She was so strong in so many ways that InuYasha forgot sometimes how fragile she could be, how delicate and human she was. Then something would happen that would remind him, like now, stuck out in the middle of nowhere, in need of shelter, food, warmth, with a winter storm moving in on them.
He carried her in his arms, carefully, trying not to jar her, but still she moaned sometimes. Worse was when she started coughing. Coughing brought back old memories of a time when he didn’t have the ability or friends to help, and it scared him. But now she was mostly drifting in and out of sleep as he plodded steadily towards the village they called home. His lips tenderly brushed across her forehead, too hot and dry to the touch as the fever burned in her body. Her hair hung over his arm falling in stringy rivulets. “We’ll be home soon, Kagome. Just a little bit longer.”
She smiled at him, lifted her hand to lightly touch his face. “I’m thirsty,” she said in a very soft, scratchy voice.
“You want to stop for a few minutes?” he asked.
“Let me find a good place.”
They couldn’t stop for long, not with the weather threatening to break, but he found a place near a stream where he could lay her down while he brought her some water. It was sheltered by some low bushes and had soft, if dry grass to lay her down on. She curled up a little as he lay her down, snugged the blanket he had wrapped her in extra close.
“Be right back,” he said, then walked down to get her some water. ‘How could I have been such a fool?’ he thought as he dipped the bamboo container into the stream. When he came back, she was shivering and felt very, very hot to his touch as he lifted her up to take a drink.
“I’m sorry, InuYasha,” she said through dry lips “I didn’t mean to get sick.”
“Feh,” he said. “Course you didn’t. It’s not like you went out of your way to get a fever.”
She began coughing. He helped her sit up, holding her in his lap, and rubbed her back until the spasm was over, watching helplessly as her slight frame almost doubled up as she hacked. After a bit she calmed down, and he got her to take another drink, but he was watching the sky anxiously. The winds had begun to pick up, and a slate gray sky was beginning to roll in.
“We’ve got to go, Koibito,” he said.
She nodded, and let him pick her up. As she nestled against his chest, he cursed the fate that let him take his pregnant wife out on an emergency youkai extermination. Miroku and Sango were gone to visit Sango’s family graves, and Kagome had begged him not to turn down the nervous young man who was so worried about his family. His village was only two days away. The first night the man had begun coughing and had a fever. They pushed on, but by the time they had gotten to the village, he was quite sick. The youkai was easy to take care of, a rat youkai that he could have dispatched without his sword. Even though Kagome wanted to help the healer, he had insisted they leave as soon as possible. But it wasn’t soon enough. Last night she had begun to ache and cough. This morning she had begun to run a fever, but insisted they had to get home.
“Try to sleep,” he said.
“I will,” she whispered, and rested her head against his chest.
She was so strong and kind and caring. But now they were still maybe two hours away from their village. He swore to the Kami that brought them together and their unborn child that he would not forget she was fragile and human ever again.