I do not own InuYasha or any of the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi

Shadow on a Summer's Day

Kagome was scrubbing the wooden floor of their house when she heard the doormat rattle, and she looked up, surprised to see InuYasha just standing there, There was something in his eyes, a glittering, that wasn't usually there, and his look was solemn and intense.

"InuYasha?" she said, hesitantly, getting off her knees and standing up. " I thought you and Miroku were going down to talk with Tomeo-sama about –"

Before she could finish her thought, InuYasha was across the room and had her in his arms. His hand went up to cup her cheek, the other went to her shoulder as he pulled her close to him, Still not speaking, his eyes searched hers, looking for something, then his lips took hers in a needy, lingering, but tender kiss. Kagome let herself melt into his need, dropping the cleaning rag to the floor as her arms wrapped around him.

Finally, InuYasha broke the kiss. Kagome pulled back and studied his face. He brushed her cheek. "What's wrong?"

"I was at Tomeo's. Old Man Daitaro's oldest son came in, looking for Miroku. The old man came back from his field today to find that his wife had died. She seemed fine when he left, but there she was, laying on the floor next to her pots."

"Oh," said Kagome, leaning against her husband. "Chime was getting frail. Her heart wasn't very good. Kaede was wondering if she'd make it through the summer heat."

"Keh." InuYasha pulled Kagome against him tightly, and rested his chin on her head. "We went over there, and the old man was sitting there with her head in his lap, rocking back and forth, not saying anything . . . but his eyes . . . " InuYasha sighed. "She died all alone. There was nobody with her when it happened."

He swallowed, and pulled back to look at Kagome once again. "I thought of you, here alone, all the times I'm not home. And I just had to come home, to see you."

She tiptoed up and kissed him on the chin. "I'm perfectly all right, InuYasha."

"Yeah," he said, and kissed her again. "You better stay that way."

"I'll do my best." She bent down, picked up cleaning cloth. "You can help."

"How?" he asked.

"Let me finish my mopping?" she asked. "You tracked a whole bunch of footprints across the floor."

He looked at her sheepishly, then kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry. I'll go back outside until you tell me it's safe to come in."

She nodded, and InuYasha stepped back out. As she knelt down, she heard him working on the firewood pile, and she went back to scrubbing. As she cleaned the floor, she thought about the gentle, older woman who was no longer with them, and the way life turns out and the pain of goodbye, and was glad she couldn't see her own future.