Author's Note: Firstly, I would like to apologize for how long it took me to update this story. Secondly, I'd like to thank you all for continuing to send me reviews of encouragement, otherwise I really would have just given up on this story. Anyway, here goes!
Kagome woke up on a fine June morning with a feeling of euphoria- the same one that always seemed to last until she noticed the small navy blue velvet box sitting on her dresser that held her engagement ring. That same stupid piece of metal that promised her a life time of unhappiness and discomfort while being married to Sesshomaru. So, upon seeing the box, she did the same thing she did every other morning: she opened the box, peered at the piece of jewelry, contemplated wearing it, then sighed and snapped the box shut again, leaving the ring in the same spot it had been for the past six weeks.
After Kagome finished getting dressed, she went to the kitchen where her mother, grandfather, and brother were just getting ready to eat. Kagome could feel her mother eyeing her left hand, but Kagome knew her mother wouldn't say anything. Surely her mother wanted to avoid another fight with her about the engagement.
"Just be happy I'm going through with this crap!" Kagome had shouted at her after her mother asked her several times a day, every day why she wasn't wearing her ring. After that, her mother just stopped asking, but that didn't mean that she couldn't continue to make Kagome feel guilty by giving her "the look".
After Kagome finished eating, she went straight to school and met up with her friends before class. Each day had become increasingly more awkward since they had all returned to school after spring break, mostly because of Kagome's recent engagement. Every day, Kagome found it more difficult to pretend that she actually wanted to marry Sesshomaru. Sure, she liked him, but she knew she couldn't be happy with a man who didn't reciprocate her feelings at all. In fact, she'd barely exchanged any words with him since it happened. She knew she needed to discuss the date with him, which she decided on her own, without even bothering to consult him, would be after she graduated from college. Secretly, she knew she was kind of hoping that if she pushed the wedding back far enough, everyone might just forget about the engagement.
"...And so I was thinking... Let's all go hang out at my house after school. You know, we could hang out and stuff like we used to in the good old days!" Miroku was saying.
"Good old days?" Sango asked.
"Your house? You're moving out?" Inuyasha asked, sounding excited.
"Moving out? Of course not! Mi casa es su casa, amigo!" Miroku laughted heartily and slapped Inuyasha on the back.
"No, you idiot, mi casa es mi casa. I'm just letting you stay there. And don't think that means you can just be invitin people over whenever you feel like it. That's rude!" Inuyasha retorted.
"Well I think it's even more rude to uninvite people once they've received a friendly invitation," Miroku smiled, then looked from Kagome and Sango, who just blinked at Miroku, then back to Inuyasha.
Inuyasha sighed and folded his arms. "Whatever. You guys can come over if you want."
"That's the spirit!" Miroku shouted, slapping Inuyasha on the back again.
"You better stop hitting me if you wanna keep that arm!" Inuyasha growled just as the bell rang and the four went to their separate classes.
Kagome was a little hesitant, concerned about the fact that Sesshomaru would probably be there, even though she'd lucked out the last couple of times they had gathered over there, as he was still in college himself. After classes let out, the four friends went straight to Inuyasha's place, ordered a pizza, and just sat around and chatted. Naturally, the subject of graduation came up, as it was in only two weeks that they would be leaving high school behind forever.
"Well, it's official. Sango and I have decided to apply to NYU together," Miroku exclaimed, throwing his arm over Sango's shoulder.
"New York University? In America?" Inuyasha asked incredulously. "You're kidding..."
"We're not applying together. Miroku is following me," Sango said playfully. "What are your plans, Inuyasha?"
"I can't believe I never told you guys but, um, well, I guess I'm going to New York too. My dad wants me to go to New York with Kikyo to go to school and train under Sesshomaru before we go take over another branch of his company somewhere else in America," he replied, obviously unhappy about having to spend extra time with his brother.
The room got a little quiet as the three of them glanced at Kagome, who seemed to be paying no real attention to the conversation until she realized everyone was looking at her. "Huh? Did I miss something?"
"We were talking about what we're all gonna do when we graduate. Are you..." Sango trailed off.
"Oh, Remember I told you I was applying to Tokyo University? I really hope I get in, seeing as how it's the only place I applied," she laughed.
