Blanket Disclaimer:

Inuyasha, and the characters therein, are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. I am in no way affiliated with Takahashi, or VIZ Productions.


Winner! 2nd Place Best Lemon, Inuyasha Fanguild 2nd Term 2011

Winner! 3rd Place Best Inu/Kag Romance, Inuyasha Fanguild 2nd Term 2011

Winner! 2nd Place for Best Lemon, Feudal Association 4th Quarter 2011

A/N: (please read if you don't want to be caught off guard by certain things)

This story concept is old…and parts of it have been collecting dust in a little used folder on my computer for several years now. I've tweaked it a tiny bit to make it seem more updated, more like a post-manga story, but it is extremely off-canon in two very important ways. In this universe, Kikyou never fell a second time at Naraku's hands, and the undead miko remained an ally of sorts throughout the final battle, witnessing, and participating in, the dark hanyou's destruction. The second most important twist between this universe and Canon is that Kagome was never temporarily sucked into the jewel, nor did she wish it away. Like in so many off-canon post-Naraku stories written prior to the completion of the manga, upon the dark hanyou's destruction Kagome was left with a completed, purified Shikon no Tama in her hand. This story is a what-if scenario based upon an ending following those rules. For those of you who might be a bit squeamish at the notion, I will also warn you that this story has some Inu/Kik moments, but if you can stomach that, I think you will be pleased in the end. Ultimately, this is an Inu/Kag story.

Also, on a side note, there are some details in this story that I know are not consistent with true Japanese culture, though I am hardly the first person to "Americanize" Japan in their fanfics. I am aware of the cultural inaccuracies, but like I said this story was written, at least in part, several years ago, when I was less knowledgeable on the subject than I am now, and I didn't want to rewrite the parts already completed. This is a fantasy, not a cultural documentary. Enjoy!

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Chapter 1 – Sweet child of mine…

The streets of Tokyo were always busy at that hour. She knew that. So why, oh why, had she agreed to meet Eri for lunch? She would be lucky if she got back to work on time.

Pulling into the first available parking space she saw, Kagome ran as fast as her twenty-year-old legs would carry her. Rounding the corner, she typed her code into the keypad, and smiled when the display read "Higurashi Kagome has clocked back in from lunch at 1:00pm."

"Phew" she sighed aloud, wiping her brow.

"Out jogging again, Higurashi?" came a friendly voice from behind, and she turned to smile at her boss.

"Hey Hojo." she greeted with a friendly bow, "Sorry, but you know how Eri is." she attempted to explain, "I think she was still talking as I drove off."

Chuckling, the museum supervisor gave his long-time friend a hug, then shoved a rather dorky hat upon her head.

"Ugh, whose idea was this thing, anyway?" Kagome asked while pointing to headpiece.

It was your standard Western-style baseball cap, except it was bright yellow, with the museum's logo on the front in bright red. The idea was so a straggler from the tour group could more easily find their guide, but still…

"My uncle," Hojo answered with a wink, his uncle happening to be the curator of the museum, which explained why he had been brought in as a supervisor at such a young age. "But I wouldn't complain." Hojo added, a bit more seriously. "He did us both a huge favor, hiring you on just my word. The other tour guides are all older, and they all went to college." he pointed out.

"Yeah yeah yeah…" she mumbled sarcastically with a friendly wave as she headed down toward the front entrance, where the next group of tourists awaited their guide.

Honestly, Kagome loved her job, despite the ridiculously embarrassing hat she was forced to wear. She loved that she got to spend her days in the history museum. She loved that she got to share her knowledge of the Feudal era, and actually speak of the time as if she had truly been there. If only they knew…

Hojo's uncle had been more than a little reluctant to hire such a young, single mother, with only her high school diploma, from being home schooled, no less…but Hojo had managed to convince him that she was one in a million and to give her a chance. Only Hojo knew the truth about her family status, more or less. While he didn't know the true story, everyone else at the museum, including his uncle, thought that she had been married at age sixteen with her family's permission and that her husband had later died in a car accident. Hojo kept the secret of her dishonor to himself, and for that she was eternally grateful, considering he would be within his rights to look down on her for what he believed to have really happened…a mere love tryst with a boyfriend who had then moved away.

