Ok, first of all, so sorry for the mistake in the last chapter! It's just that I changed it at the last moment (it was originally a gun shot), but, mmm, we can say that she was both shot at and knived? After all, with aññ the torture, ot does kind of make sense (I think)

Another sorry with how long I took to update this. First, it took me time to write it. Second, the last book of 'Twilight' came out. I haven't read it, but my editor did, and so oone of my editors took longer (but I completely love her because she did almost the impossible to edit this chapter). Also, this chapter was , originally, the last chapter, but due to the fact that it was extremely long, I cut it in two, so you'll have the next chapter as soon as my last editor gives it back. Also, I've been told that the way Sesshoumaru left was like Edward in 'Twilight'. I can seriously tell you that I never thought of that comparisson, and Sesshoumaru had more...selfish reasons for leaving her.


I won't give thanks in this chapter because you've already waited like forever, so I don't think you need to wait more by reading those things (which I love to do because you have been the best, and I could ask for no more out of you)

So review, I'll give extra long thanks in the last chapter, and thank you all for your support, oh, and...

'Twisted Hearts' won Third Place in the 3th Quarter Dokuga Award, in the 'Drama' section, so thanks to all who voted, and that is the second thing this has won, so, yey! What a way to end!

Ok, now I will leave you to read, and don't forget to review, and thanks, and yeah, I'll just shut up.

Twisted Hearts

Our existance will be worthless...

And who would have thought? How could it be? That having you apart is worse than torture, worse than dying, worse than those first days we were together. That I finally know what true pain truly feels like. That you are everything to me, and I am nothing without you.

How could you leave me?

She stared at the ceiling.

She'd been doing it for four hours, and her friends began to wonder what made the ceiling so special. It had to have something because Kagome could not take her eyes from it. Miroku and Sango looked at each other again.

They were dead worried for her.

"Kagome…" Sango tried tentatively. Kagome stared at the ceiling.

"Kagome…" Miroku said a bit more loudly. Kagome continued ignoring them.

"Kagome!" They shouted, and Kagome sighed and slowly slid her gaze to them. Her large, blue eyes were sad, and Sango had the urge to find Sesshoumaru and bring him back even if by force. She thought she could find one or two things that would serve as blackmail…

"My chest hurts," Kagome said finally. The doctors did the best they could with her multiple injuries, but Kagome's chest pain was reoccurring. She'd been burned, whipped, shot, and stabbed. Oh, and beaten multiple times. Secretly, Kagome thought her pain had more to do with the fact that Sesshoumaru left and little to do with the physical injuries.

"Do you know when I'll be out?"

Sango shook her head. "Maybe in a couple of days."

"I have a lot of things to do."

"Ayame took care of the University. They send their love."

Kagome nodded. "The museum…"

"Has already been contacted." Miroku intervened. "They want you to worry about nothing but getting back on your feet."

Kagome sighed again and turned to look at the ceiling once more. Her brother, she mused, had to have been bored out of his mind with so much time in hospital beds. He would have wanted to go out, bask below the sunrays, run with Kohaku and Shippo.

Kagome wanted to do nothing but stay here until amnesia stole her memories or Sesshoumaru came back. Since the second was not going to happen, she wondered how many times she would have to hit her head before she got her first wish. If she had not been so sad, she would have laughed at that.

The first time she'd asked for amnesia, Inuyasha had broken up with her, and Sesshoumaru had proposed to her. It was funny- one door closed and instantly, another opened. When Inuyasha had left her broken and bleeding, his older brother appeared. Sesshoumaru had gone to her when she needed him. It didn't matter that he had no intention of helping her. He was still there. He had said he would always be.

Now, he wasn't.

Kagome thought she knew what heartbreak meant, but she had been wrong. Inuyasha breaking up with her had been nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what she felt in her now. She had thought that Inuyasha was the love of her life, that she would never be able to get over him.

