Hey there! My biggest apologies that this last chapter was a long time coming- so very sorry! Exams just got int the way- and then I wanted to end it properly as a credit to all who have read/reviewed/alerted/favourited and enjoyed this story!
I was inspired to write this after listening to an upbeat section of the Inuyasha soundtrack played by an orchestra on the internet. It amazed me and I decided I had to finish this story! So I went back and re-read what I'd written and then couldn't believe half of what I'd written! Some of this will need editing! Haha! Plus 9 chapters really bugged me- 10 is a nicer number to finish on!
Anyway I'm so grateful to you all! Thank you for helping me along with this story :D
Here it is- the final chapter! Gosh!
Disclaimer: Last time- I don't own Inuyasha :D
Chapter 10- Resolution
Before Inuyasha fully awoke he could already feel the demon blood pulsing in his veins again. The night of the new moon was over. He was a half demon again. Man did it feel good. Stretching, amber eyes popping open, he relished in the feeling that the wounds inflicted the night before no longer hurt or bothered him.
Checking his back and sides, he noted that Kagome's bandages were neatly still wrapped. Shifting them aside he saw with great satisfaction that skin beneath, which had looked nasty and torn up the previous night, was smooth and faultless again, no marks from the clash with the demon showing at all.
And now he had admitted to Kagome that he wanted her to stay by his side, everything was sorted. She was staying and everything was now fine. He couldn't find a moment where he had felt more…content.
Sniffing, he inhaled the fresh morning air. He could smell the forest again, hear the scufflings of little creatures; feel the life of the Feudal Era. Seriously, being human was so damn boring. Nothing like the strength or the powers he had as a half demon.
It was early morning he guessed as he sat up; the sun had barely risen and the dawn chorus was still going. Stretching again, Inuyasha wrinkled his nose, looking around. On the opposite side of the campfire Miroku and Sango were still sleeping on their separate bedding roles, the kitsune flat out on his back between them, Kilala wrapped up on Sango's feet.
Inuyasha glanced down beside him, an expectant smile creeping across his face.
It turned to a frown.
Kagome had fallen asleep by his side the night before. Why was she no longer there? A brief flash of panic welled up in his chest before he squashed it down. Maybe she had gone to refresh herself, or prepare for the day or something. There was nothing to worry about.
God it was like he was some idiotic love struck puppy or something, worrying so quickly over Kagome.
Standing, Inuyasha brushed down his red fire-rat haori. Boy he was hungry, he realised absentmindedly as his stomach rumbled. What was there to eat around here? Surely there would be something good in Kagome's yellow bag.
He turned round, looking for the yellow bag. It wasn't by Kagome's bed. Puzzled, Inuyasha moved around their campsite, looking for the bag. His search turned up nothing and he grew restless.
Why would Kagome's bag have gone?
"Kagome?" he called, still searching.
Inuyasha turned round, already knowing it wasn't Kagome as a masculine voice had hailed him. He found Miroku rubbing a hand blearily over his face. "Get up monk," he chided, walking past, rummaging through the various packs they had.
"I'm up," the monk muttered, standing and stretching, wincing at the slight pop he felt as his spine realigned. "What are you looking for?"
"Kagome's bag," Inuyasha said, chucking an unwanted item over his shoulder.
Miroku raised an eyebrow. "Alright. But don't let her know you were looking through her things! Come to think of it- where is Kagome?" he looked around their camp, noticing for the first time it was missing someone.
"I don't know," Inuyasha grumbled. "When I woke up she was gone."
"I'm sure she just went to relieve herself or something. She'll be back in a minute," Sango said with a yawn, having been woken up by the two men and listening absentmindedly to their conversation. "And you didn't hear her leave?" she raised an eyebrow.
"Hello? I was human last night- remember?" Inuyasha snorted frustratedly. "I probably wouldn't have heard a thing until my demon powers came back when the sun rose."
"Kagome's scent isn't that strong here," Shippo commented, crinkling his small nose. The fox demon shifted from foot to foot anxiously. From what he had overheard that night, things should have been sorted. What had that dumb Inuyasha done to scare Kagome off now?
