InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The New Student and Kagome's Secret ❯ Chapter 65: The Inauguration (Part II) ( Chapter 67 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
A/N: *sniff sniff* It's been a real treat writing this story! Thank you to all of my reviewers! You all made it worth while! ENJOY!
She kissed him on his cheek and turned to walk away. They let their hands linger for a moment before releasing each other, Inuyasha finally letting Kagome walk away. The entire crowd moaned in disappointment. Inuyasha shot them a glare, telling them to be quiet. Inuyasha watched as Kagome opened the door to walk off the balcony…
“By the way,” Inuyasha said suddenly. Kagome stopped to look at him. “If you are trying to get back to your family then you can stop where you stand.”
“Huh?” Kagome said.
“Kagome!” Kagome suddenly heard a woman shout. Kagome ran to the edge of the balcony to see her mom, brother, and grandfather entering the building from below. Kagome whirled around to stare at the balcony doors, waiting for them to emerge. They soon came running across the balcony.
“Kagome!” her mother shouted, wrapping her arms around her daughter.
“Mom! Grandpa! Souta!” she shouted as tears formed in the corner of her eyes. “You're all okay!”
“Oh we're fine, dear, but thank God you are okay!” her mother said looking at her daughter. “I've been worried sick since you left.”
“But how did you…” Kagome began to ask.
“Inuyasha came for us!” Souta shouted excitedly. “He sent one of his servants for us. I even got to ride on a helicopter over here Kagome!”
Kagome looked at Inuyasha. Inuyasha blushed sheepishly and looked away. Kagome walked over to him.
“You did this?” she asked. “For me?”
“Yeah, well…” Inuyasha said, folding his arms and looking away. “I figured you were probably worried about them…and well…I figured they might want to see the inauguration too.”
Kagome smiled. She knew Inuyasha had done that for her…no matter how many excuses he tried to form. Kagome laughed.
“Is there anything you can't do?” Kagome said with a laugh. Inuyasha smiled, but then turned serious.
“Yeah, actually,” Inuyasha said, taking her hands into his and looking into her eyes. “There is.”
Kagome's family backed away. Unbeknownst to Inuyasha and Kagome, the microphone was still on…and picking up every word. The crowd heard everything on the balcony and slowly began gathering around to witness what was about to take place.
“Kagome…I can't…I can't rule this land without you by my side,” Inuyasha said somewhat nervously. Kagome smiled.
“Inuyasha I already told you I will always be there for you,” Kagome said sweetly, patting his hand.
“No, you don't understand, Kagome,” Inuyasha said. “I need you here…with me.”
The crowd listened intently, eager to see what was going to happen next. Sango and Miroku held on to each other in the adjacent balcony, witnessing everything.
“But…what about my school? And my friends? And my family?” Kagome said.
“I'll bring in a home school teacher to finish you up so you can get your high school diploma,” he said. “I will send you home as often as you like. Your friends and family can come to visit whenever they wish and stay as long as they like. We have plenty of bedrooms here!” Kagome looked at her mother.
“Did you know about this?” Kagome asked.
“Well, Inuyasha met with your grandpa and I as soon as we arrived,” her mother replied.
“And you're okay with all of this?” Kagome asked.
“Well…that's really entirely up to you, dear,” her mother said.
“Kagome,” Inuyasha interrupted, causing Kagome to shift her eyes back towards him. “I have nearly lost you many times. I can't afford to take that chance again.”
“Wait,” he said, placing a finger to her lips. “I also can afford to have any more interruptions. I need you here Kagome. I need you here with me. I can't do this alone.”
“I know,” Kagome said. “You made that perfectly clear on the balcony last night.” She sighed and looked away.
“But it came out wrong last night!” Inuyasha blurted out, still holding onto her hands. “I was afraid…afraid you had already made your mind up…afraid that you wouldn't want to stay anyway…afraid that someone as great as you…could never love a hanyou like me!” Kagome looked up at him with hopeful eyes. He sighed. “Kagome, my entire life I have denied things that are right in front of my face. Because of my ignorance, I have nearly lost you. Now my ignorance…may cause me to lose you again…only in a different way. Don't walk out that door. I don't want to take a chance of losing you again.”
The crowd silently anticipated Kagome's response. Kagome looked up at her mother and then down at her hands. Kagome sighed and removed her hands from Inuyasha. She walked towards the balcony doors. Inuyasha sighed. That was it. Kagome had made her decision. She was choosing to walk away…though he really couldn't blame her. He looked away.
“Why do you want me to stay?” Kagome suddenly said, breaking through Inuyasha's thoughts.
He looked back towards her. Her back faced him. She turned around to meet his eyes with her own.
