Author Notes: I know that it's been… well, years, since I've posted the first chapter. I decided to get off my butt and write a more finished, finalized ending. I'll finish it soon, I hope.
Kagome sighed as the sun rose high enough to shine straight through the window in her bedroom. It was so bright, she couldn't ignore it, but… something in her just wanted to stay in bed. Rolling over, she set a hand on InuYasha's shoulder. "Dear, it's time to wake up…" she mumbled, her voice still thick from sleep.
His eyelids slowly opened, and he looked right at her, his yellow eyes still bright as ever. "Mornin', Kagome…" He yawned before leaning over to give her a quick kiss. "The kids up, yet?"
"That's a stupid question, InuYasha," she laughed, playfully swatting at his ears. "Can't you hear them?" Her smile grew wider as the giggles and shouts of playing children reached their ears.
"Ahh, it's too early…" A pout found its way to his face. "Don't you think?"
"Hey, I'm not taking the blame for that. Remember who was the one who got up before everyone else…" She smirked, sitting up in the bed, folding her arms, and attempting to do an impression of him. "Hurry up! It's time to leave! We have places to go! Come on!"
"Okay, okay…" The half-demon relented, tugging at the neck of her yukata to pull her down for another kiss. "Go ahead and get dressed. I'll see what kind of mess is waiting for us out there."
Their relationship wasn't perfect. Was anybody's? But Kagome had to admit that, after being together for nearly ten years…they were doing pretty well for themselves. They argued less and less as time went by. Some days she felt old. But at 27, she really couldn't say that she was. After going so long without modern-day conveniences, though, there were days when she felt ugly, or even disgusting.
She really did miss her shampoo and deodorant. There weren't any office jobs… not in the feudal era of Japan. InuYasha could hunt, but… that didn't always buy the necessary things. They need clothes… food other than meat, and other things.
She remembered their first year of marriage. It didn't take her long to get pregnant. And InuYasha was especially protective, though rarely jealous. She was his, and he knew it, accepted it, and loved it. He spent a lot of time hunting, trading animals and their skins for things they needed. But when winter set in… they were really in for it. A lot of animals died or disappeared, and food was scarce. It hadn't been a good winter, and InuYasha had gone hungry many times to help her keep her weight up.
They both started small fields, and kept most of their meat, putting it up to save it for the winter. When Kagome thought of it, she smiled, remembering the old tale of the grasshopper and the ant. How the grasshopper played all summer long, and the ant worked… but when winter came, the ant had plenty of food, and the grasshopper was starving to death.
They worked very hard. There was a time when Kagome would have said that the modern world was easier, but… after living the old-fashioned way for so long, she wasn't so sure. In the modern world, if you didn't have money…you were finished. In the feudal era, money wasn't much. If you had food (particularly in the winter months), you had plenty. You didn't need anything else. Food, water, and shelter.
You didn't need a TV, a computer, or anything else. There were no bills to pay.
But… the modern era had one important thing that the feudal era did not. Her family and old, but still dear; friends.
Yuka let herself smile as she took the old familiar route to a place she hadn't been in…well, ten years. She couldn't help but laugh at the sign hung over the building. In large, green letters were the words, "Welcome Back, Class of 2003!".
Was it really so late, now? Had it been that long already? Time had flown. There were days, months…and even a year or two where she remembered admitting that time was going slowly. But here she was- a wife, and a mother of one darling little boy. She had given up her career to stay at home, and… well, she liked it. She'd never thought she would, but she had been there for those little moments that she would never forget.
She sighed as she threw her car in park. She was early… But… that was just one thing she couldn't help. There was something in her that wanted her to be here before the others. Before the organizers and the people she'd lost touch with. She'd changed a lot. Not much was the same about her physical appearance. She would admit- openly and honestly- that she'd gained some weight. Though she'd never say how much. She had those small lines around her eyes and mouth…
Only twenty-eight years old, and already feeling ancient. She glanced up at her rearview mirror as the song on her radio station changed. Another car was pulling in, not beside her, but behind her. She didn't recognize the car. It was an older van, the paint peeling, and the tires nearly bald. But she felt compelled to watch. Who would come out of it? Could it be someone she knew?
Eri sighed, pulling her hair back into a ponytail as she tried to keep two little girls from grabbing at the stovetop. "Honey?" she called out, her voice strained and tense. "The girls are trying to get at the stuff on the stove!"
"Did you try stopping them?" a soft voice asked, and Eri looked down to smile at her son.
