Yes, I know that I told all of you that I wouldn't continue this. But I received a special request from a reader. She asked me to write an ending for this story for her birthday, and so (being the softy I am when it comes to my readers) I agreed. And so, here is the official ending to 'The Night of Snow' (my first fanfic). I hope all of you like it.
P.S. Happy Birthday, iheartinuyasha!
Chapter Fourteen – Moonlit Trees
The first thing she realized was that it was dark. The cool night air gently blew against her face, lightly kissing her cheeks and causing a smile to tug at the corner of her mouth. That's when the second realization occurred to her. She was lying on her back, but yet she could feel her weight being supported by arms. Someone was holding her.
Kagome turned her face to look up. Her savior's moonlight hair spilled over his shoulder and tickled her forehead. Shining stars speckled the sky above their heads, matching his hair color. She felt butterflies in her stomach as molten gold eyes flickered to her face.
"You are awake." The familiar voice rumbled.
She swallowed and nodded, unable to break her gaze from his face. The moonlight reflected off of his tanned skin, banishing the rest of his features into the shadows. He cradled her close to his chest, staring down at her with gentle amber eyes.
He shook his head, cutting her off before she could continue. He glanced at the space ahead and she suddenly realized that they weren't alone. In the corner of her eyes she could see Sango, Miroku, Shippo, and Kirara sitting around a fire. Suddenly, her memories flooded back into her brain.
I...I fell! But Inuyasha caught me…and then we…we…
Her chocolate eyes jerked back to his handsome face, wide and curious.
How long have I been sleeping!? That happened this morning!
She felt blood seep into her cheeks and she was glad that it was dark out. Inuyasha had kissed her, and she had kissed him back. The memory of his lips pressing against hers was enough to make her heart start to pound again.
The sudden sound made his snowy ears twitch and turn in her direction. He looked back down at the petite girl in his arms. She was staring at his face, a humiliated expression on her features. Before she could say anything else, he stood up.
"Close your eyes and pretend you are asleep." He breathed.
Without a word, she obeyed. Miroku and Sango looked up at Inuyasha's sudden movement.
"I'm going for a walk."
Miroku raised an eyebrow suspiciously but nodded, returning his gaze to the demon slayer. Shippo was snuggled up against Kirara, both of them fast asleep.
The half-demon swiftly turned and pushed against the ground, leaping into the trees. Kagome gasped and threw up her hands, locking them around his neck. He held her bridal-style, gracefully leaping from tree to tree. She nestled against his chest, closing her eyes again. Her lashes brushed against her cheekbones and she sighed contently.
Inuyasha looked back down at the young priestess he held. She was soft in his arms and somewhat delicate. He had always looked at her as a fragile doll that could easily break. Sure, she acted strong-willed and bold, and he found it amusing. It was like a kitten trying to pass for a fierce tiger. He sighed.
Damn it. I've been trying to decide what to do all day now. Still…
He lightly landed on a branch and sat down, propping his back up against the tough bark. Kagome's chocolate eyes flickered open and she looked up at his face. He felt his chest tighten at the emotion in her eyes.
"Inuyasha, did I faint?" She whispered after a moment.
"Back at that cabin? Oh, yeah, you did."
She nodded slowly, pursing her small pink lips. He tried to redirect his attention from her mouth to her face. It wasn't easy.
"Did...did Sango clean me up?"
"Yeah." He tried to fight the blush that threatened to creep up his neck.
Kagome grabbed onto his kimono, pulling herself up into a sitting position. She met his eyes with a steady gaze, smiling sweetly at him. His pulse quickened.
"I had the weirdest dream, you know."
He didn't push for any answers, and so she continued.
"I dreamed that I fell from the roof, and you protected me from getting hurt."
"Sounds like me."
She leaned forward, tucking her face in the crevice between his neck and shoulder. Kagome inhaled slowly, enjoying his heady pine scent.
"Guess what else happened?"