She had thought that losing her place by his side would be the end of her, but it hadn't. She cried, yelled, and mourned. She refused to get out of her apartment, ate gallons of ice cream, and then woke up the next day to continue. Hell, she had even married his brother.

Inuyasha had been important to her, but, despite what she'd once thought, he had not been the most important thing in her life. She fooled herself, believing that. Sesshoumaru, on the other hand…

Slowly, through fights that turned to quarrels that warped into arguments that transformed into conversations Sesshoumaru, with his cold eyes that warmed so very little, and his pretty, shiny, soft, white hair, and the purple marks that ran everywhere on his body, his grave voice that went past her ears and through the very core of her…

Sesshoumaru was everything. He would always be everything, and now he was gone.

Kagome didn't even feel like crying. She didn't want to eat enough ice cream to get all weak and sick. She didn't feel like shouting and throwing things around.

Kagome felt nothing.

She was here, in a hospital bed, barely cheating dead, and she could feel nothing.

'This,' she thought, 'is heartbreak.'

She felt hollow just knowing that he was no longer by her side. It left a void in her that she did not know how to restore, and did not have the strength to figure out a way.

He was gone.

He left her, but left an idiotic letter that she had read until she knew it by heart, just as she learned to know him.

Kagome, Miko,

You are finally free. Live your life as you wish. The house and everything that is in it is yours. Jaken will take care of the bills. If you want anything, just ask him. He'll make sure you get it. If you decide to start a life with someone else, ask Jaken, and I will authenticate the divorce. Do not let money keep you from moving on. You will have everything until you die.

Sesshoumaru Taisho

And it had broken Kagome's heart to read it because even after all this time, he had the nerve to speak about money with her. It insulted her because, although she had married him because he had the money to save her brother, it had never been about money. On top of that, the idiot had told her that she was free, as if she was a pet, a bird you could release of its cage. You are free, fly away.

Baka Sesshoumaru.

Why wouldn't she feel insulted? He addressed her first by her name first, the only act of care in all the damn letter, then by 'miko', the only word that he had used to address her for who knew how long. She didn't know which was worse. Would knowing he didn't care be better than knowing he did? What would help her more in this horrible, stupid, pointless abandonment?

And how he signed the damn thing!

Not a 'take care', or 'I'll miss you'. Not even a pathetic 'goodbye', just a fucking name.

'I will authenticate the divorce if you want to'. As if she could ever rid of him. As if she could get him out of her mind and heart. As if signing some papers would divorce her from her feelings for him. As if…

As if she could ever fall in love with anyone else.

He was the man of her life, the man she wanted to go to bed to every night. The man she wanted to wake next to each morning. He was her happily ever after with a lot of 'not so happy' in the middle, but always the happy ending.

He was…

He was her Sesshoumaru, the man she had come to know even better than herself. They complimented each other, brought each other happiness, and they hadn't even had a good closure. He'd just left without even seeing her first, and just like that, there was no more Sesshoumaru.

There is no more us.

Kagome clutched the bed covers. She hadn't even mated him! She hadn't had the experience of completely being with him. She hadn't felt him inside her, all over her, everywhere that was her.

He had broken every promise he made her.

The worst thing was, though, that she was not free; she would never be. If he wasn't with her, it was impossible. She would not just start her life with someone else, as he suggested.

It wasn't that she couldn't, or that she did not have the strength to do so. She wouldn't.

In a couple of months, maybe less, she would live again. Perhaps the void she felt would be so much a part of her that she would learn to coexist with it. She would finish her degree, be the best historian at the museum, and keep going with her life. She would go out with her friends, help her mother at the shrine, and get her life back on track.

But she would never be able to start a new life with someone else.

Sesshoumaru wasn't Inuyasha. She had forgotten Inuyasha because, deep, deep down, she had always known that he was eating her alive. He took the best of her and left her with what remained, but Sesshoumaru hadn't done that. He brought the best out off her, made her strong and happy, and making her want to live just for the joy of doing so, even if he didn't mean to.

