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Inuyasha had to admit it, Rin had truly outdone herself this year. The entire living room was decorated to the nines; garland hung around the fireplace and twineing through the railing of the stairs along the far side of the room. Red and gold stockings hung on the mantle - one for every person there - filled with personalized treats and chocolates and surely some inside jokes knowing present company.  A collection of ceramic Santas and snowmen were placed throughout the room, along with small jars filled with an assortment of candies and sweets; tiny candy canes on the end tables by the couch and gingerbread cookies on the coffee table. The soothing dulcet sounds of some instrumental holiday song played over a set of hidden speakers. The sporadic crackling of the fireplace coming through during the transition of one song to another.

 

The real piece de resistance , though, was the tree. Placed in front of the giant bay windows that canvassed the soft falling of the snow outside, and at almost ten feet tall, it towered over everyone in the room. Soft white lights shimmered between each row of bristling pine needles. Red and gold baubles - the colors for this year's theme - were hung strategically on the tree, helping give the room a warm vibe. The whole room looked like it came straight from some "Better Health" or "Health and Home" magazine that Kagome was always sticking her nose into whenever they were waiting in line at the grocery store.

 

Inuyasha had no talent for Christmas decorating, but he could still appreciate all of the time and effort his sister-in-law put into making this year's get together a true wonderland.

 

It was Christmas Eve - and as they did every year for about five years now - Inuyasha, Kagome, Sango, Miroku, Rin, and Sesshomaru set aside their evening to eat, drink, and be merry. Or, as merry as they can get with Inuyasha and Sesshomaru in the same room together, anyways.

 

It was a tradition Kagome and Sango started shortly after meeting Rin, and finding out she had never celebrated Christmas before. She had been an orphan most of her life, moving from home to home, never settling down in one place long enough to bother with holidays or celebrations of any kind. Determined to give her some happy holiday memories, they set about completely transforming their cozy two bedroom apartment at the time into the most outrageously decorated debacle Inuyasha had ever seen. He was fairly sure that the girls stopped at every holiday consignment shop they could find and bought the whole damn store out.

 

The whole night was a debacle in Inuyasha's eyes. Kagome and Sango attempted to shit out some elaborate five course meal, filled with turkey and ham and so many fucking side dishes that Inuyasha probably couldn't even eat it all. Of course, they put so much on their metaphorical plate that they almost burnt the whole apartment down along with the turkey. And to top it off, they managed to short circuit the whole damn neighborhood with their unneeded number of lights and decorations that littered the apartment.

 

In short, it was a shit show.

 

But Rin, she just….laughed it off.

 

Said it was the best Christmas she ever had. The thought that Kagome and Sango cared for her enough to take all the time and effort to create the perfect "Christmas" for her meant more than having picture perfect food or stacks upon stacks of gifts under a decorated tree. It was more than she could ever hope to express.

 

Of course, she's been spending the last four years trying to do that anyways. Through the guise of elaborate Christmas parties.

 

Dinner had been eaten and they had all just finished cleaning up the kitchen. Inuyasha was one of the first to convene to the livingroom after making both his and Kagome's drinks while she and everyone one else procured a plate of dessert. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, bread pudding, banana bread, and a mountain of christmas themed cookies were the desserts of choice for the night, so Inuyasha knew the rest of the group would be another minute or so as they decided what they wanted - Rin and Miroku would take the longest trying to fit a small piece of every dessert onto their tiny dessert plates. By now, it had become an annual game for them to see who could eat more desserts without throwing up at the end of the night.

 

Inuyasha currently found himself standing in front of the tree, six beautifully wrapped gifts, one for each of them, placed beneath it.

 

The main event of the evening was all set up to begin: Secret Santa.

 

Inuyasha lightly tightened his grip around his glass as he gazed upon the gift he had wrapped for his gift-ee, Kagome.

 

It had been both a gift and a curse to pick his girlfriend's name from the hat - yes, Rin had them all pick their secret santas from an actual hat, of all things.

