Something To Protect

Chapter 18

Epilogue


1 year and 128 days ago...

"The war is finally over, the treaty between the Takahashi’s and Aomori’s was signed over a week ago. Oh! Miroku and I are married now, yeah who would have ever guessed." The brunette woman laughed. Smiling down at her best friend she regarded her with a sad expression. Ever since that day nothing had changed with her.

And everyday the young woman's heart broke a little more.

"I'm expecting soon. Lady Kaede says I'm having twins, Miroku’s thinks they’re boys but I know better. You need come back soon okay? I want you to meet them, my beautiful daughters."

"Sango? Are you in here?" A masculine voice called.

"Yes, in here." she called back.

"What are you doing my love?" Miroku sat next his wife, she was beautiful, all round and glowing from her pregnancy.

"Just updating her on current affairs, when she comes back I want her to know what's going on." Sango said hopefully.

"Sango..." Miroku started.

"Don't. I know she can hear me...they both can.

"You're right. I'm sorry." He said gently.

"I just want them to come back." Sango whispered as the tears began to sting the back of her eyes.

"Me too." Only when Miroku pulled her into his arms did she finally breakdown and cry.


2 years and 187 days ago...

She had been trapped in the darkness so long that it became a comfort for her. The silence, the stillness, it didn't scare her.

She enjoyed it.

"I never want to leave." She sighed, closing her eyes in contentment. Her eyes opened quickly when the sound of high pitched giggling floated by her ears. She looked around and when nothing but darkness met her vision she closed her eyes once more, only to open them again at the sound of more giggling.

"Who's there?" she finally called out. The giggling stopped and a little girl came forward. Her thick raven locks pulled up in a ponytail flopped happily behind her. Her chocolate eyes were light and carefree.

She looked so happy.

"Hi there!" She yelled excitedly," I've been looking for you everywhere!"

"You've been looking for me? Who are you?"

"I'm you silly." The girl beamed.

"What?" The girl was looking at the child as if she had three heads.

"You still don't know who you are do you?" The little girl asked her, her head tilting to the side cutely.

"Of course I do, I'm Kagome."

"I'm Kagome too! There are many Kagomes you know. All of us little Kagomes making up one big Kagome. That's you!" The child smiled brightly.

"You're apart of me? Then why aren't you here with me?"

"Because you're broken. But once you find all the pieces you can go home!"

"Aren't I already home?"

"No silly! You have another home and it's way better than this! You can't go there until you find all of us though, and you better hurry cause some of us are starting to disappear."

"Disappear?"

"If too many of us go away then you can never go back, but don't worry someone's coming here to help you!" The girl said grinning widely.

"Really? Who?" Kagome asked getting curious.

"I can't tell you! That would ruin all the fun, but you'll know him when you see him."

"Him?"

The girl nodded happily. " Oh, and you can call me Shiawase!"

"Shiawase…Happiness?"

The child nodded once again. "I'm all of your happy memories! If you want them back just touch my hand."

Kagome stared at the child's hand for a moment before looking at her shining eyes, and then at the smile big enough to split her face in half.

Slowly she grasped the child's hand and light feeling spread over body. Memories of her family flashed in her mind, she remembered her best friend Sango, and Lady Kaede.

Every joyful moment that had ever happened to her slammed into her mind.

The last image was of a boy with midnight hair and violet eyes.

"Inuyasha..."


2 years and 225 days ago...

A young man stood in the void. Staring out into nothing, letting the blackness fall around him like a dark cloak. His ears were ringing. Who knew the silence could be so loud?

"Where am I?" he wondered aloud. He tried to remember the recent events that led him here.

He remembered, a man...an evil man with crimson eyes. He hurt someone, someone he cared about. He couldn't save them so another brought him here. A woman brought him here, so he could save someone.

But who?

A pale face with raven locks and big chocolate eyes flashed in his mind. This was the person he cared about. The one he had to save.

"Kagome." he whispered, vivid pictures of an intense battle flashed through the darkness. Images of him and his friends fighting, images of the evil man, Naraku, becoming more and more corrupt. A final image of Naraku tearing his claws into Kagome's chest as he ripped out her soul, and her not awakening when the battle was finally over.

"I have to find her." the sudden sound of crying stopped him from moving forward. Looking around, the never ending blackness was the only thing he saw. Chalking it up an over active imagination Inuyasha stepped forward to continue on, when the sound of more crying stopped him once again.

"Who's out there?" he called out. A young girl around the age of 12 stepped out of the shadows. Her head was bowed so her midnight bangs covered the rest of her face. She was sniffling and crying uncontrollably.

