AN: Here it is, the last chapter! Ooooh! Not quite as exciting as the last chapter, but oh well, have to wind it down, finish it up. There's enough sap in here to make you sick, but with enough irony, I hope, to keep you interested. Thanks all for reviewing!

Soju: Please don't kill me; it would be rather difficult for me to write anything at all if you did.

Fate: Oh yeah... Hiraikotsu... well, Hiraikotsu went with Kirara when she left, how's that sound?

Elfromspace: Yes! We live for cheesiness! Mmm, the power of cheese. ^_^ Wrong kind of cheese, but oh well.

Prettywithapistol: Yes! Miroku letting his hair down. Glad you see the same mental image I do. Mmm, the power of cheese!... Oops, wrong thing to say. ^_^ How 'bout Yummy?

Chavi West-Wind: Well, I would have loved to put one more bump in (to prolong the fic and get more reviews if nothing else ^_^), but I couldn't think of anything else to do. One of the things that I see in fics a lot that I hate is that it'll be dragged out past the point of interest, I wanted to avoid doing that, sorry if I made it a bit too short though.

Thanks to everyone else who reviewed too! It's been fun, and never fear! I will be starting up another fic pretty soon I hope. ^_^ In the meantime, check out yet another new site of mine. First, I do a Kikyo shrine, and then I do this... oh well, it's fun. It's my MxS shrine ^_^ Go go go! For Love of Ofuda, yeah, enjoy!

Bonding Time Part 6

Inuyasha smelled Miroku and Sango's return as he sat beside the Bone-eater's Well, waiting for Kagome to return from her time. The girl had promised to visit today if he refrained from coming to get her, and so he waited not so patiently for her.

As Miroku and Sango drew nearer, Inuyasha paced in a tight circle, clenching and unclenching his fists. Where was she? She was late, never mind that she had not given him a specific time for her arrival. Surely she would not be angry with him if he retrieved her now since she would want to be told when their friends came. But, the hanyou fingered the prayer beads around his neck, the "sit's" would hurt.

He was saved from making a decision when he heard a grunt from the well and smelled Kagome's familiar, beautiful, wonderful scent. Grinning broadly, he jumped into the well, grabbed Kagome around the waist, and leapt back out into the trees. He bounded across the branches at a reckless speed, all the while ignoring Kagome's indignant shouts.

He slowed as he approached Miroku and Sango, coming to a full stop out of earshot of the two. Over Kagome's cries, he heard their friends, but could not make out what they were saying. He shushed Kagome and cocked his head to the side, ears alert.

"Miroku," Inuyasha heard Sango protest, "get your hand out of my yukata!"

"Only if you promise to take a bath with me later," the monk's voice was much lower, and Inuyasha had to strain to hear him.

"We're not even married yet!"

"Hasn't stopped us before..."

Shaking his head, Inuyasha snorted. What was that bouzu up to now? Sango would never bathe with him.

Kagome raised a hand and brushed the hairs at the base of his ear. It twitched, and Inuyasha looked at her, only now realizing that she was asking him a question.

"What did you hear?"

"Sango and Miroku. The bouzu's being a pervert."

Kagome giggled. "So what's new? Are we going to meet them? That is why you dragged me out here, right?"

Inuyasha nodded, eyes half-lidded. Kagome was still touching his ears. The muscles all over his body began to relax, and he grabbed her wrists with the hand he was not using to hold her. "Stop," he hissed.

Kagome flushed. "Oh yeah, I forgot you don't like them touched."

"It's not that." He set her down on the branch and turned around, stooping to allow her to climb on his back. "I just like it a bit too much. I can't concentrate when you do that."

"Oh." Kagome hoisted herself on to his back and wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms loosely around his neck, setting her head on top of his.

Inuyasha tried not to think of how close his ears were to her mouth and had to fight the urge to tilt his head back until her lips brushed the soft fur. He contented himself with the amount of contact they already had; but, in a move that would make Miroku proud, he slid his hands further up her legs under the pretext of gaining a better grip as he ran.

He hopped down in front of Miroku and Sango not long afterwards and smirked as the two jumped apart. "Did we interrupt something?"

Kagome slid to the ground and pointed to their wrists. "It's gone!" She looked at Sango with wide eyes. "You didn't...?"

Sango raised her hands and waved them frantically. "No, we didn't!"

Miroku placed a hand, Inuyasha noted almost possessively, on Sango's shoulder. "Just a bite."

Inuyasha snorted. So that explained the possessiveness. "There's nothing 'just' about a bite. It's important."

"So we're told." Miroku glanced at Sango. "You want to tell them?"

Sango nodded, grinning from ear to ear. "Inuyasha, Kagome-chan, we're getting married."

There was silence among the four for a moment before Kagome squealed excitedly and hugged Sango. Miroku and Inuyasha wandered a few steps away to give the girls a little room.

"How'd you manage that, bouzu?"

A smile tugging at his lips, Miroku looked to Sango again. "I suppose we can thank the kubiwa-ai. It fulfilled its purpose anyway." He turned his gaze to the hanyou. "Kagome-sama's looking at you."

Inuyashe whipped his head around to meet her gaze... only to discover that Kagome was _not_ looking in his direction.

Miroku chuckled. "Ah, so I see who you favor."

Inuyasha growled.

Miroku slapped his back in a comradely fashion. "Don't worry. I won't tell her... right now anyway."

Sango and Kagome chattered rapidly, exchanging ideas back and forth. As bits and pieces of their lively conversation drifted to them, Miroku grimaced. "I have a feeling they're planning my entire life." He started towards them, pausing to ask over his shoulder, "Has Kirara come here yet?"

Inuyasha shook his head. He was on the verge of questioning her whereabouts when he caught a whiff of the firecat. "She's coming now. Shippo's with her."

Kirara, in her transformed state with the fox kit perched on her back, raced into the clearing five minutes later and came to a stop beside Sango. She rubbed her head against Sango's leg, causing the taijya to fall over.

Miroku placed his hand on her back to steady her. "Have a nice time?" he asked Kirara, winking.

The youkai mewed inquisitively and glanced back at Shippo.

The kitsune stood up on Kirara's back and cleared his throat, puffing his chest and tail out with the knowledge of his importance. He held up a leather cord and the glass vial that hung on it. The vial was filled with a lavender colored liquid.

"Kirara was carrying this in her mouth when I found her," he said as if this statement would explain all the world's troubles.

"What is it?" Kagome asked the question on everyone's mind.

Kirara meowed, rowred, and purred in a complicated succession for a full minute. Shippo nodded once in awhile to show he understood. A grin appeared on Inuyasha's face at the beginning of the cat's tale; and, by the end, he was howling with laughter.

"Oh, that's too perfect!" he gasped between fits.

Shippo ignored him and translated, "Kirara says that after you two went to sleep, she tracked the kitsune down again. She didn't believe him when he told you that he couldn't do anything about the kubiwa-ai. So threatening him with dismemberment and ingestion..." Shippo wrinkled his nose.

"Really, Kirara, that was a bit much... Anyway, the kitsune gave her this potion. It's supposed to get rid of the kubiwa-ai, but I guess you don't need it now."

Sango blanched. "You mean we didn't have to..."

Miroku hugged her from behind and kissed her cheek. "I like how this turned out actually. Wouldn't have been nearly as fun." He ginned wickedly.

Sango rolled her eyes. "You are such a pervert, Miroku."

"And you love me because of that." He kissed her again before withdrawing. They walked hand in hand to the village, Kagome and Inuyasha on either side of them, Kirara and Shippo behind.