Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha, or anything else that may or may not appear in this chapter. I own only the original characters.
Sorry to anyone who got e-mailed twice. I messed up and forgot the ending with Amaterasu and InuTaisho. Gomen Nasai!
Sesshoumaru raised an eyebrow. "This Sesshoumaru never loses." But the teasing tone in his words took away from the arrogance they displayed, and Kagome shook her head with a smile.
"No, you never do." Kagome whispered as Sesshoumaru pulled her in for the most memorable kiss either of them would ever have.
EPILOGUE: 500 YEARS LATER
Kagome sat in the garden, smiling as she listened to a piano playing in the background. Five hundred years had passed since Kagome had agreed to be Sesshoumaru's mate.
Were they perfect? No, not even close. Especially in the beginning. It had taken Sesshoumaru about one hundred years to understand that even though Kagome knew that he only wanted what was best for her, he couldn't lock her in a room and hide the key. It had taken her just as long to understand that to Sesshoumaru, it didn't matter what happened to him as long as she was safe. Eventually, they had reached an understanding: Kagome would do her best to keep herself out of dangerous situations, and in return, Sesshoumaru would allow her to do what she had to. As long as he was with her, of course.
They had fought about other things, of course. They were too strong willed not to. But those fights were few and far between. The last one had been five months ago, the 500 anniversary of the day the well was sealed. Kagome wanted to tell her family, to give them closure, which Sesshoumaru agreed to. What he had not agreed to was the wedding her mother insisted upon. They spent a week in separate rooms, only interacting when it was absolutely necessary. Kagome often won these fights because Sesshoumaru could only go so long before his beast starting fighting with him to make up with his mate. This time was no exception.
But while they had changed very little, the times had changed drastically. Thanks to Kagome, they were able to survive. Sesshoumaru had taken her advice, and about two hundred years ago, he'd handed his position over to a human. However, the condition for that power was that they were only a figure head. Sesshoumaru held all the real power. She giggled at the thought of that. Who'd have thought she'd end up mated/married to the biggest yakuza boss of the 21rst century?
She stood and walked into the house, purposefully making her trip to the kitchen longer by going down the Family Hall, where they'd placed a photograph of every member of the family. We're going to need to extend this hall soon. She thought to herself. The two of them had had five children, all hanyous. Three of them had mated full demons, one had mated another hanyou, and the youngest had mated a human, a houshi. From there, the family had grown to include twenty-five grandchildren, one hundred twenty-five great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren, with two more on the way. Kagome smiled as she saw the mixes of demon and human on her walls.
And all the way at the end were faces that simultaneously made Kagome happy and sad. The great InuTaisho, Mamemitsu, and Izayoi started the long line of faces. Two she had never known, but had seen the impact of what they'd done. For that, she respected them. The one she had met, she still hated with a passion. A part of her understood the pain Mamemitsu had to have gone through, to have the one person you loved more than anyone betray you. But she couldn't forgive the former Lady of the West for the damage she'd done to Sesshoumaru.
InuYasha was there as well, as was Shippou. She smiled at the thought of the little fox. He'd eventually come around to the idea of Sesshoumaru and her, and after a few years, he started living with them. He still went to the kitsune family, and had eventually married one of them. And he'd named her as his mother, since she was the closest thing he had. It meant the world to her, and Shippou knew it.
Rin was there, as an honorary daughter of Sesshoumaru. Her photo rested beside her husband's, Kohaku. Similarly, Sango and Miroku were on their walls, as Kagome's honorary sister and brother. Seeing them made her sad, but at the same time, happy that she had known them. Their descendants knew nothing of their ancestors, and Kagome let them stay that way. She wouldn't shatter the world they'd built for themselves. But the family still kept an eye on them, and gave them help when it was needed.
Kai and Yui had made it onto the wall too. They'd mated about a year after Kagome and Sesshoumaru, and they'd had several kids. One of them had mated their eldest daughter, though it took Kagome about a month to get him to agree. Sarra and Yuri were on the wall as well. Their second daughter and her second son had mated, and this time Yuri was the one who flipped out. Of course, Sesshoumaru took offense to it, and the two idiots had nearly started a war. It was lucky for them they both had mates who could beat them into agreeing to the darn thing before they did something they regretted.
"Grandma, are you okay?" Kagome turned to see one of her favorite great-grandchildren standing at the end of the hall.
"Oh, I'm fine Inuhime." Kagome said with a smile. "Just thinking about how much the family has grown." She started walking again, giving her great-granddaughter's shoulder a squeeze. "How's your brother's lesson going?"