"Hey, are you okay?" Inuyasha asked awkwardly. He hated when people cried.

She looked up and her round face was red and blotchy from her tears. Wiping her nose and rubbing at her eyes she finally found her voice.

"Yeah I'm okay. I'm always like this." she said sadly.

"Er, okay? Who are you?"

"Technically I'm Kagome, but you can call me Kanashimi." The girl said through her sniffles.

"Sadness? Your name is sadness?" Inuyasha said bewildered. What kind of name was that for a child?

"Y-yes."

"What are you doing here?"

"For the same reason you are; I'm looking for Kagome."

"Why?" He said skeptically, his guard flying up the moment the girl said Kagome's name.

"Because she's broken and without me she'll never be whole, and if she's not whole then she can't go home with you." Kanashimi explained quietly.

"Broken?"

"But when you all destroyed the barrier Naraku missed a crucial step in his ritual. Kagome's soul was shattered when he could not complete the ritual." The melodic voice ghosted over Inuyasha's memory as he remembered the conversation clearly.

"Do you know where she is Kanashimi?" Shaking her head in the negative the young girl buried her head in hands and once again began to dissolve into a fit of sobs.

'No wonder they call her Kanashimi.' Awkwardly he patted the girl’s shoulder, until her body racking sobs were reduced to quiet whimpers.

"Why don't we look for Kagome together huh?" Inuyasha suggested.

"Y-you'd really help me look for her?" Kanashimi said with watery eyes.

"Yeah sure."

"W-we should hurry. If too many of Kagome's pieces disappear, s-she won’t be able to leave."

Inuyasha stared at the girl wide eyed for a moment before following her deeper into the void.


3 years and 45 days ago...

Kagome didn't know how long it had been since she'd run into Shiawase. But in that time she had also found Yujo and Kyofu.

Yujo was friendship. Every friend Kagome had ever made and all of her memories surrounding her friends was personified by Yujo.

Kagome now had more memories of Sango. She remembered Miroku and Hamako, a young servant back at the castle.

Realizing that there were people out there who cared about her, and probably missed her made Kagome want to leave this place. It wasn’t home and it wasn’t where she belonged.

Then she met Kyofu.

She was the embodiment of fear. The small girl lurked in the shadows trying to hide from the things that haunted her.

When Kagome touched her hand the memories of her family's murder flooded her mind. Naraku's crimson eyes now flashed in the darkness. For the first time she realized how truly alone she was.

And she was afraid.

But all she could do was wait. Wait to find more pieces of herself.

And wait for her mysterious helper to find her.

{~*~}

Inuyasha still wondered in the darkness looking for Kagome. On his search for her he stumbled along more pieces of her soul.

The first piece he found was a young girl named Ai who couldn't have been more than four. She was bubbly and constantly smiling.

She was love.

She clung to Inuyasha, hugging him, and constantly saying how much she loved everything. At first he found all the attention unnerving and unwanted but soon he learned to ignore it.

Then they found a baby named Muzai. Kagome's innocence. The baby was always sleeping but when she was awake she was nothing but smiles and laughter. Completely oblivious to the darkness she was surrounded in.

Ever since they found her Inuyasha wouldn't let her go. Though both Kanashimi and Ai volunteered to hold her Inuyasha didn't want to give her up.

The infant was a mystery to him. How could Kagome not loose herself with everything she had been through? Finding the butchered bodies of her parents and younger brother, being left all alone at such a young age, then dealing with Naraku on top of all that.

Kagome had been able to keep her outlook on life pure. She didn't let the bad things in life taint her. So Inuyasha wanted to protect that innocence. If he could do nothing else for her, he vowed to at least do that.

So lost in his thoughts Inuyasha never noticed when Ai and Kanashimi stopped suddenly.

"What the hell?" He said bumping into them lightly, and then mentally cursed himself for cursing in front of children. Looking up his jaw dropped when he saw Kagome standing in front of him.

She looked the same as she did before. Her raven locks still feel just below her shoulders in soft waves. Her big brown eyes stared at him with little emotion and her pale skin looked dull in the dark.

"Kagome?" Inuyasha said her name as if it was a question. Could it really be her?

"Do I know you?"

His heart broke at those words. How could she not remember him? All the things that happened between them...how could she just forget about that?

Kagome gasped loudly, her eyes twinkling happily.

"Um...Kagome are you okay?" He asked nervously. Seeing her giddy stare directed towards the top of his head Inuyasha slowly lifted his hand only to be met with his ears.

