4 years later…
It didn't occur to Kagome that planning a wedding would take so much time and energy. Of course there was the location, the food, the dress, and the invitations, but she had completely forgotten about all of the other little details that needed attending to. Like exactly how many tiers the wedding cake should be. Or where each guest was going to sit during dinner. Or even the color scheme of the napkins with the table center pieces; a task she was starting to hate more and more as time went by.
It wasn't that she didn't appreciate doing these little things. She was just one for simplicity. Sure it would be nice if the number of guests just so happened to match with the number of songs on the night's play list. But at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was her friends, her family, and her new husband.
With that attitude in mind, she couldn't help another shake of her head as Sango held up yet another colored fabric in a sort of frantic fascination.
"What about this one? This one is Fushia." She waved the cloth back and forth almost as if to test the color's durability.
"I thought that one was maroon."
Sango shook her head and pointed to a random square from the huge pile. "That one is maroon. It's a little dark, don't you think? I don't want to seem like a depressed bride-to-be."
"Dark colors can be elegant." Kagome supplied. "And besides, everyone knows how close you and Miroku are. I doubt the word depressed has even crossed their minds."
She laughed at that. "I guess." But then she paused. "Is it too violent though? I don't want to seem abusive." Kagome couldn't hold back her laughter at that one. Everyone who knew Sango and Miroku had, on at least one occasion, witnessed their…unique displays of affection.
"I wouldn't worry about it. Your strikes are usually valid and within perfect reason." But seeing the uncertain gaze in her friend's eye, she reached for another color. "Why not this lavender one? You do plan to put purple lilacs in your hair and this way the tables will match with you."
Sango's smile brightened at her words, and the two immediately began working on more purple patterns. Once they had sorted all the colors for the table setting, they started on the color scheme of the banners and name cards. Together, time flew by as they sorted and selected through dozens of shades. She was so focused on the wedding that Sango's sudden question caught her by surprise.
"How are you and Inuyasha doing?"
She blinked at her question, before sighing. "He's been on edge lately, ever since I moved in to his apartment."
She absentmindedly flipped through the font booklet. "Yeah. I mean…I thought we would've fallen in to a routine by now, but it just hasn't clicked yet."
"You moved in with him just a month ago Kagome. That's a huge step in any relationship. It just takes some time."
"I guess." She trailed off. "I thought that I should give him some space since I pretty much took a huge chunk of his, but over the weeks, he barely lets me out of his sight. If I'm not in the classroom with my students, he's there with me and if he's busy at work, he comes home asking me who I've been with."
"You don't think he thinks that you…?"
"Huh? Oh no!" She cried, waving her hands in front of her. "That would never happen and Inuyasha is more of confrontational person when it comes to those kinds of things. His behavior is more…worried and protective if anything."
Sango snorted. "How is that different than the usual Inuyasha? He's always worried about you when he's not with you."
"I figured that would've been resolved once I moved in with him. Now it just seems even worse!"
Sango laughed at her frustration. "I guess it does sound a bit strange. But don't you think it's sweet to see how much he openly cares for you? I remember a time when he wouldn't even show that he cared for anyone."
"Yeah, it is sweet." She agreed with a heartfelt smile. "But I'm not blind anymore Sango. I can handle myself much better now."
"But you're human and he's not." Sango said almost immediately. Her words had her own eyes widening in shock. At the stricken look on her face, Sango immediately jumped back. "I'm so sorry Kagome. I didn't mean to be so bold."
She shook her head. "It's fine. You're…right." How could she have forgotten that little detail? Could that be why Inuyasha was suddenly so paranoid? It made sense now that they were becoming closer. Physically she was much weaker than he was. Plus, he would live far longer than she would. The thought of him living many years alone after her death was enough to bring tears to her eyes. He didn't deserve that, not after all he had been through.
"Have you talked about this to Inuyasha before?" She asked Sango, even though she had a feeling of the answer.
Sango bit her lip. "Well—"
"Hello there lovely ladies!"
She could recognize that voice anywhere, even with her eyes closed. Turning around, she spotted Miroku and her Inuyasha walking in through the doorway of the Wedding Boutique. All previously depressing thoughts instantly vanished at seeing her favorite silver haired half demon. His small, but certain smile certainly did wonders for her previously sad mood and she managed a smile in return. It seemed like forever since she'd seen him. How long had it been? A day? Day and a half? Two da—
"Three days? Who on earth goes on a bachelor celebration for three days Miroku?" Sango questioned hotly, earning a few stares from the other customers. It seemed her friend was not as eager to see her man as she was.
Miroku held up his hands in a pathetic form of defense. "It's my last moments as a free man Sango. Can you really blame me for extending my party?"
The flames around Sango seemed to grow. "You call that a party? More like a vacation." Behind his withering form, Inuyasha's smirk died when she whirled on him. "And you! Weren't you supposed to keep him out of trouble?"
"I was with him the whole time!" He defended.
"Probably having as much fun as him I bet." Sango muttered angrily. He protested against this immediately while shooting her a desperate look. But Kagome didn't have the will to help her half demon. She was laughing far too hard. Although he did look a bit frightened, though she wasn't sure if it was fear of her or the flaming bride-to-be.
Miroku grabbed her arm tenderly. "Sango dear. Must we discuss this now? I want to spend some bonding time preparing for our wedding."
The fire in Sango's eyes simmered down to a low heat and she sighed in defeat. "Yeah, okay." She caved, before dragging her fiancé toward the rainbow littered table. "Come help me decide between these two fonts for our banner."
Kagome almost felt sorry for Miroku. But of course, he could wait. Next to her, an impatient half demon cleared his throat and she rolled her eyes. In less than a second, she was in his arms acting as if she hadn't seen him in months.
