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Second Chances by Lauren R Faircloth

Before

***This story will be on Wattpad under the same profile name Rachel2018cheer. It is not plagarised. I am the same author on both sites.

Inuyasha was running through the forest like normal, Kagome on his back, the kit on her shoulder. Miroku and Sango were riding Kirara and trying to keep up with the racing hanyou. Kagome had sensed a jewel shard in the distance and they were trying to take the demon down before it got to any of the nearby villages.

It wasn't moving very fast, but they didn't want to take a chance on it getting away and hurting anyone before they could get to it.

Kagome had grown a lot in her powers since Kikyo died, giving her back the rest of her soul. She was a lot better at many of the skills she had struggled with that all priestesses should have been able to do. She was also discovering a lot of skills that normal priestesses couldn't do.

She could sense that the holder of the shard didn't have any ill will and that their aura was familiar. She could also sense that they knew that the group was coming, but was not getting ready for battle.

"Guys. I think we know them. They feel, almost like family now that we are closer. Don't start attacking until we assess the situation some more. Okay Inuyasha?" she added, knowing the hanyou was more apt to attacking first and asking questions later.

"Feh! Don't tell me what to do, wench. Just tell me where the shard is and I'll get it," he commented, not heading her words of wisdom.

"Inuyasha, you can't run into every thing head first all of the time. Sometimes, well most of the time actually, you need a sound plan to move forward," she scolded him, feeling once again more like a mother than a friend to the young hanyou.

She knew that Inuyasha had a hard life as a child. His father died right after he was born and his mother followed soon after. Fighting to survive when both humans and demons were hunting him down simply because of what he was, he never had the opportunity to learn good values and honor like his brother preaches to him about.

But that didn't excuse a lot of his behavior.

He was older now and more powerful, thanks to the sword his father left him and the girl that allowed him to use it, but it seemed that instead of making him face responsibility and grow up that it just made him more arrogant and insufferable.

In addition to all of that, he had went to Kikyo every time she summoned him with her soul stealers in the sky. The puppy love Kagome had felt for the silver haired boy had long changed into the love of a mother and caregiver. Like she was to Shippo. She had to separate and mediate between the two when they acted like rough housing brothers. 

Although Kagome didn't love Inuyasha in the romantic sense, she still loved him and wanted to protect him, so it was unacceptable that he traipse around with a long dead woman who wanted to drag him down to hell with her and make him suffer for a wrong he did not commit. It was sad, but also a huge relief when she had died again. Kagome didn't need to worry that one morning she might wake up and find him gone forever.

All of his insensitive words and accusation thrown at Kagome for not being as good as Kikyo should have pushed her over the edge already, but Kagome was a thousand times better than Kikyo. She really did have a pure soul. Sure, she could feel negative emotions, but she didn't let them fester and control her. She expressed herself well and forgave often. Her heart could hold so much love in it that one would think it to be bottomless. Her compassion and her kindness was what kept her glued to the hanyou's side. 

She would not let him be by himself again. He still needed someone to take care fo him and for him to lean on. She let him think that she needed protecting in order to make him feel as if he were needed. In actuality, she protected him most of the time. She told him where the shards where so he knew where to aim his attacks. This left the battled to be over as quickly as possible with minimal chance for injuries in the group.

Sadly, Inuyasha didn't always heed her warnings, such as right then. They reached the clearing where she could feel the pull of the shards, but they did not find an enemy. They found Sesshomaru with his group that consisted of a two headed dragon named Ah-Un, his loyal if annoying retainer Jaken, and his sweet ward, a young girl named Rin.

Kagome didn't immediately get off of Inuyasha'a back. It made him less likely to attack when he still had his "shard detecter" to worry about.

"Greetings, Sesshomaru. I felt some shards this way. Were you coming to see us?" She inquired politely.

"Filthy ningen! How dare you address my lord in such a disrespectful manner! This Jaken will-" Jaken started on his usual rant when he felt that his lord wasn't being shown the respect he deserved for gracing them with his presence.

"Silence, Jaken. She is the Shikon Miko. As such she has the same if not greater rank than this Sesshomaru. It is you who are not showing the proper respect to her," Sesshomaru stepped on the toad, holding him flat to the ground. He paused to let his retainer feel the weight of his words and then proceeded to walk toward the miko.

