"Kigatsuyoi (Strong-Willed, Strong-Hearted)"

Rated M; for eventual adult romantic situations, and language similar to the animated series, whether stated in English or original Japanese terms.

Summary: A continuance of the story from the end of Final Act, when she comes back up through well. There are a lot of unanswered questions: If Kagome and InuYasha indeed are married, how did he propose? What was their wedding like? What was it like adjusting to this new level of relationship as they'd been so close for so long and barely realized love just before it'd be too late for 3 years' separation? Also, Sesshomaru's character grew and matured as the series progressed, how does this continue? What about Rin's "choice" that will be inevitably happening as she comes of age? This could become something lengthy, as I have a whole lot of feelings about it, and no particular end in mind.

InuYasha stared up into the beautiful blue sky as his mind wandered, lost in the billowy white clouds that floated above.

Kagome…why did we part this way? I am so sure we where born to meet each other. Will you ever return to me, now that the Shikoun Jewel is gone?

With a sigh, his gaze dropped to the ground for a moment, I won't give up hope that easily. There must be a way, and we'll find it.

"InuYasha!"

Sango's voice rang out from beyond the hill. He was late to help them out at their house. Sango and Miroku had their hands full with three children, one to which Sango had recently given birth. They needed a distraction for the twins to get things done.

Keh. Reduced to baby-sitting! There's got to be a youkai that needs slaying somewhere.

InuYasha bounded down the hill and came to a complete halt near their laundry line. Shippo was already there, perched on a nearby rock.

"Why do I have to be here, can't you just entertain them, Shippo?"

"One of them is more than enough for me to handle! The two of them together are scary!" Shippo shuddered at the thought as they came running out the door.

"Inu! Inu! Inu!" the girls chimed.

"Keh! Can't keep them both under control, eh?"

And with a smug snicker he plopped himself in the grass and let the barrage begin.

Kagome came home, having just graduated from high school. At a time when she should have been excited about the future, rejoicing in her accomplishments; she was feeling lost and so incredibly alone. She walked up the stairs and over to the old shrine, opening the door to where the well stood.

I've finished what I had to do, and now I'm here forever in my world…

She bent over the well, staring at dirt and rocks on the bottom, imagining the time passage there as it once was.

A world without InuYasha.

The tears welled in her eyes as her heart ached with longing. Kagome clutched the edge of the well as she closed her eyes to try and picture his face once more in her mind's eye. She could almost feel his embrace, she knew it so well. And a flash of his lips pressed warmly against hers. Her heart felt like it was about to burst.

But, InuYasha, I only want to be with you!

As she opened her eyes, light shined upon her. There the well had become a tunnel of sorts.

"The Sky?"

"Inu! Inu! Inu!" they sang as they jumped into his lap, nearly instantly reaching for his pointy canine ears.

I hate being called "Doggie!" Ugh! And why the hell do they always have to play with my ears?

"You're like a toy," Shippo said in bemusement.

"Do something about these two," InuYasha mumbled.

"Not the ears, girls," their father urged.

"Sorry, InuYasha!" Sango said, resisting a smile.

Suddenly something familiar hit his nose. Kagome's face instantly flashed into his mind and his heart began to pound.

Is this really happening?

InuYasha jumped to his feet and dropped the twins on Shippo, "Go exterminate the fox!"

Kagome hugged her mother tightly.

"It's okay," her mother consoled.

She had made her choice: to leave her family behind, to cast aside the norms of a modern society…to have a simpler life with the one she couldn't live without. The well had mysteriously reopened to the Feudal Age as she wished upon it.

Her mother let her go and Kagome bent back over the well.

InuYasha's heart raced as he went throttling toward the well. There was no mistaking it.

I'll never forget that scent!

His mind raced as quickly as his heart and legs with thoughts of her: The way her eyes gleamed at him, the way she blushed when was with him alone, the way it felt when she laid her head against his chest as he held her…the taste of her kiss.

The well was in his sights and he stopped a short of it and took a deep breath as he stepped up and peered down into the well.

And there she was, bending over her end of the well.

Kagome's eyes widened and she gasped. He could see the twinkle of tears as she reached out to him. He leaned in, and for the first time in three seemingly endless years, they were hand-in-hand. InuYasha pulled her up out of the well effortlessly, and there she stood before him.