"I missed you." She whispered so low that only he would hear it. No use embarrassing him now and ruining the moment. He held her tenderly and took a deep breath through his nose to catch every inch of her scent. She had once asked him what she smelled like and he replied with a very simple 'good'. When she asked him to elaborate, he merely shrugged and said 'good was just good' and there was nothing more to it.
When he kissed her between the eyes, she knew it was a special moment for him. Anything beyond hugging was usually off limits for 'Inuyasha's Rules of Public Displays of Affection'.
"Being with Miroku for three days straight is enough." He growled the last part out tiredly and she giggled at the frustrated, yet soft look in his eyes.
"I'm sure he appreciates it."
He scoffed loudly before glancing at the pair near the fabric table. "He should be glad he's getting married. Otherwise I would've left after the first hour."
"I'm sure it wasn't that bad."
"Yeah…" He replied. Slowly he ran his fingers down her arm until they found their way in to hers beneath them. Then, the soft look in his eyes changed to one of hesitancy. "Aren't you going to ask me what we did?"
She smirked. "Nope."
"I didn't do anything you know."
"Kagome…" He actually looked a bit fearful now.
"I'm not going to ask Inuyasha." She insisted with a singsong voice, before pulling out of his hold. She knew her half demon well enough to know he didn't do anything stupid. But apparently, he didn't know her as well as she would've like. She supposed his ears were overriding all other senses. She smiled. Oh well, might as well enjoy his ignorance.
"You're mad aren't you?"
"No, I'm not." She replied honestly as she retreated back toward the table. Slowly of course. "I promise I won't ask you about what you did at all."
He stayed rooted to the spot. "You sure?"
"Yep." She turned around. "Just as long as you don't ask me what Sango and I did at her party."
The apartment building was quaint enough for his taste, and the sweet smell of air freshener did add a bit to the otherwise distasteful quality he considered as the walls. Although, he supposed it could've been worse. He could've been homeless or something; not that he would've allowed that. He had a reputation to uphold of course, and couldn't allow his son to live in that sort of a degrading manner.
Brushing aside the offense to the lack of an elevator, he ascended the stairs about three floors and found the door to his room at the end of the hall. Then, without even hesitating, he knocked, despite the fact that he knew his son was already hovering in anticipation on the other side of the door. There was a pathetically ridiculous split second hesitation, before the door swung open.
Two scents originated from inside; one familiar and one not. But only one face appeared in the doorway. "Good, you're here." The figure in the doorway noted.
He walked in, favoring to observe the apartment before any greetings occurred. The place was well kept and fairly clean, with some old fashioned knick-knacks on the shelves and a flat screen television that was somewhat up to date. Around the corner, he spotted the kitchen with its simple wooden cabinets and marble countertop. Nothing special he immediately assessed, but still doable.
"Everything fine with you?" The voice growled behind him. There were no formalities in his voice. He hid nothing and spoke only what came to mind. And although it had been a while since they had spoken to one another, he could recognize the sarcasm in his tone, plain as day.
He gave a polite nod off to the other aspects of the room, before speaking. "It is your place." He stated simply and took a seat on the couch. Surprisingly, there was no barking comeback from his mouth. No foul words of distaste or anger; just silence. A rare smile crept on to his face. This had to be important.
"You know why I called you here, right?"
His golden eyes roamed the room, pretending to be looking for something. "I have a few theories."
"Keh. What did your assistants bring you this time?" He asked rather bluntly.
"Just some statistical reports of your business. And some photos to enhance my curiosity."
He crossed his arms suspiciously. "What kind of photos?"
But he was hardly listening to his son now. The same scent that he had detected before had caught his attention again. It was a feminine scent that permeated most of the apartment and was especially fresh in certain parts of the room. But it was an old scent. Currently, the source was not within the vicinity. His eyes circled the room once more, but this time, a photo on the side table caught his attention. It featured his son standing next to a very beautiful girl with warm blue eyes and a gentle smile. There was no uncertainty within their eyes. They looked content being next to one another.
He picked up the photo, ignoring his son's sudden tenseness beside him. "Is this her?" He asked, even though he already knew the answer.
"Her name is Kagome."
"And she is yours?"
His redundancy must have been evident, for his son's voice was annoyed. "Yes."
"About four years."
He surveyed the photo thoughtfully. "Four years." He repeated. "Such a long time to a human." The photo was snatched out of his hand and he chuckled. "No need to be so sensitive Inuyasha."
"I'm not sensitive."
"Protective then." When he didn't respond, he shot his son a knowing look. "I wouldn't dwell over her too much. Your instincts are just stronger now because she is your first. Too many emotions should not be invested in something that doesn't last forever."
He barely saw the punch coming and thanks to his superior reflexes, he lived with just a minor scrape. Another attempt came at him within half a second and he quickly dodged this one. A wave of demonic energy flew toward him, nearly cracking the air between them. Furious eyes, barely holding back a red hue, glared at him menacingly. So his son was riled up so easily? She must have meant the world to him.
"Don't talk about Kagome like that."
"It's a fact for all humans. I'm just looking out for you son."
Inuyasha took a deep breath to calm his raging aura. When he opened his eyes, they were the same brilliant shade of gold. "Is that how you got over my mom?"
He frowned at those words. It was true. He had cared about Izayoi during their little affair. But through it all, she had been so innocent and naïve to the truth of their triangle relationship. Then suddenly, she had lost her life and he didn't even have time to recover. And plus he had a new son to take care, a son that looked so much like her. It was…bothersome to say the least, but he got over it. He took minimal responsibility, begged for his wife's forgiveness, and moved on.
He looked away from his son's piercing stare. "I can see the pattern coming again Inuyasha. You know how relationships with demons and humans end."
"Don't compare me to you." He snapped. "My situation is completely different."
His eyebrows rose. "Is that right?"
"Yeah." But then he sighed. "Well, only with your help..."
Something inside him knew exactly what he was talking about. But he needed to hear it for himself. "Enlighten me."