Sesshoumaru, the arrogant, annoying, mean, full-headed, selfish, stubborn bastard was what she had always needed, and he had left, just like that, and Kagome didn't even know why. He hadn't even hung around to say goodbye. She didn't even know if he had waited to see how she was doing or if she would survive.

Kagome wished she could fool herself into believing that he did not care. In that way, she would be able to be mad at him or something. At the very least, she wouldn't be this confused. She had thought that he would not rescue her, and he had. He had been there, calmed her with his very presence, and Kagome had known that everything would be all right. He had come, against all odds, and Kagome had been filled with the knowledge that he did care, and it had been all that she needed.

How could someone care about someone else and just leave like that? How could he do this to her? She didn't know, didn't dare ask, and anyway, she had no one to ask.

He was gone, she was here, and it didn't make sense.

So now, the only thing she seemed capable of doing was stare at a ceiling. It was pointless, but she didn't care.

She didn't care about much these days.

And it made her friends fret, but she did not feel like making things easier for them just now.

A nurse opened the door, leaving food. Miroku went to help Kagome stand. It was still painful, due to all the stinging burns and whip scars. The doctors had done everything they could, but she would always carry the scars that Naraku's madness had left.

"I'll help you eat all this."

Kagome nodded.

"You'll feel better once you have a decent meal." Miroku said, poking at the food. "Hospital food is just no good to bring a person's happiness back."

Kagome closed her eyes for a moment. It did no good to have three people miserable when it could be just one, and Sango and Miroku had always been with her. She owed them to try.

"You'll have to take me out to a nice, expensive restaurant and soon as I'm out."

Sango smiled, and Miroku glowed. "It would be my pleasure."

Kagome didn't quite know how she would pull her life together this time.

She entered the mansion door. It was dark inside. All the lights were turned off, and it was late enough for all the servant to be asleep. Kagome hadn't called to announce she would get out of the hospital tonight. She hadn't wanted Jaken reproachful stare on hers. He probably blamed her for Sesshoumaru's departure. Kagome wondered if his accusations would have any fundament. Probably, they would. Yuri, though, would have received her with a respectful smile. She would have done anything to make her feel more comfortable. Kagome hadn't known at first if she was coming here again.

Would it be too painful? Would the memories haunt her?

After she decided to stay in the mansion, she didn't know how she would feel, and so refused Kouga's offer to ride home and said no to Miroku's and Sango's request to stay with her until she felt better. She'd said no to her mother when she suggested she went back home, and a definite no to Souta's, Shippo's, and Kohaku's offer to bash at her house until…they got tired and went somewhere else.

She hadn't been able to say no to Inuyasha when he had asked, or rather demanded, depending on the way one saw things, to accompany her home. It had been something about his voice and his eyes. He had done it not for her, but because he, too, did not quite know what to do, and although she didn't think so, Inuyasha thought that someone had to take care of her while Sesshoumaru was gone.

He did not believe that his half brother would be able to stay out of Kagome's way for long, and he had finally come to accept that Kagome was not for him.

She could have been, if she hadn't been so scared of pushing him away in the first place. He could have been hers, too, if he hadn't replaced her for Kikyo. They both made mistakes. They both paid the price. Not only had he been fooled, he had also lost his wife. Kagome hadn't lost Sesshoumaru, not the way he had lost Kikyo. The idiot would come to his senses in due time, and they would be together.

Kagome just had to hold on to that one hope.

Kikyo had made it clear that she never wanted to be with him, and Inuyasha believed it. He'd seen it there in her eyes. He saw something else there as well, but he had lost control, and now he didn't know if he would ever find out what more Kikyo held in her gaze.

So now he would look after Kagome. She was not his, but his half brother's, and like it or not, Sesshoumaru was his only family, and families took care of each other, even if they hated one another more than anything else did.

