“So what ya got planned for today?” InuYasha asked his wife.
It was early in the morning, and they were gathered around the fire pit at breakfast time. Kagome dipped up a bowl of soup and put it on Atae’s place. He looked and sniffed at it, and frowned. Kagome gave him a stern look, and he took a sip.
“I was thinking about going down to the village today. Hana told me she’d finished weaving the cloth I ordered from her. Just in time, too. Atae’s undershirts are getting thin, and a little tight.” She put bowls of rice on each of their trays. “After that, I thought I’d spend some time with Sango.”
“I wanna go!” Atae said.
InuYasha swiped a piece of pickled daikon off Kagome’s tray, and got his hand slapped, but not before he ate it. “ I was thinking about heading down to that pond above the rocks we went to last summer. The fishing was good the last time we went out there. And it’s late enough in the year that maybe I’ll find a deer.”
Atae noticed his father eyeing the pickle on his plate and grabbed it before it could disappear. “I wanna go!” the boy said.
Kagome added some more sliced pickle to her husband’s tray. InuYasha took a piece, bit into it and smiled. She turned back to her son. “You can’t go with both of us,” she said, picking up her own soup bowl. “You can come with me to Sango’s and play with Naoya, or go with your father and go fishing.”
“But I want to do both! Go fishing and play with Naoya! Can we take him fishing, Daddy? Can we? Can we?”
InuYasha looked at Kagome, as if she could give him the answers, but instead, she merely lifted an eyebrow and smiled, and continued drinking her soup. The hanyou took a deep breath, his right ear twitching. “I don’t know, little guy. First, we’d have to ask Miroku and Sango . . . ”
“Yeah!” said the boy, smiling. “Let’s go with Mama and ask!”
“And you’d have to promise to make sure to keep an eye on him, so that he didn’t get lost or fall in the water, or get hurt.”
“You mean I gotta protect’em?” Atae asked, looking up at his dad. “Like you protect me and Mama?”
“Yeah, son. You’d have to protect him.” InuYasha picked up his soup bowl. “And that means you can’t go off chasing rabbits or pheasants.”
The boy stared down at his hands a moment, chewing his bottom lip as he thought. “I...I can do that, Daddy.”
InuYasha looked over at Kagome, looking for some guidance. She put down her rice bowl.
“Well, why don’t we go down to the village, and talk to Miroku and Sango and see that they say,” Kagome offered. “Then if Naoya can’t go with you, then you can either stay or go with Daddy.”
“Yeah,” Atae replied. “Yay! I’m going fishing with Naoya and Daddy!”
Kagome shrugged her shoulders at her husband and continued to eat. Atae hurried through his, excited, but InuYasha took a longer time than usual. As the excited boy jumped up when he was done, InuYasha caught him by the wrist. “If you’re done, go fill up the water bucket, all right?”
“Sure, Daddy,” he said, then ran out of the house.
InuYasha looked at Kagome. She shrugged. “You could have just told him no.”
“No, this is better, maybe. But you’ll owe me,” he said, eating his last pickle.
“Hmph.” Kagome started gathering the dishes. “I don’t know why.”
“Because,” he said, moving closer, “If you had left him down at Sango’s we could have had the house alone for a few hours.”
She kissed him on the chin, a short little peck. “There’ll be other times. Besides, maybe Sango and Miroku would like some fresh fish. Maybe enough to want to keep him overnight.”
“Now that’s an interesting thought,” he said, standing up. “Hope the fishing’s good.”
“It always is when you’re motivated,” she said, putting away the trays. “Now go get your son. Sooner I can get these dishes washed, the sooner we can get started.”
“Good idea,” he said, then headed out of the door.