Midwinter days were just so short. They had barely finished eating dinner, and the house was growing dim enough to need more light. Kagome got up, and carefully palming the light from a sliver of wood reached towards the wick of the lamp she kept near her sewing table.
As she lit the lamp, she could feel the pulse. Turning around, she watched InuYasha’s moment of transformation. It was like someone poured a bottle of ink over his head as the fire-lit silver transformed into black, and his ears, one caught in mid-twitch, slithered down the sides of his head, and then it was done.
He lifted his head, and calmly watched what she was doing as she moved quietly back to her seat next to the fire pit. As she settled down in her seat and grabbed the tea kettle to settle on its trivet over the fire, she thought idly of the days where he would never look this relaxed on the night of his transformation. Outside, the wind blew through the branches of the trees, and a small burst of it worked its way through the door mat, causing the flames under the kettle to bend in the draft.
“You think Miroku and Sango will drop by tonight?” Kagome asked, reaching for their tea cups.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “The twins are just getting over the sickness, the ryuukan, and it’s probably going to snow. I asked him to stay home.”
“Good,” she said. “It’s not a night I would want them to take the children out in even if they were well.”
She shivered a little, and reached for her wrap. Throwing it around her shoulders, she snuggled up in it, letting her hands rest on her swollen abdomen.
Suddenly, there were two warm arms surrounding her, and she found herself being pulled up against a solid warm chest. “Are you all right?” he asked. “I saw you shiver.”
“Just a little cold,” she replied. “You don’t have to worry, InuYasha. I’m over the sickness.”
He nuzzled her cheek, his black hair spilling over her shoulder. His hands rested protectively over her middle and the child she was carrying. She took one of his hands in hers, ran her finger along the tips of his and over the short, human nails. Turning his hand over, it looked like his hand did every other day of the month . . . the same callouses from handling his sword and work, the same strong, able hands that kept her safe, that comforted and cared for her. She lifted his hand to her lips, and kissed each finger, then snuggled happily into his embrace.
The wind gusted again, and caused the flames in the fire pit to dance.
His lips brushed the edge of her ear. “You sure you want that tea?” he asked.
“Not really,” she replied. She leaned forward and took the kettle off of the flame.
For a while, they sat like that and listened to the wind and the fire and each other’s breathing. InuYasha’s hand idly brushed across her gently swollen middle.
“You sure you’re feeling all right?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m sure,” she replied.
“Good. You scared the hell out of me. Promise me you won’t get sick again.”
She laughed a little, and pulled away enough to look at his face. His violet eyes glittered in the firelight, totally serious. Turning all the way around, she took his hands in hers. “You know I can’t promise you that. Humans get sick.”
“I know,” he said, then pulled her close, kissing her forehead. “I just don’t want to lose you.”
She reached up and cupped his cheek. “I promise not to give up without a fight.” She kissed his chin and then, reaching up, let her lips brush across his. His arms tightened, and his hands slipped across her back and into her hair.
Another gust of wind rattled the door mat. “It’s getting cold in here,” InuYasha said. “Maybe we should get in bed.”
“Good idea,” she replied. “Take care of the fire and I’ll get the futon.”
She stood up, but he was not willing to let go of her hand yet. Kagome turned back and looked at him.
“Leave the lamp burning, though. I don’t see worth a damn in the dark on new moon nights.”
Smiling at him fondly, she turned and went to get their bedding.
A/N ryuukan is influenza