“That's all I want to know, Inuyasha,” Kagome said. “Why do you want me to stay? Is it because I can help you rule justly?”
Kagome waited for his answer. Inuyasha was dumbfounded by her question. Kagome, on the other hand, was waiting for him to say yes. She was waiting to hear that painful answer…that he wanted her to stay for his own selfish reasons. He then did something that shocked Kagome…he frowned. He walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
“Are you kidding me?” he asked. “Don't get me wrong, I know you could really help me rule, but do you honestly think that is why I want you to stay?”
Kagome stood there. She had no idea what to say. Inuyasha turned around and walked back towards the balcony's edge. He rested his hands on the banister and looked out over the people, still not paying attention to the fact that all eyes were on them.
“Kagome,” he said, with his back still turned to her. “I want you to stay because I can't imagine my life without you in it. You were there for me…cried for me…even brought me back to life. I don't want you to stay so that I can have you help me rule. Hell, I have advisors! I want you to stay because…” Kagome held her breath. “Because…well…you are the one I want to see every morning when I wake up. When you're away, you're all I think about. I worry for your safety constantly. No, Kagome. I want you to stay because…because…”
He turned around to face her. Kagome's eyes quivered as she awaited his next statement. She held her breath, afraid that even her breathing would cause her to miss hearing something. She looked at him with hopeful eyes. He was nervous as hell, and it had taken all of the courage in the world to admit everything to her. He was almost holding his breath. He wasn't used to being so open, but he knew he had to be. He had to be this time, and for the first time in his life, his face did not waver. He was ready to finally admit his feelings…to himself if to no one else.
“Because…I'm in love with you, Kagome,” Inuyasha said, releasing the breath he had held in.
Kagome's heart leapt in her chest. She stood there like a stone statue. She couldn't move. She couldn't breathe. He walked over to her and held onto her hands. He stared into her eyes. Kagome's eyes were trembling. She still couldn't believe what she had just heard. Inuyasha cupped his hand under her chin and tilted her head up towards him. Kagome's eyes held longing and trust. The rest of the world disappeared as the two of them stared into one another's eyes. Inuyasha waited a moment for Kagome to respond, but she was in shock. When no answer came, Inuyasha couldn't resist. He leaned in closer and closer until he took her lips into a soft, but loving kiss. Kagome's eyes were open in shock at first, but then closed as she relaxed into the kiss. Inuyasha released them from their kiss and looked at her directly in the eyes as if he had something very important he wanted to say.
“I not only want you to stay here, Kagome,” Inuyasha said touching her face, his hand slightly shaking from nervousness. “I want you to marry me.”
“What?” was all Kagome could say. Her heart was beating so fast. Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes. She began breathing unevenly as she tried to take in everything that was happening.
“Marry me, Kagome,” Inuyasha said, pulling a ring from his pocket and holding it between his forefinger and thumb. “You say you can't leave your family behind…so I ask you to stay here with me…and start your own family.”
Though Inuyasha had said those words calmly, it had taken every ounce of strength within him to get the nerve to say everything he was saying to Kagome right now. After talking with her family earlier, Inuyasha had been informed that her mother wouldn't approve of Kagome staying in the West with Inuyasha unless she were to be wed to him. It had definitely made Inuyasha think for a very long time about what he wanted, but he had decided at the very last moment to ask her. He had wanted to ask her in a more romantic environment, but he knew Kagome would be leaving to go back with her family the minute she stepped off of that balcony. It was now or never…so he chose now. His heart was nearly beating out of his chest and he was nervous as hell waiting for her to say something. Kagome looked at her mother. Her mother smiled and nodded. Kagome looked over to Sango and Miroku who still held onto each other in anticipation. The crowd was silent. No one dared move, afraid they would miss something. Tears finally rolled down Kagome's cheeks.
“Oh, Inuyasha! I love you too! Of course I will!” she said, leaping into his arms and taking his lips into a deep kiss.
Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her waist as he kissed her, still holding the ring in his hand. The crowd went wild. They cheered louder than they ever had before. It was apparent the crowd loved Kagome as much as, if not more than, they did Inuyasha. Sango squealed in delight as she watched her friend and Inuyasha share a genuine and loving kiss. Everyone clapped loudly as laughter and rejoicing spread throughout the crowd. Kagome and Inuyasha finally broke from their kiss. He rested his forehead against hers, a brilliant smile plastered to his face. Kagome smiled.
“You've never smiled this much before,” Kagome said with a laugh.
“I've never had this much to smile about,” he replied. “May I?” Inuyasha gestured towards the ring.
“Of course,” Kagome said extending her left hand.