"There's a ritual that involves binding one's blood and soul with another. It is usually done between different types of demons or those who have different energies and life spans."
It appeared that his son had done his research. And of course, that his suspicions were correct. He continued for him. "The ritual you speak of involves mixing the blood of both parties in order to create a bond that will connect them in a way that ventures beyond their souls. More importantly, life energy is significantly shared."
He nodded. "So you have heard of it."
"The process has been done before." He explained. "But it just isn't done very often."
Inuyasha shrugged. "As long as it works."
This time, his son's foolish response had him frowning. "Shall I repeat myself Inuyasha? There is shared life energy in this whole process. Shared. As in, she doesn't live the length of a half demon. She merely lives longer than a human and you live shorter than the average half demon. In addition, your strength will weaken somewhat while her strength grows. You meet in the middle, so to speak."
His immediate response surprised him. "I know that. You don't need to lecture me."
The confidence his son displayed had an odd effect on him. Obviously, this Kagome girl had changed him greatly. Before, all Inuyasha lived for was for himself. Then that little fox demon softened him up a bit. And now, he had someone he wanted to be with. He had someone he wanted to protect. Even if it meant, losing out on his long life, he would rather spend what he could with her.
"If you know that, then you must know the other part of the process."
"Yeah I know." Hesitantly, identical golden orb met his. "I need consent."
He smiled. "Consent is something that is given, but only if it is earned."
The half demon nearly exploded at his words. "What do you want then, huh? What do I have to do?" His voice was a mixture of frustration and desperateness. It wouldn't have surprised him if his son had done anything he requested.
He raised his hand. "Calm yourself Inuyasha. You're acting like a brash fool."
Inuyasha straightened up at his words. "So, you will allow it?"
"I allow nothing."
"Then what the hell are you talking about?"
"I never said the consent had to be earned from you." The half demon's eyes widened at his words and he smirked at the sight. "You can't expect me to agree if I haven't even met the girl.
Inuyasha immediately stepped forward, eyes blazing. "I swear if you hurt her—"
He brushed aside his son's words. "I have more honor than that Inuyasha."
He eyed him suspiciously. "Just one time? And then you'll consent?"
"I guarantee nothing, but to deny my request would reduce your chances significantly. Perhaps even entirely."
Inuyasha sighed at his minimal number of options, but didn't speak. After a few more tiresome second, his golden eyes finally met his. "Fine."
He nodded approvingly toward his son, but Inuyasha growled at him and stormed toward the door. It was opened with a sharp jerk, nearly coming off the hinges. Not wanting to spill any of his son's blood, he stepped out in to the dull hallway.
"When will she meet with me?" He called over his shoulder.
He scoffed. "Did you get an invite to Sango and Miroku's wedding?"
Had he? It may have been sorted in the junk mail somewhere. But it didn't matter. He needed no such invitation. "She will be there?"
Inuyasha nodded. "We'll see you there then."
And then the door was slammed unceremoniously in his face. He smirked widely at the turn of events. If Inuyasha truly cared about the girl, he would do whatever it took to keep her with him. It was admirable in a way, but to get past his judgment would be difficult. Would her spirit break, he wondered? How far could he push her till she caved in? His mind reeled with excitement at the thought. After so many years, who would've thought that his son would have to place such a large decision in his hands? So much power he had, and he hadn't even met the girl yet.
This was going to be interesting.
Being at weddings used to make her feel a bit nostalgic. She used to wonder if her own wedding would be as grand and amazing as the one she was at. Or if she would ever find someone to spend the rest of her life with. And when she was blind, she used to worry that she would never be able to see her husbands face. But that was all in the past. She felt nothing but absolute joy and excitement at this wedding.
She'd be lying if she said she didn't imagine their own wedding; how unforgettable it would be. Staring in to his eyes as she made her way down the aisle, the tickle of butterflies in her stomach when they sealed their union with a kiss, and the eruption of applause from the crowd at the end of their celebration. Everything would be perfect. She would be happy. And Inuyasha would be happy.
Well, at least much happier than he was at the moment…
"Are you sure you're okay?" She ventured for the fifth time that night. During the entire celebration, he hasn't stopped scanning the crowd of people as if he were searching for something or someone. He had barely spoken more than four words to her at a time and whenever he tried to assure her, the meaning of his words failed behind his mask of anxiety and strain. Clearly, his mind was somewhere else.
She wasn't a self-centered sort of girlfriend. She was merely concerned for his unusual behavior. When he didn't answer her repeated question, she scanned the section of the crowd he was currently looking at. "Are you looking for someone? Maybe I can help you."
That seemed to snap him out of it. "No, no…" he fumbled. "Just keep eating and stop worrying so much."
A frown marred her face. Again with the evasiveness. Just what was he hiding? To satisfy his words, she began idly picking at her plate of food, but one fluffy dog-ear remained trained on her movements.
"You done already?"
"Well…we have been sitting here for an hour." She explained. Most of their friends had finished eating a while ago, which explained the current emptiness at their table. In fact, they were all in the center of the dance floor, moving to the music's beat. She sighed longingly at sight.
The dog-ear twitched again at her sigh. His soft golden eyes found hers as he studied her and her direction of sight. Eventually, he took her hand. "Dance?"
He seemed to be second-guessing her desires as she giggled at the cautious look in his eyes. "Yes, please."
His arm wrapped tenderly around her waist as he led her out on to the dance floor just as a fast paced song came up. Together, their bodies swayed to the beats of the music as song after song played. Soon after, Sango, Miroku, and the rest of the wedding party joined them, and they all danced together in a sort of rhythmic trance.
After a few more songs, the DJ began to play a thread of slow songs and quickly the room fell in to a relaxed, soft atmosphere. Kagome's hands found their way around Inuyasha's neck and he pulled her closer to him against his hard chest. They swayed slowly in silence for a few comfortable minutes and the other couples around them faded away.
