New Author's Notes: In honor of the one year anniversary of the 'Confessions Trilogy', I'm performing a massive editing session on all three stories. As you know by now, I've already finished editing the first, and am now posting this one, and will eventually be getting to the third as well, time permitting. I'm immensely proud of all three of these stories, and am contemplating turning this into a yearly tradition so that they can always be improving. The only thing that hasn't changed are the original author's notes, which I didn't have the heart to part with. I hope you enjoy!
Though not described in detail, this story does deal with rape, so be forewarned if that sort of topic bothers you.
Original Author's Notes: This is it! This is the moment you have all been waiting for! I hope this sequel doesn't disappoint. And for all you new people, I just want you to know that you need to read the first story, 'Confessions of a Broken Heart', to really get the plot. Yeah, you could probably figure it out, but I think some of the other readers will agree with me when I say you should read the other one first. Anyway, enjoy! This story will deal with Kagome's wedding and the trial of her rapist.
Title: The Realistic Happily Ever After
Rating: PG-13 (for language, violence, and implied sexual situations)
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.
Nervously wringing his hands, which were twisted in front of his abdomen, Inuyasha haltingly paced back and forth at the base of the stairs leading up to the second floor of the Higurashi home. For all intensive purposes, he was just as nervous as a man going out on a first date with the girl of his dreams, rather than to a prom with the woman he was going to marry…the woman who was his mate. But for the hanyou, who had never been so close to anyone in his entire life, it seemed that matters of love and courtship would always cause butterflies to rise in his stomach, much more so then any battle.
Unfortunately, fate wasn't helping any with the situation, because that night the sky was dark with the new moon, which meant his hair was black and his eyes had turned a dark shade of violet, his ears feeling like they'd been stuffed with cotton, his nose unable to smell anything, and his eyes as accurate as they would be if someone had placed a veil over his face. He hated it! And what was more, he hated the fact that tonight he would be going out in public without his hanyou strength and senses to protect both himself and Kagome.
But not even that, Inuyasha knew with an embarrassed blush, was the number one reason for his racing heart and sweaty palms. He wished it was…hell, even the excuse that he was nervous about taking Kagome to her prom would have been better then the real reason he was afraid…
Tonight was the night Kagome was introducing him to all of her friends, not only as her boyfriend, but also as her fiancé. And for whatever reason, the thought absolutely terrified him.
Earlier that day Kagome had taken him to the mall and fitted him for something she had called a tuxedo, the actual process having consisted of a strange man measuring him up with a yellow string and poking him all over his body. Inuyasha wished he'd known then just what exactly he was getting himself into, because if he had, he would have refused. He felt like a stupid penguin now that he was dressed in the black pants and matching coat, his neck restricted by the stiff, starched collar of the white shirt and black tie, his feet covered by thick socks and uncomfortable shoes, his waist restricted slightly by an uncomfortable thing Mrs. Higurashi had called a cummerbund.
His first reaction had been to rip the outfit off entirely, but then he'd reminded himself that he was doing this for Kagome, the woman he loved, knowing that going to this thing she called a prom was important to her, and so there he was, waiting, uncomfortable as hell, for her to appear at the base of the stairs.
The butterflies became even worse as the clock on the nearby wall continued to tick the minutes away, the silence almost unbearable, and Inuyasha swallowed, reaching into his left pocket to feel the smooth velvet box within.
Mrs. Higurashi had helped him buy it two days ago, after they had returned to Kagome's time following Sango and Miroku's wedding. She had called it an engagement ring, and said it was a necessary part of being engaged, and after she'd explained the concept, Inuyasha figured it made sense. After all, if the fact that Kagome would wear the ring on her left hand would mean that men would stay away from her, then he was all for it since he suspected the men of Kagome's era had no idea what the bite marks on her neck meant. This way he wouldn't have to worry about another man making a move on his mate.
Inuyasha smiled suddenly, halting as he felt a warm shiver run through his body at the thought, still having a hard time believing it was true. And what was even more incredible was the knowledge that she truly would be his forever.
