Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . whatever.

Author's notes: Few things.

One: Firstly, I need to comment on an earlier statement made in which someone kindly pointed out that Ayame is not a manga character and should therefore not be included in this story. They also proceeded to ask whether or not I realized this. To this I reply: Yes, I knew- but I prefer using characters people know about rather than OCs, if at all possible. And even though Ayame is only an anime character, Inu-Yasha fans know who she is.

Two: Someone else asked if I have IM or AIM or whatnot. Sorry, but no. I have no instant messaging services of any kind, and even if I did I would never be on due to lack of free time. (sweat drop) However, I do belong to the Beautiful Dreamer forum, if anyone's interested in checking it out. Please join! Oh- and you can e-mail me whenever you wish. (Just PLEASE stop sending me those God-awful forwards. Thank you!)

Three: I am absolutely appalled at the lack of faith you people have in me. Seriously- WHEN have I ever even HINTED that I support Kouga/Kagome? Never! Because I DON'T. Geez! Do you know how many stern e-mails and reviews I got from people chewing me up over how they hate K/Kag and would hate me forever if I continued to peruse "the direction of your fic"? "Isn't it a Inu/Kag story?" YES! "Why are you making Kouga flirt with Kagome?" BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT KOUGA DOES! "PS. Chrono Crusade is stupid!" NO IT IS NOT, DAMMIT! LEAVE MY CHRONO-BABY ALONE!

This IS a Kagome/Inu-Yasha story, people- I swear to you. Heck- Kouga is MARRIED! He's married to Ayame! So nothing all that terrible is going to happen, I promise! And I repeat- stop insulting Chrono Crusade! If you don't like it, that's fine- but I do and I will write for that fandom when I want to; just as I will write for the Inu-Yasha fandom when I want to. (And I know I'm being unfair by saying this to all of you, because most of you are wonderfully supportive and I love you for it- it's really just a few very persistent bakas. . .)

Anyway, a couple of people were questioning how Kagome knew Kouga. They were friends in High School. And Ayame liked Kouga and was jealous of Kagome so she tried to flirt with Inu-Yasha to make Kouga jealous, which resulted in the whole dramatic plot line of H:AHR. Kouga is now (obviously) an actor, too. And though Kagome has not seen him since High School, she knows this- she even asked for him to play costar instead of Inu-Yasha at the beginning to H:AHR.

I admit, this all hasn't been said straight out right in the story yet, but it was sort of implied. (Then again, I'm sure none of you have re-read H:AHR for a while, ne? ;))

Well, now that I'm done with all my ranting and raving and bitching and stuff, let's move on, shall we? XD

By the way- I'm so happy (most) of you enjoyed the crossovers last chapter! I had fun throwing them in. . . and be on the look out! Some of those characters might reappear later in the story. . . mwahahahaha. . . ;)

Headlines: A Hollywood Engagement

-Chapter Three: The Problem With Bubble Gum -

"A-a-anyway, Mr. Inu-Yasha, sir, I- I'm ever so sorry! Please forgive my outbursts and attacks! I- I don't know what came over me!"

"Uh huh. . ."

"I- I was just so angry at my darling Kyo- and you remind me so much of him that I-! Well, I just wanted to show how much I loved you!"

"I see. . ."

"So, so please- I'm begging!- please find it in your heart to. . . to one day forgive me?"

"Yeah, sure. . ." Inu-Yasha sighed, only gracing the girl with half of his attention; coiling the phone cord dully around his finger. His bandaged forehead gave a horrible throb. ". . . Maybe. Now, I think your fifteen minutes are almost over- Miss Sohma, wasn't it?"

"Yes, but call me Kagura!" the sweet voice crackled on the other end of the line- a voice so childlike that no one in their right mind would ever assume that this kid was a monster in disguise. But if her behaviors at the movie opening were any indicator, than she was more or less the bull that attacked the china shop. . . (At least, that's how he thought the saying went.) "And. . .um . . . if it's not too much trouble, could you please contact my parents for me? I was only allowed one phone call. . ."

The star felt his face fall flat in exasperation. ". . . I'll have my manager do something."

"Oh, thank you! Thank you so- oi! Get your hands off of me, you police scum bag! My time is NOT up; I still have nine seconds! Hey, give me back the ph-!"


