Author's Note: I know I took waaaay too long on this. Sorry! But since the body of the story had been resolved and I have two other fics in progress, somehow this one always seemed to take a backseat. Anyway, thanks to a couple of polite prods from Wolf, I finally sat down and finished this thing off. And I suppose a part of me sort of didn't want to let go of this one, since this is probably my favorite of my stories thus far (though I have a new Mir/San on the way soon that might just contest that title – probably not reviews-wise, since it is Mir/San with Inu/Kag as a subplot, but I'm really enjoying writing it nonetheless).
Well, this epilogue is a bit longer than I originally thought it would be, but I just couldn't seem to stop myself. I had a bunch of different ideas for it, and it was difficult to prune it down to an actual chapter, so forgive me if it's a bit rough at times. But I think overall it came together pretty well.
By the way, in the process of writing this epilogue I actually went back and read the whole story over, during which I noticed multiple pesky little typos and formatting errors and such that had apparently slipped by me in the editing process, so at some point I plan to go back and smooth the whole thing over. But not right now…
Divine-Red-Crayon: The twenty bucks was for the cab ride – he wasn't, like, paying her for 'services rendered' or anything (--grin--)
winry-16: Thanks so much! And absolutely, let me know if you write something – I'll be happy to read it!
Fallen-Snow: Umm, I know it's been two months, but in case you're still wondering – yes, being my 'favorite critic' was a compliment (--grin--).
Spider: Thanks so much! I haven't read your fic yet, but just now going over the review replies reminded me that I had gone to your bio and checked it out with the intention of reading it – and then I forgot (--sheepish grin--). Heh-heh, gotta remember to do that…it interested me at the time, I remember that… Oh, and as to your suggestion, all I can say is that great minds think alike…(--grin--)
baby-dreamer: Made any progress on that story yet? Just curious…
Sarcasm Girl8: I can't remember if I ever emailed you, but in case I forgot, an epilogue can be anything from a paragraph to an entire chapter that sort of sums up the ending of a story, often taking place a certain amount of time after the events have concluded. In this case, it's a chapter (--grin--). Think of it as the 'happily ever after'.
Crazyblade: A fellow Minnesotan! Awesome! Wouldn't it be weird if we knew each other offline and didn't even realize it? Whoa…You've Got Mail moment…(--grin--)
Cattykit: I admit, I was somewhat indignant when I first read your critique about indenting – I was like, "I know that, but there are certain exceptions, such as…" (well I won't go into it here, but there are). Unfortunately in the process of rereading the story, I noticed that I had indeed made the mistake of doing it when the exceptions didn't apply – oops…(--grin--) I'll correct them someday…Thanks!
Sango13: The 'middle ground' is a reference to the first chapter in the fic when Kag was looking for someone who fell somewhere in between Kouga and Hojo. She first used the phrase 'middle ground' though right after she found out Inu's secret (I think…).
Artemis Moon: Thanks so much for reading! I read Easy as 1,2,3, months ago and I loved it. I've been meaning to read another one of your stories (Big Trouble-something? The title escapes me at the moment. I keep just calling it 'Big Trouble'), but lets just say you're not the only one who procrastinates. Oh and I love that idea – I tried to incorporate it, but I'm not entirely sure I did it justice…I had trouble finding a good segue…
nitre angel: To answer your question, yeah I know what happened to sailor-scribe -- she got kicked off the site by the content-nazis (that's my new fond nickname for the 'police' --grin--). Doesn't that suck? The Ad was one of my favorite stories! And when I talked to her she said they never even notified her or anything before deleting her account. Anyway, you can find her on as 'nena' and on as 'luna-chick'. The Ad is posted (and completed) in both places.
Wolf: Thanks for the jump-start! This one's for you…(--grin--)Alter Ego
"Kagome?" Inuyasha's voice drifted into the kitchen from the direction of her living room.
"What?" she called back.
"How the hell did you manage to get so much crap?"
She laughed at his mildly irritated question and responded lightly, "That's what happens when you live someplace for a long time. You've got just as much crap as I have Inuyasha -- you just wouldn't know it until you have to box it all up like this. Though," she added wryly to herself, under her breath, "I would like to know how all my crap is going to fit in your apartment..."
"Yeah well I- Gah!" Thud. Kagome's smile disappeared, replaced by a look of concern as she rushed into the living room.
