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For Better or Worse by Tsuki no Tennyo

For Better or Worse

Author's Note: The promised sequel, because I just happened to have enjoyed writing Kagome in this particular AU. It's much shorter than the predecessor, but then, the other story wasn't even supposed to cap in at around 8K, so consider this an epilogue of sorts!

In regards to the predecessor, I'm surprised that there are many readers who found Kagome too ready to forgive Sess and that he felt remorseless about his actions. I had sprinkled in details that should have shown otherwise, but perhaps I was too subtle? If anyone would like me to point them out specifically, hmu on PM or comment over at the AO3 copy, where I can actually comment back more easily. IMO as the author, though, it was more like reaching an understanding instead of still holding onto anger and sadness. I don't want to get even wordier (because I absolutely love dissecting stories!), so feel free to contact me for more insights (with any stories, really)!

.

"We will need to tell them eventually," Sesshoumaru said for the seventh time on the flight headed for Tokyo, Japan. Honestly, he couldn't understand why she was being so difficult and unreasonable. Well, actually he could, but he also suspected she was doing this on purpose. It would be so classic her, he grumbled in the back of his mind.

"I don't want to," Kagome whined for the seventh time since he had started the argument.

"They will find out."

"No."

He stared at her incredulously, not believing her complete insolence. Sesshoumaru had always prided himself in being a levelheaded man who never let a single thing trigger him, but in this moment, he was about ready to punch the next person that spoke to him that was not Kagome.

"For god's sake, Kagome," he said with unrestrained annoyance, "we eloped, they will know."

"No."

"You are four months pregnant."

"No."

He looked at his petulant wife with utter disbelief, watching as she ushered a steward over to ask for a cup of orange juice. She then proceeded to drink her orange juice while happily ignoring him to enjoy the current inflight movie. If she wasn't pregnant with his child, and happened to be the love of his life, he would kill her right then and there for her audacity.

"We have to tell them!" he shouted, losing his last vestige of self-control, and as expected, attracting the attention of all passengers on the airplane.

"No," she repeated with a bright lilt in her voice as she smiled happily at the movie screen.

.

"Goddamn you, Sesshoumaru," she grumbled when her beloved husband drove right up to her family's shrine right after they had left the airport. Well, their family's shrine. God, she still hated this odd technicality. "I am carrying your kid. Shouldn't you be doting me and be at my every beck and call?"

"Within reasons," he said evenly as he helped her out of the car. "They knew we would be home today, so it was either visit them first or have them show up at our home without warning."

"Goddamn you," she repeated, unhappy that her plan to ignore everything until the problem went away did not work out as expected. It was a shoddy plan, but she happened to have liked it. It was working well right up until she found out she was pregnant, after all. As thrilled as she was with the news, it threw a wrench into her plan to limit as much contact with her dysfunctional family as possible. Having a sensible husband was also another factor in her plan going awry. "You just had to knock me up."

"I do not recall you being reluctant at the time it happened."

She huffed, turning her head away for a moment before she turned back to look at all of the stairs she had to climb with dread. Years of globetrotting with heavy camera equipment was not the same as being pregnant and fully aware of the weight and responsibility of carrying another tiny life inside of her.

"You couldn't have at least waited another five months," she complained, "How do you expect me to deal with all of that sober?"

"Same way you made me wear a kilt."

"Which is how we got into this predicament!" she yelled, gesturing to her swollen belly. Kagome had intended on it being just a joke when she forced him to wear the kilt so she could get a good laugh and photo out of it as a reminder of Scotland, but they had both quickly discovered her sudden arousal for it when her eyes glazed over as she admired her husband's well-toned calves, among other things.

"You are being unreasonable," he said, feeling like he was chastising a small child, which he supposed he could consider this as practice for when their child was born and behaving in the same irrational manner as its mother.

"Well," she sniffed, "I am pregnant. Hormones and all of that. But mostly that."