Inu stared blankly at the now silent receiver he held in his hands before rolling his eyes. 'Idiot. . .' he couldn't help but muse flatly, making a mental note to call Miroku and make him deal with the fool. 'Couldn't have made that hell of an evening any worse if she tried. . .'

Sighing deeply as he unceremoniously dropped the phone (blissfully ignoring it when it clattered against the wooden floor), the actor ran his scrapped fingers through his hair; growling at all thoughts of the evening. Gr. . . that stupid, stupid wolf! And when he was sure he'd never have to see him again, too. . .

Snarling, Inu-Yasha allowed himself to flop into an armchair, glancing towards the slumbering Kagome. She snored softly under his gaze, rolling over on the loveseat- a bit of drool hanging from her mouth.


With a snort of mild amusement, the hanyou slid off of his seat and crouched beside his fiancée, pushing a strand of her dark hair behind her ears. 'Stupid wench. . .' She had certainly made herself at home in his apartment. . . taking over his closets, adding corny romance movies to his DVD collection. . .

. . . drooling on his couch. . .

But surprisingly, Inu-Yasha found he didn't really care. It was sort of cute the way she had so thoroughly purged the place upon moving in. . . annoying, but cute.

Not that he'd ever tell her that. No need to encourage her.

Still. . . it was nice to have someone there.

Upon realization that he was smiling, Inu frowned. 'Let's not get overly emotional about this,' he mused dryly, blowing out his cheeks and sitting on the ground by Kagome's head. Gazing down at the hand he had used to fix her onyx tresses, he growled again.

He had just indirectly touched Kouga, after all.

For the first time in years, he seriously considered trying the cootie-shot rhyme.

Shaking his head after coming to his senses, the hanyou tried to remember what had happened at the premiere. But for some reason it was coming back to him really slowly. . . one moment his Kag had been caught in mid-air by the canine bastard, the next- he had awoken in his living room beside her fretting fiancée. What had happened in between?

Screwing up his face, Inu-Yasha tried to concentrate. Which, as anyone he was even slightly close to knew, was quite a feat. 'Let's see. . . he caught her. . . and I started screaming at him. . .'

The hazy fuzz around his memories sharpened a bit.

'And then- well, I dunno, he said something really stupid. . . of course, everything that asshole says is stupid. . .' he chortled a bit. 'Um. . . oh! Wait, it's coming to me. . . that Kagura girl. . . yeah, she attacked me from behind again. . . which made me fall on top of Kouga. . . which made him mad. . .

So he put down Kagome and we started to fight. . . and I was winning!

At least. . . until Miroku had those Bad Luck people whack both Kouga and I over the heads with their instruments. . . which I guess knocked us out, because the next thing I remember is waking up.'

He lazily opened his eyes, scratching his arm nonchalantly. 'Is that it, then?'

All that he could remember, anyway. Not that it mattered- they'd probably report on it the next morning. He'd just catch up on the news, then. And if it was that awful, or the stupid newspapers said that Kouga had beaten him down, he'd simply kill the editors. Yes, it was a perfect plan. Win-win situation, and all that jazz.

He nodded once to himself, as if confirming his decision.

Then, with a wide yawn, Inu-Yasha let his head fall upon his chest; drifting off into a light slumber at Kagome's side.


"Hold still!"


Ayame groaned in frustration, ripping off another strip of medical tape with her sharp teeth. "Kouga, you wuss, stop wiggling! The disinfectant doesn't hurt that much!"

"I know that!" the wolf retorted sourly, sitting cross-legged on the frilly canopy bed, holding the back of his noggin with a pained expression on his face. "It's the stupid bump I got from that Hiro brat's guitar! It stings! Talk about embarrassing. . ."

"Yeah," the woman agreed flatly, slapping a band-aid on her husband's forehead. ("Ow! Dammit, Ayame, can't you be a little gentler?" "No.") "Tell me about it. I was right there, with my friends, watching you brawl like a two year old with a co-worker!" She narrowed her bright green pools, huffing loudly. "Honestly! Can't you ever act your age?"

Kouga pouted. "Is that a trick question?"

She slapped him again.


"I'm being serious!" the police woman roared, though a hint of desperate whining was now detectable in her voice. "Do you know how much shit I had to go through to get those two together? A LOT of it! A city sewer's worth! So don't you go messing it up because of some stupid crush you had in high school." A few crocodile tears worked their way to the surface, trickling down Ayame's cheeks as she stuck out her trembling bottom lip. "Besides, Kouga-kun. . ." she added softly, batting her long lashes. "I thought you loved me. . . don't you?"

