{ A Rose by Any Other Name }
x{ 29: Orange Blossom}x
-•°•°•-

For an awfully long time, Inuyasha just stared dumbfounded at her. Not able to speak, not able to fully grasp what she had just told him. They learned just the day prior that they would become parents and then… suddenly, they weren't. He hadn't even been sure how to feel about that first part of that. Now he had to figure out how to feel about the former.

It really would have been better if they never knew then they would never have felt such lose.

"I'm sorry," Inuyasha finally said. "I… should have been there to protect you."

"You couldn't have done anything," she assured him, since she was almost a hundred percent sure that that was the truth. Yes, he was strong and all but.. when it came to fighting the future's type of demons he wouldn't have been much help. She was actually glad he wasn't there. If he was, he could have been lost, too…

"I could have protected you," he countered.

"Stop," she ordered as she raised her hand and sighed. "We'll just keep going around and around. Let's just end it with you saying sorry and me saying it's not your fault. Now… we need to make a rather big decision."

"What?" he mumbled. He hardly could think of something bigger than what they were already talking about. A worried swirl began to form in his gut.

"Azazel's dead so," she dragged out, "either we can live separate lives in separate eras or I stay here with you since… you can't ever come back to my era. If you do, it might kill Damian."

"What?" Inuyasha rejoined with a lifted brow—first, she tells him that they have to decide whether or not to stay together? Then she tells him he can never return to her era? As if she hadn't already put enough on him…

"Remember what that psychic told us?" she questioned with a small smile, "how only one of you two—either my half-brother Damian or you—could live? I guess the way around that is if both of you stay in separate time periods. Which makes sense if you stop to think about it… I think."

"Alright," he drew out, "then… I guess I'm staying here. Will you stay here with me?"

"I want to stay with you," she insisted but bit her bottom lip to pause for a moment. "But… the war with demons isn't finished just because Azazel is dead. Demons are still out there and someone needs to get rid of them. I always thought Lilith or Damian would take over our father's position in the Resistance movement but… I don't know if Damian will ever be fully alright again and Lilith's dead so…"

"That someone doesn't need to be you," he countered, gently. "You stopped Azazel—"

"Lilith did that," Kagome muttered.

"Whatever, you helped, you did your part. You should stay here, with me," he requested even though he knew it was a lot to ask of her. But… he couldn't think about life without her anymore. "I need you to stay with me… I can't lose you again."

"I'm tired," she whispered while she glanced away. "Maybe we should just sleep on it for now?"

He supposed that was fair enough so he nodded and let it go for the night. Though… he would rather not since that meant he had to wait the entire night to hear her decision. It would be agonizing but… for her, he would have to deal.

x-•°•°•-x

By morning she was still uncertain of what her decision would be but… she couldn't really imagine waking up without him there. Or living the rest of her life without ever seeing him again. But… that would mean goodbye family and friends in the future.

Yes, she still had the shikon but it would be best to wish it away forever to keep anything awful from happening again. Which surely meant the well would seal off for forever. She probably wouldn't get the chance to visit the other side, ever.

So, even though she knew the way Inuyasha looked at her that next morning meant he wanted an answer... which got her to alter the subject complete. "Since I'm here, I'd like to go visit Miroku. Is that alright?"

"Yeah," he answered with a nod. "Yeah… of course."

Then he offered her a ride on his back for the journey there. An awkwardly silent one… it was probably for more reasons than just her not knowing whether to stay there or not. There was the whole "baby gone" factor that she didn't want to talk about, either.

"Kagome!" Miroku happily called out once they reached the top of the steps to get to Mushin's temple. "I'm so glad to see you… though, I would have hoped in better conditions." He motioned his hand to his face to hint towards her bruised face. "What happened?"

"Demon thing," she answered with a wave of her hand, "it's nothing. Not that big of a deal."

"I'd say it was" Inuyasha muttered just low enough that he knew Miroku couldn't hear but Kagome could. She was well aware of what that meant but… she didn't want to address that again yet. So she ignored it and smiled all the more at her friend as he hugged her lightly.

"Can I see little Michio?"

"Of course," he eagerly declared with a nod.

