Chapter 3- The Aftermath

Inuyasha's not mine, just as I said in chapter 1.

"Miroku. Hey, uh, we need a favor," Inuyasha said very carefully after they greeted the confused monk and the surprised tajiya in the village.

"A favor? Of course. What's the matter?" Miroku asked as a red tailed form shot to Kagome, got a hug, sniffed...and screamed bloody murder! Damned little brat!

"Inuyasha! Why does Kagome smell like you all over? I mean-all over! What happened, did you have to carry her for a long time?" he asked, head whipping around.

"Shippo! Uh-you see, um..." Kagome blushed, the hanyou was equally red and Miroku's eyes widened. Impossible! Them?? No. Couldn't be...

"Inuyasha?" Miroku asked archly. He'd figured they'd have some time to spend working things out and deciding what they wanted to do with their relationship, not-they had! They'd bedded! He'd bet his best robes on it! He'd assumed Inuyasha would turn human with the jewel first if they decided to be together! He had no idea Kagome was so...adventurous.

"We need you to...marry us. Today. Kagome picked you," Inuyasha sounded like he was being strangled.

"Huh?" Kagome asked, her expression priceless when she attempted to play catch up. Miroku smiled with a certain amount of relief and Sango gasped.

They had to get married?? But, that meant...oh. Kami. There was of course nothing else to do, and apparently Kagome had been willing to let him-lie with her-but still! The tajiya was shocked. She was engaged herself and rightly was waiting, surely they could've as well?

"Of course, I mean you'd, well. Let's just say I've done that service before for similar reasons. I'm honored to be asked, and I'm happy for you both. Sango will witness, and Shippo, or would you both care to wait and have Kaede present?" the monk's nod was easy, and he was doing his best not to laugh. Inuyasha had an honorable streak, he'd give him that, until a sudden-

"What are you talking about-MARRIED?" Kagome stammered, as Shippo, still in her arms, squeaked.

"Ow-y-you're squishing me, Kagome..." he managed as her arms kept tightening.

"I'm not getting married!" she yelled.

"Yes we are! We have to!" Inuyasha yelled back, "what, you don't want to marry me now?"

"What are you talking about, baka!? What the-the heck do you mean, now?"

"Oh," he paused, deep in the river denial, she must mean-"you-want to tell your family first? I thought it'd be better if we-"

"Are you nuts? Why would we get married?" Kagome asked desperately, seeing a familiar, deeply confused look on Inuyasha's face...but also one that matched it on Miroku's...and Sango...glowing with a blush too...she glanced at the turning purple Shippo. It was a set. Kagome released the kit a bit guiltily, who hit the ground and gasped for air.

"Er, You two did-ahem?" Miroku asked, frowning in puzzlement. What else could they do? Was he missing something? He honestly always thought Kagome wasn't well-what she'd be if they didn't. She couldn't be ignorant of the possible consequences, could she?

"Um, what do you think, pervert!" the hanyou snapped before he glared at Kagome, "so, we have to marry!" So, she was trying to change her mind now and back out? Oh, no! He wasn't going to let her! What, he wasn't good enough for her now? He'd been plenty good enough when they were alone!

"People don't get married just because they-"

"Since when?!"

"I-in my time we don't!" Inuyasha sat down. Well, more his legs went out from under him. They'd gone at it, he had to marry her. Simple-with anyone else!

"Really? When does this happen?" Miroku looked fascinated, the possibilities...

"Kagome! You can't mean-but you could be, uh..." Sango looked absolutely stunned. Wasn't she ashamed?? I mean, she'd-they weren't married! A tiny part of her mind kept saying that Inuyasha was a hanyou...she'd heard stories about youkai...Sango squelched the thought. She could never ask! In front of men, anyway. Later. If there was a later.

"What?" Kagome demanded.

"Uh...Kagome, you, um, do know-" Sango barely managed to start saying it, an embarrassed inquiry as to the girl's understanding of human anatomy. Her friend's eyes went huge, and she looked at the hanyou, understanding what prompted this. Darn it! No wonder he was freaking out, and it was her fault! She hadn't told him and she should've!

