Disclaimer: The Inuyasha series is not property of moi.
Author's Note: And here is part uno of the epilogue, which within a few weeks should have a second and final part. A word of warning: this epilogue might not be everyone's cup of tea, mine included.
It was a damp morning in late September, a damp, rainy morning that seemed almost reminiscent of the stormy summer a year before, and not a morning where you would expect anything extraordinary to happen. A persistent gray rain fell steadily down from the clouded sky; having started around dusk on the previous day, it was now wearing out its welcome, creating murky puddles and causing the nearby river to swell, much to the chagrin of the inhabitants of Kaede's village.
It was the pitter-patter of this persistent rain upon the roof that eventually woke Kagome, causing her to groan tiredly and to bury her face into the pillow. It was entirely too early to wake up yet; she had kept up some late hours the night previous, and besides, Kaede would probably not be needing her yet.
One thing bothered her, though. She couldn't quite explain why, but she felt extremely cold. She couldn't sleep like this, not with the chill of the morning and everything...
Her head snapped up when her groggy head came to a revelation. (Oh, that bastard...)
Letting out a ferocious little growl, she propped herself up upon one arm and yanked the fur coverlets back from Inuyasha, who was snoring uproariously. Now warm and cozy again, she snuggled back into sleeping mode, feeling contented and the episode forgotten. Well, at least for a few seconds...
"Hey!" A groggy voice floated over to her ears, sounding slightly put off. "Whazza think you're doinnnnnnnng?" The sentence had ended in a full, wide yawn, but Kagome glared at its speaker vehemently, though he DID look rather comical with his drooping ears, atrocious bed hair, and bleary eyes.
"Haven't you learned the concept of sharing the covers yet, you idiot!" she challenged Inuyasha, fighting the urge to laugh as she noticed that a part of his bangs was defying gravity and sticking up straight into the air.
"Well, why didn't ya yank 'em back from me?" he replied sleepily, rolling over on his side to face her.
"I did, you bonehead! But then you woke up!" She rolled her eyes, then promptly closing them in hopes of getting a bit more sleep before she had to get up for the day. "Now fall asleep again; I'm tired 'cause of your neverending sex drive."
Unfortunately, that woke him up even more. "Hey!" he sputtered indignantly. "Last night was actually YOUR idea!"
"Not the three or four times part of it!" Kagome shot back, realizing that going back to sleep was for the most part futile. "And I absolutely do not take credit for that thing with the ramen!"
He scratched an ear confusedly. "Only four?" he asked her in a pondering tone. "Ah well." He brushed it off quickly, getting to the point. "You really shouldn't pretend to complain. You liked it and you know it," he added huskily, caressing her supple breast with a calloused hand.
She laughed genuinely at his sheer arrogance. "...Maybe I did," she admitted honestly, almost laughing again as he let out a low growl in response to her tweaking one of his ears. "Though I've gotta admit, you've got a lot more stamina than anyone deserves, even on nights with a new moon." She sat up and swung out of bed, realizing that if they got further into this conversation BOTH of them would cave and they'd end up spending the entire day in bed (something that they had enjoyed doing a lot the previous winter).
He watched her as he threw her ratty, horrendously pink bathrobe onto her naked form and pad out of the room determinedly, apparently ready for the obstacles of the day. They had been married for over a year now, but damn, he still couldn't help but blush as he stared at those slim, curvaceous hips and those small, firm breasts bursting within the confines of that ugly robe...
He had definitely made the right decision in choosing Kagome over Kikyo, and of forfeiting his immortality in order to spend his entire life with her. He loved this woman, her shrewishness included. It was great to argue with someone instead of watching them cower in fear at him, not to mention there was also the fact that he always got to "make up with her" afterwar---damn that perverted Miroku! His lechery was beginning to rub off on him, even though he had hitherto considered himself a rather frigid person when it came to those kinds of matters.
