Okay… so I read through the story again, and hate myself for leaving it where I did. It was far too abrupt and unexpected. So, this is the new last chapter of 'Roommates'.
Hope you enjoy, it's nothing much, but I think it adds that sense of finality that it was desperately lacking before.
I suppose I can give you a Disclaimer… since I so fervently denied you one for chapters five through eight…
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or Kraft Dinner or Armani.
The quaint, corner café was quiet that afternoon, an unusual but wholly welcome change. The day was marvelous; the endless azure sky clear and the air warm. A pleasant breeze penetrated the towering network of skyscrapers that made up the city.
A single being occupied the veranda of the café, seated at one of the many tasteful, wrought iron tables that dappled its expanse. She smiled amiably as a small, warbling lark perched itself on the back of the empty chair that sat adjacent from her. The little creature tilted its head in her direction before hopping once and flying away to join the other birds that had settled along the violet awning above the café window.
Her smile broadened as she followed its path, her eyes flicking from the bird, to the small, neatly kept flowers that lined the bottom of the window. Hydrangeas, both white and pale yellow, lined the sill; their delicate fragrance sweet and beguiling.
The raven haired woman drew her gaze away: to the empty glass before her and the equally bare bottle that sat next to the centerpiece. A single, white orchid was the only inhabitant of the narrow vase; a matching one placed upon each, individual table.
Kagome tapped her spoon rhythmically against the empty champagne flute, the tinkling sound lost to her as her mind drifted to the past. Her college years were behind her, having earned her a respectable, well paid job as visual director for the company she had been employed at during her time in college. Having moved from sales associate to visual management in the course of fhree years was no easy feat, especially when one worked for a multi million dollar company. She had worked exceedingly hard in school, and at her job, and in the end it had paid off nicely.
She was glad that she had taken business in college, having been opposed to the idea at first. Originally she had planned on taking only fashion and interior design, but her mother had persuaded her to add on the third class. 'It will provide you with so many more opportunities,' her mother had said. She had been correct. It seems most companies looked for some form of business background when reviewing ones resume.
Luckily she had not had to move from the employer she worked for through college, and was instead offered a substantial promotion and a raise. Hard work and endurance really did pay off.
Of course it had helped that she had a completely satisfying social and home life. It is, after all, a proven fact that students do better in college and university if they are satisfied with their lives outside of school. Her roommates were always willing to lend a hand or help her with any inquiries she had about her courses, so long as they could. It was lucky for her that one of them just happened to be a business major, and was at the top of his class.
And then there was the sex. How was it that one person could be so fortunate as to end up with two, not one, but two stunning male roommies; both of which were incredibly smart, funny, and amazing in bed? She wasn't sure, but it had made her college experience, and had changed her life.
The friends she had made via the pair were equally important to her. Kagome sorely missed some of them, the ones who had relocated after they had finished their schooling. Hiten and Manten had moved to America, where they had started their own construction company. It was apparently doing rather well. They were situated in California, she believed, and a recent fire had the demand for housing up by a considerable amount.
Bankotsu had moved to America as well. He was a lawyer now, with a wife and daughter. Whether he was all that successful she really didn't know, but she did remember that he had been quite the smooth talker: persuasive and determined as well. He was probably doing just fine.
Rin had met a nice young man from Italy, and was currently residing with him in Naples. She kept in touch with the girl via email, and was horribly jealous when she received photos. The architecture and scenery in Europe was astounding, as were the wide variety of rich cultures and incredible destinations. Kagome was very content where she was, but traveling had always been a dream of hers. It wasn't that she couldn't afford it, but at the time she was so swamped at her job that planning a vacation was out of the question.
Kouga had finally come to his senses and started dating Ayame, who had been crazy about him since who knows when. Kagome distinctly remembered her clinging to him in adoration the very first time she had met the pair. Kouga, on the other hand, seemed almost oblivious to it. But, after a little 'persuasion' on Kagome's behalf, the silly boy had come to his senses and asked the sweet girl out. They had celebrated their two year anniversary just weeks ago, and were living in a quaint little, urban area near the East end of the city.
Kagome, having remained rather close to Kouga, knew that the boy planned on asking her to marry him on New Years Eve. She could practically see Ayame's reaction already.
The red-headed woman owned her own boutique near their home; a charming little shop that Kagome frequented regularly. The clothing was stylish, and very reasonably priced. From what she had heard it was doing rather well.
