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

Chapter 109

The next day dawned bright and sunny. For once, Kagome was the first up.

This surprised her, since InuYasha was normally an early riser and a light sleeper. As she slipped out of bed, she watched him shift and move towards the warm spot she had vacated, but otherwise, he stayed asleep.

He looked too peaceful to disturb. Trying to make the least noise possible, she quietly got her day started - stirring up the fire, getting dressed, not in her miko robes, but instead, in her blue kosode and beige wrap skirt. She was even more surprised when she put the morning rice on, and he did nothing more than roll over.

"Yesterday must have taken a lot out of him," she whispered.

Not wanting to disturb him further, Kagome lifted the door mat as softly as possible and stepped out on the verandah, slops bucket in her hand, filled with water from her morning face and hand washing, along with the rice rinse water.

For a moment, she stood there, watching the morning unfold. It was clearly past dawn, but still fairly early, but not so late that the birds had finished their early morning greeting of the day. The sky held only a few wisps of cloud, and it promised to be pleasant and warm.

Kagome looked at the bucket in her hand. "I probably ought to go pour this on the garden," she said. "Doesn't look like we're going to get any rain today."

She was about to move off the verandah with her bucket, but before she moved off, her attention was caught by some birds nearby. It was courtship time, and one bird flew by and landed on a branch she could see from the porch and began courting the female sitting there. As she watched, putting the bucket down beside her, a third bird flew by, and the male of the courting pair dashed off to chase the interloper. Successful at his endeavor, he returned to the branch to begin his courtship dance all over.

"Such fighting, you birds! Kind of reminds me of Kouga and InuYasha." She smiled at the memory. "Those two sure went after it often enough."

"What does?" the hanyou said, stepping out on the verandah next to her. As the door mat rattled behind him, he wrapped his arms around her and rested his head on her shoulder.

"Oh, I was watching two birds fight over their girlfriend," she said, leaning back against him.

"Who won?" he asked, nuzzling the side of her head. It tickled her ear and made her jerk her shoulder up. In retaliation for her sudden move, he tucked her head under his chin.

"The InuYasha bird, of course," Kagome said, easily escaping his hold and turning around to give him a big smile. "Who else? The Kouga bird never really had a chance."

His eyes looked down on her, warm honey, still sleepy. "Oh yeah? I wonder if the InuYasha bird ever figured that out?"

"He should have. After all, the lady in question never tried to get away from him, no matter what the other guy said." She lifted up a hand and brushed the side of his face, letting her fingers move into his silver hair.

"Maybe he was insecure about it all," InuYasha said. A smile touched his lip, but his eyes, golden in the early light, held a surprising intensity. "Or maybe he was even scared that she would leave him." His hand slid under her chin and a single folded knuckle tilted her head up.

"Well, it all worked out," Kagome said, letting her hand move behind his neck. "After all, she was still there when he got back."

"Yes she was." His lips brushed against hers lightly, deepening into a tender, lingering kiss. "And maybe he's glad now that he'll never have to worry about that again."

"Maybe he is. I know she is," she said, and returned him his kiss, just as tenderly.

Kagome pulled back, looked up at him and smiled, as if she had just realized something. "Today's the fourteenth day since I've been back. We've been together for two weeks now."

InuYasha cupped her cheek. "Already? It feels like just yesterday when I was pulling you out of the well . . . and forever, all at the same time."

"It does, doesn't it?" she said, nodding. "In a good way. It's beginning to feel like the me who lived before I came back is kind of someone else. Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kagome, but that's an old story. Now there's a woman called Kagome, InuYasha's wife."

InuYasha nodded. "Yeah. It's been damn amazing. I wouldn't trade these days for the world . . . except maybe the part dealing with Joben's brat or that cat. But everything else . . . "

They kissed again, and afterwards, Kagome rested her head against InuYasha's chest. "You really slept in this morning. I thought you never were going to get up."

He shrugged. "Some days, even I get tired," he admitted, scratching the back of his head. "Must have needed it. It's rare I sleep like that. You didn't put any medicine in that tea we had last night, did you?"

She laughed and shook her head. "Would I do that?"

"I doubt it," he said, smiling back. "Anyway, I'd smell it if you did." His grin turned rueful and his ear flicked. "I'm just looking for an excuse. Got to protect my reputation." He pulled her close and kissed her forehead.

Chuckling lightly, Kagome pulled free. "I think you had excuse enough. Yesterday and the day before were pretty crazy," she said, picking up the bucket. "But today looks to be much nicer. First, though, I'm going to go get rid of the stuff in this bucket." She stepped off the verandah, and started walking around the side of the house to pour the water on her garden.

He walked out with her. "Nicer, eh? Have anything to do with the fact that you're not dressed in your miko clothes yet?"

