Morning in Early March
InuYasha lay there, listening to the sounds of early morning.
Although it was quite early, he often was up about this time of day. The sky was beginning to gray, barely touching the inside of the house where he lay on a futon curled up around his wife, and he could hear early morning birds outside beginning to stir. But he stayed still contentedly, listening to the soft sound of her breathing and enjoying in the warm scent that surrounded them, the scent of that told him how their lives had become so interwoven together.
His amber eyes took in the small body, now larger than she was a year ago when she first returned. Her black hair cascaded over the pillow, and he twisted one lock loosely around his finger. It was fine and black and silky, so different from his silver main. He longed to run his hands over her soft shapes and explore her curves, hugging her closely to once again keep her safe within the circle of his arms, but at the same time, he didn’t want to disturb her. The last few weeks she had not been sleeping well and he was loath to bother her when she actually did.
Instead, he thought about the morning and what he would like to accomplish. The air was still chill, and he knew he would quietly get out from under the covers in a few minutes and go stir up the fire, hoping to get the small house at least a little warmer before she got up. But even though it was still cold, he could feel the spring rising in his blood, and with the early spring would come Sakura time.
She had returned to him near the end of the blossom time, nearly exactly three years after he had left her behind with her family, thinking she would be better in their care, and each year afterwards, watching the trees burst into bloom was a painful reminder of what he had given up to try to make her happy.
But then, she had appeared in the well, and his life had blossomed in ways he never expected. Watching the trees bloom this year was going to be a totally different experience. Instead of the drifting petals falling being the sign of what he had lost, the blossoms, coming to bloom and covering the trees with white and pastel beauty would be a marker of everything he had gained.
Carefully, he backed off of the futon, gently tucking the covers around her so she wouldn’t get cool, and he walked silently over to the fire pit, where he stirred the ashes, to see if there were any coals left to start this morning’s fire.
Ash-covered coals. That’s what his hope had been, something he never really spoke of to his friends, who were just beginning their life together and who were blessedly happy, or to Kaede who believed Kagome was lost to him forever, the Shikon no Tama having been put to rest. But when he saw Sango and Miroku walk together, sharing special smiles and secret touches, and later see them play with their children, he couldn’t deny that the coals of his hope were there, that somehow, in some way, the one thing that could happen to blow those coals back into life would happen.
Soon, he had a fire going, and the warmth began to spread a little in the small room. The gray of dawn, too, was given way to the light of morning, and the light began to fall on the futon where Kagome slept. She rolled over, an arm cast out as if looking for him and his warmth. Slowly, the light won the battle against sleep, and sighing, she opened her eyes.
“Good morning, InuYasha,” she said, propping herself up on one elbow. Her blue-gray eyes regarded him sitting there nursing the fire, wearing nothing but his hakama. “Aren’t you cold?”
“Maybe a little,” he said. He put the tea kettle on the iron hook to start heating. “Did you sleep well? I was trying not to wake you up.”
“I was sleeping fine until this little one decided I had slept enough,” she said, placing her free hand over her swollen middle. “I can tell it’s your child. Every bit as much of an early bird as his dad.”
“Keh!” the hanyou snorted. “Definitely didn’t get that from you.”
She laughed a little.“Give me a hand up?” she asked. “He’s dancing on my bladder again.”
He hurried to his wife’s side, and helped ease her up, throwing his fire rat suikan around her shoulder before she ducked out of the house and made her way to the latrine.
He stood outside the door of his house, waiting for her return, and watched the landscape poised between winter and spring. A year ago, he would have never expected life to turn out this way in a million years. Today, he knew it was worth waiting a million years for it to happen. He was just thankful the Kami only made him wait three.