He threw on his clothes (not his fire-engine red ensemble, Kagome insisted that he try wearing other colors) and headed for the kitchen in their small but comfortable home, feeling rather hungry. Kagome was already at the table, eating a small bowl of leftover rice. "So what are you doing today?" she asked him, watching him pilfer one of the bread loaves that she had baked the previous day.
"Hunting over in the forest," he replied, kneeling across from her, "and nothing else, thank god." Kagome raised an eyebrow but didn't reply, knowing what he meant without even asking. Besides Kagome's livelihood as Kaede's apprentice, the couple sustained themselves both through Inuyasha's hunting and his work in the rice fields for a share of the harvest. Needless to say, Inuyasha didn't like the arrangement of the latter but bit his tongue, though he still distrusted the majority of the other villagers just as they distrusted him. In fact, Kagome knew that the running gossip among the women was that she was aiming to be a wonderful village priestess yet had gone terribly awry in marrying Inuyasha, who they claimed still had it in for them all. She almost laughed as she recalled all of the hushed whispers that seemed to follow her every time she and Inuyasha were seen around the village together; they certainly didn't seem to have a handle on what the poor guy was really like.
"When are you coming back?" she asked him, a sudden idea popping into her head as she realized that one of Sango's sausage sticks, which she had intended to eat along with the rice, was looking sorely neglected at the side of her plate.
"Whenever I get something," he replied noncommittally, gesturing vaguely to the Tetsusaiga in the corner, which was standing there in the first place because of Kagome's refusal to let him wear it to bed.
She picked up the sausage deliberately, playing around with it in her mouth. "Oh...well then," she said lightly, grazing it with her teeth. "I suppose I'll have more to look forward to tonight than just whatever you kill..."
He almost choked on his bread as he watched her, finally managing to stammer out, "Will - will you EAT that already, 'cause if you don't I'm gonna reach across the table and not even bother waiting for tonight!"
She ended it by snapping part of the sausage off with her pearly teeth and chewing slowly, causing him to be infuriated even more. "It's nice to know that you finally get my subversive messages," she said nonchalantly, devouring the rest of it in one bite. "I was afraid for a moment there that my friend Ayumi was right."
Turning red and ignoring her, he finished the rest of his breakfast, then standing up and thrusting the Tetsusaiga through his belt. He was almost through the door and had turned to say good-bye to Kagome when he noticed her hunched over the table, suddenly looking rather pale and holding her stomach. Feeling concerned at her abrupt change in health, he walked back over and grabbed her shoulder in an attempt to get her attention, something that he rued seconds later---
"ARGHHH!" When he had grabbed her shoulder, he had gotten her undivided attention all right; the problem was was that he had gotten the wrong kind. Turning rather green himself, he looked regretfully down at his shirt front, which was now full of -how can we put this politely- the undigested remains of Kagome's breakfast.
Now having noticed him, Kagome's eyes were as wide as saucers (though that was partly due to the fact that she was still retching). "Oh god, I'm so sorry!" she gasped after a moment, noticing the look on his face. "I didn't SEE you there behind me!"
"Uh---that's OK," he replied, wrinkling his sensitive nose. "But what's up with that? You looked fine a minute ago!"
"I was," she croaked, hunching over again. "Then again, I wasn't. I did the same thing two mornings ago after you left, and yesterday I felt sick for awhile but didn't throw up." She sighed, staring down at her stomach. "I don't know what's up with me."
"You'd better bring it up with Kaede," he said stiffly, unable to help but feel a more than a little worried at her sudden malaise. "If your breakfast doesn't stay down there, then it can't be good." He turned to leave again, looking rather forward to an impromptu bath in the river.
"Oh, you're such a pessimist!" she exclaimed, waving him away. "But all right---I'll have her check me over."
She thought he had left but was proven wrong a moment later when his head appeared back in the doorway. "Oh yeah," he started, his mouth twitching in amusement, "I guess this means no sausage for you tonight."
"Oh, damn you!" she giggled vehemently, waving him away again. "Just go hunting already!"
