Last time….

Kagome knew that whatever it was, it would eventually reveal itself, be it friend, foe, or another situation arising. She knew that she would have to discuss her feelings and discernment with Optimus when they returned, yet for now…it was extremely important that she pack. They would be leaving soon and she couldn't seem to prepare herself enough.

She would be going back home after all, back to the ancient well, back to her past and present, back to her family, but most importantly….back to him…back to Inuyasha.

_xXx_

Ch. 18 Closure

Kagome fidgeted with the hem of her rosy hued blouse.

She couldn't believe she was standing at the bottom of the steps that led to her home. The more she thought about it the more she came to realize that this place was no longer her home, it had never truly been to begin with.

She didn't know what to say or do.

They had arrived in Japan only but an hour ago and she had insisted she get this visit over with, wanting Optimus to drop her off immediately, not wanting to delay the inevitable. She had to stop in to at least say hi to her mother or to…well she really didn't know what she wanted to do. It had seemed rather reasonable to stop in to say hi to her family, to check in on them at least, or so she contemplated on the plane ride over.

However, now that she stood there in the dark, feeling the bite of the fresh air that swirled around her clothes and made her dark silky tresses dance about her, she couldn't help but feel apprehension and sadness envelope her again. The miko could not stop herself from feeling panic stricken as well. Would she be able to visit the ancient well house, or -or even the Goshinboku? That tree that had meant so much to them, to her.

"Kagome, do you wish me to leave?" the gentle giant inquired of her softly as he parked beside her waiting to see if she needed him. He could feel her apprehension and even her panic. Yet, Optimus knew there was no danger to speak of, aside from her own fear. His female had informed him that she had wanted time to visit with her family, as well as deal with her past -alone. He would honor her request…as soon as he felt comfortable enough to leave her.

She seemed so alone, so vulnerable. His spark was flaming with that simple thought and he wanted nothing more than to protect her.

The miko took a deep breath trying to calm herself. She needed to do this. She would do this.

"It's alright Optimus. You can go now, don't worry about me. I'll -I'll be fine," she affirmed, trying to convince herself of it as well. She felt his hesitation but said nothing more, as he drove away slowly. Obviously he could not be introduced to her family or be invited in for tea, so yes, he had to go.

It would always seem to be the same for Inuyasha, except her brother seemed to enjoy his company, and her mother tolerated him as something unusual and strange but it was rare when they went out in public or had tea with anyone. Especially because the hanyou was always too rough and brash to be taken anywhere. Yet, she had been in love with him. She would have gone with him anywhere. Anywhere…

She got her feet to finally move forward. Except, they seemed to move out of their own will toward the courtyard, toward the old tree she knew too well. Bypassing her home, the lights shining softly through the windows, she made her way down a few steps, the soft patter of her shoes joining the gentle din of the crickets. The breeze seemed to be her friend this night, wrapping around her and chasing the loneliness away.

Kagome felt it then. The pulsing of the tree. Calling to her, as if welcoming an old friend home. There was a sudden feeling of guiltiness within her for being gone so long. For, for leaving her friends behind for so long; for not realizing that perhaps, she could at least have told them a proper goodbye through the link that existed here, in this time….the old wise tree.

She walked closer as if in a trance now, nothing outside of the tree's calling and pulsing penetrating her mind.

As she stood beneath its boughs, beneath its softly rustling leaves, she felt a wet sensation leaving a trail down her cheeks, for she heard it then….she heard him.

"Kagome."

She would recognize Inuyasha's voice anywhere. His gentle call pulled her forward until she was finally close enough to press her hand upon the trunk's rough bark. A shiver went through her as she closed her eyes, her tears silently marking their trail down her cheeks.

"Kagome, where have you been?" he questioned with a tenderness that made her heart ache.

"Oh, oh Inuyasha…" The miko could get no further words out as she began to weep in earnest.

She could see him, like a ghostly figure, sitting up against the Goshinboku, his head bowed, his thick bangs covering his face, and his arms resting upon his knees.

Her heart lurched as he began speaking.

"I've missed you, you know. I've been waiting for you to come back…at least, at least to the tree. Our tree. I didn't get to say goodbye the way I should have."

"How long, how long has it been Inuyasha? How much time has passed?" The miko questioned, her anxiety and remorse rising in anticipation of his answer.

"It's been…well…a long time. How are you Kagome? Are you happy?" he questioned with a sadness that Kagome had never heard in his voice before. Not even when he had spoken to her about what had taken place between him and Kikyo.

