~Prolouge~

The village celebrated, companions and villagers alike. Grieving for the lost yet all the while honoring their memory by moving on, to clinging to life and not dwelling in the past. Ice from the long winter had melted and Now with the first showing of the soft pink sakura a renewed hope of a brighter beginning filled the air Thatched huts were repaired, rice patties filled, hunting and trade good. It was a perfect time for high spirits.

The scent of food, filled the air as neighboring villages filed in to take part of their neighbors good fortune . Sake tingled on tongues and bodies moved to both flute and samisen. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the festivities, from the hentai monk Miroku and his now wife the yokai slayer Sango whose stomach swelled with child, to the Daiyoukai himself sitting with a calm regal ease young Rin upon his lap enthralling her playmates with tales of her brave , 'Sesshomaru-sama,'

Even the once shunned hanyou had dropped his normal hostile barrier and was openly smiling . Their protector, mate of their beloved village miko Kagome-sama whom was never far from the dog eared boy's side.

"Do yea not plan to partake of the festivities oniisama?"

Questioned a wizened old voice behind the armored miko who so quietly watched from afar, drawing the solom blue eyed gaze away from the celebrating masses,

"After all, if not for your own sacrifice Naraku's reign of terror may have consumed this land in a whole. This much your celebration as it is there's. You would be welcome."

The open plea in her younger sister's voice brought a wince to the serene mask so carefully kept in place, a smooth porcelain hand coming to rest over her chest. Feeling the echo of the jewel within thrumming in time to her newly awakened heart. A soft ever reminder to the reminder to the covent forged between herself and Midoriko.

"A sacrifice which will not be remembered Keade. To the eyes of the world Kikyo is long dead, a tale that should remain in place. Kagome-chan is their hero at the side of Inuyasha…"

A soft echo of old pain fluttered in her heart at the mention of the names. No jealousy colored her soul, no Kikyo had come to accept their joining much longer than the once undead miko realized , but it did not fully rid her of the bit of heartache that pained her at letting the hanyou go.

"Nay, it would simply complicate things if I were to remain any longer.."

"Sister Kikyo.."

An old hand grasped at the tie holding together her armor, rattling the katana bestowed upon her by Midoriko herself. The little girl lost within fifty years of time coming through the aged body. Longing, needing for the motherly presence her elder sister once brought. That sound cracking at Kikyo's defenses as the blue eyes softened greatly. Turning to gather the aged body into hers of eternal youth.

"Dear Keade, my heart would long for nothing more than to return. To live out my years here even as a simple Miko of the shrine and give up my desires of a normal woman, to be here through you years watch those I care for through their lives. ." A bittersweet smile touched her lips with the images but with those came the painful knowledge she would outlive many in this village. It was painful enough out living her younger sister, to watch countless others wither and decay with time, Kikyo hadn't the heart for that nor the strength.

"My duty is fully linked to the Shikon Tama more than ever. With that will bring more dangers, with Naraku gone other yokai and nigen alike will seek me out. Hai, this village is strong I will not deny that, however it has suffered the tama's presence long enough."

A soft sound of protest escaped Keade as the elder sister pulled away, only to be silenced by a finger on her lips.

"Hush Imouto, I said I would not remain not that I would simply abandon you. No matter the tragedies that has split us apart you are my flesh and blood. It may not be often, but I will come calling when fate allows. "

Blue eyes trailed to the celebrating masses, young Rin's voice calling out for 'Granny Keade ' with Shippo and several youngsters in tow. It brought a full true smile to Kikyo's face as she squeezed the wrinkled hands. "It sounds as though you are missed Keade-chan. You best return before the whole village panics.".

The old woman's eye filled with a motherly love eyeing their village, responsibility fighting with desire to be greedy and remain with her sister. Keade's face fell, quickly to be dashed away by her elder sister's hands. Silent sobs soothed by gentle words bringing up an image of her younger years when Kikyo held her childlike form in much the same manner. How she herself soothed the young ones of their village.

'Shameful,' her inner thoughts lectured with a bit of mirthful twinge, ' an old woman such as I acting like a small babe..' Yet, the old Miko was not ready to let go. Not until InuYasha himself came in search for the old woman. The hanyou paused at the sight of the two sister's , hesitancy clear in his sudden movements. Slowly Kikyo's head rouse, blue eyes meeting golden as a flutter of mutual understanding passed. Slowly Kikyo's coaxed the distraught Keade into InuYasha's waiting arms. Noting with a smile that , much like she had as a child, had slipped into a much needed slumber.

Rough clawed hand brushed tender creamy skin, for a moment revealing in the old warm connection that still ever weakly excited. Her heart fluttered, and his golden eyes warmed. Yet quickly Kikyo stepped out of reach, ceasing emotions that could never be acting on.

"Kikyo..?''

It took every bit of will to turn from his voice, those eyes everything that still claimed her heart. Things that now belonged to someone much deserving.

"Onegai InuYasha, please watch over my Imouto...she will need you and Kagome.."

Zori sandals made to step forward only to hault as InuYasha's aura neared, desperate almost fearful to watch her leave. Slowly the Miko peared over her shoulder.

"What about you, what will happen to you?"

A bittersweet feeling filled her, like honey taking away the bitter taste of medicine making the process somewhat easier. Her revived heart wanted to hold him, to back in time when they were together with a bright future in reach, only resolve and acceptance stilled her feet. However, Kikyo allowed the warmth to spread in the form of a comforting smile.

"Naraku's minions still roam, as long as they exist their will never be a full peace. The Shikon No Tama is my full duty now. Before anything else it comes first…"

Her lack of detail, plus the mention of Naraku's surviving hord caused the hanyou to stiffen, eyes narrowing , dog ears flattening as a deep growl rumbled in his throat. That conflicting guilt that he had carried over her death surfacing, mingled with the conflicting emotions to demand her to stay, offering his aid and concern for his mate waying upon him. Kikyo would have none of it. Turning the tide of InuYasha's focus back where it belonged.

"I see that congratulations are in order, ". The look of confusion surfaced before his eyes widened a bit dumbfounded. "Do not give me that look InuYasha, I could sense their presence when I stood near Kagome-chan. She is with child, both strong and healthy and already making their presence known. Much like their parents."

"T-They!?"

That red blush, mingled with the soft mixed glow of shock and joy was endearing, the smile that followed transfixing. It gave her heart comfort, overriding any sense of sorrow that for the rest of eternity she herself would never hold a small bundle of her own. Both InuYasha and Kagome deserved happiness, seeing that warm expression was enough.

"Live long and well , InuYasha."

The words were light as a breeze, Kikyo's form vanishing like a ghost. Using her reiki to cover her trail, in hopes to deter anyone from seeking out her trail.

Her promise would be kept in the passing years, Kikyo would visit her sister and those of her companions. Always in reach should they need aid.

Her own hand guiding the birth of InuYasha and Kagome's twins Isami and Izayoi, aiding in the wedding of Shippo and Rin and tragically in the burial of her dearest sister. As the years past , her wandering feet would always return home. Even as those she knew faded away, despite the pain Kikyo would never be able to find it in herself to depart from the soul of her birth for very long.

She would always return, even long after the city that rouse where her village once sat was in ruin the eternal Miko would remain, faithful to the Jewel and accepting of her loneliness. Maybe in time the Kami's would find her worthy to pass on and rest from this burden of Immortality.

Little was the Shikon No Tama host know, that across the world another was bound to a similar fate. A man of legend, awaiting the day his king would awaken. With kind yet worn blue eyes always on the move.

Neither unaware of their paths being bound in the unforeseen future.