Disclaimer: I don't own it, I swear.
And now, my dear friends, we come to the last chapter in my latest story. I know, I know, I'm sad too. I thought it would be, like the other things from my dry spell, useless. However, good news is that it was not! I finished it! (and there was much rejoicing) I hope it wasn't too rushed like the ones I did finish in my dry spell were. I hope the ending came about naturally and I hope you enjoyed it. And please, stay tuned for more, better, stories in the future :).
A few hours later, Inuyasha got up, found a pair of jeans, pulled them on, and flipped on the light.
He took one last, lingering, look at Kagome, who was looking up at him from her position on the bed where she was entangled in his sheets, before turning to his easel.
His easel, now in the light, proudly displayed the panting he had lost himself in.
"It's beautiful." Kagome said as she looked at it." The way she said it made Inuyasha think she had said the same before and was only repeating it now because she knew he couldn't remember.
He turned his head an analyzed it.
There was something...compelling about the painting. He had managed to paint only one girl but she gave the impression of being two. The sunrise and sunset and sea and rock blended and blurred just slightly so that the girl was trapped in his world of color.
She was smiling yet she seemed to be frowning. Her eyes were open but gave the impression of being closed. She wore a flimsy cotton dress, or was it a sassy pair of leather pants? There wasn't a single line or defining area of separation. Cream melded into gray, amber into orange, black into red. It was...wonderful.
It also wasn't finished.
Without really thinking about it, although never forgetting-for how could he?- the naked Kagome in his bed, he began working. It was a habit, almost instinct to grab a brush and some paint and begin painting.
Kagome watched him in fascination as his mind just flipped and was immediatly in work mode. She had thought the paitning finished, but apparently he saw something she didn't. And even from the first brush stroke, it became more complete, more awe inspiring.
Feeling more peaceful than years of anger management had ever made her, she lay her head on her arms and watched him.
She knew he wasn't fat, probably because he sometimes went days without eating, but she hadn't been expecting the kind of body he had. And the first time she actually got a chance to admire it she had been in no mood. But that wasn't the case now.
She saw the muscles of his arm go taut as he lifted it and added color and definition to his work. Of course his arm more have more muscle tone because of the constant demands put on it. However, his chest? And broad shoulders? She saw a gym membership hanging from a lanyard sitting on his bedside table when she had set the plate down earlier. She hadn't expected him to be the vain type. The again, it was obviously working for him.
She watched as the muscles of his back bunched up and glided smoothly beneath his skin as he moved.
Her artist and hers alone. She had never really understood art art, at least not deeply. She liked a nice painting as much as the next person, but it had never been a huge thing to her. Even now she could say that his painting was lovely but she didn't find it soul moving. But also she knew that history, what she did find fascinating and intriguing, bored Inuyasha. They had opposite interests and yet...
Inuyasha was half re-immersed in his world of colors when he felt hands on his shoulders, kneading the taut muscles there. She bent down and kissed the back of his neck.
He smiled and kept painting. And for the first time, someone joined him in his world of color and he didn't lose himself in it.
How had the summer passed so quickly? Was it really two months ago that Kagome busted, or rather punched, her way into his life?
"Do you got it?" she asked as he lifted his completed painting out of the back of her car.
"Yeah," he said being careful to avoid the paint. He was sure it was dry now but he wasn't willing to risk it. He had never finished a painting so quickly before. He had only added the last touches yesterday.
Yesterday night, while Kagome had been sleeping, tired from their earlier activities, in his bed.
"Thanks for the ride." he said as he pushed the memory to the back of his mind. If he was lucky he would get a replay that night.
They both turned and saw the director of the museum, and the exhibition, walking quickly out of the museum towards them. Flanking him on either side was a severe looking female and a bored looking male. The director himself was a rather plain looking man with a pair of glasses perched delicately upon his nose. "And I though you weren't going to make it."
The two silent ocmpanions stepped forward and relieved Inuyasha of his burden before turning and taking it inside.
"You cut it too close." the director chastised him. "You know the exhibition is tonight! You are the center piece! What would we have done if you hadn't made it? What took you so long anyway?" he sighed unhappily.
"It's a long story." Inuyasha laughed.
"He was working as fast as he could." Kagome apologized for him.
"Come on." the director said to Inuyasha. "I need you to help me get the painting in the right position. And tell me what took so long damn it!"
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "I'll be back." he smiled at Kagome. "Look around for a while."
"Okay." Kagome nodded.
Inuyasha winked at her before going to the director's side.
"Well?" the man said impatiently as he walked with Inuyasha inside the building."
"Well, it all started with Kagome." Inuyasha laughed at the memory.
After a second, Kagome followed them inside but as soon as she walked inside, they had already disappeared. Because he said she could, Kagome walked around and looked at Inuyasha's competition.
There were sculptures of clay and wood and metal and glass. Paintings of all shapes and colors and sizes. And, in some rooms, sheet music next to a small CD player that played the gentle melody on the paper. Everywhere, Kagome saw duality, the theme. Darkness contrasting with light, color contrasting with gray, high contrasting with low.
She managed to make her way around to the largest room where she saw Inuyasha gazing up at his painting on the wall. The director was no where in sight.
"What do you think?" he asked when he heard her footsteps approaching.
"Your's is the best." she said as she went to his side and slipped her hand into his and put her head on his shoulder.
"So, what will happen to it?" she asked as they gazed at his work.
"Someone will buy it. Hopefully." he smiled.
Kagome frowned. "You're just going to let someone take it?"
"I'm an artist." he shrugged. "I share my work with the world."
She nodded in understanding but her frown didn't fade.
"Would you prefer I not let it be sold?" he asked.
She shook her head. "No. It's best for you."
"I'll make you a new painting." he promised. "A painting even better than this that you don't share with Kikyo."
She smiled and hugged his waist. "I don't need it." she looked up at him. "I just think we'll miss the memory."
He grinned. "I don't remember the best parts anyway."
"You've more than made up for that." she pointed out dully.
He smirked at the memory of the last few days. Or rather, nights.
"Are you nervous?" she asked as she turned her eyes back to the painting. It hadn't been framed, that would be up to the discretion of the future owner. It was displayed at the center of the room.
"No." he said without hesitation. "Even if it doesn't sell, I know who I'll give it to."
Kagome smiled and snuggled into his side.
"What a lovely story." the elderly lady sighed happily. Lady Grayson had been a dear friend of hers and her death three weeks ago had hit her hard. This was the first time she had been out since. Such a connection to her in the story made her, for some reason, believe it all the more.
"Are Inuyasha and Kagome here now?' her husband asked.
The director nodded. "They're around somewhere. Why?"
"I want to thank him for my new painting." he said slyly.
His wife beamed and put her arms through his. "Let's go find them, dear. I want to see this girl who was a friend of my friend.