Inuyasha got down on one knee and slid the ring onto her finger. Kagome grinned from ear to ear. She was so excited. Inuyasha laughed a little. She was like a giddy schoolgirl. He stood up and wrapped his arm around her. Inuyasha then realized how the crowd celebrated. Kagome sweatdropped. Kagome blushed furiously as the crowd rejoiced. A few of them even jumped up and down, declaring that Japan was about to see the best years it had ever seen. They all clapped and cheered. Inuyasha and Kagome blushed. Had they heard everything? They were suddenly startled when they felt a hand on each of their shoulders. They turned around to see Sango and Miroku.
“May I be the first to congratulate the bride to be?!” Sango said as she and Kagome squealed and hugged each other, causing Inuyasha's ears to flatten against his head.
“Way to go, Inuyasha,” Miroku said shaking his hand. “I didn't think you had it in you.”
“Feh!” Inuyasha said as he blushed and looked away.
“Well, it sure took him long enough,” a tiny voice said, breaking into their conversation.
“Shippo!” Kagome shouted as the little kitsune jumped into her arms.
They heard a “meow” and saw Kirara with a red ribbon around her neck come running onto the balcony and jump into Sango's arms. The kitten licked her owner, receiving laughter from Sango in return.
Kagome laughed, but soon noticed that Shippo's face fell. He looked a little sad. Kagome looked down at him and lifted his chin up.
“Shippo,” Kagome said out of concern. “What's wrong?”
“Well…I was just…um…” Shippo stammered, twiddling his fingers. “What will I do?”
“Oh, Shippo…” Kagome began, but was interrupted by Inuyasha.
“What the hell do you mean `what will I do'?” Inuyasha asked gruffly, crossing his arms. “Don't be stupid you little runt! Where else would you go?! You'll be staying here! Now I don't want to hear you gripe like a baby any more!”
The little kitsune's eyes lit up as he jumped from Kagome's arms and onto Inuyasha. He crawled onto Inuyasha's shoulder and wrapped his little arms around Inuyasha's neck.
“Oh, thank you, Inuyasha!” Shippo cried.
“Yeah, yeah,” Inuyasha said, picking Shippo up by his tail.
Under normal circumstances, Inuyasha would have given a scowl and dropped the little kitsune on the ground or tossed him back to Kagome. Instead, Inuyasha held onto Shippo's tail and smiled at him. Shippo grinned back.
“Just don't go causing any trouble, okay?” Inuyasha said.
Shippo nodded quickly as Inuyasha walked back over to Kagome. He placed Shippo in Kagome's arms, and smiled at her. Kagome returned an even brighter smile, happy that Inuyasha had finally not abused the poor little kitsune. Kagome knew Inuyasha cared for Shippo as if he were his own son, though he would never admit that to anyone, probably not even to himself. Shippo would now be staying with them in the castle.
“I'm just here to say that I'm not responsible for the little runt,” Inuyasha said with a smile, catching a glimpse at Shippo out of the corner of his eye.
Shippo frowned and stuck his tongue out at Inuyasha. Inuyasha swung to bop the little fox on the head, but Shippo leapt from Kagome's arms and ran around the balcony. Inuyasha chased the kitsune, knocking over chairs in his path. Kagome, Sango, and Miroku laughed at the scene played out before them.
“Well, it's going to be interesting living here,” Kagome said with a laugh. Sango and Miroku laughed.
“There will never be a dull moment,” Sango said with a laugh. “That's for sure.”
“I'll miss you guys,” Kagome said solemnly. Sango reached out and hugged her friend.
“I'll miss you too, Kagome,” Sango said.
“But don't worry,” Kagome said with a smile. “You are Lady of the Eastern Lands now.”
“Ha!” Sango said with a laugh. “Yeah, I almost forgot. It feels weird being called that. I must admit I was shocked when Inuyasha asked us to rule the East.”
“You guys mean a lot to Inuyasha,” Kagome said with a smile. “I can tell. He acts all rough and tough, but deep down he can get sentimental. The only problem is he reverts back to his old self almost immediately! Case in point…” Kagome gestured to Inuyasha flinging aside chairs chasing after Shippo and almost destroying the balcony.
“Come here you little runt!!!” he shouted, slamming a fist into the balcony floor with Shippo narrowly escaping his assault.
The three of them laughed as Inuyasha continued to chase Shippo. He was about to leap on Shippo's tail when…
“Inuuuuyaaaashaaaa,” Kagome scolded placing her hands on her hips, causing Inuyasha to stop in mid-flight to look at her. “SIT BOY!”
“Arngh!” Inuyasha uttered as he slammed face first into the ground, twitching.