Inuyasha nodded in agreement, cursing under his breath. She hadn't been here for a while. Where the hell had Kagome gotten to now? With her bag too…Then a dread settled on Inuyasha's heart and it sank fast, as though he was falling down a hole. "Last night…" he breathed to himself.
I'll be leaving in the morning," Kagome said quietly. "Then you won't have to worry anymore."
"Crap," Inuyasha said suddenly, startling the two humans and the kitsune. "She couldn't have…but I told her!"
"Inuyasha what?" Sango demanded.
Inuyasha felt his fingers clenching into fists. Kagome and her bag were both gone. Kagome would take her bag back with her…if she was leaving right? "She told me last night she would be leaving this morning," he growled. But she wouldn't…I told her…I wanted her to stay. He swore she had understood what he was saying.
With the curse still in the air, Inuyasha was bounding away, leaving behind the stunned trio. Following Kagome's scent, Inuyasha sprang through the forest, glad that his demon powers were back.
I told her what I wanted!
Inside Inuyasha's thoughts were in turmoil. He didn't understand- not that he ever fully understood what went on in that human girl's mind.
I made it clear!
The trees whipped past as Inuyasha leapt easily, grass billowing frantically as he raced past. The scent was confusing. It was as though Kagome had walked somewhere, walked backwards and then changed course again. Inuyasha growled in frustration.
"I said don't leave," Inuyasha repeated. "If you think I'll be happy if you do…then you're wrong."
Damn he had meant that too! Didn't she get it at all? Inuyasha paused, feet sliding slightly on the dewy grass. The morning sunlight was filtering in through a patch in the canopy of trees, alighting the clearing in a beautiful hazy sunshine. Kagome's scent was strong here.
Slower now, Inuyasha tracked it, following the smell like a hunter, his nose trained expertly over the years to pick up that single scent that was Kagome. He couldn't tell her how much he liked her scent. She would probably hit him and call him a hentai or something. So he lied: and told her that her smell offended him. That had made her angry too, but at least she hadn't known…
Out of the corner of his eye, Inuyasha spotted a flash of blue. It was a small pool in the middle of another clearing. The water glittered in the early morning sunshine and a lone dragonfly skimmed the surface, wings a blur across the surface of the lake.
The lake was not what attracted Inuyasha's undivided attention.
It was the human girl standing at the edge of the lake. Her shoes and long socks were at the bank beside her yellow bag and the water lapped around her pale ankles. Long, luscious black locks flowed down over her white shirt covered back.
Inuyasha did not need the scent to know that it was Kagome.
Overwhelming relief that she hadn't left threatened to submerge Inuyasha as he walked closer, feet making no noise on the soft grass. She hadn't left. She was still here.
"But what the hell is she doing?" Inuyasha muttered, crouching down beside a tree, watching the young miko. Geez he felt like such a peeping tom- but at least she had her clothes on.
Inuyasha barely had time to make himself hidden a moment later as Kagome turned around, something swinging from her right hand. Upon looking closely, Inuyasha noticed it was…a fish?
She was fishing?
Looking pleased with herself, Kagome carefully picked her way back to the bank, laying the caught fish with a small pile of others. He had not spotted that earlier. So this was where she had gotten to. So…she wasn't leaving? Inuyasha was confused.
"Who's there?" Kagome suddenly called out, hearing a rustling noise as Inuyasha shifted in his hiding spot. At once the fish was dropped and Kagome had scrambled for her bow and arrows, nocking an arrow immediately.
Deciding it would be better to reveal himself than get shot, Inuyasha emerged from the trees and walked straight towards the young woman. She visibly relaxed as she saw Inuyasha approaching.
"Oh, it's you Inuyasha. You startled me," Kagome smiled, kneeling beside the fish pile, bow placed back on the ground.
Inuyasha squatted down on the ground beside her. "What ya doing?" he asked- though it looked very obvious.
"Fishing," Kagome decided to humour the Hanyou who was eyeing the fish. "They're for breakfast."
"Breakfast?" Inuyasha repeated, slightly confused.