She ran her fingers over one of his ears and he growled. "Stop it, Kagome."
"Fine then." She pouted. "I thought you liked it."
He shot her a look. "It's not that. It's just tha—" He froze.
She stopped moving too, her voice dropping to a serious tone. "What? What is it? What's wrong?"
His golden eyes seemed to have centered on someone behind her. She spun around, but spotted no one in particular, other than Sango and Miroku's guests. But then again, she didn't know everyone. Who's to say that the mysterious person was right in front of her?
Inuyasha's body suddenly tensed terribly before her and she brought panicked eyes back toward him. "Inuyasha?" Her hands cupped his face a bit harder than necessary as she forced him to look her in the eye. "Inuyasha? What is wrong with you?"
A new light now shone in his eyes. "Kagome listen..."
The seriousness of his tone wasn't missed and she observed him intently. "What is it?"
His voice was brimming with admiration and determination. "I've seen you take on a lot and... you're…you're the kind of person who never backs down from anything."
Her heart softened at his kind words and the pride that seemed to float out of his body just for her. But she had no words to say. Her mind was rooted to the ground in confusion. The look in his eyes was too much. He rarely showed emotion like this.
He kissed her. It was so fleeting and short, but still meaningful. When he pulled back, she was stunned. He stroked her cheek with a clawed thumb. "You know I love you, right?"
"Yes, of course. I love you too." No hesitation there, but it was still odd to hear him say it now.
He spoke with absolution. "Then you know that…no matter what happens, nothing will change between us."
His eyes said it all. He wanted to make sure she understood. He wanted her to have no doubts. She nodded, despite still being confused. What did he mean by, 'no matter what happens'?
"I have to go."
…the heck? She found her voice almost instantly. "Wait. Where are you going?" She cried out in frustration.
He backed away, his eyes looking past her, toward something else, just like before. She moved to protest, but he cut her off. "Just wait here. I'll be back." And with that, he walked away, leaving her alone on the dance floor.
Across the room, Sango and Miroku watched.
"He made it a bit dramatic, don't you think?" Sango asked.
"Perhaps." Miroku remarked. "But I doubt that even we can comprehend what this means to Inuyasha. He's never been close to someone like he is with Kagome. And this binding ritual is a big deal for demons."
"I guess. But doesn't he have any faith in Kagome?"
"You misread him Sango." He corrected. "Inuyasha's fear does not come from Kagome's lack of caliber, but rather, what his father could do to her. I have no doubt that the great dog demon will try to place uncertainty and insecurities within our friend. Inuyasha does not want that for her."
She nodded. "I see."
Their eyes suddenly locked on a tall, powerful looking figure as he strode across the dance floor toward their friend.
Sango sighed. "Here we go…"
At that moment, Kagome had a few less than ladylike questions that could even rattle Inuyasha's vocabulary. She was so confounded, so bewildered, and so absolutely…lost. What on earth was wrong with Inuyasha? First he's paranoid to the tenth power, then he starts spewing touching words of love to her, and now he's gone! There wasn't a word in the world she could find to describe what Inuyasha's was thinking. It all didn't make sense! Well, one thing was for sure, he would definitely get an earful tonight.
She suddenly realized that she looked rather stupid standing in the center of the dance floor, alone, and surrounded by embracing couples. Heaving another tired sigh, she turned toward her table, only to have someone tap her on the shoulder.
The gold was instantly recognizable, and yet unfamiliar at the same time. It left her speechless and strangely immobile, but this time for a different reason. It was a reason far away from the usual butterflies that came. No… these eyes were almost challenging and degrading. And yet, she had no idea who he was.
He didn't even ask her to dance. It was almost as if the question itself was too petty for the likes of him. Instead, he took her hand in his and gave her an encouraging smile. "You should dance with me, Kagome."
There was a subtle sickly gleam in his eyes that left her openly staring at him. Slowly her mind began working out all the possible questions. Who was this man? How did he know her name? And why on earth did he want to dance with her? But despite the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts, she found herself swaying along with his professional steps. Almost instinctively, her hand rested on his shoulder and his other hand settled on her hip.
"Do I know you?"
"It does not really matter." He commented offhandedly.
Her eyes narrowed. "I think I'm entitled to know the man who has just demanded for my dancing attention."
He chuckled lowly and evaded her demand with another prompt. "Tell me about yourself, Kagome."
There was a game going on. A test in the air. It almost felt like an interview. And judging by the way he looked at her from the corner of his eye, he was looking for something. Anything that might be considered a fault on her part. She breathed lowly, trying to reach for the experienced teacher patience within her.
She could see him more clearly now, even with the dim lighting of the dance floor. He was a demon for sure, pointed ears and all. Much taller than herself and probably had years and years over her. His startling white hair hung high in a pony-tail and his clothes were crisper than the morning air. There was a feeling of superiority about him and she had a sneaking suspicion that he owned quite a lot of things. And the worst part was, he knew he was more 'well off' than she.
Well if he wanted to dance, then so be it. And if he to find something out, she was more than ready to give it to him.
"I'm an elementary teacher."
"A teacher you say?" He appeared bored. "Educating the future leaders of tomorrow I assume?"
His voice sounded like a broken record. "Yes. I teach third grade students at Tama Elementary."
"It must be very difficult then, especially for those who have yet to grasp the material."
She frowned slightly at his words. "It can be a bit challenging, but that's what our training and experienced staff is there for. We're there to support each other and guide all of our students in all areas of their studies."
He laughed at her answer and she blinked in confusion. "You sound very proud Kagome."
"I am." She replied without faltering.
"Interesting." They swayed a bit more to the music, his steps dominating the way. "Do you occupy yourself with anything else? Perhaps something more on the successful side?"