 

A few months earlier, Inuyasha had an epiphany. It had come during the night. Both him and Kagome were up late watching some B-rated horror film - Kagome completely passed out in his lap as they lay on the couch, despite the fact that she had been scared out of her mind not much earlier. She was laying a bit too hard into his crotch, causing a sharp pain in his groin, and Inuyasha was pretty sure she was drooling. And snoring. 

 

Yet, Inuyasha couldn't think of a time where she was more beautiful, nor a time where he felt more loved.

 

Kagome was this...tiny thing. So fragile, yet she completely trusted him to keep her safe during her times of vulnerability. She felt comfortable enough with him to show him the private workings of her own self, at no cost to him. The only thing she asked for in return was love.

 

And he did. He loved her more than anything in this world. Which is why it didn't take much for him to come to the conclusion to ask her to marry him.

 

Well, he was going to, anyways.

 

The last month had been a whirlwind for Inuyasha once he decided that he wanted Kagome to marry him. He felt calm about the whole thing at first. The thought of Kagome standing under a floral alter dressed in white, or waking up to her beautiful face every morning, or growing big with their child made his heart flutter. The thought of him and Kagome together was just so natural. It made sense.

 

And then the panic set in.

 

What was he supposed to do? Just outright ask her? Should he pop the question during a small, private dinner? Or would she want a more grand gesture? Would she even say yes? Kagome told him she loved him all the time, but who knows what she could be thinking every time she says them. Maybe she'd just been humoring him this whole time. Not to mention the damn ring; would she want a plain diamond or something with color? How many carats were necessary for an engagement ring? Wasn't the saying 'the bigger the better? Gold, or silver for the band?

 

Inuyasha about had a fucking coronary over the whole thing. Ended up banging on Naomi's door - Kagome's mother - in the dead of night with heart palpitations and shortness of breath, too scared to make a decision on anything that dealt with asking Kagome to marry him.

 

Gods, he didn't even think to ask her mother for Kagome's hand in marriage; wasn't that something he was supposed to do? Inuyasha hadn't even attempted any part of this proposal yet, and he was already bungling everything up!

 

Luckily, Naomi was a saint , and took the whole thing in stride. She was able to calm him down with a few cups of tea, and promised him her help every step of the way.

 

She was with him to help pick out the ring. A pear cut ruby, tiny diamonds surrounding the gem and adorning halfway down the gold band. Inuyasha had been unsure about getting her a ruby, but Naomi had told him that Kagome would appreciate a ring with a little more flair than a diamond could give, a gemstone with meaning. Inuyasha's first thought was to go with an emerald, because green was her favorite color - red was more his thing - but Naomi assured him red was the way to go. That she would find it romantic to have a small piece of him always with her.

 

The anxiety in his mind made Inuyasha doubt that the ruby was the right ring to choose, but he trusted Naomi's judgement and purchased it anyways. Now he just had to figure out how to ask her.

 

It wasn't until their small group of friends gathered together to pick the Secret Santa names that Inuyasha had thought of the perfect idea.

 

Getting Kagome as his Secret Santa wasn't necessarily something Inuyasha wanted. It wasn't because he didn't want to get her things; Inuyasha always took the opportunity to splurge on Kagome, even if he was always outwardly grumpy about it. It was the pressure of having to gift her something in public that irked him.

 

Inuyasha didn't have to try so hard with the others. Sure, he might put a little thought into a gift for Rin, or even Sango, but fuck, he'd peruse the dollar aisle at the store for Miroku or Sesshomaru, he didn't give a shit.

 

Okay, that's a lie, he would put in a little more effort for Miroku, but it would definitely be an embarrassing gift. That's just how their friendship worked. Inuyasha still chuckled a little at the thought of his last secret Santa gift to Sesshomaru - a gaudy Christmas sweater made of an incredibly scrat chy material, 'Fruit Cake' written in large, obnoxious lettering and a cartoon image of the holiday food underneath it.

