Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha...
"Kagome!" a big booming voice greeted Kagome as soon as she entered the cozy home. She grinned as she was wrapped up in big, warm arms and swung off her feet.
"Hey, Kentaro. It's nice to see you again, too." She said with a muffled laugh against his broad chest. He laughed again, and set her on her feet. Behind him, Inutaisho grinned slightly.
"Hello, Inutaisho," she said respectfully, then grinned when he opened up his arms silently. She went into them willingly and kissed his cheek.
"How have you grown up?" Kentaro boomed excitedly. "Why, the last thing I remember you were at my waist."
She laughed good-naturedly and shook her head. "I've been doing it for quite some time. And I ate my vegetables as a little girl," she said, quoting what he said to Souta all those years ago. He laughed and ruffled her dark hair.
"Such a smart mouth you have."
"And the very image of her mother," Inutaisho said quietly, causing Kagome's smile to soften considerably as she saw the affection and regret in his eyes.
"She missed you, too," Kagome said in his ear as she passed. He smiled sadly and nodded.
"So, when's dinner?" Inuyasha suddenly shouted, headed towards the kitchen. "I'm starving!"
"You're always hungry," Kouga mumbled under his breath. "You stomach is like a black hole."
Inuyasha smirked. "Just like your brain." Kouga growled as he followed Inuyasha.
"You want to say that to my face, mutt?"
"I already did, or did you miss it? Would like me to do it again?"
Kentaro shook his head sadly. "I swear. You'd think after knowing each other since their first breath, they'd get along better."
"I don't know. It's kind of fun to listen to," Kagome commented dryly as they heard the tell tale shout and crash as the boys began to wrestle once more.
At dinner, Kagome sat between Inuyasha and Kouga, and ate without a worry in the world as the two boys threw each other dirty looks over her head.
"If you don't stop glaring at each other and eat, I'll shove it down your throat," Kagome said pleasantly, never looking up from her food. The boys grumbled while Kentaro slapped his fist on the table as he hooted.
"So, Kentaro, how did you and Inutaisho meet again?" Kagome asked to break the silence.
"You've heard that story so many times I'm surprised you can't recite it."
"Oh, I can. I just like hearing it." He laughed and sighed.
"Well, I had just turned twenty, I believe. I was quite cocky when I was that age, always causing trouble at my wake."
"Gee, I wonder who that sounds like," Inuyasha said dryly, causing Kouga to growl once more. Kagome hit Inuyasha on the hand with her fork and gave him a withering stare.
"Behave," she said sternly, then turned her glare to Kouga when he laughed. They both nodded and she turned back to the older men. "Continue, please."
"As I was saying, I was very mischievous. I could never quite seem to leave well enough alone. Well, as luck would have it, I ended up getting a wife in one of my little pranks, but that's another story for another day. Megumi had just announced to me that she was pregnant and needed to go to the doctors. I was, as you can imagine, in the clouds. I was thrilled."
"Too bad you got gypped," Inuyasha said sympathetically. Kagome tried to smother to smile with a scowl as she hit him on the hand again.
"Enough." Then she made a motion for Kentaro to continue.
"So, I drove like a mad man to the hospital. As we were waiting for the doctor, another couple came in. It was a man and his wife and son. The wife was in the husbands arms. She had blood all over her and looked like she had been in a bar fight. The man asked for help, that his wife had gotten into a car accident. His arm was bleeding and he had a huge cut on his forehead. His son looked so terrified. His arm was broken, it looked like and he was scrapped up pretty bad.
"I'm sorry sir, but the doctor is in surgery. He won't be out for an hour," the nurse said. The man gripped his wife tighter, his eyes panicked.
"But you don't understand. She's pregnant. I can't loose her!"
Kentaro jumped up when he heard that. Next to him, his wife looked up, startled.
"Kentaro. What's wrong?"
"I have to help him," he mumbled. Megumi looked to where he was gazing and gasped. She jumped to her feet and followed her husband to the small family.
"Excuse me, perhaps I could help," Kentaro interrupted and a pair of gold eyed zeroed in on him.
"Please, you have to help me. She's pregnant!"
"I understand that. I can help." But when he reached for the woman in the man's arms, he only tightened his grip. "My mother taught me some healing methods. I can help you. But you have to give her to me. I'll help you." The man nodded numbly and didn't stop when Kentaro reached for the battered woman. Her long silver hair fell over her face like a curtain. She looked like she was beautiful under all the blood.
She moaned as Kentaro placed her on the tiled floor gently. Her eyes flickered open to revile them to be a deep, mahogany brown.
"You're going to be okay," Kentaro whispered in a soothing voice.
"Please…" she chocked, tears leaving tracks in the blood on her face. "I'm…pregnant. Save my baby."
"I will. You have to trust me. Close your eyes. Just close your eyes."