"I'm -I'm, oh Inuyasha…" the miko could not center her thoughts but she knew she wanted to say so many things and she didn't know how long she had. "I'm doing fine, considering I've lost all of you. I was -was bad for some time but now I think I'm ok," she said genuinely not wanting to make him feel worse.

"I'm glad Kagome. I've been coming to the tree everyday hoping you'd stop by. And ya did. I just wanted to say…I just wanted to tell you not to worry about us. We'll all be fine. We miss you like heck ya know, but….but don't worry about us. We just want you to be ok too."

Kagome willed the lump in her throat away, trying to get her voice to work properly. "I'll -I'll be fine Inuyasha. I do miss everyone, but I'm soo glad everyone is doing good. That's all I want too. For you to be safe, to be happy."

"So I guess this is goodbye then," he allowed.

While Kagome wanted to shout and scream and say she will never say goodbye, she allowed her head to drop, her own bangs covering her eyes and her tears as she kneeled before the tree, knowing this is what had to be done. There had to be closure between the two so she could move on.

"I'm never going to forget any of you Inuyasha," she began, trying to comfort her heart and strengthen her voice. "You are my family…you will always be my family. And…you will always be in my heart."

The miko saw his ghostly smile then. It was sad, and resigned, but still a smile, just for her.

Then…slowly, softly, he disappeared without another word.

_xXx_

Kagome didn't know how long she sat under that tree. She no longer had any tears left within her body. She had cried so hard and so long that she knew someone had to have heard her, but she didn't care.

It was finally over, all of her adventures with her feudal family finally come to a close. It was to be the new chapter of her life now, she mused as she tried to get her wobbly legs to cooperate and help her to the door of her house. She had finally gotten the closure she had longed for, for so long. Inuyasha too seemed to have had closure so even he could move forward with his own life.

It was bittersweet. But at least she too could move forward with her life now.

She knew she must have conveyed her feelings to Optimus, there was just no way she could not have, however she was only too glad he had stayed away and was giving her time to process everything.

Finally making it to her family's home she was welcomed with happiness and even a bit of unease. She got to spend time with them, talking, reminiscing. Indeed she had missed them, even though the miko didn't feel as if she was really close to them anymore.

Hearing the soft drum of the motor of a large semi-truck outside her home a few days later, she knew Optimus had finally come for her. Saying goodbye to her carnal family, the young priestess promising to visit again soon, she made her way outside to the awaiting mech.

Not saying much as she entered his warm cabin, she allowed him to take her back to the airport that eventually landed at the army base in the US which currently housed the large robotic aliens. He had informed her on the twins' new upgrade and some of the other adventures that had befallen them against the Decepticons in China. He spoke softly, evenly, as if trying to not disturb the mood she was in.

Kagome took it in, however her thoughts couldn't seem to leave that of Inuyasha. She new she needed to leave it behind, in Japan, and move on like she told him she would, but she also knew she was going to need some time. Yet oddly, she knew her heart would be healing soon.

She also supposed that now that they were in an army base with so many government officials, she needed her mind on these matters.

Snapping back to what the 'bot was saying, she managed to smile.

"I have missed you Kagome," the mech confessed softly.

"I as well Optimus," she reciprocated with sincerity.

And just as it seemed he was about to add more they were soon interrupted as they drove up to the military hanger in the early evening.

"Yo Kagome, how da ya like our new look?" questioned one of the twins showing off his new alt mode.

Stepping out of Optimus' interior she allowed the large mech to transform while she got a good look at the two who stood before her seemingly waiting for her approval.

She put a fist under her chin and studied them closely while they turned their head this way and that following her progress.

"Well," she finally answered, "You are pretty good looking, but I think its what's on the inside that counts."

"See I told ya, it didn't frigging matter," one of the twins answered while slapping the other.

"Alright you two," Ironhide chimed in. "I'm sure Kagome wants some time to rest."

"And no doubt the two lovebirds want some time alone," added the silver corvette with an arched metallic brow.

She was tired and would appreciate a little time to sleep. It was evening now and while she hadn't seen any soldiers come their way, she knew they were around and she didn't want to come across anyone just yet. She was in no mood to socialize or explain anything. The miko just needed to freshen up and rest.

She had been feeling out of sorts since leaving Sam's house after he had had that incident with the small robots attacking him in his own home once again.

The priestess had only thought it was her feelings and emotions mingling with her anxiety about seeing the well, and her family, once again. But the peculiar feeling hadn't left her. In fact it seemed to be getting stronger with time.

She just felt so odd. As if…as if she was missing a piece of herself; and for some strange reason she felt as if Sam or Mikaela were hiding something from her, something very important.