Kagome's eyes snapped at his implication and her grip on his jacket tightened. "I consider all aspects of my life very successful. Everything that I have done has been done because I enjoyed it. Some parts of it may have been a struggle, but everyone goes through their own struggles in life."
For the first time, she thought she saw a crack in that face of his. But she could have been mistaken. He merely continued to smile at her words. "You never answered my question Kagome."
"First answer me this: how do you know my name?"
"It's not too difficult to pick up names around here Kagome. You just need to learn to pay attention better."
"I suppose that's true." She pretended to ponder. "I guess I just never found myself suited for that type of nature."
He cleared his throat. "The question, Kagome?"
Her mind backtracked. Oh yes, what else she did with her time. "My family owns and operates the Higurashi Shrine so I help out there as much as I can."
"Higurashi? I didn't know they were still around."
"We are." She managed a smirk this time. "In fact, we just received large grant for our property. We'll be starting reconstruction and improvements very soon."
"Well I congratulate you on a job well done. There aren't as many shrines around nowadays."
Kagome just couldn't wrap her mind around it. A compliment in the midst of insults? What on earth was this stranger up to? "Thank you."
"A teacher and a shrine maiden," He continued aimlessly. "Quite the community person, aren't we?"
"I love helping others."
He nodded in response. "And is there anyone special occupying your busy life?"
"I am in a relationship."
"A happy one?"
She wished she had claws at the moment. They would've torn right through his black pessimistic heart. "Yes. We've been together for about four years."
"A long time." He mused carefully. "And he is a demon I see."
"How…how did you know that?" She questioned, completely shocked. Did this man know more than he seemed?
He tapped his nose with a clawed thumb. "Demon scents are easy to pick up when they are all over a human. A half demon's stench is the most noticeable."
"My boyfriend is a half demon." Kagome immediately cut in, defense lacing her voice.
"Ah…" He looked amused. "And how is that going?"
The look on his face annoyed her greatly. "It's great. We're doing better each day. And there's nothing wrong with him." She finished, fixing him with a baleful eye.
"Good to hear." He sounded curious. "You don't hear that often, especially since such unions are so unheard of."
"Uncommon yes." She agreed carefully. "But not impossible."
"Perhaps." The demon considered out loud. His fingers suddenly brushed a bit harshly against a tender spot right below her shoulder and she couldn't hold back the wince that escaped her. But looking at his face, he didn't seem surprised at her response. It was almost as if he knew that bruise was there.
"It hurts doesn't it?" There was a mocking edge in his tone, and Kagome hated the look on his face. It was arrogance and cockiness. And she hated it. She hated it so much because she knew he was wrong.
'It wasn't his fault.' She defended in her head. It was Valentine's day and they had spent the entire day in bed together. He was usually so careful with her, not wanting to break her or hurt her with his enhanced strength. But she had insisted he let go. She didn't want him to hold back. She wanted him to enjoy it as much as he could. A few bruises had formed because of it but she didn't regret it at all. She didn't accept his apologies because he had nothing to apologize for. She told him that she trusted him and she had meant every word of it.
"He would never hurt me on purpose." She spoke confidently, her heart rising with every word.
"I never said he would do it on purpose Kagome." His fingers roamed the curve of her shoulder where a small cut was. "Accidents can always happen with risks.
"My relationship is not a risk. It is a correct choice that I have happily made."
"I suppose." They swayed a bit more quickly. "In that case, I must say that I applaud you for your dedication."
She wasn't sure how to respond to that…comment. "What do you mean by that?"
He spoke as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Relationships between different species are always difficult and require more work than others."
He was playing the same drum again and she barely managed to hold back her annoyance. "My relationship is neither the same nor different than anyone else's. There are things we've been through that no one else has and we also go through the same ups and downs as everyone else."
"Do you now?" His voice was challenging. "Tell me then, how do you handle the thought of knowing he will live beyond any other years you can imagine?"
The question hit her like a ton of bricks. She stopped swaying in movement with him and her mind literally halted in its witty thinking. Sango had mentioned it before and now here she was, being told by a complete stranger the exact same issue. Was the world suddenly against her?
Her face must have said it all. He looked even more amused than before. "So you haven't really thought about it?"
She'd be lying if she said she had. All these years, they had only focused on being with each other. There wasn't much more too it. But had she been a fool? Should she have been more focused on their future together?
"I do not blame you for not thinking about it Kagome. Such a thought eludes even those like you who have never been placed in this situation."
His words only served to worry her. It was true. And maybe that was the reason behind Inuyasha's strange behavior over the past few weeks. Maybe he had come to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it in the end. Perhaps it would be better if they ended a relationship that wasn't meant to last forever. Doubt wafted off of her with a scent of its own and she shuddered at the thought. She suddenly didn't know what she was going to do.
"Demons and humans aren't supposed to be together." She thought she heard him say, but she couldn't be certain.
But how true were those words? Yes these past years had been wonderful. Inuyasha was always there for her and she for him. But she had never been a relationship with a half demon. Maybe she was going about it all wrong? Maybe there was something she could do better to make it right?
"Such relationships are indeed complicated..." He continued.
But what could she do? What more could she do? There wasn't anything she could do…was there?
"I can only imagine how difficult it will be for both of you in the years to come, especially with the concern of time on both your shoulde—"
"No." She cut him off with renewed vigor and even he looked surprised at her resurrection. "You have no idea what you're talking about."
The smile vanished at her words and he frowned. "I believe my comment has plenty of validity."
"Of course you think so. You're a demon."
This time, he stopped swaying despite the fact that the song was still continuing. But he didn't look angry. If anything, he looked intrigued. "And what does my being a demon have anything to do with it?"
Her eyes twinkled in amusement. "You're a full demon. You will live for lifetimes longer than I ever will. So of course you place no value on time. And naturally, you think all of us humans are paranoid about time and cannot see beyond anything else."
