Treasure and Good Fortune
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.
Kagome stood beneath the goshinboku, and stared up into the branches with a soft smile. She had just returned from her time, and she was a little early, so Sesshoumaru had yet to meet her.
He's gonna be annoyed at me again - for coming through early instead of waiting for the right time - when I knew he would be waiting.
But... I just had to come back.
She'd been too excited to stay there, once she'd found out what she'd gone home to find out, and even though Sesshoumaru didn't know what her reason was for returning home besides wanting to visit her friends, and her mother, she could hardly wait for him to show up... so she could tell him.
She looked down, and clasped her hands over her abdomen with a soft smile.
You're going to be a father, Sesshoumaru - I wonder how you'll take the news?
She'd suspected for several days, and finally had gotten her husband to bring her to the well so she could go visit her family... only, the real reason had been to test her suspicions.
She was nervous, as well as excited, though - while he'd told her in a roundabout way that someday, he did want children, they hadn't really talked about it, and she wasn't sure if he'd be happy about how soon it was.
After all, they'd only been married for five months.
But then again, here in this time, it's different. Here, once a couple is married, children are pretty much expected to follow very quickly, and it's not like he seemed interested in any way to prevent this from happening...
She sighed, and reached out a hand to run dainty fingers gently across the trunk of the goshinboku.
This tree, she thought affectionately... it's always been here. Through everything...
She turned slightly as she felt Inuyasha's youki enter the clearing behind her, and smiled at him.
"Hey, Inuyasha," she said softly. "Where's Kanna?"
He walked up to her, an unreadable look in his eyes, then turned to look at the great tree before them.
"She's back in the village with Kaede... so, what are you doing here without the ice Lord?" he asked, facetiously, a faint smirk on his face.
"I just came back from visiting mama," I can't tell anyone until after I've told Sesshoumaru, "and I'm waiting for my husband."
"Keh," he snorted. "So where's he at then?"
"I'm not sure," she frowned. "I thought he might stop to see you while he waited. Of course, he might have gone to see Ryozen," she said. "He mentioned that he needed to."
He glanced at her pensively, then back at the tree. "Are you... Kagome - are you really happy?" he asked, almost hesitantly.
"Of course I am, baka," she said fondly. "I have the best of both worlds - and the one thing I feared the most, having to choose, never happened. Why wouldn't I be happy?"
He shrugged. "I just wanted to make sure, that's all," he said.
She smiled at him again, and wrapped an affectionate arm around his. "What about you? Are you happy?"
"Keh! 'Course I am! I have a family, don't I? And a wife. It's more than I ever thought I'd have."
With a nod, she squeezed his arm once, then let go as she felt her husband's aura approaching rapidly, and wrinkled her nose wryly.
"He's annoyed, I can already tell," she sighed, and then chuckled as he stepped into the clearing, his impassive mask firmly in place.
"Onna, what are you doing here?" He glanced at Inuyasha. "Did you go to her era and get her?"
"No! Why would I do that? I didn't even know she was there," he said defensively, not relaxing his manner until he saw his brother nod.
"Hn. Then I would like to speak to my wife privately, if you have finished your visit?"
Inuyasha nodded and headed out of the clearing at a fast clip, and Kagome yelled, "Traitor!" as he disappeared, laughing when she heard his "Keh!"
The minute he was gone, Sesshoumaru stepped into her, and scented her, wanting to make sure she was unharmed; once he realized she was fine, he relaxed... slightly.
She rolled her eyes, but said, "I got done with my visit a little bit ago, and decided to come back here to wait."
"Kagome, we have been over this. There are dangers-" he stopped speaking when she stood on tiptoe and placed a gentle hand over his mouth.
"I know," she said softly. "But I'm not exactly helpless, and you know that. I'm not going to break. Besides, you know Inuyasha. There's nothing in his forest that's a danger to me or anyone else - he doesn't allow it. I'm fine."
He eyed her as she pulled her hand away, and she smiled at him, shaking her head ruefully. "You inuyoukai," she chuckled, "always so overprotective. Now, do you want to hear what I have to tell you, or do you want to keep arguing?"
A brow rose into his bangs. "Tell me?" he asked curiously.
"Yes." She turned and looked at the tree again... it always drew her eyes, no matter what she was doing. "I went home for a specific reason, this time, not a visit, really."
He tilted his head and considered her for a moment, beginning to worry. She has always spoken of the healers in her time, and how advanced the treatments are - perhaps she has been ill, and not told me?
He stepped close to her again, and scented... her scent is a bit different - but not bad... he closed his eyes and scented her again, but couldn't be sure, the difference was too small. Whatever it was, it was not strong enough yet to be detected with any certainty.
Kagome closed her eyes, a small smile flitting across her face as she let him scent her. Will he be able to tell, or is it too early?
"Wife, you will tell this one what is wrong. Are you ill?" his voice as flat, and she could clearly hear the concern in it.
