Letter Twenty: Living Together Again
When Kagome woke it was the following morning and she was within the chambers of her mate, though thinking about it they were her chambers too. She immediately realized that Sesshomaru was still holding her. His chest rising and falling beneath her head and his arm casually draped about her. She smiled as she enjoyed the moment before remembering all that had come to past the previous day. Her heart ached for her mother and Shippou. But she couldn't linger in the sorrow, her brother and daughter would look to her for strength. With her mind made up she began to rise, only to find that Sesshomaru was unwilling to let her go.
"Sesshomaru..." she stated firmly, not bothering to continue with the rest of her sentence.
"Koi," he mumbled as he rose to sit next to her, continuing to hold her close.
She blushed, there were things she would have to get use to still. While her mate sat up the sheet fell and exposed his bare chest. Unable to control the movement of her eyes, the miko glanced downward to see that her mate wore nothing at all to bed. As she shyly turned away she was able to take a glance at her own her night attire, which consisted of nothing more than a thin slip, so short she couldn't move without exposing some part of her body which wore no under things.
"Um... did you change me?" she asked in an embarrassed whisper.
"As your mate it would be impossible for me to let anyone see your naked form unless absolutely necessary."
Kagome turned redder, though the act was blind to her eyes. Sesshomaru tugged her closer still to steal a kiss before allowing her the freedom she sought rather than create tool uncomfortable a situation. The miko to the opportunity to explain she was getting a shower before rushing to the door she knew lead into the master bedroom's bathroom. Her mind never even bothered to think about clothes, only escape from the inu's touch that had begun to stir forgotten feelings.
A shower proved just the thing she needed before facing the rest of the household. It made her feel better as well as calm her nerves. However, the inu's appearance part way through didn't help. He had slipped behind her explaining that they should shower together like they had in the past. Of course Kagome said nothing but Sesshomaru could sense her uneasiness and let the moment pass without too much teasing. Thankfully he brought the clothes she forgot.
Currently Kagome stood in front of Daisuke, who was explaining the progress relating to her adopted son Shippou. At first she couldn't believe that he was alive. Of course she wanted to see him right away, but she was stopped so Daisuke could further explain every last detail. Despite the words that warned her of the circumstances Kagome had to see for herself the damage upon the young kitsune's mind. She didn't hesitate to ascend the stairs to the hospital wing. Sesshomaru was beside her until she reached the door where she turned to him and boldly told him to leave.
"I have to do this by myself," she explained.
The inu understood fully. The bond she had with Rin and Shippou was different from any other person she met. Few could understand this power she had, even he questioned it sometimes. Which was why he had to let her do this on her own or else he would question everything she did and ponder how it would help.
"If you need anything..."
"I will call for you."
Sesshomaru nodded and took his leave. With a slightly hesitant hand Kagome reached for the knob of the left side of the double door. She let herself slip through the small opening she created and shut it swiftly behind her, uncertain why she felt the need to almost hide her movements. Looking around the room she noted the healer working quietly in the cover next to the furthest bed. Only upon her first step into the room did he look up and notice the presence of the lady of the house. He bowed his head and kept it down as she approached; apparently everyone had been notified of her new status.
"You can go," the miko said.
"Milady there's still a lot that needs to be done."
"I'll take care of it myself."
"But I am certain Milord would..."
"Completely understand," she finished for him, "because this kit is like my own son and I should be the one to heal him."
Still the healer lingered, afraid he would be killed for letting the Western Lady lift a finger but her glare warned him of imminent danger if he didn't allow the lady to do as she pleased.
"I'll just go get some fresh supplies and take the long way to go and get them," he mumbled as he fled the room.
Kagome smirked but it faded as her eyes focused on the form lying in bed. Shippou was just as she remembered him, only taller and older. His hair was a little longer and looked different loose behind his ears. His eyes were just as green only a little duller with the lacking hope and life within them. His face was a little leaner not so round with straighter lines along the cheeks and jaws. All and all he was recognizable only less happy and alive.