An hour later found Kagome leaving their little house, having sufficiently recovered enough in order to go Kaede's and to begin her work for the day. Her stomach was still a bit sore and every now and then gave off a painful little jolt, but it wasn't enough to keep her home, and besides, it wouldn't do her any good to spend the entire day in bed waiting for Inuyasha to get back.
She whistled happily as she swept past the Sacred Tree a few yards away from the house, careful not to stain her kimono on the wet, dewy grass. Although she still often wore what modern clothes she had brought with her on the last trip (and remember, that had been quite a lot), on cold, rainy days like this she preferred to wear a simple kimono. Though she could never quite get used to tying that annoying obi in the back; she always forced Inuyasha to tie it for her if he was around (though she always suspected that despite his grumbling he always liked an excuse to touch her).
At any rate, she was now headed for Kaede's; she was now her apprentice, and would be the village priestess once she passed away, assisted by Miroku, who had the authority to perform exorcisms and carry out certain rituals. Actually, she would be the first married priestess the village had ever seen. She knew that because of this she'd never ever outstrip Kikyo in terms of spiritual power, but it didn't matter to her anymore. Kikyo was something of the past, and although she never knew exactly what had happened between her and Inuyasha in Naraku's castle (other than the fact that he had slain the woman, which she suspected was because she was partly in league with Naraku), she trusted whatever Inuyasha had done implicitly. He had never told her exactly what had happened on that day under the waterfall either, but it was something that she really didn't want to know, nor was it something that he wanted to recall. She knew that he was genuinely sorry, and they'd just leave it at that.
She walked through the sleepy village towards the shrine, savoring that quiet that was present every morning when everyone was just waking up. A few villagers were out and about here and there, but most were staying inside because of rain. When she got to her destination she entered the shrine soundlessly, allowing herself to drip rainwater onto the rush mat at the doorway before going in further to the old priestess, who seemed to be fashioning some sort of rosary by the fire.
"You are late, child," the old woman chided her gently, not even looking up from her work upon hearing Kagome enter.
"Oh, -er- I'm sorry," she said shiftily, removing her wooden clogs and leaving them near the doorway. "Where's Miroku?" she asked on an afterthought; he was something of a blabbermouth and she didn't want him around when she was asking the older woman to figure out what was wrong with her.
"Exorcism," came the reply. "He left about an hour ago for the neighboring village."
"Er -well," she began, sitting down next to her, "I was wondering if you could check me over. I've got some kind of illness but I'm not sure what it is."
"I will certainly try," the older woman answered, noting her pale face for the first time. "I have some skill as a healer; I can sense auras and treat some sicknesses. Lie down."
Kagome obeyed, lying on her back with her arms at her sides. Kaede started by feeling her up and down, asking her what hurt and what didn't. When this ended up not working, the old priestess began resorting to questions.
"What is wrong, exactly?"
"For the past few mornings I've either been tossing my cookies or in danger of it. This awful wave of pain just suddenly engulfs me, and-"
"Always in the morning?"
"Yes. But I don't see what that has to do with anyt-"
"Any changes in your appetite?"
"Well, obviously not too much in the morning, but I get back to normal after lunch." She paused, thinking back to the previous few days. "Well...come to think of it, I can really pack it in after that," she admitted, wondering what the older woman was getting at with all of these questions.
"Any other pain?"
"No, not really..."
"As far as I know."
"Do you know if you're gaining weight; feeling bloated or tired?"
"Maybe I've gained a little weight...and sometimes I feel tired."
"Any violent outbursts, mood swings, sudden changes in temperament?"
She rolled her eyes. "No---except when Inuyasha is being a doofus."
Kaede nodded, almost as if in confirmation. "And what of your monthly-"
This was getting to be way too much for Kagome. "Why are you asking about THAT!" she asked in a rather high voice, wondering what was with all of the personal questions.
"It is merely one of the symptoms for your suspected 'illness'," she replied smoothly, gesturing for her to answer.