The day of Sango and Miroku's wedding, when he had carried her off into the woods, Kagome had knowingly accepted more then just the physical consummation of their relationship; she had also accepted the life span of a demon, as that was the only way they would be together for their entire lives. If she had not done so, she would have lived out the normal life of a human, and Inuyasha would have been left without her for hundreds of years. The thought had caused his chest to feel heavy, and he had been immensely relieved when she'd said she didn't mind, even though it meant that now she would outlive everyone she knew and loved, save for him and Shippou, by many, many years.
The sound of footsteps on the stairs caused Inuyasha to break out of his thoughts, turning to see delicate light blue shoes on the platform above. He allowed his eyes to enjoy the sight of the woman before him as his eyes slowly moved up her body, feeling his heart constrict as he heard himself take in a sharp breath once he met her eyes.
She was gorgeous.
Kagome was draped in a long, flowing pale blue dress that fit perfectly to her figure from her bust to her waist before sweeping out in a sizable skirt, held up by a thick strap that circled the back of her neck and attacked to either side of the neckline. Inuyasha thought the style resembled Mrs. Higurashi's apron, though much more elegant. The gown itself sparked with silver sequins on the chest before slowly tapering off on the skirt, forming a large flower near her feet.
Her ebony tresses were swept up atop her head, save for a few curled strands that fell about her face, revealing her elegant, swanlike neck, and a slight amount of makeup accented her eyes and cheeks. The lights in the house caused her skin to glow, and she seemed, in Inuyasha's opinion, like an angle as she smiled, causing his heart to melt into a warm, mushy puddle.
For her part, Kagome found herself slightly disbelieving, never having guessed that Inuyasha would look so good in a tuxedo. Somewhat inappropriate thoughts sprang into her mind, and she suddenly blushed furiously just as she met his gaze, relaxing when he gave her a warm smile, his violet human eyes dancing.
She sighed, wishing yet again that she could have taken him to her prom in his hanyou form, with his stunning amber eyes and wealth of silver hair, and most especially with his adorable puppy ears, but unfortunately that simply was not a possible reality. They had been lucky enough in the first place to have the prom come on the night of a new moon. If it hadn't, Kagome wouldn't have bought tickets in the first place, because there would have been far too great a risk that someone would discover Inuyasha's secret. She figured she'd best just count her blessings, like the fact that the hanyou was even going to her prom, a reality that had not seemed remotely possible even two months ago.
"You…" Inuyasha swallowed back a lump in his throat. "You look beautiful, Kagome."
He sounded extremely shy, and Kagome blushed again, though this time it was out of pleasure, and continued to stare into his eyes as she replied. "And you look incredibly handsome."
She gave off a little laugh as he acquired his own blush, and then slowly started moving down the stairs, careful not to trip on her long skirts or slip on her high heels, which she was definitely not accustomed to wearing.
Recalling all the little lessons Kagome's mother had given him over the past few days regarding etiquette and manners, Inuyasha extended his hand to her, offering to help her down the final few steps, and Kagome gladly accepted, twining her fingers gently through his as she reached the main floor, noticing her mother smiling as she stood in the doorway to the kitchen.
As her hand touched his, her warm skin sending a shock down his fingers, Inuyasha felt his heart begin to race even faster, if that were possible, as even with his human nose he could smell her near him. A pool of desire formed in his gut, and he chuckled inwardly, thinking about the fact that rather then relieving sexual tension, that day in the woods had only managed to further fuel the fire between them…because now they knew exactly what they were missing out on by saying no.
He blushed even more at the thought.
Noticing that Kagome was moving towards the front door, Inuyasha shook his head to clear it and shot a panicked look over at Mrs. Higurashi, who merely smiled at him and gave him an encouraging nod, silently telling him to go ahead now with their plan.
Butterflies evident in his gut, the hanyou sighed loudly, gathered his courage, and walked up to Kagome, taking her hand in his once more. "Kagome…" As she turned to look at him again he tried desperately to remember everything that he and Mrs. Higurashi had practiced earlier that day, and ungracefully fell to one knee, swallowing hard.
Kagome's eyes opened wide in surprise as he took her left hand in her own, and she didn't even try to hide her blush of confused embarrassment. What on earth was he doing?
