DISCLAIMER: Me no own.

¤¤ Thick Throaty Molasses ¤¤

¤ By: Telpelindewen ¤

¤¤ recap ¤¤.

"Well that's an easy remedy, all I have to do is get rid of you two." And he charged. He aimed high, too high, and swung with all his might. Inuyasha waited until the last possible second and ducked away from the swing, smirking when Naraku swung. The pole resounded off the wall and hit Kikyo square in the center of her back, while the ceiling started to crumble around them. As soon as the pole splintered, he shouted.

"NOW SESS!"

The next few seconds were a blue to Kagome. She heard shouting in the background as crashing sounded all around her. All she saw was Inuyasha lunge for her. The next thing that she remembered was suddenly being pressed against the side of the cliff dangling from a rope connected to her chair that she was still tied too. She felt the heavy breathing of a figure next to her, and then a pair of warm strong hands checking her forehead and face. Instead of responding Kagome succumbed to the blackness.

¤ Chapter Sixteen ¤

There were noises, and voices, and lots of noises. Piercing sirens, flasing red lights, blue lights, then a single bright light in her eyes and then it was gone. Then black again. Then silence. Then the slamming of doors, and hushed voices. Something warm, something soft.

"She's fine, few bumps and bruises, and a slight slash to her cheek, but otherwise just fine. You can take her home, but make sure she stays in bed for the next few days..." Voices drifted in and out.

"Yep, yep I reckon..."

"Kagome? Can you..."

"...one nasty fall."

"Geez, not so rough there..."

Laughter, "Well that's something I never would have thought..."

"Well we don't have to worry about..."

She felt light. Very light, like floating. Then swinging around, like a little child. Soon enough there was a new warm feeling brushing across her face. She sighed into the hand and then drifted back off to sleep.

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"Where's Inu?" Sango asked walking into her room at the ranch. Kagome was nestled into the huge feather comforter on Sango's master bed. A large mirror sat across from the bed. Rin sat in a stool nearby the bed painting a small landscape while Kagome rested. It had only been two days past the shocking event, and Kagome was still asleep. She didn't have any form of concussion, she fluttered open her eyes every once in a while, but then rolled back asleep. Guess she wasn't quite ready to face the world.

Rin swiftly dabbed on a few strokes of yellow-green and added some liquin to her oil paint.

"He hasn't been by." Sango pierced her lips together at that. Inuyasha had been all brave during the event, and practically snarled at anyone who tried to get even an inch closer to Kagome, but when Kagome was finally in bed at home, he hid away.

"What's his problem? He's been gone out fixing fences and who knows what else since the moment Kagome hit the pillows." At Sango's anger, Rin sighed.

"If he's anything like his brother, he's got a lot." She turned her back on the window and smiled at Sango who had her hands on her hips. "It's not every day the woman you are intimate with faces death. And Kagome has had some unfortunate events already in her life."

Kagome moved a little, but then to both of their dismay she sighed deep into her rem cycle.

A few hours later, while the hands had gathered around the dinner table, Kaede baked everyday the things Kagome liked best, so that when she awoke it would be like eating the best home cooked meal ever, like coming home.

Everyone was there this time. They had all joined for dinners, even Sesshoumaru and Rin. Everyone was waiting for the moment Kagome would wake again so they could make sure she was alright.

Inuyasha was skipping the meal again. Back to his old ways so quickly. No one had tried to speak with him since after the incident, they had never seen him so protective over anything when Kagome had been unconscious. A few had tried to approach him in the first day but Inuyasha glowered at them with a pure look of evil in his eyes and then sauntered off.

After dinner Sango could see Inuyasha walking towards the house through the window. Miroku was helping clean the dishes, a price paid for a free ass grab before dinner. He was striding closer to the house when he paused and looked up to what Sango could guess was her bedroom window. He turned quickly away and walked towards the road instead. Sango was confused when she saw the pack on his back. A small white satchel, she knew it had to be full of clothing.

"Miroku?" Sango whispered, "Where the hell is he going?" Miroku sauntered over in his pink, I love the chef, apron and looked out the window to where Sango was looking while drying a china plate.