She nodded and did so gratefully. Kentaro closed his own eyes as his mother's spell circled in his head. He mouthed the words silently while behind him the man looked on anxiously.
"Daddy?" his son tugged on his hand. He looked down. "Is Mama going to be okay?" he asked, his eyes filling with tears.
"Yes, Sesshomaru. Mommy's going to be just fine."
"I don't want Mommy to die!" he said, sobbing and pressing his face against his father's legs. Megumi looked on with tears streaming down her own face. She gave a silent prayer for her husband's small healing abilities and crouched down next to the small boy.
"Hello. My name is Megumi. What's yours?"
He sniffled and rubbed his gold eyes. "Sesshomaru."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Sesshomaru." She patted his silver head and smiled gently. "You see that man with your mommy?" she asked gently, pointing.
"Yes," he mumbled. His father looked on with a dazed look on his face.
"Well, he's my husband. And his mommy taught him all these neat healing spells. He's using those spells on your mommy right now. And if you help me pray real hard, it'll help my husband help you mommy. Okay?"
"Okay," he mumbled. She smiled again and offered her hand. Sesshomaru took it shyly and followed her to a group of waiting chair, hopping up onto her lap and snuggling into her warmth.
"Just close your eyes, Sesshomaru. And pray. Just pray," Megumi whispered, brushing back his bangs. He nodded, his eyes determined and slid his eyes closed and fisted his hands as he concentrated. Eventually, he was lulled asleep and his father walked over.
"Thank you," he whispered. "I guess I don't' really know how to handle this…"
She shook her head. "It's okay," she whispered back. She then smiled down at the small boy in her arms. "I just hope I end up with such an angel." She gave him a small smile. "You go over to your wife and do your own praying." He nodded and placed his hand gently on his son's head before leaving. He sat by his battered wife just as Kentaro sighed and stood.
"I've done all I can. We'll see in a couple hours whether it worked or not." The man nodded silently. "What's your name?"
"My name is Kentaro and that's my wife Megumi."
"I can't thank you enough," Inutaisho said earnestly, his eyes shinning. Kentaro smiled slightly.
"Don't thank me yet," he said softly, then walked over to his waiting wife to leave the other man to his own wife.
"Hey," he whispered and she smiled.
"Hey," she murmured, kissing him softly. "You did a good thing, Kentaro. You're such a good man."
He sighed and settled down next to her as they both watched Inutaisho cradle his wife in his anxious arms. "I just hope I did good enough," he whispered and Megumi leaned her head on his broad shoulder. A shoulder the bore such weight, even though most of it wasn't his own, she thought lovingly.
"Don't worry. It'll all work out in the end. It has to."
"And it did," Inutaisho said, a small sad smile on his handsome face. "My wife did wake up, fully recovered and gave birth to Inuyasha." He sighed as he looked at his hands. Kagome looked on anxiously. She had never learned what had happened after the story ended. She knew it was something bad, but Inutaisho and Kentaro refused to speak of it until Inutaisho was ready. Kagome was sure even Inuyasha didn't know what happened to his mother.
"Thank you," she said softly, her eyes understanding. He nodded briskly and turned back to his food. Next to her, Inuyasha watched with intense eyes. His father always refused to tell him what happened to his brother and mother. Inuyasha had asked questions as a child, but had never gotten answers.
"Dad," he said, his voice hard. His father looked up wearily. "What happened after?" he said softly. Kagome frowned.
"No!" he shouted, whipping his silver head in her direction. "I have a right to know! All my life, all I've ever gotten from my father is 'when I'm ready, son. I'll tell you then'. Well, when the hell are you ever going to be ready? What happened to my mother and my brother?" he demanded, turning back to his father. Worried, Kagome placed a hand on Inuyasha's shoulder.
"No, it's all right, Kagome," Inutaisho said softly, his eyes never leaving that of his son's. He felt shame burn in his heart at the heart break he saw in those eyes, eyes so much like his own.
"But, I know it's so hard on you…" Kagome began again. He shook his head at her.
"Inuyasha is right. He has a right to know what happened to the family he never had a chance to meet."
Inuyasha narrowed his eyes though he felt a little guilt at having to push his father, who had done the best he could. But he needed to know, had to.
Inutaisho sighed and pushed aside his food, his appetite gone. "Well, Inuyasha, like I said, after we meet Kentaro and his wife, your mother was fine and so were you. She and I were ecstatic about the baby, even Sesshomaru was. He was such a timid boy," he said, affection and sadness clear in his voice as he stared in the distance. "Always so quiet. Your mother and I tried so hard to get him to be more outgoing, sending him on play dates with other boys his age, signing him up in sports, but he never really opened up. Until we announced that you were coming. Then he wouldn't stop bragging about having a little brother on the way." He chuckled softly. Kagome gripped Inuyasha's hand tightly, her eyes filling with tears.