 

But with Kagome, there was a certain amount of effort that had to be applied. He couldn't just gift her something small, like a new pack of those spaghetti strap tank tops she loved to wear - even though she stained a couple and could really use a new set. That was something he could give her on Christmas day, when it was just the two of them, but her Secret Santa gift had to have more thought and effort put into it. If there was going to be an audience, he at least wanted to get her something nicer than the women's equivalent to the 4-pack of boxers men were always gifted. 

 

And no Christmas present could be nicer than a ruby engagement ring.

 

Of course, just because Inuyasha wanted to gift Kagome something that would change their lives forever didn't mean he couldn't still have a bit of fun with it. Kagome would become suspicious if he acted any differently than he normally would, anyways. Plus, it helped keep some of his nervousness at bay.

 

The ring box was tucked away in a slightly larger box, wrapped neatly in black and white checkered gift wrap and finished off with a red, velvet bow. That box was placed inside a slightly larger box, wrapped in the same checkered gift wrap with another red bow. That box was once again placed inside another box and wrapped with a bow, again and again and again, each box just a bit bigger than the next. Each box also had a tag attached to the ribbon with a saying, ranging from 'Merry Christmas, Kagome!' to 'I love you!' to just a winking smiley face. The smaller the box, the more sarcastic - yet loving - the saying would be.

 

The final box stood at roughly around three feet tall and was monumentally bigger than every other present under the tree. It was probably going to take Kagome a good minute, maybe two to rip open each, individual box to get to the ring.

 

'Kagome's gonna be so pissed,' Inuyasha thought with a smirk, imagining all the exasperated sighs she would take and the glares she would give him after unwrapping a new box. He loved to rile her up, it was such an easy task.

 

The ring was bought, the stage was set, and now he just needed the players.

 

"What are you smirking at mister?" A small voice interrupted his brain of thought. Inuyasha turned to see Kagome approach him with two small plates in her hand. One plate held a small slice of cherry pie next to a scoop of what looked like the bread pudding. The other plate had a small piece of pumpkin pie and an assortment of his favourite Christmas cookies. He set down his drink to grab his plate and handed her the other drink he saved for her.

 

Kagome muttered a simple thank you, a small smile plastered on her face as she watched him take a huge chunk out of a peanut butter cookie. Inuyasha couldn't help but stare at her as he chewed. She looked absolutely gorgeous tonight, wearing a dark green, off the shoulder bodysuit and a pair of black, form fitting jeans. A simple outift, but to Inuyasha it was as if she was wearing the latest 'hot off the press' fashion line. She could wear a trash bag, and Inuyasha would still think her the most beautiful woman on the planet. The only jewelery she wore was a pair of Christmas tree earrings, which was fine by Inuyasha. He didn't need a whole set of jewelry on her person to down grade the ring he hope she'd slip on her finger. 

 

"Just thinking about what I got my Secret Santa," he answered, shoving another cookie in his mouth.

 

"I know that smirk Yash, it means you've been up to no good. Did you get Sesshomaru again this year?

 

"I-unno," he shrugged. "Guess you'll just have to find out"

 

Kagome opened her mouth to respond, but was interrupted by the boisterous laughter coming from Miroku and Rin as everyone else started trickling into the living room. Just as Inuyasha thought, Rin and Miroku were holding plates piled a mile high with desserts, their respective beaus following behind them. 

 

"Okay! If everyone has their desserts and drinks, then we can begin!" Rin pranced up towards the tree, setting her plate down on a plush armchair that sat next to it.

 

"Psh, we were lucky to get any dessert between you and the squirrel over there," Inuyasha teased, jabbing his thumb at Miroku, who was currently stuffing his face with a piece of pie.