He looked surprised at her logic. "If this is true then tell me, how is it that I don't know what I'm talking about?"
Her heart was pounding now in her chest. She felt lighter than air and more determined than ever. Gone was the lingering doubt in her heart. If anything, this man's words had spelled it all out for her. When she finally spoke, she was smiling. "I understand how you feel about time, but you can't possibly apply that idea to my relationship. All relationships are different in their own way. The moments I spend with Inuyasha are unique and unlike anyone else's. So how could someone like you, possibly know what our outcome would be like? Only we can figure that out for ourselves. Yes it will be difficult. Yes I will age faster than him, but that doesn't matter. It never did to me."
"You assume that our relationship is complicated and impossible, but that's not true at all. We don't spend our days thinking about how much time we have left. At the end of the day, all that matters is the amounts of time we get to spend together. It's as simple as that."
The demon's face remained perfectly stoic throughout her speech. After a few moments of silence, he spoke. "Your life and meaning still stands as just a fraction of what his life will be."
His words were a stabbing truth to her heart, but she ignored it. "I'm not going to hold him back or dictate his life. And I know that even after I die, his life will continue on. Perhaps even with other women, but I'm not jealous of that. I share what's happening now and I will be happy with whatever we can share in the future."
"Do you love him?"
"Yes." Her eyes were shining now with unbridled tears. She closed them slowly, trying to get a handle on her emotions.
"Even knowing that he will outlive you?"
"Yes." She opened her eyes and gasped. She finally saw it; a face that was familiar and not menacing like before. It was a softer face. A face that had been through much and had made many choices in life, some better than others. But most importantly, it was a face that was so similar to the one she loved most.
"You're Inuyasha's father." She whispered. How had she not noticed it before?
But he didn't respond to her. Instead he looked past her at something else. He nodded once and before Kagome knew it, Inuyasha was standing protectively next to her. His hand sought hers instantly, like an anchor to a dying ship. It was almost as if he thought she was going to leave him. Quickly, she squeezed his hand back in assurance.
The resemblance was almost uncanny now that they stood next to each other. The father was a bit taller, but they looked the same in almost every other way. Except the stripes on the older demon's cheeks and the fact that he lacked the adorable doggie ears
"Well?" Inuyasha grounded out impatiently.
His father nodded once more. "She will do. I shall grant you consent." And with that, he walked away through the glass doors.
Kagome let out a breath she didn't even know she was holding, but something still troubled her. If that was Inuyasha's father, then what was he doing here of all places? And didn't he just say something about consent? What on earth was that?
"What…what is going on?" She stared up at her half demon in confusion.
When he finally turned to look at her, she swore she had never seen anything quite like the look on his face. It was like a deaf man hearing music for the first time. His eyes shined with such happiness that it made her knees shake with emotions. But when he moved to touch her face, she slapped his hand away. "Oh no you don't. I want to know what's going on right now Inuyasha." She demanded.
To her surprise, a small smile appeared on his face. "I lied to you Kagome."
"You…lied to me?" Then why did he look so happy about it?
He gathered her in to his arms, his nose burying in the crook of her neck. He breathed in deeply, almost shakily, and she worried for a moment that he would collapse right then and there. They pulled away and she pointed at him. "What did you lie to me about?" She asked suspiciously.
He reminded her. "I said that no matter what happened, nothing would change between us.
And with those words, he kissed her, too quickly for her to stop him. She protested lightly at first, but eventually found herself melting in to him like always. The kiss was long and sweet, but with more emotion than she had every felt from him before. And after a few passionate seconds, she realized she could suddenly taste the saltiness from his tears.
"Aren't we a bit old for this Rin?"
"Hush Kikyou! There's nothing wrong with being a kid every once and a while."
"But it's so gross under here." Kikyou whined, looked upward.
"Just a few more minutes please! We still haven't defeated the invaders!" She cried out excitedly. Her hand lifted the white curtain of the tablecloth and she snuck a peak outside, making sure it was safe. A couple walked by and Rin quickly dashed back under the safety of the table. "They're close by!"
Kikyou rolled her eyes. "I'm tired of being under here. Can't we go out on the dance flo—"
But Rin shushed her with a finger to her lips. Then, reaching in to her large purse, she pulled out a small plastic tiara. Placing the crown on her friend's head, Rin giggled with excitement. "Perfect! Now the princess can go out on to the dance floor!"
The thought of why Rin had a crown in the first place completely left Kikyou. For a moment (or more like once again), she decided to be the princess she always wanted to be. With a beaming smiling, she closed her eyes and let her imagination run wild. She was a princess again. The one who waited patiently for her dashing prince to come rescue her; a princess in waiting, with pretty dresses, make up, lots of gold and a…
"My ring!" She suddenly cried out, looking at her empty fingers in sadness. What was a princess without a ring?
But Rin only winked all knowingly. Reaching in to her bag of tricks once more, she pulled out a dark blue velvet box. Together they opened it, revealing a stunning diamond ring that sparkled with a bluish white tingle even while they remained under the darkness of the table.
"So pretty…" Kikyou whispered as she slipped the too-big ring on to her finger. Admiring it longingly, she couldn't help but sigh. "Where did you get this?"
Rin smile only brightened. "I found it in my Uncle Inuyasha's jacket. Don't worry, I don't think he'll mind."
"A demon ritual?"
"Yeah." He confirmed while loosening his tie. "It combines the blood and soul of two individuals so that their life span can be shared. Have you heard of it?"
She bit her lip in thought. "I don't think so. Nothing in my history books has mentioned it."
"That's because it's rarely done." He stated a matter of fact. Before she could even ask, he was behind her, unzipping the back of her dress. His fingers grazed her smooth skin and she shivered. He had certainly been touchy since the dance a couple hours ago.