"Inuyasha, are you-" she began worriedly, but she cut off with a laugh when she caught sight of the hanyou lying on his stomach on her floor, chin resting in the palm of one hand as he glared petulantly through narrowed eyes at the large cardboard box he had been carrying, which was now sitting on it's side on the floor in front of him.
He turned his amber eyes to the woman standing above him, saying irritably, "Sure, go ahead and laugh. Now would you mind helping me up?" He rolled to his side and extended a hand toward her, which she took.
The only warning she had, however, was a brief mischievous grin before she found herself yanked to the floor on top of him and then rolled over onto her back so that Inuyasha was above her, smirking. "Who's laughing now?" he said smugly, with a quirk of the eyebrow, and leaned down to kiss her.
She 'mmm'ed contentedly against his lips as they moved sweetly and sensuously over her own, tangling her fingers lazily in his soft, silver locks. He nibbled playfully at her lower lip, a growl rumbling in his chest and evoking a giggle from her at the vibrations of his body, which was flush with her own. The response was just as he'd expected, and he smiled into the kiss as well, pleased at the effect he was able to have on her. Who would have thought he could derive the sweetest pleasure imaginable from simply making her laugh?
When his clawed fingers began to trace scintillatingly suggestive patterns on the bare flesh of her side, just beneath the hem of her shirt, she 'mmm'ed again, this time with a sigh of longing laced within it, but she reluctantly broke the kiss, and met his inviting golden eyes with somewhat glazed sapphire ones.
"Inuyasha, we don't have time right now-" she murmured, but he cut her off with a soft, short kiss.
"Come on -- we can be quick," he cajoled, sliding a hand down to rest upon her jean-clad thigh and squeezing it gently, eliciting a small yearning moan from the woman beneath him.
But she resisted the temptation in favor of sensibility. "But Sango and Miroku will be here any minute and we haven't even changed yet..."
"Perfect, then we kill two birds with one stone," he said with a smirk and kissed her once more, this time more deeply, more passionately, yet still with a gentle affection. "Come on," he murmured once more, running soft fingertips over the flesh of her stomach and at last she caved in with a sigh.
"Alright -- but no more than ten minutes or else we really will be late," she conceded breathily, giving in to the desires he had a talent for evoking within her.
The hanyou grinned at her, amber eyes tinted with that unique brand of lust that only occurs when one is in love with the object of one's affections, and scooped her up into his arms bridal style. "I can work with ten minutes," he said in a playfully arrogant tone of voice that made her giggle once more as he whisked her into the next room.
Ten minutes later the thoroughly sated couple was rushing about between the bedroom and the bathroom trying desperately to make up for the time they had 'wasted' fooling around and get ready before their friends arrived.
"Inuyasha, have you seen my other earring?" Kagome called to the man in the adjoining bathroom, simultaneously trying to keep her wet hair from soaking her dress while rifling through her jewelry boxes and the discarded bedding and clothes on the floor, hunting for the tiny sapphire item.
"Which ones?" he called in response, his voice raised so he could be heard over the racket of the hair dryer he was using. That's the problem with having a boyfriend who has more hair than you, Kagome thought amusedly, locating a clip to secure her wet hair upon her head for the time being, You have to wait in line for the dryer.
"The sapphire ones -- you know, the little strings of blue gems?"
"Mm, haven't seen them anywhere," he replied. "Did you check the living room? I think there was a jewelry box in that box I dropped earlier."
"Right, I'll check it." She hurried into the living room and knelt beside the box, which remained exactly where he'd dropped it, completely forgotten in favor of other 'activities'. Some of the contents had spilled out of it: a couple of romance novels, a bag full of bottles of hand lotion and the like that she'd gotten as gifts from various people but never ended up using, and a few boxes and envelopes containing photos that she had yet to sort through and organize. Then she spotted the jewelry box, which had ended up on the other side of the room, over near the front door, lying open with a few tangled necklaces and various earrings and bracelets spilling out across the floor.
As she swept up the scattered jewelry, some of which had slipped beneath the short set of drawers that sat stoutly beside her front door, her fingers fell upon a piece that didn't belong to her, though she recognized it immediately. She sat back on her heels, mouth agape at the sight of the delicate -- if quite dusty, having spent nearly six months sitting behind the dresser -- silver chain, upon which was strung a simple golden band.