“Hmm,” Miroku said, placing a hand to his chin. “Maybe Inuyasha is the one who needs protecting.”
“Ka-go-me,” Inuyasha growled into the balcony floor. Kagome rolled her eyes and walked over to her mother.
“Are you okay with all of this?” she asked.
“Okay with it?” Kagome's mother asked in shock. “Kagome I would have beaten you if you had said no! I think it's a wonderful idea sweetheart and I couldn't be prouder of you!”
Her mother wrapped her arms around her. Kagome shed a small tear and thanked her mother as she hugged her back.
“You will make a great Lady of the West, Kagome,” her mother said cupping her cheek with her hand. “I just know it!”
“Thanks Mom!” Kagome said.
Kagome's mom then glanced over to Inuyasha picking himself up off of the ground. She smiled then turned back towards her daughter.
“Just go easy on him, dear, okay?” she said. Kagome laughed.
“Okay,” she said as she walked over to Inuyasha.
“Hey,” Kagome said with a blush.
“Feh!” he said folding his arms. “I almost had that little runt until you had to open your big mouth!”
“Huh?” Kagome said balling her fists at her side. “My big mouth? Inuyasha don't make me say “the word” again!”
“Okay!” Inuyasha said, holding his hands up defensively. “Just don't say it!”
Kagome smiled and took Inuyasha by the arm. His face softened as he looked down at her. He smiled. She looked up at him with loving eyes.
“Let's go, Inuyasha,” Kagome said. “People will be expecting your arrival at the reception.”
Inuyasha nodded and led Kagome towards the balcony doors. He placed his hand on the door and was about to open it when he stopped and looked back at the others. Myouga and his family still stood on the balcony, along with Shippo, Sango and Miroku, and Kagome's family.
“Come on Lord and Lady of the East and Lord of the North,” Inuyasha said sarcastically. “People will be awaiting you as well.”
Sango and Miroku laughed as Sango took Miroku's arm as he led her towards the door. Myouga escorted his family out the door behind them, followed shortly thereafter by Kagome's family. They hadn't walked very far until Inuyasha started growling. Everyone looked up to see Kouga standing at the end of the hallway with his arms folded, Ginta and Hakkaku standing on either side of him. They continued to walk towards him.
“I thought you were heading out after the inauguration wolf wimp!” Inuyasha retorted.
“Nah!” Kouga said allowing his arms to relax at his sides. “I decided I would stick around to see you screw things up muttface!”
They both held annoyed looks until they finally reached each other. Everyone behind Inuyasha stopped with him as Kagome released Inuyasha and back away. Kouga and Inuyasha stared at each other for a minute. Then, to everyone's surprise…they smiled. Kouga grabbed Inuyasha's hand and shook it firmly.
“I don't say this very often mutt, but…thanks,” Kouga said gruffly.
“Don't worry,” Inuyasha replied. “I don't make it a habit of associating myself with wimpy wolves…but every now and then…I'll make an exception.”
The two of them smiled at each other. Then with a nod from each, Inuyasha motioned for Kagome to take his arm again as he led everyone down to the reception.
Once they reached the reception area, they all had to wait behind a large red curtain. Satoru met them at the curtain and greeted each of them. He was as excited as anyone as he rushed to greet his new Lords and Ladies. He greeted them all and then turned to Inuyasha.
“You will need to wait for us to announce you,” Satoru said motioning towards the curtains. “Then the curtains will raise and each of you will walk out onto the stairs one at a time starting with the Lord of the South, followed by the North, then East, then West.”
They all gathered in their order as Kagome's family told her they would wait for her downstairs in the reception area with Shippo and left. It was customary that the Lords and Ladies of the Lands be formally presented to the people after they were inaugurated. Inuyasha stared at Satoru for a minute then took on a gruff expression.
“Satoru,” Inuyasha said, staring straight ahead. “I think now would be as good a time as any to tell you…well…you're fired.”
“What?!” Kagome and Satoru said at the same time.
“Inuyasha, what are you thinking?” Kagome asked frantically.
“Well,” Inuyasha explained. “I can't exactly have him hold two positions.”
“Two positions?” Satoru queried.
“I would like for you to take over Myouga's position,” Inuyasha said. “Myouga is now Lord of the North. He can't exactly be my right hand man any more now can he?”
Satoru's mouth dropped open. Very few servants ever achieved such status, and the salary was nearly double of what he was making now. Kagome grinned from ear to ear. Satoru looked at her as if to ask if Inuyasha was serious. Kagome just smiled and looked up at Inuyasha. Inuyasha continued to stare straight ahead with an emotionless expression on his face.
“So you want it or not?” Inuyasha asked, finally looking over to Satoru.