His totally new, not human at all, puppy ears.

Inuyasha mentally slapped himself in the face for his stupidity. The last time Kagome had seen him he was human, now he was hanyou. No wonder she didn't recognize him.

"Kagome do you know who Inuyasha is?" he asked.

"Kind of. I had memories of him when I met Yujo." she said, her eyes glazing over in remembrance.

"What does the Inuyasha you remember look like?"

"Midnight hair and Violet eyes." She responded automatically.

"Kanashimi go to her." Inuyasha commanded. The young girl walked up to Kagome with her hands out stretched. When Kagome touched Kanashimi she disappeared, and a new wave of memories and emotion was given back to Kagome.

"What do you see?" Inuyasha asked gently.

"He's being hurt...because of me. Inuyasha was hurt and it was my fault." Tears bubbled in Kagome's eyes and fell down her cheeks.

"Ai, you're next." The young girl pranced happily up to Kagome and gave her a big hug. Ai disappeared and Kagome's tears dried up. Memories of Inuyasha and her confessing to each other assaulted her thoughts. She also remembered their first kiss.

"Inuyasha loves me...and I love him too." She whispered.

Finally Inuyasha stepped toward her holding out Muzai. She gently cradled the baby in her arms as she cooed happily before finally disappearing.

"Are you here to help me? The person that Shiawase told me about?"

Inuyasha nodded his head in the affirmative, taking another step toward her and gently grasping her hands in his.

"Kagome it's me. I'm Inuyasha."

"But you...your hair and your eyes and your ears...it’s all wrong." She said confused.

"There are lots of things that I need to tell you, things that I barely understand myself, but I need for you to trust me. Don't you want to go home? Back to Miroku and Sango?" he explained.

"I want to believe you, I really do. How can you prove to me that you’re not lying?" Inuyasha stared at her for a minute, his topaz eyes locking with her brown ones.

Slowly he leaned into her, never breaking eye contact. Then his lips met hers. Their eyes closed and Inuyasha gently pulled her to him, his hands snaking around her waist as he poured all his love for her into that kiss.

Kagome gasped. The logical part of mind said to push him away because he was a stranger, but her heart knew him...even if her mind didn't remember. Memories of their first kiss flooded into her mind and there was no doubt in her mind, she knew it was him.

No one loved her like he did and this kiss was all he needed to prove it.

Finally reacting Kagome opened her mouth to him after he gently nipped her bottom lip. His tongue explored her mouth tasting the sweetness that was uniquely Kagome.

Wrapping her arms around his neck Kagome gently pushed her tongue against Inuyasha's forcing it back into his mouth, while she took her turn to explore him.

The need for air pulled them apart. They stood there in the darkness panting and staring at each other.

Then they both smiled.


Now...

Sango was out in the orchard sitting underneath the Sakura trees. She remembered coming out here all the time with Kagome, admiring the beauty mother nature had to offer.

It was moments like this that she missed her best friend the most. She watched as her daughters frolicked through the flower beds, stopping to pluck one every now and then. Her twins had just celebrated their second birthday.

'I really hope you make it to see them grow up Kagome." Sango thought sadly. Though she tended to wallow in pity over the loss of her friend she knew that her husband was also having a difficult time.

Inuyasha was Miroku's cousin and best friend. He tried not to show it, but she knew Inuyasha not being around was definitely taking a toll on him.

'Though he's handling it a lot better than me." Sango was snapped from her thoughts when she suddenly found Miroku in front of her face and shaking her.

"What is it? Stop shaking me." She said.

"Come with me!" Miroku said excitingly. Scooping up his daughters Miroku ran into the castle, his wife in tow.

"Miroku what's going on? Is everything okay?"

"I sure hope so!" Turning the corner they both entered the room where their friends had been "sleeping" peacefully for a little over three years.

Sango stared wide eyed as Kagome's body was illuminated with a soft pink glow. Shifting from around Miroku she could see Inuyasha's body engulfed in a deep red light. The two auras lifted from the bodies of their friends. They came together, mashing and mending against each other.

"Miroku what's happening?" Sango asked worried.

"I think their finally coming back to us."

Finally the auras blended, completely in synch and harmonizing. The light divided shot back into Inuyasha and Kagome's bodies jolting them as if they had been struck by lightning. When the auras had completely disappeared...nothing had changed.

Miroku and Sango waited with baited breath.

"Please...please bring them back."

Inuyasha shot up off the futon, taking a deep gulp of air. His chest heaved up and down as he put a hand on his heart to control its erratic beating.