"Yes, the first meal of the day Inuyasha?" Kagome giggled softly at the perplexed look on her Hanyou's face. She paused. Her Hanyou? Since when had she begun to refer to Inuyasha as hers? She felt a slight blush rise in her cheeks.
"Keh, I know that, I'm not dumb," Inuyasha shot back, recovering. He was still trying to get his head around it. She hadn't left for her time. Instead she had left to go fishing? "And y'know it's dangerous just to go off by yourself," he muttered, folding his arms in his robe sleeves.
"I had my bow and arrows," Kagome protested. "It's not like I wasn't protecting myself."
"Still dangerous," Inuyasha frowned. She would never just let him protect her properly would she? "There are water demons probably everywhere round here."
"I wanted to get some fish for breakfast," Kagome pouted slightly, looking at the small pile she had proudly caught in the last half an hour. Getting up so early had paid off. She had just hoped that she would get back before the others had awoken…
"Why?" Inuyasha asked curiously, peering at Kagome through his white bangs.
"Well…I wanted you to feel better, after last night and what you did for me and all. Help you recover…" Kagome trailed off, running a hand through her black hair, smiling nervously. "Pretty silly plan though…"
"Sorry to disappoint, but I'm fully healed," Inuyasha smirked, lifting his haori slightly to show her the brand new healthy skin. He watched as Kagome's eyes widened in surprise.
"I'm glad," Kagome said sincerely, a smile brightening her face, her eyes lighting up. "It was just quicker than I expected…" she noted, though inside she was disappointed. Now what was the reason for getting the fish?
"But we can still have the fish anyway," Inuyasha said quickly, picking up on Kagome's somewhat downcast look and attempting to cheer her up. Kagome nodded, a small smile creeping back onto her lips.
Kagome noticed Inuyasha's ears twitch as he looked away across the lake. Something was up. "Is everything…alright Inuyasha?" she asked.
Inuyasha's snow white hair whipped about his face as he turned sharply to face the young woman. "No, nothing's wrong," he said, almost too quickly.
Kagome's eyes narrowed as she stared at him more closely. "Something is wrong. Tell me," she said, poking him in the arm. It was unlike Inuyasha to be so…well pensive.
Inuyasha shuffled uncomfortably. How was it that she was always the one that could read him the best? Judge his emotions better than anyone else, know when he was upset at something? "Keh, I'm fine Kagome," he stressed.
Kagome sat back, crossing her legs as she cleaned the fish.
Inuyasha wrinkled his nose, still trying to find the right words. Suddenly they all fell out of his mouth in a rush, "You're not still planning on leaving are you?" came out in a garbled mess.
Kagome looked at him questioningly. Somehow she had caught the words. "Inuyasha? I thought we'd talked about this last night?" she said slowly.
Inuyasha felt even more uncomfortable. "But this morning…you weren't there. I thought…"
Kagome's eyes widened in understanding. "Oh," she breathed. "You thought I'd left."
"No!" Inuyasha protested though he knew it was too late. Kagome cottoned on to things pretty fast. Obviously she wasn't dumb or anything. He felt his cheeks reddening beyond his control.
"Inuyasha…" Kagome said slowly. "You said last night that you didn't want me to leave…you are sure about that aren't you?"
Inuyasha blinked. Kagome was insecure? Her voice was hesitant and demeanour shy. "You can't leave," he said, folding his arms.
Kagome smiled, her lips twitching. "But what about stuff at home- like my exams?"
Inuyasha rolled his shoulders, "I guess I can allow that- not often though," he warned, glad that he had brought a smile to the young woman's pretty face. "And not for any guy either- not that Ho-Ho-"
"Yes! No! Not for him," Inuyasha retorted firmly.
Kagome's smile widened teasingly. "What about… someone here?"
"And definitely not with that mangy wolf Koga!" Inuyasha exclaimed- horrified that she would even think of running off with the wolf. "I would never allow it!" he vowed.
Kagome nodded, that seemed fair. After all, she had made up her mind. "But…I think…" she began, her cheeks heating up as she smoothed her skirt down. "I've already fallen in love," she whispered, staring at Inuyasha.
"WHAT?" Inuyasha was flabbergasted, his dog ears flattening against his hair. She'd fallen in love with the wolf? When? What could she possibly see in Koga that wasn't in him? "Kagome!"