He sighed and then wrapped his free arm around his woman, "He'll be back." And then walked back to the sink.

Kouga made a yelp from somewhere upstairs and came crashing down the stairs with Kohaku in tow. They both yelled, "Kagome's AWAKE!"

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Kagome's eyes opened slowly. They felt weak and swollen. She cringed when she pushed her right arm up to her face and then used her left to lever herself upwards in a sitting position. What the hell happened to me? It was Sango's room. I'm back at the ranch. She looked around, seeing the remnants of Rin's painting work by the window sill. It must be about dinner time, or later. Kagome finally took the courage and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She stood on her shaken legs and tried to stretch, feeling all the sore places.

She glanced out the window. Glad whatever had happened was over. She couldn't wait to hear how the heck they all escaped. Was Naruku still alive? Was Kikyo? I remember a chair and a rope, and a warm feeling. Kagome wrapped her arms around her waist feeling a little bit sick. She leaned on the window sill and looked out across the land where the sun had just set, leaving a beautiful dark blue with a golden stripe beneath it...and then she saw something else. She saw Inuyasha...standing there.

He was looking right at her, with something perched on his back.

She grinned and waved frantically back at him.

Why isn't he moving. Sure he saw me right?

Kagome slightly tapped on the window, maybe he didn't see her? But Inuyasha saw her. And he turned on his heal and walked the other direction.

WHAT?

Where the hell are you going? But Inuyasha ignored her silent thoughts and kept walking towards the rigs. He slung a bag in the seat next to his and hopped on in behind the wheel. The truck roared to life in the still night. Kagome felt the pounding of the blood through her head.

"Kagome?!" Kohaku stood in the doorway with a plate of food. It was all mushed up to force into her mouth so she would take it. The plate dropped and Kouga ran up next to him with a toothbrush halfway poised in his mouth, it was left dangling as both their jaws dropped down. They both yelled with happiness and stumbled to tell the news first downstairs. Leaving poor Kagome to stare out into the distance where Inuyasha had gone in confusion.

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"Wait, so was that before or after Miroku stole the red amnesia vial?" Kagome tried to picture the events in her head. Sango and Rin as well as Miroku were in the room. Once everyone had calmed down enough, Kaede shoved past all the happy faces with a warm cooked meal. She made everyone except the two girls leave, and then Miroku snuck back in when the coast was clear.

"After."

"Okay so. You guys followed after me and parked up at the main house."

"Right, after Kohaku handed us the keys we all figured something was off. You hadn't been gone too long and Inuyasha took off towards the truck when he got back from the judges tent."

"So what did the judges say?" Kagome asked, slightly filling her mouth and looking away when she heard his name.

"It was a falsehood, and the judges admitted it to being a guy named Naraku who tipped them off." Kagome swore under her breath at Sango's explanation, "But once we got here, we saw the shack was in terrible condition, even worse then I remembered. We snuck underneath the floorboards."

"I know, I saw little flashes of white and black, here and there. I can't believe you didn't' get caught." Kagome munched on a carrot stick looking at Sango from her resting spot on the bed.

"We're aware. However, the brilliant scheme to get you rescued was my own. We had to stop Inuyasha from tearing in there through the floorboards a few time." Kagome looked away again and it was noticed by Rin this time. She frowned and Sango continued on, "Well Inuyasha went in as you know and pretended to be in league with bitch face, who we figured was in on it anyway. We figured Kikyo would be so excited to see him and pretending to be on her side that it would take a few minutes for her to truly react."

Kagome snorted at that.

"While Inuyasha was distracting the rest of them, Miroku, Sesshoumaru and myself figured out that the whole shack was being held by two poles. So, Inuyasha walked behind you at one point and pulled the rope up to tye it on your chair. The rest of the ropes we tied around the two poles beneath and figured them up to the rig. When Inuyasha was ready for the perfect moment he called for Sess and the rig roared to life... backwards."

"Christ you guys." Rin said with shock, "That was a tad risky."

"Well it worked like a charm. Inuyasha grabbed onto Kagome and hopped them both through the big opening, the rope stayed taught and Kikyo and Naraku went over with the rest of the shack."