Inuyasha remembered Sesshoumaru, had taken care of him once, when he was small. At least he had never really gotten around to killing him. Inuyasha counted that as taking care of him, so he would take care of Kagome for Sesshoumaru. He set her bags down.

"Where do you want me to bring these?"

Kagome hesitated. She didn't know. Now that she was here, she didn't know if she would rather have them on what had once been her room or on the room she had shared with Sesshoumaru. She grimaced. Maybe coming here hadn't been the best idea…

"This is your home, Kagome, so you should be here." Inuyasha said, as if reading her thoughts.

"I…" Where to put her things? Kagome came here because it made her feel closer to Sesshoumaru, so… "The room from the last time you've been here." She told him, already climbing the stairs to the room she had shared with Sesshoumaru.

Inuyasha watched her walk ahead up the stairs. Last time, she had also been ahead of him. Like Sesshoumaru, she was always ahead of him. He smirked. They were perfect for each other. Though he would never understand what she saw in his airhead half brother.

He followed her upstairs. The door was cracked, and he pushed it open, entering the room. Kagome was settled on the bed.

"It's stupid to stay in here," she told him, "but being here makes me think that he isn't that far away."

Inuyasha put the bags down and went to sit by her side. Sesshoumaru would probably have a fit if he saw them here, but that only made Inuyasha smile. "It's not stupid. I'm going back to the apartment I shared with Kikyo."

Kagome's eyes went big. "Really?"

Inuyasha nodded.

"What are you going to do now?" She asked him.

"Keh," Inuyasha looked at his hands. "I don't know yet." He whispered.

Kagome placed a hand over his. "I don't know either."

She fell back on the bed, and Inuyasha arranged himself next to her. They both stared ahead.

"I can't believe he left without saying goodbye." She said, half mad, but more sad.

"I can't believe it was all a trap."

Kagome moved so she was facing him. She put her hand under her head to support it. "What a pair we make." She said with a slow smile playing on her lips. "Though I suppose you got the worst part. I, at least, always knew that he was a good for nothing idiot."

"That doesn't stop you from missing him." Inuyasha told her, also turning to face her.

"It doesn't stop you from missing her."

They stared at each other, and Kagome knew that she would have kissed him once, had they been in this position. Now, though, she wanted him to be Sesshoumaru, and it was ironic, because she had spent half her time with Sesshoumaru wishing he were Inuyasha.

"We could start a club." Kagome told him. "The club of the left behind."

"He'll come back."

Kagome shook her head. "He left a letter. He told me to move on."

"Keh, don't believe that. The moment you even try to go out with another man, he will appear and scare the poor sod to death."

Kagome wasn't so sure on that, but she decided to leave it alone. "We can be friends now, Inuyasha." She said instead.

There was nothing left between them. The fire that had once been there was now gone, and the ashes had been taken by the wind, dispersing them in such a way that there would never make fire again. Kagome did not see Inuyasha in that way anymore. She didn't really see him much at all. Inuyasha had finally understood that Kagome did not want him anymore, and he had finally come to terms with himself. He loved Kikyo and appreciated Kagome, and he wished he hadn't been so confused before. Maybe if he had paid more attention to Kikyo, she could have not done what she did.

A part of him told him that, no matter what much he did, Kikyo would have still betrayed him.

"Friends would be nice."

And finally, after so long, Kagome saw a chapter of her life finally ended, and at least something good had come out of this.

She was free of Inuyasha.

If only she could be free of Sesshoumaru…

"What are you going to do now?"

Inuyasha was tired of that question.

Now that he was friends with Kagome, she asked that all the time. Sometimes, Inuyasha wished he hadn't promised himself to take care of her. She had proven that she could be beyond annoying. Then, people at the office asked it. It seemed that without Sesshoumaru there, everyone had relaxed. As a result, they suddenly thought they could be friendly with him. Inuyasha had to change that fast, or he would have to start firing people, and he was not in the mood for interviews. Then, there was Sango. Ever since she had started dating Miroku, she had decided to be concerned for him, and she just kept insisting. On top of that, Kouga and he were now more in contact due to Naraku. Kouga had also become the link between Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru. They communicated through him.