Kagome looked shocked at his response. He doesn't want me to love him? She thought, her mind going at a hundred miles a second. So I really am only here as a friend? "But Inuyasha…" Her lip quivered.
Inuyasha felt his heart clenching as Kagome became upset. Way to go Inuyasha…he thought sarcastically. If she did love the wolf…truly…and staying with him made her upset…would he be able to stand it? Knowing that he was in the way of her happiness?
"You can go be with him," he bitterly muttered, looking away at a patch of suddenly very interesting, vividly green grass. He would look everywhere but at Kagome. "Just…keep the jewel shards safe ok? I don't want you to…be unhappy," he mumbled.
Kagome looked confused. What is he on about?
"Is he here now?" Inuyasha asked.
Kagome was past confused now. "Of course Inuyasha," she said, reaching towards the Hanyou. She was even more surprised when he leant away from her touch, flinching as though she would hurt him. "Inuyasha I don't understand…"
The Hanyou stood, brushing down his robe. After all he had done- all he had said to try and make Kagome stay with him. It had all been for absolutely nothing. He almost felt like laughing at himself. Why would a human girl- or any girl in their right mind want to be with a stinking Hanyou? Not good enough. Not strong enough…
He turned away, bare feet barely making any sound on the soft grass.
Inuyasha paused and turned round. Kagome had risen behind him a surprised and hurt look on her face. "Why?" he asked, still caught up in his own self-loathing.
Kagome looked almost incredulous. "Isn't it obvious?" she asked.
Inuyasha waited for her to say something. She was really confusing him this morning. "No," he muttered.
"I love you!"
It was as if all the noise in the forest had stopped. The trees had stopped rustling; the wind no longer whistled through the grass or sang through the flowers. No sound of slithering animals, or the chirping of insects. Everything froze.
Kagome gulped; her cheeks aflame. She had really said it out loud! Oh goodness- what if he rejected her now!
"What…what did you say?" Inuyasha barely managed to croak, his amber eyes fixed on the precious young miko standing before him, her hair falling over her delicately sloping shoulders as she nervously twisted her fingers together. "Say it again."
"I…love you…Inuyasha," Kagome repeated, ducking her head.
Inuyasha took a step closer to her, mesmerized. "Again."
"I love you alright!"
That was all it took. In one single step, Inuyasha was beside Kagome in a second, crushing her to his chest as disbelief and incredulity raced about inside him. She loved him. Him! Not that wolf, not that Ho- whoever, not anyone else. But him! Joy blossomed in his heart as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, holding him tightly.
A clawed hand swept through Kagome's hair as Inuyasha ran a hand through her black locks. "You love me?" he mumbled softly right beside her ear.
"Of course I do," Kagome said, barely able to believe it herself. She had said it three times already. Didn't take much to batter through his thick skull did it? She could have laughed.
"Me?" Inuyasha checked again.
Kagome drew back slightly from Inuyasha's grasp, looking at him squarely in the eyes. "I've said it three times Inuyasha. I. Love. You."
And just to prove that she really meant it, she reached up, resting her hands on his strong forearms and standing on her tiptoes and kissed the stunned Hanyou on the lips.
For a moment she thought she had gone too far as she felt him freeze beneath her touch, before he softened, moving into the kiss and claiming her lips with his own.
Who do I thank for this woman? Inuyasha thought, moving his arms more securely around Kagome's slender waist, inhaling her intoxicating scent. If he could chose, he'd never leave this moment.
It was forever ingrained in his memory. Kagome in his arms as they stood in a clearing beside a crystal clear lake, the trees swaying gently, cherry blossoms falling tenderly around them, the sunshine filtering through the gaps in the foliage to give the ground a dappled look.
No more misunderstandings. The pain over the last few weeks was over.
After a length, Kagome broke back to recover her breath. It seemed Hanyou's could hold their breaths longer than humans! She raised her hand to trace Inuyasha's strong jaw before reaching higher to stroke one of his white ears.
