Inuyasha drove Kagome and Maeko back to their home nervously. Now that the tension and stress about Maeko's whereabouts had melted away, a new kind of anxiousness seeped in. What exactly had Kagome come back for? Was she returning to them? Did she have something she wanted to say? Or did she just want the stuff she had left here back? He considered locking it up. He considered locking her up, too.
Glancing in the rearview mirror, he saw his daughter's glowing, ice cream streaked face. Kagome had made it like that. She had swooped in and fixed everything. Not just today, but when she had first come, too. He hadn't realized it, but their family had been missing something for a long time. It had been missing her.
He snuck a glance at her in the passenger seat. She was looking out the window, softly humming to the song playing on the radio. The wind teased her hair out of its ponytail. What was she thinking now? What would happen when they got home?
All too soon, they were pulling into the driveway and it was time to find out. Maeko had fallen asleep in the backseat, probably exhausted from the stress of the day. He didn't blame her. After gently lifting her limp body out of the car seat and tucking it snugly into bed where it belonged, Inuyasha tried to steel himself for wherever his next conversation with Kagome would take him.
He found her in the kitchen, scooping ice cream.
"What's that for?" he asked.
"You. You didn't get any at the store. And ice cream is comfort food. Maeko's not the only one who needs a little bit of comfort today."
Was she referring to his missing daughter or his missing heart? He sat down at the table across from her.
She finished squirting fudge on top of the sugary mounds and passed the bowl to him with a smile. "No demon sprinkles, I promise," she said.
He smiled a little in spite of himself, thinking about their first evening together. Slowly, he raised a spoon to his mouth, but he couldn't really taste what he was eating. He was too busy studying her. She had on her practiced smile, but he'd seen it enough by now to see past it. She was nervous. Because she didn't know how to tell him she was leaving? Because she didn't know how to tell him she loved him? The suspense was killing him.
He dropped his spoon in the bowl somewhat forcefully. It clattered in the silence of the kitchen, causing her head to snap up.
"I still love you," he said. "I want you to stay. I want you to never leave again. I want you to wear this…" He placed the ring he'd been holding on to since she had taken it off on the table between them. "…for real."
Her mouth fell open. "Are you proposing to me?" she asked.
He nodded solemnly. "I know it's not the most romantic way to do it, and I promise if you say yes I'll propose again in whatever way you want however many times you want if that's something that matters to you. But I can't wait another second longer without knowing how you feel."
The silent seconds that followed were the most suspenseful and anxious ones Inuyasha had ever experienced.
Finally, in the corner of her mouth, a smile started to creep up. He held his breath.
"Yes. Yes! I'm sorry it took me so long to come around, but… I love you, too."
Relief, joy, and incredulity washed over Inuyasha, as he reached for Kagome and gave her their first real kiss. It was passionate, breathless, and sweet. When he pulled away, he grinned goofily, and she smiled back in return, holding out her hand. He eagerly slipped the ring right back into its place. His own had never left his finger.
Later that night, when they woke Maeko to share the news, her excitement eclipsed their own. They did have to spend a considerable amount of time convincing her not to make it a double wedding, though.
When Sango called to report how her date went, Kagome answered excitedly.
"How was it?"
"It was stupid. I don't want to talk about it. We're together now."
"I'm sorry, but at least… wait, what?"
"He's dumb and I hate him."
"I got that part, but…"
"He's a lecher and fool."
"Perverted, idiotic, smooth-talking…"
"So you had a good time, huh?"
Silence. Kagmoe smirked.
"I'm happy for you."
"I won't, but I will change the subject. Inuyasha and I are engaged!"
"He asked me a few hours ago."
"Well that escalated quickly. Congrats. I hope this will teach you to listen to me more often."
Kagome laughed. "It does. As soon as I let my guard down I realized how very right you were. And how right Inuyasha was, and Maeko was, and really everyone but me."
"Well that's great. I mean, I didn't think you would up and get engaged on me so quickly, but I completely support you."
"Wait, they're engaged now? For real?" Kagome furrowed her eyebrows as a male voice piped in on Sango's end.
"Was that Miroku!?"
"I told you to be quiet, you idiot! No, that wasn't Miroku. That was the pizza guy. I wasn't able to eat on my date on account of how disgusted I was by the man I was with, so I ordered pizza when I got home."
Kagome glanced at the clock and smirked. It was past midnight.
"Sounds like it went reeeeally well."
"I hate everything and I don't want to talk about it ever. Let's go back to your upcoming wedding. Do you have a date?"
"No, but I do have a Maid of Honor if you agree to it."
"Of course I do! I'm really happy for you Kagome."
"Thanks. I'm happy for you, too."
"I already told you to shut up."
Kagome grinned. "Alright, alright. Well, I have to go anyway. Inuyasha's making puppy faces at me."
It was true. He was trying to imitate Maeko's pleading looks in an effort to get her off of the phone and back into his arms. She obligingly said goodbye and gave him a kiss.
"You're very cute. Now let's go to bed and when we wake up we can start the first full day of our real relationship together. Sound good?"
"Only if we sleep in the in the same bed," he answered, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Kagome blushed heavily, but nodded.
And with that, the story of their real love began.
A/N: So there you go. I went back and edited everything for consistency, which made the story less deep but a lot sweeter. So I'm happy with it. And as of now it's done! I don't think I'll go back to this story unless I get a lot of people telling me to. That said, if you really strongly want a chapter on Sango's date, a chapter on the wedding, some other epilogue, or a sequel story about either Inu/Kag, San/Mir, or even Mae/Ship, then you're free to make the argument. If enough people try to convince me I may give in. Or I may not. No promises. But either way, I hope everyone enjoyed this story. It was my very first. Feedback is always appreciated, so please review. Bye!