His skepticism soon gave way to concern as the miko casually sat on the lip of the well. What was she doing? She could easily fall in while she sat there and break her neck down in the depths if she wasn't careful enough.
Rushing to her side in alarm, Ryukensu grabbed unto the girl instead, held her tightly to him, and jumped into the bone eater's well as a bright magenta light shone all around them.
Ch. 52 To the future
Kagome was ready.
She and Ryukensu had been holed up in the house the entire time after having returned to her future, and now she was finally ready.
Well, ready to venture outside anyways, somewhere besides her house and the property her family's shrine sat on.
Even though Ryuke seemed quite content in his explorations, in his questions, and in his insistence to follow her mother, grandfather, and her little brother around as they explained how everything worked she wasn't as content with staying home another day. Her family was being very patient, not only answering Ryukensu's many questions, and even laughing when he had showed surprise at several items like the toaster and had wanted to incinerate it with his fire breath, but they were also being very patient with her, waiting for her to explain what was going on and why she was in the state she was in.
She sighed as she looked at herself in the mirror. Having had a hot and calming bath –in a real bathtub- had soothed her nerves and her frazzled emotions a bit. She smoothed down the flowery white and pink blouse she wore, and the loose, baggy black pants that still had their price tag as she had put them away in the back of her closet as they had fit her much too big, though now, they seemed to fit her properly. She cradled the small bump of a belly that was beginning to show, though it looked more like she was only bloated. How had her stomach grown this much already? Perhaps it was because she was expecting the child of the great dog demon and not a normal human baby. Either way, the miko was surprised and was anxious to leave the house.
Having practically barricaded herself inside her home for the last two weeks, crying like a baby for most of that time, and eating everything in sight, had left her in a mess. While only telling her mother the barest of details, which basically was nothing other than Ryukensu was her adopted child, and therefore technically her grandson, she had left the poor woman in a state of worry and distress not knowing what was going on with her daughter.
Kagome knew she would have to tell her something soon, explain in detail, but for the time being she just needed to venture out into the 'real world' and get her thoughts in order. Having sent a begrudging Ryukensu to change into what had been her father's old jeans and a plain red t-shirt, she inhaled in shock when he finally came down the stairs. They fit him a little too tight, as he was much larger than her father had been, but in fact, fit his muscular body like a glove showing his toned chest and arms. Even his well-built thighs were pressing against the material of the jeans. His spiky hair, in various shades of red made him look all the more fitting to this time period, but she knew he would have to wear some sun glasses to cover his eyes, for they were too alive and non-human looking to pass as normal. He was going to have the girls swooning for sure. It made her heart swell with motherly pride. She on the other hand, no doubt looked more like a slob with a swollen stomach and overly large pants.
Yet at seeing her crestfallen look, the dragon tried to perk her up with his over excitement at seeing the future and all that it had in store in this outing they were about to undertake.
"Come mother, let's go out and you can show me all of the delicious food your world has to offer," he said eagerly knowing she had been eating more than usual no doubt due to the babe and her stress. Either way, she had to eat as she carried a pup that had to be fed more often than a normal human.
"Sure," she answered knowing that whatever she showed him he would be quite fascinated. "Except, you can't call me mother here Ryuke," she added. "No one will believe that I'm your mom. You're quite a bit older than me, or look to be at least my age, and well….they'll probably think you're my boyfriend."
"Boy-friend?" he said the word with a lift of his lip.
"Yes, you know, someone with me…whose going to be my mate. Someone who's trying to woo me. A partner…a-"
"Ah, yes," he interrupted her explanation. Although a look of slight repulsion briefly touched his features as he only nodded. "I understand."
After a few more instructions by the miko as to what was expected of him in this daytrip, they finally made their way into the city, preferring to take a leisurely walk so he can take in all of the sights, instead of taking the train.
She pointed to the many buildings and vehicles that they came past and explained the many marvelous feats the humans in her time had accomplished.
His awed expression made her smile.
"How could humans have made all of these wonders?" He questioned, doubting they were intelligent enough to do this for themselves and have this type of remarkable future.
