"And then Atae jumped on Jiro-sama's roof and . . . " Kagome said.
She was half sitting on her husband's lap, a distressed look on her face, explaining why his son, instead of running up to greet him after his last trip out of town, was sitting in the sleeping room, an ofuda on his back, unable to move. InuYasha's ears flickered from time to time, catching the soft sobs of the little boy. He could feel Kagome's breath brush against his cheek, and he knew he should be really listening, but somehow, as she went on and on about how the day had gone, InuYasha found himself once again getting lost in her eyes, her scent and his own fatigue.
"And then, when Ichisuke and I finally coaxed him down, he ran into Sango's and somehow, I tripped and spilled a tub of water all over her floor, and . . . "
His heart wanted to comfort her, whatever it was that was distressing her, his stomach was hoping for a hot meal, and his body, well his body was warring between crawling up in a ball and sleeping and taking Kagome and running off with her somewhere soothing, quiet and private.
"And then he made so much noise I put the ofuda on him, and when I was through with that I found out I scorched the stew . . . "
Instead, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to his chest, and ran his hands down her back. "Ssh. It'll be all right," he murmured. "I'm home now."
Slowly, she began to relax underneath his gentle hands. After he was sure the crisis was over, he kissed her on the forehead and tenderly on the lips. "You want to let our son out?" he ventured.
She nodded, and walked over to the sleeping room, and came back with the sleeping four-year-old, who she put in his arms. He looked down at the little boy who looked so much like him, and how innocent he looked in his sleep, and remembered some days long ago when he too had driven his mother to distraction.
"Any stew left?" he asked.
She nodded. "It's scorched, though. If you want to wait, I'll make you something else."
He thought about how hungry he was. "No, I'll eat it. If you made it, it's got to be good."
Kagome flashed a brilliant smile at him, and kissed the top of his head. Returning with his tray, she took Atae and laid him down.
InuYasha took the first bite and stifled the grimace he wanted to make. It was worth it. He was home, away from the roads and the wilderness, the whispers and stares. He had made his wife happy. Everything would be all right.