Kagome, in her miko clothing, walked along side of her husband, her head bowed down in thought. Her kosode was sprinkled with blood stains, especially around the sleeves.
“I put the tub on to heat,” he said. She nodded in reply.
“Sango said she would bring over something for supper when she brings Atae home,” he continued. “How’s Akimi doing?”
Kagome sighed. “She’ll live, I think.”
“You know you did everything you could,” he said. His right ear twitched, as he reached over to her, caught her pinkie finger in his.
She looked up at him, her eyes full of things she wanted to say, but didn’t yet feel ready to put into words.
“We got the bandits. They won’t be doing this to anybody else,” he told her.
“That’s good,” she sighed. “I bet they got off easier than Hideo.”
Suddenly she stopped, and threw herself into her husband’s arms. “I tried. I tried so hard to get the bleeding to stop. But I just couldn’t.”
InuYasha covered her with his voluminous sleeves, rested his cheek on her head as she sobbed into his arms. “I know you did,” he murmured. “I know you and Kaede did everything anybody could do to save him. Sometimes, it’s just that way.”
He ran his fingers through her hair and waited until she had gained some control.
“It scares me, you know,” she said softly between sniffles. “Every time something like this happens, it scares me. What if it was you? What would Atae and I do?”
InuYasha pulled her to him. “Keh,” he said gently. “I’m made of stronger stuff than that, Koibito. No stupid bandits will get me like that.”
“I know,” she said in a tiny voice. “Promise me.”
“Promise you what?” he asked.
She pulled away from him enough to look up and meet his eyes. “Promise me before you ever run off and get into a bigger fight than you think you can handle, that you’ll remember you have a family.”
There was something in her eyes that moved him. Suddenly, he remembered his mother, staring off into the darkness, looking small and weary and beaten down as she tried to be brave, holding her young son.
He pulled her to her into a fierce hug. “I promise,” he said. Kissing her gently on the forehead, he took her hand in his, and led her home.