"I know," the miko responded in return as they talked about the past and the future, not taking any offence. She tried explaining a bit of their history up to this point but trying not to give everything away. It was best he didn't know every detail. The priestess also informed him of the possibility of youkai's not existing in her time. That is unless they lived elsewhere in the world, hidden perhaps, but she had not felt any of their signatures in this area, though she did not want to dwell on that sad possibility for long.
As the priestess talked and continued to explain everything they were seeing, they finally reached the shopping district. There were rows of shops showing their merchandise in the shiny windows and goods perched outside of their doors organized in neat rows. The district always drew many young girls of all ages, and now was no different. It seemed that these same gaggle of girls were the same ones that were laughing and smiling at her companion, even if he seemed oblivious to it, obviously drawn to his good looks. He looked like a model, strolling leisurely through their midst. Rolling her eyes as they continued to whisper to each other as they watched Ryukensu intently, she did manage to notice some good pants that might actually fit her better. Her belly would grow and she would need more than the single pants she was wearing now. But…perhaps she could only purchase one for the time being?
Taking Ryuke by the arm and leading him into the store she wanted to enter, a couple of voices made her stop in her tracks before she could go in.
"Kagome! Hey Kagome!"
The miko cringed.
"It is her!" Another voice chimed in.
It was Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi.
"Wait up!" They called as they chased after her before she could enter the store even as she tried to pretend she couldn't hear them.
The priestess laughed nervously in surprise as they caught up with her and each gave her a tight hug.
"Where have you been Kagome?" They questioned almost unanimously.
"Erm, well…you see…"
"I'm afraid she's been quite busy," Ryukensu answered for her garnering all of the girls' attentions as they gasped and Ayumi's mouth fell open as she turned to her companion.
"Y –yes, it would seem," Eri answered while sweeping her eyes from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet in one look. Raising her eyebrow at the raven haired girl who had disappeared from their school and they hadn't seen in forever, she continued her interrogation. "Did you leave town with your boyfriend then?" she asked with mischief.
"Eh heh heh…well, not exactly. Only for a short time," the young miko finally allowed. What was she to say? Plus surely they were thinking she had practically eloped and who knows if they would notice that she was pregnant too.
"I actually went to visit…his family, so I was taking a small vacation you could say," the raven haired girl answered with some hesitation. She had never really been good at lying and frankly it made her uncomfortable.
"Aren't you going to introduce us?" Ayumi questioned with excitement looking at Ryukensu with large doe eyes filled with little hearts like in an anime.
"Sure…this is Ryukensu, only we have to get going, I didn't notice how late it was getting" Kagome answered hurriedly while grabbing unto said male's arm and trying to drag him away. She could get clothes and pregnancy pants another day…when no one was around. "We have to meet my mother in just a few minutes and we're already late. I'm so sorry," she continued, rushing Ryuke away and turning back to speak to her friends. "We'll talk to you soon for sure! We can hang out, don't worry, I'll see you all later!"
She practically dragged the large demon away in a small sprint. She had to get away from them as quickly as possible. She didn't want them interrogating her. It was not the time to be answering anyone's questions. She was definitely not up to it.
"Do you want me to transform?" Asked the poor male. "We can return to your home much quicker if I do," he offered.
"What? NO!" the miko almost shouted. "There's no way I could explain a dragon flying around Japan. I'm not that good of a liar!"
Ryukensu chuckled. He had only been jesting of course. But it seemed as if she had wanted to fly and get away from those silly girls. How could they be around the same age? His mother was so much more mature and grownup than the females of this time. He could obviously hear what they were saying, even if she couldn't. And frankly, he was not even curious about all of these human females or what they had to offer. In fact, he was actually repulsed with how openly lascivious they were and how they were only speaking of his looks compared to the "plain" girl at his side.
His mother was in no way a "plain" girl, she was one of the most beautiful and kindhearted women he had ever encountered in his long life.
Yet as he looked at her flushed face and felt her anxious aura, he couldn't help but laugh a little at her expression. He patted her hand gently as she grabbed his arm with a vice-like grip.
"Do not worry, mother. We have left them all behind and will be home soon," he said thinking to settle her with his words. Thankfully it worked.
Kagome let out a breath she didn't even know she had been holding.
