Author's Notes: Damn this was long…

The Low Down: Aww… my first venture to Inuyasha… dom… is completed. But other stories are on the way out. Cheyenne's up, and others will… eventually… be coming. Dudes… I'm losing some momentum for the time being. Guess it's school, bonfire, and tooooooooo much drama in the world. My personal motto of the moment, is "Shut up! Stop being stupid! And be happy damn it!" Wonder how well it will catch on. ~_^

Love and Marriage

Chapter 8

Leaving On a Jet Plane


Apparently Sango was more comfortable around him than even he had thought.

"Aww!" He laughed at her. "Honey, it's your first fart!"

***

12:00 PM

"Flight 316 now boarding in gate five." The intercom announced in the busy terminal. People pushed and rushed irritably to get in line and get to their seats. Among the bustling crowd, no one paid much attention to the two motionless people staring silently at each other, trying to find the words they felt necessary to say.

"Do you have everything?" Inuyasha offered lamely. So this was finally it. After a lifetime at his side, Kikyo was leaving him. It was somewhat frightening to think what his life would be like without something he'd been so accustomed to, but he couldn't help noticing he didn't seem as depressed as might be thought proper. Shouldn't he be feeling guilty for that? He sighed and came to the conclusion that with everything that had happened between them, any thing involving Kikyo would invoke him with a sense of guilt.

"Yes." She smiled to him. "I've got every thing I'm going to need." He smiled back.

Kikyo: The absolute perfect woman. In the face of all that the universe could throw at her, she stood against it with dignity and strength. And then decides to go off and travel the world, giving medical aide to underprivileged patients in third world countries. Beautiful, brilliant, classic, refined, elegant, and as close to a saint as any one woman could come to be. She was completely extraordinary and had been all her life. Of course the universe would be out to get her.

"I guess I just wasn't meant to lead an ordinary life and be an ordinary woman." She looked at him through misting eyes.

"I'm sorry." He looked away. "I promised you I would protect you, and I couldn't even do that right. There were too many things I couldn't or didn't stop that hurt you… I'm sorry I failed as a husband." He felt her hand reach for his and looked back into her eyes. "I…" he stumbled over his words trying to find the right thing to say, "I wish I could have just given you what you needed most."

"So do I." she whispered and stroked the back of his hand with her thumb. "Even now, all I wish is that I could make you love me and we could be happy." She wasn't surprised to see him turn away once more and down at the floor. "Don't forget about me, Inuyasha." She said quietly, "Please, don't forget that where ever I am in the world, I still love you and I hate the fact that my love won't let me let go."

"Kikyo," he looked up with surprise of her words, "Not a day will go by that I won't remember you and know the guilt that I failed you. That's one promise I know I will never break."

"Final boarding call for Flight 316. All passengers please board now." The intercom sounded above them.

"Goodbye, Inuyasha." Kikyo pulled herself up to give him once last, chaste kiss. She gave him one last sad smile and turned to board her flight.

"Goodbye." He whispered as she disappeared down the tube.

He stood in the waiting area, not knowing what to do next. After several minutes, he watched the plane pull away from the building and head out slowly towards the runway. It turned and began to pick up speed, lifting off for a second and dropping down. It lifted a second time and rose steadily higher and farther away. It struck him all at once.

Kikyo was gone…

And he was all alone.

5:00 PM

"He's still out there?" Miroku asked peering over Sango's shoulder to the street below. The tale-tale silver head pacing the sidewalk below had been humorous for the first few days, but lately, the two were getting slightly annoyed with the indecision of the street walker. It had been ages since Kikyo left, and he had yet to summon the nerve to pay the apartment a visit.

"Yep…" Sango clipped.

Miroku sighed. "Still hasn't buzzed?"

"Nope." Sango shook her head.

They stopped momentarily as Inuyasha suddenly seemed to make up his mind, and walked determinedly to the building side. He lifted his hand, ready to punch the intercom. But he backed away.

The pair gave twin sighs and slumped back on the window sill.

"How many times was that?" Sango muttered.