The younger woman bit her lip. "Er -well- no, I skipped the last two months," she started. "But that happens to me sometimes," she added quickly, praying that it wasn't something serious. She remembered something that she had learned in her dreaded health class, that -well- alterations in the cycle often meant that something abnormal was going on within the body biologically, but... "But come to think of it---I don't think I've ever missed TWO in a row..." She gulped, looking to Kaede for an answer.
The answer came in the form of a laugh.
"What could possibly be funny about this!" she demanded in an agitated voice, wanting to deck Kaede for the all the world for her lack of concern. "I'm sicker than a dog and you think it's funny!"
"But it is," the old priestess choked, patting the distraught girl's shoulder. After that, however, she straightened up, and began to explain what was wrong in a steady voice. "I do know what is wrong with you; in fact, it isn't even a rare occurrence for girls your age. This 'illness' is a long one, however, and I estimate that you will continue to carry it for at least another six months. During that time you will likely continue to throw up, swell up and bloat to a much bigger size, and oftentimes feel grumpier than a hibernating animal. The sickness finally culminates abruptly with what I am told is the most excruciating and slow pain that you will ever experience. " She shook her head, her mouth twitching. "I feel sorry already for your poor husband."
Now she WAS grouchier than a hibernating animal. "Will you tell me the name of this mysterious illness already, Kaede, before I decide to throw up on someone again?" she snapped, crossing her arms.
The old woman was unfazed at her rudeness. "Well, I suppose, if you want a name...pregnancy."
This only caused Kagome to laugh. "Yeah, sure. Now will you tell me what it really is?"
"Oh, come on. If you don't know what I have, then at least admit it!"
"Kagome, child, the signs all point to it. You ARE with child."
It finally hit home. Kagome's eyes widened exponentially, her hand shaking as it slowly strayed down to her belly. She still, however, tried to deny it. "But - but we haven't been trying!" she sputtered, looking at Kaede confusedly. "In fact, we've never even TALKED about having children! And I've been wearing my charm, all the time; in fact, I never take it off except when I'm bathing-"
The priestess raised an eyebrow. "'Bathing'? Are you sure?"
The younger woman thought for a moment, combing through her mind back to few months ago when the weather had been much warmer and the stream a lot more hospitable for bathing. No, she hadn't had her charm on a lot of those times, but that STILL didn't mean that she and Inuyasha had-
She mentally slapped herself. Shit. They HAD. Several times.
"All right, all right," she conceded miserably, wondering how she hadn't deduced it earlier. "So I'm pregnant. What happens now?"
Inuyasha hummed rather tunelessly as he dragged the large deer carcass out from the edge of the woods and into the village. It had been a great day for hunting, and he barely had to wait an hour before a foolish animal had crossed his path. Now it was time to skin and gut it...and then perhaps after that it wouldn't be long until Kagome came back; the sun peeking shyly out of the retreating rainclouds told him that it was roughly noon.
Ignoring the stares of some of the more inquisitive villagers, he continued to amble along across the villages, feeling happier than a lark. He was often happy these days; it was quite obvious to him that Kagome had something to do with it, as well as the fact that his mind was no longer occupied with thoughts of Kikyo. (I don't think ANYTHING could get me down right now,) he thought honestly, continuing to pad across the village. It's so great living like this; I haven't a worry in the world in months!)
"Oi, Inuyasha!" He whirled around at the calling of the familiar voice, knowing who it was before he even turned.
"Oi yourself, Miroku!" he called back, smirking as he noticed the enormous lump on the monk's head as well as the dejected look on his face. "What are you doing outside the shrine!"
"I went over to Kanyube for an exorcism," the monk explained rather ashamedly, shifting his sandals around in the dirt. "Everything would have went fine, but the woman and her daughter who lived in the house -well-"
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Oh god, Miroku, you didn't-"
"No, it's not what you think! I had actually felt up the daughter four and a half years ago, before I even MARRIED Sango! But she still remembered," he said miserably, trying to make Inuyasha sympathetic, "and she still cleaned my clock."