"I'm sorry Ryuke. I'm just not ready to talk about anything with others just yet. I'm…it's just..." she looked at him hoping he would understand what she was trying to say.
"I know," he answered quietly as they continued to make their way through the crowded streets until they finally reached her neighborhood and the flocks of people lessened. Even if they had built such marvels, he did not believe humans had suddenly gained so much intelligence, rather they were creatures of trial and error who had built their success on the bodies of their own kind.
Nevertheless, he felt the priestess sigh with relief as the shrine came into view and they finally arrived at her home.
"I'm going to take another hot bath," the miko began, "and then…then I think it's time I had a talk with my mom. I haven't really told her anything and she needs to know," she stated nervously.
Even if Ryukensu did think she was taking an awful lot of baths lately, he would not begrudge her this comfort for it seemed to sooth her immensely. And if speaking with her mother would help her mood, and the woman could offer her some wisdom, then who was he to complain.
"Of course," he responded. "Your grandfather wanted to show me a few more 'important' items of your time, so I will be in his study should you need me," the dragon offered.
She gave a wan smile as he walked away. The miko wondered where her mother was at this moment, the woman whom she was always able to speak to. Someone who would offer her words of encouragement and would never judge her, but in this case, Kagome was beginning to grow unsure. What if she reprimanded her for being so foolish? For mating someone she already knew would come to die, and who would come to have two more women in his life?
While nervousness prevailed and her hands began to get sweaty, she decided to bathe first to get her mind in order for the upcoming talk.
Taking a quick bath this time, grabbing another sweat pant outfit, and drying her hair until it laid lightly over her shoulders, she sought out the woman who had allowed her to time travel and had never uttered a word of refusal.
The miko found her mother in the small garden she had recently planted of herbs and aromatic plants that could be used around the shrine, her large sun hat shielding her from the afternoon sun and her gardening gloved hands deep in the brown soil.
"Mama…I…need to talk to you," she began biting her lip uncertainly not knowing where she would even begin.
How much should she tell the woman?
"Kagome? What is it sweetie? You know…you can always tell me anything," Mrs. Higurashi offered genuinely, instinctively knowing her daughter was finally ready to talk.
Seeing the young woman's hesitation, Suke decided to invite her daughter into the kitchen for a cup of tea instead. She obviously needed to sit down and have a long talk with her.
"Let's go inside Kagome and have some hot tea and a snack. You seem to think better when you are not so hungry," she said with a small smile in her voice.
Nodding in agreement, the two women made their way into the kitchen while Suke boiled some water for the tea. Sitting down before her daughter, she allowed her to take a few deep breaths and said nothing, but waited in silence.
Kagome wasn't sure where to start. She supposed she should start from the beginning. From when Kikyo tried to harm her and threw her further back into the past.
The miko inhaled and began her tale. She told her mother everything. Except she left out the horrible parts of her time travels, like when she was beaten, or what Touga's father had done. Of course she didn't want her mother to feel bad for her or even not allow her to go back to the past, nevertheless she went on to describe her love for Touga, her taking in Ryukensu, and finally her ultimate mating.
Eating a few snacks in between while sipping her warm tea made the priestess a little calmer and allowed her to openly share her feelings and thoughts without much reservation. Her mother would always hear her out and would never condemn her, no matter what. She would simply share her thoughts with her and her wisdom.
Having come to the conclusion of her tale, her nervousness prevailed once again. Up to this point her mother had not said a word, allowing her to speak without interruption. Yet now that she had to tell her that she was pregnant…well that made things a little different. That is until the older woman spoke.
"And does he know that you're expecting his child?"
Kagome inhaled in shock. How had she known? She always did seem to have a sixth sense. Yet her mother continued taking her mind off of her astuteness.
"It seems that the confrontation you two had was the only thing spoken about and he must have still been disoriented and confused from suddenly being brought back to life…don't you think?" Suke asked her daughter while sipping her tea and letting the girl find an answer.
