Once Upon a New Moon
“It was nice getting out of the house again,” Kagome said. She pulled the soft brown wrap she wore tighter over her shoulders and over her pregnancy-swollen abdomen.
They were walking the path from Miroku’s house to theirs. It was a cool day in late December. During the day the sky had grown dark and threatening while they were visiting.
“Keh,” said InuYasha. “Long as you don’t overdo it. Don’t want you getting sick again.” He looked up at the sky. “Looks like it might snow.”
“Yeah,” she replied.
They walked quietly for a while. For some reason, InuYasha’s pace was slower than usual. They stopped for a moment. InuYasha rolled his shoulders and took a deep breath. “I don’t know why, but today it feels like it’s longer than normal between Miroku’s house and ours.”
“Maybe it’s just the sky,” she said, looking up.
“Maybe,” he replied.
She began to walk away but realized InuYasha wasn’t next to her. She turned around and found him leaning up against a tree.
His eyes were closed. “I...I don’t feel so good,” he said. “All of a sudden everything started to spin.”
“You’ve been acting like something was wrong all day,” Kagome said. “I thought it was just because the New Moon’s tonight.” She reached up and rested the back of her hand on his forehead. It felt much warmer than usual. “Funny. You feel like you have a fever.” She rested his hand on his nose. “Yes, I do believe you are sick.”
“Huh? Youkai don’t get sick,” he said, glowering at her as he pushing her hand away. Suddenly, he began to cough, hard.
She frowned. “Let’s get you home.” She wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled his arm around her shoulder. He tried to shrug her off, and pulled his arm away. Taking a step or two, he stopped and began to waver. Kagome sighed, and wrapped her arm around him once again. “It’s hard to walk sometimes when you’re dizzy.”
“Keh,” he said, and coughed again.
A snowflake drifted down in front of them. Kagome sighed.
A little while later after a wobbly walk the last third of the way home, InuYasha lay down on their futon in a dry kosode while his fire rat clothes and Kagome’s things hung up on a rack to dry. It was a sign of how ill he felt that he had let her put him to bed with little complaint.
Turning to watch Kagome sitting by the fire pit, he coughed, a deep bronchial hacking. “What’s wrong with me?” he asked
“I think you have Ryuukan, like I did,” she said, mixing some herbs together in a dish. “I think your youki’s been suppressing it, but as the day’s gone on and your youki’s been receding, you’ve begun to have symptoms. Once the sun goes down, you’re not going to feel very good at all. I’ll make you some medicine that will help.”
“The stuff that Kaede had you drink?”he asked, sitting up.
“Yeah. It does help,” she said, turning towards him.
She poured hot water into the tea pot, and then added the herbs in their strainer. “You may need something to raise your head, like I did,” she said.
She shoved a chest near the futon. Digging through another chest, she found the extra blankets she had used as a cushion and folded them neatly into shape. “Let me get you fixed up,” she said, and arranged him and the blankets to her satisfaction.
She went back to get the tea, and a bowl of water. Sitting down next to him, she wetted a cloth in the cool water and placed it on his forehead. He grabbed her wrist, brought the hand to his cheek and smiled a wan, weak smile at her.
“When you were sick, did...did you hurt all over?” he asked.
She nodded, smoothed his bangs away from the wet cloth.
“And your chest felt like someone was sitting on it?”
She nodded again.
“And were you scared?” he said, lacing his fingers in hers.
“Sometimes.” She picked up the teacup. “Especially when I had a hard time breathing and the coughing was so hard.” Kagome slipped a hand under his neck and helped him drink the bitter brew.
Suddenly InuYasha bolted up and pushed her arm away. He began to cough, a great heaving coughing fit as the sun went down below the horizon, and he transformed - one moment a sick hanyou, the next a very sick human man trying to catch his breath.
“Damn my chest hurts,” he muttered, crossing his arms over his torso. He coughed a few more times and Kagome eased him back down on the bed.
“Kami,” he muttered, and began to shiver. “How’d you deal with this?”
She rewet the cloth for his forehead, then replaced it on his head. “Wasn’t much I could do for it, but take my medicine and let you fuss over me. And sleep.” She fed him the last of the tea. “This tea will help you sleep.”
“You know that stuff tastes nasty. Even when I’m human,” he said after he swallowed the last of it.
She smiled a little. “I know. I drank enough of it.”
He reached up, ran a finger along her lips. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what?” she asked, surprised.
“Sorry you came to this place to get sick. Sorry I’m sick tonight. Sorry for whatever makes you unhappy,” he said.
Kagome bent over kissed him lightly on the cheek. “Silly man.”
He wrapped an arm around her, pulled her close. She leaned her head against him. “What did you do, InuYasha, when I was sick?”
“Took care of you. Prayed. Worried.” His voice sounded very sleepy.
“I’ll probably do the same thing,” she said. She looked up at him. His eyes were very heavy, almost closed.
“Kagome?” he said.
“Yes?” she replied, letting him pull her closer. He felt very warm wherever their skin touched.
“I’ll never make fun of another sick human. I hurt all over.”
“I know, Koibito, I know.” She found his hand, and rested her fingers on it.
“Love you,” he said, and then he fell asleep.