 

"Ha-ha brother, you're such a comedian," Rin replied, rolling her eyes and sticking her tongue out at her brother-in-law, unphased by his harmless teasing. Sango and Kagome laughed at Inuyasha's comment, peering over at Miroku's puffed up cheeks filled with pie as Sesshomaru came up behind Inuyasha to swipe at the back of his head. He was never a good sport when it came to Inuyasha's teasing if his wife.

 

"An-y-ways," she sounded out, picking up the same hat that everyone chose their Secret Santa from. "You all know the rules. I'll pick the first name from the hat, and once that person opens up their gift, that person will pick the next name, and so on and so forth."

 

She put her hand in the hat and began to stir up the names, making a show out of it by swinging her hips and lifting the hat over and above her head, causing everyone to laugh at her antics. She held her gaze with Inuyasha and acknowledged him with a slight nod of her head before performing a series of twirls that would conclude her 'mixing of the names dance'.

 

Rin was his other accomplice in his plan to propose to Kagome.  Inuyasha wanted to make sure that his gift to Kagome would be opened last. An engagement ring was such a big thing, and he knew that Kagome would never want to out shadow everyone or become distracted by the ring to take joy in seeing everyone else receive their own gifts. Normally, Rin's mixing method meant that one would never know who would be called next to claim their secret Santa gift, which meant that Inuyasha needed to pull her in to ensure Kagome would be picked last.

 

Rin was ecstatic to hear about Inuyasha's plan. She loved Kagome to pieces and wanted to help bring them happiness any way she could. Inuyasha had no idea how she was going to accomplish her task, but he didn't put too much thought into the specifics. He knew Rin was a sly girl, and was sure she had a few aces up her sleeve to get the job done.

 

Of course, because Rin knew of his plans, that meant his idiotic brother also was in the know. Because there were no secrets between Sesshomaru and his wife, especially in an event where Rin would need to fool everyone into thinking the picking order was truly random.

 

Not that it actually irked Inuyasha that Sesshomaru knew. Sesshomaru didn't give two shits about the mundane lives of anyone who wasn't Rin, but he was a closet know-it-all who loved ingesting gossip at every turn for his own benefit. It was just the principle of the matter that Inuyasha liked his brother to stay out of his own fucking business.

 

With one last shake, Rin pulled out the first name of the night.

 

"And our first contestant of the night is...drum roll please audience!" Everyone began rapidly slapping their thighs or banging on an empty spot on the table - except Sesshomaru and Inuyasha, who only put minimal effort into making his own drumming noise to appease Rin.

 

"Sango!!!"

 

Everyone cheered as Sango stood up to retrieve her gift from under the tree. Hers was a small gift in plain brown parchment packaging, meticulously wrapped with a simple black name tag that had her name on it. It was the only gift under the tree not covered in festive wrapping. Inuyasha would bet serious money that Sesshomaru was her Secret Santa this year.

 

She sat back down in her seat next to Kagome, unwrapping her gift: a sleek, black pair of Bluetooth headphones. Perfect to replace the ones that were stolen from her gym locker not too long ago.

 

One by one, names were pulled from the hat to collect their gifts. Miroku received an engraved whiskey tumbler set from Rin; Sango knitted a beanie for Inuyasha that would sit nicely on his head without pressing down too much on his ears; Rin received an 'at home spa' kit, including fuzzy therapeutic slippers, a loofah, bath salts, and a bottle of lotion from Kagome; and a wonderfully crafted leather briefcase for Sesshomaru from Miroku (Sesshomaru merely made a grunted 'hng' , but the double thumbs up and wide smile from Rin was the assurance everyone needed to know he appreciated the gift).

 

For them only having six people, time seemed to crawl at a snail's pace. Inuyasha was impatient to get around to Kagome's gift, desperate to get the whole thing over with. He was fairly confident that Kagome would say yes, but there was a small, dark part of his head that nagged at him, telling him Kagome would never choose to spend her life with someone like him. He wanted to rip those dark thoughts out of his chest and stomp on them until there was nothing left.

