, it would be over and they could all return home as the pack they had always been meant to be.
"I saw you,
I knew you,
I loved you forever and ever.
You saw me,
You knew me,
You loved me forever and ever...
Don't lose this moment,
Don't forget my voice,
Don't ever walk away,
I'll never leave,
I'll always be,
Always by your side..."
It was a new song. She'd written it in the quiet moments of the night while watching her lover sleeping, his snowy hair made silver by the pale starlight pouring through the window of the Taisho family home. She'd put pencil to page in the deep of the night when she'd first sensed their baby move within her. She had been reborn in Inuyasha's arms the year before... Now she wanted a world their son could grow up in without fear of his heritage. There was so much more to be done... But one day, she wanted to walk free by her mate's side to her mother and brother's graves and tell the story of how they had won true freedom to be exactly who they were born to be.
"You can't just burst into my offices like this! You have no fucking right!" Naraku spat at them, pulling up his pants as the five women moved quickly to locate their own garments thrown carelessly here and there.
Sesshomaru raised his brow and smirked. "You should not celebrate victory until you are certain there is no chance of defeat."
Chora moved quickly to the closet where she sensed Daeg cowering with Kagome on her heels. Her hair bled black as she tore the door off its hinges. Pale lavender eyes red with tears looked up at the two women he had only dreamed of knowing. "Daeg... You're safe, Baby..." His aunt breathed.
The boy let out a little cry and rushed to the two of them, clinging first to them both, then to Kagome, breathing her in, burying his face in her hair. "Momma..." He whispered and was rewarded with her embrace tightening and the scent of her tears.
"I'll never let you go, Daeg," came her whispered response. Kagome turned sharply and met Brigid's eyes with hatred. "I dare you to try and take him from me, you bitch."
The woman withered in fear, her eyes first on Chora whose eyes and hair were blackest midnight, then to Kagome who was pulsing with latent power entirely focused on her, Naraku and his whores. "But... He's my son..."
"No, not any more," Kouga countered and smirked. "The documents were successfully filed this morning, thanks to the foresight of Morgan Bain... And your stupidity. I'm sure you remember a certain set of documents you signed little over a year ago? Well... Kagome's signature fell just under the deadline necessary to transfer full custody. Be thankful we're not planning to press charges against anyone involved."
"Charges? What do you mean, you bastard?" Kikyo began.
"Kidnapping and child endangerment," Sango retorted as Kagome and Chora walked to the door. Sesshomaru wrapped an arm around Kagome's shoulder and Inuyasha took his mate's hand.
"Not to mention blackmail," Miroku added with a dashing smile.
"We've chosen to not break our contract with you, Naraku," Rin said with mischief in her eyes. Shippo tossed a flash drive into the seething Naraku's palm. "Those are all of the files and data we completed for your project. The four of us regret to inform you, however, that we will not be renewing our business dealings with your company... We've been offered a much more lucrative deal with Sesshomaru and Inuyasha Taisho... One you'd be hard pressed to ever match."
Naraku stared in disbelief, then hatred as he watched them turn to go. "This isn't over!"
Inuyasha turned and met his gaze meaningfully. "Yes, it is. Enjoy your afternoon."
The sound was so pure in her ears, it was like a dream come true. The arms around her tightened and she smiled, resting her head against his as he watched entranced through newly purchased green lensed glasses. How long had she waited for this moment? How long had she dreamed of hearing her sister sing again? And now it was all coming to fruition. Next to them, the tablet registered every digital response from every continent as Chora's music was transmitted through cyberspace, satellite and wifi worldwide. It had taken them nearly six months with the help of Shippo's hacker circle to make it all possible.
Chora's music was more than just a song; her music was a call to justice and it was a call to all who heard it to seek a lasting freedom for those oppressed because of their faerie and youkai heritage. It had been Rin's idea to ensure everyone heard it at once. She had been electric with excitement at the thought of governments trying to silence the banshee song, but now all she did was listen and smile. She was happy. She was in the arms of the man who loved her exactly for who she was and would never seek to change her wild and silly ways... And her sister was singing... Her sister was singing.
They were home again, but he new he needed to talk to her before another moment passed. He grabbed her by her wrist and pulled her into the garden.
