It was late afternoon.
Kagome sat near the fire pit where she could keep an eye on her stew pot while she worked on her sewing. Atae was playing with an assortment of small carved and painted figures.
“ King of the Oni, prepare to surrender!” the boy said, holding two of his figures. “I, Pheasant, tell you that my master Momotaro is coming and he will destroy you all!” Suddenly, the boy’s nose twitched, and he looked up.
“Daddy!” he said, dropping his toys and standing up.
A tired hanyou knocked before stepping through the door. He was wet from the weather, muddy from the road, and smiling. Dropping a bundle on the dirt floor of the entry, he caught his silver-haired son who jumped into his arms, and smiled at his wife.
“I’m back,” he said, simply. “Been good, little guy?”
“Yeah!” Atae hugged his father’s neck.
“I’m glad you’re back,” Kagome said, smiling brightly as she put aside her sewing and stood up.
After all this time, he could still fall into her blue gray eyes, and did so as he watched her walk up to him and wrap her arms around him, heedless of how dirty and wet he was. “Missed you,” she said softly.
“Me, too,” he replied. He wrapping his free arm around her and drawing her close so he could feel warm body pressing next to him. Their lips met, softly, gently, promising things for later.
Suddenly Atae disturbed the kiss, pulling on his father’s hair. “Did you get me anything, Daddy?”
Something about the look on his son’s face made InuYasha laugh instead of complain. He let his son slide to the ground. Turning to Kagome, he asked, “What do you think, Mama? Has he been good enough to get something?”
She smiled at her son and rested her head on her husband’s shoulder. “I think so, Daddy. He’s been really good trying to keep Mama safe. He’s killed the Oni King all afternoon.”
InuYasha laughed again and slipped his hand into his suikan. “Maybe then, I can give him this?”
He slipped a small figure into his son’s hand. It was a small carving of a dog, white with pointed ears.
“Yes!” said Atae. “Now Pheasant and Monkey can have Dog help Momotaro kill the Oni King! Thank you, Daddy!” He gave his father one last hug, and ran off to his play figures.
Kagome tugged on her husband’s white forelock to grab his attention. “Welcome home,” Kagome said. “What do I get for being a good girl?”
“Later,” he said. “You’ll get a special present.”
She kissed his chin. “Go sit down,” she said. “I’ll go start the bath water heating. There’s stew in the pot if you need to eat right away. I’m really glad you’re home.”
“No better place to be,” he said. After so many years living without one, he knew what he was talking about. Weary but content, he went and sat down.
A/N: Pheasant, Monkey, Dog, the Oni King and Momotaro are all characters out of the traditional Japanese story, the Peach Boy