"I'm going to see how Mushin's doing," Inuyasha countered while he diverted from them.

"Is something wrong with him?" Miroku inquired with a lifted brow.

"There's… a few things," Kagome softly admitted before forcing another smile. "It's a long story."

"We have time, at least I do," Miroku replied while he opened the door to Michio's room. He was just in time to catch him wake up. Quickly, Kagome swooped in to pick him up and bounce him about some to keep him from whining and wiggle a giggle out instead. "You know… you'd make a good mother, Kagome."

To that, she just cringed. For a while, she glanced over the infant in her arms. Michio was too little to understand what they were saying. So she confessed, "one of the things that Inuyasha might be upset about is… I was temporarily pregnant—"

"Temporarily?" Miroku couldn't help but interrupt with a lifted brow.

"Yeah, we found out one day and the next it was gone," she whispered, "he wasn't there to protect me. There was nothing he could have done. Azazel, that evil demon, attacked me and a couple friends but in the end it's dead and we're alive. For the most part..."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"It's no one's fault" she assured him, "but I don't know how long it will take me to make Inuyasha see that."

"I see," Miroku drew out, "probably a long while. How are you? I'm sure such a lose must be very painful."

"I guess," she muttered, "but it was really just a day… and I wasn't even sure if I wanted to have a child yet."

"I'm… sure Inuyasha and you will get another chance," Miroku meekly said, though he wasn't sure if that was the right thing to say in such a situation.

"Maybe," she whispered, "I have to decide whether to stay here with him or return to my own era… permanently. I'm not sure which one I want yet. I mean, I would hate to say goodbye to Inuyasha but I just re-entered the life of my family in Japan and Damian is alive."

"I'm glad to hear the latter part," he assured her. After all, he was well aware of how important her half-brother was to her but… since Inuyasha was his best friend he had to add, "but sometimes, I think love is more important than blood."

"Oh?" Kagome countered with a sly smile, "so says the man that chose having a son to continue his bloodline instead of fighting for his love—Sango."

"That… doesn't mean you should follow in my footsteps," Miroku countered. "While I love Michio dearly and I couldn't imagine life without him… I'll always miss Sango. I got Michio out of what I did, what do you get from staying with your family?"

"My family?" she supposed was the only answer she could think of... but was that really enough to leave Inuyasha for good? That was probably what Miroku was going to say if they hadn't been interrupted but the door slid open right before he got any of those words out of his mouth.

Instantly, both their eyes shifted to see a rather frantic looking female. One neither expected to see… so, slowly, Kagome began to creep towards the door. "Sango-chan?"

"Kagome-chan," she awed while her mahogany eyes shifted over her old friend, "what happened to your face?"

"Nothing, I'm fine," she assured her with a forced smile. "I'm going to take Michio for a walk so you two can… talk."

Miroku just nodded before she left the room. Slowly, he found the way to form a few words, "what… are you doing here? I thought you were meant to wed Rensei soon…"

"I called it off," she explained cautiously as she took a few steps closer to him. "Last time I saw Kagome-chan she said something that made me think… I can't actually marry Rensei just to make my father happy. I mean he's dead… and while I would like to honor his word I… I can't just give up what I want."

"What do you want?" Miroku warily questioned.

"To not marry Rensei," she answered with a small shrug.

"And you came all this way to tell me because…?"

"Because I wanted to," she stated.

"Would you like to stay here for a while?" he did think she would need a place stay since ditching Rensie right before the wedding would mean she probably shouldn't be returning to the slayer's village.

With a weak smile, she nodded.

x-•°•°•-x

"Hello," Kagome greeted before she sat down next to her hanyou companion. He didn't say anything in return but did nod to her. She wrapped her arms around one of his as she rested her head on his shoulder. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah," he answered.

"Guess who just showed up?"

"Sango," it wasn't hard for him to figure that out since her scent was filled in the arm.

"Isn't that great?" She asked with a giddy smile. "I wasn't sure if she would reconsider marrying Rensei or accept becoming Michio's surrogate mother but apparently she's willing now. I think she'll make a good mom and I'm sure they'll have other children. They make such a great couple."

