InuYasha looked around the house. It was neat, clean, empty. A pot of soup simmered over the fire pit, close enough to the heat to stay warm, not so close to scorch. His wife’s sewing things, in their lidded basket, sat on a small table near the window. His favorite cushion was at his place by the fire, waiting for him. The air smelled of food, of the herbs Kagome collected, and faintly of the incense that Kagome offered at the family altar, and of Kagome herself, echoing in the silence of the room.
Surrounded by the everyday things of his life, he went and sat down by the fire pit, and put the tea kettle on to heat. The silence of their small house this evening, bothered him, and he wasn’t sure how to pass the time. He had done a check around the village and found no problems, then stopped by Kaede’s house to make sure the old miko’s wood pile was adequate. After that, he made one last stop at the house where she and Kagome were working this evening, then slowly wandered home. He could have gone to visit with Miroku, but he didn’t think he was in the mood for it.
He made his tea, and sipped it, and watched as the room grew darker. After awhile, he added more wood to the fire pit, and stared, as the red flames slowly lapped at and then engulfed the fresh fuel. When she was off doing her miko duties, he would find himself remembering how it was before she came back. Tonight was no different - the silent room pressed around him, reminding him of all those nights alone while she was gone, how sometimes they seemed to go on forever, how they pulsed with the emptiness he felt in his heart at her absence.
After a while, he got up and laid out their bedding, looked at it thoughtfully, but then shook his head, feeling uncomfortable sleeping in their bed alone. Instead, he went and stretched out, not too close to the fire, and thought about the difference between those nights and this one. After a while, he dozed.
The soft rustle of the door mat being lifted up jerked him awake with a start, and he bolted upright as Kagome walked into the house, carrying a lamp.
She put the lamp on her sewing table and came and sat next to her husband.
“Everything go all right?” he asked.
“Just fine, although I thought Katsuo was going to faint when he heard that he had yet another daughter,” she said, leaning against his shoulder. She yawned. “That makes the third one.”
InuYasha smiled and wrapped his arm around her. “You want anything? Food? A bath?”
She snuggled into his hold. “Just sleep. Why do babies have to come so early in the morning?”
“I don’t know,” he murmured, standing up and walking her toward their bed. He helped her get ready and under the covers. Slipping in beside her, he drew her close, wrapped his arm around her, and as he fell asleep wrapped up in the pleasant sound of her breathing, he knew with a certainty every one of those endless nights was worth going through.