"You thought I was-" she blushed and looked away, managing, "I'm not. I can't be. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you, Inuyasha. Can we talk about this privately, please?"

"Can't be? Since when? What the hell are you babbling about?" Inuyasha asked. He knew damned well how babies were made. Hell, he'd been getting a lot of practice in it lately!

"I'm on...birth control, alright? It's not a big deal but I don't want to explain it in front of everyone!" Kagome answered with embarrassment.

"What the hell is-" Inuyasha watched her take a deep breath and a hand reached down and grabbed the front of his haori.

"It means...I can't get pregnant after having sex! We can do it whenever we like from now on and there's no babies, alright? BAKA!" Kagome snapped, wincing as the subject they'd been dancing around was dropped out in the open and set on the table. She sighed, releasing him, and stalked away.

"Uh..." Inuyasha sat numbly, staring at the ground.

Miroku watched her go, adding musingly, "her time is very different...and advanced in-remarkable ways. Perhaps she could bring-"

"Shut up! She-she doesn't understand or she'd never say that! Kagome's not like that!" Sango exclaimed, red faced, and she turned to go after her.

The tajiya was horrified, embarrassed, and grimly decided she would just have to explain things to her friend somehow. It had never occurred to her, but if she really thought that, oh no! How degenerate were her people? It was like-like some youkai customs, strange, disturbing to outsiders, but perhaps normal for them. But not right in...this world.

"Stay out of it, Sango!" Inuyasha said suddenly, steeling himself as he stood up. Sango nodded.

"You better, Inuyasha. She doesn't understand and you know it," she answered. He accepted it as he walked away. She was right.

Kagome was scowling and throwing pebbles when he caught up to her.

"You-why?" Inuyasha asked her, looking so upset she stared at him in bewilderment.

"Why what? I told you I wasn't-"

"You didn't tell me about-uh...not being...uh-when did this happen? How can that even be-" he started there, maybe he'd misunderstood her, wouldn't be the first time. She'd been talking nonsense again.

"Oh. Inuyasha, I'm so sorry, I should've. When I go home I go to the doctor, and I get a special medicine. Mom thought it was a good idea a long time ago, after we took out that moth youkai and she and I had a talk. About you, actually," a blush, "guess she was right," Kagome finished.

"Right about what? My not being able to control myself?" he asked bitterly, and she smiled sadly.

"No. Nothing like that! That I probably would end up...being with you sometime. She trusts you, or I wouldn't be here. You weren't the only one who, well, wanted to, you know. I'm just sorry that I made you worry," Kagome answered.

"Kagome, you don't understand. That doesn't matter after what else you said," he told her quietly.

"Well, I really hadn't considered anything like marriage, not till Naraku's gone, anyway. We have time, Inuyasha! I'm glad we'll do that now, but-"

"If you stay, we have to be married. I'm not dishonoring you!" he snapped, teeth clenched. 'anymore...'

"Dishonor...? How is dishonorable to be with the person you love? I mean it's common-" she started.

"Not here it isn't! You touch a woman, it's marriage or she's ruined! Do you really want everyone to think you're a damned hanyou's whore? Like Sango and Miroku do now?" he yelled, cutting her off in his frustration with her, and she gasped.

"I am not! They-couldn't!" Kagome yelled back, outraged. "So it's-better I'm a hanyou's wife?" she asked, and he winced.

"Damn it!" He ran a hand through his hair in frustration, teeth baring. "No. But-I won't let that happen to you-it's my fault! Nobody's calling you shit like-" he stopped and scowled.

"Like what?" she demanded.

"Like they called my mother! A youkai loving whore, the dead Inu's bitch! Why the hell do you think I never touched you? Remember Shiori and her mother? If people find out you ever were with one they won't hesitate to treat you like that if I ain't around to protect you! No one here'll give a damn what your time's like, Kagome! This is the one you picked to live in!" he snarled, hearing her gasp.

"I don't care what other people think!"