Inuhime giggled. "Grandpa's giving him hell again. Inufugesu forgot to practice."
Kagome shook her head with a chuckle. "He'll never learn. Kind of like another man I know." She shook her head as she entered the kitchen. Inuhime took a sniff, and grinned like a madman.
"You're making cake!" Inuhime shouted.
Kagome quickly clamped a hand over her mouth. "Do you want your grandfather to hear you? I'd like some cake this time."
Inuhime blushed. "Sorry, Grandma."
Kagome squeezed her hand again. "It's alright. Just do me a favor and place a barrier around the room."
Inuhime blushed. "Um. . . Grandma."
Kagome sighed. "Looks like your brother isn't the only one who doesn't practice." She raised a hand, and the walls and doorways of the kitchen glowed. "We'll work on that next time."
Kagome checked the cake again, and smiled. "I've really fooled him this time." She stood, wincing as her back cracked. "InuYasha was right. That is gross."
Inuhime giggled, having heard many stories about her grandmother's first love. "Want to head back out into the gardens?"
Kagome nodded. "We'll take the short cut this time. As much as I love looking at my family's faces, I'm too old to take the long way around."
Inuhime scoffed. "Right. You're old."
Kagome whacked her upside the head. "Don't be fresh. Or I'll tell your mother that you need a lesson in manners from your grandfather!"
Inuhime shivered "I'll be nice, I promise."
Kagome laughed again and hugged her granddaughter as they reentered the garden. Kagome noticed that Inuhime seemed slightly on edge. "Is there something wrong, Inuhime?"
Inuhime turned to her grandmother and grinned. "Nothing! I'm just being. . ." She stopped when she saw Kagome's glare. "I'm not fooling you, am I?"
"Not in the slightest." Kagome said, with a very Sesshoumaru-like smirk.
"Well. . . I have to bring someone here. Grandpa said so." Inuhime said.
Kagome raised an eyebrow. "Exactly who are you bringing?"
Inuhime looked a bit embarrassed. "Whoever comes out of that well in the back."
Kagome smiled in understanding. "So he's sending you, eh? I half thought he'd go himself." She stood. "Go ahead, Inuhime. I'm going to get your grandfather."
Inuhime nodded, then ran to the back. She arrived at the well early, so she sat in a nearby tree. "Are you having fun, Inugami?" Inuhime, the reincarnation of the Dog God Inugami, turned to see Amaterasu sitting on the branch above her.
Inuhime growled. "You are evil." She hissed. "Of all things, you made me Kagome and Sesshoumaru's great-grandchild?"
Amaterasu giggled. "Inugami, I think it's very fitting. You didn't think he'd learn his lesson. Now you're a product of that lesson." Amaterasu ducked out of the way as Inuhime lunged at her. "Now, now, that's not fitting of a lady."
Inuhime growled. "Don't remind me." She muttered.
Amaterasu dropped down beside her and planted a kiss on her forehead. "You're doing fine, Inugami. And this will be good for you." She started to fade with one last word. "He's coming."
Inuhime huffed and turned towards the well. It glowed blue, and a very familiar figure stepped out of the well. He looked so comical, looking around in confusion. Inuhime couldn't help it. She let out a giggle.
Sesshoumaru reacted immediately. With a growl, he jumped out of the well and onto the grass. Inuhime kept giggling until extended his claws. "Who dares to laugh at this Sesshoumaru?"
"Grandpa!" Inuhime shouted. Sesshoumaru turned as she ran over to him. "Grandma said you're not allowed to use your claws on your grandkids."
Sesshoumaru growled. "This Sesshoumaru is not your grandfather, female." He growled. Inuhime saw the look he gave her, and knew that he was trying to remember her.
Quickly, she grabbed his wrist. "Oh, stop playing around, Grandpa. Grandma's looking for you." She turned an evil glare on him. "And if you've stolen any of her cake, she's going to throw a fit!"
Sesshoumaru growled and tried to jerk away, but Inuhime started running, making sure to drag Sesshoumaru behind her. Sesshoumaru seemed to relax as he saw where they were headed. After a moment, they entered the gardens.
Sesshoumaru instantly went into defense mode. He settled into a crouch and growled, warning anything with demon blood in the vicinity to back away.
"What's with you, Grandpa?" Inuhime was smirking on the inside as she thought of how ridiculous Sesshoumaru was acting. "You're acting like you don't know your own family."
"That's because he doesn't." The two of them turned to see Inuhime's real grandfather, the Sesshoumaru Taisho, walking towards them. "At least, not yet." Sesshoumaru Taisho bowed, a gesture that Young Sesshoumaru returned. "Take a seat."
