One Night on the Way There
He stood on the edge of a small clearing, watching the moon rise. Beneath him, the grass gave way to a sharp drop off, and a clear view of the river below that wound its way from the mountain above. Behind him, his wife and son rested around a small but cheery fire. Straining his senses, he could feel nothing threatening, no youkai, no human, just them.
For a moment, he wondered how the others were doing. He knew Miroku and Sango too were making their way to the mountain, and that his brother and Rin and Shippou had gone on ahead. It was easier to deal with the patrols they had seen this way, easier to slip up the mountainside where Sesshoumaru was taking them unnoticed when they weren’t all together as one group. But at the same time, the absence of everyone else seemed to leave a gap. Or perhaps it was the why of their traveling, not the fact of it.
He sighed, then finally turned around and walked back towards the fire where Kagome was bending over their son, draping a blanket over him. As InuYasha neared, Kagome looked up at him and smiled. The firelight touched her face and lit her eyes, and although she seemed tired, there was no hint of unease or unhappiness about her.
“Everything’s all right?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “You all right?”
“A little tired, that’s all,” she replied. “Atae, though, went right to sleep.”
“Keh,” he said, sitting down next to her. “Can’t understand why he’d be so tired. He got carried most of the way.”
Kagome laughed a little, and handed InuYasha a bowl of fish and rice. “It feels nice, just us out here alone tonight. I’ve missed having you to myself since we left the village.”
InuYasha paused in his eating. “You mean you don’t miss Jaken squawking, ‘Sesshoumaru-sama! Sesshoumaru-sama!’ every few minutes?”
She shook her head and moved closer to him. “Jaken had better get used to Rin being with them again. I don’t know how much more patience your brother will have with him.”
“Feh,” he replied. “I don’t know how he’s had the patience to put up with him this long.” InuYasha sighed, and stared into the fire.
Kagome put her bowl down, and rested her hand lightly on his arm. “You want to tell me what’s bothering you?”
“Just thinking,” he said. He took another bite of his meal.
“You know, I’m not upset about us leaving the village,” Kagome said.
InuYasha put down his bowl. “Kagome,” he said, turning towards her. He cupped her face in his hand. “I’ve taken so much away from you. I’ve taken you away from your time, your family, and now from Kaede and the village. I’ve pulled you away from everything you’ve known.” He brushed his thumb over her cheek. “How can you sit there so calmly? How can you look at me and smile when I’ve messed up your life so much?”
Kagome took his hand, and threaded her fingers through his. “Baka husband. The only way you could mess up my life is to leave me. I’ll miss the village, but I know what it feels like to be without you. That is something I never want to go through again.”
InuYasha wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close and nestling her beneath his chin. “I don’t know who’s more baka, you or me.”
“You’re just nervous about living near your brother,” Kagome said, running her fingers down the neckline of his suikan.
“Maybe so,” he acknowledged.
Kagome looked up at him, smiling. “Or maybe you’re scared you won’t be able to resist kicking Jaken across a field and Rin’ll get mad at you,” she said.
“Would I do that?” InuYasha said in mock indignation.
“You do it to Shippou,” she replied.
“True. But the brat deserves it,” he said.
“Hmm,” she said, not looking convinced at all.
InuYasha tilted her face up, “Quiet, woman. He does.” He brushed his lips gently across hers. “But you deserve this.” And he kissed her again, slowly and thoroughly.