For a long moment, they gazed upon one another, as if trying to absorb the reality of what was happening. Kagome fought between wanting to cry and wanting to smile.

"InuYasha, I'm sorry for making you wait."

"Kagome..." was all he could utter.

He pulled her down off the well's edge, "Baka! What were you doing all this time?"

His casual insult didn't even faze her, she was so glad to be in his arms again. She let out a sigh of relief as she sank into his embrace, wishing it never to end, when there came the cry of an old friend.

"Kagome!" Shippo called, followed by Sango and Miroku with the children in tow.

Kagome looked up over InuYasha's shoulder to see a bunch of familiar faces running toward them, "Miroku-sama, Sango-chan, Shippo-chan! I'm back!"

Kagome was greeted by the arms of Sango and Miroku their two little girls. Shippo tearfully jumped down from Miroku's shoulder and wrapped himself around her leg.

"We missed you, Kagome! Especially InuYasha! He was moping around all the time!"

CLONK!

Shippo glared at InuYasha, "What was THAT for?"

"Baka! I was NOT moping!"

Shippo jumped up to Kagome's shoulder and whispered in her ear, "Yeah, he was," then promptly ducked out of the way of another threatening swing from his stubborn, silver-haired friend.

"Let's head back to the village, everyone," Sango urged excitedly.

"Indeed," her husband agreed, "this is a cause for celebration!"

Kagome jumped on InuYasha's back and he sprinted back to the village as his heart overflowed with joy.

Kaede was wrong! Kagome has returned to me! I can't wait to see that old woman's face!

"I missed you, InuYasha."

His heart skipped a beat, and he glanced over his shoulder at her, though he kept running. "Oh?..Yeah," was all he managed. As he put his hand over hers that rest on his shoulder, he caught her shining smile.

Kuso! Why can't I just spit it out? "I missed you, too." How hard is it to say? Ugh! She always manages to catch me off guard. She's good at that!

They reached the village as the sun was getting low in the sky. Kagome looked around. Kaede's house had been rebuilt, and a few others added, one of which she assumed was Miroku and Sango's.

This place really hasn't changed much; it looks the same as always.

Kaede's voice rang out to them, "Is this true? Kagome has returned?" The group approached the old priestess.

"Yes!" exclaimed Kagome, "I've returned for good!"

Kaede smiled warmly as they hugged. She pushed away slightly to take a good look at Kagome, "It is your love for InuYasha, no doubt, that reopened the well!"

Both InuYasha and Kagome froze for a moment and blushed. He just looked wide-eyed at Kagome, holding his breath in anticipation of her answer.

Kagome's face softened and she turned to look at him.

"Yes, Kaede-obasan," she paused, "yes, it was." Kagome slowly moved toward him speaking to Kaede, but keeping her gaze fixed on InuYasha, "I had finished what tasks were keeping me attached to my time. When my work was done, I felt empty. I knew where I was supposed be…"

Kagome snuggled into InuYasha, and his face began to mirror hers as he put his arms around her once more, "…with InuYasha." He exhaled and rested his chin on the top of her head, letting his eyes close. All he wanted to do was breathe her in.

You smell so good. It's comforting.

Kaede cleared her throat, snapping the two out of their daze, "Let's get dinner prepared, then! Shippo, go around and tell everyone we will feast together tonight!"

With that everyone dispersed and got to work, leaving Kagome and InuYasha standing there alone, looking at each other in disbelief.

"You're really here," his bright golden eyes gleamed at her. Kagome managed a nod without breaking eye contact. It was if they were two stars gravitating toward each other, until their breath mingled amongst the warmth of their lips. InuYasha began to feel warm.

The taste of her lips is tenfold of her scent. How Intoxicating…

They stood there for what seemed like only a moment to them, as they kissed endlessly, as if they couldn't get enough of each others' essence. Kagome ran her hands through his long silvery hair, as his hand cupped her face. Then they paused for a minute to breathe, when they realized they had an audience. Some of the villagers had come running when they heard that Kagome had come back to stay, along with Shippo. Everyone was just staring in amazement. Shippo's eyes had widened and he blushing from head to toe.