It drove Kouga insane, but he kept it up anyway. Inuyasha thought Kouga was a little scared of his half brother. He told Kouga that and it let into a fight. That hadn't stopped Kouga from asking the question for him. Now, once more, he had to hear it from Miroku's lips, and he hated to hear it, because he could lie to everyone else, but Miroku knew him, and Miroku could be very stubborn if he wanted to, and he would not leave him alone until he gave him an answer.

"I don't know."

It was what he had told most people. He had no doubt that it would not work on Miroku.

"I want a real answer."

Once more, Inuyasha wondered how he could have become friends with him.

"I really don't know."

Miroku sat down and smiled. "I'm not moving until you give me a real answer."

Bloody lawyer, he would push him until he got what he wanted. "You can die in that chair for all I care."

Miroku laughed. "So, what are you going to do now?"

Inuyasha still refused to answer. He had not won his stubborn reputation for nothing. "I am going to run this company while my stupid, idiotic, half brother goes around the world…"

"From what I've heard, Tashio Company is all across the world."

Inuyasha glared at him. "Yes, well, Japan's the largest and most important, so I'll have to run it, and that is pretty much all I'm going to do because it will take all my time."

"That's not true. I'm sure the company would survive if you went missing for some time."

"Someone has to be at the front."

"And you could put someone of your trust to do that."

Inuyasha narrowed his eyes at Miroku. "What are you trying to say?"

Miroku let out a loud laugh. "We both know that you would rather be somewhere else."

Inuyasha cursed Miroku through hell and back then absently wondered how the lawyer knew him so well.

They had been friends for years, yet there were people that knew him for way more, though Miroku still somehow managed to know more about him than anyone else.

"I can't."

"Yes, you can. You just don't want to."

"That's bullshit!"

"For once, Inuyasha, think."

The hanyou felt insulted. Sure, he wasn't the brightest, but he had been thinking about this for way too long. "She doesn't want to see me."

"I'm sure she will."

"She would never have gotten involved with me if Naraku hadn't ordered it. She told me so two weeks ago, in case you didn't get the memo. Right before she fell. She could be dead, and I could be fooling myself into believing she is alive."

"But you have to make sure, no? You can't live with the uncertainty, and two weeks can be a long time. Look at Kagome; she is already back at the University."

"She's doing it because she wants to distract herself from Sesshoumaru."

"You want to do the same with Kikyo, but you can't because you keep wondering if it could work out now that everything else is over."

"The mating connection is blocked. I don't feel her, which could very well mean she is dead."

"You believe she is alive."

"I don't even know where she could be!"

"You'll just have to work extra hard to find her."

Inuyasha let out a frustrated growl. He wanted to look for Kikyo, but he had no idea of where to start, and he definitely didn't know what he would do once he found her. Inuyasha lay awake all night, thinking about what to do, and the next morning he woke up, on only two hours of sleep, still clueless. He didn't know anything anymore.

Miroku put a hand over his shoulder. "Try to find her. At least you'll have the comfort of knowing that you tried."

"I could spend ages trying to find her and still fail."

"It's a risk you'll have to take on."

"I'm not sure I can."

Miroku laughed again. "Inuyasha, you've never backed out from anything. Don't tell me you are too scared to go look for your own wife, your own mate?"

"I'm not scared!" The hanyou shouted immediately.

"Then find her. Keep me informed on your progress."

Miroku laid his feet over Inuyasha's desk.

"What makes you think you're going to have this office?"

Miroku just grinned. "Who else do you trust? Kouga? You would rather give it to the wolves." Miroku laughed. "Though I do suppose that is what you would be doing."