Kagome released a bemused breath, smiling fondly at the memories she connected with the seemingly insignificant little item. True, at the time she had hardly considered any memories of the events that had taken place 'fond', but that was before she'd known how it would all end up. In truth, she was grateful -- in a weird way -- for all that had happened between them. Ultimately she realized that if it hadn't been for that idiotic bet, she would never have gotten to know the real Inuyasha -- and neither would he. They say 'all's well that ends well', and despite the cliché, Kagome had come to agree with them. Whoever 'they' were...
"Did you find it?" The hanyou's voice brought her out of her musings as he stepped into the living room, dressed finely in a cobalt blue button-down shirt, with the top two buttons undone, and black slacks, his hair fully dried and tied back into a low ponytail. Funny, she hadn't even noticed when the sound of the dryer had disappeared.
She shook her head in response as she stood, concealing the necklace behind her back, and said, "But I did find something else you might be interested in."
He quirked an eyebrow in curiosity. "And what's that?"
"Close your eyes," she commanded with a grin.
He did as she bade, but not before eying her suspiciously, and she quickly slipped the chain over his head and tied it somewhat awkwardly, since the clasp was broken.
Inuyasha opened his eyes in surprise as he felt the familiar change wash over him like a bucket of water being emptied over his head. His confusion was soon dispelled by the look of mischief upon the young woman's face. "Let me guess..." he began wryly.
Her grin widened as she looped her arms around his neck loosely. "Why, if it isn't Ryoga," she said in mock surprise. "I haven't seen you since the new moon!"
"Ha, ha," he replied dryly, but the amused smirk playing at his lips and the ease with which he rested his own hands upon her hips belied his attempt at annoyance. "Where did you find this thing anyway? I thought you said you'd thrown it away or something."
"I said I threw it across the room," she corrected. "It must have slipped behind that little chest of drawers. It never occurred to me to figure out where it had gone -- I'd completely forgotten about it being there until now."
"Well if you don't mind I'd rather not show up at their rehearsal dinner as 'Ryoga', so I think I'll just take it off," he said, fiddling with the knot she'd secured it with.
She mock-pouted and teased, "And leave me with my scary hanyou instead of my sweet Ryoga?"
"Feh." He gave up on the knot -- which, ironically, he would have been able to open if he'd had his claws at the moment -- and just gave it a sharp yank, glad to feel his hanyou form return once more.
Just then there was a knock on the door and Kagome's eyes widened in alarm, one hand going automatically to her damp locks. "Shit, they're here and I haven't even dried my hair yet!" she exclaimed.
"Don't worry about it," Inuyasha said easily. "You go finish getting ready and I'll let them in, alright?"
"Thanks sweetheart," the woman said, giving him a quick kiss before hurrying back into the other room.
The hanyou watched her go with an affectionate smile on his face, then glanced down thoughtfully at the golden band that rested in his palm. He'd never exactly been the superstitious type, looking for signs and reading horoscopes and all that crap, but even a cynic like him had to admit that the object struck a certain cosmic chord within him. Maybe it was time...
Another sharp knock, followed by Miroku's voice calling, "Hey -- Inuyasha, Kagome -- anybody in there or are we just standing around here for fun?" brought Inuyasha from his thoughts and he slipped the ring into his pocket and crossed to open the door for their friends.
"Ah, we were beginning to think you'd left without us," Miroku joked, stepping into the apartment with one arm slung loosely around the waist of his fiancé.
"Kagome's in the other room finishing up," Inuyasha explained, and Sango immediately slipped out of the dark-haired man's hold and headed in the direction of the bedroom, saying something about helping Kagome with her hair.
"So," Miroku began conversationally, "how have things been at the bar the past few days?"
"Feh, don't remind me," the hanyou scoffed in reply. "You know Kikyo let that moron Hojo fill in for you behind the counter on Friday night -- I swear he didn't get a single drink right all evening, so I had to keep replacing the ones he'd fucked up. Seriously, you two had better get this whole wedding-honeymoon thing over with soon and get back to work, 'cause I'm not sure how much more of that I can take."
"Why didn't Kagome fill in for me? I'd have thought you'd suggest that first thing," the man commented amusedly.
"We tried that once, but you know how we are -- we spent half the evening arguing and the other half making out. Kikyo won't let her fill in anymore, at least not while I'm there, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let her work with Hobo."
Miroku smirked at his friend, eyes twinkling with mirth. "I can see how that would be a problem. But still, I can't promise to cut our honeymoon short, I'm afraid."