She climbed off of Inuyasha's back and made her way to close half of the distance between them. She could feel Inuyasha'a reluctance to let her go, but after the sitting he got from the last time he provoked his brother with no good reason, he was not so eager to repeat his mistake.

The air between the lord and the miko was tingling with their power. Their auras were testing each other to assess the situation, but instead of finding resistance, they were intermingling. Almost like they were teasing and playing with each other. The air crackled with power, but it was not a violent feeling.

They stopped with scarce but a foot between them. Sesshomaru held out his right and only hand, the other arm taken by Inuyasha in the tomb of their father. Kagome held out her open palm and he placed the shards in her care. There were four of them and all were of a good size. She took her chunk of the jewel out and merged the pieces together. Altogether she had about two thirds of the jewel. Kohaku had one. Koga had two. Naraku had the rest.

She extended her senses as far as she could to make sure, feeling the call of the shards to the ones she possessed and their old vessel. These were the last shards. The final battle was on.

"Thank you, Sesshomaru. These are the last shards before the final battle with Naraku," she said loud enough for all on the group to hear her.

They were surprised, but also eager to finally bring him down. For Sango's family, for Miroku's wind tunnel, for Shippo's father, and for Inuyasha's betrayal.

Sesshomaru could sense what she was thinking and added his input before thinking about it.

He leaned close to her ear and spoke only for her to hear. "If they were so in love, then Naraku couldn't have broken them apart so easily. They did not really trust one another to begin with."

"I know, but you would never convince Inuyasha of that," she spoke back just as softly. "When Kikyo died again at the hands of Naraku, she made him promise to avenge her. For him not to fail her again, as if he had truly failed the first time." She sighed and turned back to Sesshomaru. "Will you join with us until Naraku is defeated? We all have the same goal and the more players on the board, the more chance we have of winning."

She knew he would take her offer. It would be foolish not to, and the Killing Perfection was not a fool. All he offered in response was a nod of his head. He then turned and called for Rin to board Ah-Un.

"Come on, guys. Sesshomaru is going to be with us until we finish Naraku," Kagome announced, knowing the reaction about to happen.

"WHAT! You can't be serious. That bastard ain't joinin' us. He's tried to fuckin' kill us Kagome!" Inuyasha started his outburst.

She began counting to five.

"One."

"He tried to melt you with acid wench-"

"Two."

"And now you want him to travel with us-"

"Three."

"No way! No how! Ain't gonna happen!"

"Four."

"It bad enough you let the asshole Koga get away, but now you want to team up with lord icicle!"

"Five." After reaching five, and Inuyasha still not heeding her warning, for she knew that he could hear he count and knew what it meant, she decided he need a little reinforcement. "Sit."

Inuyasha hit the ground with a loud "Thud!" and the only noise you heard from him then was some faint groaning and whining.

"If you are going to behave like a misbehaving puppy, then I will treat you like one," she said, explaining why he got sat once again. Then it hit her. Of course!

She enchanted her voice and uttered a different word, "Stay!"

Inuyasha was pinned in his crater and Kagome knew he wouldn't be able to interfere.

"Now Inuyasha, I have some questions for you that I need you to answer before I let you up. Alright?"

She got a whimper out of him then.

"I'll take that as a yes. Now, how old are you in youkai years?"

Inuyasha made no response, but Sesshomaru did. "He is only about five or so, miko. Hanyou age faster in appearance than youkai, and slower than ningens, but mentally he is a very vulgar five year old."

"Well. That explains a lot. Okay that actually takes care of a lot of my questions. Thank you Sesshomaru," she said.

"No thanks is necessary. It is my failings in not taking the child in after his mother's passing that resulted in his vulgarity," Sesshomaru confessed.

"Then would you be interested in righting that wrong?" she asked, her idea expanding.

"I am not sure what you mean," Sesshomaru said, not outwardly showing his confusion but stating it nonetheless. 

"I had an idea after I said something earlier. He acts like an unruly puppy and I now know it is because he is one, so I have decided some retraining is in order. Naraku is coming, that it true, but Inuyasha cannot take him on like this when he is so careless in battle. I will make it so you can wield Tetsuaiga and we will raise him from scratch. Is that acceptable?" she asked the elder brother.

"Ya ain't akin' my sword wench!" Inuyasha found his voice, though it was muffled by the ground.