Inuyasha cursed and stomped out of the room. Miroku, of course, was right. Inuyasha was sure he would take care of everything.

He left the building and took one glance back.

Sesshoumaru would be pissed as soon as he found out.

Inuyasha would be far away by then, looking for a ghost, his mate.

It didn't matter if he spend a lifetime searching her. He had time, and he would find her.

She owed him an explanation.

And so, life went on.

It goes on when one dies with survivors left behind, leaving them wondering how the sun still raises or how the birds still sing. It goes on when in your happiest moments, and you wish they would never end. Life goes on, without stopping to let someone grieve or laugh. It keeps on moving, unaware of anything but its own motion.

"Everything passes." Someone once said. When one is sad, these words bring consolation; when one is happy, they produce melancholy.

Life still goes on.

Miroku looked at the woman in front of him, and nothing seemed to matter to him for a few, lovely, seconds. She was there, dressed in that blue blouse and brown skirt that he so loved. She was laughing at something he said, content beneath a cherry blossom tree, enjoying the afternoon sun, and finishing her strawberry ice cream with a smile on her face.

It occurred to Miroku that he had never been happier.

It had been three months since Sesshoumaru had left and Inuyasha had gone away. Miroku had temporary statute over Japan's Tashio Company. Sesshoumaru called once a week to see how things were running. Thankfully, Miroku knew exactly how to run a company, and no big problems presented. It didn't keep him from worrying about future problems.

Though none of it mattered right now because Sango looked so goddamn happy, and Miroku swore he could get lost in her beautiful smile.

Through years, Miroku had gone out with endless women. All of them had a certain beauty that made them irresistible to most men. Miroku had never been an exception, but he had never taken them seriously. He went out with them for two weeks at the most, and then he would say goodbye and move on.

Some understood, and some didn't. Miroku never cared. He was shameful to admit it, but he forgot most of them quite fast.

It was just the way he was.

Because of this, though, it had been quite hard for him to get Sango.

It had occurred to him after dumping yet another woman, that he was lonely. People always surrounded him, and women threw themselves at him. He was rich, good looking, and charming. It was no good. Few people knew him, and he cared for selected ones.

He wanted more, and when he saw Sango with Kagome, laughing about something, and Sango had smiled so warmly at Kagome, Miroku then decided he did not just want a relationship for sex. He wanted it all with her, and he swore she would one day smile at him with that warmth, with no reserves in her eyes.

Of course, thinking about it and getting it done were very different things. Sango refused to go out with him, and it had taken every trick on the book and a little persuasion from the kids to get her to agree. But she had, and now they were here, and Sango was smiling at him so warmly, and finally, when their eyes crossed, she held no reserves on her eyes.

Miroku knew it was time.

His hand went to the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a velvet box. They were not in a fancy restaurant. There was no special moonlight. In fact, there was nothing extraordinary about the place. They were at the park, in a little ice-cream shop, enjoying their treats under a cherry blossom tree.

Miroku could not think of a better place or a better time, so he got on one knee unexpectedly, and Sango barely had time to register what was happening to gasp.


But he cut her off.

"Bear my child?" He asked opening the box to reveal a pink diamond incrusted in gold. Sango stood frozen for a minute, and then her smile brightened and she threw herself at him.

"Yes." She said, covering his face with kisses, "yes," she repeated, lowering her lips to his.

Miroku thought he would never hear her say yes to that question.

Life went on for Kouga.

"I'm so thirsty!" Kagome said, as she plopped down on a chair in front of Kouga, who just grinned.

"It's no wonder." He said. "You've been up and down, I'm sure. Don't you ever take a rest?"

Kagome's eyes clouded over for a minute. Taking a rest meant having time to think, and that usually lead to thinking about Sesshoumaru, and that always ended bad.

She missed him. She knew she would never stop missing him.

Kouga sensed the change in her, and he knew immediately why.

"He is alright." He assured her.