“Why…of course sire!” Satoru said. “Of course I do! Thank you! Thank you very much!”
“Good,” Inuyasha said, looking forward again. “You can move in immediately. You will be taking over Myouga's quarters.”
Satoru nodded, bowed, and back away. He couldn't believe it. He was seriously in shock. Not only was he going to be paid nearly twice as much, but he got to move in the castle, have his own room, and enjoy all of the luxuries of living with the Lord of the Western Lands. Satoru grinned from ear to ear as he walked over and reached for the golden rope. He held onto it tightly ready to open the curtains as soon as the first name was announced. Kagome smiled at Satoru and nodded her head. He smiled back. He had to admit he was going to love having Lady Kagome around. `She'll keep Inuyasha in line,' Satoru thought with a laugh.
Suddenly a trumpet sounded outside the curtains as everyone began to gather around. A servant stood at the bottom of the stairs ready to announce the new Lords and Ladies. Kagome's family was excited as they awaited their little girl's appearance.
“Now presenting the new residing Lords and Ladies of Japan,” the servant announced.
Satoru pulled the giant rope and the curtains were lifted. The crowds cheered and clapped even though they couldn't see anyone yet. Kagome took a deep breath. This was the moment of truth. Inuyasha looked down at her. He was relieved he had finally admitted how he felt, and he couldn't be prouder to have her on his arm.
“You'll do fine,” Inuyasha said, then looked towards the curtains. “Besides, I think they love you more than they do me.”
Kagome laughed and rested her head on his shoulder. Inuyasha always knew how to make her feel good…even though he rarely came out and said what he really meant.
“Lord of the Southern Lands, from the wolf tribe, Lord Kouga,” the servant announced as Kouga walked out onto the balcony with Ginta and Hakkaku beside him. He gave a little nod and walked down the stairs into the crowd only to be ambushed by reporters.
“Lord of the Northern Lands, Lord Myouga and family,” the servant announced as Myouga and his family nervously entered the top of the stairs. He wasn't quite used to being treated as royalty yet…especially when he had been a mere servant his entire life. They descended the staircase to be stopped by numerous photographers and reporters.
“Lord and Lady of the Eastern Lands, Lord Miroku and Lady Sango,” the servant announced as Miroku entered the top of the stairs with Sango on his arm. Sango blushed, but Miroku held fast to her in an effort to comfort her stage fright. They too descended the staircase and were ambushed by reporters.
“And finally, the man you've all gathered here for, may I present to you, your new Lord of the Western Lands, Lord Inuyasha, and his new fiancée, Lady Kagome,” the servant announced.
Kagome and Inuyasha couldn't move. They blushed heavily after hearing how they were announced. Kagome looked up at Inuyasha. She didn't know if he had wanted everyone to know yet. He looked down at her. He was needless to say in shock. He had no idea how everyone knew. He finally shrugged his shoulders and escorted her onto the top of the staircase. Kagome held onto Inuyasha tightly and tried desperately to hide her blush.
Reporters soon came running to the edge of the crowd and shouting up towards the top of the stairs. They hadn't even given Inuyasha and Kagome a chance to descend the staircase.
“Lord Inuyasha, over here!” a reporter called out.
“Lord Inuyasha, a question please!” another called out.
“Lord Inuyasha, this way!” a photographer shouted.
“Lord Inuyasha, is it true you and Lady Kagome are now set to be married?” a reporter shouted.
“When's the wedding?” shouted another.
“Do you plan on having children?” one shouted.
“Lady Kagome, do you intend on staying in the West permanently?” one asked.
Kagome and Inuyasha were blushing heavily. They exchanged embarrassed looks as they were flooded with questions. Inuyasha finally sighed and motioned for everyone to quiet down. Satoru walked over to Inuyasha and coughed to catch his attention.
“My Lord,” Satoru whispered. “It is customary that you answer a few questions for the press. They're usually given a period of twenty minutes to ask you as many questions as they can. After that, they are not allowed to ask you any more questions.”
“Fine,” Inuyasha whispered back. “Tell them I will answer their questions.” Satoru nodded and took a step forward.
“Lord Inuyasha is prepared to answer your questions one at a time,” Satoru announced loudly. “You will be given a twenty minute period in which you may ask as many questions as you like. I will announce when the twenty minutes are up, following which there will be no more questions. The twenty minutes start…now.”
Inuyasha nodded to a reporter desperately trying to gain his attention in the front.
“Lord Inuyasha, everyone is dying to know! For the record, are you and Lady Kagome officially engaged?” the female reporter queried.