"Shippou," she whispered sadly, "I'm so sorry. Please forgive. I love you so much and let so much harm come to you."
Logically she reason this wasn't her fault, she couldn't do little to counter the effects of the spell created by Naraku and the witch. However, Kagome emotionally still felt responsible for thinking so lightly of her opponent in the past.
"I'm going to make you better Shippou. We'll be a family again. Just you wait and see. We'll play games again with Rin and dress Jaken in flowers. We'll force Inuyasha to play hide and seek and be the seeker, " tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke of the old days. They flowed down her cheeks with every word she whispered until her words were broken up in the sobs. Though the promises she made seem childish, she couldn't help it. In her mind Rin and Shippou were still the young children she remembered them being in the past. "We'll have picnics, pick flowers, eat chocolate. I'll tell you stories before bed and sing you lullabies. We can dance in the rain, and chase after butterflies and rainbows in the sunshine."
Kagome stopped and watched for any response. When there was nothing she reached out and held his hand until she concluded there were more pressing matters to attend to. Though her kitsune had been cleaned, many of his wounds were infected and this prevented them from the speeding ability to heal that most youkai had. A couple of bones would have to be broken and reset. More than anything his mind would have to be breeched somehow. She had to find a way for him to take notice of the world around him.
"Shippou, please don't give up," though she said this, she couldn't help ponder if it was already too late and the kitsune had already done just that.
Kagome spent hours in the infirmary. Only when she was satisfied she had done everything and anything possible for the day did she leave and head back to the family wing. As she walked down the long hallway she heard a voice she hadn't for some time. Kagome rushed to the room only to find that Sesshomaru had beaten her in greeting their daughter. The two of them sat upon her bed, Rin asking questions while Sesshomaru answered the things that should be explained. She allowed father and daughter their moment, not wanting to interrupted and remembered she did this often in the past too.
But she didn't go unnoticed for long. Sesshomaru looked up and let his gaze fall upon his mate standing by leisurely. He relished in the way things were flowing. Little by little his domain was returning to its previous state. But he didn't think too much about the negativity of the past. Instead he stared at his future and pondered how things would turn out now.
Once Rin saw her mother she slid of the bed and ran over. Her arms wide open as she ran. Kagome prepared for the bombardment that was bound to come.
"Mom!" she cried as she clung tightly to the miko.
Kagome fell to the ground holding her little girl to her chest. With Rin in her arms her faith was renewed and she knew that it might take time but things would be alright.
"Dad says I have another uncle..."
"Yes, Souta, he's my brother. You can see him the morning. I'm sure you will enjoy his company."
Rin smiled brightly before her facial features became serious.
"Mom, you're not going away anymore right?"
Kagome took Rin into her arms and carried her to the bed. They sat together with Sesshomaru for a moment before the miko spoke.
"I'm staying right here with you. This is where I belong, with my family, where I am loved. But if anything ever happens Rin remember I will always be in your heart," Kagome explained, telling her daughter the same thing her mother told her shortly after her father had left.
Rin yawned and Kagome shooed them off the bed so she could turn it down.
"Bed time little monkey."
"Mom I'm part dog not part monkey," Rin giggled.
"Well you bounce around like a monkey," the woman replied.
Rin got into bed, despite waking up only a few short hours ago, and place her head obediently on the pillow.
"Will you tell me a bedtime story?" Rin asked.
Sesshomaru quietly left the room giving Kagome her time with Rin before bed.
Slowly the days passed, then the weeks, followed by months. Things began to repair themselves, with the exception of Sesshomaru and Inuyasha's relationship. Though Sesshomaru was able to reward the hanyou for his actions that saved Kagome, he couldn't completely accept his half brother in the public eye and they still bickered like teenagers each time one did something that couldn't be accepted by the other.