"I wish you told me where he was."

"What would you do if I did?"

Kagome shook her head. "I don't know. It's just…I would feel better if I knew where."

The waiter came, and Kagome was busy ordering for them. Kouga looked at her. It had been three months since Sesshoumaru left. He knew she missed him like the first day. She turned to him when the waiter left. Kouga was left looking into blue eyes, and he knew he could not hold it anymore.

"He set you free." He had always wanted to be more than a friend. He wanted to be with her. She had been his once. He wanted her back, and if he didn't let this out now, he would never do it.

He had to try.

"Kouga…" She knew what was coming, and she did not want to follow that path. She appreciated Kouga's support and she cared about him, but…

"It's been months. Maybe he isn't coming back."

Kagome closed her eyes briefly. "I know that. I knew he wasn't coming from the beginning." He had set her free, and she had never felt more caged than when she read those words.

"You could try to be with someone else."

You could try to be with me.

He didn't say it aloud. There was no need. They both knew that was what he meant.

Kagome looked sad. "You know if I could, I would."

I will never be able to love you.

She didn't have to say it. They both knew.

"If you gave me one chance…" Kouga was pleading, and he didn't care. If she said no now, then that would be it. Kouga would not try again. He would let her go. He didn't know what he would do after letting her go. He feared he would soon find out.

"That's not the way things work." She had learned the hard way that no one could order on matters of the heart. The heart did as it pleased and listened to no one. If Kagome had been able to decide whom to love, then she would have never put her eyes on the Taisho brothers, and she would have loved Kouga.

Loving him would have been the safest thing to do because he would love her freely, and Kagome would never have had to worry about unrequited love.

But the heart was master of its own, and it did not feel like loving Kouga.

She took his hands on hers. For a moment, Kouga thought she would finally accept to be his woman, but it was not to be.

"I can't." She said. And his last hopes crushed into a thousand pieces.

Kouga nodded. "I understand." He didn't, not truly, but this was how things were supposed to be. He got up.

"Don't you want to wait for the food?"

Kouga pulled his hands from hers. "Some other time." He told her. He gave her the smallest of smiles because it was not her fault that she couldn't love him, and Kouga knew she would only take Sesshoumaru now.

"Sesshoumaru is a fool to have left you." He told her. "But if you ever feel like changing his mind, he's in Montreal for a couple of weeks."

Life went on for Ayame.

"She refused me." Kouga told her. He was a little drunk. Okay, he was very drunk. Ayame force dragged him from the bar. His house was far away, and it was very late, so she had taken him to her house, and now he rambled.

Ayame decided she was a very good person.

"Kagome said no to you years ago."

Kouga let out a wail. "But she said no again."

"So what?" Ayame was not in the best moods. "You'll try again later."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"She's going to go look for Sesshoumaru. I told her where he was because I want her to be happy, and he is her happiness, and he will not let go of her again, and I will have no other chance with Kagome ever again."

"Oh." So that was why he'd gotten drunk. Now that she knew the full story, Ayame could comprehend more. She couldn't say she was surprised by how things had turned out, though. In her opinion, Kagome would have either stayed with Inuyasha or Sesshoumaru, but never Kouga. She made a mental note to reproach Kagome for not telling her that she was going after Sesshoumaru.

"I am not good enough for her."

Ayame took pity on Kouga. "It's not that." She said, lightly touching his cheek. "It was just that you're not what Kagome needs."

And what Kagome needs, only she knows because, really, the Taisho brothers?

"But Sesshoumaru left her!"

"And we both know he did it because he thought it would protect her."

"That makes no sense."

Ayame agreed. "Sesshoumaru is an…odd youkai."

"I could have made her happy."

Ayame knew he could have. He was a good man, and he loved Kagome. Sometimes, Ayame thought that he loved her more than anyone else could, but then she thought of cold Sesshoumaru, and how he seemed to come to life when Kagome was with him, and it became clear that Kouga loved Kagome, but Sesshoumaru would always win the battle when it came to who cared and needed her more.

