Sadness in your eyes,
tears for what just might happen
let me kiss them gone.
Today's sunrise is enough -
let me warm you in its light.
InuYasha, his sleeves tied back as he worked and his hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, was outside of his house stacking firewood when Kagome walked up. She was dressed, as usual, in her miko robes, and carrying a basket he knew she carried medical supplies in when she went to tend the ill. This time, her chihaya had picked up some stains, and she had a weary, introspective look. She clung to the basket if it was almost too heavy to manage.
"Glad you're home," he said, smiling as he stood up, brushing wood chips off of his hakama. "Tired? You were gone a long time."
"Yeah," she said quietly, looking down as she walked past him, not meeting his eyes.
Her scent reached him, as she walked by, touched with the smells of fatigue, herbs and birth blood. She had been gone most of a night and over half a day with Kaede attending at the side of the headman's granddaughter's first child. But something wasn’t right. He could sense the waves of sadness rolling off of her.
“Kagome?” he said. She just stood there by the door of their house, eyes hidden by the dark hair of her bangs.
InuYasha untied the chord that held his sleeves as he walked up to her, shaking them out. “Kagome?” he repeated as he took the basket she was clinging to out of her hands and sat it down. He then wrapped her in his arms, swathing her in the warm red fabric as he pulled her close against his chest. She stood there very tensely, letting him hold her, but not relaxing, either.
"Koibito? What's wrong?" he asked, running his fingers through her hair, rocking her slightly in his arms. He kissed the top of her head, then rested his cheek there. “Did something happen?”
She pulled back a moment and looked up at him. Her blue-gray eyes shimmered with unspilled tears. The hanyou, his right ear twitching nervously, gently cupped her cheek. Suddenly, Kagome threw her arms around him and collapsed into his arms.
"O InuYasha! It was so awful!" she sobbed. She buried her face in his chest. "She was in so much pain and the baby didn't want to come out right and Matsume almost died."
InuYasha's arms tightened around her. She looked up at him again, her bottom lip trembling. "The baby . . . the baby didn't make it," she said.
InuYasha brushed a strand of hair off her face and kissed her forehead. "I'm so sorry, Koibito. Sometimes that happens."
She pulled away from him a little and sighed. "He was so little. He had such tiny, perfect little hands. I washed him and wrapped him in a blanket for Matsume while Kaede was taking care of her. After all that struggle, he never took one breath."
He rocked her close to him, and she grabbed tightly to his jacket, "I'm so tired, InuYasha."
Picking her up bridal style, he said, "Then you need to rest." He took her into their home.
Kagome awoke to a dim room and the smells of stew cooking over the fire pit. It had still been light when the hanyou had helped her out of her miko robes and laid her down on their futon, where she promptly fell asleep, but it was now after sunset.
She sat up in bed and looked around. The only light in the room came from the fire pit. InuYasha was sitting there, looking at the flames, as if in deep thought. The firelight glinted warmly off of his silver hair and cheekbones, touching his silver with amber. An ear flicked, and he turned and looked in her direction, smiling softly.
"Hi," he said. "Did you sleep well?"
She nodded. "How long was I asleep?"
"Maybe four hours. You must have been really tired. Sango stopped by, and left a pot of stew. Kaede had come by, looking for Miroku, and told her what had happened. I think Kaede must have been worried about you, cause Sango wanted to make sure you were all right." He moved to swing the stewpot away from the heat. "You want to eat?"
"Not right now," Kagome said. She sighed, her eyes growing distant and sad. Her legs still covered by the blanket, she drew them close to her body, hand over wrist holding them in place, and rested her chin on her knees. "Poor Matsume," she said at last.
InuYasha left his place by the fire and went to sit behind Kagome, wrapping his arms around her. She let him pull her back into an embrace.
“She was so happy last week. She was so happy the day before yesterday,” she said.
“Keh.” He pulled her closer, until her head was resting against his shoulders. “You know you didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes things just happen.”
“I know,” she said, letting go of her knees and resting a hand lightly on his fire-rat clad thigh.
“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, Kagome,” he said. He tenderly placed a kiss along the top of her shoulder. “If being the healer is too hard for you, it’s okay.”
She pulled back and turned to look into his eyes, saw the love and concern reflected there in his amber gaze. Reaching up, she cupped his cheek in her hand. “I need to do this, InuYasha. Kaede isn’t getting any younger. Who’ll be here to take care of the village when she’s gone?”
He leaned forward and gave her a light kiss. “Always thinking about other people. Just be sure, woman. They’ll be more days like today if you do.”
“I am sure,” she said. Kagome let her head fall back onto his shoulder. “I stood up to Naraku and the Shikon no Tama. I can handle this. I have seen death before. I don’t know why today was so different.”
“Keh,” he said, and pulled her closer, snuggling her between his legs. “But this time, you knew the person being hurt, and there wasn’t a youkai to blow away with one of your arrows. Remember the time you blew Naraku into fragments cause of Sango?”
InuYasha moved a strand of hair behind her ear. “But this time, there was nobody to attack. It’s just one of those times life sucks.”
Kagome relaxed into his hold. “I was thinking what if it had been Sango’s little boy. Or what if it were me in Matsume’s place.”
“We can’t live our lives in what ifs, Koibito. Every time I see you stand up to a youkai with that bow of yours, I have to let go my own what ifs.” He planted little kisses along her neck. “Sometimes you scare me to death. But you taught me I can’t keep you from doing what you need to do.”
He let his hand slide to her abdomen and rest his hand on the small swelling there.
“Matsume’s child isn’t our pup, Kagome,” he said. “I can’t promise that nothing like what happened to Matsume won’t happen to you. But I promise to be there for you if it does.”
They fell quiet for awhile, InuYasha simply holding his wife as she rested against him. The fire grew dim.
Suddenly, Kagome said, “Thank you, InuYasha.”
“Keh,” he replied. “Can we eat dinner now?”
She laughed, and got up. InuYasha watched her move, and knew as long as he heard that laugh, no what ifs would ever be enough to break his beautiful miko. He smiled, contentedly and got up to bring some more wood in for the fire.