"I lost count two weeks ago." Miroku said.

11:00 AM

Inuyasha flicked absently at the desk toy, sending the pendulous metal balls bouncing off to different angels and tangling in each other's cords. Such a familiar withdrawn habit in the eyes of his business partner, who again was watching him with guarded impatience. If Miroku kept this up, he decided he would start conducting all business via intercom, just to keep from facing that smug, 'I'm about to break and tell your how stupid you are if I don't break your head open first' stare.

Ok… he needed something, anything, to get the attention off of him. What would do it? What the crap had Miroku been doing lately? Actually, what had he been supposed to be working on? Was there even a point to him showing up to work? Miroku took care of it all lately anyway.

"Hey Miroku," Inuyasha settled on the oh-so-obvious-of-course-he-missed-it topic of work to serve his distraction purposes, "What's your status with that latest project?"

"The one I told you about six months ago?" Miroku said with raised eyebrow. "Little old lady trying to save her community through a church about to be closed down? The one you weren't listening to when I told you about it?"

"Yeah…" Inuyasha muttered a little deflated.

"I closed everything two months ago." Miroku said. His eyes bored into his partner and it was apparent he was fighting diligently against some deep rooted desire to tell him off.

"Um… well," Inuyasha muttered, postponing the inevitable as long as humanly possible. "How did it go?"

"Very well." Miroku said and twisted his pen between fingers casually. "We saved the community, they were grateful, we made the covers of the newspapers… or I did, I didn't think it wise to allow you to speak to the press, got the story in magazines."

"Magazines?" Inuyasha popped up, a slight look of disgust gracing his lips.

"Oh yeah," Miroku smiled lazily. "Kouga was most cooperative. I guess he just wanted to help a friend of Kagome's." This was playing dirty… again… and Miroku knew it, but when it came to getting any kind of reaction out of Inuyasha, as-of-late, it seemed to be a necessary evil.

It was definitely underhanded and cruel, but it got the job done. Inuyasha went from a sour-faced, petulant child, to a guilt trodden and beaten pup with the mention of one name. He was on the right track emotionally, but still not talking. But he was close, a couple more good shoves, and he'd be done.

"Kouga does just about whatever we want, for the sake of Kagome. It's moving actually." Miroku cracked an eye open with mischievous pride. "From what I heard from Sango, he actually got up his nerve to propose."

Still… not a lie.

Inuyasha erupted. The time that elapsed between the color draining completely from his face and then being replaced with bright, glowing crimson couldn't even be calculated by NASA engineers. He puffed. He fumed. He rumbled.

He exploded.

In the wake of mass destruction, mail boys grabbed at their airborne papers and secretaries pulled themselves up off the floor and straightened their glasses. Overturned file cabinets and cubicle walls littered the floor, leading all the way to the elevators. Miroku calmly observed the chaos like a god on high, watching the plight of the mortals having to endure his will.

"Well… that worked." He smiled to himself and casually hit the speed dial on his cellular phone. "Hey, Sango." He grinned, "Mission Kick-In-The-Pants is on the move. He's coming your way."

His eyebrows flashed as thought suddenly affronted.

"It is not a stupid name!" he said indignantly.

12:00 PM

With a buzz, the main door opened and Inuyasha burst into the building.

He practically flew up the stairs, taking the corners with only his arm on the railing to keep him from flying off on tangent. He moved with an urgency never before realized in his natural born life. His heart was beating so hard against his chest it threatened to simply burst from the strain, but he couldn't slow down, not even for a second, imagining in just that one instant, he would be too late… again.

He had flown from his own building and waited for a cab all of ten seconds before concluding that he'd get there faster if he forgot about fighting traffic and just sprinted across the city himself. He'd barreled through streets, not waiting for the traffic signals and dodged in and out of traffic with an adrenaline induced agility normally known to those only on the verge of death. It sure felt that way to him; if he didn't get to her in time, he might just die from it.

Life can change in a splintered second, as he had witnessed too many times, and he wasn't about to take time for granted now. Not one billionth of a second could he waste this time, unless he just wanted to tempt the universe into screwing up his world all over again.