"Sango? Miroku?" He said confused. Said people stood in shock mouths agape at the actions that had just transpired in front of them.

Looking up at his friends he asked, "Where's Kagome?" Just then the happiness faded from their eyes and was replaced by sadness and despair. Turning his head Inuyasha saw Kagome lying on her futon, unmoving with her eyes still closed.

"No." He whispered to himself. Crawling over to her he gently placed her head in his lap. Cupping her cheek softly he noticed how cold it was.

"This can't be happening." Tears welled in his eyes and he tried to swallow the lump forming in his throat.

If too many of Kagome's pieces disappear she can't go home with you.

The words haunted Inuyasha's memory. They had tried so hard, they thought they found all pieces to Kagome's soul.

A tunnel of light had appeared in the darkness. It called to them and beckoned them to return home. They had stepped into the light together.

So why was he only one awake?

Though your soul will remain intact there is a strong possibility that you will not be able to return to the physical world, even if you could somehow manage to return it's not guaranteed that Kagome will return with you.

"Please...don't leave me." The tears Inuyasha had bravely tried to keep at bay rolled down his face.

One tear. Then two. His shaky breaths turned into sobs. He was acutely aware that Sango was also sobbing, Miroku tried to console both her and the two children, who were crying because their mommy was upset.

Inuyasha buried his face into Kagome's hair, squeezing her like his life depended on it.

"What am I supposed to do if you’re gone?" He thought dejectedly.

"Inu...ya...sha, I-I can't breathe." Kagome chocked out. The tears stopped and his eyes widened in shock. Letting his arms relax, Inuyasha stared into the chocolate orbs of his love, her skin was still extremely pale, and her body was still cold.

But she was alive.

"Don't scare me again like that you stupid girl." Inuyasha said gently before catching her lips in a desperate kiss. Even though he could hear her heart beating, feel her muscles moving under her skin, he had to make sure. He needed to know that this was real... that she was real.

Breaking apart they smiled at each other before being attacked by both Miroku and Sango.

Sango and Kagome clung to each other desperately as tears of joy flowed down their cheeks. Miroku and Inuyasha did much of the same, though with significantly less tears.

"Kagome there some people I want you to meet." Sango said smiling softly, "Kimiko, Hana, come here." she called gently.

The two toddlers wobbled over to their mother and looked at Kagome curiously.

"They're...yours?" Kagome said more tears welling in her eyes. Miroku walked over to smile lovingly at the children and put a comforting arm around Sango.

"And...you two?" Kagome trailed off leaving the couple to just nod and smile.

"Wow didn't know you had in you to settle down lech!" Inuyasha laughed, Kagome punching him playfully in the arm.

"Hi sweetie pies. I'm your aunt Kagome and this is your Uncle Inuyasha." The two girls looked at each other before launching themselves at their new aunt and uncle.

"I wanna pway wit the doggy!" Hana yelled latching onto Inuyasha's ears.

"I wanna pway too!" Kimiko squealed.

"Miroku get your kids!" Inuyasha exclaimed desperately trying to protect his ears.

"I think everything is going to be alright now." Kagome thought as she looked at the scene before her.


4 years later...

"Goodnight baby." A raven haired woman slowly kissed the head of a young boy. His Silver hair spilled over his pillow as his light brown eyes closed sleepily.

"Goodnight Mommy."

Said woman walked into the room next door to find her husband already lying on their futon, half sleep. Sliding in next to him she rested her head against his chest as he instinctively wrapped his arms around her.

"Is Ichiro asleep?" the woman nodded lightly as she snuggled further into her husband's warmth. A comfortable silence fell over the couple when the woman's head finally popped up to find her husband in deep thought.

"What are thinking about love?" She asked gently.

"Just how much we've gone through to get to this point. How much we've sacrificed and how many times I've almost lost you along the way."

Tilting her head up the woman placed a loving kiss along her husband's jaw, kissing the underside of his chin.

"I'm glad that we finally got here though. We both deserve this. We deserve to finally be happy." She said.

"And to think it all started with a couple of crazy dreams." He replied chuckling.

"Who would have thought?" His wife said smiling.

"I never understood my father when he said my mother and I were his something to protect, but I know now. I love you Kagome."

"I love you too Inuyasha."

Now they can live out the rest of their lives together in each other’s arms, and every kiss shared is where forever begins.


A/n: Formatting for this chapter (the time changes) was not my original idea. To see where I got my inspiration check out The Pain by Captain Applesauce on FF.Net :)


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