Rin and Kagome did as much together as they possibly could, almost as if trying to make up for lost time. In fact only Rin was able to follow Kagome into the room the miko had set up for Shippou in the family wing. Giving the Shippou his own bedroom was one of the first things that she had asked her mate for. Though she gave many reasons to have Shippou close by, Sesshomaru didn't hesitate putting the kitsune with the other pack mates. So Rin begun to learn small tricks in harvesting aura and using it to heal. But there was soon nothing left to heal in body mass. Only the damage to Shippou's mind was left. Still months past and Kagome had completely accepted her mate and was no longer uncomfortable while Shippou laid sleeping in his mind.
Souta had finally begun to warm to Sesshomaru and Rin as well. He began to call his sister's mate uncle, much to the inu's dismay, and Rin his little niece which the young girl adored. Kagome set up as many family days as possible in order to keep the communication between everyone open. Though she spent most of her time trying to coax the kitsune out of his sleep she did try to spend the rest of her time evenly between Souta, Rin and Sesshomaru.
Inuyasha was easy enough to get along with as well. He was happy with Kikyou and could accept Kagome as being a sister figure to him rather than a lover. He enjoyed spending tidbits of information he knew of Sesshomaru that he thought Kagome didn't know. In most cases the miko would act surprise, unable to let the hanyou know that she had already figure that particular fact out. Other times the half inu actually tell her something that she indeed knew nothing about.
Kaede had come to terms with the semi memories she had through dreams. She accepted everything fairly well and anything that didn't make sense to her Kagome explained. Meeting up with Sango and Miroku proved that they had no memories at all. It was as Daisuke explained: humans were mere reincarnations of the past souls. Nonetheless, Kagome kept in contact, enjoying the new memories and secretly reminiscing old ones. She and Sango were exactly as they had been in the past. It was fun while it lasted, but Kagome was soon forced to let her friends go as the decades passed and she didn't grow any older. For a while she wrote to them through letters while the transferred home to a location in the north. Slowly she let her letters grow further and further apart until they stopped completely. She had to reminder herself many times it was for the best.
Kikyou was a different matter entirely. The awkwardness between them was evident when they finally faced each other. Kikyou was no longer dead. A spell in the past had granted her a body and soul of her own. But that didn't change the history between them. It was Kagome who suggested they forget their past and remember only the recent memories. Kikyou confessed that she enjoyed their time together as family. It wasn't long before Kikyou and Kagome would take Rin out for a girls' night out or spend an evening together painting nails and gossiping.
But there were negative consequences to what the spell had done. Rin had spent so much time insecure about not having her family or not having a mother that it postponed her growth. In turn she had remained small for so long that it took even longer for her to reach a mere five feet. In Kagome's eyes this let Rin always be her little girl though Rin constantly complained about being short.
Nonetheless, Rin found a mate and after proper procedures, for Sesshomaru still stuck to many traditions, they mated. It was the day after the mating ceremony when the act begun to affect Kagome.
"I miss her," Kagome whispered nestled next to her mate.
"She is only a few miles away, you can see her whenever you want koi," Sesshomaru murmured, kissing the crown of her head.
"No buts Kagome... just think about your future grandpups."
Kagome suddenly had the longing to have another pup. Though they had tried without success every time her mate was in heat they had yet to succeed. It was as she was told centuries ago before Rin was born, inu's did not pup easily and with a human partner it seemed it was even harder.
"Sesshomaru when is the next blood moon?"
The inu growled pleasantly and pushed his mate to her back as he rolled to cover her. He hadn't said anything to his mate because of the mating ceremony for his daughter, but now that things were over there was no need to suppress his desire any longer.
With the house completely empty Sesshomaru felt no need to hold back. His mate screamed through the night neither of them hearing the soft stirring sound coming from a room not too far off down the hall.
The next morning Kagome set to work, going through her usual routine. Shower, dress, brush teeth and hair, breakfast with her mate, then to Shippou's room to check on him and spend the rest of the morning talking with him. As she entered the room she noticed right away her adoptive son was gone. The covers over the bed were tossed to the side and the pillow had fallen to the floor. Kagome looked around the room and saw nothing, but her aura picked up on a small pull from the corner. She ran over immediately where a small chair sat and looked behind it only to find Shippou huddled in the corner hidden from view of most of the room.
