The Journey Home
She remembered his face, concerned, afraid, relieved, blood-spattered, his amber eyes and silver hair appearing out of nowhere, like a sunrise long awaited, and she knew she was safe. She swallowed, trying to get her voice to work. "I knew you'd come get me," she whispered.
He scooped her gently into his arms, ran his hands gently through her hair, crushed her gently to his chest. "Baka woman. Don't you ever scare me that way again." His lips brushed gently against her forehead.
Pain was everywhere as she was shifted in his arms, but she didn’t mind, because she knew nothing could harm her where she was. "I'll try," she said. "Take me home, InuYasha. I want to go home."
Home. In her husband’s arms, where her son waited her. It glowed in her confused memory like a beacon.
"Yeah," he replied. "Let's go."
The last thought she remembered was smiling. Then it was dark.
The darkness let go as she slipped into a dream about blood cascading from the throat of a young man bent on harming her.
Suddenly, she heard Kaede’s soft voice. “So much bruising,” the old miko commented.
Kagome moaned as gentle hands probed her injuries. “I don’t think her ribs are cracked,” the miko said. “We’ll have to watch and see if her inner organs are injured. I’ll prepare dressings for her cuts and scrapes and leave you with some tea.”
The younger woman fluttered her eyes open. “Hurts.”
“I know, I know,” said Kaede soothingly. She was lifted up slightly and a bitter tea was brought to her lips. “Drink this; it will help.”
Kagome swallowed, and felt a large, strong hand surround her left hand. “Am I home?”
“Keh,” said the familiar voice. “Home.”
She smiled a little, but soon, the medicine swept her back into the darkness.
The darkness let go. She found herself in a dream running as the sound of horses chasing her followed. Slowly, she realized she heard someone knocking at the door. She clung to that sound; even though it was in the land of pain, it was better than being chased.
As Kagome fought for consciousness, she heard the soft rustle of fabric leave her side. A voice spoke, soft and feminine. Sango, she realized.
“I brought you some lunch,” Sango said. “How is she?”
“Still sleeping,” the deeper voice of her husband answered. “How’s Atae?”
“Rin’s keeping him distracted, but he’s been making lots of want-to-come-home noises. But I’ll be happy to keep him another night.”
“Maybe,” he replied.
Kagome thought of the bright smile of her son, and a sudden yearning swept over her. She sighed. Her movements caught Sango’s attention. “Go check her, InuYasha. I’ll come back later.”
There was a silent pause, and the rattling of the door mat. “She’ll be okay, InuYasha,” Sango said. “Don’t beat yourself up. You didn’t fail her.”
“Keh,” he replied.
The darkness began to win. As she drifted back into the darkness, she felt a hand slide around her. “Come back to me, Koibito,” he said. “I’m so afraid. Let me know I did the right thing.”
Before the darkness claimed her, she squeezed his hand. She did not feel the tear that fell there shortly after.
The first thing she realized was that she was frightened. She could feel her heart pounding.
In her dreams she had been running, chased by a monster with eight arms and eight legs that roared out her name. She cried out. Then suddenly she was surrounded by a pair of warm, strong arms and a familiar scent, and felt a well-known touch of youki. She found herself waking up, like surfacing to the light after a deep dive.
“Ssh, Koibito. It’s all right,” said a soft, soothing voice. “You’re safe.”
With a soft moan, she opened her eyes, looking into a pair of amber ones gazing back at her with concern. She gave him a warm, if small, smile. “You rescued me,” she said. “I was dreaming . . . ”
His right ear twitched, insecure. “Keh,” he said. “You were calling out.” Careful, not to touch the black bruising on her face, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
Kagome lifted a hand to his cheek, smiled a little more. “My hero.”
He cupped her hand in his and brought it to his lips. “Glad to see you waking up,” he said. “Missed you. You want anything? Kaede left some tea if you’re hurting.”
She nodded. He helped her sit up while she sipped the tea, making a face while she sipped it.
“You know,” she said after she swallowed it down, “the tea will probably make me fall asleep again.” Kagome leaned against his shoulder and pulled his arm around her.
He ran his fingers through her hair. “You’ll feel better if you rest,” he replied.
“I guess. That’s what I always tell people. You make a good pillow.”
“You think so?” He snugged her close, and kissed the top of her head. For several minutes he just held her. After awhile, he kissed the top of her head again. “You just get better. And don’t scare me like that again.”
Kagome yawned. “I’ll try not to. Wasn’t scared, though.” Her voice began to drift off.
“Grandfather told me you were coming.”
“Hn?” he said, but when he looked down, she was asleep.
Kagome dreamed of shooting an arrow charged with pink light that exploded into a thousand shards that hurt. She opened her eyes again. The air smelled like rice and fish. The light was much dimmer, not quite night but getting late.
This time she sat up, moaning as she moved. A warm arm surrounded her.
“What are you doing, Koibito?” he asked.
“Need to pee,” she said through gritted teeth. “Help me?”
He lifted her up easily, and helped her stand on her feet. “You want me to carry you to the latrine?”
“No, just help me walk,” she replied, swallowing hard as she tried to steady herself.
She leaned against her husband as he helped her down the one step and out of their house. She breathed deeply of the air, looked at her vegetable patch and the trees and the house. Home, she thought.
After taking care of her business, they walked back towards the front door.
“It’s good to be home,” Kagome said.
InuYasha looked at his bruised wife, frail and battered, but who through the injury and pain, looked at him with love, and somehow, at peace. “Yeah,” he said. “Yeah, it is.” He kissed the top of her head. “Hungry?”
“Almost as hungry as you,” she said.
“Feh. Impossible,” he said, but smiled as he led her into the house. He would feed her, and fetch their son, and with her accepting approval, start the rest of their life together.