She turned and looked at him. "Maybe so. Kaede told me I could have the day off, so I'm taking it," she said. Having reached the turned ground, she began to carefully pour the water from her bucket onto the garden soil, being careful not to disturb it too much. "Think you can deal with it? Not having to go down into the village?"

InuYasha grinned. "Think you can deal with me? No Kaede to kick me out of the room while you're doing your work."

She chuckled. "Deal with you? That's easy," she said, putting the bucket down. Kagome looked around and back toward the house. "It definitely looks different than when we left yesterday. Hard to believe that all the mess Aki made running out of here is all gone."

"Yeah. I guess Kinjiro got it all straightened back up after we left." InuYasha said, looking himself. All the wood that Aki had knocked over was back in its place, and the garden looked untrampled.

"It'd be easy to pretend that yesterday didn't happen, except I don't want to pretend away the good parts," she said, looking up at her husband from where she squatted down. Her look went from attentive to sultry. "Those I don't want to forget."

"Me either," InuYasha said, returning her look with one just as heated. "Something about seeing you standing in the sunlight just wearing your skin . . . "

Kagome laughed and gave him a playful shove as she started to stand up, but then something caught her eye in the garden bed. She moved closer, then bent down, looking at one row of the dark earth and spotted little specks of green where a few seedlings had pushed through. "Look, something's growing!"

The hanyou raised an eyebrow, looking at Kagome counting the little sprouts. "That's what seeds do," he said. He gave a little smirk as she turned to look at him. "Or at least that's what Kinjiro assures me of."

"I suspect," Kagome said, grinning as she stood up and brushed her hands off, "that he would know. We'll have to have him come back in a few days to tell me if these are what he planted or weeds. I don't know enough to tell the difference when they're this little."

She picked up her bucket.

"You might not know how to tell weeds from daikon, but do you know how to tell a hungry husband from one that's not?" InuYasha asked, taking the bucket from her hands.

"Oh, I suspect so," Kagome said, chuckling a little "A hungry husband gets grumpy if he waits too long. I wouldn't want that to happen. Want to go back in and see what I do about it?"

"Sounds like a good plan to me," he said, and as Kagome laughed, he followed her back in.

Back in the house, Kagome put the rice on to start cooking, while InuYasha picked up the futon. Together, they went outside to take the futon out to air.

"So, what do you want to do today?" InuYasha asked as he helped straighten the bedding on its line.

"Oh, home stuff," Kagome said. "So what do you want to do?" she asked, moving back in the direction of the house.

InuYasha shrugged. "I might go hunt up something for dinner. I could finish limbing that tree. There's not very much left to do on it. Feels funny, not having anything I have to do today. Forgot what it felt like to choose."

Kagome laughed. "Doesn't it? That must mean everybody's been keeping us too busy. Maybe by tomorrow, I'll be bored, but today, I'm just going to do whatever and take it easy in between."

They went back in and Kagome worked on fixing the breakfast soup.

"There's a market day next week," InuYasha said, bringing some more wood for the fire pit out of its cradle in the beaten earth doma. He sat down and stacked it where it would be handy. "They only have three a month, so you might want to think if there's anything we need."

"I'll have to make a list," she said, looking up from stirring some vegetables into the soup. "I've been so busy the last few days I don't even know if we're getting low on anything. I guess I'm still used to doing things the way they do them back . . . at my mother's place. I'm too used to being able to go to the merchants whenever I run out of things."

The hanyou nodded. "Around here you'd have to get to a town and not just a village to find a real merchant's shop. Not many in Musashi."

"Is that why Miroku keeps talking about going to Odawara?" she asked, putting the lid on the pot.

"I guess," he said. "Not something I'm looking forward to."

"You really think he's going to make a trip there?" she asked, getting up to get to her stash of pickles in the kitchen cabinet.

"Yeah. Usually when he starts talking like that, he's pretty much made up his mind. You want me to fill up the tea kettle for you?" he asked.

She nodded and handed the pot to him, and he walked over to the water container and ladled it full.

"That's why he's been pushing to get that temple of his reroofed. He'll be nagging at us to go before the rainy season gets underway. And probably everybody who has some special thing they want that they can't get at market day will be asking us if we'd pick it up, too." Walking back to his place, he sat down and put the kettle on the fire.

"It sounds like you've been through this before," she said, putting pickles into serving dishes.

"I have."He nodded. "Twice already to get things for that little temple of his." Kagome handed him a pickle.

"What's that for?" he asked.

"Maybe it's for all the time you'll have to go without them when you're out with Miroku," Kagome said, giving him a little sympathetic smile. She lifted the lid off the rice pot. "But I hope he doesn't drag you away very soon."

"Me, too," he said, and chewing the pickle slice, watched her finish dipping up their breakfast.