"What happened to them?" Kagome asked.

Miroku came over to sit near Sango who looked a little weary eyed at his approach and he replied, "Well funny thing is Kikyo survived. She landed on a edge over the side of the mountain a good twenty feet down. Broke her wrist and a few ribs, but the best part was it was exactly where we threw that red vial over the edge and landed."

Sango joined in after, "So she's in the hospital now and has no idea what has happened since last April." Kagome's eyes were wide.

"Bitch deserved it." Miroku retorted, "and we pulled you and Inuyasha up with the rope which was tied to a nearby tree. Scared the living daylights out of us when we noticed, you were out cold."

"I'm grateful to you all for saving my life." Kagome whispered. She set the tray of leftover food to her right by the bedside table and then turned her face out towards the window. They all could see the look of despair on her face. She hadn't once mentioned Inuyasha since she woke up. Miroku and Rin took the hint and started to shuffle out the door. Sango stayed behind.

"Kagome why haven't you asked about Inuyasha?"

"Is there something to ask about?" She tried to cover her wavering voice, "Or do you mean why wasn't he here with me when I woke up? Or how he hasn't come to see me since I've woken. Or how he left me." She gripped the covers harder. "I love him."

"I don't know what's going through that stupid idiot's..."

"I saw him leave Sango." She whispered achingly, "He even looked up at my window and saw me. He saw me and still turned to leave. I don't understand, what the hell happened? Why is he doing this now? You know I was planning on staying after the summer...but now I just..."

Sango grabbed her friends arms and had Kagome face plant in the comforter. When she gathered Kagome's head to lay in her lap to stroke her hair, Kagome finally started to cry.

"He'll be back Kags. He will."

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Inuyasha had done this once before, that's what they told her. He came back though within a week. It might have been a goodbye to that bitch, a final goodbye, ya know? Inuyasha does this all the time, sure. He'll be back. But it had been three days past when Kagome finally stopped crying for something she didn't understand.

Four days and she stopped dialing his cell phone number. Until they found his cell phone, off, up in his barn penthouse unused since the day he left. Kagome had meetings here and there with the police officers finishing up any reports and witness statements that needed to be done. She did it with an empty heart. On the fifth day, she stopped sleeping in Inuyasha's bed. If the hands and friends noticed, they didn't say anything, or at least didn't mention anything to Kagome. The sixth day came and she realized he really wasn't coming back. The next day would be a week, and sure he'd be coming back right? Right? Right.

And so on the following Monday Kagome started looking at airplane tickets home.

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"There all set." Kagome zipped close her last suitcase, "I don't remember having so much stuff." She plopped down on the bed with a sigh. She had moved back into her old ranch room after she left Inuyasha's. Sango popped in and shooed away Jakotsu who had been trying for the last hour to sneak Kagome's belongings back into drawers while she wasn't looking. Making it, of course, impossible to finish packing.

"So." Sango said, "What can I do to change your mind?"

Kagome smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes, "It's time I go back Sango. Some things just aren't meant to be."

Sango sighed and handed her a soda can, they both popped the tabs open and drank. It was dusk and Kagome wanted to spend her last few hours as happy as she possibly could. She had spent all day with the horses, riding, and getting in those last sneaky treats to the ponies. Sesshoumaru dragged away a bawling Rin who acted like a three year old when she saw Kagome drag out the suitcase.

Kohaku wouldn't talk to her, Kouga only would pierce his lips when he saw her. Kagome finally grabbed Bankotsu around the waist as a goodbye. He refused to come near her, Rin said goodbyes were especially hard on him.

"Let's go to the swimming hole one last time." Kagome said. The two of them called up Rin and grabbed three mares before heading out one last time for a fun swim in the moonlight. At least they could send her off with a smile.

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Inuyasha pulled up to the ranch slowly. He turned off the engine and grabbed the keys out of the ignition. He patted his pocket for about the millionth time that day, making sure what had taken so long to get was still there. It had been twelve days. The longest he had ever been away, and it was the hardest time he had ever been away. The place he usually escaped too was to where the only woman on earth could nurse his heart back to health. He had traveled there many times and each time Inuyasha's grandmother held her arms opened wide, until she smacked him over the head and asked what he did that time. His grandmother had been such a nuisance. She asked too many questions. Too many questions.