"Feh, you deserved it, you used to feel up anything that moved," the half-demon said underhandedly, continuing to head towards home. Miroku tagged along, staring impressed at the large buck that Inuyasha had caught.
"Is some of that for me?" he asked him sneakily.
"I don't see why not," he replied, grinning, "since you're too nancy to hunt anyway. Just tell Sango to make those long sausages of hers, all right?"
Miroku furrowed his brow. "But I thought you hated those."
The monk pretended not to notice and concluded that he definitely did not want to know when the hanyou started to turn red. "Er---never mind, I will not ask."
They had now stopped near the doorway to the shrine, but poor Miroku, who did not relish telling Kaede what had happened, decided to peek in the window in order to check out the playing field instead. "Hey, Inuyasha!" he said a minute later, gesturing the half-demon over. "Get over here and look; Kaede and Kagome are talking, and Kagome seems to be crying!"
"WHAT!" was the reply, and suddenly Miroku found himself pushed out of the way. Inuyasha blinked as he stared into the half-lit room, where Kaede seemed to be trying to console a rather shocked-looking Kagome, who had tears running down her delicate face.
Suddenly Miroku's hand grabbed Inuyasha's shoulder. "Er---Inuyasha, I think we'd better move windows. If they find out we're eavesdropping -well-"
They ran around to the side of the shrine hurriedly, where there was another window, Inuyasha dragging the deer behind him. They practically bumped heads as they fought to look inside, both of them shocked yet curious.
"Do you have any idea how long it's been inside me?" Kagome was asking Kaede anxiously, wringing her hands and giving a general show of nervousness.
"About three months, I would say."
"You cannot always tell right away."
"But - but I wasn't expecting this! I - I don't know what to do..."
"For awhile you will be able to carry on normally, with some of the symptoms that you are having now. Eventually, though, you will get a lot more sedentary, and you should stop exerting yourself then. In about six months, that day will come when-"
Inuyasha couldn't listen anymore. Feeling shocked, he slowly slid down against the shrine wall, at a loss for what to do. Miroku sank down quickly too, his face a mirror image of Inuyasha's. "Is she...afflicted with an illness?" he finally asked concernedly.
"She's gotta be," he replied in a dazed voice, "she's been sick for a few days now. I told her to bring it up with Kaede, but I didn't expect it to - to be THIS bad."
"Don't assume the worst," Miroku said quickly, seeing where this was going. "It could be anything, you know."
"Well, how can I NOT assume the worst, you moron! From what we heard it seems pretty serious!"
Meanwhile (while the two eavesdroppers were talking among themselves and not listening), Kagome and Kaede had taken a different bent in their conversation. "So have you ever seen someone who's a quarter demon before?" she asked curiously, toying at her kimono fabric at the stomach. "I mean, will my baby look more demon or human? Or is it even possible that the poor thing could end up like - like Jinenji?"
She closed her eyes at the very thought. "But Inuyasha turned out normal, so that makes it less likely, right?"
Kaede, who actually traveled to the unfortunate half-demon's garden often in order to purchase herbs, quickly nodded in agreement. " You are right in saying that. I have only heard of mutations like that happening in half-demons, Kagome," she said reassuringly, "and even so, they only tend to occur when the demon parent is of a particular species. I have never heard of it happening in a dog-demon. As for your child's appearance, she will most likely look like both of you. Maybe she will have Inuyasha's hair, his eyes, his ears, his claws, perhaps (but hopefully not) even his temper. You won't know until she is born."
Kagome, though now feeling relieved, wrinkled her brow. "You said 'her'?"
"I read your aura, as I will teach you further on in your apprenticeship. The baby is without a doubt a girl."
Now it REALLY hit home. Excitement now replaced anxiety and Kagome hopped up happily, the color flooding back into her face. "Aiyeee, this is so exciting!" she exclaimed, dancing around the room. "I'm going to have a baby in six months! I can hardly believe it!" She suddenly stopped, turning to look at Kaede. "Hey, do you mind if I leave for awhile? I really need to tell Sango about all this! Please, Kaede?"
