The new King and Queen of the Eastern Kingdom returned to a weary population five days after their union.
As was expected, things did not go smoothly at all times. Much of the nobility was loyal to Naraku and did not view ruler-ship by a half-demon as acceptable. But Inuyasha had the support of the samurai and warriors who had seen him defeat Naraku and sworn loyalty to him. It didn't take much for the rest of the kingdoms warriors to swear him fealty. With such a strong support in military force, the nobility was wise enough not to move against him.
They weren't left completely on their own to reform the kingdom. Sesshoumaru had sent a now married Miroku and Sango with them to help with the re-structuring and re-stabilisation of the kingdom.
"If they are required, the slayer and monk are free to remain with you, Inuyasha," Sesshoumaru had said during their farewells. "I have no need of a holy man, and the slayer boy has proven he is more than ready to take his onee-san place as a demon slayer."
Sango had frowned in concern from where she held her horse's reins by Kagome. Her gaze was full of worry as she looked to where her brother, fully healed, stood beside the queen, Kagura. He had been made her personal bodyguard. Kagome had leaned down and placed a comforting hand on her friends shoulder, her shoulders almost immediately relaxing from the touch.
In the end Sango and Miroku chose to stay where they were needed most. After seeing the state of the kingdom they knew it was Inuyasha who needed them.
The citizens were distrustful of their new king. They had had enough of hanyou kings. Miroku knew from the conversations he had with the capital's people that the backing of a holy man would greatly improve his chances at proving himself instead or writing him off completely.
Rogue demons, sensing weakness in the kingdom and attracted to the scent of death and despair, had also begun crossing the border. They terrorized towns and villages unhindered by those soldiers that had remained after Naraku took his entourage to the Western Lands. Sango couldn't leave knowing innocent people were being harmed. Inuyasha immediately put her in charge of an elite group of her own choosing and she was often out for days on end heading campaigns to drive them out.
Kagome and Inuyasha's marriage for the most part was a happy one, though it did have its fair share of arguments and disagreements. Often Inuyasha would find himself locked out of their room after a particularly heated argument and would spend those nights in a spare room in a cold futon. After forcing his way in the first time this happened and consequently being purified, Inuyasha had learned to let Kagome calm down before approaching her to make up. But when they did make up, it was always worth the wait.
It had been a surprise to realise Kagome had retained her powers after their joining, but then she was Kikyou's daughter. If her mother had not lost her gift, then why should she?
Kaede was sent for to train her shortly after this development was realised. The shrine that had stood empty and dilapidated since Kikyou's death was fixed up and Kaede moved in. Soon children were being sent to her for training from villages all over the kingdom. Though her own gifts had left her long ago, Kaede took to the role of teacher quickly, instructing the girl students in the way of the Shinto miko and doing her best for the boys until a more suitable teacher could be found.
After a year of marriage, those rulers of the kingdoms who had been part of the treaty talks were invited to see what kind of ruler Inuyasha was. It was stressful around the castle as things moved toward the day entourages were expected to arrive. This was a chance for any who were interested in acquiring his territory to check for weakness.
Kouga was the first to arrive with his entourage of wolves and warriors. There was a moment of tension during the initial greeting and welcome as Inuyasha and Kouga eyed one another. Kouga was the one most likely to challenge him as a former rival for Kagome.
"I welcome you into my territory, Kouga, King of the Wolves," said Inuyasha in greeting, his eyes guarded and body angled slightly in front of Kagome. "Accommodations have been prepared for you and your men; I hope you find them suitable. I only ask that your wolves stay to the forests. My human subjects are nervous of them."
Kouga's gaze was hooded. He seemed to consider his response carefully while his eyes strayed to where Kagome stood with what she hopped was a polite and welcoming smile on her face. After a year living with Inuyasha, she thought she understood his past behaviour better. But that didn't mean she was comfortable with it. She tensed only slightly as his eyes traveled over her, but after what appeared only to be a cursory inspection, he returned his attention to Inuyasha.
"Thank you Inuyasha, King of the Eastern Lands. I'm sure all will be satisfactory." He'd then turned to his wolves and much like she'd seen him do a year ago, ordered them from the castle courtyard.
He didn't show anymore interest in her after that, but Inuyasha hadn't been convinced and continued to insist Sango be with her at all times if he was not there to protect her. It was a compromise that Kagome finally agreed to, much like many of their fights and disagreements ended up being.
As the years began to pass, their kingdom prospered and the King and Queen became content and secure in their connection to one another. The blossoming love they shared only grew as they entered into their time of happily ever after.
A/N: Thank you to all my readers and for all the lovely and helpful reviews I've received over the course of writing this story. I'm very glad you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it. There have been requests for a sequel, but I hope this epilogue cancels the need for that. I never planned to write a sequel when I started this, and though it's awesome that you'd want one, I still don't plan to.
Thank you to my beta's, Midoriko-sama and Numisma 3
Comments and criticisms are welcome as always! There's always room for improvement!