"Then it was time," he said softly, his smile falling and his eyes haunted. Beside him, Kentaro looked at his close friend with complete understanding. He didn't like to talk about how Megumi had died in childbirth, but he had gotten over it, Kouga helping heal his wounds, but Inutaisho had never really gotten over it, not completely.
"She called me at work. She was so happy, you were ready to come and she needed a ride to the hospital. She and Megumi were supposed to be due within a few weeks of each other." He flicked a glance at Kentaro, who smiled and nodded, understanding. " I got home as soon as I could. At the hospital, the doctor whisked her away. I didn't see her again until after you were born…
(Flashback) (AN: There are a lot of these in the beginning, FYI)
Inutaisho paced anxiously over the tiles. Sitting calmly across from his pacing form, Kentaro and Megumi smiled at him.
"Come on, Taisho, you know everything's going to be okay. She's a strong woman," Kentaro said, laughing slightly. Inutaisho sent him a scowl, but continued to pace.
"I know that, but I can't help but worry. I mean, my child and my wife's lives are at stake. Anything could go wrong…" He trailed off and he began to imagine the various scenarios that could happen, his heart beating faster with panic at each one. Megumi laughed and rubbed her large stomach when she felt the baby stir.
"Calm down," she said softly. "Here comes the doctor now." Inutaisho whirled around and almost pounced on the calm man in white that approached him.
"Your wife and the baby are doing great," the young doctor said, his face lit with a small smile.
Inutaisho sighed and almost collapsed. "Can I see her?" He needed to see for himself, to make sure.
When the doctor nodded, he was off at blurring speed and was in front of his wife's door in a second.
As he opened the door a smile crossed his features as he saw his wife, his mate. She lay amongst the white sheets, her silver hair shinning brightly in the lights. Her face was pale but radiant. In her arms, she held a small bundle that squirmed and a small cry emitted as Inutaisho strode across the room.
"Hey," she said softly, leaning her face up for his kiss. He kissed her forehead, cheeks, lips, trying to keep his heart of bursting. He then leaned his cheek against hers, and sighed as he gazed at his new son.
"Isn't he beautiful," she whispered, tears filling her eyes.
"Just like his old man."
She laughed weakly. "God, I'm so tired. Can you give Inuyasha to the nurse? I need some sleep."
He nodded and gently lifted Inuyasha into his strong arms. "I'll take care of Inuyasha. You just rest." She sighed and gratefully closed her eyes.
"That was one of the happiest moments of my life," Inutaisho said, sighing and smiling. "I still remember how she looked…"
Inuyasha's eyes were wide slightly, his mouth turned down in confusion. He held Kagome's hand a little tighter and she pressed her shoulder against his to offer unspoken comfort.
His father's eyes saddened once more. "It was a month or two after you had been born, I believe. I was on my way home from work after a long day. Your mother had called me and asked me to pick you up from Megumi's. It turned out Megumi had gone into labor that very day and had given you to Kentaro until I could get home. When I had you in tow, I headed home." His voice faded slightly as the memories flashed behind his eyes.
Inutaisho tried in vain to quiet a fussy Inuyasha as he drove with one hand and one eye on the road. After almost side swiping another car, he gave up and tried to ignore his son's throaty cries as he rubbed his tired eyes.
He pulled into his drive with a loud sigh. Just as he grabbed the tired Inuyasha and headed to the door he heard it. It was faint, almost making him think it was the wind, but with his keen hearing, he heard it yet again. It was a muffled cry. And it was coming from inside. Panic seized him as he almost ripped the door off its hinges yanking open the door.
"I'm home!" he yelled as he placed Inuyasha in his chair and paused to listen again. But there was nothing. Inutaisho's heart seemed to be racing uncontrollably in his chest.
There it was. A distant cry. It was coming from the basement. In a millisecond he was in front of the basement door and pressing his ear against it.
"NO!" he heard with jarring clarity. "Inutaisho! Inuyasha! Run, please!"
He was through the door before the cry finished echoing through the house.
There she was, his wife, spread out on the spare bed, her ankles and wrists tied tightly to the headboards, her eyes wide with fright and panic. Her silver hair gleamed with an almost ghostly clarity.
"Inutaisho! Get Inuyasha and run! He's here!"
He ran to her side and made quick work of the ropes.
"Who?" His voice was soft, calm, deadly.
"N—" But she was cut off by a deafening blast coming from upstairs. "Inuyasha!" she cried, her voice breaking weakly from a raw throat.
"I'll get him. I'll be right back." But just as Inutaisho got up the stairs and looked around he saw that nothing was wrong. Everything was as it had been, Inuyasha sleeping soundly in his chair. "Son of a bitch!" He cried just as he heard a slight cry from down stairs. "No!"
But it was too late.
(AN: I'm going to be mean and cut you off here. Sorry. But thanks for reading!)