"Hello, sweetie. And yes, I did. Where's your dad?" She finally got her hair up, and she quickly reached down and scooped both four-year-olds away from the hot surface.
"Gettin' dressed," he mumbled, a grin covering his face. He was eight years old, and looked everything like his father- well…his real father.
"Dear!" she called, louder this time. "The reunion is today! I've gotta hurry or I won't make it in time!"
A few minutes later, he came, hopping in while trying to fasten the belt on his jeans. "Sorry sweetheart," he sighed, stopping to give her a kiss. "I need to do some exercising!"
"Now, are you going to be okay with the kids all alone?" she asked for the tenth time in the last twenty-four hours. She didn't give him time to answer. Quickly, she grabbed her purse and the keys to their car off of the rack. "Goodbye, guys. Behave while I'm gone. And that means you, too," she grinned, wrinkling her nose playfully at her husband.
It took three tries to get the car started (a nice record), but she didn't mind at all. She was going to finally see her friends again. It had been so long since she'd last gotten in touch with any of them. How she missed them all!
Promising to stay in touch hadn't really worked… People had changed email addresses (whether intentionally, or by changing companies), and street addresses. She was guilty of that, herself. For awhile, she'd had internet access, but halfway through her first year of college, she'd found herself pregnant, and terribly sick nearly every morning for several months. She moved in with her boyfriend, and had to give up the internet, to afford medical bills.
When she'd gotten the internet back, after the birth of her son, she could only remember one email- Hojo's. When her boyfriend had checked her history, he hadn't been happy that she'd emailed another man- no matter the reason. Hojo had written back, but he only knew Ayumi's email. Yuka's had changed without notice, and nobody had had time to memorize it.
Soon afterward, her boyfriend and her relationship had turned sour, and she'd moved out on her own- getting a job and working to support both herself and her child. After about a year, she'd met her now-husband, who had been working in a factory, but, by chance, had stopped in at the gas station she was working at to get something. They didn't have a lot of money, but they were getting along. He treated her son like his own, and for that, she was eternally grateful.
Shaking her head, she cleared her thoughts. Today… today she would finally see them again. She hoped they would all show up. How were they? Did they all have kids, too? Were they making good money? Were they happy?
Was Kagome happy?
Eri thought about it for a minute, before sighing. Would she ever find out how Kagome was? Could she?
Her dark-haired friend would be there. She just knew it. She couldn't doubt it, no matter what. They would be friends forever. Either way, she had a two-hour drive ahead of her. Hopefully, the van would hold out.
Kagome ran her hand along the surface of her laptop. It looked the same as it always had. Silver and shiny…the company name printed on it. The battery hadn't lasted long, but… she just couldn't bring herself to throw it out. The kids often asked her, "Mama? What is that?", and she would smile softly before telling them it was a part of her past.
Putting the computer back in that old bag of hers, she smiled, her expression far-off, as if she were remembering that one day, so many years ago. She had been keeping track, of course. Today was that day. The only difference being that it was now ten years in the future.
She wondered how her friends were doing… though it really wasn't different from any other year. She hoped that they hadn't forgotten her, even though she'd been out of their lives for so long.
She never stopped the tears when they fell. It was good to cry once in awhile. She'd cried when she'd lost their second child in labor… when Kaede had succumbed to her age and had died in the night… And she certainly hadn't stopped her tears of joy when Shippou had come to them after four years, half-starved, but so grown-up.
"Mama, what's the matter?"
She quickly wiped at them, then… Her children couldn't understand… and probably never would. They would think she was crazy, and so would everybody else. "Nothing, honey."
"Oh." The five-year old grinned, showing a large gap in her top row of teeth. "Lookie, Mama, I lost another one." She held up a pointed canine tooth proudly, her smile widening.
"Ahh, now you're going to get an adult tooth in there!" she exclaimed, trying to make it sound as exciting as possible for her little girl. "Did you show your Daddy, yet?"
The small child's grin slipped for a second, as her mouth opened in an 'o'. "I'll go show him right now!" she shouted, dashing off, her baby tooth held tightly in her hand.
Kagome got to her feet, grabbing some clothes from the trunk beside their futon. Today, she'd go to the well. Maybe this year, she could break the spell.
Reviews appreciated, and criticism is even better. As long as it's constructive, anyway. In case you didn't see, the first chapter has been added to and revised. Including a lot more detail than it originally had. (My writing style has changed a lot in the last three years…)
Thank you for reading! I hope you'll enjoy the finale, when I finish it. You can help decide how it ends! Do you want a happy ending, or a sad one?