 

"Alright Kagome, you're the last one! I guess by now, you can figure out who your gift giver was this year," Rin teased. Kagome sent him a playful glare, which he returned with his signature smirk. She stood up and circled the giant box, as if she could possibly figure out what it was by looking at it from another angle.

 

"C'mon Kagome, just open it up! The wait is killing us!" Sango yelled.

 

"Yeah, that thing is huge. What are you trying to do, put the rest of us to shame?" Miroku joked, holding his hand to his chest as if he was truly offended by the size of Kagome's gift. A cookie shot out of nowhere and hit Miroku straight in the head.

 

"Shhhhhhh, it's Kagome's turn!" Rin said to Miroku, cutting off any other sarcastic remarks the man was about to make. She had pulled her tiny legs underneath her, sitting in the armchair looking excited at the prospect of watching Kagome open her gift. She had begun breaking up some of her cookies into tiny pieces and popping them into her mouth like popcorn.

 

"Alright alright, here I go!" Kagome exclaimed excitedly.

 

She had finally stopped circling the box and began ripping the wrapping paper off, showing off the plain box underneath. With a deep breath in, she grabbed the sides of the lid and dramatically lifted it up. From his spot on the couch, Inuyasha couldn't see Kagome's face, but judging by the stillness of her shoulders, he could already tell she was confused. He hid his smirk by taking another sip of his drink as everyone leaned in a little to see what was inside.

 

"Well, what is it Kagome?" Miroku asked.

 

"It's...another box," she answered, lifting the next pristinely wrapped box out from the first and setting it on the floor.

 

There was a small moment of silence as everyone looked upon the two boxes quizzically. Slowly, one by one, the room was filled with muffled chuckles and suppressed groans as the conclusion set in that Inuyasha had played one of the more popular tricks in the book by wrapping her gift in who knew how many boxes.

 

Kagome came at the new box with a tenacity that only made everyone laugh more, wildly ripping off the wrapping paper and throwing the lid aside, only to find another slightly smaller wrapped box inside. Kagome slowly turned toward the hanyou nursing his drink on the couch, his right ankle crossed and sitting atop his left leg.

 

"How many?" she asked, staring him dead in the eyes. He matched her stare with the same intensity, thinking of the best response to get her even more riled up.

 

"I-unno,"

 

If looks could kill, Inuyasha would be six feet under by now.

 

The next several minutes were filled with the sounds of ripped paper and cardboard being thrown about. Kagome continued to scoff at each offending box, throwing them haphazardly around the room - most of them at Inuyasha. Inuyasha really hadn't been joking when he said he didn't know how many boxes there were, he had stopped counting after seven.

 

Kagome had to physically rip some of the boxes themselves open, as some were just small enough to slip inside inside the larger one, but too tight to pull it out. Inuyasha could tell she was taking her frustration out on those boxes by the almost feral way she ripped them apart. Perhaps he had gone too far with the ridiculous number of boxes, but Inuyasha wanted to completely throw her off the scent. Who in their right mind would think the end result of this madness was an engagement ring?

 

Although, if he were being honest, Inuyasha really just needed the extra time to prepare himself for what was to come. Naomi had reassured him that although Kagome wasn't into the super public declarations of love that some people did, a private gathering with only a handful of their closest friends she would consider romantic. Inuyasha could not say the same for himself.

 

If he had his way, he would have asked her in the privacy of their own home, or an exquisite hotel room of some sort far away from any prying eyes that might know who they were and find themselves far too close for such an intimate activity. But at the same time, Inuyasha wanted her to know he would shout his love for her from the rooftops, nor did he want to make it look like he was trying to hide it from people. Even though this whole process made him a little uncomfortable, he could bare it. For her. For the love of his life.

