I do not own InuYasha or any of the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi
It was a weary InuYasha who slid open the door to the bathing room. Some light filtered in through the high window, so he didn’t bother with the lamp. The day was getting late, but full sunset was some hours off.
InuYasha sighed, breathing in the warm, steamy air, and began unfastening his jacket and hakama. It felt strange to him to be bathing this early in the day, but he would be the first to admit that after coming home the way he did, he needed it. Hanging first his suikan and then his hakama up on a peg, he noticed how mud-streaked, damp and smelly they were.
The weather had made it a hard trip home. He had spent the last few days in their old village visiting Kaede, who, accompanied from time to time by a watchful Shippou, still protected the people there. He had enjoyed seeing her and talking with the old miko who treated him like a grandson, and was happy to give her the latest news and letters from Rin and Kagome and Miroku. While he was there, the weather had been exceptionally fine for this time of year, but during the trip back, the weather Kami had turned against him, letting it storm and all the roads and trails he could use had become streams of water or rivers of mud.
With a little time, his fire rat clothes would clean themselves, but it would take longer than the time for his bath. He untied and slid his kosode off. InuYasha noticed as he hung the shirt up that even that had gotten dirty, protected as it was by his suikan. It would have to be washed. For a moment, as he stepped away from the peg, and moved towards the hot water, he wondered what Kagome would think about that.
Not daring to sit in the tub before sluicing off, he grabbed the bath bucket and filled it, then sat down on the bathing stool. The ends of his silver hair, encrusted here and there with splashed of brown, brushed against the wood of the floor. Pouring the water over his head, he gasped a little as it ran down his face, pinning his bangs to his forehead, slicking his forelocks to his shoulders and down his chest. It wasn’t going to be enough. Looking at his feet, he could see the clumps of dirt that still clung to his skin.
He pulled another bucket of water out of the tub and grabbed the scrubber. As he began to attack his right leg and foot, the door slid open, and Kagome slipped in with extra towels and clothes.
“Not in the water yet?” she asked.
“Too muddy,” he replied.
“Ah,” she said as she hung the spare garments and towels on yet another peg. With a practiced ease, she unfastened the tie to her wrap skirt, and stepped out of it and her outer kosode, and hung them up. “What?” she asked, looking at her husband as she undid the last wrap to her undershirt.
“What are you doing, woman?” InuYasha asked. “Where’s Atae?”
“Rin came by few minutes after you headed here. She said she’d keep him until after dinner. I thought that since I don’t have to keep an eye on him, I’d come here where I could help my husband get cleaned up.”
“Ah,” he said, watching as she bent over him slightly, her breasts dangling a bit in front of him, to grab the scrubber from his hand. He rested his hand on her hip for a moment, and she kissed his forehead. “It’s been a long week,” he murmured.
“Yes it has,” she said, walking behind him. “How did you get so much mud in your hair?”
“Splashed myself,” he said, as Kagome poured more water over his head, running her hands through his locks. “It was really muddy.”
“It must have been,” she said, sliding his hair over his shoulders to expose his back. She rubbed the scrubber over his back lightly. “So how was Kaede? Maybe Atae and I should go with you next trip.”
“She’s like that,” InuYasha said. “She was looking tired. Ever since her cousin Tameo-sama died, she hasn’t been quite the same.” He sighed. “Time’s not being very nice to her.”
“Ah,” Kagome said, frowning a little as she dipped the bucket into the water one more time. “I wonder if his son is still giving her a hard time.”
InuYasha shrugged. “She didn’t talk about him to me. She sent a letter. Maybe she said something.” He watched appreciatively as Kagome walked to his front, knelt down, and picked up one of his feet.
She deftly got the last of the mud off his foot and leg, and gently massaged the bottom of his foot. He closed his eyes. “You don’t know how good that feels, woman.”
“Does it?” She did it for a moment more, then repeated the process on the other foot.
This time, as she rubbed his foot, he appreciatively slid the other foot along her bare thigh. She arched an eyebrow as she looked at him.
“It has been over a week, you know,” he said.
She smiled as she put his foot down, and stood up. “Time for the tub,” she announced. “Then you eat, and then, if you’re quick enough, we’ll see about dessert.”
“Sounds like a plan,” he said, and slid into the warm, inviting water.