By Lizzie Welling
Rated M/R for strong language and violence
AU InuYasha fan fiction
Disclaimer: Don't own InuYasha. Never have, never will. All other quoted songs, excerpts, etc. are cited and attributed to their respective owners.
A/N: Hi all! I apologize for the delay. Between moving, job hunting and getting sick, life's been a bitch. But hey, as a special treat I did do a one-shot for you all. 'The Assistant' is up and chalk-full of romance and humor.
So this is it! The final chapter! Without further ado, enjoy.
Shippo paused in confusion, glancing up at the heart monitor.
'I could have sworn... Nah, I'm imagining things. It didn't speed up. Just wishful thinking...'
Shippo went back to reading. Then, he heard it again. Tossing the book down, Shippo grabbed Souta's hand in his own.
"Souta? Souta, can you hear me?"
The heart monitor showed Souta's heart rate increase, as if responding to Shippo's voice.
Chapter 25: Epilogue
One year later...
"Where the hell is Kagome!" Ayame screeched frantically, pacing the luxury hotel suite in her pouffy, white dress.
Rin and Sango shrugged, sharing knowing glances as they suffered together in silence. Sango tugged on the hem of her annoying green dress, yet again. If she had known her fellow Slayer would turn into such a Bridezilla, Sango would have fled the country (Rin and Kagome quickly joining her) when the female ookami had begged them all to be her bridesmaids. The last five months had been plain, wedding-planning hell.
"I'm sure it's just something quick, probably a job she had to take care of for Kaede," Rin said soothingly.
"She's slaying a rouge on my wedding day? How dare that little bitch!" Ayame screamed, throwing the nearest object -- a heavy, breakable and expensive looking vase -- across the room.
"Hey, chill!" Sango barked. "It's not like we can control when they attack. You're lucky we all didn't get called in. Be thankful you didn't have to ruin your manicure today!"
Ayame paused her tantrum for a moment, considering this. "Oh, you're right. I'm sorry," she sighed, sinking down into a chair. "I'm just so damned nervous! I'm getting married today!"
"I'd be nervous, too, if I was marrying Kouga," Sango snickered.
"Hey! You're the idiot whose still dating the perverted monk. What's that say about you?" Ayame snapped.
"Why you--" Sango growled, lunging for the bride.
"Girls!" Rin squeaked, throwing herself between the two. "Stop it! Don't make me go get Sesshomaru in here!"
Ayame and Sango immediately sprang away, sitting on opposite sides of the room.
"Now Ayame, apologize to Sango. You know that was a mean thing to say. Miroku is a very good man, and cares for Sango very much. You know how wonderful he's been to her, especially through everything," Rin demanded, folding her arms and arching her brow, eerily reminiscent of Sesshomaru.
Ayame gulped. 'Innocent little Rin's been spending waaay too much time with the Ice King. She's starting to freak me out.'
"I'm sorry, Sango. I'm being a total bitch. Please ignore whatever comes out of my mouth from now until I say 'I do.'"
Sango rolled her eyes. "I'll try."
A knock on the door interrupted them. Miroku poked his head inside, smiling jovially.
"Don't you ladies look lovely! And Ayame, Kouga will be simply breathless at the sight of you!"
Ayame and Rin giggled. Sango stood up and rolled her eyes, crossing over to the monk. She fixed his tie and smoothed down the lapels of his tux. "You look very handsome, too. Now why are you here?"
"You haven't by chance seen InuYasha recently, have you?"
"No, why would we--Oh!" Sango's eyes widened. She shoved Miroku out the door. "I'll be back in 15! Miroku needs my help with something!" she called over her shoulder, quickly slamming the door in the confused bride's face.
"Now why did you do that, my dear Sango?" Miroku asked carefully, slipping an arm around his girlfriend's waist.
"Did InuYasha get called away on a mission?"
"No?" Miroku answered, confused.
"Didn't think so. Neither did Kagome. Come on, Houshi. It's up to us to find the MIA maid-of-honor and groomsman," Sango huffed irritably. "Better start checking every spare suite and janitor's closet. Those two have been sneaking off to have sex every spare moment they get."
"Ah," Miroku laughed at Sango. "Could we perhaps spend a little quality time of our own in one such suite?"
"Miroku!" Sango cried, smacking his arm and blushing. Sango had come a long way in how she reacted to Miroku's innuendo. Promises of painful deaths or threats of bodily harm were far and few between nowadays.
"I know, I know," the monk sighed. "We won't have adequate time until after the ceremony."
"InuYasha!" Kagome groaned.
"Yeah, baby?" he answered back in a low, sexy voice.
"I'm going to kill your stupid ass, and Ayame will gladly help me."