The old priestess smiled and waved her away. "You may go...for the day, in fact. But be ready to work again tomorrow morning."
"Yes, I will! Thank you, Kaede!" she exclaimed, running out of the shrine without even bothering to grab her shoes.
"AIYEEEEEE!" The high-pitched shriek caused both men outside to jump a few inches, much to their surprise and concern.
"Oh my, forget what I said," Miroku declared woefully, putting his head in his hands. "She is in pain. Horrible, excruciating pain."
He was rewarded with a punch in the side. "Shut up, you moron!" Inuyasha snarled angrily. "Didn't your mother ever tell you that if you say it it'll come true!" He hung his head for a minute, ripping out a clump of grass with one of his hands. "Oh, what am I saying!" he burst out again, flinging the grass away. "Her days are probably numbered!"
Both whirled around when they heard someone leave the shrine. As soon as the person was far away enough they saw that it was Kagome, who was running as fast as she could in the direction of the Sacred Tree.
"Someone should tell her that she should not be running with such a deadly illness," Miroku said miserably, watching her go.
"Hey, why don't we follow her?" Inuyasha suggested, his steely eyes following the direction in which she was running.
"I suppose we should," the monk replied thoughtfully, standing up and brushing the grass from his robes, "though I have no idea to where. Hmmm...if I were Kagome and I had a life-threatening, debilitating illness, where would I go?" He paused, apparently thinking hard. "Ah yes, she would most certainly go to talk to Sango!"
Without another word they both sped off, neither of them bothering to recall that they hadn't heard the entire conversation.
Kagome was treated to an array of sights, smells, and sounds as she stepped into Sango and Miroku's little house. The little kitchen was just bursting with activity; something was bubbling merrily at the hearth, Shippo sat teaching Kyoko how to draw, and Kohaku, unable to work because of the morning rain, was sharpening something in the corner. Sango herself sat at the table mending something, keeping a watchful eye on the baby nearby. She smiled when she noticed Kagome in the doorway, and immediately urged her to sit down. "Come on in, Kagome!" she said cheerfully, putting down her mending. "What brings you here?"
When she noticed that Kagome hadn't answered and was instead looking around at everyone else nervously, she stood up and waved everyone away firmly. "Out, all of you!" she declared, shooing Kohaku out of his seat and picking up Shippo and Kyoko's crayons. "Come back in awhile; Kagome needs to talk to me privately!"
As soon as the others had left (albeit reluctantly, especially Shippo) and Kagome had been ushered into a seat at the table, she grabbed Sango's hand and exclaimed excitedly, "Sango, I - I'm pregnant!"
The other woman was silent for a moment, digesting those four words, but presently her eyes lit up and her face became a mirror image of Kagome's, fresh and excited. "Kagome, finally! Miroku and I were speculating on when it would happen, but we never thought it would be this soon! In fact, we even had a bet goi-"
Kagome's eyes widened. "WHAT!"
Sango's eyes sparkled mischievously. "You heard that correctly, Kagome. I said that it would take two years for you to convince Inuyasha and Miroku said that you guys would probably have a - an accident." She sighed angrily. "Looks like he wins..." She snapped out that thought, however, and now began to look ecstatic. "Oh my, this is wonderful...Now we'll both have kids - they can play with each other and grow up together..."
"I agree," Kagome replied enthusiastically, "and to top it off, Kaede says it's going to be a girl. A cute little baby girl!" she squealed, clasping her hands. "And I only have to wait six months! Just think, from now till then I'll have to be getting ready for her! I need a cradle, and some bigger clothes for me, and some pink baby clothes, of course"
"I have just the thing!" Sango announced happily, getting up and leaving the room, returning a moment later with a pair of pink baby booties. "Taisho turned out to be a boy, obviously, so I didn't need these... And we can make lots more, of course."
