Something was missing.
Kagome rolled over in the bed, and found it empty. Opening her eyes, she sat up. Atae lay sleeping next to her, peacefully resting. Occasionally one of his puppy ears would twitch, but he was deeply asleep. But the side of the bed where InuYasha normally slept was empty, with only a little trace of warmth left.
Getting up as quietly as possible, she moved over to the fire pit, and stirred the fire up, casting on some pine shavings to catch quickly and give her a little more light. The room was empty of any sign of her husband.
She stepped off the edge of the wooden platform and onto the dirt of the entryway, and slipped into her sandals. Quietly stepping through the front door, she spotted InuYasha sitting down on the ground in front of their home, looking up at the sky.
The moon, almost full, cast pale highlights on his hair that cascaded down his back, brushing the ground behind him. He looked otherworldly, almost spectral, as he sat there, she thought, something unique and beautiful, with the threat of danger about him. At times like this, Kagome was reminded that he wasn’t fully human, but it, somehow, only made her feel more pulled to him.
His ears twitched as she walked towards him, a sure sign that he was aware of her presence. “Did I wake you up?” he asked, still not looking at her. “I didn’t mean to.”
“I don’t think so,” she replied, sitting down next to him. The grass was damp, but it was a warm September night, and a light breeze danced around them. “I rolled over and found you weren’t there, and that woke me up.”
“Sorry about that. Couldn’t sleep. I thought I’d bother you less out here than inside,” he said, finally looking at her. His eyes glowed in the moonlight, but even in their otherworldliness, she could sense his unease.
She leaned against his shoulder, took his free hand in his. “You’re thinking about that traveling priest that came through today, aren’t you?”
“Keh,” he said. He let her thread her small, delicate fingers through his. “I’m glad you were with Kaede and Miroku when he started talking crap.”
“I thought Miroku was going to bean him with his staff when he started throwing ofuda at me and Atae,” Kagome said.
“Maybe it was a good thing that I was on the other side of the village when that happened,” InuYasha said. He dropped her hand, and slid his arm around her.
“The village headman sent him on his way soon as he started acting like that. Tameo-sama is a priest, too, you know. He doesn’t want anybody coming in and making the village Kami unhappy.” She lifted his other hand up, and planted a little kiss on his knuckles. “He thinks the Kami has blessed the village because of you, you know. He liked the way you kept the daimyo’s men from cheating on the land survey and making the taxes too high. And the harvest here was good, where some of the villages near here had crops that failed. He’s not going to let strangers drive you or our family off.”
InuYasha sighed. “What happens in a bad year?”
She cupped his face in her hand, ran her fingers over the skin where, if he were human, his ears would have been, and into his silken hair. “InuYasha, we’ll deal with it. We have friends here. Others might not approve of us, but we have people who care for us.” She lightly brushed her lips over his. “We belong here. Just like I belong with you.”
“Kagome,” InuYasha said, lifting her into his lap and crushing her against him. “How can you be so strong?” he asked.
“I’m not strong,” she replied. “I just know where I’m supposed to be.” She kissed him lightly on the chin. “And where you’re supposed to be, too. And it’s not sitting outside in the middle of the night.”
InuYasha sighed, then stood up, holding her bridal style. She wrapped her arms around his neck. “You know, woman, you really are too hardheaded for your own good,” he said as he headed back to the house.
“I know. But where would you be if I wasn’t?” she asked. She snuggled up comfortably against him.
“Don’t even want to think about it,” he replied, as he opened the door and went inside.