Sesshomaru woke first. Contentment. It was not a feeling he knew often. He now headed the largest pack known to the great houses since his grandfather’s time and that meant something to him. Kagome stirred beside him, snuggling back against his chest. They had drawn even closer, his arm across her, resting on Inuyasha’s side. Inuyasha was facing her, his leg thrown over the both of them. Sesshomaru pulled away from them, silently stretching. Kagome rolled toward him, seeking his warmth as she slept. A delicate new scent drifted to him, making his head jerk in her direction. Barely a second later he was hovering over her, breathing in just below her navel.
“Ani?” Inuyasha asked quietly, having woke at the sudden movement. An image passed between them, his golden eyes widening instantly. He carefully joined his brother, gently nuzzling her belly. She carried, the first in their house for over two hundred years when Inuyasha had been born. “Can you tell how many?” He had been able to catch the scent of new life, but just barely. Inuyokai were known to produce two or three in a pregnancy, Sesshomaru and him being the rarity. He was slightly concerned, but excitement far out distanced it.
“It is too soon, but this one’s mother might be able to.” The older the inu the stronger their sense of smell. His lips curved slightly, meeting his brothers out right grin. They both began to run their tongues up Kagome’s delicate skin, welcoming the new members of their royal house.
Kagome woke giggling. The two slightly rough tongues attacking her stomach tickled mercilessly. “What are you doing?” she asked, breathless. She tried to get up, but they gently held her down continuing the onslaught. Curious, she opened their newly formed bonds. Shocked by what she found there, she stilled completely. “Babies?” Her tone was full of awe and concern.
“Pups,” Sesshomaru corrected, both finely stopping.
Inuyasha came up and hugged her. “Are you upset?” he asked worriedly.
“No,” she rubbed her dampened belly under their eyes. “I guess I just was not expecting this to happen so quickly.” Just as surprising as the life she now carried was when Sesshomaru kissed her belly and rested his forehead there. “Sesshomaru?” She asked, running her fingers through his silky hair, still a thrill that she was allowed to do so.
He rose up, placing a knee between her legs and his hands to either side of her waist. Then he kissed her, stealing her breath away. “Thank you, little koi.” It was barely a whisper, making her later wonder if she had heard him right.
Inuyasha, still happy, jumped down and gathered their clothing. Despite all concerns, things seemed to be going well. Last night was not the bad he feared it would be, though he did refuse to think too much on it or he would be blushing like Kagome. Tossing the white silk up to them, he slipped into his own. There was no telling when lady Shikyomi would come to see if they were bonded.
As if she were summoned by his thoughts, a large white inu strolled into the room. She was not in full form, but even so, was tall enough to look her son in the eye. She came close as they helped a now dressed Kagome from the large bed. She met the lady, placing a hand between her huge amber eyes. A light blush covered her cheeks as the inu put her nose in her midsection. Half expecting it, she braced, as a gigantic wet tongue covered her from tummy to face.
Inuyasha who had stood behind her also go the warm greeting. Then she went to Sesshomaru. The glare did not stop her. She licked him as well and then sat back, barking once. There she waited, her tail twitching slightly. Sesshomaru growled softly, Inuyasha catching his breath. The lady barked again, silly grin in her doggy face. Sesshomaru’s sigh was barely heard, then he changed, his form slightly larger. They took off out the door. A loud crash sounded in the hallway making both of them wince.
“That lady is nuts.” Inuyasha commented, resting his hands on her shoulders as they stared after them.
“Yep,” Kagome agreed, moving to where they had just disappeared, “But she is a truly amazing person too.” She poked her head out the door, but it seems that their game of chase had been taken outside.
“My lady Kagome, my lord Inuyasha, if you would please follow me, I will lead you to your new chambers.” Aoi bowed next to the door.
“Alright.” Kagome straitened.
“Aoi, what was all that about?” Inuyasha asked, indicating the debris steadily being cleaned up in the main hall.
“That, my lord, was a celebration. She was congratulating him by offering to play. I warned her that lord Sesshomaru would probably not want to, but she said lord Touga could be stuffy too, but she has never been turned down.”
“I can see why.” Kagome said, chuckling. Inuyasha just shook his head and followed her into their new bedroom at the sky palace.
Outside, the two inuyokai tumbled and chased about until Sesshomaru pinned her. With a small whine, Shi admitted defeat and was released.
Moments later, they both slipped into robes provided by Shi’s servants that she had had waiting in the wings. “Was that really necessary?” her son asked, his normal cool voice restored.
“Indeed it was, son of mine. Do realize how long it’s been since we have had a litter in this family?” Shikyomi grinned as she passed by him, headed back inside, the morning sun finely lifting the morning fog. “Breakfast?” She asked pleasantly.
“Litter?” he asked carefully.
“Yes, you know as in when there is more than one pup? It seems your mate is unusually fertile.” She continued on toward her home, ignoring the growling behind her. Really, she had gotten more sound out of him in the last twenty four hours than she had since he was a pup, it was too fun!
He did not have time to do anything farther, catching the scent of the monk and slayer. They landed nearby, the neko shrinking, tired from flying them so high. It hopped onto Sango’s shoulder as Miroku approached his mother, arms open. Rather than stay and watch the spectacle, he moved to go find his mates. She would tell him soon, he was determined.