Inuyasha started to reach for his satchel when he saw Sango standed just beyond the hood tapping her foot and the angriest look on her fast he had ever seen before. Inuyasha felt his balls shrink back towards his body in fear. Ut oh.

He smiled at her real big and goofy. She was dumbfounded and shocked with the gal of that face.

"What the fuc..." She started but Inuyasha beat her to the punch as he stepped out towards her. He caught her fist before it could go anywhere.

"Sango, later you can pummel me, where is she?" Sango sighed and pointed towards the road.

"She's gone." Sango shrugged at his stunned look.

"WHAT?" All his plans went out the window, he was too late.

"Well...she would have been gone... but Jakotsu tied her up, for the third time. She was supposed to be flown out of town two days ago, but each time she managed to change her flight, and each time Jakotsu or Kouga find some way to keep her back and boy is she mad."

Inuyasha smirked and promised himself to thank his friends later.

"Sango." He started, "I love her." He squeezed her arm before running off towards the house.

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"LET ME GO YOU JACKASS. YOU NO GOOD PUNK ASS BITCHES BETTER RUN WHEN I GET A HOLD OF YOU." Kagome yelled. They had tied her up in Inuyasha's apartment this morning when she had tried to sneak out of the house at dawn. The first time she had been tied up in Sango's room, but she carried on so much that Kaede complained. They finally let her go and went back to the same negative silence, until the second time they tried it. Finally Kagome told them she was staying, and then planned to leave the house in secret the following morning. The airline tickets were getting ridiculously expensive.

But they caught her leaving and she swore the entire time they dragged her over to Inuyasha's apartment which made her kick and scream even harder when they saw where they were heading.

Now that was where she was. No word from anyone in the past 2 hours. They left the tv on so she could watch...the weather channel.

Kagome heard footsteps creaking up the stairs and quickly took her anger down a notch.

"It's sunny with a high temperature of 88 degrees today, the low is a 71 with a light wind draft of 8 miles per hour. As it has been for the last 2 fucking hours!" She could only look to her left and right and out the window in front of her but couldn't and wouldn't look behind herself.

"And how's the storm brewing?

Kagome froze. She would never, ever, ever forget that voice. She clenched her fists tightly hoping it wasn't a dream. She wouldn't have a dream so messed up right?

Inuyasha walked around to face her. He started to untie her bonds holding her wrists to the arms of the chair and her legs to the shins of the chair. He didn't look up at her at first. She hadn't spoken a word. Her wrists were a little red and sore from the ropes and pulling against them. Twice in the last two instances Inuyasha was rescuing her.

"I don't need your help." She whispered finally. Inuyasha ignored that and continued to untie the legs now.

"No?"

"N..no." Kagome cursed her own voice in her head. She wished she sounded stronger.

Inuyasha just 'hmmed' and continued on. He had her last tied part in his hand. He rubbed his thumb across the red burn mark where the rope was. She still had her fist clenched but he spread her palm open so easily. Kagome couldn't fight him, he was absolutely her weakness.

"I heard someone say you were thinking about leaving." His voice was very low, and sounded too calm. Kagome closed her eyes as he pressed his lips to the same red mark. She held back the sob that she felt ready to escape and instead felt a tear leak out of the corner of her eyes and it slipped down her cheek. She was free and unattached from the chair but unable to move. Her heart felt too heavy.

"I was...am." She took a deep breath and waited. She finally opened her eyes and saw him looking right back at her. Mer inches away from her gaze. "I should have gone already." She let one sob escaped and cursed herself, "There's nothing left to bind me here...Inuyasha."

"Then I'm coming with you." He didn't look like he was joking.

Kagome finally let out a hysterical short laugh which he didn't like. "Now you want to come with me? Why now? When you were so adamant to get away from me twelve days ago?"

She looked up at the ceiling trying not to cry, she promised she had been done with crying days ago.

"I can and I will bind you." Inuyasha said, determined to get through to her. He started to reach beyond his hip into his pants pocket. Kagome just looked on blankly.