"I don't like guessing."
"Well, then maybe you can just tell me."
Inuyasha clenched his jaw. This was what he had been fighting himself over.
Kagome shook her head slightly, nestling closer against him. She lifted and hand and touched his throat, absent-mindedly caressing the skin.
"Before that happened…we kissed…"
Inuyasha's could feel his breathing go off rhythm. The feel of her fingers gently touching his skin was like electricity through his veins. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, trying to control himself.
Kagome frowned, her fingers going still. She could feel his muscles tense under her. She bit her bottom lip, feeling confused.
I didn't dream it! I know I didn't! I mean, his lips felt so real against mine.
She lifted her head, staring at his face intently. The girl lifted her hand from his throat and gently grabbed his chin. She turned his face toward her.
She couldn't help the gasp that escaped her throat as his eyes opened slowly. He looked as if he was almost in pain. He let out an unsteady breath. She had never seen him like this before. Inuyasha, her Inuyasha, was always strong and nothing ever disturbed him. So, what was wrong?
She touched his lips with the tips of her fingers and he exhaled sharply, his breath tickling against her skin. Her heart stuttered as the liquid gold in his eyes settled on her face.
"I don't want to hurt you." He whispered.
Kagome couldn't help the confusion that crept into her mind.
"What are you talking about? You didn't hurt me, and you most definitely aren't. If anything, you've made me happy."
Inuyasha looked away, focusing on the moon.
"Kagome…fifty years ago, Kikyo died. But what you don't realize is that it was my entire fault. If I would have just trusted her…if I would have trusted that she would never do anything to betray me, she would still be alive. But I didn't, and because of my actions, I killed her. My doubt killed her."
Kagome could hear the pain in his voice. It made his tone almost breathless. Her heart ached with him.
"I refuse…I won't allow myself to hurt you. I can't see another woman die. Kagome, I don't want anything to happen to you. If anything…if something were to happen to you…I couldn't forgive myself."
She shook her head, cupping his cheek in her small hand. His eyes flew back to her face in surprise.
"Inuyasha, you are so stupid. Don't you see? You can't hurt me, even if you tried. Haven't you realized by now that I'm not a little girl? I can make decisions for myself, and I've already decided to stay with you."
"You can't change my mind, so deal with it. Inuyasha," Kagome brushed his snowy bangs out of his face, "I'm in love with you."
He stared at her, shocked and quite speechless. She had just…Kagome had just…she had said that she loved him!
He lifted a hand to cover hers and his eyes closed. He inhaled deeply, breathing in her strawberry scent like perfume. When his eyes opened, the golden in his eyes were smoldering.
"I'm in love with you, too, Kagome."
Her heart sped up and tears filled her eyes. They freely fell down her cheeks and she couldn't hold back the smile that spread across her face. She had only ever dreamed of those words escaping his lips. And now that he said them, she couldn't help the joy and delicious feeling that raced through her like lightning.
Inuyasha leaned forward slowly, his mouth pausing over hers. She could feel her pulse racing.
She covered the rest of the distance, connecting her lips with his. His arms curled around her waist, pulling her against him. Her chest crushed against his and she wrapped her arms around his neck. He gently lifted a hand to cradle her head.
Kagome sighed in the kiss, her breath mingling with his. His lips were warm, sending sparks through her veins. When he pulled back, she couldn't help the cry of protest that came from her lungs. He chuckled and kissed the tears on her cheeks.
"Why do you cry?" He breathed.
"I'm…happy." She replied simply, not wanting to budge lest she shatter the moment.
So they sat there, his arms holding her against him with her head tucked under his chin. She closed her eyes slowly, her lips still tingling from his touch. She suddenly wondered if every kiss felt like this.
"Love comes from the most un-expected places." He whispered, and she recognized it as a quote from the night before.
"That it does."
She curled up between his legs, her head on his chest. Inuyasha buried his nose in her ebony hair, smiling to himself.