The couple jumped out of each others' arms, beet-red. Kagome gave a meek wave and a gritted, overdone smile, attempting to save her self from embarrassment, "Hey everybody! It's good to see you all!"

InuYasha grabbed her quickly to escape to where he now usually slept. Some nights he was joined by Shippo, who couldn't sleep sometimes thanks to Kaede's snoring, and Kirara, who often gave Miroku and Sango their space to be romantic.

He pushed aside the bamboo curtain to the small house, and he pulled her in.

Kagome chuckled nervously, "Well, that was em-" Before she could complete her thought, his lips had again found hers, and he enveloped her in his arms. She hummed underneath his aggressive advance.

He really must have missed me terribly; I've never felt this from him before.

He paused, as in thought, and searched her eyes, "I did miss you. Not one day went by that I didn't think of you, wishing you were here with me."

The air caught in her throat. That was the most open about his feelings he had ever been since the time he had told her he needed her. Before she could think anymore his mouth was on hers again. This time her parted lips invited his tongue to taste her, and she reciprocated. She took his bottom lip lightly between her teeth and pulled gently, eliciting something from him that sounded a bit like a growl but more like a groan. He pressed her against the wall with his whole body which, Kagome noticed, had gotten considerably warmer, like he had a fever.

"Inu…Yasha…" she groaned in half pleasure, half pain. The painful air in her tone caught his attention. He got a hold of himself and stepped back.

"You okay?" he panted. She nodded in return. "I don't know what came over me. It was like you've awakened something in me. Is this human or demon?"

He sat himself down on the floor and looked up at Kagome. She sat down beside him, leaned against him and mindlessly played with his garment. "I'm pretty sure that's human, InuYasha. I've seen plenty of romantic movies before. One's passion can get really intense when you love someone."

"I guess so, huh?" They both reacted to those words and looked back directly at each other. They shared one more soft kiss as Shippo came barging in.

"You guys are still at that? Gross! I'll never understand grown-ups!" He turned on the same step and said over his shoulder, "C'mon, dinner's almost ready!"

After much food and conversation, people began retiring to their homes. Kaede came up to InuYasha and beckoned him to follow her, "May I have a word with you?"

InuYasha looked to Kagome, and she understood. "I'll be at the hut."

Kagome was exhausted. She laid down on InuYasha's mat and was out like a light.

InuYasha and Kaede sat at her fire in her hut. "I have something for you to give Kagome," she said as she stood up and went over to a chest and pulled out a set of priestess' robes. InuYasha saw them and a flash of Kikyo came to mind.

"No, InuYasha, these were mine when I was younger, not hers."

Kuso! It's like she's reading my mind! But that's a relief…

"These will suit her just fine."

He went to get up and she interrupted, "One other matter, InuYasha…"

He stopped and sat back down.

"…Of Marriage."

InuYasha was shocked to hear that word out loud, although he'd thought it before.

"Huh? Uh, I mean yeah. What about it, old woman?"

"She obviously came back for you, InuYasha, by the strength of her heart and love for you. And do you love her? Will you take her as your wife?"

He could feel the heat slowly engulfing his face.

I can't even muster the words for Kagome, but I have to tell this one first?

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly; his composure regained, "Yes, Kaede."

"Well then, do not delay, InuYasha! This wedding must happen on the next new moon, as it will be the first new moon of spring! Quite a favorable day, indeed!"

"Wait, Kaede! Why the New Moon? I'll be human, is that why?"

"Not at all, it is merely tradition. We'll have the wedding just after sunset. You just let me know when it is settled, and I will take care of the rest."

InuYasha pushed aside the bamboo curtain to find Kagome asleep soundly. He sat next to her for a moment, just watching the peaceful expression on her face. He leaned over and gently brushed the hair from her face. She sighed in her sleep and mumbled, "I love you, InuYasha…"

Those words were like a purifying arrow in his heart. The tears welled and he quickly wiped them away. He carefully lay down behind her on his side as not to wake her, slipping his arm smoothly underneath her neck where the head rest was and curled right up to her body. With the head rest under his head, he wrapped his other arm around her, buried his face in her hair and whispered, "I love you, too…Kagome."

Kagome mumbled incoherently, and instinctively snuggled closer into him. InuYasha smiled to himself and let his heavy eyelids shut.