"Oh and how do you think you will accomplish that?" She didn't care anymore. She had to get out of there otherwise she would never be able to leave.

"Like this." He held out the red velvet box. It was open and it was shining, and it was glorious. Kagome gasped at what she saw inside. Another tear leaked out the corner of her eye. Inuyasha smirked. He took the ring out of the box. It was silver and blue gem to match, a perfect match, he knew, for her eyes. "Kagome, I didn't leave you, and I never will. I know I should have said something before I left, but I went to get this." He balanced it in between his two fingers, "And my grandmother had too many questions about you to answer in one day. The old hag made me go through trials in order to get this thing." He showed her some of the cut and bruises on his one arm as proof of what he indeed was forced to go through to show his love. Inuyasha took her hand delicately in his own and she started to cry when he placed in on her ring finger. He knew that one day he would place this ring on the woman he loved, and somehow it was the perfect size.

But she didn't care about the ring. All Kagome wanted was the man in front of her right here and right now. Kagome launched herself out of the chair and into Inuyasha who almost toppled over backwards. Inuyasha picked her up gracefully in his arms with a 'feh' and smiled softly at the tears streaming down his now fiance's face. He silently kissed her fallen tear trails and swiftly strode towards the bed. "I am so entirely and completely in love with you."

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Later on that night as Sango was sitting on the porch swing, trying to avoid Miroku's wandering hands. They looked over at the barn house where the lights had turned out in the evening shadows. Sango held a wine glass with a slim stem in one hand and Miroku's hand in her other, resting on her lap. Her head was tilted on his shoulder as he hummed some silly song she had never heard before.

"Who do you think will get married first, them or us?" Miroku asked as if it was a normal question. Sango lifted her head slowly and stared at him.

"Assuming that I'm going to marry you, you mean?" She stood off the porch swing and pretended to stretch. Miroku looked longingly at her, annoyed that she thought she wasn't going to marry him. But then Sango turned around and smirked at him. He leapt off the swing quickly. But not quickly enough, Sango ran through the door and into the house. He laughed and ran after her upstairs. Giggling could be heard throughout the house. But soon after it was silent.

Sango looked up at Miroku, who was spreading a sheet over both their nude bodies. She hooked an arm around his neck and invited him into her mouth with her tongue. Sango let slip a louder moan then she meant to when Miroku responded back with pleasure with his mouth. He reached the navel of her stomach and danced around with his mouth. When she released another one she received a few knocks on the wall adjacent to the room telling them they'd better keep it down or Kohaku was going to murder his older sister for this torture. Sango blushed a deep deep deep red which made Miroku laugh.

"Once we're married, he's moving down with the rest of the hands." Miroku said loud enough that Kohaku knocked back.

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Kagome had been staring at Inuyasha's sleeping face for the past twenty minutes. He had never so slowly and so passionately made love to her before. It made her ache in places she never knew about, and her heart had yearned for that ending connection. She wanted to tell him a thousand times over how much she loved him.

She whispered playing with a strand of hair, "You didn't need a ring to bind me. You bound my heart and soul to you the day I saw you in the ring." She remembered that first day on the ranch, the day that she would meet the rest of her life. Kagome knew there was no other place for her in her heart, and knew it was with Inuyasha, here, at the ranch where she met him. Kagome trailed her finger down the side of his face gently like a feather. Inuyasha suddenly smirked and grabbed her wandering hand. Kagome smiled.

"I thought you were sleeping." She whispered and leaned up on one elbow to look down at him.

"I was saving up on some energy." He smirked and opened his eyes, "You know, for that plane ride we'll be taking tomorrow. And of course for what comes later on." He wiggled his eyebrows pervertedly.

Kagome laughed and was pushed back against the soft pillows behind her head. She stared up at Inuyasha who was now looking down at his future bride and the love of his life, "Inuyasha, we're not going anywhere." He smirked like he already knew that.

"And what comes next?" She whispered. He leaned down a little further until they could feel each others breath on their lips. His lips were oh so close, and Kagome couldn't wait for what came next.

"Happily ever after." And he closed the distance between them.