"Keh." A comfortable silence fell in which the hanyou paced over toward the bedroom door, slipping his hand absently into his pocket and thoughtfully fingering the ring that rested within it.
Hesitating for a moment, Inuyasha turned to his friend and asked curiously, "How did you propose to Sango?"
Miroku's eyes raised at the interesting change of subject and he took a seat in a nearby armchair, propping his feet casually upon the coffee table in front of him and observing the hanyou speculatively. "Why do you ask?"
"Just curious," Inuyasha replied, but he could see by the slight smirk on his friend's face that the man could see straight through him.
But Miroku let it pass and simply answered the question. "Paid off the guy who runs the scoreboard at the dome to put it up on the screen during the seventh-inning stretch."
"Seriously?" the hanyou questioned, impressed.
However the other man grinned at him and said, "Nope, saw that in a movie once. It's a good idea though -- wish I'd thought of it at the time."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Come on, I'm serious here. How did you do it?"
The dark-haired man merely shrugged and said, "I just asked her, you know? Took her out to a nice restaurant, told her I loved her and asked her to bear my children."
Now it was Inuyasha's turn to raise his eyebrows, causing Miroku to explain, "Well, no, not quite in those words, but something along those lines."
The hanyou nodded silently, taking a seat on the couch across from Miroku as he lapsed into thought, considering the man's words. "So you just asked her? Just like that?"
"Pretty much, yeah. Look, Inuyasha, these things don't have to be that complicated. It's not like you have to come up with some elaborate, wildly romantic scheme in order to propose. If Kagome loves you, which I think you can be pretty sure of at this point, she'll say yes whether you ask her on the scoreboard at a game or on the subway on the way to work. It's not how you ask that's important -- it's who you're asking. Besides, at least according to Sango, some of the most romantic scenes are also the simplest."
Inuyasha nodded once more, taking in the advice, too absorbed in his own thoughts to even dispute the implication that he was indeed considering proposing to Kagome.
A moment later the two women emerged from the bedroom and joined their respective men, who stood to meet them.
"Shall we go?" Kagome suggested to the group, and the others nodded in agreement, the quartet gathering their coats and such before heading down to the street to catch a taxi, chatting amiably all the while.
The restaurant in which the rehearsal dinner was being held was stylish yet functional, the wood-paneled walls stained a dark cherry hue, the floor occupied by a number of circular tables covered in white linen, the largest of which was intended for the bride and groom and their wedding party.
Sango and Miroku had entered first, heading off to greet their guests as those relatives and close friends who had already arrived mingled about the room. Soon after, Kagome and Inuyasha entered as well, though at a somewhat more leisurely pace, since they did not have the same hosting responsibilities as the bride and groom did.
Kagome turned curiously to the man on her arm when all of a sudden he stopped short. "Inuyasha, what-" But he wasn't paying attention to her. Instead his golden eyes were focused upon something across the room, his expression registering surprise as well as another emotion that Kagome couldn't quite identify -- somewhere between anger and fear. Resentment, perhaps?
She followed his gaze through the crowd until she caught sight of a tall and powerfully poised man with an elegant mane of silver hair, the exact same shade as Inuyasha's own, though it was finer and decidedly tamer. Her eyebrows raised in surprise at first, then lowered in confusion. What were the odds of their encountering another man of such unique features -- though, granted, this man lacked Inuyasha's dog ears, having instead a pointed shape to his otherwise human ones, but his eyes were a penetrating shade of gold as well, only slightly darker than Inuyasha's -- it be that they were related?
"...We're half-brothers actually -- same father, different mothers. That's kind of where it all starts I guess. Sesshomaru never really approved of my mother, who married Dad after Sess' mother left them. Then my mother died in a car accident when I was really young and Dad got sick and passed on a few years later. Sess was a lot older than me, so he took care of me after that, but only because Dad had made him promise to do so before he died. He provided for me, much to his dismay, until I was eighteen, then kicked me out..."
Could this be Sesshomaru, the infamous half-brother that Inuyasha had told her about? The hanyou's reaction seemed to suggest it. That look of -- yes, it did resemble resentment, now that she thought of it -- matched perfectly with the tone of voice he had used when speaking of him. That was when another memory from that particular conversation crossed her mind.
"No really, what were you going to say?" she pressed on.
"Well, um, it didn't help that I'm...so handsome."
