Unasked,
Kagome
Crawls
Into your lap
As you sit,
On guard,
Leaning
On your
Father's
Sword…


Her hair
Smolders
Dark in the
Light
Of Kaede's
Firepit
As she
Gently
Explores
Beneath
Your fire-rat
Hitoe

And white
Kosode
-
Shirts that
Father left you-
Shirts
Suddenly
Too hot
For an early
Spring night
When the
Threat of frost
Hangs unspoken
In the air…


Pleased,
Startled,
Embarrassed

You watch
Kagome tug
At the knot
On your
Hakama,

trousers,
The one that
Holds them
Up-
She pauses,
Watching
Your face-
You catch
Her hands
In your
Taloned ones-
You don't
Want her
To stop,
But…

Kagome's face
Falls…

Tentatively,
You embrace her
There is no
Screaming,
No crying,
No disgust-
Just
The steady
Beat
Of Kagome's
Heart
Through her
Strange kimono
Against yours…

….eyes closed,
Your face
Against the
Top
Of her head,
Smelling her
Hair…

…to be so
Close…


So close…


To anyone…

Your eyes sting…

(…I never
Thought…)


Kagome
Snuggles
Into you,
Soft…
Warm…
…trusting…
…you want…
…to tell her…


…to tell her…

Smiling,
Kagome rests
A finger
On your
Lips,
"Please,
Be my
First?"


…it's wrong,
…not now,
…of all times…

…if we…

….what if she…
….what if she…
….what if she…

…hates me…

…after we…

You open
Your mouth
To say
Something,
Anything
-
A loud
Hog's grunt
Escapes it-
Startled
You sit up,
Tessaiga
,
Clattering
To the floor-
The echo
Of your own
Snore
Loud as
Thunder
In your ears-
You'd dozed
Off…

Kagome
Sleeps,
Oblivious-
Shippo sprawled
Innocently
Across her feet…


…Kirara opens
One red eye,
Stares at
You
From beside
Sango…


Miroku
Rolls over
Mumbling,
Breathing ragged,
Right hand
Twitching…


Kaede's
Soft
Old woman's
Snores
Purr
Unbroken…


You sit
Wide-eyed,
Sweating,
Butt pressed
Hard against
The floorboards
Of Kaede's
House,
Staring
Up at
Her ceiling
Where
Last year's
Daikon
Roots
Dangle,
The front
Of your
Hakama
Bulging…


Sweating,
You sidle
Three-legged
Out the
Door,
Father's
Sheathed sword
Across
One shoulder….


You step
Into a
Newly filled
Rice paddy,
Mud squelching
Through
Your toes,
And sit down
Shirtless
In the frigid,
Mountain
Runoff,
Tessaiga cradled
In your arms,
Eyes on
Kaede's
House
Where
Kagome
Sleeps…


Unmolested.