Chapter Fourteen – Blessing

Sesshoumaru stepped into his lavish home with a frown marring his handsome features; it had been nearly a year since Naraku's last attack and there had been no sightings since. His guards were even bringing him jewel shards and he now had more than he believed to still be out there; Naraku hadn't even tried to take them. He would go as far as to assume that someone had killed him if it wasn't for the fact that the monk still had his cursed wind tunnel.

He was also concerned for the miko, she was well past her birthing date and she still had not gone into labour. He feared the child would grow far too big for the miko to push resulting in her having to be sliced open. He didn't want that, the miko was far too fragile. Then again it may happen anyway, she was just so tiny how could she possibly push anything bigger than an apple?

Still there was no trace of death or illness lingering on her and that was enough comfort to prevent him from demanding that Oki tear the child from her womb immediately. Makina had also been concerned for the miko but seemed to have more hope for her than he did; she said that Kagome had been through too much in her short life to allow something as trivial as labour to harm her dangerously.

"How was your patrol my lord?" Dai asked as he handed the daiyoukai's armour off to a waiting Monomaru.

"Dead as usual"

"You seem unsettled by this"

"Naraku is not one to merely give up, the fact that he is still waiting unnerves me. He must have some big scheme up his sleeve if he still hasn't struck."

"Either that or he is merely waiting for the child to be born"

"This further proves that we have a traitor in our midst as he somehow knows it has yet to arrive. Any updates on our traitor?"

"None Prince Sesshoumaru" Monomaru cut in "There are no signs of strange behaviour nor has anyone breeched the curfew you set."

"That we know of" Dai added "They could be using magic; it is a shame Lady Makina had to return home she could have helped us"

"You seem to be under the impression that my cousin practices magic"

"Not at all but she knows how to pinpoint it due to the Lady Mother"

"Hn" Sesshoumaru dismissed his guards and sniffed out the one who could relieve him of his stress.

He found the miko in her favourite part of the palace and that was of course the garden; she was currently reading to Rin, Shippo and Kohaku while rubbing her huge stomach. He had to give her credit where it was due, to carry such a burden and not collapse or ask for help was admirable.

She immediately caught sight of him as soon as he entered the gardens and dismissed the children to give them some privacy; he believed she did this for his sake since he was not that good with children, besides Rin of course.

"How did patrolling go?"

"There have been no sightings of the hanyou again" He kneeled beside her and watched as she marked her page.

"I'm not surprised; he didn't take the opportunity to attack us when we visited my mother last month so to strike the palace after that chance isn't his style. He may be a coward but he's an intelligent one" She sighed before returning to her unconscious belly rubbing. "I hope it's not too much longer for this little one, I'm getting pretty impatient to meet her"

"You believe the child is female?"

"Yup" She smiled as she gazed at her stomach "I just know"

"And if you are wrong?"

"I won't be disappointed"

"Hn" He then stood and extended a clawed hand "Regardless you should not be out here at this time of the evening, it is far too cold to be out here in your condition"

"Now you sound like Oki" She rolled her eyes before taking his offered hand and allowing him to help her to her feet. "Perhaps I'll take a nice hot bath with Rin and then head to bed; I seem to get tired far too quickly these days"

Kagome's eyes snapped open as she quietly gasped at the passing stabbing pain. What the hell was that? Chancing a glance at Sesshoumaru she found him sound asleep with one arm draped over her middle; somehow they always ended up entangled when they slept. Shrugging it off as the baby giving her a harsh kick Kagome settled back down to sleep only for another stab of pain to hit her.

"Damn" She groaned. She reached for some water only to drop the china when another whoosh of pain hit her. If she assumed what she thought was happening then the pain should not be coming so fast…unless she slept through the first parts of it. Then again she had been getting a little nudging of pain all day.

She felt the bed move slightly from behind indicating that her accident had woken Sesshoumaru.

"You are far too clumsy for your own good miko" His husky voice would usually send tremors down her if the pain wasn't already replacing it.

"Sesshoumaru" She whimpered as she peeked at him over her shoulder "I think it's time" He frowned at her, clearly his mind wasn't fully awake yet to process what she was trying to say. "I think I'm in labour"

Immediately he snapped from his sleep clouded stage and sat up in the bed; he scented the air and was somewhat relieved that the miko's waters had not broken yet. He did not want a drenched bed to return to. "You are sure?"

"Oh don't start asking stupid questions, of course I'm sure" She hissed as she gripped her stomach. "I don't know what to do"

"Oki will assist you" Without trying to move her too much Sesshoumaru lifted the whimpering miko into his arms and headed straight for the healer's suite.

He unceremoniously woke Oki from her sleep after setting the miko onto an empty futon and watched impatiently as the old healer grumbled to herself while she gathered the supplies needed for the birth.

"Could you possibly move any slower?"

"Keep it up lad" Oki warned as she stirred her broth "This doesn't taste particularly delectable so I won't hesitate to shove it down your throat as well" She then held it to the miko's lips who drank at it greedily. "It will taste foul Kagome but it will help with the pain." Kagome barely nodded as she gulped back the need to vomit. "Now how far apart are the contractions?"

"Not very far at all; I think I slept through most of it"

"Wishful thinking I'm afraid" She moved to untie the miko's yukata only to stop and stare at Sesshoumaru "I am sorry Prince Sesshoumaru but you must leave at once, the birthing room is no place for a man"

"No he can't leave!" Kagome gasped. Her hand shot out and grabbed Sesshoumaru's sleeve when he moved to leave "I need you. Please don't leave me"

Sesshoumaru retook his place at her side and caught her hand "If you wish for me to stay then I shall" He switched his gaze to a disapproving Oki "I assure you that I will not look anywhere deemed inappropriate"

"I should certainly hope so" She huffed as she untied Kagome's yukata only to discover that her waters had finally broken "You are only to look at her face and to support her" She pulled open the clothing only to frown at the strange contraption covering the miko's breasts. She didn't really have time to ponder over its use as Kagome let out another cry. Diverting her attention back between her thighs Oki inspected the teenager. "You are not to push yet child, you are not fully dilated yet. If you push too soon you could harm it"

"Is she okay though?"