After his father had left, he had stayed by her side for the rest of the night. Almost everywhere she went, he went with her. He was there when she spoke to the other bridesmaids, attempted to catch the bouquet (that was awkward), and even while she said goodbye to all the guests. But she didn't dare scold him. There was something more behind all of this and she knew he would fess up sooner or later. A couple hours later, when the celebration was finally over and Sango had cried an entire ocean of happiness, the remaining guests retreated to their rooms. As a thank you gift from Sango and Miroku, they had given their entire wedding party and family members a room at the hotel for the night.
Once the two of them had settled in to their room, answers were finally given. Inuyasha hadn't hesitated in telling her everything and she had to admit she was a bit shocked at it all. This ritual thing sounded like a huge deal for demons, especially considering the lengths Inuyasha did to find out about it. And he hadn't spoken to his father in years. That alone was enough to make her heart sing.
She took a seat next to him on the bed. "What does this ritual involve?"
He rubbed the back of his neck. "Well first, we needed someone to perform the ritual, but I figured that shouldn't be problem since you live in a shrine."
This was true. She knew plenty of spiritual individuals from the networks of the other shrines in the city. "Anything else?"
"Consent." He said again as he took off his shoes. "Because this is a process that involves combining the blood and legacy of two different species, consent is needed from the leaders of both packs, so to speak. It's sort of like asking for permission for someone different to be bound to the family. That's why it's rarely done. Consent is hard to get, especially when families are so traditional. I asked your mom a month ago and she agreed to it. My father was another story…"
She nodded. It all made sense now. "Is that why you've been on edge lately?"
"Keh. That's an understatement." He bit out. "It was hard enough getting an audience with him and I know how he feels about humans."
Her eyes widened. "Your…mom?" She said slowly, unsure if she should bring up such a topic.
He nodded. "Yeah. I mean…he might have cared for her at one point, but I know he wouldn't have done this for her. My dad is all about bloodlines and honor. It's the only reason he agreed to take care of me after my mom died."
Kagome's face softened and she scooted closer to him. Her hand found his. "I'm sorry."
He shook his head, fingers trailing over her knuckles. "It doesn't matter now. We've gone through the consent part. So now, as long as both parties are willing, there shouldn't be any problems."
For the first time that night, he looked fearful for her response to his words. Her chest hurt at seeing that look on his face and she gingerly wrapped her arms around his neck, hoping to ease his insecurities. His eyes locked with hers, and she smiled.
"I'll live as long as you, right?" He nodded. "But you'll be weaker."
"That doesn't matter. "He insisted. Clearly he had put a lot of thought in to this. "I'm still going to protect you."
"Do you want this Inuyasha?" She felt compelled to ask.
"I want what makes you happy." He whispered.
"And what if I already am?"
"Then I want to do whatever it takes to keep it that way."
The promise in his words was overwhelming. "I know that." She assured affectionately. "You've always been there for me."
She stroked his cheek. "And I will always be by your side."
His body visibly relaxed after her words. He smiled. "I…yeah, me too."
His words were so like him and she couldn't help but sigh happily in response. She knew what he meant and that was all that mattered. She pecked him on the lips playfully and he smirked in response. But before they could continue, a new childish light shone in her eyes. "But first, I need you to ask."
The passion was gone as he blinked. "Ask?"
She rolled her eyes. Surely he wasn't that dense? "You don't have to get down on one knee or anything like that, but this is like a proposal right? I expect you to say something." She said pointedly.
He brought his gaze from her to the floor. "Do I have to?"
"But you'd like that?"
"It would be nice."
"You sure now?"
She nodded. With a roll of his own eyes, he did as she told, but in his own way. He sat down cross legged on the floor and looked up hopefully at her as she sat on the bed. She smiled in response, failing miserably to hide her giggle behind her hand. He scoffed at her lightly and then began reaching in to his jacket pocket. Her heart nearly stopped at his actions. He had a ring for her? Oh God could this day get any better? She practically squealed with excitement.
Her visions of a gigantic sparkling rock were halted though, when she saw him freeze. "Someone wrong?" She inquired.
Panic shot across his face as his fingers felt around each and every one of his pockets. He still didn't answer her even as he scoured his pant pocket as well and a few of the drawers in the room. And when he began looking under the bed, she knew something was seriously wrong. "Inuyasha?"
He looked terrified and she swore she saw a bead of sweat fall down his face. "I swear I bought you one. It was here! In my pocket! I was going to give it to you tonight! I swear!"
Now Kagome was no different than most girls and naturally expected a huge expensive ring to be presented to her. But she didn't have the heart to yell at him when he looked so scared. "Calm down." She spoke in her teacher voice and rested her hands on his shaky form. "Where's the last place you saw it?"
"My pocket." He panted. "I put it there. I was trying to think of a way to give it to you tonight. I thought that I could've put it in your wine glass or something like that. I know you like stupid and romantic stuff…" He trailed off.
Her face darkened slightly. Given that he was stressed and was currently rambling more to himself than to her, she was willing to let that comment slide for now. "Okay then. Did you actually…put it in the wine glass?"
"No." He gave her a look. "You'd probably choke on it. And I didn't actually do anything with it. I just kept it with me in case the moment came up." He ran a hand through his hair and began circling the room once again.
He was so preoccupied with looking and thinking that he didn't even hear the knock on the door. Figuring that it wasn't wise for him to answer the door while he was so flustered, Kagome went to answer it. She was shocked yet again when she saw her future brother in law and niece standing in the doorway.
"Sesshomaru and Rin?" It was certainly a sight to see. Sesshomaru still dressed in his nicely pressed suit and Rin in her wrinkled pink pajamas.
Surprisingly, Sesshomaru greeted her first. "Kagome. Rin came to bring you something." He gently nudged the girl beside him.
Little Rin had her head bowed deeply, a blush staining her cheeks. When she finally made eye contact with her, her eyes looked ashamed. "I'm sorry Ms. Higurashi."