"Kagome, I know that we've already, well…" Inuyasha blushed, not wanting to say what was on his mind in front of Kagome's mother, and quickly decided to push ahead before he voiced something he'd later regret. Looking up, he met her eyes. "I know we've known each other for a long time, and that you already wear the mark of my mate, but…I want to do this things the right way in your time too…"
Damn it all, he was doing it all wrong. His voice was wavering, he was as red as a beet, and his hands had gone clammy, though he had no idea why. It wasn't like she was going to say no…
But Kagome smiled in spite of all that, and Inuyasha felt courage flood through his veins, his chest swelling in pride and determination as he pulled out the black box from his pocket, pleased when he heart a small gasp of delight from the woman before him as he dropped her hand and slowly opened the lid, revealing a large, solitary diamond set in a golden band.
Swallowing again, Inuyasha looked back up and met her dark eyes. "Kagome Higurashi, will you marry me?"
Feeling tears coming to her eyes, tears of love for the man who was so willing to do anything and everything in order to make her happy, Kagome could at first only nod, her voice somehow lost behind her joy as the diamond before her filled her vision. He had done it exactly as she'd always imagined in her mind…he'd even knelt when he asked her…how had he known?
Finally, feeling her voice return, she felt a stupid grin come to her face as she nodded again. "Yes," she all but squeaked, and watched as his amber eyes lit up in a beaming smile.
It wasn't as though he had been expecting to be rejected exactly, but at the same time, seeing the look on her face as she said yes caused Inuyasha to feel just as elated as that day when she had agreed for the first time to be his mate, allowing him to mark her as his own. The hanyou as also immensely grateful towards Mrs. Higurashi, who had been right in predicting that this was exactly what Kagome had wanted.
Pulling the ring out gently from its cushioned box, careful not to drop it on the ground, Inuyasha watched as Kagome held out her hand before slipping the band onto her left ring finger. She sighed, as though able to feel the sudden slight weight, and looked so happy at that moment Inuyasha had to resist the urge to kiss her…after all, he still didn't exactly have the guts to do so in front of her family.
"Oh Inuyasha," Kagome looked at him adoringly, "I love you so much." Suddenly she threw her arms around his neck, and before he even had a chance to turn bashful her lips were pressed against his in a passionate kiss, searing his body and his soul as he instinctively pulled her closer, forgetting entirely about the fact that Mrs. Higurashi was still standing in the doorway.
Unfortunately, the moment didn't last very long as Souta chose that moment to appear at the top of the stairs,
"Ew! You're kissing!" He made a face, sticking out his tongue as though he'd tasted something disgusting, and blushed as he walked down the stairs. "Can't you two do that somewhere else?"
Kagome broke away and smiled as she felt Inuyasha slip an arm around her waist comfortably, his hand resting on her hip as though it had always belonged there. "It's not my fault you chose that moment to come out of your room," She spoke sweetly, batting her eyes, to which Souta replied by huffing and muttering something about finding his grandpa to share some manly time.
Mrs. Higurashi just smiled as she watched her son pass her, walking into the kitchen. "Well, I suppose your brother does have a point…sort of…in that you have the whole night to be together." She winked. "You don't want to use up all the magic before the evening even has a chance to start."
"I don't think there's any risk of that," Inuyasha commented with a smile, to which Kagome simply blushed in response.
Their attention was diverted when lights appeared through the front window. "That must be your limousine!" Mrs. Higurashi exclaimed excitedly, grabbing Kagome's coat and handing it to her daughter before giving her a warm embrace. "Have a wonderful time tonight, Kagome…but don't be out too late."
Kagome nodded at the warning. "I won't, mama, I promise. I'll see you when we get home." She returned the hug and then pulled back and opened the door.
The limousine was extremely elegant, stretched and white, and Kagome felt like a princess as the chauffeur stepped around to open the door for her, offering her his rough hand as she stepped into the interior, where she sat down on one of the plush seat cushions, unable to resist bouncing slightly like a six year old, marveling at the luxury of it all. Inuyasha was quick to follow, though he entered the car without any assistance, and grabbed her around the waist once more as they settled on one of the longer couch like seats, the vehicle beginning to move smoothly over the road as Kagome leaned her head lazily against Inuyasha's chest.
"So how many of your friends are joining us anyway?" Inuyasha inquired thoughtfully, responding to her physical gesture by resting his chin atop her head…his favorite place to be. He always marveled at how well they fit together when they sat that way.
"Just three of my friends; Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi…oh, and their dates, of course."
"Hobo's not coming, is he?"
