InuYasha shoved at the wood in the fire pit with the poker, and fed it a few more sticks before moving the kettle back over the heat. He looked over his shoulder to where he had moved Kagome's pallet. His ears flattened with distress at the sight
She had been sick for almost two weeks, burning with fever, in pain, and a deep cough that scared him to death. Currently, she was asleep, her hair stringy and hanging limply around her face, and there were dark circles around her eyes, but at least she wasn't coughing. And her fever had broken last night. Kaede told him that would be the first sign.
He had done everything they told him to. He had piled blankets and cushions up to make a wedge, so she could sleep sitting up, propping it against the chest, so he could move the whole bed a bit closer to the heat of the fire. He kept a full kettle on the fire most of the time, so the air would be warm and damp. Kaede said this would make it easier for her to breathe. He fed her broth and porridge and teas made of strange herbs, and helped her when she needed to cough or relieve herself or just be touched. But something in him howled in frustration at the sight of her. The warrior in him was frustrated that he couldn't slay the monster that was making her ill. The husband in him cried at how sick she was, and struggled to make her way easier. The boy in him was frightened, afraid of the unspoken thought that the illness might take her away, she and their unborn child, and leave him alone, hopeless, to face a life without her. That thought chilled him to the bone.
Turning away from the fire and back to her pallet, he lay a hand gently on her forehead. It was cool and damp, untouched by the fever that had plagued her for more than a week now.
"Be well soon, Koibito," he said, giving her the lightest of kisses on the forehead.
He fled, for the moment, out of the door, to where the air was cool, and not scented by the smell of sickness and herbs and broth and his fears. He breathed deeply. The day was sunny, and although it was the time of late autumn, it felt hopeful, one season following another, the world as it should be. A small eddy of leaves scooted by. He watched it, carried by the wind, then leaned against the wall of the hut. He was very tired. He hadn’t been sleeping much and found himself slipping in and out of a light doze.
He jerked awake when he heard the door mat rustle and drop.
"Nice day out here, isn't it?" she said.
"Yeah," he said, then he looked up. Kagome stood in the doorway, pale, in her sweated out under kosode, leaning against the door frame. Yet her eyes looked happy at the scene in front of her, the sunlight on the mostly bare trees, the small birds hopping around what was left of their garden.
"You shouldn't be out of bed, woman" he said, jumping up and walking over to her to wrap an arm around her.
"I'm tired of being sick," she said. "I'm sweaty and sticky and the house smells bad." She leaned up against him. "Do you think you could heat some extra water? I really, really need a bath."
He studied her face, the twinkle in her eye that was there in spite of the sickness and fatigue that radiated off of her. He hazarded a small smile.
"Only if I get to help," he said, then kissed her forehead.
"Hentai," she whispered as she let him lead her back into the house.