Young Sesshoumaru growled. "This Sesshoumaru does not take orders."
Sesshoumaru Taisho cocked an eyebrow. "Not even from yourself?"
Young Sesshoumaru smirked, an answer in and of itself. Sesshoumaru Taisho smiled and shook his head. "Fine. Then we will sit together."
Young Sesshoumaru nodded, and the two of them walked over to the table where Kagome had sat merely fifteen minutes ago.
"You're in the year 2008. I am currently called Sesshoumaru Taisho. Just for future reference." Sesshoumaru Taisho said. Young Sesshoumaru raised an eyebrow, and his older self smiled. "You're forgetting that I sat in that seat 500 years ago. I remember it quite clearly." His older self sat back. "Now, it's time to ask the right questions."
Before Young Sesshoumaru could ask, they heard a shriek from the inside, one that both Sesshoumarus knew very well. They were in motion in seconds, following the sound to its source. They entered the kitchen simultaneously, and they both shouted.
Kagome turned, her eyes blazing. "Sesshoumaru Taisho!" She screeched. "I'm going to purify you!" She lunged forward, but both Sesshoumarus dodged easily. She whirled and pointed to Young Sesshoumaru. "You! Stay out of the way. I only want to purify that idiot over there!" A small sphere of purification appeared at the end of her finger. "You are so dead!" She sent the ball, and Sesshoumaru Taisho leaned to the left to avoid it.
Young Sesshoumaru watched her. "May I ask what he did?"
Kagome pointed to an empty plate on the kitchen counter. "He ate that entire chocolate cake!"
Sesshoumaru Taisho looked at the cake innocently. "I did not eat the cake."
Kagome snorted. "Oh please. How long have we been mated? I know it was you, Sesshoumaru!" She turned in frustration to Young Sesshoumaru. "Save yourself some trouble. Do not eat the chocolate cake before me." She turned back to Sesshoumaru Taisho. "You know you're going to get sick from all the chocolate in that! What happened to that famous self-control?"
Sesshoumaru Taisho started to answer, but suddenly turned green. "Um. . .." He ran for the sink, making it just in time to vomit.
Kagome had arrived at the same time, and held his hair out of the way. When he was done, he looked up at her. "I thought you said you wouldn't hold my hair anymore."
Kagome glared at him. "Don't take it personally. I just like your hair too much to let you soil it."
Sesshoumaru Taisho nodded, and turned back to the sink just in time to get sick again. Kagome sighed. "I give up. I will never be able to keep you away from that stupid chocolate cake." She handed him a cloth, and he wiped his mouth. "Go wash up, and then take a rest for a minute or two."
"Sesshoumaru, move it. Or I'll never make chocolate cake again." Kagome growled. Sesshoumaru Taisho fled. With a soft chuckle, she turned to Young Sesshoumaru. "Please, take a seat. He'll be a while."
"If you know he will eat it all, why do you make it?" Young Sesshoumaru asked.
Kagome sighed. "Because today was special. I was hoping that he'd regain control while you were here." She walked over to the second oven and pulled out the second chocolate cake. "Besides, I love chocolate cake."
Young Sesshoumaru sighed as Kagome cut off a piece of cake. "It would appear you do not change in the next few centuries."
Kagome giggled. "Neither do you, really. Although you lighten up a lot." She shook her head. "Not that you really have a choice. I mean, your own kids are all hanyous, and you've got everything from three-quarter demons to one-quarter demons in the family. If you didn't lighten up, you wouldn't even have a family."
Young Sesshoumaru looked frustrated, so Kagome placed a piece of cake in front of him. He gave her a look, and she smiled. "One piece won't hurt you." She sat across from him and grabbed another slice. "And while we eat, you can ask me the questions you wanted Sesshoumaru to answer. I'll be able to help."
The two of them sat in the kitchen and talked for a few hours, touching on a bit of everything. Every once in a while, they would have a child run through the kitchen, begging Grandma to save them from one tormentor or another. All it took was a stern "I'm very disappointed" from Kagome to stop the bullying. She'd send them off with a kiss to the forehead, and they'd run back out.
Finally, Sesshoumaru Taisho entered the kitchen to find the second cake gone and Young Sesshoumaru and Kagome in full conversation. Young Sesshoumaru nodded to him as he entered. Sesshoumaru Taisho picked Kagome up out of her seat, which she allowed with a patronizing smile. He sat in her seat and placed her on his lap, burying his face into her hair.