Kagome rolled her eyes. "No Inuyasha, Hojo," She accented the boy's real name, "Is not coming, he'll be going with his own date."
Inuyasha sighed. "I wish this night could just be for the two of us."
Kagome laughed, her eyes dancing. "There's no way I could afford a limo all by myself, that's why people frequently go to the prom in groups, and besides," She snuggled into his chest even more, causing the hanyou to feel warm, "I haven't spent much time with them since I started traveling to the Feudal Era all the time." Kaogme sighed. "We always dreamed of what we would do at our prom, imagining going with handsome princes." She glanced up at Inuyasha and smiled. "I've certainly found min…though I must admit I never thought I'd be going to my prom with my fiancé."
Inuyasha opened his eyes slightly, looking somewhat nervous. "Do you not like being engaged to me?"
Kagome's own eyes widened. "Of course I do! It's not that at all. I love being your mate, and knowing that I'll be marrying you in my time, and I wouldn't have my life turn out any other way. It's just that, well, everything's turned out so different from what I thought my life would be…but in a good way. I guess it just proves that you never really know how things are going to turn out, and that you should always keep an open mind."
"Yeah," Inuyasha sighed and looked up thoughtfully, his eyes gazing through the moon roof, watching the stars in the night sky whiz by as the limousine cruised down the road. "I know what you mean."
"Oh," Kagome frowned, looking away, assuming he was most likely referring to Kikyou and the fact that he had once been in love with her. That was the one problem with being the second woman in a man's life; no matter how much they loved you, there was always the underlying feeling that you were second best, because you weren't their first choice. "Yeah…I suppose you would know how that feels."
Her tone caused Inuyasha to look at her strangely, furrowing his brow as he tried to discern why she was suddenly so melancholy. Rewinding their conversation somewhat in his mind, he went over everything that they had said, and it suddenly came to him that she must have thought he was referring to his regret that things hadn't worked out between him and Kikyou.
That's not what he had meant at all.
"I didn't mean it that way, Kagome," He scolded gently.
"What?" She looked up at him. "Mean what? What way?"
"You know what I mean."
"Oh…" She blushed. Was she really that transparent? Yes, an inner voice replied, she was very transparent when it came to the relationship that had once existed between Inuyasha and Kikyou. "It's okay if that's what you meant, Inuyasha," she hurried on to say, completely ignoring the way he was grinning at her indulgently. "I mean…you loved her, and she loved you…you would have never predicted your lives would have ended up the way they did."
"Would you just shut up for a minute, woman?" Inuyasha chuckled slightly, his chest rumbling, and Kagome froze, always loving it when he was so open with his feelings.
Looking up at him, she frowned. "What's so funny? And what do you mean, shut up?"
He shook his head, his black hair swaying around his face, his violet eyes dancing. "I mean that what I was trying to say before is that I honestly never thought I'd come close to loving anyone again…not after what happened with Kikyou." He touched her cheek. "But then I found you, and now I feel more then I ever thought possible." He hugged her tightly to his chest. "Now do you understand?"
Kagome smiled. "Yes." She curled up in his embrace, flipping on the radio as she did so.
The beat was fast paced, and her foot started tapping to the rhythm unconsciously, and Inuyasha was reminded of a question that had been bothering him for a while. "Kagome…what exactly is a prom? I mean, I know that you've told me before, but…I'm not sure I understand."
"It's a function where the students of my school dress up and then go and dance with their friends. And this particular function is limited to seniors only."
"The oldest students at my school."
"Oh…and that's all you do? Dance?"
Kagome sat up and stretched her neck a little, careful not to ruin her hair. "Well, we're going to dinner first with my friends at a nice restaurant, but then we'll go and dance, so yeah, I guess that's all you basically have to do."
Inuyasha blushed, looking down at his hands. "Then we might have a problem."
"Um…I don't know how to dance."
Kagome giggled and touched his cheek. "Of course you know how to dance, Inuyasha…everyone can dance!"
He seemed surprised by this concept. "Are you sure?"
"Of course!" She paused, seeming to think, before smiling brightly again. "And if not, then I promise I'll teach you."
Inuyasha returned her smile, feeling somewhat less anxious. "Okay."