Kouga earned his wages as a personal trainer, and was partial owner of the gym he took his clients to. He had even been so nice as to give her a year membership for her birthday. Kagome had been ecstatic, of course. Gym memberships were not cheap, and she found she stuck to exercising more thoroughly if she worked out in a gym, rather than at home. And… there was the fact that the gym had a sauna and pool… and offered massages.
Shippou, the youngest of their group, she had become very attached to. Somewhat of a little brother to her, the auburn haired young man had graduated at the top of his class. Now a master of the culinary arts, as he liked to put it, he had opened his own café… the café she was currently seated in, to be more precise. Kagome had to admit, the boy made amazing quiche. And then there were his deserts… to die for.
She and Sango had become very close, and spent most of their spare time together. Kagome adored the woman's passion for life and strong ethical values. She was a real go-getter, that was for certain, and somewhat of a perfectionist. The spunky brunette was a women's self defense teacher; an occupation that suited her to a tee.
Sango always had enjoyed asserting her female dominance whenever the occasion arose. She was one of those friends who you could always count on to punch a man in the face if he didn't get out of yours. And of course… she thoroughly enjoyed reminding Miroku that she was no pushover.
Said pervert was now her fiancé, and also one of Kagome's closest friends. He was a highly sought after psychiatrist, which was nothing short of shocking, in Kagome's opinion. It wasn't that Miroku didn't suit the job; he was incredibly good at reading people, and was wise beyond his years. It was simply that… Miroku had a tendency to flirt with anything that had long legs and a pretty face. Kagome was merely surprised that he had not attempted to hit on one of his clients yet, which would surely result in some sort of law suit and a restraining order, as well as the untimely demise of his reputation and career.
The pair was due to be married this coming summer, near the end of August. Everyone was doing their part for the wedding, and Kagome was getting very excited to lend her expertise when the time came.
She would be doing the decorating. Sango had insisted on a simple wedding; just a small gathering of the relatives and their closest friends. They had already sat down and discussed the bits and bites. Sango had decided on white, cream, and chocolate brown; a very neutral, easy to work with assortment of colors.
They decided on white lilies for the bouquets and centerpieces. It was a popular choice, but simple to use. Though the bouquets themselves would consist only of lilies – as well as a bit of greenery – the centerpieces would also include a scant few brown roses and perhaps some lily of the valley.
The decorations would be few and tasteful. Kagome didn't want it to look like a high school dance or a ten year old's birthday party. No balloons, no streamers, no bullshit.
Ayame was put in charge of dressing the bridal party. Sango wanted an evening gown style dress; nothing poofy or frilly or gaudy. She had specified that she wanted a strapless, with very light, beaded embroidery along the bust. She didn't want the train to be too narrow, nor did she want it to be too wide. She wanted something with leg room, but didn't prove a tripping hazard.
As for their bridesmaid dresses, Kagome was pleased to discover that Sango had no intention of making them look like idiots. She was the maid of honor, and though she would wear a paper bag if Sango had asked it of her, she would much rather wear something simple and stylish. She had seen the way most brides dressed their bridesmaids. But Sango was a beautiful woman, and did not need to make the bridal party look like fools to assure that she would be the most radiant woman there that day. For that, Kagome was grateful.
Though the final design had not been made yet, Ayame and Sango had agreed on knee length, chocolate brown dresses with cream accents. Whether it would be some sort of sewn, floral detailing along the hem or a simple strip of cloth below the bust line they hadn't decided on yet. Either way, Kagome was sure it would look wonderful. Ayame had fantastic taste, after all.
As for the catering and the wedding cake… Shippou had accepted the job with extreme fervor. Kagome didn't know what he had planned, but knew it would be delicious either way.
Surprisingly, she and Inuyasha had developed a sort of strange bond. They teased one another horribly, and argued almost as much as he and Sesshomaru had, but seemed to have this unspoken understanding. It was certainly a bizarre friendship. In fact, if one were to see the pair from a distance, they would probably look as though they hated one another. The boy was immature and stubborn and foolish, and Kagome often had to put him in his place when he stepped over the line or did something stupid.
He was still with Kikyo, but Kagome didn't really get along with the woman all that well. She was very reserved, almost distant, and didn't seem like she let all that many people into her 'bubble'.
Kagome was honestly stunned that Kikyo and Inuyasha had lasted. The two were total polar opposites. While Kikyo was quiet and serious, Inuyasha was a loud mouthed idiot. Kikyo was the type of person who lived her life according to a schedule, while Inuyasha was no where near organized. He was a go-with-the-flow kind of guy, someone who lived in the spur of the moment and often acted without thinking.