"Miroku, what the hell?" Sango frowned at him, but was stilled by the clear, determined look in his eyes. "What's the matter?"
"I love you," he saw the fear in her eyes and held her by her shoulders, determined not to let her go. "Damnit, Sango! I love you... Do you hear me?"
"You don't know what you're saying..."
"I know what I'm saying and I know what I'm feeling..."
"But you don't know me," her gaze was so pained he ached. "You don't know what I am..."
"I know you, Sango... Just listen to me, ok?" He was rewarded with a tearful silence. "You think I don't see what life has done to you? I don't know the whole story, but I can see the scars it's left... And I love you. I love you- the woman I know- for your kindness and strength, for your devotion and warmth... I love you... And I know you love me, too."
She let out a little sob and began to cry. "Miroku, I... There aren't words for the horrible things I've done... That were done to me... That I let happen... Please take it back!"
"No. Not ever," he pulled her close and felt her cling to him. "We only have so much time on this planet, Sango. I want to live the rest of my time with you. I want to make you happy, so I can be happy. You are the most beautiful woman I've ever known and your soul... As scarred as it is, I can't imagine anyone stronger and more perfect."
She sobbed and clung to him, seeking his lips, kissing him deeply. He shuddered with the intensity of her response and held her more surely against him. All he knew was he hadn't felt alone since he'd met her. He wasn't afraid of dying since he'd first made love to her. And all he wanted was for her to feel the same. Now he knew she did.
Her voice was the pure emotion that resonated through the both his body and his soul. He sat back stage holding their tiny son who slept so soundly to the ethereal tones of his mother's voice. The little hanyou's raven hair fell in waves around the dark ears perched on the crest of his head, twitching now and then as he dreamed. He was why she sang... Their baby boy, Morgan.
When he had been born, Chora had held him close and gazed down into his amber eyes as they first opened. She had looked up to him in tears. "Inuyasha, help me fulfill my mother and brother's dreams... Help me so our son can walk the world a free man someday."
He'd never thought twice. This was the first of many steps, but he knew what they dreamed could be accomplished. He had to believe the dream could come true... For all of their children.
"Why did you stay?" His voice sounded like the very warmth of the earth in her ears. She did not turn around, nor did she respond. She leaned into his arms as his massive arms wrapped around her protectively. "Why, Meg? What has changed?"
"I have," she whispered and covered his hands with her own. She closed her eyes. "In all my long life, I'd never known what it was to forgive. I was of the furies. We sought vengeance, not forgiveness. We brought madness... Perhaps... I am finally sane."
He kissed the crown of her head. Jinenji loved her beyond words. She was the most beautiful creature he'd ever known and she saw his soul, not his form. She loved him for his soul. "Do not leave me again. I could not take your absence a second time."
She turned and met his gaze finally and drew him into a deep kiss. She reached out with her immortal soul and fused it with his. A smile blended into her kiss as she felt him shudder and hold her closer. "I won't ever leave you, my love."
He gazed down at her in wonder and saw his immortal beloved blush as if she were a girl. "Why... Why now?"
"Because... After everything I did and said to you in the past, you never stopped loving me. You always forgave me... You see my worth and make me believe I deserve to live, even if I am the only part of a trinity that survived," She clung to him tightly and smiled as she heard the rasping of his dying lungs, the labor of his fading heartbeat return to youthful strength and power. "You make me whole."
He smiled and held her tightly to him. She was the only one aware of his condition, but now it did not matter. He could feel the change in her soul, had heard it in her voice when she had called. He could think of no greater joy than knowing she had learned what it was to forgive and love... Until he understood in that moment she loved him and would ever be by his side.
The boy's gaze was transfixed upon her regal form as she began to sing the final song of the last set. The audience was enrapt upon her and lost in the beautiful voice they had not heard in so very long. Even more, he could feel the world as lost in her spell. Hearts were changing. The world was changing, and one day soon, everything would be different. His father's dream would be realized.
Daeg felt his mother's hand on his shoulder and looked back to her with a smile. She was so beautiful and kind. Her smile alone healed all the hurt of his life, but the love he saw between her and his adopted father was enough to make the world perfect in his heart. He stood and then sat next to Kagome and held tightly to her hand. He was safe. He would always be safe, from now on.