He glanced at the shrine she was gesturing and the people that inhabited it, and then he sighed. "Even if you weren't pregnant, we still would have to tell them we had eloped."

"Why?" she continued to grumbled. "No one told me they had gotten married for like five months. I had to find out when I walked into the kitchen while they were sticking their tongues in one another's mouth."

It had been nearly two years, but she still shuddered over the memory of arriving home after months working overseas to see her mother had married Sesshoumaru's father. Everything afterwards was a bit of a blur involving heavy drinking, crying, and bad decisions.

"I'm getting nauseous, and I don't think it's because of morning sickness."

"Enough," he said, knowing she was trying to delay the confrontation. "We cannot stand around on the sidewalk all day long."

"We should have stayed in Canada," she said, still trying to resist the inevitable. She gave him her best sweet, doe-eyed smile. "Didn't you want to have a baby with Canadian citizenship?"

"No," he said, glaring at her. "We are not going to stand around arguing over this."

She was about to offer another argument anyway, but she was interrupted by a voice from above on the shrine ground.

"Hey everyone, they're home—oh, my god, she is pregnant!" they heard Inuyasha screeching from above, which was followed by everyone rushing out to see them with varied reactions from shock to excitement. As they all rushed down the steps, Sesshoumaru turned and gave her a knowing look.

"Goddamn you," she repeated, just as her mother wrapped her into a tearful hug while everyone else was trying to talk over one another as they bombarded the couple with questions.

.

"So how will you explain this to your kid?"

"I will punch you in the throat, Inuyasha," Kagome threatened as she calmly drank the green tea her mother had set for everyone.

"I will not stop her," Sesshoumaru added, drinking from his own cup.

Inuyasha paled considerably as he felt his throat nervously.

.

Her mother, as expected, fussed over her considerably, being more thrilled over the prospect of being a grandmother than any souvenir Kagome could have brought home. Well, this was in a way a souvenir from good old Scotland, she thought in a darkly amused sort of way, but she decided to keep this little tidbit of information between her and Sesshoumaru.

"Are you eating well, dear? Are you still having morning sickness? Swollen feet—"

"Mama, I'm fine!"

Inuyasha grinned and leaned over next to his half-brother. "Sesshoumaru, any sympathy pain?"

"I will snap you like a toothpick."

"Hm, sounds like hormo—ow, ow, ow!"

.

"I'll bet the baby will be really cute," Kikyou said with a big happy sigh, just as excited to be an aunt. "Oh! I got it! I'll call up Sango and we will throw you a baby shower!"

"Um," Kagome started, staring at her friend—slash sister-in-law, she added in the back of her mind—with skepticism, "You really don't have to—"

"Bachelorette party!" she cried suddenly, "You need to have that first!"

"But I'm not a bachelorette," Kagome reminded her friend with a frown as she rubbed her belly. "And I do believe we are way past the acceptable stage for one."

"I know a good male escort club that we can host it at!" Kikyou said, ignoring everything Kagome had just said.

Kagome turned and tossed Sesshoumaru a "this-is-all-your-fault" look, but frowned when she saw he was still busy trying to break Inuyasha's arm. She smacked her forehead, wishing this welcome home get-together would be over already.

.

"I got to say," Touga started, rubbing at the stubbles on his face. "I am not surprised."

Kagome felt her cheeks reddened, and to her left, she could see Sesshoumaru had stiffened. If the feeling of mortification wasn't setting in for her, she would have given him a smug "I-told-you-so" look, but in that moment, all she wanted to do was launch herself into space and float off into the infinite darkness far away from this conversation.

"So which came first: the elopement or the pregnancy?"

"Dear!"

Kagome immediately excused herself to go throw up, leaving Sesshoumaru to handle the rest of the conversation with their parents.

.

Kagome sighed as she made her way back to the living room. Just a few more hours of this, and then she and Sesshoumaru could make their way home to their apartment for some much needed peace and relaxation. She kept repeating this in her head, hoping it would somehow speed up time.