InuYasha looked up from the mirror, where he was focusing on re-doing his tie.
'Fucking monkey suit. I hate these damn things.'
"How do ya figure that?"
"I can't cover up all these friggin' hickeys! They'll definitely be visible in the wedding photos, which I'm sure Ayame will just love," Kagome growled, taking her compact and patting the powder furiously around her neck. "What the hell's wrong with you?"
InuYasha flashed a feral grin. "I'm an animal, baby."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "Kami above."
"Oh, come on, you couldn't help yourself either. You wanted a piece of the Yash-man."
Kagome glanced incredulously at him in the mirror. "You're seriously going to brag to me about your sexual prowess, right now?"
InuYasha's ears drooped slightly. "But I thought you--"
Kagome's cheeks pinked. "I did."
InuYasha grinned smugly. "Then why the hell are you so pissy?"
"Hickeys, InuYasha! At a wedding, with photos! I know you're all about marking what's yours, but this time you went a little too far! Hickeys at a wedding make me look trashy."
"Says who?" InuYasha growled defensively.
Kagome sighed, waving her boyfriend and partner away. "Nevermind. Go find Souta and Shippo and make sure they're ready to go. I've gotta see what I can do about these damn things."
InuYasha growled irritably and flung open the bathroom door, storming right into Miroku and Sango.
"Oh-ho! Look who I found!" Miroku cheered, wiggling his eyebrows lecherously.
"Great," Sango said, relieved. "Kagome in there?"
"Yep, she's all yours," InuYasha growled, storming off down the hallway.
"Ooookay," Sango let out a breath, watching the hanyou's back in confusion. "You get InuYasha where he's supposed to be and I'll check on Kagome."
"Yes, dear," Miroku sighed.
"Arigato," Sango smiled, kissing the monk on the cheek.
"Kags?" Sango called, stepping into the bathroom and shutting the door securely behind her. She spotted the miko furiously applying makeup around her neck. The Slayer released a chuckle. "Kags, just leave your hair down. It'll cover the worst of it. The makeup hides the rest. You can't even tell."
"I know," Kagome sighed, slipping the compact back in her purse and fluffing her hair so it fell perfectly over her shoulders and around her neck. "He just pisses me off sometimes."
"Amen to that."
"So where's Bridezilla?"
"Freaking out about where you are. Rin and I covered for you. Made up some story about you being on a quick mission."
"Haha, quick," Kagome snorted.
"Ew, I don't want to know what you and dog-boy do. Just please come back and help calm the wild she-beast? I'm very close to bitch-slapping her. Ayame and I were close to a girlfight earlier. Rin threatened us with the Ice King," Sango whined.
Kagome laughed. "Wow, it really did get bad when I left. I was only gone an hour."
"Ayame gets exponentially bitchier every minute. You know how unbearable this whole wedding thing has made her."
Kagome winced in sympathy, slinging a comforting arm around Sango as they made their way back to the bridal suite. "Gomen-nasi. When I get married, I'll just elope. Avoid all the drama. You can just drop in to be the witness, if you want."
Sango giggled. "Thank kami. No offense, but I'm never doing this bridesmaid shit ever again."
"Hate to break it to you, but the way Ice King's been eyeing up Rin lately, I think we'll be roped in again. And soon."
Sango turned pale. "Oh, hell no."
"Yo squirts!" InuYasha thundered.
"Yeah, InuYasha?" Souta looked up from his post. He had been roped into being an usher. The poor kid was fiddling with his tie, utterly bored.
"Good, you're where you're supposed to be. Where's Shippo?"
Souta tiredly pointed to the back of the hall, where the kit was amusing himself with fox tricks.
InuYasha nodded, looking back at Souta with concern. "You OK, kid?"
Souta smiled. "Just a little tired."
InuYasha put his arm around the boy and led him to one of the rows of chairs. "Sit. We've got a little while before this thing starts. You should rest. Kagome said not to push yourself. You've only been off bed-rest for two weeks now."
Souta had slowly recovered from the coma. It took many months of rehabilitation, physical therapy and doctor's visits, as well as the unconditional love and dedication from Kagome (InuYasha at her side) to help him recover. Souta was much better, but the damage done had weakened him long-term, perhaps for life.
"With the other girls. You know how women are before big events. Take friggin' forever to get ready."
InuYasha gave him a conspiratorial wink. Souta chuckled.
"InuYasha! There you are. Why did you not slow down when I called?" Miroku asked, sliding next to them into a seat, slightly out of breath.
"Because you're annoying?"
"You wound me. I was merely trying to help."
InuYasha snorted. "Keh."