"What about Sesshomaru?" Sango asked.
Kagome's mood instantly changed. "What about him?" she asked flatly.
"You're marrying him soon. What about the wedding?"
"No one said I had to marry him."
"Kagome, he's your fiance."
"Not by choice," she shot back.
Sango glanced at Miroku and Inuyasha out of the corner of her eye.
"Is that the doorbell?" Miroku interrupted, standing abruptly.
"No, it's not-" Inuyasha started.
"Yes, I do believe it is. It's for both of us." Miroku grabbed roughly onto Inuyasha's arm.
"What are you talking about? Let me go, you-" Inuyasha's voice trailed off as he was dragged from the room.
Sango waited until Inuyasha and Miroku were out of sight before she spoke again. "Have you two set a date yet?" Kagome was silent. "Have you even spoken to him since the engagement?" No response. "Have you?"
Kagome shook her head no.
"Are you serious?"
"Does it matter?"
"Of course it does. Your fiance is moving to the United States in a few months and you didn't even know. On top of that, you don't even intend to go with him?"
"Why should I?" Kagome interjected, starting to get irritated with Sango's tone.
"Because he's your fiance. Because you know damn well you're going to get married and because you love him!"
"No, I don't. I have my own life, and my own plans for my future that doesn't involve-"
"Kagome-" Sango interrupted.
"No. My own plans that don't involve him. I'm only going through with this because my mother made me. I might even try to cancel it because-"
"Kagome, I think you should-"
"Because I obviously don't love him and I obviously can barely stand him! He's so annoying and self-centered! I ha-"
"What? Sango, what?" Kagome shouted, exasperated, before noticing that Sango was looking directly over her shoulder with a terrified expression slowly crossing her face.
Kagome slowly turned to see none other than Sesshomaru, leaning against the wall with a glass of water in his hand, staring expressionlessly at Kagome.
"Your cell phone's ringing," he said stoically.
"It's in the kitchen," he interrupted, spun on his heel and walked away. Kagome could hear his twenty-three footsteps to his bedroom door, then heard it close with a bit more force than usual.
She didn't realize how long she'd been standing there until Sango was calling her name, and pushing her new compact samsung flip phone into her hand, which was ringing at an obnoxiously loud volume. She flipped it open and said hello to her mother.
"Kagome, I've been trying to get ahold of you for an hour. Where are you? Is everything alright?"
"Yea, I'm fine. I'm at Inuyasha's place. My phone was in the other room."
"Oh, you are?" Kagome's mother sounded elated. "Is Sesshomaru there? Say hello to him- actually, can you put him on the phone please?"
Kagome was silent.
"Is Sesshomaru with you?"
"I uh... well I..."
"Are you not getting along with him, Kagome? What's going on?"
"I mean I-"
"Kagome, you really need to be more mature about this. This isn't something we can afford you to be stubborn about. There are a lot of things you don't really understand and you really should take the time and consideration to-"
"Mom, I gotta go," Kagome interrupted before she hung up abruptly on her.
Sango just looked at Kagome, confused by her actions. "Kagome..."
But her words fell on deaf ears as Kagome ran from the living, down the hall, into the bathroom, and proceeded to throw up. Sango, who was directly behind her, was probably about as confused as Kagome was nauseous. "Kagome are you ok? Are you sick?"
"Of course. With morning sickness," Miroku joked.
Inuyasha choked, and Kagome gagged at the thought, and threw up again while Sango popped him in the back of the head and drew in a deep breath to yell at him when Kagome flushed the toilet and stood up, facing the both of them. "That's not even funny Miroku. I'm not pregnant," she said plainly.
Miroku, of course, was still smiling. "Then what's wrong with you?"
Kagome shrugged. "I feel fine now. I just need some water or something."
"Or something..." Miroku echoed.
"Shut up Miroku.," Sango chimed in. "It's probably just a stomach flu. Besides. Does it look like morning to you?"
Author's Note: Oh my goodness it's been quite a while, hasn't it? Haha... I guess if I don't get enough reviews, then I'll probably just let this story die again, for good. I really hope I haven't lost all of my readers during my (extra long) absence. Please, review! Let me know you're still alive and you still care what happens!