Kagome stroked the top of his head absently. "He does this when he eats too much chocolate. Something about making the nausea go away." Young Sesshoumaru watched as his older self inched towards the base of her neck, where he'd noticed the blue crescent moon on his forehead resided, marking Kagome as his mate.
Kagome suddenly jerked up, and Sesshoumaru Taisho jerked back to avoid getting hit. "I almost forgot!" She exclaimed. "Sesshoumaru, keep him busy." She jumped out of the chair, making Sesshoumaru Taisho wince as the nausea returned.
Young Sesshoumaru stared at his older self for a moment. Sesshoumaru Taisho simple stared back. "I assume Kagome answered all of your questions."
Young Sesshoumaru nodded. "All except one. What is the purpose of my being here?"
Sesshoumaru Taisho smiled. "To keep the flow of time going." Young Sesshoumaru just looked at him. "When I came here, I met my older self. He was surrounded by family of all ages and races. But he was the loneliest guy I ever met, because he'd allowed Kagome to put herself in danger. He let Kagome enter a poisonous place, and she got sick and died from the poison." Both Sesshoumarus winced at the thought. "I corrected this by making sure I got her pregnant when she would have rather been there. I used the whole 'you're placing our child in danger' thing to get her to keep away." Sesshoumaru Taisho winced. "I had to sleep on the couch for a month after that."
Young Sesshoumaru smirked. "And yet you do not sound repentant."
Sesshoumaru Taisho smiled again, and turned to the direction Kagome would soon be arriving from. "She was still around to be furious with me. And I got my youngest daughter out of it as well." He grinned. "Besides, Kagome can't hold a grudge. She was going to keep me there until the baby was born."
"I heard that." Kagome shouted, entering the kitchen. "You're lucky I'm such a nice person, or I'd have to smack you."
Both Sesshoumarus smirked at that. "As if you could." They spoke simultaneously.
Kagome's eye twitched. "Just what I need. Two Sesshoumarus to make my life hell." Nevertheless, she came to sit on Sesshoumaru Taisho's lap once more and allowed him to rest his head on her own. In her hands, she held a small jewelry box. She placed it on the counter in front of Young Sesshoumaru. "I think you'll be needing this very soon."
Young Sesshoumaru took the box and lifted an eyebrow. Kagome groaned. "I hate it when you do that! How hard is it to talk like a normal person?" She shook her head, then answered, the unspoken question. "Yes, you may open it."
Young Sesshoumaru opened the box slowly. His startled expression made Kagome giggle. "Like I said, I think you'll be needing that."
Young Sesshoumaru stared at her, and she smiled. "Oh, don't worry. We're not breaking up or anything." She reached into her shirt and pulled out her claiming necklace. "My Sesshoumaru got his necklace from his future self, and found the one he was supposed to give me around 200 years ago." She huffed. "I still can't believe you two lost something so important!"
There was a knock at the door, and Inuhime stepped in. "Grandma, Inuchio's on the phone for you."
Kagome sighed. "Duty calls." She kissed Sesshoumaru Taisho, and Inuhime pretended to barf.
"Old people kissing!" Inuhime shouted. "Ew!"
"Who are you calling old, you pup!" Kagome shouted. Inuhime eeped and ran off, making Kagome giggle. "Works every time." She strode over to Young Sesshoumaru and pecked him on the cheek. "Try not to screw things up, okay? I like my life."
Sesshoumaru Taisho waited until she was gone before speaking. "Why don't I get you back? It's getting late." The two Sesshoumarus left quickly, making it to the well in about five minutes.
Sesshoumaru Taisho spoke first. "She's worth it, you know. No matter what anyone says or thinks, she's worth it in the end."
Young Sesshoumaru stared at the box in his hands. "I know." A silent understanding passed between the two. Young Sesshoumaru quickly turned away and jumped into the well, leaving Sesshoumaru Taisho alone by the well.
500 years was a long time to be with someone. But he never regretted his decision. He'd done as she'd asked and courted her, even as others tried to do the same. But he always knew he was the only one she saw, as did her other suitors in the end. Even when the nobles protested a human miko being their Lady, or when they caused an uproar about a hanyou taking the throne, or even when an assassination attempt nearly killed her, Kagome had managed to prove again and again that she was worthy of him. And, as she assured him anytime he thought he'd failed, he had proven repeatedly that he was worthy of her.
"Planning to spend all day there, Mr. Silent and Brooding?" Sesshoumaru turned to see his mate waiting for him at the edge of the clearing.
He was at her side in a moment, pulling her into him without a second's hesitation. Kagome returned the embrace, so used to his sudden bursts of affection that they hardly fazed her anymore. "I love you, Kagome." He whispered.
