WARNING! I rewrote a few arts in the last four chapters or so. So please, please, either re-read the story, or the last few chapters before this update so you aren't confused. I didn't change much, just took a few parts out, added a part, and changed a few facts. Thank you!

~Chapter Twenty~

Kagome meandered around the gardens aimlessly. Shippo skipped ahead of her, chasing a butterfly. Saruko walked with her, happily joining in whenever Kagome started a conversation. Ayumi trailed behind them. Despite her many attempts to get Ayumi to walk beside them, the girl had refused.

"I have a better chance of fending off an oncoming attack from here Milady. It is a better vantage point."

Kagome pouted at this, but did not fight her. She made sure to include Ayumi in the conversations, but it wasn't the same.

"Mama look! I caught it!" Shippo hopped up to her, his tiny hands enclosed around the butterfly.

"It's beautiful Shippo, be careful not to hurt it though."

"I'll be careful." Shippo smiled up at her before turning his attention back to the butterfly. "I bet Rin would have loved it!"

Kagome paused. 'Rin.'

She hadn't thought of the girl since they left the village. She felt a pang of guilt. Here she was, living in this palace, a place that used to be Rin's home, and Rin waited in her tiny hut for Sesshoumaru to come visit her again.

Sesshoumaru had sent her to the village because he wanted her to be safe. Naraku's minions and nefarious deeds had caused a lot of trouble in his lands, and Sesshoumaru was forced to constantly patrol his lands. He didn't want her to be alone at the palace while he patrolled his lands either and decided it was best to let her live in a village.

Kagome knew it hadn't been an easy decision for him. He wouldn't admit it, but he loved her like his own.

'But things are different now.' Kagome thought. She knelt awkwardly in front of Shippo, Saruko holding her arm to help her balance.

"Shippo, how would you like it if Rin came home? You'd like to have someone to play with right?"

Shippo's eyes widened. "Really?! Rin-chan can come live with us?"

Kagome smiled. "I'll have to ask Sesshoumaru, but I don't see why she can't."

It was true, now that she and Sesshoumaru were mated and she was pregnant, Sesshoumaru wouldn't be going on any patrols for a while. Even if he did have to leave the palace, Rin wouldn't be alone anymore.

"I'll go ask him right now." Kagome stood with the help of Saruko.

Saruko stayed in the gardens with Shippo while Kagome and Ayumi headed inside. Kagome sent another servant to find Kimiko to take Saruko's place.

Kagome slipped into Sesshoumaru's office. He was there, at his desk, like he was every morning since they'd returned.

He didn't look up, but Kagome could tell that he knew she was there.

"I have a request to make." She started, sitting down in her chair.

Sesshoumaru had it moved into his office a few days after they'd arrived. Kagome had made a habit of visiting him as he worked in his office and staying for hours. She would either read, or talk with him, or curl up and sleep.

Sesshoumaru put down the document he was reading and gave her his full attention.

"I was hoping it would be alright if Rin came home. I know your reasons for sending her to the village, but since things changed, is there really any reason for her to stay there?"

There was a flash of a smile on his face before he turned back to his paperwork.

"I have already sent for her. Rin will be home in time for the upcoming Ball."

"A Ball?" Kagome shifted in her chair and settled back in. Sesshoumaru nodded, not lifting his gaze from his paperwork. "Why? It's not that I don't like the idea of a ball, but what is it for?"

"It is to celebrate our mating, the adoption our Kit, and to welcome the Heir of the Western Lands. I suppose it is in celebration of the return of my ward as well."

"Oh."

Sesshoumaru finally raised his gaze. Kagome did not meet his gaze. "What is it?"

"Well… I'm not exactly 'Lady of the West' material. I don't want to embarrass you. What will people think? Some little human just randomly shows up and is suddenly the Lady to the Western lands and oh! Surprise surprise! She's preggers too!"

Sesshoumaru raised a brow and Kagome blushed.

"It's slang for pregnant. What I'm trying to say is… Our mating and my pregnancy wasn't exactly planned. Isn't planning a ball and flaunting our, for lack of a better word, mistakes… kind of… I don't know… shameful?" Kagome's eyes flickered to his before lowering her gaze again. "I kind of put you in a awkward position."

Sesshoumaru was in front of her in a flash. He gripped her chin and forced her to look him in the eye.

"There is nothing shameful about it. You are my mate, you were destined to be mine and I yours from the beginning. It simply happened sooner rather than later. This," He placed a hand on her stomach, "may not have been planned, but it was no mistake."

Tears formed in Kagome's eyes. "I don't think so either," She whispered. "But what will others think?"

"I care not what others think." He wiped away one of the tears that escaped her eyes.

Kagome stood, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Thank you." She smiled at him. "You are the most caring man I have ever met."

Sesshoumaru growled playfully, nipping at her nose. "Hn, perhaps you should keep that to yourself. We don't want my adversaries catching word. They might think me weak."

Kagome shook head. "Caring for someone doesn't make you weak. It gives you strength. Caring makes you a better person."

"Yes," he began as he nuzzled her, "I'm beginning to see that."

They shared a kiss before Kagome pulled away.

"I have to meet Sakura for a check up."

"Very well." Sesshoumaru gave her a quick peck before placing a hand on her stomach again.

"Oh!"

They both looked down in surprise.

"Was that?" Sesshoumaru asked.

Kagome squealed excitedly. "The baby just kicked!" She threw her arms around him. "We just felt the baby's first kick!"

Sesshoumaru swelled with pride. He knelt before her stomach and placed an ear against her stomach. He listened closely, hoping to hear the infant's heartbeat.

A few moments later he stood, pulling her towards the door.

"Come."

"Where are we going?"

"To Sakura. There is something I wish to confirm."

Sesshoumaru lead her to Sakura's room. She was temporarily taking residence in the room opposite theirs, which was to be the nursery once the baby came.

He sat her down in a chair and spoke to Sakura in a tone too low for Kagome to hear. Sakura nodded and moved to her side.

"Good afternoon, Kagome-sama," she bowed before continuing, "I understand that the babe has kicked?"

"Yes, it was the first time I've felt it. Oh! There it is again!" Kagome smiled.

Sakura placed a hand on Kagome's stomach, gently applying pressure in a few spots.

There was another kick.

"I don't think the baby likes that." Kagome giggled.

"No, I suppose they don't."

"Well, I'm glad the baby is getting stronger."

Sakura placed an ear to her stomach, much like Sesshoumaru had done, but it was less intimate.

After a moment Sakura backed away and nodded to Sesshoumaru, as if confirming something.

Sesshoumaru smiled.

Kagome looked at them, curious. Sesshoumaru rarely smiled in front of others. "What is it?"

"It appears, Kagome, that you are having twins."

~End of Chapter~

I know, very predictable with the twins thing but hey, I love twins. Besides, dogs don't just have one puppy usually anyways hahaha.

And yes, I know, I'm going to get a bunch of reviews saying my update was way too short. Well, I just spent the last seven, yes, SEVEN hours going through this story and tweeking and changing it and then I wrote this tidbit so cut me some slack. I'm going through my stories by update dates, meaning the ones that haven't been updated in the longest are the ones I'm working on and some of them need to be rewritten. Lucky for the readers of this particular story, it only took one night to do the rewrite. My other stories aren't so lucky. You'll see another update once I fix and update the others. Unless its my drabble story, Azure and Obsidian, I update that more often cuz I write my chapters (100 word drabbles) during my breaks at work on my cell phone and copy and paste them onto fanfic.