"He doesn't even love her!"

"Now you're not thinking."

"I'm lonely." Kouga finally said.

Ayame smiled softly at him. "I'm here for you."

It was silent, then Kouga snored, and Ayame rolled her eyes. She moved to find a cover to lie over Kouga, and she arranged pillows under his head. With the hangover he would have next morning, he didn't need bodily pain. Her eyes softened. It seemed that she was doomed to always take care of Kouga.

"I've always been here for you." She whispered to him.

Life went on for Souta and Mrs. Higurashi.

"Look, I can run faster than you!" Souta exclaimed happily as he once more outran Kohaku, who didn't look defeated about losing. If anything, he looked happy. Finally, Souta decided he had enough of running and went to sit next to Shippo, who was enjoying the lunch Mrs. Higurashi had prepared for them.

"Tired of running?" Shippo asked him between bites. Souta laughed, throwing his head back.

"I don't get tired that easily." He had, when he had been sick, but now he was healthy, and he would live a very long life, and he could run all he wanted and eat everything he pleased and his heart would keep beating.

"I am tired." Kohaku exclaimed, letting his body fall to the ground and reaching towards the rice ball. "And hungry."

"Eat till your heart's contempt." Souta told him, also joining his friends in the task of devouring everything that was in front of them.

Mrs. Higurashi watched through the window, a happy smile on her face because, finally, her son could be normal and enjoy a day with his friends without having to worry about what would happen next.

It was one less trouble.

She turned to watch her older daughter, who was doing the dishes. She had that look she always got when she was thinking about Sesshoumaru.

Mrs. Higurashi sometimes wished Kagome had never met the taiyoukai, but if she hadn't, Souta would not be here. It was very sad that the demon had not been able to appreciate her daughter.

"Maybe," she told Kagome, "it is time you do as he said and go on."

Kagome shook her head. "I can't go on."

Sango came in, a radiant smile on her face. She had been smiling like a maniac ever since Miroku had proposed to her. Her smile faded a bit when she sensed the tension in the room.

"You should try."

Kagome let the glass she was washing fall and turned angrily to her mother.

"I don't want to go on." She said.

"Then you shouldn't." Sango said in a soft voice.

It had taken Sango a lot of thinking to come to this conclusion, but she finally had. If Kagome did not want to let go of Sesshoumaru, and Sesshoumaru did not want to come back, then maybe Kagome should go to him.

Sesshoumaru had, after all, come to her first. It was Kagome's turn.

"My daughter is better without Sesshoumaru." Mrs. Higurashi exclaimed indignantly.

"With all due respect," Sango answered her, "Kagome is not better without him." She also thought Sesshoumaru was not better without Kagome. "You know where he is." Sango told Kagome. "Why don't you go look for him?"

"But…" What if he truly didn't want her?

"You'll never know what could have happen if you don't go, and I must tell you, I'm quite tired of 'what ifs.'"

Kagome smiled uncertainly. "But your wedding…"

Sango laughed. "We'll hold it until you get back. Inuyasha will have to deal with it and stay. Besides, I'm sure he needs a rest from all that Kikyo searching."

"He's only been doing that for a short time."

"And we all know how he is. He's probably already frustrated, with all the patience he has."


"No buts."

Kagome smiled and went to hug her friend. "You're the best." She told Sango. Sango smiled.

"Just be happy, Kagome. You deserve it." She pulled a little from the hug. "Find him."

And so, now there really is just one more chapter left. So, yep, only Sesshoumaru and Kagome on the next chapter, and, I promise, you own't be dissapointent, and...I'm going to cry. Now it really is going to be the last chapter. Oh, my heart breaks at the thought of leaving my baby...but new stories will come. You'll get a small advance of what I hope will be my nect story, and...review people, now we really are at the end!

Twisted Hearts