"Oh... Is your brother not so good looking then?" she asked, amused at the embarrassment on his face.
"No, not at all," he said bluntly.
She nodded, the amused expression not leaving her face. "I see," she said, while inwardly thinking that she'd like to meet this Sesshomaru someday, out of curiosity...somehow she thought his opinion might be somewhat biased...
Kagome had to bite her lip to suppress her laughter. She turned teasingly bright eyes on the hanyou, finally drawing his attention back to her.
"What?" he questioned her grumpily, only causing her to smirk wider.
"That's your brother isn't it," she said, nodding toward the man in question. "The tall, gorgeous one with the toned physique and the cheekbones of a god?"
"How'd you know?" he asked, surprised.
"Just a hunch," she replied. "Considering the way you were staring at him -- as though you wanted nothing more than to rip his throat out -- not to mention the fact that he looks more like you than anyone possibly could without some blood relation, I figured it was a good guess. But I could have sworn you once told me that he wasn't the least bit attractive..."
"Feh," he grumbled. "He's not. What woman would want a gangly fem-boy like that anyway?"
She laughed lightly at his petulant expression. "Any woman, you vain idiot -- he's gorgeous!"
"He is not -- and I am not vain!" the hanyou protested.
"Yes you are," she teased. "Admit it -- you're jealous of him too, aren't you."
"Feh," he replied dismissively -- but it wasn't quite good enough to pass as a 'no'.
Finally she took pity on him and wrapped her arms around his waist, looking up into his grumpy countenance and saying sincerely, "But don't worry Inuyasha -- I'd pick you over him any day of the week."
His lips quirked up in a subtle sort of lopsided grin. "You'd better," he growled affectionately and pecked her on the lips. She smiled back at him.
Soon the guests were settling into their seats and being served with a delicious meal of roast pork. The real feast would be the next day at the wedding -- tonight was just a chance for the wedding party to prepare for the ceremony and the closer of the guests to gather and visit with the happy couple.
When Inuyasha questioned Miroku as to why in the hell they had invited Sesshomaru, the man merely grinned and said, "It's a wedding -- a time for family and friends to let bygones be bygones and celebrate the future. You know he's not as bad as you've always made him out to be. The fact that you two didn't get along was as much your fault as his."
To that, Inuyasha had responded with the only thing that came to mind: "Feh."
Kagome gave a lazy yawn and snuggled a bit closer into Inuyasha's chest where they lay curled up together in his -- now their -- bed, in his --now their -- apartment. Allowing her eyelids to drift open she glanced at the clock on the nearby nightstand and saw that it was nearly eleven o'clock in the morning.
"Inuyasha," she murmured gently, turning over within his embrace so that she was facing him. "Inu, wake up -- come on, we've got a million things to do today."
"Ngh -- Like what?" he grumbled sleepily, still not opening his eyes.
"Aside from the stacks of boxes that need unpacking, we have to get to the bank and the post office to take care of my change-of-address issues, plus we have to pick up Miroku and Sango from the airport -- they're coming back from their honeymoon today, remember?"
"Oh yeah," he mumbled, golden eyes revealing themselves at last. "Thank god for that -- I can finally get rid of that damn Hojo."
"Oh come on Inuyasha," she chided amusedly, "He got better, didn't he? He hardly messed up any of the orders last night."
"Yeah I s'pose, but I don't like the way he's always looking at you -- at least when he's out in the crowd he can't see you as well as when he's up in the front with me."
She laughed lightly at that, reaching over and twining a strand of silver hair around her fore and middle fingers idly. "Why Inuyasha, I do believe you're jealous," the woman teased, evoking a tiny growl from her hanyou.
"Of that weakling? Never," he replied, but he knew she'd take that as an 'Of course I am' -- which, of course, was what it was.
Kagome smiled, showing him that she knew exactly what he was saying, and that she loved him for it. When he saw that sort of smile, filled with such openness and affection, he couldn't help but respond with one of his own.
"I don't deserve you," he mused quietly, and a look of mild, pleasant surprise crossed her face at his uncharacteristic and spontaneous candor. "You know, sometimes I still can't believe that you gave me that second chance."
She smiled. "You have no idea how unbelievably glad I am that I did."
Affection softened his golden eyes and he lifted a clawed hand to gently brush a lock of ebony hair back from her face. "Kagome," he began softly, "I know I'm no good at this sort of thing, but...do you think you might...I mean, that maybe we should...oh fuck it -- Kagome, will you marry me?"