 

Kagome was finally hitting the last few boxes. Inuyasha was cursing the roaring fireplace and how warm it suddenly made the room. His right hand tightly gripped his glass, his left hand flexed nervously by his trouser pocket that held his handwritten speech. Inuyasha didn't really need it - he had written and rewritten the damn thing so many times he was certain he could recite it backwards and forwards - yet he was uncertain how his nerves would make him react. Inuyasha was never good at public speaking. Or speaking in general.

 

"Ugh, Inuyasha this better be the last box. Otherwise I have no idea what you could possibly fit in a box so small," Kagome griped as she flung the second to last box over her shoulder. Kagome had been sitting on the floor with her legs crossed ever since the boxes became small enough, and now she held the final box in her hands.

 

Inuyasha threw back his drink with one gulp - he'd need the liquid luck - and set the glass down on the table beside the couch. Slowy, he uncrossed his legs and lowered himself from the couch to the floor onto one knee.

 

Kagome was too preoccupied with her gift to notice the sharp inhale from Sango, or the soft sounds of Rin pulling her phone out - because of course she was gonna record the whole damn thing. She certainly didn't have the enhanced hearing Inuyasha did to just barely hear the irritated sigh that Sesshomaru let out. Inuyasha could practically see him rolling his eyes, too, knowing what was coming next.

 

But he didn't turn to glare at his brother. He withheld his urges to rip the phone from Rin's hand, or to growl at their companions to warn them of making any more unwanted noises. He kept his eyes straight on Kagome, admiring the expanse of her neck as she hunched forward, bringing the final box up to her ear and shaking it.

 

Finally, after what seemed like an infinite amount of time for Inuyasha to be kneeling on the floor, Kagome began the unwrapping process. This box was treated differently, though. Instead of the frantic, impatient tearing she unfurled onto the bigger boxes, she treated this box with a certain reverence. The box had been too small for any of the big ribbons that he put on the other boxes, so he had Naomi help him tie a soft red string around it. The final tag held a crudely shaken heart - obviously drawn by Inuyasha himself.

 

Inuyasha watched as Kagome ran her fingers across the red string until they landed on the little bow, taking the ends between her thumb and pointer finger and pulling until the string became slack and fell gracefully into her lap. It was torture, waiting on bated breath as she slid her finger under the taped edges, ever so carefully pulling the paper apart.

 

She was savoring the moment, and it was killing him. His knee was starting to hurt from the pressure of putting his weight on it, and his palms were starting to sweat. He was seconds from giving himself away and unwrapping the damn thing himself when he heard the crinkled sound of the paper slipping from her hands onto the floor as she opened the ring box.

 

She was silent as she stared at the ring. Her back still faced him, making him unable to see the expression on her face, but he was beginning to smell a bit of salt in the air; evidence that she had tears in her eyes. Inuyasha couldn't stand the silence much more. What was she thinking? Was she happy? Did her tears mean she was upset? Did she understand what he was about to ask her?

 

No, that was a dumb question if Inuyasha has ever heard one. Kagome was one of the smartest people he knew, and he was positive she was aware of exactly what kind of ring she held in the palm of her hand. But the time had come for Inuyasha to speak up, and it was now or never.

 

"Kagome," he said softly. He could hear her sharp, stuttered inhale, but she didn't turn her head towards him, still transfixed by the ring.

 

"Kagome, love…" he was practically pleading with her now. She finally looked away and brought her gaze up to look at him. Her eyes were wide, taking in his keeled position on the ground next to her. Her cheeks were dry, but her eyes sparkled with the tears she hadn't let fall. She didn't look angry, at least Inuyasha didn't think so, just…awestruck, in the most perplexing way. He could see how the cogs in her brain were working at a mile a minute, trying to piece together what was happening.

 

Inuyasha reached out and grabbed her hands, being careful not to drop the ring box. As soon as their skin made contact, he could feel the anxiety and tension melt off his body. Inuyasha always felt this way whenever they touched; it was his body's natural reaction to her, and one of the many reasons he decided to ask her to marry him. She was the calm in the storm, the reason behind the chaos. She could somehow make everything better with just the smallest touch.

