Last Minute Change of Plans
Kagome watched the play of light from the fire pit dance across InuYasha's face as he stirred the wood with the fire tongs. The evening had grown dark and quiet, except for the sound of the wind outside of their house, and the sound of the wood shifting as InuYasha shifted the wood in its bed of ashes. She had already laid out their bedding for the night, and had everything prepared for an early start in the morning, including the travel bag InuYasha would be carrying. He turned one of the pieces of wood over to make it burn more evenly and a cascade of sparks flew out. Looking up for a moment before adding another piece of wood, he sighed as he placed it carefully on the burning pieces.
Outside, a gust of wind blew up against the house, rattling the shutters.
"I thought it was supposed to be spring," Kagome said, mostly to break the silence. She idly ran her fingers through the silver hair of her son, fast asleep in her lap. Idly, she envied him his rest and wanted to lay down herself.
"Keh," InuYasha said, laying the fire tongs down and sitting back in his seat, cross-legged and tucking his arms into his sleeves, obviously not happy. Letting out another long breath, he looked at her and his son, and a ghost of a smile touched his lips. "Spring's as tricky as fall. You can't really trust either one of them."
"Think it'll snow?" she asked.
InuYasha shook his head. "Doesn't smell like it. I'm not that lucky. Doubt if it even rains."
The room grew quiet again. Kagome got up and put her son to bed, tucking the cover gently around him, then walked back and knelt behind InuYasha, laying her head on his shoulder and wrapping her arms around him. She could feel the tension in his shoulders as she held him. "If you don't want to go with Miroku this time, you should tell him."
His large hand covered one of hers, and he laced his fingers with hers. "I can't do that. We're partners. There's no way I'd feel right letting him go off alone. It's just we . . . we've only been home less than a week this time."
"It's all right, InuYasha.” She kissed the side of his neck.
He turned and looked at her, and cupped her face in his hand. “How do you and Sango deal with this?” he asked. “It’s got to be hard on her, too.”
“We just do what we need to do,” she said. “One thing at a time. But the work you and Miroku do is important, too. You make people’s lives safer and better. We can share you for that.”
Kagome scooted from behind InuYasha until she was sitting next to him. His arm went out and wrapped around her. “I just wonder if I’m spending too much time away from you and Atae sometimes.”
Resting her head on his shoulder, Kagome said, “Sometimes, when someone knocks on the door at night, and I have to go help with a birth or a sickness, I wonder the same thing.”
InuYasha reached up and gently tilted her face up. “But the work you do is important, too. And at least you’re not stuck with someone like Miroku for days on end.”
“You haven’t spent time with some of the women who are there at the birthings,” she said smiling gently. “Miroku would be a lovely change of pace.”
InuYasha smiled back, and gently kissed her. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. The hanyou, sighing, got up and went to see who it was. As he pulled the door mat open, Miroku stepped into the room.
“Sorry, InuYasha, Kagome-sama. It’s Sango. She’s sick, and has a fever. Could you come check on her?”
Kagome nodded. “Let me get my things.”
As she went over to the shelf where she kept her medicines, InuYasha looked at his friend. “So what about tomorrow?” he asked.
“Sango’s coughing and very hot. I’m afraid it’s the ryuukan. I know she was helping one of the villagers last week when her family got sick.” Miroku leaned on his staff.
“That’s right,” Kagome said, putting what she wanted into a basket. “Norie had a bad case of it, much worse than her children or husband.”
Miroku nodded. “I sent the messenger back home, and told them it’d be a couple more weeks at least before we could come.”
“All right,” Kagome said, picking up her basket and heading for the door. She stopped next to InuYasha. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. Heat up the bath for me, will you?”
He nodded, and smiled. “Maybe I have more luck than I thought?” he said as he held the door open for them to pass. Kagome, glowering at him, poked him in the ribs.
Miroku looked at his friend and at Kagome, quizzically. “What’s that about?” he asked as InuYasha closed the door.
“Oh, a private joke,” she said.
Shaking his head, and with his staff jingling as he walked, he led Kagome into the night.
A/N Ryuukan is influenza