She ignored him as Sesshomaru mulled the offer over. "That is agreeable. We would work as a parental unit so to speak and with Rin and your son around, Inuyasha would also have siblings around his age to keep him in line. Although, I would like to make an amendment. We shall reside at the Western Palace so that we all will be protected during which time that we plan the fight against Naraku," he consented.

"I find that to be very reasonable. So we have a deal?"

"Yes. Proceed with your plan."

"Of course." She approached the hole where Inuyasha was still stuck and took the sword from him. She put her hand on the worn handle and it glowed with her power.

"I pulled you from your resting place and gave you to your master. Hear me now. It is time to accept a new master while Inuyasha has time to grow into you. He will cause more harm than good if he is allowed to keep you at this time. Find yourself with his blood, his kin, his pack. You will still protect him, but another shall wield you until he is ready," she spoke these words to the sword itself and it seemed to respond to her. It pulsed a few times and when she presented it to Sesshomaru, it did not burn him as it did before.

She didn't speak as she returned to Inuyasha. She pulled him into a sitting position and placed her hand over his head and the other on his heart. She held eye contact with him as she started to change him.

"You are strong in many ways but weak in those that matter most. You must go back, back not in time, but in strength, in order to learn what is missing. Hear me now. I call upon the blood of Inu no Taisho that runs through your veins. Let him age as he would with your blood alone. Trust him to us so that we may make him strong and yet keep his humanity that allows him to wield the sword that you left him," she appealed to the blood of his father for its strength and help in achieving what she wanted done. It worked as well.

Inuyasha began to shrink. Down and down he went in size and strength until he looked like a normal five year old. His robes shrank with him and he still wore the subjugating beads. His golden eyes looked down at his tiny hands and they started to tear up.

Kagome picked him up under his arms and places him on her hip. She smoothed back his hair and placed a kiss on his head.

"Inuyasha, I know that you still have your memories and you still don't understand exactly what I did, but I need you to know that it was for your own good. You never met your father and your mother died when you were very young even by youkai standards, so I have brought you back to the body of a child, which you still are no matter how big or strong you were. Sesshomaru and I will be raising you from infancy in order to teach you what you need to know," she said. That seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back as Inuyasha began to wail and pitch a natural born fit. His legs and arms were flailing and it wouldn't have been a problem had Sesshomaru been holding him, but it was Kagome that took the brunt of his tantrum.

Inuyasha way have been small, but he still had his claws and they caught Kagome across the cheek. He stopped when he smelled the blood and look at the damage he had caused. Three bloody lines were on Kagome's previously unmarked skin. His eyes got wide and and his mouth opened in a now silent scream at what he had done.

Kagome didn't react at that moment. She handed Inuyasha over to Sesshomaru and walked toward the stream they had seen earlier with her first aid kit in hand. She sent Sesshomaru a look before she left that clearly said, "Don't do anything. I will deal with it when I get back."

He did as she asked and just kept a grip on the child that was his younger brother, and now was practically his son. The miko was now his mother and he had harmed her. Sesshomaru was angry, but knew enough about women to trust most of the child care to them. He would be taking care of teaching him the morals and principals of his house and what his father had taught him.

Kagome took care of her wounds and hoped they wouldn't scar, but even if they did they would serve as a good reminder for Inuyasha to control himself from now on.

He needed to realize that restraint was also a strength and if this helped him, she would endure it. She had grown much in living in the Feudal Era for so long. She still went to visit her family, but she had graduated school and her family told everyone that she had gotten married.

She calmly walked back to the clearing and took Inuyasha from Sesshomaru.

"We will be back in a while. Please make camp for tonight. It is too late to travel anymore today with three children to take care of," she ordered and walked back to the stream with Inuyasha in tow.

He was still crying, but it was reduced to hiccups and sniffles at the moment.

She sat at the edge of the stream and had Inuyasha in her lap. She took his hand and gently and carefully washed her blood off of his claws. Once she was done, she gathered him close to her and held him there until he calmed down.

She cradled him in her arms like a baby and rocked him back and forth with her. She didn't say anything. Now was not the time for words. It had been a long and stressful day for the now child and he needed a moment of comfort now that he couldn't deal with it by swinging a sword around or beating on Shippo.