Fortunately for her career, it had turned out that Hojo's faith in her historical knowledge had been well placed. She had been able to catch up on her grades throughout high school since she'd studied at home, only going into a real classroom for the occasional test, and she had actually graduated near the top of her class. She had never lost her love for the Sengoku jidai and had studied it often, becoming quite the expert on the time period. Hojo's uncle absolutely loved Kagome's passion, the way she interacted with the people, and the way she spoke of youkai as if they had actually existed, rather than merely referring to them as either 'myth' or 'legend' as his other guides tended to do. He was especially glad that the girl knew English. They had nearly just as much foot traffic from foreign tourists as they did from local elementary schools, and so English comprehension was actually a museum requirement. He wouldn't have been able to do his nephew any favors if Kagome hadn't been bi-lingual, but just because she'd been home schooled, it apparently didn't mean that she'd missed out on any of her required education, as everyone was quick to discover.

Smiling at the group of mostly American tourists, Kagome adjusted her baseball cap, if you could call it that, and began the tour.

"Five hundred years ago, in the Warring States period, when demons roamed freely…"

~o~O~o~

Pulling up to the shrine, Kagome got out of her car, aiming the remote thingy behind her as she climbed the stairs, ensuring her car made the *beep beep* sound that indicated it had locked.

"Hey sis…" said a thirteen-year-old Souta on his way to a friend's house.

"Hey…" she greeted sleepily. Work was fun, but it was always good to be home.

Was it just her imagination, or were there more stairs than there used to be? Shaking her head, she smiled when the house finally came into sight. Bed…bed sounded very good right about now, she thought, as she opened the front door.

"Mama!" squealed an excitable little three-year-old that proceeded to launch herself onto her mother's midsection, clinging for dear life with hands and feet wrapped securely around her back.

"Hello Izayoi…" Kagome greeted with a playfully sarcastic tone of voice, "And how is Velcro-girl doing this evening?" she added with a grin.

The girl released her vice-like grip, for which Kagome was grateful. Already at age three, the quarter-youkai toddler was stronger than most adults.

"Sweetie, I've told you not to jump up on Mommy like that." a new voice said as the woman rounded the corner from the kitchen.

"I sorry Baa-chan."

"That's all right, why don't you go wash up for dinner?"

"Otay!" she squealed, and with an air of enthusiasm, and inhuman speed, the small child quickly scampered up the stairs three at a time.

"Thanks for watching her, Mama." Kagome sighed as she slipped off her shoes and proceeded into the family room.

"Not at all, dear, we're all here to help you."

"I know she's more of a handful than a human child would be. We're going to have to home school her, too. I wish we could just-"

"Kagome, dear, stop worrying. Izayoi is doing just fine. She's a happy child, and she understands that her differences only make her special."

"That's just 'cause she has such a special Obaa-san to help teach her these things."

The two women hugged, then Kagome trudged upstairs to change.

Entering her old childhood bedroom, Kagome sighed audibly. This was her shrine within a shrine. This was her temple, her sanctuary, where she lived with her daughter…Inuyasha's daughter.

No longer did her room contain 'modern' furnishings. Her bed and dresser, her desk and chair, they were all long gone. In their stead was a single, rather large and surprisingly comfortable futon, and an old fashioned chest for storage, like what one might find back in the Sengoku jidai. The room hardly seemed barren, though; the walls were literally tiled with portraits of her friends from the Feudal era. Kagome had taught herself how to draw, the miko insistent on remembering her friends' faces forever. In many ways her room still resembled the room of a teenage girl, with posters of a boy hanging all over, only the sketches were not of a boy, but of an inu-hanyou. It had become Kagome's personal goal to make sure that Izayoi grew up knowing her father's face, something she knew that Inuyasha himself had never known.

Pulling her work clothes from her body, she chucked them into the laundry basket at the bottom of her closet, and proceeded to pick a comfortable blouse and skirt combo to wear for the rest of the evening. Just then, her daughter came happily scampering into the room, showing off her clean hands and face.

"Look Mama! All clean!"

"Hmmm, let me get a closer look, you know Mama's only got human eyes." she said with a smile down at her daughter.

"Hai Hai, Mama's human. Mama's a pretty human."

"Pretty huh? Where did you hear that?" she asked, as she turned her daughter's clawed hands over in her own for inspection.

"From Hodo!"

Kagome had to stifle her chuckle at her daughter's mispronunciation of his name. "It's Hojo, sweetie, and when did you see him?" she asked, a little concerned.

"When you were with aunt 'Yumi…" she explained, and Kagome released a small breath. Her dinner with Ayumi last week…it had been dark out. Continuing proudly, Izayoi was careful to watch her pronunciation. "Hojo came and asked if you were hungry, but Baa-chan said you were with 'Yumi. Then Hojo said hi to me, said I was pretty just like Mama, then said he'd talk to you later." she relayed matter-of-factly.