The limousine came to a halt all too soon, and Kagome and Inuyasha knew that from that moment on the evening would switch from quiet and romantic to crazy…albeit in a good way. And so, as they heard voices approaching the car, along with the distinctive sound of women's heels clicking on the sidewalk, they each took a deep breath.
"Kagome!" It was Eri who was climbing through the door first, followed closely by a young man with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. He smiled in greeting, and Inuyasha put his arm around Kagome's waist protectively, not sure if this new male was a threat or not.
Kagome just rolled her eyes and smiled at her friend. "Hey there, Eri…where are the others?"
"We're right here!" Ayumi and Yuka exclaimed at the same time, popping their heads, and then their bodies, through the door, dragging their dates behind them. There was a lot of confusion as everyone tried to find their seats, the girls trying not to trip over their skirts while the men offered to move instead, but finally everyone seemed settled, and the limo started to move again. Unfortunately, with six new occupants, it was indeed a lot louder, and all three girls chattered quickly back and forth, bringing Kagome up to speed with all the gossip flying around school.
"So Hojo is apparently going to the prom with this sophomore girl," Eri commented at one point, looking out one of the tinted windows thoughtfully as she played with her short hair, which had been curled for the evening and dotted with glitter. "Too bad Kagome…you missed out."
Kagome was shocked that her friend would say such a thing in the presence of Inuyasha, but smiled anyway, putting her hand on the hanyou's knee when she felt him tense. "No, I don't think I've missed a thing, Eri," she replied, squeezing his knee gently, and he instantly relaxed.
The brunette looked at her friend. "So…you're not in the least bit jealous?"
Kagome shook her head. "Not even a little. In fact, I'm glad he's moving on, because I just couldn't like him that way."
"But you guys looked so cute together as Romeo and Juliet," Yuka chimed in, her voice a low whine. "I can't believe that means nothing to you, Kagome."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "It was a play, Yuka…not a declaration of love."
"You know, I think it's a pity we can't break into these alcohol containers," Ayumi commented randomly, tapping on one of the securely sealed glass jars to prove her point. It was her attempt to steer the conversation away from its current destination, as she was the only one of Kagome's friends who didn't seem to mind the fact that Kagome wasn't interested in Hojo, and Kagome gave Ayumi a big, grateful smile as the conversation shifted to the fact that it was stupid that teenagers were not allowed to drink alcohol.
After another twenty minutes or so, the limousine pulled to a stop in front of a small French café which was lit up by candles in all the windows, a purple carpet leading to the front door, which was covered in a golden awning. The chauffeur opened the door with a grand gesture, offering his hand for the girls to climb out, and the fresh night air hit them all square in the face.
Kagome felt like they were all part of some exclusive royal family…minus the reporters…as they stepped out onto the sidewalk dressed in their beautiful evening gowns, the men looking sharp in their tuxedoes and matching cummerbunds. The restaurant itself was warm, and there was a man instantly at Kagome's side to whisk her coat off to some faraway closet, the air scented with spices as the sound of Frank Sinatra's voice permeated the atmosphere, and the candles were all draped in red, giving the setting an extremely romantic feeling.
Once in their seats, all four girls immediately excused themselves to the restroom to freshen up, which meant, unfortunately, that Inuyasha was left completely alone to fend for himself with the other three men.
"So how did you and Kagome meet?" one of them, the one with blonde hair, asked kindly.
"Um…well, we kind of met by accident, actually," Inuyasha found himself fumbling desperately for the right words, not sure of what to say. He recalled how he and Kagome had actually met, and smiled as an idea came to him. "I was sleeping under this tree in a, um…a park…and she was lost, and had to wake me up for help."
In all honesty, the story wasn't too far from the truth. Kagome had indeed been quite lost when she'd first met him, in a strange time and place, and he had most certainly been asleep. She'd been in need of his help, and as such had been forced to wake him up after a fifty year sleep. Unfortunately, it sounded much less interesting when the hanyou put it so simply, and he found himself blushing, waiting for the men to start laughing, surprised when the didn't, instead merely smiling and nodding, taking small sips from their water glasses.
Inuyasha found himself watching them, and tried to emulate exactly what they were doing, right down to how they held the glasses in their hands. He was trying desperately to have good manners…he really wanted to impress Kagome.
"That sounds really neat, man," another of the men finally commented.
"Really?" Inuyasha was stunned. To him, it had sounded like the dumbest lie he could have possibly thought up.