Inuyasha looked at Kagome. He smiled at her. She returned his smile with loving and supportive eyes. She wouldn't really even care if he lied about it at this point. She was the happiest she had ever been. Nothing could ruin her day. Inuyasha thought about lying about it for a moment…but when he looked into Kagome's loving eyes, he just couldn't do it. She was the greatest girl on the face of the planet and he didn't care if the whole world knew it now. He knew it was now or never. It was time to admit the truth…to everyone. He turned to the reporter.
“Yes,” he replied. “I have asked Kagome for her hand in marriage and she has accepted.” Kagome blushed as her heart skipped a beat.
“May we get a confirmation from Lady Kagome?” the reporter next to the lady asked. Kagome stepped forward.
“Yes,” Kagome said with a sheepish smile. “I accept.”
The entire crowd cheered. It was now official. Lady Kagome and Lord Inuyasha were set to be married. The crowd clapped their hands, whistled, and cheered for the couple. Kagome and Inuyasha smiled down at the crowd and nodded their heads. Inuyasha looked down and pointed to the next reporter with his hand up.
“Lord Inuyasha,” he said. “You've lost your family and you've been banished from your homeland to not only return with acceptance, but to be inaugurated as Lord of the West. How do you feel and what will you do now?”
“Well,” Inuyasha started. “It's bittersweet. I feel great, but I do wish my mother and father could have been alive to see this. However, I have great friends beside me now. Knowing I have people I trust helping me rule Japan sets me at ease. As for what I am going to do next, I am going to celebrate with my friends…my new family.”
Everyone clapped and cheered for Inuyasha. He nodded, but remained somewhat stern. After all, he wasn't a wimp.
“Lord Inuyasha,” the next reporter asked. “What will you have the new Lords and Ladies of the Lands do? Will they stay here in the West or will they move back to their Lands and stay in the castles there?”
“I've already made arrangements for each Lord and Lady to return to their respective Lands where they can govern their Lands as they see fit,” Inuyasha answered. “I suppose it will be up to them if they want to live in the castles there or not. However, should they choose to live in the castles, I've already sent someone out to each castle to make sure things were in order for their return.”
Everyone clapped and cheered after each answer. They asked him his opinion of various things throughout the country and he answered them very well. He tried to answer the questions as he best knew how, talking about various issues that were important to him. On the last string of questions, a reporter had a question for Kagome.
“Lady Kagome,” a female reporter asked. “How do you plan to carry on your schooling? Will you be home schooled and what do you plan to do next?”
Inuyasha stepped aside to let Kagome answer. She stepped forward somewhat nervously. She didn't really know what to say to a reporter. She knew she had to be careful with the way she answered things. Everything she said now would be a reflection of Inuyasha.
“Well,” Kagome said. “Inuyasha is bringing in a teacher to home school me so I can finish up what I have left of high school. As for what I plan on doing next…well…I guess I have a wedding to plan!”
Everyone laughed a little and began sketching away on their notepads. Finally, the question and answer session was over and the reporters were forced to swallow any other questions they had. Inuyasha and Kagome stared out over the crowd as they rejoiced and cheered for them. They both sighed. They weren't quite used to the attention received by royalty, but they knew they were happy with each other and that was all that mattered. Inuyasha looked down at Kagome, his new fiancée. Kagome smiled back at him. He leaned over and kissed the side of her head. He was so happy she would be staying. The denial was finally over. He had nothing to hide now. He had just announced to the entire country that he was engaged to Kagome.
“I love you,” he whispered with his head still close to hers. He stood up straight and looked down at her. She smiled with trembling, loving eyes.
“I love you, too, Inuyasha,” Kagome whispered back.
The two of them looked out over the crowd. They looked down in front of them to find Sango, Miroku, Shippo, Kirara, Myouga and his family, Kagome's family, and Kouga and his henchmen standing at the bottom of the stairs waiting for them. They smiled as Inuyasha and Kagome finally descended the staircase.
“Kagome!!!” Kagome heard someone shout as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
Kagome looked up to find three girls pushing their way through the crowd. Kagome didn't recognize them until they finally came out of the crowd and Kagome could see them entirely.
“Yuka! Eri! Ayumi!” Kagome exclaimed when she saw her friends.
She hesitated, however, when she realized how uneasy Inuyasha had become. She then remembered their last encounter with the girls. They had said something about Inuyasha being a half-demon and Kagome had attacked them. Kagome immediately became tense.
“Hi guys,” she said somewhat nervously as she approached them.
The three girls didn't wait. They rushed over and hugged Kagome, nearly smothering her.
“Oh Kagome! We're so proud of you!” Eri exclaimed.
“Oh, we were worried about you too!” Yuka said.
“Yes!” shouted Ayumi. “It's good to see you're doing well!”