"Oh yes, thank you," Kagome replied breathlessly, marveling at how small the clothes were. "I'm sure I'll have plenty of time in the later months; I'm pretty sure I won't be fit to be working, after all...Oh man, I'm so excited!" she repeated again, slumping against the table happily. "I can't believe this is happening!"
The ex-demonslayer patted the sleeping bundle next to her. "Yes, and they're all precious. Especially the surprise ones. Taisho is almost three months now..."
Kagome laughed. "I bet Miroku's happier than a lark."
"He most certainly is..." Again Sango's eyes sparkled as she looked up. "So how did it happen?"
Kagome's smile faded. "What do you mean?"
"Well, when and how? You must not have been wearing your charm when it happened-"
The younger girl blushed. "Oh, that? I'm not sure when exactly, but I assume it was while I was bathing in the stream. That's the only time I ever remove it, you know, so I don't lose it."
It was at this point that Inuyasha and Miroku had caught up to Kagome and had situated themselves just under the front window, and were now hearing everything that was said (unfortunately, it had never occurred to either of them that it was quite rude to eavesdrop). Unluckily for them, however, the girls' current subject of conversation had now irrevocably veered away, and it was causing Miroku to get more disturbingly excited and Inuyasha to cringe with each progressive word.
"Prim and proper Kagome doing it in the outdoors, eh? You've changed..."
"Oh, quit teasing me, Sango! It's not my fault that Inuyasha can't keep his pants up in a semi-public place! I keep telling him that we'll get caught sometime, but then again, it's my fault for letting him."
"Miroku's much the same way about that, I'm afraid. He has absolutely no shame."
"Feh, men anyway..."
"You know, I've always wondered, Kagome: does your husband like it rough?"
"Actually, not normally. In fact, quite the opposite. But whenever I somehow convince him he seems to have this fear that he's hurting me or something. If I so much as tell him to get his hair out of the way so I can see his face he'll reply with a 'Am I hurting you'?"
Kagome proceeded to show her an example. "Inuyasha, would you mind going a little slower?"
Sango laughed, catching on. "Am I hurting you?"
"Inuyasha, would you mind going a lot faster?"
"Am I hurting you?"
"Inuyasha, for crying out loud, would you stop with the 'Am I hurting you's?' If it hurt I'd most likely not be moaning your name every five seconds right now!"
"Am I hurting you?"
Both of the women burst into uncontrollable giggles, having had their joke. As soon as they had composed themselves Sango was ready with a story of her own. "Well, that's nothing compared to Miroku," she declared, snorting back a laugh. "Over the years I've determined that he has two great loves: my cooking, and, quite obviously, sex." She put her head in her hands, her chest heaving with unexpelled giggles. "Unfortunately for me, he has learned how to combine the two."
Kagome waved it off. "Oh, that nothing compared to what Inuyasha does," she announced. "Just last night, he got a dirty idea when he saw me boiling up some ramen..." She whispered the rest, blushing like a tomato as they both broke out into hysterical giggles. "It was awful! I'd never seen him so embarrassed in my life!"
As the girls launched into several hysterical bouts of laughter, Inuyasha's usually grumpy-looking expression turned into one of utter revulsion. "Those two are sick," he choked, cocking an ear towards the window and temporarily forgetting why he was eavesdropping in the first place.
Miroku, on the other hand, was still disturbingly excited. "Hey, I didn't know that women talked about stuff like this! This is great!"
"I - I didn't know either..."
"Well, I suppose it must be a good thing, right? Otherwise they wouldn't mention anything, would they?" The monk giggled insanely. "Though I have to admit, none of these revelations make you look too manly, Inuyasha."
The hanyou's head snapped up. "Well, at least I don't enjoy my sushi and rice a little too much, you lech!"
"Well, at least MY wife does not have me on a leash and choker, you pansy!"