Kagome gently pulled the covers up to Daeg's chin and kissed his brow. He was deeply asleep and, after the day they had endured, she understood the feeling. She turned and closed the door behind her, then smiled at the gentle pressure of Sesshomaru's hands resting on her shoulders.
"You are so good with him," Sesshomaru breathed and smiled as she leaned into his arms. He kissed her cheek gently and she smiled.
"It's as if he's been mine from the moment he was born. Maybe he has been..." She turned and embraced him tightly. Sesshomaru smiled and kissed the crown of her head. "Yes."
His eyes opened wide, then focused down into her shimmering eyes. "You don't even know the question."
"Then ask it," she whispered, almost pleading with him.
He trembled and then rested his brow to hers. "Can you love me?"
"Forever," her response echoed through his mind. He captured her lips and felt some fragile thread between them flare and blaze crimson. Kagome gasped and pressed surely to him as he deepened his kiss, gathering her up in a steely embrace.
"Kagome," he began, barely able to breathe.
"Do you know what that was?" Her voice was so certain, but he had no idea. He hadn't tried to do anything. He shook his head. "We belong to each other. We have always belonged to each other."
He searched her expression and found something he'd not expected- joy. He brushed her hair back from her face and gently held her at the nape of her neck. "Are you certain?"
"Aren't you?" She smiled coyly. "Sesshomaru, it isn't something that can be undone. Don't you understand?" She reached up and touched his lips with feathery fingertips. Some things we don't choose. Some things choose us."
He let a soft laugh escape him and he hugged her. "Inuyasha will never let me forget this..."
"Forget what?" Kagome asked, a smile in her voice.
"That he was right."
Taisho Sesshomaru looked out his great window at the world he only dreamed of living in all of his life. His piano was gone. His paints had been packed in boxes and taken away days before. Soon, it would not be his home. He was giving it to Kouga and Ayame. He felt Kagome twine her fingers with his and smiled as her head rested against his shoulder. Only a few days earlier, Chora had performed for the world, and the world had started to shift. The world was changing.
"How did you live your whole life like this? Looking out... But never being able to touch anything?"
"I wasn't alive. It was enduring pain and disappointment, wishing I had died... That my father had not loved me so much... Had not fought so hard to keep me alive," he looked down at her form and wrapped his arm around her protectively. "How is the child today?"
"Growing," she said softly in reply, touching the small swell just beginning to show. "Jinenji says it might be twins."
He chuckled and drew her into a tender kiss. Since their bonding, he'd been able to walk the world without needing her near him. He had even been able to hold Kouga's newborn daughter and helped the poor wolf change the infant when she had desperately needed a change and Ayame had been out with Kagome. The women had laughed at their mates, finding them shirtless with a freshly bathed baby girl sleeping on Kouga's chest in no more than a diaper. He'd never had another fear about becoming a father.
"May they be a boy and a girl..." He said simply and kissed his mate again. "And may they be as beautiful as their mother."
It had been years since she had seen the monuments to her brother and mother, but they still were there hidden deep in the forests to the North of where she had grown up with her sisters. Her whole pack had returned and with them they also had brought their children. Daeg stood taller than Kagome, and soon he would be a man. His sister and brother each held to one of his hands as he stared down onto the Morrigain and Morgan's graves.
"Was he a good man, Kagome?" Daeg asked in a voice eerily similar to Morgan's, but it did not upset her. It made her smile he had some part of his father.
"He was one of the best men I knew, Daeg, and he loved you," Kagome replied. Sesshomaru smiled and put an arm around the shoulder of his mate. "He would have been so proud of you."
"He was always proud of me," Daeg murmured and smiled sadly. "And... I am proud of him, Mother."
The twins looked up to their brother and glowed. "Fly us, Brother!" Cried Kaede. "Fly us both!" Echoed Maru.
Daeg smiled and grabbed them both up and swung them onto his back. "Hold on tight!"
"Daeg!" Kagome started, then calmed at the look on her son's face. He was so certain and strong. "Be careful."
"Always," he replied with a smile, then ran and shifted as he jumped high into the air. His arms shifted into huge black wings and his body big enough for the twins to rest easily upon him without fear of falling. He turned and looked down on his family... His true family. Always.