The Safe Place
It was very late, maybe a couple hours from dawn, and the house was cool with the autumn chill. The fire in its pit had burned down to ash-covered coals which gave off only a tiny amount of red light, not enough to see much by. The only sounds in the small house were the sleeping sounds of the silver-haired man and his black-haired wife, and the toddler sleeping next to them, and the soft sound of the wind outside their house.
Suddenly Kagome bolted up, taking deep breaths, looking around the dark room wildly. Immediately, she found two strong arms surrounding her, and for a moment she panicked.
“What is it, Koibito?” InuYasha asked, his voice low and soft.
Breathing with relief, she threw herself into her husband’s arms and tried to bury herself in his embrace. “Nightmare. So much blood,” she said, in a low, shaky voice.
InuYasha pulled her into his lap, “I could light the lamp,” he offered.
She shook her head no. “Just hold me for a while.”
He ran his fingers through her hair as he held her close. “Let’s go sit by the fire. It’s cold in here.”
She nodded, and he lifted her up and carried her next to the fire pit. She looked down at her hands, her bangs hiding her eyes while he stirred the fire up and added small wood to get it to flame up. As he blew on it, he glanced at his wife’s face. The bruises from the bandit attack were long faded, and the last of the cuts and abrasions all healed, but he knew first hand how some things invisible to the eye didn’t heal so quickly. He was wrestling with his own demons and knew just how bad it could get.
“Kagome,” he said, straightening up and dusting his fingers on his shirt. The firelight flickered redly on his silver hair, casting highlights on his cheekbones as it pierced the shadows. “The bandits?” he asked.
“Yeah, kind of.” She wrapped her arms tightly around herself. InuYasha moved behind her, wrapping his arms around her. “I shot arrow after arrow, and they kept coming, blood pouring. And as the first one got close enough to make out, as I was about to shoot my last arrow, I saw he had your face.” Kagome shuddered in InuYasha’s hold. “Then I woke up.”
He took a deep breath, and kissed the top of her head. “But the dream is over, Koibito. I’m here, you’re safe, and there’s no blood.”
“Yeah,” she replied, leaning back against him, beginning to relax. “You’re my safe place.”
“I’d go into your dreams and keep you safe there if I could,” he said.
“I know,” she said. She took his hand and brought it to her lips.
They sat quietly for a while, watching the flames. After a time, Kagome fell asleep. InuYasha, as if keeping watch could chase away the night haunts, kept watch, holding her close until the sunrise.