Bending down so she was more at her level, Kagome lowered her voice. "Sorry for what?"
Rin decided to show her instead. Reaching in to her pocket, she produced a small ring in the center of her palm. It was an absolutely stunning engagement band with a large diamond on the end, and some writing etched in to the sides. It left Kagome absolutely breathless and in an instant, she knew exactly who the ring was really from.
Sesshomaru picked up the ring from Rin's hand and handed it to Kagome. "She claims to have taken it from my brother's jacket this evening." And with that short explanation, he walked off down the hallway. Rin gave her one last apology and hugged her gently, before following him to the elevators.
As they left, Kagome stood feeling lighter than air. She slipped the ring on to her finger almost in a trancelike state and gasp when it slid on perfect. Then, spreading her fingers out like a fan, she admired it in awe. It was beautiful and perfect the way it sparked in the light. And okay…it had been given to her by her (now) fiancé's brother, but who cared? This beautiful ring made all the difference in the world.
"Kagome!" Inuyasha shouted as she shut the door. He looked even more disheveled than before. Slowly, he raised his hands in defense. "Now…don't be angry, and I swear I'll buy you a new one once we get back ho—"
He froze, now seeing the ring that she was oh-so-subtly trying to hide while brushing the hair out of her eyes. She smiled coyly at him and he frowned in response.
"Where did you get that?"
His cry was probably heard all throughout the building and she laughed at the thought. Stopping his purposeful stride toward the door, she hugged him fiercely and tapped him on the nose. "You're so ridiculous sometimes." She managed between laughs.
"I'm ridiculous? You just accepted a ring from Sesshomaru! And it looks just like the one I was going to give you!"
She waved the ring in his face so that he could see the writing on the side of it. When his eyes widened in realization, she smirked. "Like I said, you're ridiculous."
"He found it?"
She laughed once more, completely enjoying the look on his face. He really was like a puppy sometimes. He was overprotective and temperamental, but also loving and sweet. He wore his emotions like a watch on his wrist for everyone to see. He was gruff and incredibly stubborn, but she usually got over it. Somewhat her opposite in many ways, but that kept things exciting. He did whatever he could to make her happy and as a result, she always was. And the best part of all, he was hers and she was his.
"What are you looking at?" He asked. Apparently, she had dazed off in his direction during her inner monologue. How long had she been staring at him, she wondered.
She brushed the hair out of his eyes and kissed him, this time slow and sweet. When she pulled away, his face confirmed it. She knew she wouldn't be any happier than she was right now with him.
"I'm looking at nothing," She repeated from years before. "Nothing but you."
A/N: This entire story has been such a whirlwind of emotions. I can't believe it is all over and I am so sorry that it took me forever to give you this last chapter. I actually had the entire chapter planned out and it just needed to be written. It was when I got to the conversation between Kagome and Inuyasha's father that it took forever. The story stayed rotting on my comp for a looong time until I finally decided to write it (during my finals week no less!). Yay!
Thank you all so much for sticking with me and for all your encouraging words. You guys have honestly motivated me so much and I couldn't have finished this story without you guys! You are all amazing!
I like to add fun little tid bits to the end of my longer stories so here are some random facts about this story:
My favorite chapters are "I Have to Clean Something", "Adults Are so Weird", "I'm so Hot", "What Makes It Special", "She Isn't Just a Prize", "You're Not Like the Others", "You've Got It Bad", "She's Part of this Now", "You Would Do This For Her?"
The hardest chapters to write were "It's Okay to Be Sad Sometimes", "I Forgive You For Everything", "I'm Sorry for Everything", "It's Killing Her", "A Promising Day", "Epilogue"
Did you know that I actually envisioned the ending of the story (with the lost ring) first, and then thought of a park scene and went from there? The title "Nothing but You" also came from that ending idea.
Did you know that I only expected this story to be 10 chapters long, but in the end I kept adding stuff to it and ended up with 40+ chapters?
Did you know I actually planned to have a cooking scene, a camp fire story scene, a drawing scene, a random hang out in the main park building scene, and kite flying scene in the park for Inuyasha and Kagome? But I never got around to it.
Did you know that each chapter takes me at least 3 hours to write? Not usually at the same time though. I usually write for like an hour straight and then the rest of the time is editing and re-reading the chapters. And I usually write my chapters between 10pm-2am.
Did you know that you just read about 30 pages of writing? By far the longest chapter of this story.
Did you know that I always write the chapter first and then pick a quote from the chapter to use as the title? Only a few times have I edited the story to fit a desired title.
Did you know that I have 3 other story ideas that I'm thinking of writing? Please let me know which one you like the best!
Story 1 – Dr. Kagome lives in the highly controlled, Utopian society hidden on an island in the center of the Bermuda Triangle. There, the society is booming with advancements in medicine and technology, except they have one problem: half demons. Due to their unstable bodies and history of bringing chaotic destruction to the cities, human and demon interaction is banned and half demon child are forbidden. (Chapters = 5-10)
Story 2 – Kagome has anterograde amnesia which means that she is unable to create any new memories that happen after her accident. Nonetheless, she lives happily as a waitress in a small town and enjoys all her regular customers that she remembers and the new ones that she believes she has just met. (Chapters = 1-3)
Story 3 – He was the pizza boy and she was just a customer. A simple (and hopefully realistic) college story about their interaction and life together. (Chapters 5-10)
These stories have been stuck in my head for a while now. I am aware Story 3 sounds a lot like "Nothing but You" and it will kind of be the same format. But it will be a lot simpler and sweeter than that. Probably no plot and just friendship and romance. I don't have time for another 40+ story. Story 2 is most likely going to be a one-shot. And story 1 is the least thought out of (as in, I've only thought of the beginning and end, but not the middle).
That's all for now! I can't thank you guys enough! Hope to hear from you all soon and let me know if you have any other fun questions! Thanks again!