 

The rest of the room seemed to disappear, and suddenly it was only Inuyasha and Kagome.

 

"Kagome, we've been together for five years now. We've been through thick and thin. You've seen me at my worst, and helped me to be the best version of myself. No one handles my bullshit like you do, and you give it right back, tenfold. I'm a better person for knowing you, Kagome, but I've made the stupidest mistake of my life by waiting five years to ask you to marry me.

 

If you say yes, this will change everything, and nothing at all. We already live together. We visit family together, have a daily routine; our lives are already so intertwined together.

 

Marriage is...a terrifying prospect, but I know that with you by my side, I could brave any storm. Come hell or high water, Kagome, I want you to be my wife. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?"

 

During his speech, Inuyasha had taken the ring box from her hands and flipped it to face her. He had done plenty of research to make sure he was doing everything right. Getting down on one knee and presenting her with the ring box was critical . He could hear Kagome's staggered breaths as she attempted to keep her emotions in control, but Kagome always wore her heart on her sleeve. He could see her resolve fading as she brought one hand up to caress the side of his face while the other hovered above the ring. Inuyasha nuzzled his face lovingly into her hand, welcoming the warmth she always brought to him.

 

 "Oh, Inuyasha," she said quietly, moving her free hand to fully cup his face. "Of course I'll marry you!"

 

"Kagome…"

 

She pulled his face towards her and locked them in a searing kiss. He could hear the whoops and hollers from their friends behind them. Sango, who was usually pretty good at keeping calm in all sorts of situations, was openly sobbing at the delicate display of affection the couple were sharing; Rin had abandoned her phone to bounce up and down in her seat, completely overjoyed at the prospect of a new family member.

 

"Sess, grab one of the nice bottles of champagne from the rack!"

 

Inuyasha didn't have to turn around to know there was a disgusted look on his brothers face. Sesshomaru was a collector at heart, and there were few things in this world that would cause him to use anything amongst his various collections. In fact, Inuyasha knew the only one only who could manage such a feat was Rin, and so, whatever Rin wanted, Rin got.

 

Sesshomaru finally stood up after a beat of silence between himself and his wife to fetch the champagne, but not before clapping a hand onto Miroku's shoulder - rather roughly if Miroku could add - who had been silently chuckling at the married couple, and adding, "You're next."

 

A sentence that could bring down the man several notches.

 

Inuyasha couldn't help but chuckle as he pulled away from Kagome. He had just enough time to slide the ring onto Kagome's finger before getting pushed aside by both Sango and Rin as the girls fawned over the glittering ruby. Kagome had a huge smile plastered on her face as she held up her hand in a variety of angles, never once taking her eyes or her fingers off the gold band.

 

For once, Inuyasha was content to just sit back and relax next to Miroku, watching the girls without a care in the world. Well, eventually, he'd have a few 'cares' to worry about. 

 

Apparently, planning a wedding was one of the most stressful events in a couple's lifetime. And eventually, after the high of Kagome's acceptance to share her life with him, the darker thoughts that would poke and prod him would return. They would come back and remind him at every moment why he wasn't good enough for Kagome. Still, he kept his head held high.

 

Kagome was one of the strongest, and most stubborn, women Inuyasha knew. There was no way she'd let something as trivial as a wedding get her down, not when it came to their relationship. His rational brain knew that if Kagome didn't want to be with him, she wouldn't be sitting here right now. He held onto these thoughts as tight as he could, hoping to keep this happy feeling with him for as long as possible. 

 

Sesshomaru finally came back to the living room, opened champagne in hand. Everyone held out their empty glasses as they were filled up, one by one. Inuyasha and Kagome locked eyes as Rin began toasting to the moment. Well, Inuyasha assumed that's what she was doing.

 

He just continued to gaze at his beautiful fianceè , seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing but Kagome.