The sudden 'clink' of glass drew her from her musings, and her eyes landed on the latte that had been placed before her. Looping a finger through the handle, she blew gentle on the steaming brew and took a small sip. "Ah, perfect," she mumbled dreamily to herself, relishing the divine taste.
Peeking through one eye – she had closed them upon tasting the heavenly drink – she gazed adoringly across the table at the handsome, raven haired man. His ruby eyes shone playfully back at her, his pale lips pulling back into a dazzling smile. He quirked a single brow then, his eyes flicking from her face down to the table and then back again.
She followed his gaze, her own brow lifting in surprise when she took note of the sinfully decadent slice of cake standing neatly on a plate next to her champagne flute. The thick, creamy desert was drizzled with chocolate syrup, a decorative swirl of cream cheese icing sitting neatly on top.
"Are you trying to make me gain weight, dear?" she asked him incredulously before sipping her latte.
"Not at all, darling," he answered, setting down his cup. He preferred espresso, the rich, Columbian blend too strong for even his tastes. "It was actually Shippou who insisted I give you this."
'That little devil,' Kagome grumbled inwardly, her eyes plastered to the delectable piece of Kahlua cheesecake that sat so provocatively on the table. It was her favorite, but she – like any other woman – loathed to indulge in something so full of calories. 'This is going to go straight to my ass,' she thought bitterly while picking up the desert fork and slicing a small piece off the end.
She could have melted. The flavor explosion that erupted over her taste buds was almost orgasmic. She would definitely have to hit Shippou over the head on the way out. Gaining five pounds from a single piece of cake had not been on her list of things to accomplish today… or any other day, for that matter.
"Good?" her companion inquired over the rim of his cup.
"Incredible," Kagome affirmed, her finger sliding across the edge of the plate to collect some of the chocolate syrup. She lifted said finger to sample it when a strong hand grasped her wrist, stopping her progress. It pulled her arm outward, across the table.
The rouge eyed male flicked his tongue over the pad of her finger, succeeding in cleaning it of the sticky substance. "Mmm," the chocolate thief hummed, "Delicious, indeed. Though I don't know if I prefer the sauce… or you."
Snatching her hand back – but not before slapping him on the arm – Kagome hissed playfully, "Can't you keep it in your pants for even a few hours, Naraku?"
"It's not my fault you're so tempting," he replied, his velvety voice thick with feigned innocence.
Kagome lifted a brow at that, but remained silent. She scrutinized her male companion carefully, grinning when he smiled charmingly at her. He had always had that effect on her, even after all these years.
It had been six years ago that she had stumbled into their apartment: six years since they had come into her life. Time had changed many things, but her relationship with the pair had remained strong. Though they were all out of college and running successful lives now, they would never forget the time they shared while living in the same, small apartment.
Though she had adored them both, she had always had a special connection to Naraku. Both men were equally attractive and intelligent, both frighteningly charming when they needed to be. She had come to the conclusion that it was Naraku's outgoing attitude that had made her grow more attached to him.
Sesshomaru held a very tight rein on his emotions for the most part, and at times it made him seem aloof. She preferred a man who wasn't afraid to display his emotions in public. She didn't want an overly sensitive guy, heavens no, but someone who would laugh freely or goof around with her when she was feeling playful.
So, though she and Sesshomaru had remained 'friends with benefits' throughout the duration of their time living together, her relationship with Naraku had blossomed into something more.
When they had moved, Sesshomaru had become partial owner to his father's business. The Taisho's owned a very large chain of software companies, a multi-billion dollar network. The silver haired man took his work very seriously, and spent most of his days – more than need be – in his office.
That development had left room for her relationship with Naraku to grow, considering Sesshomaru was constantly traveling overseas for business meetings.
Having always loved the bar scene, Naraku had decided to put his passion into his work, and now owned a handful of the city's most prestigious clubs. He was very good at what he did. He seemed to know what the bar crowd liked in regards to music and décor, and the business management classes he had taken during college had not gone to waste either. It did more than pay the bills, and the two lived very comfortably in their mansion on the hill, in the prestigious neighborhood of Red Oaks.
She had moved from her hometown when she was eighteen, wanting space and the freedom that all teenagers sought once high school was finished. So, she did not get to see her family all that often, but kept in touch as best she could. She tried to bring her family to the city once every two months, for a weekend or the holidays.