"Oh, you two should have gone to Tahiti," she heard Touga saying as she stood just outside the room, frozen, "Do you remember Tahiti? What a lovely—"

She immediately turned around and speed-walked out of there.

.

It was over half an hour later when Sesshoumaru found her taking refuge in her childhood bedroom. He stood at the door, leaning against the threshold with arms crossed, giving her an exasperated look. She sat up, leaning against the headboard of her bed as she wrinkled her nose at him.

"What?"

"He talked about Tahiti."

"I told you we shouldn't have stopped by," she said, not feeling one ounce of pity for her husband's misery. She scooted over, patting the empty space on the bed next to her.

He closed the door and made his way over and lay down on the bed as she massaged his head soothingly. He closed his eyes and tried to will the last half hour away from his memory.

"Who is right?"

"Gloating is not attractive, dear."

"Who cares about being attractive when I'm going to be as big as a whale? Tell me I'm right."

He cracked one eye open, seeing her smiling at him mischievously.

"Tell me I'm right," she repeated.

He sighed. "You were right."

Her smile widened as she settled down, feeling him wrapped his arm around her as her back rested against his chest. His hand rubbed her belly in gentle circles as he listened to her hummed softly.

"I'm glad you agreed to traveling with me," she said a few minutes later. "It was fun, right?"

"It was," he murmured, kissing her neck. "Scotland was particularly fun."

She blushed, reaching behind her to lightly smack her husband's face. "Remember: no matter how curious or demanding our child gets, we are not talking about this conception story. I would imagine everything else will be traumatizing enough for the kid."

"Which reminds me, 'Grandpa' will need to tone down some of his stories," Sesshoumaru said, grimacing.

Kagome laughed softly, nodding in agreement. She placed her hand over his. "Are you excited to head back to work?"

"After a year of sightseeing, gorging on delicious cuisine, and you, reading contracts and reports suddenly sound like torture."

"What are you saying? You don't want to go back?" Kagome sat up, looking at him with astonishment, never once believing she would see the day when he would be opposed to working.

"I am saying, I might be due for a career change," he answered, propping himself up on one elbow.

"A career change? Right when we are expecting a baby? This does not sound like a sensible plan of Nishimura Sesshoumaru. Higurashi Kagome, yes, but you? No."

"Not immediately," he murmured, "But I will be thinking certain things over. I did promise to make more sacrifices for you."

She smiled at this. He felt strangely wary by her sudden serenity.

"You are going to get more hysterical, aren't you?"

"Me? Hysterical? Yeah, probably," she said, kissing him. "This is going to be such a joyous time for us."

.

Dysfunctional didn't seem like an adequate enough word to describe their family, but Kagome supposed it would have to do for now. Explaining relationships within the family was a headache no matter how many times she had done it in the past year, and given how exhausted and moody she had been lately as the months passed, her temper was very short with strangers.

"So how did you two meet?"

"I married my stepbrother," she said, scowling, when the busybody woman she had met in the baby story ten minutes earlier continued to pester her with nosy questions she didn't really feel like answering.

"Kagome!"

She shrugged when her husband glared at her. "Technically it's true." She turned to face the shocked woman, smiling, "Well, there are some other minor details, but it's not like I'm going to see you ever again so fu—"

Sesshoumaru quickly covered his temperamental wife's mouth before she could get another word out.

.

"Who in the world eats anchovy with ice cream and seaweed together?"

"Me, I do, the woman who is carrying the miracle of life that is your child."

"…Carry on."

.

"Sesshoumaru," she greeted him brightly when he arrived home one day, though he could see through her thinly-veiled act. "Your mother decided to stop by earlier with presents for the baby."

He glanced behind her, seeing extravagant gifts piled high in their small living room.

"Is that a chandelier?"

"Oh, so you do see that, too?"

"Why is my mother giving my son a chandelier?"

She shrugged, walking over to pick up another gift. "Honestly, why did she think he would need a cashmere sweater?" She paused and then glanced at her husband with suspicion. "Did you wear cashmere when you were a baby? And have a chandelier in your nursery? And—where are you going?"