“My lady Shikyomi, it has been to long since my eyes were graced with your beauty.” Miroku said smoothly.
Sango rolled her eyes accordingly. “Is Kagome alright?” she asked worriedly.
The inu laughed merrily at both of them. “This one will let you determine for yourself. Come have breakfast with us.” After showing them in, she left them in the care of servants so that she could change. This was likely to be the best time she had had at a meal in decades.
Sesshomaru led Kagome into the family's dining hall, Inuyasha on her left. He placed her to his left and his brother to the right, him, of course, taking the head of the table. It was not long before Sango and Miroku were shown in.
Sango immediately came to Kagome’s side and hugged her as soon as she stood. “Are you alright?” She did not bother lowing her voice, knowing those in the room would hear anyway.
“I’m fine.” She smiled at her, proudly thinking that she had gained enough maturity not to turn red at the slightest reminder. Glad for her friend, Sango took her place beside Kagome.
Miroku sat beside Inuyasha. “So, my friend…” he began.
Inuyasha glared at him, much to Sesshomaru’s amusement. “Don’t. Even. Think. About. It.” His words were very chilly. The monk wisely kept his mouth shut, but grinned.
The last to show was lady Shikyomi, dressed in her usual white, silver, and purple. She calmly sat down at her end of the table, directly across from Sesshomaru, her smile worrisome to him. She waited until the meal was served, then spoke. “I have wonderful news to share with this pack, even though we are short the pups, I feel the need to go ahead and make this announcement, unless, of course our alpha would like for me to wait?” Shi asked, nearly cackling gleefully at his glare. “Well then, I would like to announce the new lady of the west is carrying.”
“Kagome?” Sango looked her over. Damn that was fast, she thought. Kagome felt a little heat creep into her cheeks, but fought valiantly to keep it under control.
“As the eldest of us here,” Shi continued on, “I would like to extend my thanks to Kagome for giving us a litter of four, the largest our clan has ever produced.” She was undisturbed by the sound of Kagome’s cup dropping, nor the sight of her chin doing the same.
“Four?” She whispered, truly shocked. Four?
“Correct, my lady.” The inu went on. “Two pure and two half, not that that really matters. I will have to warn you dear, inuyokai, even halfblooded, only gestate for a little over three months, if you are lucky. Tea?” She asked Miroku on her right.
Sesshomaru could not even glare at her, the number running through his head. “Four?” Inuyasha repeated his thoughts aloud, his stunned eyes on a pale Kagome.
“Damn, when you guys do something, you do it right.” Miroku commented, making the lady laugh loudly. Sesshomaru had to smirk and Inuyasha could not stop his grin as red rushed over Kagome’s skin.
“Don’t worry, Kagome,” Sango said, rubbing a comforting hand over her back as she lay her head on the table. “You can always purify them in their sleep and we can string the monk up by his balls.” Which made Kagome laughed even in her panicked state. What in the world was next, she wondered.
A short while later, an unsuspecting Kagome was once again kidnapped by her new mother in law. Her protectors barely had time to protest before she had the girl halfway across the palace. “Lady Shikyomi?” She asked when they slowed.
“Sorry, dear, but we need a girl moment.” She said pulling her on.
“It’s not other surprises with the ba..., I mean pups is it?” Damn, Kagome hoped not. She could only bear so much in one lifetime.
The lady smiled. “No, but if I think of any, you will be the first to know.” She led her into a small room, the tiniest she had yet seen there. It was dim, lit with two lanterns made with teal glass, the only thing within was a starkly white chest. “This belongs only to you.” She watched carefully as the priestess approached it.
Kagome felt a throb of power from the chest. With unsteady hands, she lifted the lid. Inside, laying in bright teal cloth was the most beautiful and unusual bow she had ever seen. It appeared white, almost like ivory mixed with the luminescence of opal. Carved into it were lotus flowers intertwined with the crescent moon. She gently run her fingers over the carving, her power answering to its call. There was no bow string, nor arrows laid with the unique weapon. Kagome lifted it, causing the room to flood with light briefly. There was now a light that ran from tip to tip. As if she had wielded it all her life, she aimed and fired, the arrow made completely of her reki. The bow then shimmered and disappeared, but she could still feel it close to her.
“You will be able to call it when there is a need.” Lady Shikyomi told her. She was so proud to be the one who finely got to see the great bow wielded. The girl seemed to be born to it, effortlessly calling upon it. “You will still need to practice with it.”
“I know.” Kagome said softly, looking at her, a little in awe herself. For a moment it had even felt as if she had touched the souls of those who sacrificed their life, Hasumi and her loves. Her hands found her belly where her future lay, rubbing gently. “How can I bear this, Shikyomi? What if I fail?”
“You will not.” She told her. Shi hugged Kagome to her. “Remember that you are not alone. Look to your bond, it is your fire in a world that is cruel and cold, your safe haven when you need to hide, and your comfort when you sorrow. They will not fail you no more than you will them.”
Kagome wished that she could be as sure of herself as the diayokai was. the heavy weight of the jewel still lay on her chest, the power of the bow hummed on her shoulders, and new stirring life lay at her waist. it was all overwhelming and felt crushing if she tried to think her way through things. she sighed deeply, hoping that Shikyomi's words would be truths.