There have been requests for more, and I had toyed with the idea of epilogue when I finished chapter sixteen. So by popular demand, here it is. It's short, hopefully sweet, and definitely the last piece of this story.
Once again, I want to thank my reviewers for their ever-insightful comments, encouraging praise, and constructive criticisms. It always means the world to me to open my inbox and have a small barrage of reviews. At present I have no major plot bunnies to explore, aside from a few more one-shots in the Courtship Universe. This is a good thing, as I have a lot of work to do in "real life". However, if I do come up with a plot idea it will be typed up faster than you can say "Feh" :-)
And now, the conclusion.
Okay so they were impassioned, not stupid. Kagome had, naturally, begun a course of birth control pills as soon as it was safe to do so and Inuyasha could tell from her scent that this time, she was most definitely not going to get pregnant. Inuharu would just have to content himself with Shippou for a while.
Miroku and Sango, however, were another story.
* * * * * *
"Oh you lecherous houshi," she snarled at him as she pushed her way through another contraction.
"You did agree to bear my children, remember? Ten, or even twenty, we said."
"Well you better be prepared to drop that number – ARGH! – because I think this is going to be the one and only. KAGOME-CHAN!"
"Can't I push yet?"
Kagome shook her head, her eyes twinkling with laughter. "Not just yet, but soon. I promise." Waiting for the taijiya's pain to subside, she added slyly, "You know, you say you only want one now, but just wait and see how quickly you forget about all of this when you have that adorable baby in your arms!"
"Not…a…chance…" she ground out, reaching for Miroku's once-cursed hand and squeezing the life out of it.
* * * * *
"Come here, runt." Inuyasha grabbed Inuharu off the tree he was climbing, as always amazed by his speed in getting, well, anywhere.
"Go up twee, Daddy!"
"Didn't you want to meet Sango's baby when it was born?"
"Hai!" he replied cheerily, allowing his father to scoop him up and walk off toward the village.
He'd made it about twenty meters when Kouga popped out from hiding. "Fast little whelp you got there," he noted casually. "I've been… observing."
Inuyasha smiled a little, toying with his son's miniature hakama. "Yeah, I'm surprised myself."
"Guess demon blood is stronger than human," he mused. "Well anyway, gotta get back to hunting. Ayame says we have two whelping females now, and you know how those women get when they're pupped."
"Hai." The wolf demon had started to walk away when Inuyasha called out to him.
"Yeah, dog-breath?" The insult held little malice, and was merely a cover for their mutual respect.
"I'm, uh, sorry about how things happened back then. You tried to help, and we weren't very nice to you."
"Don't kid yourself," Kouga returned with a dismissive wave of the hand. "I wasn't exactly being selfless."
"Kinda figured," Inuyasha grumbled lightly.
"Anyway, we all won in the end, right? You have your whelp and Kagome, and I have Ayame, who isn't half bad herself."
"Yeah. Well thank you, anyway."
"No problem. You just take care of your woman, okay?"
Nodding, the hanyou watched as Kouga took off in a run for the forest once again.
Inuharu scrunched up his nose. "Stinky."
* * * * *
And so life went on. Miroku and Sango did, in fact, reach an astounding number of little lecherous monklettes and taijiyas, though Kagome procured a pill prescription for her after number twelve. The miko and her hanyou mate agreed heartily that two quarter-demons were enough for any family, and were glad that their young sons got along much better than their father and uncle had. At least, so far.
Kohaku didn't survive the shard extraction, despite Kagome and Kaede's best efforts, though he did manage to meet his first niece. Sango made her peace with him, and lay him to rest among the bones of her father and villagers, setting up her new family's home in the old village to continue the work she knew best.
Inuyasha and Kagome stayed in the village he'd once terrorized, giving him ample opportunity to make up for past transgressions and providing his sons with the kind of life he'd never had. Here, no one belittled his children for their odd parentage. All in all, the hanyou felt his unhappy story came to a wonderfully contented ending.
And indeed, Kagome never pounced on a demon again.
Unless he personally requested it, that is.
The End. For real, this time.