Another After the End spinoff. Kagome puts her hair up with paper ribbon and learns something about InuYasha's past. (Didn't you know that Kaede and Kikyou put their hair up with paper ribbon? or so my reenactor friends would claim.)
InuYasha was working in the shade, chopping firewood before it got too hot. He had taken off his firerat suikan, and already the sweat was coming through his kosode.
“What’s up?” he asked. He neatly sliced through the section of wood he had put on a stump to cut.
“Kaede told me that today would be a good day to go looking for herbs. The Gennoshouko should be ready to gather. One of those things you’re supposed to do on a hot day,” she said, then bent down to pick up a piece of wood that had rolled in front of her to toss back on the wood pile. “Seems strange to be cutting firewood when it’s so hot.”
“Less to do in the winter,” he replied, picking up the end of Kagome’s low pony tail while she was still bent over. He ran the tail of hair through his fingers as Kagome stood back up, looking at the paper ribbon carefully wrapped around her midnight black hair. Carefully he fingered the wraps, his amber eyes growing far away and wistful.
Kagome retrieved her hair from his hand and watched him him thoughtfully. She had avoided wearing her hair like this for the longest time because she thought it made her look too much like Kikyou, but Kikyou was long gone, and long loose hair just didn’t go with what she was wearing and meant to do today.
“Is something wrong, InuYasha?” she said at last. “Kaede suggested I put my hair back in a pony tail while we were out in the fields. I’ll take it out if you want,” she said, afraid of reminding him of things she’d rather him not think about. “ I could put it up. It might be cooler that way.”
“It’s okay. It just reminded me of something from a long time ago,” he said. Dusting off his hakama, he grabbed his firerat and shrugged it on.
“What was it?” she asked, almost afraid of the answer..
“My mother used to wear her hair that way,” he said, tucking in his jacket and fastening the ties. “She would work in her flower garden, sometimes. I remember coming up and grabbing her ponytail like that, and untying the ribbon. She’d always tweak my nose when I did it.”
Kagome got a mischievous look in her eyes, and as InuYasha bent over to pick up Tessaiga to slip the sword back in his obi, she reached over and gave his nose a good tweak.
“Ow, woman, why’d you do that?” he said, looking at her grinning face with unamused eyes.
“So I could do this,” she said, tiptoeing up to kiss the tip of his nose.
“Hn,” he said, walking down the path. He turned, looked at her just standing there. “Well, are you going to make Kaede wait all day?”
She hurried to catch up with him. “So you’re going with us?” she asked.
“You don’t think I’m going to let you two go wandering around the countryside by yourselves, do you? And I like your hair like that. You should wear it that way more often.”
“Maybe I will,” she said, and followed InuYasha into the village.