Author's Note: I forgot to mention in the notes for the first part of this story that the first two parts of this series were inspired by Joseph Arthur's "Honey and the Moon". I love the title of the song as well as the song itself, but I already wrote a Kenshin/Kaoru oneshot with that title, so I thought I'd pick something different. The first two chapters were written in the same sitting. Since I thought I would be expanding the story later, I decided to split these into separate chapters. This chapter is closely related to "Embers".
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.
Chapter Two: Lightning
Higurashi Kagome was a heavy sleeper.
The rain pounded steadily on the roof of the house they'd taken shelter in. For once, there actually was a demon to be exorcised, forestalling the usual argument.
Of course, he'd also known the storm was coming, and would not have objected had there been no exorcism to perform.
When they slept indoors, as they were tonight, she slept deeply and dreamt often. With the more traditional blankets (natural fibers of course), she sprawled more, moved restlessly in her sleep. Tonight, she had finally curled up on her side, with the kit snuggled next to her chest. Sometime during the night, she had kicked the covers off one foot, exposing one slim ankle to the smooth wooden floor as the foot rested on its side.
She wore less practical pajamas when they slept inside, too. When they slept outdoors, she wore sturdy garments - flannel pants and long sleeved tops. Indoors, she chose lighter, softer fabrics. Tonight she was wearing light blue cotton pants, cropped at midcalf. They had an allover print of white puppydogs. With it she was wearing a tank top of ribbed light blue, with the same puppy in the center.
She'd laughed when he questioned her about it, saying her mother had seen it at a store and couldn't resist. He pretended to be embarrassed, although secretly he felt an odd sort of primal glee that she'd chosen to sleep in garments that reminded him of, well, himself.
Some time during the night, she'd also tossed the covers off of her shoulders, so that only her torso and one leg was actually covered.
Tonight, he had placed himself against the wall nearest her head. He was pleased that she felt secure enough to sleep so deeply with him so near. It gave him hope that she might be receptive to a different sort of relationship with him, and it was so much more conducive to his favorite hobby - watching Kagome sleep.
He felt the corners of his mouth quirk upwards as he took in the position she was currently in - covers half thrown off, Shippou unconsciously burrowing further into what warmth there was left.
A subtle flash and distant rumble alerted him to the storm's growing intensity. Golden eyes searched her face as the lightning increased in frequency, each flash outlining her pretty features. She always became more restless during storms, but this was the first time he'd really had the opportunity to observe her closely.
A particularly vibrant (and close, his mind supplied) strike illuminated the room in blue light. Concerned, he watched as she gasped and her brow crinkled in distress. The thunder rumbled and he inched closer to her, seeing that she still slept on. Her breathing was more erratic, and each flash and rumble elicited small sounds of distress from her.
It was rapidly becoming evident to him that either she was afraid of storms, or somehow she sbconsciously associated the storms with some traumatic memory. As the storm intensified further, sending the rain lashing around the building's roof, he watched as her eyelashes fluttered sporadically against her cheeks.
Distressed and reluctant to wake her since they had had so little rest recently, he hovered uncertainly. Lightning flashed, closer this time, and he sucked in his breath abruptly. Appalled, he watched as one single tear crept out to slide slowly down the curve of her cheek.
He reached out with one clawed hand and gently stroked her tangled hair away from her flushed face. Tucking it softly behind her ear, worried amber eyes watched as tears continued to slip out.
Decision made, he gently slid his hand underneath her head, easing the pillow out from under it. Holding her, he managed somehow to maneuver himself so that her head was pillowed in his lap. He continued to stroke her hair softly, unaware that he was making crooning sounds of comfort.
He released a breath he hadn't known he was holding when she slowly began to relax. As her crying stopped, he gently brushed the tears away with the tip of his finger. Pleased, he watched as she gradually calmed in spite of the fierce storm that still raged.
A sudden impulse caused him to lift the tips of his fingers to his mouth. Touching his lips to them, he gently rested the same fingers against her lips. She stirred slightly and he held his breath in fear.
"Nnn....y'sha...." A soft smile curved her lips and he slowly exhaled as he realized she was still sleeping. A silly grin touched his own features as he deciphered what she'd said. Still grinning, he gently adjusted the blankets so that she would be covered.
Once he had finished, his glance as always returned to her face. He gradually became aware of a slight movement at her chest and glanced down to look at the kitsune.
Emerald eyes blinked back at him as Shippou quirked an eyebrow at the stunned hanyou. The kit looked meaningfully at Inuyasha's mouth, then at Kagome's from where he was lying next to her. Shrugging, he curled back into his nest of blankets and promptly dropped off to sleep again.