November 23, 2003

(Author's Note: I had a prologue, so I'll have an epilogue. *Winks* It's short, but hopefully, it'll tie in with my future fic "Fire and Ice" which I have yet to edit, but which has a first part written to it. Thanks to you all who read this story, with special thanks to Aile Anna for proofing the last couple of fics and to Lel for lending me Yajuumaru. He's such a sweetie, it's no wonder Yash falls for him.)

By Yashira

Sister, Sister

Epilogue

Several days later...

Seated together around a burning fire, its flames keeping Inuyasha and the others warm, Kagome ventured a questioning glance at the hanyou. "Do you think it's okay, leaving it like this?" Her voice was soft, tentative, as if she feared to upset him.

With a nonchalant shrug, Inuyasha picked up a stick and stirred it through the red coals. His golden eyes were dimmed, focused on the flames. "It can't be helped. We came here with Yashira to visit that miko Mikada, the one who tended to my mother when Yashira was born, but she's gone. The temple or monastery, or whatever it was is a mess. Stuff is thrown everywhere, but I know I don't smell any other presence aside from the old scent of my brother-"

"You don't think that-"

Already shaking his head, he lifted his gaze and fixed it upon Sango, Miroku and Kagome with that thoughtful look that allayed their fears. "No, this Mikada ran away. I'm guessing she figured that since her secret was known, that Yashira would come back this way to ask questions. The one who made the mess was her."

"But that means you and Yashira won't have an answer as to why this Mikada took her away." Sango, who had been tending the fish they caught earlier and which she'd set to flame, handed one of the readied ones to Shippo's outstretched hands.

"I know."

"Too bad Myoga wasn't here, eh Inuyasha. Here, Sango, pass me one.." Taking the offered fish, and biting carefully, Miroku was still forced to hold it and to fan his burnt lips. The fish was still too hot to eat.

"Doesn't matter. I already know she is my sister, she turns hanyou when she removes her own warding. What I want, what she wants, are answers to WHY Mikada did this. All this time when I could have had someone to talk to… to understand, and I didn't." He shoved the burning stick deep into the fire and let out a deep breath. "Doesn't look like we'll get them, anytime soon."

"Nee, Inuyasha, do you think we should go and fetch Yajuumaru and Yashira? It must be cold out there." Kagome had glanced towards the woods where Yajuumaru had, with his hand wrapped securely around Yashira's, disappeared to.

Miroku's eyes widened, the violet colour visible in the firelight. "Surely, you wouldn't disturb the two of them."

Inuyasha's gaze flickered absently on the monk with a "go figure you're thinking hentai" thoughts look. "They're not doing anything, Miroku, but she needs him right now."

"But you're her brother - you're blood."

"Yes, I am. But sometimes," And he looked at Kagome as he said this, which brought an embarrassed blush to her cheeks. "You need someone who loves you so completely, at your side, who isn't family."

***

"That time…" Yashira began, her voice sounding incredulous, "you were watching me from the woods, weren't you?"

She laid protectively cradled in his arms, her back to his front, as if his embrace proved he was afraid to let her go. Together in the bough of a low lying tree, Yajuumaru supported the both of them as he nodded in answer to his beloved. "Yashira." There was a rumbling chuckle, as he regarded her. "I may be simple sometimes, but I'm not stupid." One of his arms rested lightly on her belly, giving her support, while his free hand reached up and touched at her cheek. Moments like this were still rare between them, but he encouraged them each time they happened. Perhaps one day, she would freely show her affection as he showed his.

"I guessed as much, but it still surprised me." Yashira leaned her head back, black hair cushioning against his shoulder, as she sought to look at him. "So you heard it all?"

"Yes, and you made the right choice. He tricked you, but you got yourself out of it…" He sniffled at her, his nose pressed into her hair as if he was making sure, even now, that the last of that awful mess from Naraku had been removed from her. He'd spent a good deal of time cleaning her off, running his tongue over each wound, but he couldn't be too careful. As a tree-youkai, Yajuumaru had told her, he was capable of many things that most youkai were not. Absorbing poison, like Sesshoumaru's poison claw and Naraku's miasma, was nothing to him. Though she expected him of exaggerating a bit, his words did speak with an inkling of truth. He healed faster than she did so he could afford to pollute himself if he wished.

"What about you?"

"What about me?" Her question confused him so he threw it back at her.

Yashira rubbed her cheek against his hand, her blue eyes slowly opening to fix him with that piercing look of hers. In the last couple of days, she'd nearly lost most of the ferocious bite it had taken a lifetime to build. Now, she was more approachable, easier to speak to. There had been something about Yajuumaru that tore her well-wrought defensives into nothingness that made her as she was. "This form you wear now, are you happy with it?"

He seemed troubled, as if he realized the fact that he was wearing a form she had once "despised." "I was always happy with it. It was you that disliked it." His fingers rested on her chin and he fixed her with a firm look, "I can not protect you unless I am in this form. I will wear the clothes you ask me to, but I can not nor will not hide this form again. I will not and I can not, beloved. Mate. "

"I suppose, you're still going to follow me?" She sounded as if she had crossed a personal bridge and finding it acceptable, had decided to keep forging on.

"I will."

"Then I guess it can't be helped." Turning in his arms, startling him with the motion, she faced him square on. "You know what this means, right?"

He swallowed, staring at her as if he thought she meant to do her Heaven Blast attack, "What?"

A smile touched her lips as she drew close to the startled tree-lord. Instead of answering with words, Yashira placed a kiss upon his lips.

***

Sister, Sister Ends here.

Author's Note: Further adventures will be contained in the fic Fire and Ice, whose first chapter will be edited soon.