Inuyasha whined, ear flicking but bore the treatment. It was Kagome. She accepted him for who he was, what he was. That at least, deserved being able to touch his ears. He saw her smile comfortingly and hugged her tightly.
"Are you alright Inuyasha?" Kagome asked.
Inuyasha nodded shortly. If he opened his mouth he was sure mushy stuff would come tumbling out. That was definitely not his style! He chose instead to kiss her again, fangs lightly grazing her bottom lip. She shuddered deliciously.
"Inuyasha…breakfast…" Kagome managed distractedly.
Inuyasha glanced down at the pile of fish by their feet. "Keh. And I bet that monk and demon slayer will be worried about you too," he realised. He'd just abandoned them by the campsite.
"Worried?" Kagome asked, concerned.
"Yeah, well, I sort of thought you'd left…" Inuyasha trailed off, realising his mistake now as Kagome raised an eyebrow.
"We'd better get back and tell them everything's alright," Kagome said.
Inuyasha wrinkled his nose, "Do we have to? They'll just be really nosy," he grumbled.
Kagome crouched down by the fish. "If you want a nice breakfast you'll come. Help me take them back?"
Unable to say no to her shining eyes and slight pout, Inuyasha scooped up the fish, stringing them together from the line Kagome had used to catch. He slung them over his back as he waited for Kagome to slip back into her shoes and socks, putting her bag on her back.
Deciding it was taking too long; Inuyasha quickly leant forward, gathering Kagome in his arms, not in a piggy back as he usually carried her, but one arm supporting her back, the other under her bent knees in a bridal style. She squeaked in surprise but did not protest, only smiled as Inuyasha leapt from the clearing.
Mine Inuyasha thought as his feet barely skimmed the grass, heart lighter than it had been in weeks.
Mine Kagome thought contentedly, resting her head against Inuyasha's strong shoulder as he transported her through the woods. Her troubles, insecurities, worries…all gone. Inuyasha knew she loved him. Though he hadn't said it in as many words, she knew he felt the same.
Kagome simply held on as Inuyasha leapt through the trees, total confidence in the strong body that easily pushed off of the ground, the sure feet that met the ground every time they landed just to propel them upwards again.
"Kagome?" Inuyasha's voice was near her ear as they soared through the air.
"Hmm?" Kagome glanced up at him, watching his eyes which were focused dead ahead on where they were going.
"I…meant to say something. Earlier," Inuyasha said awkwardly, pushing off a tree branch, keeping his eyes fixed on their destination up ahead. That was the safest option.
"Yes Inuyasha?" Kagome waited patiently.
Arriving back at the campsite, Inuyasha came to a halt and then gently let Kagome down, her feet carefully touching down on the grass. She looked at him expectantly. He swallowed.
"I…" Inuyasha began, still unable to get the words out. But she deserved to hear them. After everything they had been through together of the last weeks- Kagome needed to hear them.
"…well…damn, I love you Kagome," Inuyasha leant towards her, gathering her in his arms again, the miko willing melting into his hold as she wrapped her arms around him. He breathed in deeply. There. He had said it. Finally.
Then the smell of salt hit the air.
"Kagome, I'm…what…don't cry," Inuyasha tried; pulling back to look at Kagome's face. Had he really upset her this time?
To his utter surprise, he saw a smile on Kagome's lips. "You're happy?" he hazarded, ready to flinch back if she was not.
"Of course I am," Kagome replied, smile widening. "Inuyasha you are silly sometimes," she giggled, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Am not," Inuyasha retorted, though returning the smile, comfortable to stand with Kagome leaning on him as she was. Nothing to worry about now. She knew, he knew.
"Aww," Miroku's voice broke through the moment, eliciting a growl from the irritated Hanyou.
So it seemed Miroku and Sango now knew about it too.
Kagome soothed the half demon, rubbing a hand consoling on his arm as the Hanyou shouted threats at the monk as he and the demon slayer appeared in the camp.
Everything is going to be alright the contented miko thought, smiling up at the half demon by her side as her friends gathered around her all clamouring for attention.
It's all done! *Cheers* Still- it's sort of sad now it's all over. I may just have to go write another Inuyasha story now :D Thank you everyone for sticking with me!
Please review! Last time :D