"I…uh…well…no. That's only because…he should have known?" The miko questioned hesitantly and not really thinking about it at all. "Shouldn't he have already known? I mean he is a dog demon and they have a great sense of smell and…" she trailed off her answer sounding a bit ridiculous even in her own ears. She hadn't really even thought about how confused and out of sorts he had to have been. In fact, he had been dead for over two hundred years and was suddenly, and not to mention unexpectedly, resurrected and she had all but flung all kinds of accusations at him. Granted they were true and perhaps he deserved them, but nevertheless she hadn't really been too understanding of his sudden return to the mortal world.
Kagome continued telling her mother almost all that was said at their last meeting. She went into detail at the sudden betrayal she felt and the way she couldn't help but see him differently. The miko spoke about the sudden feelings of anger and hurt that were beginning to take root in her heart at his obvious disloyalty. She didn't hesitate in telling her mother that yes, he was ultimately Inuyasha's and Sesshoumaru's sire, but she had in fact met him well before he was to be their father, and of course he had almost been the same age as her, well in human years that is.
The priestess did remark on the fleeting fact that she of course knew he was to be their sire and as such she also knew she needed to allow her friends to be born. Yet at the moment it was hard to grasp that, and perhaps that fact no longer even felt important.
Taking a few breaths to compose herself as she knew she was ultimately getting riled up all over again at the mention of his infidelity, and because she could also hear how loud she was getting, she decided to simply remain silent and see what her mother was going to say.
Would the older woman reprimand her for her ignorance and complete disregard for a future she already knew about? She had been rather stupid in all of this.
The miko flinched as she heard her mother begin to speak.
"Kagome dear," her mother began hesitantly, "there's something I…never told you about. You and Sota were still so young when your father passed away and well…"
The raven haired girl was suddenly intrigued. Her mother never hesitated. She was always so sure of herself and of life. Now, as she looked away from her and stared intently at the kitchen counter, Kagome could already tell this was going to be interesting.
"You see," Suki continued. "For a time, after your fathers passing, perhaps several months or maybe even a year later, I found myself so very lonely. Well, during this time I…met someone. He was around my age, a very dignified man." She paused as if remembering it as if it were yesterday, her eyes taking on a bright glow. "Well he and I began to spend time together. Not so very much at first for I still had two little ones to take care of, and you two were certainly a handful. We were just friends of course, but as time went on we began to spend more and more time in each other's company. It just so happened that this man began to ease the loneliness I had felt for so long. I thought my heart would never mend, that I could never see anyone else as…I had seen your father. Granted it was not the same experience. I loved your father, more than words can express, but I still felt like I had so much life ahead of me. I was young and I didn't want my life to feel like it had ended along with his. I knew I could never ever feel the same for this man as I had felt for your father but I still felt as if his presence eased the ache, if only just a little."
Mrs. Higurashi sipped her tea for a moment allowing the younger woman to take it all in, and as she saw her daughter's expression change from shock to curiosity she continued.
"Well, we began to spend more and more time in each other's company until he finally came to a conclusion. He had never married or had any children of his own, so he wanted to start a life with me. I…well…I was already ahead of him. I had been married, was a widow, and had two little ones of my own to raise. I didn't feel it appropriate to begin something with him that I had already begun with your father."
At her daughter's look of confusion, Suki added. "You see dear, my point is I was able to feel affection for another even though I had loved your father with my whole heart and had given him everything I had. Yet, I managed to somehow move on and even though it was not an intense and passionate love like I had had with your father, I was still able to live life, even if only…to obtain a little bit of happiness for what remained of my life."
Kagome didn't know what to say. As her mother remained silent, letting her process what she had just said, she was rather shocked to say the least. Her mother had never ever mentioned any of this to her. And seeing as how it had happened when she was just a young child, then she wouldn't remember any of it either. But, this only meant, that her mother…had been with another man besides her father?
As the silence dragged on Kagome stood.
"I…thank you for telling me. I just need to rest now. Thank you for the tea. Good night."
"Good night sweetie," Suki responded allowing her daughter some time to think things through. It was obvious she was still a bit stunned with her admission about another man being in her life, other than her father, so perhaps a good night's rest was in order.
Kagome silently went to her room and even though it was still early in the evening she felt so very tired. Her mind was churning with the new revelation of her mother with another man. It was just so very…odd. It's not like it was a sin or something but still, she had always thought her mother had been faithful –even if just to her father's memory.
