Chapter VII

It Is Not Self-Seeking

Kagome wiped her forehead, trying to ignore the uncomfortable heat of the fire as she bent over the pot, preparing dinner. A little ways away sat the rest of the little group, all with some sundry employment or another. Inuyasha was busy polishing the Tetsuiga, as was Sango with her Hiraikotsu. Miroku was still farther away, tossing a small ball back and forth with Shippo as Kilala looked on. Eventually, Inuyasha looked up, an annoyed look on his face.

"Hey, wench, is that meat nearly done yet? I brought that thing back for you ages ago!" Kagome bit the inside of her cheek to keep from responding- they were all tired, and the last thing anyone needed was a screaming fight right before dinner. After checking their meal one last time, she pulled it off the fire, smothering a yelp when the hot oils from the meat seared her fingers.

The miko dove into her backpack, finally pulling out a small stack of plates with an air of triumph. She called over her shoulder as she readied the food, "Alright! Time to eat, guys!" Her friends lined up and took some food, not even noticing that the portion that Kagome had kept back for herself was slightly singed.


Late that night, Kagome sat by the fire, mixing together a mug of tea. Shippo had gotten sick from running around so much in the heat- he had been feeling ill all night. After setting the leaves to steep for a while, the young girl stifled a yawn. She felt like she had been moving all day- and Kami, she was tired. Cooking, fighting demons, fighting Inuyasha, watching Shippo, it was just too much...


Kagome's eyes flew open, and she looked around furiously. The stars were out... how could she have fallen asleep?? She didn't even remember closing her eyes. I must have been more tired than I thought... Shippo's mug sat on a stone in front of her, empty and already wiped clean. The special herbs Kaede had given her were already wrapped up, and her belongings were stowed away- in her backpack, she guessed.

Suddenly, she noticed the warm, red cloth that was tucked snugly around her and snuggled deeper into it, grateful for its cover on such a cool night. It smells so good... kind of woodsy... And with a few faint thoughts, she drifted back to sleep. Up in a tree above her sat a shirtless hanyou, keeping a careful watch over his companions.