Her younger brother, Souta, was nearly finished school, and would be moving out on his own come summer. His social life made it somewhat difficult to find a suitable weekend for them to visit, since he always seemed to have plans with his friends. However, Kagome could be fairly persuasive when need be, so she managed to round him up every eight weeks or so.
Naraku didn't have a family, sadly; a truth Kagome had learned in the early stages of their friendship. It never seemed to bother him when hers stopped in, though. In fact, he seemed to enjoy visiting with them. Her grandfather had always been an eccentric old man, constantly yabbering on about the olden days. As for her mother… well, she was a sweet, modest woman, and was very easy to get along with.
Souta had taken to liking Naraku very quickly, and almost idolized the older man. He had mentioned something about thinking his job was 'way cool', and that he dreamt of owning a club of his own some day.
"What are you thinking?"
Naraku's voice pulled her from her thoughts, and she blushed in embarrassment when she realized he had been saying something and she had completely ignored him. "Sorry," she mumbled shyly.
He chuckled silkily, his eyes teasing. "That's alright, it's nothing important. So… what were you thinking about that had you so preoccupied?"
"The past," she answered, "and the present. How I met you and everything that led us to be where we are today."
"Ah, yes, good old college," he sighed, reminiscing, "Back when supper consisted of beer and Kraft Dinner, and free afternoons were spent watching football and jello wrestling."
Kagome nodded and giggled, remembering her first day in the apartment clearly.
"Back when we had to break up fights between Inuyasha and Sesshomaru before the boy got himself killed," Naraku continued, almost wistfully.
"Forgive my tardiness."
The new voice caught both of their attentions, turning their heads to the doors of the veranda. A very perturbed looking gentleman in a charcoal Armani suit strode toward their table. He loosened his amber tie as he dropped his briefcase and pulled up a third chair.
"Speak of the devil," Kagome laughed teasingly.
The tinsel haired man turned his gaze expectantly toward her, the slightest smile playing across his lips. "I thought my ears were burning," he mused.
"How are you doing, Sesshomaru?"
Turing to Naraku, who had asked the question, he answered honestly, "I've been better. I have a meeting with our most important client after lunch, and currently have a throbbing migraine. The pitch of that woman's voice defies the principles of sound, and promises to make my headache all the more unbearable."
"Still a workaholic, I see," Naraku commented idly, sipping his espresso.
"Indeed," Sesshomaru groused, "If I did not put the amount of effort in that I do, nothing would ever get done. I certainly wouldn't leave anything of importance to Inuyasha. I still don't know why father even bothered trying. The boy has not done a single, useful thing since he has been hired. On top of that, my secretary of two years just went on maternity leave, and left me with a bumbling fool for a replacement. The girl barely knows how to turn on the coffee machine, never mind file important documents and handle my schedule. Last week I had to cancel a briefing with some of our business associates because the little idiot double booked me."
Both Naraku and Kagome shook their heads simultaneously, but it was the raven-haired male who spoke first. "You need to get laid."
Sesshomaru snorted lightly, a grin tugging at his lips. "Indeed." He turned to cast a heated glance at Kagome, who blushed in retaliation. "Perhaps you could lend me your wife for the weekend."
Naraku chuckled, finishing his drink before answering, "Sorry, my friend, not this time."
"Maybe next time, then," Sesshomaru replied calmly.
They all had a small chuckle at that. It had been a running joke between the three since they had parted ways after college. They were all comfortable around each other, despite their sexual history, and though Sesshomaru had not been with Kagome physically since she and Naraku had officially started dating, they often joked about it.
At the time it seemed Sesshomaru was too busy to have any kind of relationship, but she sincerely hoped that he would find his special someone some day soon. He was a wonderful man, and deserved a wonderful woman.
Kagome gazed fondly down at her wedding ring, recalling the day vividly. It had been the happiest day of her life. Naraku was meant for her, and she would never forget how it had all started; one apartment and two amazing roommates…
Okay, so there's the end, end. I'd say this gives it a bit better closure and more of a finished feel. I hope everyone enjoyed it. I tried to make it as fair as I could, and since this is listed under the Nar/Kag category I figured I would make them the closing couple.
Don't gripe, I have fifty million stories with Kagome and Sesshomaru as the pairing… well, maybe not that many, but I'm getting there.
So, review, and tell me if you like it. Did it produce that sense of finality that it was sorely lacking before?