Early Morning Bath
The early morning light filtered through the high window of the bathing room. Kagome lay in the hot waters of the tub, closing her eyes as she relaxed there, enjoying the morning quiet. Life had taken an interesting turn and she thought back to a conversation they had once with Myouga, not long after she and InuYasha had become husband and wife, to explain some things they should know about their new life together.
“There will come a time,” the old flea began explaining, staying well out of the reach of InuYasha’s hand to keep from being squished by the nervous and slightly embarrassed hanyou, “nights when the magic is right. It will not happen often. When these nights happen, InuYasha-sama, you youki will be very strong, and perhaps your youkai side will hover very near the surface.”
InuYasha’s ear twitched, letting her guess he had already experienced nights like that. He held his head down, not letting her see his eyes. “Some full moons . . . ”
“I’m not surprised to hear it is tied to the full moon, young master. After all, that is when your youki is strongest. Nonetheless, on these special nights, and only on these special nights, if you two come together, you will make a child.” Myouga stared off into space and looked thoughtful for a moment, scratching his head. “The Kami only know why some nights are like that, and not others. Your noble father did not explain that when he told me to pass this on to you.”
“How will we know?” she asked.
“InuYasha-sama will know,” the flea said. “From what I have been told, there’s no mistaking it.”
The hanyou gave a terse nod. “What about the child?” InuYasha had asked. “Will it look . . . ”
“I do not know, young master,” Myouga said, then hesitated before continuing. “Your father’s blood is very strong.”
After that conversation, Kagome found her husband sitting outside staring into the distance, his hands crammed into his sleeves. She sat down next to him and leaned into his shoulder. “I knew you were different before I came back,” she said, laying a hand on his thigh. “Nothing he said bothered me.”
“Yeah,” he replied. “I know.” Sighing, he untangled his arms and wrapped one around her. “I was just thinking.”
She laced her fingers into the fingers of his free hand. “About what?”
“Oh, my childhood. Stuff. About maybe having a kid who can never be accepted.” He looked away from her.
She squeezed his hand, but didn’t say anything.
“I...I don’t know if I want to raise a kid who had to go through what I went through.”
Kagome shifted in the bath water. At first she had felt pain at his fear of having children, but they talked through it. And when that first special night came, they made Atae. The second time it had come, Atae was a toddler. InuYasha had come into the house, touched her cheek, kissed her hard and well, and spent the night in the woods.
Although she never said anything, she had begun to look at the babies that filled Sango’s and now Rin’s arms longingly. She loved her son dearly, but she felt an emptiness, an emptiness she tried to hide from everyone, but that she suspected that InuYasha realized.
And then there was the last full moon, when the kami let the magic flow.
“Is it time for Atae to become a brother?” she had whispered, feeling InuYasha’s youki wrap around her like a cloak, and the hope flutter in her heart.
“Only if you say yes,” he had replied. She remembered how his cheek stripes had colored in the bright moonlight. She had run her fingers across them, and he had responded by pressing his hardness against her. His eyes had glowed redly. “Tell me yes or tell me to run into the night and stay away until morning. The moon, the magic is too strong for me to not do one or the other.”
Images of that night flashed through her mind, of the taste of his mouth and his skin and the urgency and need he took her with, of the bright moonlight pouring over them. She sighed in happy contentment.
The bathing room door slid open, and InuYasha walked in, breaking her revery.
“Oi, I was wondering if you had drowned in here,” he said, but his smile was fond.
“Has it been that long?” she asked, sitting up straight. “I can get out now.”
“Yeah. Let me help you out.” He grabbed the towel, and helped her out of the tub.
“Umm. You make a good bath girl,” she said, giggling a little as he ran the towel over her body.
He passed the towel once more over her back and then wrapped his arms around her, pulling her back against his chest. Nuzzling her neck, he rested one hand protectively over her abdomen. “Have to take care of my little mama. Don’t want anything happening to her,” he said. His breath tickled her ear. “Wonder if it’ll be a boy or girl?”
“We’ll find out soon enough,” she said, peeling his arms away so she could move. “You going to get all overprotective on me?” She turned to face him.
His answering smile was sheepish. “Probably. Maybe not as bad as my brother was with Rin,” he said, kissing her forehead.
“Let’s hope not,” she said. “I do have things I need to do.”
“Keh,” he said, letting her free to get her kosode of the peg it was hung on. “He really did get pretty crazy towards the end. I’m surprised Rin never asked you to purify him some days.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure about that,” she said as she tied her obi.
InuYasha began to laugh. “I better not tease him with that one, right?”
“Right. I might have to purify him for real. And I do want our children to grow up with both a father and an uncle.” She slid open the door. “Ready for breakfast?”
“You know it,” he said. Still laughing, he followed her out.