"I'm not sick, Sesshoumaru," she said lightly, turning back to him and leaning into his arms, waiting for him to wrap them around her. Once she was securely in his grip, she tilted her face up to his, and spoke quietly.
"You, husband, are going to be a father."
She almost laughed aloud at the stunned, blank look that filtered over his aristocratic features the moment his mind registered her words.
She would have, if she hadn't been so uncertain of what that expression meant.
He stared down at her for a long moment, then setting her away from him carefully, he knelt down before her, leaning into her abdomen, he buried his nose into her belly, then scented her again, breathing in deeply.
The look of wonder that settled into his eyes when her scent processed through his sensitive nasal passages was one she would never forget...
And then he wrapped his arms around her again, and just held her, breathing the scent of her and their unborn child in contentedly as she held him, running gentle fingers through his silver locks.
They stayed that way for a long time, the silver male, and his dark female, and many things were whispered between the two that day...
Things no one but the two of them would ever know.
Or ever need to.
The years came, and the years went, and more children were added to the tally - five for the taijiya and her hentai monk, three boys and two girls, two for Inuyasha and Kanna, one of each...
And Kagome, being as long-lived as her husband, gave him eleven children in all, spread out over most of two centuries, all but two of them boys.
The oldest, Ginichi, her husband's heir, grew swift and fierce, he was a formidable warrior, despite his hanyou blood - not even full youkai could defeat him. The only one to ever do so was his own father.
Tall, silver-haired and golden-eyed, his markings were identical to Sesshoumaru's, and hanyou though he was, he looked exactly like his father in every way. Kagome had been surprised when he was born without the ears like his uncle Inuyasha - and none of their other children ever looked hanyou, either, instead resembling full-youkai more.
Kagome herself was glad for that, although Sesshoumaru never cared - all his children were healthy, and strong, and he was content with that.
Rin and Kohaku eventually made a match of it, and, both having had such brushes with death, and the sacred jewel, lived much, much longer than most humans, finally passing one hundred and seventy-five years after Naraku's fall - they had many children, themselves, and eventually, the family lines were tied together when their grand-daughter married Sesshoumaru and Kagome's third son, Haru.
Shippo, to everyone's surprise, ended up marrying Inuyasha and Kanna's daughter - no one had seen that coming, with as much as those two had fought when they were younger. But no one could deny it was a love match - when Inuyasha'd found out, he'd threatened to skin the kitsune, and his daughter had almost skinned him.
Amaya, though definitely Inuyasha's get, took more after her mother - but she could be extremely fierce when she was angered, and when her father had such a fit about her marrying, not just Shippo, but anyone, she put her foot down and let him have it - and when she was done, her mother finished up.
Needless to say, Shippo and Amaya were married very soon thereafter, and proceeded to add lots of little kits to the tally of children produced by the original shard-hunting group.
Sesshoumaru sat back and watched that confrontation with a great deal of amusement - his brother had made fun of his reaction repeatedly when his oldest daughter decided to marry, and the daiyoukai certainly believed the old saying, paybacks are a bitch.
By the time that whole fiasco was finished, so did Inuyasha.
In the spring of the year after Sango and Miroku had finally passed, Sesshoumaru ordered work on a new garden to begin - but he wouldn't allow his wife to see it until it was done, and she quickly grew frustrated with him.
She had always hated surprises.
However, once it was finally unveiled, she immediately forgave him.
The garden itself was a meditation garden, with sections of banzai, and even a rock garden, interspersed with carefully chosen flowering sections...
But the very center of the garden was dedicated to one flower...
It was her husband's attempt to comfort her, without words - and it worked very well.
She'd cried when he'd taken and shown her the blooms, knowing what he was trying to say, and she could oftentimes be found there when things got to be too much, caring for the flowers, and thinking on the meaning of the bright stalks of gold...
Treasure, and good fortune.
They never failed to make her happy, reminding her of the good times, and the fact that she had been blessed by kami - in so many, many ways.
But most of all, she'd been blessed in her friends - and her family.
Her good fortune, and her treasure, was them. All of them.
Her husband, her children, her friends and their children.
Though Sango and Miroku were gone, they would always exist in her heart...
And in her garden.
As time passed, all those she loved that passed on into the next world, became represented by that garden, and it grew...
Although very, very slowly.
That was something else to thank the kami for, as far as she was concerned.
A/N: Long, I know - but as an Epilogue, I felt it was necessary. Hope no one is disappointed.
This is my last chance to thank all the readers, reviewers, those that nominated this story over on Dokuga, and those who voted, giving it a second place Best Kagome Portrayal, and a third place Best Romance placing - I was absolutely thrilled to pieces about that, and very honored.
I hope everyone enjoyed the journey that was born out of another story, and about five minutes of research time to come up with lists of flower meanings, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
And r0o... hope you're glad I went ahead and went to one hundred!