". . ." The black haired demon smirked slyly, grabbing the woman unexpectedly and pulling her into a headlock.

"Wha-? Kouga!"

"Mwahahaha!" he snickered loudly, teasingly scrubbing his knuckles against her crown. His grin only widened when she started struggling, complaining about her hairstyle being ruined. Kissing the back of her hand when she began fruitlessly attempting to bat him away, the youkai pulled her against him and nipped her nose.

A magenta blush blossomed instantly at the show of affection.

"Don't be thick," he reprimanded gently, smacking her lightly upside the head. "Of course I love you. Why would I have married you if I didn't?"

"Blackmail?" she suggested innocently, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"Hmm. . ." he paused suddenly, blinking in surprise. "Oh yeah. . . Maybe that was it. . ."


"I'm just kidding!" the man defended himself with a chuckle, expertly catching the fist she swung at him. "Geez! Loosen up. . . I'm not even interested in Kagome like that, anymore. As much as I hate that dog turd, I want her to be happy. But. . ." A devilish smile tugged on the corners of his mouth. "I've never been one to pass up a good time. . . and besides, I need to make sure that they're right for one another. That's what friends do, after all. . . and Kagome and I were very good friends in high school."

Ayame froze, tearing up again.

He shot her a flat look. "Not friends like that! God, woman, grow up and get your mind out of the gutter! This isn't funny anymore!"

She immediately turned her expression into a bright beam, winking. "I know that. I was just joking." Pecking her husband on the cheek, she leaned closer- whispering into his ear. "And yeah. . . they are so much fun to play with. . . aren't they?" With that, the pair burst into- what many would consider to be- maniacal laughter.

The neighbors locked the extra bolts on their doors, that night- just in case.


The problem with bubble gum was that it always stuck to its wrapper. Well, yeah, that was sort of obvious, what with gum generally being kind of sticky, but all the same Sango found it most annoying.

Frowning deeply as she tried to work the wax paper off her stubborn brick of Bubble Yum, the agent allowed her mind to wander a bit.

Now that she thought about it, bubble gum was a great metaphor for life. She wasn't sure exactly how yet, but she was positive that it had something to do with the way it was always so messy. So messy, and yet you could work with it and mold it to your liking. Sometimes it was harder to do than others, but to remedy that all you had to do was work your mouth a little more.

Kind of like the saying 'Life's a bitch- but I'm going to make it my bitch.'

Sniggering in breathy mirth at her own cleverness, the chestnut haired woman suddenly 'humped' in triumph; displaying her newly de-shelled piece of gum with a sense of pride. . .

Until Miroku sashayed over and took it from her hands, popping it into his mouth with a happy hum. "Mmm. . . gum. Thanks, darling!"

". . ." Sango shot him an icy stare so cold, it could have frosted hell over. The male froze- and that was the last thing he saw until late afternoon, when he awoke in the nurse's office.


She gave his limp form an extra kick for good measure.

Yes, gum was like life. But it was more like her boyfriend. Incredibly bubbly, very flexible, and uber sweet- great until he got in your hair. Then he was permanently stuck there until you took a scissors to him and chopped him out.

Nodding to herself as she took out her Bubble Yum pack once more, she started to rummage around for a new stick. . . when she paused, noticing the partially chewed piece in Miroku's open mouth.

She really didn't want to struggle with another wrapper again. . .

". . ." Casting a frantic look to her left and right, just to make sure no one else was around. . .

Sango deftly darted a hand towards him and snatched out the ABC gum, popping it into her own mouth and blowing a bubble. Hey, they were dating steadily- this was the most innocent of the things they could be doing.

Smirking to herself with a superior air, the cheerful agent was just about to go find her employer when a sudden noise caught her ear. The sound of a. . . whirling tornado. . . ?

Cocking her head in bewilderment, Sango turned towards the nearest window and peered out- and instantly found Kagome. Or, at least, Kagome in a 'rag-doll' state- who was now playing rope in the tug-of-war match Kouga and Inu-Yasha were holding in the parking lot.

Sighing, the woman turned to find an exit. 'Guess I gotta go save Kag-chan again. . .'

Life really was like gum, sometimes.




Hope you enjoyed! Please R&R! Ja ne!