Epilogue: Endless Paths as One
She was still trying to gain even the most basic understanding of it's function, even after six hundred years.
It had been that many years since the war with Sosa, and the world was becoming beautiful again – as were the beings in it. It was really needless to say, but her birth era was not even recognizable anymore, nor were the people in it. They were all much closer to hanyou than human and youkai now, and Kagome was never more pleased with the differences than when the changes she and Sesshoumaru had begun to institute had come to fruition so easily – it meant that they were on the right path.
Of course, it would take many more thousands of years for it all to be restored to its former glory – what it had been before Sosa's manipulations. But their start was good...
She smiled wistfully as her mind roamed back over the last six hundred years.
Her mate, her children, her friends and loved ones and family – all of them so precious.
It stood without saying that the original close group had expanded greatly with many children being born to happy couples. A whole new generation was wreaking havoc on the lands... she laughed aloud as she thought of Inuyasha's children. He was reaping his own behavior in spades now with twin sons and a daughter, and she couldn't help but enjoy the hell out of that. Sesshoumaru did as well... though he would oftimes look at his own sons with narrowed eyes after some particular mischief they'd perpetrated that reminded him of his brother.
Two boys... with an odd family group. On one side, their father's side, with their grandmother and her 'lover' Kagura, and then Sugimi. And on her side... oh, that's where it got confusing. Her birth mother, their blood grandmother – and Amaterasu, her re-birth mother. She took great delight in her 'grandchildren', and was quite proud to brag to the other kami about them – and their antics.
Kagome sighed, shaking her head. Amaterasu still loved dropping thorny little problems in her lap and then cheerfully disappearing...
Miroku and Sango had produced quite a large group of children, eventually having eight, at which point Sango made her husband practice some restraint, as she refused to have any more children to deal with. They had lived for many, many years, but had finally passed on about three hundred years ago, and Kagome still missed them. Reincarnation was such a pain...
Rin and Shippo, the two scamps... both grown and with their own mates now. Shippo and Kanna having taken a liking to each other, were now very happy together, raising a family of their own. And Rin... her beautiful little Rin. A glowing woman that had caught the attention of Kikyou and Kisho's eldest son. They had been mated for almost a century now.
Even Sugimi and Izayoi had given Inuyasha several new siblings that he absolutely avoided dealing with whenever possible... it was funny to watch the lengths he'd go to to get away from them. They were just as mischievous as his own children – Kagome pondered the fact that their line produced such reprehensible scoundrels many times...
Just like her own mate.
But she loved him endlessly, anyway.
Now, the time had finally come – their children were old enough and on their own, things were running smoothly enough, and they were about to embark on the exploration of the universe that they had both looked forward to for so long.
Of course, it went without saying that were anything to go wrong, they could be recalled at any time, but they had made everyone aware that they were only to be summoned if something so entirely serious that no one else could deal with it happened.
This time was their time... a honeymoon, of sorts – something they hadn't had in the beginning because of the circumstances. But now they were free to go off together and Kagome was looking forward to it with alacrity.
They had been through so much together... truly – and she couldn't help but to think back to to the day her feet had been set on this path. The day Sesshoumaru had died.
At the memory, which was as vivid to her mind in that moment as it had been when it happened, remembered pain clenched her heart, and she almost cried at the feel of it... just the memory hurt so much, the thought of ever being without him an agony that even with the mind of a goddess, she could not comprehend.
She looked up at the stars above her head, then, and breathed in deeply to control herself as his presence swelled over her – instantly comforting her and calming those old feelings down as he moved to pull her against his chest.
"Do not dwell on such things, koi. It was long ago, and will never happen again, you know this," he soothed, tightening his grip on her as she leaned into him, her emotions still in a bit of a turmoil. He could feel quite well how much pain those particular memories caused her, and wished he could just erase them, sometimes. But then he would look at what had come from his death...
No... he could never regret it.
Still, he understood, because it had been just as difficult for him when she had died. He'd been there with them all in spirit, and it had pained him greatly to watch her suffer and die, her body shredded and almost unrecognizable. He'd wanted so badly to destroy Naraku for what he'd done to her, but all he could do was watch as she died, and wait for her, like he'd said he would.
That had been the single hardest day of his life.
But then, there was the other end of the spectrum – the best days of his life... his mating day, and the births of his sons. He would never forget the birth of his eldest, especially.
Neither would anyone else, really.
It had never occurred to either he or his mate that their children would be born with divine attributes – they had simply never considered it. But when his heir was born, it was discovered that despite his inu heritage, he had elemental affinities – especially earth, and he had announced his own birth quite loudly - with an earthquake.
Fortunately, nothing had been destroyed nor had anyone been injured or killed by it, but it had certainly caught the land's attentions.
For that reason, he had named his heir Asumuba, or earth mover. And he had been most assiduous in training the boy from a very early age – after all, it would not do for the pup to cause earthquakes just because he was having a tantrum, or because he felt like flexing his metaphorical muscles. But the things that he could do with any amount of earth was sometimes astounding, and Sesshoumaru was quite proud of his heir.
And then his second son... no less powerful than his brother, his power had manifested in an entirely different manner, one his mate was quite pleased with, and it became her duty to train him, as his affinity was much closer to her own, than to his father and brother's.
He had power over life – and flesh of any type. He could heal it, or destroy it, kill it, form it into anything he chose. He was like a sculptor, but his medium was flesh and blood rather than marble or any other inanimate object. With this ability came great responsibility, and Kagome made sure her son was trained right – and made aware that just because he could do something, didn't mean he should.
The power over life and healing was not one to be taken lightly, and they had simply named him Shisei, meaning life and death, because that was his nature.
No... he mused, despite the pain he and his mate had both suffered before becoming kami, he would not change any of it a bit, for if he did, he would not have what he had now...
And he would never give his mate and pups up for any reason whatsoever.
They were worth any price, and he would gladly pay it again if he had to – though he was most thankful that he did not have to, he chuckled inwardly as his attention was taken once more by his mate, who was now saying her last goodbyes and giving last minute instructions to their newly arrived sons before they took their leave.
He himself had already said his farewells, giving instructions to his sons, and even visiting his father to make sure things were running smoothly there, as well. He didn't want to be interrupted for a long time to come – this time with his mate was time he was greatly looking forward to, and he planned to make the most of it.
Finally, as Kagome hugged their sons one last time, he came to stand behind her and pull her back into his arms; with an incline of his head to his sons, he allowed his form and his mates to become nothing more than energy, and with a brilliant streak of light across now dark skies, they disappeared into the heavens, bound for the edges of the universe...
And then beyond.
As they raced comets and explored newly born worlds, visited young stars and experienced the rush of supernovae, anyone seeing them would not see two beings...
They would see only one, male and female combined in perfect harmony and endless, eternal love, bound to each other until the universe ended.
Which it never would – because that was its nature... it had no end, only a beginning, much like the love story of Sesshoumaru, God of Chaos, and Kagome, Goddess of Balance.
I love you, Sesshoumaru...
And I love you, Kagome, my beautiful mate.
A/N: And DONE! I'm actually crying... it is finally finished, after over two years and around two hundred and seventy-thousand words. I can't believe I've managed to close this story!
I would like to thank all those who've read and left reviews, and who've nominated this story for so many awards. It has been a pleasure – and most of all, thanks to r0o, for the arts she's done for this story, and to Trugemini, whose support and caring have managed to get me to finish this tale. Tru... I hope you still love your story!