"Shippou," she called out softly. "It's alright, I'm right here... come on out, I'll protect you."
But the kitsune did not move. The miko stayed by his side the rest of the day attempting to coax him out but there was no success in her actions. The next day passed and then a week before Shippou finally turned his head to her and simply stared at her. An hour or so passed before he opened his mouth and whispered a short phrase.
Kagome just about cried in happiness, "No sweetie not a dream."
"A nightmare?" his words were hoarse sounding from the lack of practice in his voice.
"No, of course not," she replied, "I'm real Shippou. It's me and I'm really here. Naraku's gone, he can't hurt you anymore."
Shippou continued to stare before he reached out with his hand and turned it palm up to invite Kagome to take it. She willingly placed her hand in his and let him simply hold it. By the end of the day he was sitting in the bed once more. The following morning Shippou's eyes followed Kagome's every move. He was silent but Kagome's hope was renewed and she thought his alert presence was more than enough for now. By the end of the week he followed Kagome everywhere in silence. At night he returned to his chambers alone where he felt safest but during the day he was Kagome's shadow. Sesshomaru had to admit that he had never thought the kitsune would ever wake let alone interact as much as he was in such a short period. But the way his mate smiled told him that she had finally found the missing part of her heart that she explained she felt was missing. He knew now that she had never been whole all these years because Shippou's state reminded her of the blame she placed on herself. With the kitsune's signs of healing Sesshomaru assumed the miko was clearing her guilty conscious.
Other than for the first day Shippou had yet to say anything. Anyone besides Kagome couldn't get him near him, especially without Kagome. After a while he stopped being uneasy around Sesshomaru since the inu's presence was in every room of the house still others were not welcomed. With each passing day Kagome explained to Sesshomaru any progress she had seen but it was never very much, until nearly a year later when Shippou spoke once more.
"You're pregnant," he said in a whisper.
"What?" Kagome wasn't sure what surprised her more. The fact that Shippou spoke or the fact that he was able to figure out the one thing she had yet to tell Sesshomaru because she hadn't been sure if she was or wasn't.
"You're going to have a baby," he reiterated.
"How can you tell?"
"Your scent is very strong."
"Oh," she replied.
From the hall Sesshomaru smirked. He wasn't spying, but just so happened to be passing by. Nevertheless he knew what his mate hid and why, he wondered now how long she would continue to hide it. For a moment he debated lingering, just to see if the kitsune would speak again, but chose instead to leave for anything that happened he would soon know anyway. Oh course that night he had his usual conversation with his mate.
"So I was talking a little with Shippou and he told me something I'm going to assume you already know..." Kagome mumbled.
"What's that koi," he said evenly without looking away from the pages he read in a chair by the fire.
"I'm pregnant," the woman explained. Sesshomaru said nothing, though the smirk told her all she needed to know. "Why didn't you tell me? You could have said something, or hinted at least."
"I wished for you to find out for yourself, for you are so independent. The last time we went through this we argued about it for weeks... so this time I kept my mouth shut."
Kagome snapped her mouth shut as she realized that she had forgotten about the early stages of her pregnancy with Rin. Sesshomaru was right, she had argued with him about his telling her every tiny thing from scent. Reading her emotions, changes in her body before she knew them, detecting new life, and finding her when she wanted to hide away were all things that she hadn't been use to and so she wanted to do something for herself. Now that she didn't mind these things so much she found herself annoyed that Sesshomaru had kept his knowledge to himself. Nevertheless, she said nothing more on the subject; this time around she was willing to admit that her mate's wrong doing was her own fault.
"Well, anyway," she began again, "I tried to get Shippou to speak again after that but he didn't say anything no matter how hard I tried. I mean I am thrilled he spoke at all but I'm starting to think he might remain mute the rest of his life."
