It was market day, the first one since Kagome returned. InuYasha usually had moaned and groaned when Miroku showed up asking him to go with him. The market was a long morning’s walk away, and he really didn’t like the way the merchants looked at him and whispered, as if he were there to steal their goods and luck. What little he had gotten there in the past, Miroku had done the haggling, and he’d do the hauling back. The monk was rather surprised to see how ready the hanyou was ready when Miroku knocked on the door.
“Anxious, friend?” Miroku said as InuYasha stepped from the doorway.
InuYasha scowled. “I never knew setting up a household was so complicated,” InuYasha said. “It never was when it was just me.” He took the piece of paper out of his sleeve. “She even sent me with a list.”
Miroku fiddled in his robes. “I have a longer one, I believe,” he said, pulling out a piece of paper of his own. “But, then, I have more mouths to feed and more backs to clothe.”
“Hn,” said the hanyou. “Let’s get this over with.”
Miroku, his staff jingling, nodded his assent, and started down the road.
Hours later, as the sun grew low, InuYasha walked back through the door, carrying a large bundle. The air in the house smelled delicious and welcoming: odors of rabbit and rice and vegetables that said dinner was ready, and beyond that was the undertone that warmed his heart the most, the scent of Kagome.
Kagome stood up from where she was sitting by the fire pit as he walked through the door and gave him a brilliant smile. “I’m glad you’re back! How did it go?”
InuYasha placed the bundle on the ground gently. “Better than I expected,” he said, sitting down next to her. “I let Miroku do most of the talking. Nobody can talk people out of stuff the way he does.”
“He does have that talent,” Kagome said, putting on the water for tea, then moving closer to the hanyou, resting her head on his shoulder.
His arm wrapped around her, pulling her a little closer. “So, you want to see what I got?” he asked, a small but eager smile touching his lips.
“You don’t want to eat dinner first?” she asked, looking up at him, surprised.
Shaking his head, he unwrapped his arm from around her and pulled the bundle closer, then unfastened it. “No,” he said, his right ear twitching a little.
Kagome leaned up and kissed his chin. “I’m sure that whatever you chose is fine, really,” she said, but she turned around and moved the kettle off the flame and set the stew pot further off the heat. When she turned around, InuYasha stuck a bundle in her hand. Smiling, she opened it.
She undid the wrappings, one after another, cloth, and paper and straw, impressed more and more by her husband’s selection. A rice tub and some storage jars. Tea cups. Sewing supplies in a lovely basket. Some treats for when the girls or Shippou came by. Spices. Finally, everything she had asked for was spread around her.
“I did good?” InuYasha asked.
“You did very good,” she replied.
He pulled another bundle out of his jacket, looking at her a little sheepishly. “I didn’t want anything to happen to these,” he said.
“But . . . ” Kagome said. “But you got everything on the list.”
“I know,” he replied. “I got these because I wanted to.”
She looked at him for a moment, the warmth in her eyes stirring feelings in him he couldn’t quite put into words, then quickly unfastened the carry cloth. A fine comb. Kagome picked up the comb, and ran her fingers over the finely carved boxwood and inlay. “It’s beautiful,” she said.
“You like it?” he asked. He took a lock of her hair in his hands, twisting it around his finger.
“Very much,” she replied.
He pulled her closer. “Open the other.”
She leaned forward and undid the bundle. In it was a beautiful, soft, light blue-gray silk. It was worked with red and darker blue blossoms that cascaded in a windblown pattern. Kagome looked up at him, her mouth slightly open.
“It matches your eyes,” he said.
“It must have cost too much, InuYasha,” Kagome said.
InuYasha pulled her onto his lap. “You think you’re not worth it to me, Koibito?” he asked. “I ought to be able to give you more. You ought to be dressed like a hime.” He sighed, but wrapped his arms around her waist.
She reached up, ran her fingertips over his cheek, then brushed his lips with hers. “I ought to be dressed like InuYasha’s wife. But I hope you let me have something besides silk to do the laundry in and work in the garden. Thank you.”
“Keh,” he said, and kissed her back.
Many kisses and some energetic activity later, Kagome was glad she took the food off the fire.