"Everything seems to be fine"

Kagome let her head fall back as the pain receded for what she knew would only be a brief moment, she needed all the energy she could muster for this and knew she could not rely on her reiki in fear of harming the youkai part of her child.

"Perhaps you would rather the slayer to aid you in this?" Oki offered clearly not liking a man in the birthing room, even if that man was Prince Sesshoumaru. Regardless of who he was by title he should not have been here with her, he wasn't even the child's sire.

"I don't want to wake her" She winced as another contraction hit. "Damn it" The pain lasted a little longer this time and was far more intense.

"You must remain calm Kagome, no matter how the pain worsens. We cannot afford to risk anything in the birthing room."

"Ugh I'm starting to think I'm having an alien not a baby!"

"An alien you say?" He raised a brow clearly not understanding the name.

"Now is not the time" She growled as another contraction hit her. "Sesshoumaru, I'm scared; I'm not ready to be a mother"

"Yes you are" He soothed as he brushed the bangs from her eyes "I shall be here too along with your companions. You are not alone in this miko"

"I'm too young"

"Enough of this now" He rubbed her back "You are going to be a mother regardless of if you're ready or not"

"Geez talk about cheering a girl up…" She cut herself off with a whine.

"Hmm it would appear you are progressing faster than I imagined; be ready you shall have to push soon." Oki busied herself with grabbing towels and supplies as Kagome cursed herself for not giving birth in her own time. God what she would do for some gas and air right about now! "Are you sure you do not want me to retrieve the slayer?"

"Ah!" She cried as she tried to arch away from the pain.

"I believe the time for waiting has passed Oki" Sesshoumaru stated. He pressed a damp cloth to the miko's head that was extremely grateful.

"Right Kagome I need you to start pushing, go!"

Kagome took a deep breath and pushed as hard as she could; she could feel her child's head breaching her womanhood as she clenched her teeth to stop herself from screaming. When Oki told her to stop she slumped back against the pillow and sucked in some much needed air.

"You're doing brilliantly Kagome, now push again"

Taking Sesshoumaru's unsuspecting hand Kagome once again gave it her all surprising the daiyoukai; she was actually managing to hurt him. No it wasn't to the extent that he would fling her off him, it was more like a mere pinch but impressive nevertheless.

"Now stop" She slumped back again and began to cry from the stretched burning sensation below; Sesshoumaru wiped away her tears and whispered comforting words into her ear. This was going to be a long night…

It was well into the night and Kagome was still fighting to push her child from her womb. This one was being stubborn much like its damned sire! The miko relaxed back once more and panted as she waited reluctantly for the next wave of pain. Sesshoumaru had to hand it to her she was very strong and determined; she hadn't once complained about the pain nor had she begged for it all to stop. She was indeed admirable.

"One last push Kagome and we'll be there. I need you to give it your all in this one"

Nodding Kagome tiredly pushed herself back onto her arms and took a deep breath. Sesshoumaru helped to support her and fed what youki he could offer as he watched her give it one final push. A small whimper managed to escape the miko before it was overwhelmed with a frightened shriek of a newborn babe.

Kagome fell back again her pillow and sighed in relief with the knowledge that she no longer had to endure anymore pain. The daiyoukai scented her for any signs of illness or death only to find she was as healthy as a woman just out of labour could be.

"Congratulations my lady" Oki smiled as she carried a now wrapped babe over to the new mother. "You were correct in your assumptions, you have a baby girl" She set the child into Kagome's arms and stepped back to allow her some privacy; she was tempted to take Sesshoumaru with her but he was far too engrossed by the new member.

"She's beautiful" Kagome cried as she kissed her silver brow "At least you have your father's best features" She mused as she gently rubbed the tiny puppy ears.

"I am impressed that she has that hair colouring and ears, she only carries a quarter of youkai blood in her" Sesshoumaru commented as he inhaled the child's pure scent. "Her youkai blood is strong"

"Well she is your niece"

"Indeed" He allowed a small smile "Well done Kagome, you should be proud" Without thinking he leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss to her brow "She is most precious"

The miko was far too exhausted to freak over his open affection as well as being too caught up in her daughter. "Do you want to hold her?"

"It would be unwise, I have no experience"

"Neither do I" She mused as she leaned over and set her daughter in his arms. "You better get used to it; you may have one of your own someday"

"Perhaps" He gently rocked the little bundle and was amazed by how quiet she had become; it was obvious the child was comfortable in his precious and he had no doubt it was due to his youki that had fed her mother through the pregnancy. "Have you thought of a name?"

"Emiko"

"It suits her" He stood to pass the child back to his miko only for Oki to step forward and stop him.

"It would be best if the miko had some rest now" Nodding Sesshoumaru set Emiko in the crib provided and returned to her side.

"Get some sleep, I shall check in on you at first light"

"Okay" She yawned. "Thank you Sesshoumaru"

"For what?"

"Everything" He watched as her eyes slid closed for some much needed rest before turning and leaving his little miko to rest from such an exhausting night…

Ah I think I shall leave it there for now.

I have not had a child myself yet so the knowledge of what happens in the birthing room has only been passed onto me. I wasn't too sure when was the most appropriate for her waters to break so I kinda just went with it.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this chapter

Reviews Please

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