He had to tell her the truth. He had to hell her not to marry Kouga. He could already picture her: eyes shining with confusion, her brows drawn cutely together, and her teeth biting down on her bottom lip, looking up at him like he was insane. For all practical purposes, he probably was, but sanity aside, he had to tell her. He'd make every promise known to man, and spend the rest of his life trying to keep them, if only she didn't marry Kouga.

He had to tell her he loved her. It was the only thing that might be able to stop her if he got to her in time.

Oh how he hoped he wasn't too late.

He threw himself up off the stairs and bolted down the hall to her door. Inuyasha barely caught a breath before he was beating on the wood with both fists, supporting himself by his elbows in the frame. He closed his eyes, trying to pull in frantic gasps and call out to her all at once. Suddenly, he felt the door open from beneath his fists and he burst into his speech.

"Kagome." He panted leaning over his knees and pulling in the precious oxygen. "Listen to me. You can't marry Kouga. Please, you just can't…" He glanced down at a pair of beat up tennis shoes…and hesitated. Those seemed very un-Kagome… she always seemed to wear those girly, strappy sandals or polished boots, or heels that seemed like they should snap her ankles in two. Not tennis shoes with rubber toes pulling away from the leather from over wear.

"Thank you for the concern." A deeper than Kagome's voice sounded above his puzzled head. He shot up and found himself eye-to-eye with a very amused, not Kagome's face.

Sango smirked as his eyes darted around helplessly, looking over her shoulder for the misplaced woman of topic. "She's not here." She said to calm his search.

"Where…" he began in bewilderment.

"Home." She said simply. "She went back to Japan."

"Wh…" he took a step back. "When?"

"Several months ago." She said, keeping emotion out of her voice.

"Why didn't you tell me?!" Inuyasha screamed, not bothering to hide his emotions.

"Why didn't you come find her sooner?" Sango replied unfazed.

He didn't answer her. He just looked at her as though waking up from a wonderful dream only to find out that he was actually living the nightmare. His eyes glazed as the emotion drained from his face and he stood in a daze on the door step. Then without any further word, he stepped back and walked down the hall.

Sango heard the door down the stairs swing open and closed and gave a soft sigh. She shook herself out of it quickly though and went to grab her keys. Miroku was waiting for her, as according to plan, and she knew it would only be a matter of time before Inuyasha moped his way back to his house.

That look on his face was enough to make her want to reach out and tell him every part of their plan, if only to ease the soul-shattering pain that shone through in his eyes, but she had stopped herself. If he was ever going to get this right, he needed to know how it felt. He needed to know the feeling of losing all the hopes you built up for yourself.

It would make him appreciate if the hopes ever came true.

Sango got a smug little grin at her line of thinking and little images of her best friend's past matchmaking maneuvers flashed through her mind. Kagome had unwittingly been her greatest teacher in the arts of getting relationships on the right track. Sango smiled thinking that if Kagome had known what her matchmaking was about to cause to her own life, if she wouldn't maybe have saved her effort.

'Payback's a bitch, Kagome.' Sango thought ruefully and locked the door.

8:00 PM

He sighed and pulled the door closed behind him, leaning back and resting his head against the wood. He really was alone now, completely. At least during these last few months, he entertained the thought that Kagome would be there and that there was a chance…

It had been a nice thought while it lasted.

"What took you so long?" Inuyasha jumped to attention with a gasp and looked up with wide eyes. Two twin grins were smirking at him and sitting on the bottom stair, Miroku holding a suitcase in front of him. "We've been waiting on your for hours."

"What are you doing here!" he screamed, angry at being surprised.

"Packing for you." Sango said as thought it were obvious.

"What?" he yelled again, his bewilderment multiplying in every passing second.

"And we've got your flight tickets all ready for you." Miroku said beside her. "I was beginning to get afraid you wouldn't show up in time, but you still just might make it."

"You went through my clothes?!" Inuyasha yelled with an embarrassed flush.

"We were up to our elbows in your underwear drawer." Sango nodded.