Kagome smiled and buried her face into his chest. He didn't say it often, and it was always so wonderful to hear. "I love you too, Sesshoumaru." They stayed there for a moment.
Then Kagome pulled away. "But if you EVER eat a whole cake on your own again, then you can just pray to the porcelain god on your own. I refuse to be your anti-nausea pill anymore."
Sesshoumaru merely smirked. Gently, though quickly, Sesshoumaru lifted her into his arms. "And how do you intend to enforce that, little miko?"
Kagome glared up at him playfully. "Well then, I'd have to stop making cakes."
Sesshoumaru flatered at that, and Kagome giggled. He'd become addicted to the choclately wonders. "You wouldn't."
"This Kagome does not lie." Kagome claimed, her voice sounding very much like her mate's.
Sesshoumaru glared at her. "Except when it is convenient for her."
Kagome giggled again, then reached up to kiss her mate softly. "You wouldn't love me any other way."
!# Palace of the Gods #!
Amaterasu smiled as she watched her two favorite mortals embrace. It had been a long and hard road for them, but they had been made stronger for it. If only all her plans ended so well.
"Oi! Haven't you bothered those two enough?" Amaterasu turned to see InuTaisho scowling at her. "They're happy and well, so leave them alone."
Amaterasu pretended to scowl. "Really? Cause I think that Kagome looked sad. Maybe if I-"
"Don't even think about it." InuTaisho said sternly, locking his gaze with the goddess's. It was then that he realized she was kidding. He scowled again as she giggled. "You are so frustrating."
"I know." Amaterasu said with a grin.
InuTaisho looked at the glass and chuckled as Inuhime burst in on the couple. "I still can't believe you made Inugami their granddaughter."
Amaterasu giggled. "He can't either." She stood and dusted her hands off. "I need to stop obsessing over these two."
InuTaisho smiled. "I agree."
Amaterasu smiled, and InuTaisho had to fight not to take a step back. "You know what I need? A new project."
InuTaisho watched in horror as she ran out of the hall, grinning like a mad woman. Then he shrugged and looked back at the mirror. He smiled as Kagome grabbed Sesshoumaru's hand and dragged him towards the house. "A happy ending, for everyone." He whispered. "Good for you."
Horse Wolves: And so ends this story of the forbidden love of a miko and a taiyoukai.
Sesshoumaru: Hold on one second! How in the world did OG write this chapter if she's buried ten feet underground in a cage surrounded by lava!
Kagome: Could she have. . . escaped.
Horse Wolves: [sceptically] Of course not.
Kagome and Sesshoumaru: DAMN IT! [furiously begin digging up OG]
InuYasha: But she couldn't have crawled out of there.
Horse Wolves: You know that, and I know that. They, however, have forgotten.
Kagome: [reaches the bottom] Alright, Sesshoumaru! Pull her out. [Sesshoumaru pulls out OG's cage and opens it.]
Obsessive_Goddess: [bursting out of the cage] I'm free!
Obsessive_Goddess: I'm free! [whirls on Kagome and Sesshoumaru] By the power vested in me, as author of this story, I banish you to the land of secondary characters!
Kagome and Sesshoumaru: YOU CAN'T DO THIS!
Obsessive_Goddess: I am the ruler of- The epilogue! NO! I DIDN'T UPDATE IN TIME!
Horse Wolves: [sighs] OG. You forwarded the epilogue to me so that Kagome and Sesshoumaru couldn't stop you. I updated it this morning.
Obsessive_Goddess: You mean. . . I missed it? [HW nods] No!
Horse Wolves: It's okay. Just write another one, and then you'll be good as new.
Sesshoumaru and Kagome: DON'T ENCOURAGE HER!
Obsessive_Goddess: You're totally right! I've got to get going. I've got a story to write!
InuCast: Here we go again.
------------------------------------------------------End of Author's Rant------------------------------------------------------
This is officially the end of Crime and Punishment. I want to thank everyone for reading this, and making me smile every time I check its hit count. But I specifically want to thank the following people for their reviews, which always made me smile, even if it was just a simple "This is good."
an InuHanyou by birth
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If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know. You guys are all too amazing to be looked over just because I was wading through 370 reviews at 2 AM.
To everyone who added my story to their favorites or story alert list: YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME TOO! I would thank you all individually, but there are many more of you, and I don't think I know how to look you all up. But thank you all anyway!
I hope that you have enjoyed yourselves while reading Crime and Punishment, and hope that future fics succeed as well as this one has.
~Serephina of the Kamis~