“But…but I thought…” Kagome said trailing off as she released herself from their grasp. The girls soon caught onto what was wrong with her.
“Well, we actually…well…wanted to apologize…for what happened last time,” Yuka said as she fiddled with her hands nervously.
“Yeah,” Eri said. “We were only trying to look out for you. I guess we kind of took it too far.”
“But our minds were changed immediately when Inuyasha helped Yuka with her wounds by giving her a bandage,” Ayumi said.
“He did what?” Kagome said.
[Flashback to Chapter 17: The Aftermath when Kagome defended Inuyasha's honor against her friends]
"Here," Inuyasha said gruffly. The girls each opened one eye to see…gauze? They looked up at him bewildered out of their minds. He didn't look at them. "For any injuries you may have."
Kagome looked over to Inuyasha.
“We just wanted to say we're sorry,” Yuka said. “We never meant to take it that far. We hadn't known the background between you two and we were just trying to look out for your well being.”
“Right,” Eri said with a nod. “We're your friends Kagome, and we're really proud of you.”
“Forgive us?” Ayumi said extending her hand.
“Apology accepted,” Inuyasha said walking up from behind Kagome and shaking Ayami's hand before Kagome could respond.
Inuyasha took a step back and wrapped his arm around Kagome's shoulders. Kagome smiled up at Inuyasha. She was really proud of him. Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi blushed. They were taken with Inuyasha's good looks.
“Does he have a brother?” Ayumi asked. Inuyasha and Kagome laughed.
“Well…he did,” Kagome said with a nervous laugh. “But I don't think you would have wanted to get mixed up with him.” The girls gave bewildered looks, but finally decided to ignore the confusing comment.
“Well…we'll miss you Kagome,” Eri said.
“Yeah,” Yuka said as Ayumi nodded.
“Oh guys!” Kagome said embracing all three of them in a hug as they all began to tear up. “I haven't seen you guys in so long…and now you have to leave.”
“We wouldn't if we didn't have to,” Yuka said sadly.
Inuyasha just smiled as he watched the four of them hug. It made him feel special. Kagome really was leaving everything behind for him. He sighed. He couldn't stand to see women cry.
“Feh! Alright break it up!” Inuyasha said folding his arms and turning away.
They all looked up at him with bewildered expressions as they dried their faces.
“Inuyasha?” Kagome said.
“Besides,” he said gruffly, looking at them over his shoulder. “It's not like you can never come visit. We have plenty of guest bedrooms. In fact, school doesn't start back for a couple of days. You can stay here for the next couple of days to help Kagome with the transition if you like.”
The four girls looked at each other with bright smiles before breaking into squeals of excitement and jumping up and down. Inuyasha growled as he flattened his ears against his head to prevent any injury from their shrill shouts of joy. Inuyasha then became wide-eyed as he saw Kagome's three friends run towards him, squealing in delight. All three jumped on him and wrapped him into a tight hug. Inuyasha had to brace himself for their assault.
“Hey! What gives?!” he exclaimed.
“Thank you, Lord Inuyasha!” Yuka shouted.
“Oh, this makes our day!” Ayumi squealed.
“Oh thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Eri shrieked.
“Okay! Okay!” Inuyasha said in an annoyed manner, as he tried desperately to push the three girls off of him. Kagome laughed. “That's enough! I get the point!”
“Oh, Inuyasha!” Ayumi said hugging him tighter. “This is great news!”
“Yes, how can we ever make it up to you?” Eri asked with sparkling eyes.
“You can start by getting off me!” Inuyasha retorted.
“Inuyasha!” Kagome scolded.
Inuyasha stopped what he was doing immediately to look up at her. He didn't dare move, afraid she may use “the word”.
“Y-Y-Yeah?” he asked nervously.
“Be a little nicer to our guests, okay?” Kagome said with a bright smile, placing her hands on her hips. Inuyasha breathed a sigh of relief. Kagome's friends released Inuyasha and rushed over to hug Kagome.
“We'll go get our things,” they shouted and ran off into the distance.
Kagome walked over to Inuyasha and smiled at him. He smiled lovingly down at her. She wrapped her arms around him, leaning her head against him. She looked down at the ring on her finger and blushed. Inuyasha looked around at everyone as he held onto Kagome.
“Inuyasha?” Kagome said suddenly.
“Yeah,” he said looking down at her.
“Thank you,” Kagome said. “For allowing my friends to stay…and well for everything.”
“Hey,” Inuyasha said hugging her tight. “No need to thank me. This castle is yours now too you know. You can have guests here if you like.”
Kagome smiled. She stood on her toes and planted a chaste kiss on his lips. He smiled down at her and ran his fingers through her hair.
