A/N: So… wow. Its been so damn long since I've written anything new, that I actually plan to make more than a few chapters.

Genre: Romance/Angst/Drama - and what story is complete without a bit of action in there somewhere?

Rating: M

Disclaimer: If I owned anything like this, do people seriously think I'd be writing FAN fictions?

She'd never been afraid of spiders until she met him. It wasn't so much a simple empty fear that many associated with phobias, and few seemed to notice that fact; those who did either knew the reasoning or were far too insightful for someone of her era. Even the warriors of her modern age had long since been jaded by the lack of that long forgotten sixth sense the daily danger the presence of youkai –among other things– granted a person.

The Shikon had long since been completed, and Naraku defeated to the best of their knowledge. Their victory had not been without heavy loss.

In a twisted sense of irony Kohaku had been killed, via a blow that was meant to end the life of his sister. The taijiya had stood frozen for a good few minutes, Kirara's protection the only thing that kept Kohaku's sacrifice from being in vain, and then she surprised them all with a cry that rivaled even the roar of the lord of the west in his demonic form. Her rage supplied them with the muscle needed to turn the battle; many youkai fell to her hand alone that day, and her reputation as one to be feared spread like the wildfire that soon after took over the battlefield.

They battled on through the flames, and not twenty minutes later a few parties were missing. The incarnations were gone. It was later perceived that they'd been reabsorbed by Naraku in a pitiful attempt by him to regain an edge of power.

In the year of uneasy peace and stillness that had preceded the event –one didn't dare call it the final battle, as they all knew better– the taiyoukai of the west had stunned the lot of them to the seventh layer of hell and back when he ordered Kagome to be trained under himself. After a calm interrogation –tactful as it was– from Miroku, and a slew of choice words from Inuyasha –all which were swiftly followed by an 'Osuwari'– the long year of the miko's training began. It surprised them all when after a course of only seven months the taiyoukai announced there would be no further instruction by his hand. Not because she had learned all there was to know, they all had things to learn and each one of them knew it; ruefully even Sesshomaru would admit, if only to himself, that he was not all-knowing either.

One of the greatest signs of wisdom, was for one to understand just how much they didn't know.

It was that training, which gave the futuristic miko the ability to do more than cheer from the sidelines and shoot the occasional arrow. It was that training that ultimately brought the infamous Naraku to his demise.

It had been as simple as purifying the tama from a distance. A simple nudge against the Shikon with her aura and it shattered, but did not scatter to the winds once more. The same aura that had purified them, heavily damaged their captor, and destroyed the remains of his minions called each shard back to their original place as one whole entity. Kagome damn near collapsed in a fit of hysterical laughter then and there. It had been that simple. All along it had been that fucking simple.

A thorough observation of the survivors of their misfit pack and allies left them with no more than a bittersweet sense of victory.

The dead bodies of Kouga's wolves laid strewn among the burnt out clearing, the body of a slipping wolf princess in their ranks. A few tender words were exchanged between the auburn haired she-wolf and the prince she'd fallen for –which included a scolding from him for even getting involved, as that was what he'd been trying to keep her from– and she soon after passed in his arms. A proper burial was to be prepared for her when the time was right to discuss such things.

Sango sobbed over Kohaku's once more deceased form. She'd pleaded with the taiyoukai to save the boy, swallowed all pride and pleaded with him like the god his deceased retainer had seen him as. The toad had been destroyed in attempts to protect Rin. The child had barely escaped with her life, but the fact remained that she had indeed survived. He explained gently to the broken slayer –as gently as Sesshomaru could– that he could not revive those that had been revived before, by any means. The Shikon that had brought the slayer boy back three years ago, that had controlled him, it had sealed his fate from that day. Sango cried herself raw, but like the warrior she was, she swallowed the emotions until the time was right.

Kikyo had not showed for the battle, a surprising turn for all involved, but in a surprising act of selflessness Kagome had informed Inuyasha that the undead miko still roamed the earth; the three quarters of her soul she allowed her incarnation to keep had not returned to her.

They had suffered losses, but they survived.

Ceremonies and burials were preformed soon after for those who had been lost. They grieved, they accepted, and they moved on. They moved on, but never forgot; they never forgot that a handful of Naraku's allies –forced or otherwise– still lived. Hakudoshi was among those ranks.

But for the time being, they would not hunt for the boy.

The day had come when the miko had to return to her own era. It was expected that she would never return, and she wouldn't. But the jewel granted her with one gift. She could bring two people with her.

Sango and Miroku were the logical choice.