Her face split into a spectacular grin at his words and she buried her head in his shoulder to stifle her lighthearted laughter.
"For fuck's sake Kagome, what are you laughing at now? I just proposed to you!" the hanyou grumbled indignantly.
"Oh Inuyasha," she managed, pulling back and shaking her head as her laughter subsided, though the grin remained, "Only you could use the word 'fuck' twice in a marriage proposal and still manage to pull it off."
He quirked an eyebrow at her. "Is that a yes?"
"No -- it's a 'fuck yes'," she replied with a teasing grin.
"You know," he said with a mischievous smirk, inching closer, "You are just far too impudent for your own good. That tongue of yours will get you into trouble one of these days, wench."
"Oh, and you're one to talk," she retorted.
He answered by pressing a kiss to her lips, long and lazy, bringing forth a satisfied sigh from the woman beneath him as he did so.
When he pulled back his golden eyes gazed deeply into her blue ones. "I love you, Kagome Higurashi," he murmured, and a smile spread across her face.
"I love you too, Inuyasha Takahashi."
Then his eyes widened slightly as he realized what he'd forgotten. "Oh shit -- I didn't give you the ring."
"You bought me a ring?" she questioned in mild surprise, watching him on raised elbows as he shifted over to his side of the bed and began rummaging through the drawer in the nightstand.
"Well, not exactly," he replied, finding what he was looking for and scooting back over to sit beside her, fist closed around something. She sat up and looked curiously between it and his face. When he opened his hand she drew a short breath as she recognized the same simple golden band that she had discovered behind the dresser a couple of weeks ago -- the one that had indirectly been the cause of their falling in love in the first place.
Biting her lip with a smile, she took the ring from his hand and gazed at it, turning it in her fingers, watching it catch the light. It appeared to be a bit smaller than the last time she had seen it.
"I had it adjusted to your size," the hanyou explained, as though reading her thoughts. "I also had it engraved -- read what it says."
Around the edge of the ring in delicate script were the words, 'I can't live with or without you...' the words to their song, like a moment frozen in time for her to carry with her and remind her of him when they were apart.
"I know I'm supposed to give you a diamond or at least a jewel or something for an engagement ring, but I can't really afford that kind of thing--"
She shook her head to stop him tears in her eyes. "No, this is absolutely perfect. I'd rather have this than the most expensive ring money could buy."
"Then why are you crying?"
The woman rolled her eyes before saying, "Inu, hon, we've talked about this one -- women cry when they're happy too. These are happy tears."
"Oh yeah...man, I'm never going to get used to that one..."
"Don't worry," she said, slipping the ring onto her finger and wrapping an arm around his waist, settling back with him against the headboard, "You'll get used to it eventually."
"I s'pose so -- hey, didn't you say we had a bunch of stuff we had to do today?"
"Ah, you're right! What time is it?"
"Uh -- eleven-thirty," he replied.
"Shit, we've got to get going. You go on and take a shower and I'll go-"
"Are you going to be this jumpy all the time?" he asked in mock exasperation.
She grinned at him, rolling out of bed. "Only when you're this lazy."
"I'll have you know," he said, following her lead nonetheless, "That I am not lazy. I'm just...relaxed."
"Ha! You know most of the time you're the one who's flying off the handle and I'm the one who has to calm you down."
"Feh -- but I only fly off the handle when it makes complete sense to," he pointed out.
"Feh," she replied, playfully mocking him.
"Hey," he smirked, catching her wrist and turning her to face him, "that's my line."
She merely grinned once more and chided, "You're so possessive."
His grin matched hers as he replied simply, "You wouldn't have me any other way."
A/N: (--sigh--) It's done at last! Well, please tell me what you think of the epilogue. As I said, at some point I'll be going through and re-editing the entire story, so if the epilogue is too long-winded and/or pointless and meandering I can fix it then.
Anyway, I've really loved writing this story and I want to thank you guys so much for all the support. As I said early on, I never expected this one to be all that popular, so the fact that you guys seemed to like it so much came as a very pleasant surprise. Thanks for everything!
(By the way, in case you're interested, I have a fictionpress account at which I've posted a collection of old short stories of mine. If you like my current writing style and want to see how horrible it once was, check it out! The link is on my bio. Ta ta!)