"She was." Miroku added quickly. "Not my idea of fun."

Inuyasha looked from one to the other, eyes moving from shock to uncertainty with their teasing. When he cast his eyes down again, they got the feeling he was doing that counter-productive thinking again, and they really couldn't allow that to happen.

"Just go, Inuyasha!" Miroku shoved the suitcase in his arms. "Don't think. Just go! You only get in trouble when you think."

He snapped back up, trying to push the suitcase back at Miroku. A shoving match ensued as the unwilling men vied for dominance. With a quick move, Miroku placed his leg behind Inuyasha's knee, sweeping forward and pushing the case back, effectively knocking the other man to the floor. Inuyasha oomphed with the impact, and again and Miroku followed his fall and landed in a kneel on top of the case on his chest. That stupid smirk was as good as an "I win."

"You're telling me I should just walk out on everything we've made here these past years?" Inuyasha yelled.

Miroku glanced down at his watch and observed casually, "Actually, you'd do better if you ran." He smiled down into a familiar glare. "Come on, you know I'm right." "So I just show up at her doorstep, she'll accept me with open arms, and we live happily ever after?" Inuyasha said. "Is that how you think this will work?"

"Not even close!" Miroku scoffed. "But it will work out some how… if she doesn't kill you that is."

Miroku kept smiling down at him and Inuyasha found himself giving in, like he ever had a chance to do anything else. "This is crazy." He muttered with a sigh.

"What else is new?" Miroku said.

"Maybe I'm rushing this." He said, thinking out loud, "It seems disrespectful, so soon after Kikyo…"

"Inuyasha, this has been postponed for nearly six year." Miroku got up and gave him a hand to stand. "I think you've waited long enough."

He gave a smile and grabbed the bag from the floor. He may be crazy, but he didn't care any more. His mind was finally set, after so long of being in uncertainty. Sometimes it just takes a friend to smack your head around until it comes to the right conclusion. He turned and ran back to the door, hand on the knob when he heard Sango call out.

"Inuyasha!" He heard her yell and looked over his shoulder to where she stood. "I just want you to realize one thing."

"You don't deserve her." She said softly, but not with cruelty or spite. She said it just as if observing a well known fact.

He was about to defend when Miroku piped up at his side, "No, but he loves her." He gave Inuyasha a smile and pushed him out the door. "And that should make him appreciate it even more."

6:00 PM

"Shit!" a scream echoed through the terminal stopping the crowd traffic.

Inuyasha stood inside the airport lobby with his bag clutched in one hand and a whole lot of people staring at him. Here he was… in an air port… having run from his home to catch the flight at the last possible moment and be cooped up wondering just how she would react to seeing him… and he didn't know where to find her.

"Fucking shit!" he muttered again and the crowd began to move around him again.

He slumped back against a wall and slid to the floor. What now… what could he do now? Who would have thought it would be so damn hard just to find the woman he loved?!

He sighed and looked up at he windows across the terminal. Planes were continually circling the runways, getting up speed and taking off to who knows where. Every passenger was heading off on some adventure on those planes, he thought absently, watching the air crafts gain alititude and disappear behind the sun. The sky was growing pink in the beginnings of sunset. It was clear and beautiful.

He sat watching the sky turn deeper shades of oranges, and the clouds deep shades of violets. It seemed like forever when he had even watched a sun set. Actually, it was pretty close, and he smiled thinking of his last one.

The sun had been dipping slowly under the water, which in the dying light had seemed like it was on fire. He hadn't intended on showing up at that bridge, but somehow he had, and there he found her.

That was where she had been sitting, her legs hanging off over the side, scaring him half to death at the thought she might fall, staring out into the sunset and telling him how it always made her feel better when she was lonely and home sick. But she didn't need that anymore now, did she? Instead of just thinking of her home, hidden in the setting sun, she had just run back to it.

'Sunset Shrine!' He sat straight up as though he had been struck by lightning. A smile spread over his face and he jumped to his feet with new energy. He bolted from his spot and ran from the terminal with disregard to the stares and the unfortunate pedestrians that got in his way.