“I'm just sorry it took me so long…well…to tell you how I feel,” Inuyasha said. “I would have been worried sick about you if you had gone back East. I wouldn't have been able to look after you then. You would have been miles away. I'm so glad you're staying here with me.”
“Me too, Inuyasha,” Kagome said looking up at him. “I thought you were never going to ask.” He smiled tenderly at her.
Inuyasha bent down and kissed her lips softly, taking them into a deep and loving kiss. Sure there were a lot of people around, but he didn't really care any more. Kagome was finally his. He had finally admitted how he felt and he couldn't be happier. He opened his mouth slightly deepening the kiss and causing Kagome to gasp. Everything was perfect. Kagome was so happy she could cry as she allowed Inuyasha to continue to kiss her. He released them from their kiss and brought Kagome to his chest. Inuyasha glanced around and realized that he really had no more business there. He wanted Kagome to himself for a little while. Kagome had to admit she felt the same way. It hadn't taken them forever to admit how they felt and now that they had, they couldn't get enough of each other.
“Kagome,” he whispered in her ear. “Let's get out of here.”
“Fine by me,” she whispered back.
They both wanted to spend some time together. They had just admitted their feelings to one another and hadn't had the opportunity to actually show each other how they felt for one another. Inuyasha and Kagome passed their friends and family as they made their way through the crowd. They all smiled at them out of admiration. They knew the hanyou and miko needed their time alone, and nodded to them as they passed. Kagome's mother smiled as she began escorting Souta and Grandpa towards the refreshment table. Miroku and Sango smiled and waved towards them as they passed, Sango still holding onto Miroku's arm happily. Shippo was on Sango's shoulder and smiled happily. Kirara meowed at their feet. Kagome and Inuyasha smiled in response.
Kagome and Inuyasha, meanwhile, were lost in thought. They both couldn't believe how things had managed to turn out. Images from the time they first met all the way to present day flashed through their minds…the time they met, the times Inuyasha had saved her life, their meeting with Sango and Miroku, how they met Shippo, their intimate moments together, their battles…it all flashed through their minds. They were finally together. Inuyasha had finally proclaimed his love for Kagome, and she had returned his love tenfold. Everyone was happy. Even Kouga had learned to adjust to the fact that Kagome would never be his. He had even learned to be happy for the hanyou and miko. He and his henchmen turned around as soon as Kagome and Inuyasha passed by.
“Kouga, where are we going?” Ginta asked. Kouga stopped and look towards the South.
“Home,” he replied.
Inuyasha and Kagome ascended the staircase and looked out over everyone. They were truly happy, for the first time in both of their lives. Kagome smiled down at everyone. Shippo decided that this called for a little festivity. He jumped in the air and, using his fox magic, created a rainbow that arched over the entire castle. The crowd gasped and clapped for the new decoration. Suddenly, two cannons shot confetti out onto the reception area. Everyone laughed and enjoyed themselves, cheering for the celebration. Kagome looked up at Inuyasha. She patted his arm and smiled. He smiled down at her. They were so in love with each other, and finally, nothing prevented them from being together.
“For old time's sake?” Inuyasha asked, extending his hand.
Kagome smiled and took his hand. He hoisted her onto his back and leapt off into the air. Kagome turned around waved to everyone below her. They all smiled and cheered and the Lord and Lady of the West took off into the distance.
“Well, that went well,” Miroku said to Sango.
“Yep,” she said. “Where do you think they are going?”
Miroku, Shippo, and Sango watched as the hanyou and miko disappeared into the distance. Miroku shrugged his shoulders.
“Probably some place where they can be alone,” Miroku said with a smile. “It's about time those two got some privacy.” Sango smiled and nodded.
Meanwhile, if one were to travel into the Takashi white rose garden, one would see all of the white roses in full bloom, completing surrounding a miko and hanyou melting themselves into a never-ending love and devotion. They wrapped themselves into the longest and most loving kiss the world had ever seen as they whispered their affections for one another.
“I love you, Kagome,” Inuyasha mused between kisses.
“I love you too,” Kagome replied with a bright smile.
The two worlds came together once more to wrap themselves in a tender kiss as a familiar prophecy resounded in the background:
"In the days yet to come, a child will be born in the east and in the west. The royal child of the west, produced from human and demon blood, will be banished to the east. The eastern child, unbeknownst to her, will be produced from white human blood, and will encounter the western child. The union of western justice and eastern purity will spark mankind's final battle in which the fate of the world will rest in their hands. West and East will be far more powerful than any of their kind and will rid the world of all powerful evil.”
A/N: Stay tuned for a special edition chapter!