Suddenly a rather large tea kettle came sailing out the open window, clipping Miroku right on the head while also inundating him with freezing water. Gulping miserably, he looked up and saw Sango standing over him, a very dangerous look etched onto her face. "Why, you perverts!" she snarled, glaring at each of them in turn. "Only you two would sit outside a window to listen to stuff like this!" Her eyes flashed angrily. "Now get out of here before I rip off all your appendages!"
Miroku, whose instincts had been well-honed by a variety of sharp kitchen utensils,
somehow managed to duck another barrage of objects coming out of the window, but Inuyasha was not quite so lucky. Although he had not been aimed at quite as much as Miroku, an almost-empty flour sack still managed to float over his way, spilling its remaining contents onto his lap. Since this was Inuyasha and not Einstein we are talking about here, he immediately hopped up and tried to brush the offending stuff off his clothes, only succeeding in flurrying it up and causing his sensitive nose to twitch. Soon he was sneezing uncontrollably, stirring it up even more every time he made a move. Thoroughly embarrassed, he got up and ran back towards home, still stopping every now and then to sneeze.
Miroku giggled insanely as he watched the poor half-demon go, tears almost spilling out of his eyes as he observed him trip right over a tree root in mid-sneeze. "Oh, heavens," he murmured, rubbing his throbbing head, which was now graced with three more lumps to match his first one. "This is even funnier than the time I put poison oak in his pants while he was swimming in the river!" His eyes misted over with glee, recalling a particularly hilarious week four years previous in which his friend would start scratching himself the minute Kagome turned her back.
"What's this?" he muttered again, feeling something on the top of his head that hadn't been there previously. His eyes widened as he grabbed it and scrutinized it; it was a pink baby bootie, innocent-looking enough yet deadly in its own context. "Hey, wait just a second...this is one of the extras that Sango had... And apparently there is something wrong with Kagome..." He pieced it all together within a minute, an absolutely evil grin etched onto his face as he realized the implications that this held.
"Heh, Inuyasha, your bad day's about to get a whole lot worse..."
Author Note: Part II coming soon! (Hopefully.)
ladykagome34: The lemon exists, it's just in hiding. Go to my author profile, click on the link saying homepage, and voila! You should be at the lemon is a hidden file and only can be accessed through that link.
AmberuMukku: Thank you for all the wonderful compliments! I've seen a few fics that I couldn't stop reading myself, including His by arisu the pink and Stolen Soul by --uh, I can't recall the author's name. And I hear you about the lemons. Although this one turned out decent in the end, I might never make another one, even in other stories.
Laura: Hello from Minnesota! I greatly envy you for getting the chance to go to Japan. You're absolutely right about the ending being disjointed; I vaguely remember writing it. It's hard when the document is getting up in pages and you're afraid to add more without boring everyone to death. And I am tentatively working on a second Inuyasha story, although it's nothing like this one. Oh Crap is funny and fluffy... :)
Casui: Referring to your questions:
1. Yeah, Miroku did promise her that...but my story splits off from the canon right after Kouga's tribe gets almost wiped out. The Miroku/Sango thing is after that point, I think... I'm not sure exactly when it occurs, since I've only seen up to episode 55 or so.
2. Inuyasha has the sit beads for most of the story, but during the chapter before this one the rosary broke during the battle with Naraku. So Inuyasha is technically free to do whatever he wants...
Thanks for reading:)
xfalsetruth06x: You have every right to be picky. And you're right; she SHOULDN'T be toting a bar of soap around in Feudal Japan, not without having brought it herself. Thanks for bringing it to my attention; if I ever revise this fic that mistake will definitely be on the fix list.
Also thanks to: kagomeandinuyasha4everandever, queen-of-the-songfics, Sexi sox, Haylie, imkagomeKAGOME, FuTuRe, PeRfEcT, ArtificialRed, dreamers soul, Anime-Devil-101, a.l.a.i, bettychan, Hanyou-ass, gabby, Mini Nicka, and Drake Clawfang. I hope I'm doing the epilogue justice:)