"To deal with my mother."

She stared at the closed door and turned her attention back to the cashmere sweater she was holding. It did feel so nice and soft in her hands, but then she remembered babies' tendency to spit up and make a mess of themselves, so she sighed with resignation as she returned it to the pile of irrational gifts that Sesshoumaru would undoubtedly make his mother return.

.

"Hm, Spain sounds nice," Kagome said, from her position on their bed with a map spread out before her. She was nearing the end of her pregnancy, so it wasn't an entirely comfortable position to be in as she studied the countries before her, but she figured she'd rather be sitting on a soft bed with lots of pillows for support than hunched on the floor over a table. "Warm weather, beautiful architecture, delicious food—"

"Are you already planning your next trip?"

"Our trip," she corrected him as he sat down on the bed next to her, "With the baby, of course. A family trip, if you will."

He kissed her shoulder. "You need to relax. We have plenty of time to plan things like that."

"Yes, well," she muttered, half-ignoring his thoughtfulness, "being on maternity leave is driving me crazy. And until the baby is born, I can only rearrange the nursey so many times before I go nuts over the different shades of yellow."

His eyes traveled over the map she had placed, where she had already marked the places she had been alone, the places they've traveled together, and peculiarly, also places she was not allowed back. He made a mental note to ask her about that later when she was less likely to go into a hormonal rage over the slightest comment.

"Maybe we should repaint the nursery green," she said suddenly, distracted from her travel planning, "I remember yellow can be a very agitating color. I don't want the baby to be anxious—"

"Spain sounds nice," he said, kissing her neck as he wrapped his arms around her and felt their child kicked.

"Are you trying to get out of repainting the nursery?"

"Perhaps."

She gave him a hard look before grinning. "Alright, Spain it is!"

.

Sesshoumaru was convinced their child was going to be a troublemaker in the future. Of all of the time to make his debut, his son decided the middle of a family dinner involving all of Grandpa's present and past wives sharing gossips as the perfect opportunity to announce his arrival.

As their family went into panic mode and losing whatever remnant of common sense they had, the expecting couple remained the sanest of the group.

"Hm, hospital?" Kagome looked at him with a smile, seeming the most serene she had been all pregnancy long.

He took a glance at their crazed family members and nodded, already helping her out the door and into their car.

.

The creative and colorful curses his wife shouted during the actual birthing process would make even the crudest sailor blush in embarrassment, or proud, he considered, remembering her mention of her time spent with some jolly old sailors at sea drinking rum, playing poker, and taking photos. Oddly enough, though, most of her curses were directed at Inuyasha, not that Sesshoumaru minded too much.

"They are wondering when they can come in and meet the baby," he said, entering her hospital room to see his wife cradling their newborn son with tender care.

"Eighteen years," she answered, not missing a beat. She laughed quietly when her husband responded with an exasperated glare, "Alright, eighteen hours." He continued to scowl at her. "Minutes?"

Sesshoumaru nodded, accepting this reasonable answer. He walked over and sat down on the bed next to her and kissed the top of her head, sounding exhausted. "They're all here."

"Of course they are," she sighed in a similar tone.

"No," he said, "they are all here."

"You mean…"

"My mother, Inuyasha's, all of them."

"Oh," she said before looking down and poking her newborn son's nose gently. She smiled when he yawned and fussed in her arms. "Welcome to our crazy, dysfunctional family." She kissed his forehead and whispered softly, "I promise to get you the best therapist in the world."

"Kagome…" His voice was low, and warning, but in actuality, he was a bit amused by this, knowing his son might need the professional help to deal with everything and everyone.

"Kidding," she laughed, leaning into her husband's embrace. She closed her eyes and smiled. "It's been a crazy two years. I wouldn't change a thing."

"Me neither," he answered, kissing her.

She opened her eyes and looked up at him, grinning, poking his own nose, "It's about to get even crazier."

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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