"We make a great couple," he countered which caused her to cringe some.

She supposed she walked right into that one which meant they did have to address that problem finally. She bit her bottom lip before pulling away enough that they could look at each other. "Inuyasha… I've been thinking about that. I'm going to stay in this era with you."

"Really?" he questioned quickly, "you mean it?"

"Yeah," she said with a nod and a small smile. "Of course. I couldn't imagine living without you… but that does mean I'd like to go home to say goodbye to everyone."

"Alright," Inuyasha replied, "when?"

"Soon," she whispered before she reached into her jacket to feel the whole shikon no tama. "I think we should get rid of the full shikon sooner rather than later just for safety's sake."

"That makes sense, we don't need you breaking it into a thousand little pieces again," Inuyasha joked only to receive a rather cold stare in return. So, his smile faded completely. "Sorry…"

"Just get me back to the well, Inuyasha."

"Alright," he nodded.

x-•°•°•-x

Beeps repeated through the room in a rhythm, but she enjoyed that because that meant Damian was alive. Even though he was dead asleep, his heart was still beating and she could see his chest rise and fall to breath. For well over an hour she had been waiting for him to wake up so she could say goodbye… she already told her mother and brother what was going to happen.

This time, she promised them it was the truth. Both understood since they thought that was going to be the end result anyway when she was just a teenager and still traveling to and from the well. She bid adieu to both Remie and Minoru on her way to the hospital.

While there was plenty she could still do in her era… she was relieved to be leaving the endless fight. In the past, with Inuyasha by her side, she wouldn't have to worry about constant demon threats. If any did attack, he could easily take care of it.

Slowly, Damian stirred, which got her to sit on the edge of her seat until she could see his eyes slowly open. Her smile was the first thing he saw, which sparked a smile of his own before he sat up. "Kagome, I'm so glad you're alright."

"I'm glad you are," she countered before she leaned over to hug him lightly.

"I'm… really sorry about everything. I couldn't control Azazel—"

"It's okay, it's not your fault," she assured him while she sat back.

"So," he dragged out, "what now? Azazel's dead but I'm sure there are still possessions going on. What's the Resistance going to focus on now?"

"I'm not sure," she answered, "but… Damian, I'm not going to be a part of what comes next."

"Why?" he asked with a lifted brow.

"Do you remember anything from when you were possessed?" she paused to watch him nodded warily, "do you remember Inuyasha? And the Feudal Era?"

"Right," he replied, "I do. I was happy that you got reunited, I know how important he is to you."

"He is," she admitted with a smile, "very important… so I hate to do this to you know that Lilith and dad are both gone but…"

"You're going to stay in the Feudal Era with him?" Damian guessed with a weak attempt at a reassuring smile. "It's okay, I always knew if you ever went back you would stay there with him. I understand."

"Thank you, Damian," she whispered back before hugging him once more. "I'll miss you."

"And I'll miss you, too," he asserted and hugged her back.

Oh, how it was hard to part with him but… she had to, so after a little while longer she lift with her final goodbye to walk through Tokyo's street for the last time. She was forsaking it all to return to a world long ago that didn't even have running water or indoor plumbing… she shivered at the thought. But for all the conveniences she was giving up, she would get to spend the rest of her life with the man she loved.

For that, it was well worth it.

It wasn't until she was on the other side of the well and standing on the green grassy hill that she took out of the shikon. The thing that had brought her there to start out with… it brought so much pain to so many. It ruined so many lives… so with a whisper she wished it away for forever.

And locked herself in the past.

But when she saw her silver haired hanyou walking her way she smiled all the same. There was plenty of details to still workout—where to live, what to do, and what would they become—but she knew in that moment it would all be fine.

That they would finally get their happily ever after.


A/N: This is the end. I might add an epilogue at some point but as of now I doubt it. This really wasn't one of my better works... and I've always been told my endings seemed 'rushed' but I hope you enjoyed. Thank you everyone who reviewed and who will continue to review.

I am so happy to be able to have this story's status as complete.

I hope you enjoyed the story.

Thanks for reading. Please review.

Orange Blossom: Your Purity Equals Your Loveliness, Innocence, Eternal Love