It was still fairly early in the morning, but well past sunrise. Kagome fished in the pickle tub, and pulled out a section of daikon pickle, closed the lid, and took it to the basin to wash it. As she took the water out front to dump it, she saw InuYasha, his silver hair gleaming in the morning light walking up to the house. For a moment she allowed herself to enjoy the sight of him walking, lithe, sure, confident.
“Good morning, Koibito,” InuYasha said, smiling, as he stepped up on the veranda. They entered the house.
“You were out early,” she said as he slid the shouji door behind them.
“Didn’t want to wake you,” he said. “I kind of kept you up a bit late last night.”
“You didn’t hear me complaining,” she said, replacing the basin. “I rather enjoyed it. It was kind of nice to be alone for a change.”
Kagome settled down by the fire and checked the morning porridge, but looking up, she caught his amber eyes, looking at her content and pleased. “So what did you do?” she asked as she expertly sliced the pickle and split it between their serving dishes.
“Keh,” he replied. “I thought I’d go fishing.” He held up his catch. The fish had been cleaned and gutted.
“Want it with breakfast?” Kagome asked, as she gave her soup a stir. “I could grill it.”
“I’ll cook it,” he said, as he walked over to the fire pit. “Looks like you have your hands full right now.”
He grabbed one of the skewers stuck into the venkei hung from the ceiling at the corner near the fire pit, and expertly threaded the fish onto it. Kneeling down next to his wife, he stuck the skewer into the sand and ash in the fire pit, positioning the fish where it would get the right amount of heat.
Kagome watched him work then sat back. “You should go wash your hands, you know,” she said as she poured water over a bowl of greens where she was working.
He looked down at his hands. “Keh,” he said, standing up. “I’ve gotten too used to washing up with Atae.” He walked over to the wash stand and cleaned the fish off of his fingers. “When do you think they’ll bring him back?”
“I’m sure they’ll feed him breakfast first,” Kagome said as she put the greens into a fragrant boiling liquid, stirring them briskly for a moment, then taking the pan off the heat. “I don’t expect him back until mid morning at least.” She strained the greens, and put them into dishes.
“Wonder when my brother’ll stop borrowing my kid and have one of his own?” InuYasha said, “I can tell by the way that Rin looks at Atae that’s she’s ready.”
Kagome, mixing the miso to add to their soup, looked up at him, thoughtfully. “You think so?” she asked. “I’ve been wondering that myself. Sometimes I see something in Sesshoumaru’s eyes when he watches Rin and Atae playing, something hungry.”
InuYasha stole a piece of pickle off of one of the trays. “You sure he’s just not hungry?”
Kagome slapped his hand. “InuYasha! Your brother does not want to eat our son.”
“Nah, I know. For some reason the Kami only knows, he likes the little guy. And for some stranger reason, Atae likes him.” InuYasha rotated the fish on its skewer.
“Anyway,” Kagome said, pouring the miso into the soup, “If Rin was expecting, we might not be getting nights like last night. We probably ought to enjoy them while they last.” She took the soup off the heat, then dished up the porridge into two bowls. “Is the fish ready yet?”
“You have a point there,” he said, checking the fish. “No, it needs a little longer.”
She poured the soup into their soup bowls. “Well, let’s start anyway. All that stuff you did to keep me up last night gave me an appetite.” She put his tray in front of him.
He grabbed her hand, and looked at her with a small, silly smile. “Maybe after breakfast, we can work up an appetite for lunch?” he asked.
She stole a pickle from his tray to replace the one he stole from hers. “We’ll see,” she said, and began to eat.
A/N a venkei is a large basket suspended from the ceiling near the fire pit where cooking was done. It was stuffed with rice straw and used like a pincushion, sort of, to hold skewers and skewered meat that had first been cooked in the fire pit and later stuck into the venkei to smoke and be served later.