He finally knew what to do and couldn't bear wasting any more time.

7:00PM

The last crimson beams of day flitted through between walls of the shrine and through the leaves of a great tree, down into Inuyasha's blinking eyes. His bag sat forgotten at his feet as he looked up into the leaves of the massive tree. He absently fingered the small barrier and wondered. Life was strange; that he knew for sure.

The Sunset Shrine, he looked around his surroundings and found he could easily imagine her growing here. The house, in the distance, was warm and inviting, and as he looked at the cheery windows, he noted that every light must have been on within it.

'Definitely the place.' He thought with a smirk and turned his attention back to the tree. Inuyasha wasn't exactly sure what was so fascinating about it, maybe just being the largest piece of vegetation he had seen in his life in the middle of one of the most urban environments on the globe, but he couldn't tear himself away from it.

"It's the God tree." A voice called from behind his shoulder and Inuyasha turned to see an old man absently sweeping the walk-way. "You look like a man in search of something missing in his life." He said with a slight smile. Inuyasha gave him no answer, but the old man simply shrugged and continued, "It is an ancient tree dating back to feudal times. It has quite a legend behind it." Inuyasha wasn't certain he liked the gleam coming from the old man's eye.

But what the hell…

"Legend?" he asked and turned his back to the tree. The old man gave him a grin like a kid just getting his favorite toy.

"Oh yes!" He beamed. "Everything around here has a legend, son. But this tree, it's a story of love and betrayal." He stepped past to the barrier and looked up into the tree.

"Legend says, there was a demon who loved a shrine maiden." He said with a far off look in his eye. "She could not marry, because it was her duty to protect an ancient jewel of terrible power. But one day, she told the demon she would give him the jewel to use to make himself human and they could live happily together."

"So what about the tree?" Inuyasha interrupted, curious in spite of himself.

"Ahh…" the old man nodded sadly. "That is where it went wrong. They were tricked by an evil man who desired the maiden and made to blame the other. The demon stole the jewel away from the maiden, and in her anger, she shot him with an arrow and pinned him to this tree."

"Nice story, old man." Inuyasha smirked. "Makes me feel all warm inside."

"Not all stories are happy, young man." He said calmly and resumed his sweeping. "But even sad endings have happy elements. As it is, that jewel which bound the two tragic lovers, it is still in our family today. It was known as the Shikon Jewel, and is passed along to the daughters of our family, to give to the man they love in hopes to make the ending turn out as it should all those years ago."

Inuyasha watched as the old man walked off slowly, not sparing him another thought as he milled among other visitors to the shrine. 'Shikon...' he thought looking back up into the tree. He'd had that jewel for five years, granted she hadn't really given it to him, but perhaps maybe it was the universe trying to atone for some of the evil things it had done to him in the past. And he'd given it back to her...

He would just have to get it back then.

He gave a furtive glance around to see if anyone waswatching him and, seeing he was clear, he ducked under the barrier and stepped to the tree.

It was an odd story, no doubt, and he couldn't help wondering if it had elements of the truth. Of course, all legends had elements of the ridiculous, and demons using a magic jewel to change into a human definitely qualified for that. But still, a story has to start somewhere.

He glanced at the old man again… and saw him passionately recounting to a crowd of shrine goers the history of an ancient charm to grant love… currently on sale 2 for 1 in the shrine gift shop. 'Then again… maybe not.' He thought and shook his head.

He touched the side and blinked with a sudden need to rest. 'Damn jet lag.' He thought absently and fought a yawn. He looked around once more, seeing no one paying attention to him, and sat down, leaning against the tree trunk. He drifted to sleep looking up into its branches.

7:10 PM

"So what happened after she pinned him to the tree?" a high chirping voice asked from below the edge of the stairs. A dark head of hair appeared over the ridge, looking down at one yet to scale them all.

"Well, that's when it gets interesting." Kagome smiled at the small child holding her hand. "You see Shippo, he fell into an enchanted sleep, and he stayed pinned to that tree for fifty years!"