The ceremony was beautiful. Kagome wasn't one who easily shed tears, but watching Ayame and Kouga exchanging their vows, looking so happy and in love... She had to keep dabbing at the corner of her eyes. Every so often, she'd catch InuYasha's concerned gaze. She'd just smile and shake her head.
When the ceremony was over and they were all happily (and relieved to be) at the reception, Kagome went to check on Souta and Shippo. Both boys insisted they were fine, despite Souta's obvious fatigue.
"Are you sure you don't want to go home and rest? I can take you. Ayame won't mind," Kagome pleaded gently.
"Kagome-neechan, I'll be fine. I'll sit here the entire night. I won't do anything but eat. Promise," Souta said, eyes twinkling.
"OK, kiddo," the miko smiled, ruffling his hair and kissing him on his forehead.
Once she reached her seat, InuYasha pulled her into his lap. "Everything OK, wench? You were crying earlier, and now you look worried."
Kagome wrapped her arms around his shoulders, laughing. "I was crying happy tears earlier, dog-boy. It's a female thing. And I was just a little worried about Souta overexerting himself, like I always am."
"Keh, give the kid a break. I'll keep an eye on him," InuYasha replied gruffly, kissing her hair.
"You always do. I love you, dog-boy."
"Love you, too," he whispered. "Now, you wanna dance?"
Kagome smiled, slipping her hand into his as he lead her onto the floor. The miko laid her head against his chest, letting him slowly twirl them around. She watched her friends -- no, these people had become her family. Kouga had his hands inappropriately glued to Ayame's backside, dancing in the center of the floor, oblivious to the scandalized glances of their entire wedding reception. Sesshomaru was skillfully waltzing Rin across the room, her delighted squeals of laughter making Kagome smile wider.
The miko spotted Sango slow dancing with Miroku off to the side, his hands respectably on the Slayer's hips. Sango was glancing up at Miroku, rolling her eyes at something he had just said. But the smile on her face, and the life in her eyes -- Kagome said a quick prayer to the kami for Miroku. It was he who had brought Sango back from the brink of depression, self-recrimination and guilt. While she still had some healing to do and the death of Kohaku would always be with her, Sango smiled more now, laughed more and was learning to live again.
Kagome squeezed InuYasha to her tightly, burrowing herself into his warmth. He rested his chin atop her head, and they enjoyed the peace and the chance to simply be together.
A few hours later, the guests crowded around the entrance near a parked limousine, bidding goodbye to the newlyweds.
"Have fun!" Kagome said, hugging Ayame and Kouga. "Don't get up to any trouble in Figi!"
Ayame exchanged quick hugs with Rin and Sango, while Kouga shook hands with his fellow Hunters, before the two climbed into the limo. Everyone waved until the car drove out of sight.
"Thank kami it's over," Rin sighed, sagging in relief against Sesshomaru.
Everyone looked in surprise at the smallest Slayer.
"What?" she asked, arching an eyebrow. "I was just saying what everyone was thinking."
Everyone started to chuckle and laugh.
"Well boys, time to get you two home," Kagome said, arms around the tired boys. It has been a long day and night. The group exchanged quick goodbyes and went their separate ways. Just as Kagome, InuYasha and the boys reached InuYasha's car, a beeping noise went off.
Kagome pulled out her walkie. "Angel here."
"You're going to have to send the boys back with toad-man. Kaede's got us an assignment," Rin's voice crackled merrily over the speaker.
"Already?" InuYasha asked.
"Yup, some stupid rouge downtown, terrorizing the masses."
Kagome shared a grin with InuYasha. "Sounds like we're back in business."
"You betcha, baby," he grinned, flashing his canines.
Special Thanks to reviewers: SilverStarWing, TiffanyM, InuGoddess715, DesMM, cupcakemonster95, bearsammi2011, kyonkichi-luver, Ledophole, Esha Napoleon, and Deity of Destruction.
A/N: And that's the end folks! *tear* I know, I'm sad it's over, too. It's been four years since I began this story, and so much has happened. I've changed and grown as a writer, and I feel this story evolved and the plot shaped itself as a reflection of those changes. I hope you all enjoyed this story as much as I did, and thank those of you who have been here since the beginning and stuck with me. Your words of encouragement were appreciated more than I can express.
As for a sequel, I haven't determined if I will pursue that path. I don't want to beat a dead horse, so to speak, and I think the story ended in a way that I'm happy with and leaves you readers happy (and happily imagining, too.) There are other stories I'd like the chance to give my full attention to, ones I've written outlines for and neglected because I didn't have enough time.
But you will see more stories from me, without a doubt. =D
Thank you again for reading! Please, please leave a review and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your overall thoughts, comments, etc.
Best to all,