"Say the kitsune never speaks again mate, what would you do then?" Sesshomaru asked hypothetically.
"Nothing I suppose, there is still a lot of damage mentally that can never be heal. The permanent effects of that abuse are things I will just have to accept. Shippou many never be the same, just like Daisuke warned me but he is still my Shippou and I will love him unconditionally. But I know he will speak again... it'll just take a bit of time, that's all."
Sesshomaru hid his smile as his mate responded as he had thought she would. His question was posed not for the answer though, merely for her tone a voice. He constantly monitored his mate to see if she was losing hope or becoming discouraged. When it seemed she was becoming depressed the inu would take time away from the company in order to spend time Kagome. Distracting her thoughts renewed her efforts and reminded her that there were others she had to pay attention to as well.
"Kagome, Sora will be here tomorrow for your fitting."
The woman stopped in thought, she had forgotten that the gala would be later that month. Another decade had passed already nearly a century since she and Sesshomaru had found each other again. Surprisingly the world's changes had been minimal, almost as if technology had levelled off until the next break through. But the demon world remained hidden in the shadows.
This year's gala was to discuss the changing of rule over the Eastern Realm. Then there were the new pups to introduce into society including Souta and his mate's third daughter. Company tended to tease the older sister about the fact that her brother was much younger and two children up on her. Secretly Kagome took the mockery a little harder than it was meant to be but in front of others she merely smiled sweetly and explained that her day for children would come but more important issues required her undivided attention.
Now however she could proudly walk beside her mate and announce their happy news. This meant another inu for the clan's small population as well as a possible son to be named heir. Kagome smiled to herself.
"Is something the matter koi?" Sesshomaru asked upon seing the sudden change in aura.
"No," she replied absently, "nothing. Just thinking."
As the years continued to pass, sometimes slowly other times more quickly, Shippou continued to grow accustom to company. His lips remained seal unless Kagome was alone with him. Sesshomaru manage to create a small wedge between his mate and the kitsune as an effort to get the kitsune to become more independent. Plus he missed the long weeks they would take to have time to be together. Despite his carefulness in creating this wedge, Shippou knew what was happening and let it occur as smoothly as possible.
The darkness that engulfed his mind for centuries was lifting. He was happy to see it go, but afraid it would return. Which was why he didn't want to trust anyone. Yet Shippou had lived with his miko mother and her mate for many years and nothing bad happened so far. But the time Kagome spent with him was unnatural and that was why he knew he needed to let her have some space from him. Not to mention it was time he began to fend for himself. Following Kagome and letting her take care of him was childish and he was old enough to know that he was not a young kit.
During one of the weeks Kagome and Sesshomaru went away to the gala held every decade, Shippou left the house, sneaking away from the guards that protected him from intruders. He needed to find some meaning in his life.
The months that he was gone were hard on Kagome. She didn't know what to make of his note which merely read:
I love you dearly but I need some time to work things out. Don't worry about me, I will return.
The letter was signed with a paw print, something many youkai did because a paw print could not be duplicated exactly. Despite promise, Kagome fretted. Sesshomaru worried for her health and sent out people to look for the kitsune. But no one could locate his whereabouts.
In no time Kagome came to full term and gave birth to a set of triplets. Her mind was so busy with her son and two daughters that she had little time left to distract her mind with negative thoughts and concerns. She missed Shippou dearly and prayed every night tomorrow would bring him home. But a year of this routine past before there was even word about him. A couple more months before he himself contacted her.
She saw him walking down the path of the garden, his hair blistering under the sun. Kagome had taken a moment to look up from her pups playing on the lawn. In an instant she was on her feet running to the kitsune. Her arms engulfed him and he let her make a fuss for a while before speaking.
"I'm back," he whispered.
"Home," she corrected.
"Yes," he confirmed.
"For good?" she asked.
Kagome smiled and turned and looked at her mate from over her shoulder. He could tell immediately that she was happy and more content at that moment. Her family was complete again, though he hoped she would accept more additions.