Inuyasha was hanyou, and would live plenty long to meet with them again. Sesshomaru, he went without being said and Rin would not leave the taiyoukai; they'd all known this, and equally they'd known he would find a way to keep the child alive. He simply had that way about him. As much as it hurt to leave Shippou, he had blatantly demanded that she take Sango and Miroku. In a humorous imitation of Inuyasha –which made them all believe he did indeed look up to the hanyou more than he would ever admit– he had crossed his arms, turned up his nose, and actually said, "Feh, they're just humans. I'm immortal remember? You'll see me again Okaa-san."

Kagome had stared at the kit for a good portion of thirty seconds before she burst out laughing and hugged the fox child to her chest, rapid murmurs of 'arigatou' repeatedly escaping her lips in the process. Whether she was thanking the boy for his selflessness, or for finally openly addressing her as his mother she didn't know, and so she simply assumed it to be both.

Kouga had grinned toothily at the miko and made her smile with his comment. "Don't be stupid. You're my woman, of course we'll meet again."

Sango hadn't wanted to leave Kirara, but without words the neko had pretty much said the same thing to the slayer as the kit had to the miko. They would meet again.

After a few tears, hugs, and a teary farewell between the lot of them Kagome surprised them all by wrapping her arms around, not Inuyasha, but Sesshomaru. "Oi…arigatou Sessho-kun."

He'd stared at her for a long moment before he sighed and offered an uncharacteristic pat on the back. He muttered something under his breath to the miko, something the rest of them could not hear, and she laughed but nodded all the same.

She guided the monk and the slayer to the well and as they turned to say goodbye once more she recalled the conversation she'd had with Inuyasha.

"What will you do now?" she had asked him, silently hoping that he would say he would wait for her.

"…I'm….going to look for Kikyo."

She smiled for his sake and decided against saying anything to him. He loved Kikyo so dearly, and with the quest for the Shikon over for the meantime, he could find his peace with her. The undead miko was the one who held his heart, the one who would always come first, and Kagome had long since known that; she'd just recently accepted it.

"I thought as much. I hope you find the happiness Naraku denied you Inuyasha…"

He had stared at her stunned, having expected her to 'Osuwari' him until her era was upon them, but never had he thought she would be so damn understanding. It made him mad, that she had automatically assumed he would go after Kikyo, though the reason behind the emotion he could not determine. He already knew though, but unlike the miko that could have been his he did not accept such a thing.

"Feh! Stupid wench…" he'd spoken the name softly, none of his usual malice –however playful it usually was– behind the words. She had not expected him to stay by her side as she had so loyally done for him, and it angered him beyond words. She doubted his loyalty, then turned around and simply gave him her blessing. She had told him, without actually speaking the words, that she had already begun to move on from him; she would wait no longer, but she would still be there for him if he ever needed even a cup of ramen. And he knew, even that, he didn't deserve from her.

It had indeed hurt her to hear what she had already known was coming, but she had known it was coming. She had known Kikyo was always going to come first, always going to be better in every way, but it still fucking hurt. "Yeah… I know Inuyasha…"

He had gaped indignantly at her, stunned that she hadn't sat him until she was blue in the face, but instead outright agreed that she was stupid.

Had he really broken her to such a point?

Not able to bear looking at the miko any longer he ground his teeth together, ignored his raging conscience and leapt out of sight. The guilt was too heavy on him to continue their conversation, but he would see her one last time before she left, and then five hundred years later. Perhaps things would have changed by then.

She'd looked up when he left and smiled bitterly to herself. It had been long since overdue, and while it had not resulted the way she wished it would have, the conversation, the revealations –little as they were – had been for the best.

"Sayonara Inuyasha." He was too far away to hear the unspoken confession. Her goodbye to him, her unspoken statement that she would forever be out of reach and could have so easily been obtained. And still, she would always love him.

She smiled as she slipped out of the memory and stepped back up to the hanyou, fingers linked behind her back. She surprised him further –her approaching him at all after that conversation had caught him off guard– by pressing her lips to his briefly, and whispering the same statement he had missed earlier on. "Sayonara Inuyasha."

And she turned, linked hands with Miroku and Sango, and the three of them tumbled into the well.

He rushed up to it, but she was gone. He wouldn't see her for another five hundred years, and the things he never understood had finally clicked in his head. She had loved him. She had fucking loved and accepted him the way he was, and he'd been utterly ignorant to it. He had known all along that she accepted him, that she believed him to be fine the way he was, she had even said it on more than one occasion, but it had never dawned on him that she had not been upset by his meetings with Kikyo simply due to the fact that she wanted him to live; it had never occurred to him, the reasoning behind her desire for him to live. His hands shook as he gripped the rim of the ancient well, the time portal that was no longer open.

Inuyasha realized he was alone after a good few minutes, and regained himself with a bit of effort. He would do as he said, and find Kikyo, but in five hundred years he would find Kagome again and he swore with every fiber in his being that he would settle the score.