"Wow!" a little red head bobbed up to the top of the stairs, revealing a little boy with big green eyes, which were currently turned up in unquestioning adoration to the girl holding his little hand. "Then what happened?" he asked, in true little-kid fashion.

"Well…" Kagome smiled down, and rapidly thought up something to tell the child. It wasn't exactly how the old legend went, but young children are entitled to have their happy endings. They find out much too soon that the world doesn't accommodate that naivety for long. "There was a girl." She said finally, with a sad sort of smile. "She was walking in the forest alone and she was attacked."

"By who?" he squeaked. Leave it to little boys to like stories of bandits and fighting rather than star crossed lovers and magic spells.

"Two bad men who were in the forest." She said. "She was very scared, and tried to get away. She found him in the forest and he saved her."

"But how did he wake up?" Shippo asked.

"I guess he just knew she needed him." Kagome said. "Maybe they were just supposed to be together, even if only for a little while." She wasn't really paying attention to Shippo any more. "You see, the girl fell in love with the demon boy."

She looked down again when his had jerked free from her own and she saw him running off to the side.

"Kagome!" he cried, pointing off to the God Tree. "Look! Kagome, the demon came back!"

She walked over to the excited child with bemused curiosity, but felt her heart leap up into her throat as when she approached, she saw the profiled form of the man she'd never intended to see again laying asleep against the tree.

"You should wake him up Kagome!" Shippo said happily. "Then it can be like the story, and you can be together."

She blushed and took an involuntary step away from the tree. What was he doing here? How did he even know where to find her? These questions and a thousand more all jammed into her mind like rush-hour traffic, making it a little difficult to breathe properly.

"Shippo, why don't you go see if Mama has dinner ready." She said quietly.

"You're gonna wake him up aren't you?" Shippo asked with a grin. She gave him a smile and a nod that sent him scurrying up to the house. When he disappeared from sight, she focused again on the sleeping man against the tree, half expecting to find he wasn't really there at all.

Situation Analysis: The married man she had fallen in love with was asleep against a 500 year old tree in front of her shrine, with absolutely no plausible reason for being there. She had left him behind months prior, for the good of everyone involved, but somehow he managed to turn up in her life again. She could either rush up and throw herself against his chest, wrapping her arms around his waist and never let go, or she could rush up, wrap her hands around his neck and squeeze until his face turned blue. Both courses of action seemed verifiable at that moment.

Conclusion: Conclusion could not be reached. This made absolutely no sense at all and the known universe was careening out of control. Again!

She ducked beneath the rope and stepped to his side, her eyes glued to his face for any sign of waking so she might either run away or attack violently. What was he doing here? Why would he possibly come all this way? She didn't dare to hope…No! She couldn't even allow the thought.

He looked so peaceful, laying there asleep beneath the branches blowing in the wind. How could he be so at peace when she was so full of turmoil inside? Why should he! Her brows drew together irritably at his nerve for being so damn comfortable and making her so nervous at the same time.

Well, she needed to wake him up…

So she poked him between the ribs with her finger, hard, making him yelp and jump out of his peaceful slumbering.

"What in the…." He looked around wildly for a moment before his eyes settled on her face and he became still. "Kagome." He whispered. "You're here."

"Well yeah." She said. "Of course I'm here…" she stammered a little, finding it hard to hold on to her irritation when he was looking at her like that. "… but what I want to know is… why are you?"

"You left." He said quietly, whether a simple observation or his answer for her, she wasn't sure.

"Yes, I did." She nodded. "But what about Kikyo?"

"She left." He said.

She glanced away from him quickly. So he was just alone? Both of them left him and he just didn't want to be alone? "Why did you come to me, then?" she asked quietly, praying to any deity that would listen that she would like his answer.

"Miroku told me to." He said.

Kagome decided then that praying gets you no where, but a good right hook… now that's useful! Inuyasha barely had time to react before he caught the fist that came flying at his head and pushed the angry woman back away from him. "Wait!" he yelled trying to get her to stop trying to kill him. "That's not what I meant!"