The man, with short brown hair and dark eyes, nodded. "Yeah, I wish I could say I met Yuka that way, but unfortunately we just met at school like almost everyone else. Pretty boring…no romance involved whatsoever."
Inuyasha wanted to laugh at that. There hadn't exactly been romance between him and Kagome either that first day. In fact, he recalled something along the lines of his threatening to kill her…
"So, you don't think that's a stupid story?" He was still feeling very unsure of himself around these strange men from the future.
"Heck no!" The third man, with shaggy black hair, exclaimed with a kind smile. "I think it's awesome you have a story like that. And you two look really into each other too, which is way cool. I mean, you both seem so relaxed together." He sighed. "I wish I felt that way, but I'm so nervous that I'll embarrass myself in front of Ayumi that I can barely put one foot in front of the other without falling." He chuckled. "I probably won't be able to eat a thing."
Inuyasha cocked his head thoughtfully. "You shouldn't be nervous. I mean, if you love her then it shouldn't matter what you do."
The black haired man smiled. "I suppose that's true." They all took sips from their glasses, and this time Inuyasha felt more comfortable with what he was doing, and more confident now that he knew he could get along with the other men.
Kagome watched the men, who were conversing easily at the table, with a beaming smile on her face, pleased to see that Inuyasha was fitting in so well. Not to mention the fact that she had a hard time tearing her gaze away from his figure dressed in that stunning black tuxedo.
She turned away with a blush.
"So Kagome…is he really the two timer you've been talking about for like three years now?" Eri asked abruptly, puling Kagome into the bathroom with a forceful tug.
Kagome looked away with a sheepish grin. "Yeah…but he's not like that any more. He made things clear to his ex-girlfriend, and now we're together all the time. It's been that way for a few months now, and it's absolutely wonderful." She had a dreamy look in her eyes.
Yuka shook her head in disapproval. "But I can't understand why you put up with his behavior for so long in the first place." She turned to the mirror and applied some fresh blush to her cheeks, though Kagome was of the opinion that she didn't need any more.
"I guess I just always knew in my heart that he loved me," she replied with an inward smile. "I'll admit that in the beginning I was sure he was still in love with his former girlfriend, but then, as time went by, I began to realize that it was more the fact that he felt guilty about how depressed she became when he dumped her then the fact that he still loved her himself, and that made it easier to forgive him whenever he'd return to her. I mean…I felt sorry for her sometimes." Kagome thought of Kikyou's cold, lifeless face and the soul stealers that had followed her for so long, keeping her alive. "Inuyasha's kind that way…he hates to see any woman cry. I couldn't help but forgive him."
"That makes sense," Ayumi commented kindly as she observed her profile sideways in the mirror, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "But…how do you know that he won't run back to this girl again? What if she gets all depressed again?"
"But how do you know that?"
"Because she has someone new in her life now," Kagome replied, thinking of the man she'd seen with Kikyou at Miroku and Sango's wedding. They had certainly looked like they were in some sort of relationship.
"Well that's good," Ayumi said kindly, a smile on her face, and she hugged Kagome warmly. "I'm really happy for you."
"Thanks." Kagome giggled. "I'm happy for me too." She pulled away and prepared to return to the boys, but stopped when she noticed all three girls staring at her…or rather, at her left hand. She acquired a puzzled look. "What?"
"Oh…my…gosh…" Eri whispered excitedly. "Kagome…is that an engagement ring?" She pointed at Kagome's left ring finger, and the girl felt herself turn bright crimson.
"Um…" She looked down at her hands. "Yes." She held up her hand to observe the object in question, watching as the diamond sparkled under the lights in the bathroom.
"You're engaged! To Inuyasha? Oh Kagome…I can't believe it. That's so romantic!" Yuka threw her arms around her friend, and Kagome could only return the embrace, feeling very confused.
"So…you don't think this is weird or anything?"
"No! Lots of girls are getting married young these days," Ayumi replied, since Yuka was too busy gawking at the diamond.
"Well," Kagome finally managed to pull away, "I still have to go to college. That was the deal I made with my mother and grandfather, so in that sense things haven't really changed, and they aren't going to change either."
"Except that now you're getting m-a-r-r-i-e-d," Eri teased playfully, pinching Kagome's cheek, and she swiped back with her hand.