Kagome just shook her head. How many times did she have to tell Hojo she wasn't interested? Come to think of it, she did remember Hojo asking her out, yet again, only a few days ago, to which she had once again politely declined. That must have been the 'later' he had mentioned to Izayoi, if his house call had been the week before. Smiling despite her frustration, Kagome at least had to give the boy some credit; he sure was tenacious. He'd given her her space when Izayoi had first been born, but it hadn't been long before he'd started up again, offering 'health products,' or advice, or a shoulder to cry on… Kagome could never tell anyone the real reason why Inuyasha was not in the picture, but she had tried her best. She had been quick to disband any and all rumors that he'd either dumped her, or cheated on her. She had said that he'd moved away, not that he'd 'abandoned' her, and that Izayoi was actually a result of their farewell to one another, so there was no way her pregnancy had been the reason for his departure. She defended his absence by maintaining even to that day that he was unaware of Izayoi's existence. Still, her friends didn't understand why she didn't just try to contact him. But how do you send word five hundred years into the past?

As Kagome stared down at her young daughter, who was so much smarter than an average three-year-old, she once again took in her familiar features. During the light of day, she was truly her father's daughter. She had silver hair, complete with canine ears, amber eyes, as well as claws and fangs. But thankfully, being only quarter youkai, instead of having merely one night a month when she turned human, like her father, she lost the pull of her youkai blood during every night. Hanyou by day, human by night. Kagome had drilled it into her daughter from day-one the importance of never letting anyone see her in the light of day, lest she be taken away from her family. It was horrible to have to instill such fears into such a young child, but it was also very, very necessary, under the circumstances. Things would have honestly been better for Kagome if she'd stayed in the Feudal era. At least there, while hanyou might have been shunned, everyone at least knew what they were. In her time…they'd cart her daughter off to some laboratory somewhere…and probably herself as well.

That had been Kagome's greatest fear when she'd first discovered that she was pregnant. As thrilled as she had truly been to learn that Inuyasha had given her a part of himself to keep with her for all time, she had been terrified that her child would be taken away from her. It was for that reason that, after much deliberation, Mrs. Higurashi had entrusted the importance of their shrine's deepest secrets with the long-time family doctor. Dr. Sato hadn't wanted to believe her, at first, except that he knew Mrs. Higurashi was never one for telling tall tales, especially about something so important. It was beyond obvious that the teenage girl he'd treated since her birth was genuinely terrified about the safety of her unborn child. In the end, he had agreed to tend to Kagome at home, using the excuse of their faith and a desire for a 'natural' birth as explanation of why Kagome chose not to go to the hospital.

The birth had taken place in the earliest hours of morning during mid autumn. After all the mental preparation he had given himself regarding whatever the child might possibly look like, Dr. Sato had been both confused and disbelieving when he'd delivered a perfectly normal, healthy human baby girl. But upon registering Kagome's own confusion, and disappointment, he had realized that her story must have been true, after all. Or at least, she had believed it to be true.

~Flashback~

Cleaning the baby and wrapping her in a blanket, Dr. Sato handed the infant to the exhausted sixteen-year-old, who looked down on the baby she held both with tears of joy and sorrow in her eyes.

"Maybe…" he started to hypothesize, feeling sorry for Kagome and her obvious disappointment, "Maybe because she's three-quarters human…" he attempted to excuse, hoping to get the girl to see that in the end, this was undoubtedly for the best, whether the story had been true or not.

His words immediately stilled in his throat, however, when upon daybreak in the eastern horizon Kagome felt her baby's aura pulse against her own, as she gasped, and a huge smile spread across her face as before everyone's eyes, the baby's small tuft of midnight hair paled to that of shimmering silver, and her deceivingly human ears morphed and shifted, converting themselves into puppy ears that rested peacefully upon the top of the child's head.

"She looks just like him…" Kagome heard her mother breathe with a sigh of relief mixed with trepidation. Relief because she knew Kagome had wanted it that way, though Mrs. Higurashi could not help but to be nervous regarding the child's future in their time.

"Do you have a name?" her grandfather asked her then, and she nodded without hesitation.

All throughout her pregnancy she had known, were it a boy, she would name him after his father, and were it a girl, she would name her after her grandmother.

"Izayoi." she spoke softly.