Optimus had also let her know that Sam had already left for his college campus and Bee was 'escorting' him and would be in touch. However something was weighing on his mind….something he had not shared with the girl as of yet. After his fight with the Decepticons in China, one of them had spoken of The Fallen. What was Megatron up to? Should he even mention this to her? Its origins were unknown, as that information had been lost with the Allspark. Nevertheless, his female was part of that Allspark so perhaps she would have some insight as to what that meant. Seeing her tired look, he knew this bit of information and inquiry was going to have to wait for another time however.

Plus, he was still working on the surprise he had mentioned to her not along ago so he needed more time. He had to get it just right as he wanted to present it to her soon.

"Kagome is going to rest, then we will continue our discussion Autobots."

None complained or argued as they made their way out of the hanger and into the darkened lot.

Once she was safely back in the cab of the Peterbuilt she immediately asked what been on her mind for some time.

"Optimus, is there a piece of the Allspark left? Is there a possibility of even the smallest bit of it that's survived?" she wondered out loud.

He didn't know why she would ask about this, but perhaps he should have told her sooner. Informing her about the piece he had handed over to the American government for protection, he saw her frown and felt her immediate unease.

He knew almost instantly what she was thinking. Why he had not thought of it sooner, he was unsure.

"We will speak to Major Lennox in the morning, then we will see what can be done."

"Did Sam ever tell you how those evil robots got into his house in the first place? Or did they suddenly just gain life somehow," she wondered with a wave of her hand, while trying to get comfortable for the night in his warm cab.

"It just doesn't add up," she continued feeling an ominous foreboding. Obviously so did the large mech for she couldn't hid too much from him.

"Sleep Kagome. Tomorrow we will worry about this new development."

_xXx_

After Optimus spoke to Major Lennox, and to the other government officials who somehow just presented themselves and who were trying to get rid of him and his Autobots from Earth, he came to a conclusion.

While they all seemed to wonder with inquiring gazes as to the Japanese woman who was now in their midst, no one dared speak to her, or ask who she was. They all seemed to take Optimus' unspoken word of trust, and of his possessive and careful attention of her, to heart going no further than to say good morning or good afternoon to her.

That is until the main government official in charge of the White House's treaty with them came upon her and wondered why there was a civilian in their midst. She obviously did not look like a top secret army aficionado.

"Who is this woman and what is she doing here?" he questioned with annoyance and bravado.

"Pft, I- I don't know sir," answered Major Lennox with a shrug. Its not like she was doing anything except standing with some of the other Autobots in a conversation as he and some comrades spoke to the Autobot leader.

"You mean to tell me you've allowed a civilian into a top secret military base without inquiring as to who she was? Or -or even putting her under arrest until you can find out?"

Optimus turned then, making the small man in eyeglasses look up in alarm.

Sargeant Epps only smiled behind his hand, making quick eye contact with Major Lennox as they both knew the dumb ass was about to get it. Optimus didn't look too aggressive but if he had some chick with him, it was for a darn good reason, and the idiot was about to find out that you don't mess with a two story metal alien.

Feeling Kagome's immediate apprehension and distress made him all the angrier. No one threatened what was his. Even the other Autobots speaking to her in the hanger stood to attention, as if ready to do battle on her behalf.

This however, he could handle.

Kneeling down to be closer to the small unintelligent man, he pressed forward until he could see the sweat that began to gather at his brow.

"You will not threaten what is mine. Nor will you look her way, get close enough to cause her any concern, or speak of her again. Is this understood?" he questioned narrowing his optics and blowing some hot air from his intake valve behind his square shoulders. "You will not like the consequences if you do," he thought to add.

Seeing the look of fear pass through the human man's features gave him satisfaction.

The human mumbled to himself unintelligently, then made a quick and hasty exit, gathering the briefcase he was carrying even closer to his body as if for some meager protection.

Major Lennox and Sargeant Epps could hardly suppress their smile and were quite glad that he had left.

However, the shouts they soon heard from their fellow soldiers made them all mobilize immediately into a full sprint. Something was taking place in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and they all needed to hear the transmissions from some of the submarines in the area.

Kagome felt it then. Something was going to happen soon. She could feel a strong connection with the Allspark as if it was calling out to her; it was something so similar to her Shikon no Tama, that it frightened her.

Nevertheless, she had to be strong, she had to remain calm if she was to face what was to come.

_xXx_

So there you go guys. Another chapter. The story is moving along nicely and we're more than half way done for sure. Thanks to everyone who keeps REVIEWING, and who has PM'd me about this story. Just need the time to continue, but no worries, its gonna keep going, slowly but surely.

And yes I'll be updating my other stories soon. ;0)

So again, please REVIEW! THankS