"Look. It's marriage, or we can't all be together! Sango, Miroku, hell-we can't travel together anymore! Sango's got her own honor and good name to consider, moron! People will assume she and Miroku are doing the same thing, and you can't expect them to put up with that. They didn't fuck up. We did. It'll be bad enough as it is if we are wed, but it can be handled. You understand now?" He demanded, swinging around to glare at her, looking guilty and angry as hell. At himself. Kagome was horrified. Sango, Miroku, even her friends would think that?

"Inuyasha..." Kagome shivered, remembering Shiori and her mother...tossed to the wolves as soon as there was trouble. They didn't see that woman as a human. They saw her as a slut who'd toyed with youkai and got what she deserved. Inuyasha had stopped that mob from beating her. If there hadn't been birth control, it could've been her in a matter of months with the danger they faced all the time. There was no guarantee she'd be able to take a baby through the well and every reason to think she couldn't...and Inuyasha, she could lose him-Naraku was still around, the jewel incomplete. No wonder he was scared! She knew he was...as much as she was now.

The hanyou saw her actually figure it out, and took her in his arms. She could be dense sometimes.

"I'm sorry, Kagome. But that's the way it is. Maybe...you should go home to your era, you won't have to deal with this then if things are that different," He said with a courage he wasn't feeling as she started to cry. There was no way he could stop-being with her now if she stayed, he needed her, loved her. And there was no way he could stay with her outside marriage, he knew that. They'd have to part. Although...it was almost disappointing that there was no little one to worry over...a relief, yeah, but-he cut off the thought.

After a time, Kagome got herself under control and looked up into amber eyes. There was no choice. No going back now. The partially completed jewel around her neck...she gripped it for a moment. Who would've guessed the hunt to complete it would lead to this?

If she went back there and left him...he'd seal the well after her. She knew it. They'd separate, and Naraku would probably go after them all, maybe even win the shards left here and be waiting for her in her own time. Kagome had faith they would win eventually because she'd been safe there, but if they didn't work together it could change everything. All four of them. Worse, though, she'd lose him because his honor wouldn't let him come to her, and she couldn't let him go.

She'd never told him, but even just traveling with him there'd been comments...looks. People weren't dumb, they'd known she cared for him, and hadn't liked it one bit. But, they'd be together. Kaede...her village...at least, people there knew them and were used to seeing them together. The priestess would help them settle in, and they were pretty accepting of Inuyasha thanks to his enforced stay in the woods pinned to a tree and saving them...and it was near the well. She'd technically be living at home in Tokyo if they had a place near it. Just five centuries away from the shrine and city she grew up in. This was all her fault.

She'd ignored the fact that this wasn't modern Japan.

"I'm-not leaving you, and you aren't going anywhere," Kagome told him quietly, and stepped back, taking his hands. Inuyasha waited nervously as she continued.

"You're right. Let's go see Miroku. But-"

"But?" he asked, gulping air as he realized she meant to-stay. With him. Damn. Brave, crazy wench.

"Inuyasha...I don't know if I want children...at least until Naraku's gone," she answered. He nodded. She was right, and they both knew it. If something happened to him...she'd be spared that at least. But Kagome wasn't being exactly honest. She meant ever. They could deal with it, with the problems...but she wouldn't put a child through it.

No.

But now-now wasn't the time for that talk. Later.

"Uh...how long can you keep from catching?" Inuyasha asked.

"Catching? As long as I want, I just have to go back and have it done."

"Just tell me when you have to go home for that. Come on, they're waiting," he led her back, sighing.

"You mean you won't throw a fit if I go back now?" she asked with a nervous laugh, edgy, but he took comfort in it. He knew the trouble was just starting in lot of ways...but he was glad.

"Eh...well, I don't like it when you leave. I-miss my wench," he told her shyly.

"I know. I miss you when I'm there, too," she sighed herself, but she had to smile. Her life here had been like a fairy tale, and now...was this her happy ending? The princess all grown up, marrying her prince and living happily ever after? Kagome didn't know-didn't think it would always be, but at least they'd try.

The end...

Author's notes- Dark, isn't it? It just turned out that way, I'm afraid. Well, that's it. Just a short one, like I said. I hope you enjoyed the story, and thanks for reading! -Namiyo