Beyond the Happy Ending
He had travelled this pathway many times in the eighty or ninety years since the death of the abomination known as Naraku. He had seen the small village grow through birth and migration into a small town as many appreciated that the village was protected by his brother and thereby a safer place for them to bring up their families.
But although he had been a frequent visitor over the years, not many had seen him and he had left very little indication on the surrounding area to mark his passage; grass always sprang back leaving no indentation under his feet. His eyes noted however the inexorable changes that the human traffic had made; tracks had become paths, and pathways had turned into roads. Knowing now what he did, he knew that it was the start of inevitable change that would lead to humans becoming the most prolific species of intelligent life.
Yes, even he had finally come to accept that humans would eventually rise above the squalor he saw only too often on his travels. Yet for all the marvels he knew would come about, one thing hadn't changed, they still seemed to find new ways to annihilate or torment one another. Even the village that Inuyasha watched over had changed; as it grew in size, so did the level of crime and poverty and hardship was known for the first time. It seemed that with the deaths of the elderly Miko and the latest headman, respect for authority had waned too.
Sesshoumaru kept to the route that had always hidden him from the attention of the humans and well away from the vicinity of their dwellings, but leaving him just on the boundaries of his brother's senses and awaited the arrival of the hanyou. He had a proposition for his brother; he had finally found a use for Inuyasha for that would hopefully be agreeable to them both.
Time passed peacefully until the Daiyoukai's patience in waiting waned. Plenty of time had passed for the boy to have noticed his aura and with an annoyed sigh, Sesshoumaru got up and started to walk towards Inuyasha's home. This was situated on the higher edge of the village and was larger than the other huts with a bigger garden. The Daiyoukai remembered watching Inuyasha clearing the numerous rocks from the stony ground and building a dry wall around his newly acquired land.
At least Inuyasha had chosen the area for himself and not been given the only option; here he could take what he wanted as the rocky soil was not conducive to farming and so had been left by others who chose more fertile, if smaller plots. But in the days and months after Kagome had left at the end of the quest, Inuyasha had welcomed the hard work and planning. Sesshoumaru had silently approved of his brother's industry, but offered no help in the form of servants as he realised that the boy wished to take his mind off his loss of the girl.
Although over the next visits, it became obvious to Sesshoumaru that Inuyasha hadn't given up his belief that the Miko would return. The now cleared land surrounded by the outer wall had become home to four or five wild pigs who were churning up the hardened soil nicely and naturally fertilising it. Inuyasha had offered two of the larger pigs to the village for meat overwinter in return for any scraps that would feed them and supplement the roots that they continually grubbed for.
To the back of the plot was another line of demarcation for the pigs, more stones and timber outlined foundations for a dwelling. In fact to the amazement of all and a bit of envy, Inuyasha built a large home, with several separate rooms that had some of the features he had adapted from the shrine of the future. It was a home befitting a village lord and even Sesshoumaru had given mild praise for his brother's ingenuity; even entering the home and partaking in a cup of tea.
Inuyasha had then undertaken to make furniture for each room and even asked Kaede about the best way to plant a useful garden so that when Kagome returned, a comfortable home would be ready for her. Between helping Miroku in his employment and building a home for his desired mate, Inuyasha was kept busy for a long time, although not as long as the three lonely years he spent waiting for her to reappear.
As thoughts do, these raced through Sesshoumaru's mind swiftly as he made his leisurely way in a straight line towards the house. However before he got very far, the warning bell sounded out across the valley and he could hear the shout of humans as they called for Inuyasha to rescue them from the youkai. The Daiyoukai frowned as he made out the words, these were orders, not polite requests or beseeches for his help and he heard a definite veiled threat when Inuyasha appeared to placate the villagers.
"Oi! Shut up that damned bell you idiots and go back to work; that's my brother and the Lord of the West. You don't want to get him annoyed and he'll leave you alone."
"Take your relative and get him out of here, or we might forget why we keep you around." Shouted one anonymous 'hero' from the back of the crowd, and Sesshoumaru saw his brother's ears involuntarily flatten in dismay at the words. But not for long, they soon perked up in curiosity and exasperation at the youkai's cold, bland expression that was directed towards him as the younger brother bounded over to the elder.
Sesshoumaru was already annoyed with Inuyasha; if the boy had come when he should, the Daiyoukai would not have had to enter the environs of the village. Normally when his brother felt the older sibling's aura he came straight away, just as he should as the younger one; and Sesshoumaru was going to give the boy a piece of his mind. But as usual Inuyasha jumped in before his older brother could remonstrate with him.
"Feh, what do you want Sesshoumaru, why disturb everyone like that? Now there will be all sorts of questions wanting answers and loads of rubbishy talk."
"Why were you remiss in paying your respects to your older brother? Had you come immediately I would not have needed to enter the village at all."
"Keh, gave all that up a long time ago, how should I know that this time you wanted to see me; for the last four summers and more, you have just passed by."
"Don't be ridiculous Inuyasha; I have seen and spoken to you far more recently than that."
"Well, yeah, but only because I have inter…inter…
"Yeah, that; stopped you while you were on yer way somewhere else."
"Then it is time I visited properly; you will invite me to tea in your fairly spacious home." Sesshoumaru said, but he was thoughtful, he hadn't realised that so much time had passed. But that surprise was nothing to compare with the next.
"That ain't my home no more; I ain't lived there for over fifty years." Inuyasha muttered and Sesshoumaru was somewhat taken back, he had no cause to doubt the statement; he only wondered that he had not known of this development in his brother's living arrangements. However the news didn't detract from the original purpose for the Daiyoukai's visit and Sesshoumaru was not one to procrastinate.
"You will come to the West Inuyasha and give your meaningless life some purpose; there is nothing left in the village for you." He stated; completely unconcerned that his words might be construed as harsh. It didn't matter to him as long as Inuyasha finally saw the truth for what it was, besides which, it was time to bring his brother home.