The Best Place
It was a hot, sticky afternoon, and the rain clouds were building in the distance, but here, at the house, the air was nearly motionless. InuYasha stopped for a moment to shift the bundle he carried as he neared the small house in the clearing before him, and admired how it looked with its neat garden, and the trees beyond. Nobody was outside in the afternoon heat, but he could see a shoji door was partially open to let in what breeze there was. As he neared, he heard a soft, slightly sad voice singing:
"When the raindrops fall,
will he stop and take cover,
there, under the trees,
and while the thunder rumbles,
will he remember who waits?
"And when the rain stops,
and he steps out in the sun,
will he remember
that someone watches the road,
waiting to welcome him home?"
He sighed at the song and the sadness. Quietly, he moved up to the veranda. His bare feet made no sound as he moved towards the door and poked his head through. Kagome, dressed in summer weight blue and green, sat in a sunny corner as she sewed, while his nearly naked son, wearing only a fundoshi, lay sleeping on a spread-out quilt, silver hair sweaty in the warmth. His little ears moved at the small sounds his father made, but not enough to wake him.
All looked and smelled right with his home. "Hey," InuYasha said, softly.
Kagome looked up, her face calm and placid for a single moment, and then a smile broke out, she dropped her sewing, rose up, and bounded across the room. "InuYasha!" she cried. He stepped fully into the room as she crashed into him, his arms wrapping around her as her arms dove under his silver hair to wrap around his neck. "You were gone so long! I was afraid something bad had happened."
He cupped her face in his hands, pressed his lips against hers, a kiss that started gently, but grew with intensity as Kagome tightened her hold on him. One of his hands moved to cup her head, the other pulled her closer to him as they savored each other's taste and touch, hungry for re-connection. Finally he pulled away with a sigh, and slid the bag to the ground. "Nothing bad happened," he said. "It's just a long way there and back."
"Well, I'm glad you're home," Kagome said. She reached up and kissed him again, a slow languid kiss that promised much more when suddenly, a small silver-haired head popped up and blinked amber eyes.
“Daddy!” the little boy said, running and hugging his father’s red-clad leg.
InuYasha broke off the kiss, looked at Kagome’s half-lidded and smouldering eyes, and smiled. “Later,” he promised. Bending over, he picked up his son, rested him on his hip, and said, “Well, look who woke up!”
“You’re back!” Atae said. “I missed you!”
“Missed you, too, little guy. You been good for your mama?” InuYasha asked.
“Uh-huh. I helped mama pull weeds in the garden, and played with Shippou and caught a rabbit trying to eat the garden.”
“You caught a rabbit, little guy?”InuYasha asked, sounding impressed.
“Yeah. But he twisteded when I held onto him, and he got away.” Atae stretched his arms out. “He was this big!”
“Oh my,” said InuYasha, lifting Atae up on his shoulder. He looked at Kagome, smiling. “You saw any of this, Mama?”
Kagome beamed at both of them. “I did indeed, although I don’t think the rabbit was quite that big.” She laughed, patted Atae’s bottom. “Daddy wants to take a bath and get that road dirt off?”
He looked up at Atae, and then at his wife. “Too warm for hot water. Think I’ll go down to the pond and take a swim. Wanna go swimming, little guy?”
“Yay!” Atae said.
“How about Mama?” said InuYasha, a warm teasing light in his eyes.
She swallowed, her eyes answering him. “No, Mama better stay here and start dinner. But maybe later, Daddy might want to take another bath?”
“Oh, yeah,” he said, his voice going low and husky. He bent over, gave her a quick kiss and a squeeze.
“All right, Atae. We’ll go swimming, and then I got something for you that Uncle Miroku sent.”
“What is it?” the little boy asked, squirming on his father’s shoulder.
InuYasha put him down, and took him by the hand. “It’s a surprise. You’ll find out after we get clean.” He turned to Kagome. “Kaede sent some things she thought you and Rin might want. How’s Rin doing, anyway?”
Kagome smiled. “She’s doing fine. Sesshoumaru won’t hardly let her out of his sight. And I thought you were bad when I was expecting.”
“Yeah, I’m not surprised. He’s just worried about her.” Atae pulled on his hand. “We’ll check on them later. Miroku and Sango decided to go check on Mushin, so they’ll be back in another week or so.”
“Come on, Daddy, let’s go!” Atae said.
Kagome giggled. “Go take your bath. There’ll be time for everything later. You can tell me all the news.”
“We’re going, Atae. Just another minute.” He reached over and kissed Kagome one more time.
“Welcome home,” she said.
“Best place on earth,” he replied, then let his son pull him out of the door.