"Oh my gosh, I have to go and tell Mark," Ayumi exclaimed excitedly, dashing quickly out of the bathroom, pulling Kagome along with her and leaving the door swinging behind her.
"But…Ayumi…" Kagome didn't know what to say. This wasn't quite going how she'd planned. In fact, it wasn't going at all as she'd planned.
"Mark!" Ayumi halted suddenly, and Kagome nearly fell flat on her face thanks to her momentum. "You'll never believe what's happened!" The other two girls appeared and nodded, huge grins on their faces. Kagome could only blush even more.
"What?" All three men looked genuinely curious.
"Kagome's engaged!" All three girls squealed at the same time, holding up her hand to display the ring. Everyone else in the restaurant turned to see what was causing all the noise, and at that moment both Inuyasha and Kagome wanted to sink through the floor.
"Really?" All three men were looking at her, and Kagome nodded, unable to find her voice. They all smiled. "That's so cool!"
"You think so?" Both Inuyasha and Kagome asked at the same time.
"Of course!" The blonde replied. "And the way you two met under the tree…it all just fits together so nicely!"
"The way we met…?" Kagome felt her stomach constrict at his words. Just what exactly had Inuyasha told them, anyway? She shot her fiancé a warning look, and he frowned, waving his hands in front of him defensively.
"I'll explain later," he whispered in her ear, and she relaxed just hearing his voice, his presence calming her racing heart. She trusted that he hadn't said anything too outlandish…she hoped. Without thinking, she sat down in his lap and leaned her head against his chest, hoping that everything would work itself out while she just slept through the rest of the evening.
In reality, her fears were proven unnecessary, because dinner went very well after that, the main topic of discussion, naturally, being the upcoming wedding, in which time Kagome was forced to promise all three girls that they would be brides' maids. They had all, however, been somewhat miffed when they heard that Kagome already had a maid of honor. The looks on their faces would have her laughing for days.
And even Inuyasha seemed to be enjoying himself, his entire persona relaxing more and more, his arm resting comfortably around her shoulders for most of the dinner, except for when he was actually eating, and Kagome noticed with pleasure that he had somehow picked up some table manners from somewhere since the last time they'd eaten together. He could have almost passed for a trained gentleman.
Finally, after the waitress brought them their bill, which was extensive, and they all forked over the cash necessary to pay, they moved back into the limousine and on to the dance. Kagome couldn't wait, and could already feel the excitement and anticipation running through her veins. The night had gone so well already…there was no possible way it could be ruined now.
"We're going to dance all night," Eri announced enthusiastically, bouncing around in rhythm to the music playing on the radio. She looked ridiculous, and all the other girls giggled, but no one had the heart to say anything.
Finally the limo stopped at the front of the ballroom the school had rented for the prom, and when the door opened Kagome saw the sidewalk had been lined with velvety red carpet, the overhang to the door outlined with white icicle lights. It was absolutely beautiful, and once again, she felt like a princess stepping out of her carriage and into the spotlight, a handsome man at her side.
Unfortunately, just as she'd stepped out of the car, released the chauffeur's hand and smoothed out her skirt, a familiar voice caused her to jump ten feet in the air. "Higurashi! You made it!"
She turned slowly, and found herself gazing at Hojo, a young blonde woman attacked to his arm. She looked young…almost too young. But Kagome had to admit she was pretty. "Hi Hojo, it's, um…it's good to see you," She said with the usual fake smile in place.
He smiled back and stepped forward, opening his arms to give her a friendly hug. She tensed momentarily, but then, figuring it was just an action between two good friends, decided there was no harm, and so put her arms around him as well, smiling. "It's good to see you," He whispered in her ear, and she blushed as they pulled away.
The sound of a low growl caught her attention, and Kagome instantly tensed as she turned to see Inuyasha scowling at them both, his gaze focused on Hojo's hands, which were currently attached to Kagome's waist. His fists were clenched, and his violet eyes were flashing with anger. That did not bode well, and Kagome stepped away instantly.
"Inuyasha," she commented in warning, stepping up so that her hip was touching his, trying to calm him down, since she knew how jealous he could be. He didn't seem to notice her, his glare still trained on Hojo, and she frowned with a sigh. Perhaps this night wasn't going to be so perfect after all.