He buried his head in her breasts and wrapped his arms as far around her as they could go. She rubbed him back with one hand while the other supported his bottom where he could reach her. They stayed like this for a long time, until the sniffles turned into little snores. Even then, she kept him close and let him sleep for a while.

When he woke up, it was turning dark, but it was time for them to talk about what happened.

"Inuyasha. I still love you. Nothing you do or don't do will ever change that. I might be disappointed or even angry sometimes, but you need to know that I will always love you. Sesshomaru too. He may not show it, but he loves you as well. He has never tried to kill you. He was trying to teach you how to fight and defend yourself. If you could stand toe to toe with him, then others wouldn't be a problem for you.

"Now. About these claws here. I am not going to take them away because you need them to defend yourself and need to learn how to use them, but if you don't start being careful with them, I might need to revisit that decision. Do you understand?" she asked before continuing.

He nodded at her with his head still down.

"Okay. Now. Talk to me. How do you feel?" she asked.

"How do you think I feel?" he screeched. "You turned me into a baby! You took my sword! You're making me live with Sesshomaru!" 

He continued to lash out and scream about how unfair it was and then he said something that he would truly regret.

"I hate this! I hate you!" He screamed at the top of his lungs, swiping at her again. This time he hit the other cheek and the cut was deeper because it was intentional. He sat there on her lap, where she held and comforted him, and glared up at her like he was in the right and she was in the wrong.

She sighed and walked to the stream again to take care of her cuts. After cleaning and bandaging them, she sat on a felled tree with Inuyasha on her lap once again.

"Inuyasha. Clearly you did not reflect on your actions the first time, so we will have to take a different route now," she said as she pulled out some heavy duty nail clippers. He saw them and started trying to get away. "Stay." He didn't get very far.

She picked him back up and turned him to face away from her. The spell still in place, she made quick work of clipping all of his nails, even the ones on his feet. He was crying without moving. He still couldn't. When she was done, his nails looked like a human's. She released him from the spell and he tried to climb down from her lap, but she easily stopped him.

"If you think that is it, you are sorely mistaken," she said to him.

"Wh-what do you mean?" he asked nervously.

"I'm going to give you incentive to behave next time. I don't know how they discipline a child in this time, but I know a great way to do it in mine," she said, giving no other information.

She turned him and positioned him to be bent over her knees. She pulled his hakama down to his knees and gave him his first spanking. She used her hand so she could feel how hard she was hitting him. Using a switch or a belt would inflict worse damage and was not as controlled as using a hand. She gave him one swat for every mark on her cheeks which added up to seven total. Three from one cheek and four on the other.

When she was done, she told him way he had gotten a spanking and that if he ever did anything like that again, it would be much worse. He believed her.

She put some ointment on his bottom to help with the stinging, fixed his clothes, and carried him back to camp.

He wiped the tear tracks off his face onto her shirt and she rubbed his back as they walked. She whispered words of encouragement to him on how well he did and how proud of him she was, knowing that he didn't receive words like that very often when he was younger.

By the time they reached camp, it was time to go to sleep and they needed to figure out the sleeping arrangements. Rin was sleeping by Ah-Un with Jaken next to her and Sesshomaru was waiting for them, leaned against a tree near them.

Sango and Miroku were also awake and Shippo was curled up in her sleeping bag waiting for her.

She sat next to Sesshomaru and showed him Inuyasha's hands, explaining that he scratched her again on purpose, so he had needed to be punished. She also said that if he did it again, she had something in mind that would fix him really quick.

He nodded and took the child from her. He needed to do something before they retired for the night. He bit his thumb with his fang to get the blood flowing and then he traced the crescent moon on Inuyasha's forehead and the stripes on his cheeks. It was the marks of their house and it was high time that Inuyasha was formally accepted as a part of their pack. Without father there to do it, it was left up to him and he had shirked his duty for far too long.

After the marks were finished, he handed him back to Kagome. She held his gaze and he felt something stir within him at the look in her eyes.

Something he hadn't felt in all his years. Something he wanted to feel again and again.

She rose and walked to her sleeping bag to snuggle up with Shippo and Inuyasha. Shippo claimed her right side and Inuyasha claimed her other, both still sound asleep and unaware of their actions. She erected a barrier around the entirety of the group, meeting Sesshomaru's gaze again as she did so. She felt the same spark as earlier and wondered if what she was feeling was what she thought she was feeling. 

She really hoped it was.

 
 

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