"What did you mean then?!" she yelled back just as loud. "Your wife just leaves you so you just think, 'Oh yeah! That other girl! I can go to her and everything will be cool!' is that how it was?!"

"No!" He stopped trying to push her back, and instead suddenly dragged her arms towards him. Not expecting the change in direction, she flew forward and hit his chest while he pinned her arms beneath his own and held her in a firm embrace. She struggled a bit before realizing just how much stronger and how well he had her arms pinned. "The divorce was final six months ago. I couldn't even get up the nerve to go to your apartment until yesterday. When you weren't there, I didn't know what to do."

She was calmer now and he ran his fingers absently through the hair cascading down her shoulders. She found her mouth conveniently close to his ear and whispered, "And Miroku and Sango… they..."

"Shoved me out the door with a suitcase and a plane ticket." He nodded against her shoulder.

"So…" she pulled back enough to look into his eyes. "You're not married?"

"No." he said and pulled her back down. They sat contentedly for a few moments before a terrible thought crossed his mind. "You're not either, right?"

She slapped the back of his head with her palm and muttered something about men and stupid.

Kagome sighed into his shoulder. "So…" she said quietly. "What happens now?"

"I don't know." He whispered back. "What do you want to happen?" he pushed her forward so he could see her face. She glanced around him, to the house to find a grinning family standing on the front steps watching her with conspiratorial ease. She gave a wink and a nod to them so they would to back inside before turning back to the man holding her.

"Would you like to stay for dinner?" she asked with a smile.

"I'd like that." He smiled back up into her happy eyes. He took the hand she held out to him and pushed himself back onto his feet. She pulled him towards the house, and he gripped her hand a little tighter as they walked side by side, still clasping hands.

***

So, the hardest thing I've ever had to do
Was holding her, and loving you

***

Epilogue:

Inuyasha did end up staying for dinner that night… and the next… and the next… And for the next month, they spent every evening together, exploring the city and having any adventure they could fit into their fleeting moments. He reluctantly went back to work, much to the dismay of his brother who foolishly hoped to believe he would be rid of him once sent off to the states. Inuyasha had merely needed something to fill the time while Kagome was away, having refused to give up her work, but the fact that he was irritating the hell out of brother-dearest was one huge occupational perk.

They had a passionate romance, filling every moment of their lives with the simple of joy of being with each other.

They broke up a month later…


For about an hour…



Then Inuyasha went out searching for her, and they made up…


Five times.

They are currently working on their forth kid.

And none of them turn the lights off once they leave the room.

Miroku stayed with Sango in California, suddenly finding himself the president of a thriving company and in a steady relationship with a woman who could cook. He was a satisfied man, except for the massive amounts of digital baby pictures that littered his email inbox on an almost daily basis. He tried to delete them as quickly as possible, lest the lovebirds give his own significant other any ideas he wasn't all that eager to indulge at the moment. It's not the best plan to use the old, 'Will you bear my child?' line when a man finds himself in a situation where the woman will likely be receptive.

In life, there are moments of great joy that can only be seen with a backdrop of sorrow. People live in hard times, and suffer for their patience and belief that someday, if they are faithful in their trust and not just a little bit lucky, love will stumble into their lives. And if it does, they clasp onto it and pray that the joy will last. Then they do the one thing they can do: they buy a little ring, take a deep breath, and hold on for dear life to the love they hope will make them whole.

They have a life together, sharing each others sufferings and triumphs, and if their lucky, the happy moments will outnumber the bad.

In life, unlike faerie tales, there are no happy endings, no glass slippers, no spinning wheels, and no magic mirrors. This was the story for Inuyasha and Kagome. They lived with enough joy to keep them enduring, enough trials to keep them strong, enough stubbornness to keep them from just calling it quits, and enough love to make it worth all the effort. But of course, the real stories never have happy endings. It's impossible, because in real life, nothing ends.

For Inuyasha and Kagome, they lived, if not happily ever after, at least pretty close to it.

And that worked for them.

It's over!!!! (Strongbad Style)