The miko couldn't wrap her head around all she had just learned, but she supposed she would think about it as she lay in bed. What was it her mother was trying to tell her anyway? She had revealed this intimate information about herself for a reason, as she had obviously kept it from her and Sota for so many years. It didn't seem as if she even had any intention of ever telling them, but…she did.
After changing into some comfortable pajamas and getting in bed, she laid there for some time, her thoughts everywhere before she finally managed to hold on to a few and dissect them.
Perhaps she did know what her mom was trying to tell her after all. She had still loved her father fiercely, but she had managed to find a little bit of happiness with another without ever letting go of her love for him. Could Kagome blame her or shame her for this? Frankly if her mother wanted some happiness she would have it no other way. She had always wanted her mother to be happy, no matter what, and it seemed…no matter with who. She remembered seeing her so sad and lonely as she and Sota were growing up and the miko couldn't help but want to ease that pain and loneliness somehow. Kagome wanted to see her mother happy, and full of life again…perhaps…even if it wasn't with her beloved father.
The miko was beginning to finally understand. At least a little. Her heart felt better, like a weight was lifting, and maybe, tomorrow, she would think on the matter even more clearly.
Soon, she fell asleep, with no dreams to perturb her in their unrelenting merciless fashion.
Sadly, she awoke in the middle of the night to some loud bickering. The culprits were trying to whisper, but it seemed they were shouting more than they were taking care to be silent.
She groaned in annoyance, but perhaps it sounded more like a growl, as she threw her pillow at those who were causing the disturbance.
But as the loud whispers continued, and she opened her eyes to find the perpetrators, the priestess could only make out the shadowy figures of two occupants in her room. One of them had shimmering red eyes that danced in the darkness and lit his way, and the other had moon kissed hair and brightly glowing eyes, both of which were quite noticeable in the dark.
Kagome could easily figure out who they were and the two jerks who had just woken her up, were going to feel her wrath.
"You see, she's awake," Inuyasha stated the obvious in a loud whisper. "I'll just tell her real quick," he argued.
"I have already informed you boy, you need to leave now before I-"
"O.K. what the hell is going on?" The miko asked groggily but with a hard edge to her voice that didn't bode well for anyone. "Tell me what Inuyasha?"
"I…uh…well it's my old man," the hanyou stated with a bit of reluctance.
Kagome sat up. She was now wide awake, fear and alarm cursing through her veins. "What is it? What's wrong? Did something happen? Is it Naraku?"
She was shooting so many questions at him that Inuyasha didn't know which to answer first. His confusion and hesitation angering her even more. Oh he knew from experience that it was never a good thing to wake up the wench. She was always rather intimidating the few times he had done it and unfortunately, he had learned the hard way every time. He remembered being 'sat' more times than he would have liked.
"Well, sort'a. But it isn't Naraku. Just let me talk will ya?"
"Spit it out Inuyasha," she said menacingly making him gulp.
"Well…it's just that the dragon here was trying to keep me from waking ya, but…I had to tell you. It's the old man. He's…well he's not doing too good."
"What do you mean?" Kagome interrupted before he could continue.
"I'm getting there, stop interrupting wen- uh- just stop interrupting," he faltered even as he saw the dragon's eyes narrow into slits. "It's…well he's been in his true form since you left. He hasn't eaten, hasn't hunted, and he hasn't moved from the same damn spot for weeks. He just sits there and howls at the moon. Sesshoumaru says he sings the songs of our ancestors about brokenness or some shit, but I don't know, it's like he's reverting back into his true nature or something. Like his mind isn't all there. He seems…unrecognizable."
And there ya go, one more chapter. It might have been a little shaky but that's as good as I could get it. (Hey it was 10 pages! And one of my longest chapters to date!)
Sorry about the long wait, but I was having a hard time writing, and my interest was almost nonexistent, and I was just too tired lol. So my inspiration hit a bit of a snag but I'm better now…I think. At least we're getting closer to the end ;0)
Thanks for all your reviews (and reminders) to update soon. Stay safe!
Until next time…