I do not own InuYasha or any of the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi
Kagome packed her sewing basket and said her goodbyes just in time to rescue her husband from being turned into Yusuko's Mount InuYasha.
"Ready?" she asked, trying not to laugh at her husband's look of relief as she walked up.
The hanyou nodded. "Sorry, girl," he said as he plucked her from his lap, and put her gently on the ground. "I have to go. Kagome-obasan says so."
"Come back later?" the little girl said.
"Maybe." InuYasha stood up. "But I know your otousan will play with you." He gave Miroku a pointed look. "He's good at games."
"I really was trying to meditate," Miroku said, as his daughter climbed onto his own lap. "I really was. I couldn't help it if the conversation was so interesting."
"Right," the hanyou said, giving him a disbelieving look "That's why you didn't get up and move? See you later."
He turned around and nodded at Kagome, but couldn't quite hide his smirk as Miroku muttered, "But I really was," then yelped as Yusuko did something she wasn't supposed to.
The hanyou and the miko headed home. Once they were out of human earshot, InuYasha asked,
"So, Erime's sister really got caught with Shigeo?"
"No. Sango made all that up," Kagome said, trying hard not to laugh.
InuYasha turned to her, surprised. "What?"
This time, she couldn't hold the giggle back. "It's true that Shigeo's father and Takeshi are arranging their marriage, but the rest? That was all for Miroku's benefit. Sango knew he was out there."
"Huh," the hanyou said, shaking his head. "Didn't know Sango had it in her."
"Oh yes," Kagome nodded. "It's not the first time we've heard him rather close to the window. I think it's a game that he and Sango play with each other. It's not like she would hide this type of stuff from him. She calls it his sneaky practice."
"He really looked like he was trying to meditate," InuYasha said. "He came back from going to Haname's off centered. I think seeing Morio got to him."
"That might be true," Kagome said. "But still he sat where he always sits when we're talking. It's a place where he can hear everything everyone is saying. Sounds . . . well, suspicious to me. He really does like to know what's going on. If he had your hearing, no one in the village would be safe. No telling what he'd do with all that gossip."
The hanyou snorted. "You're probably right about that."
"But that comment about Chiya-sama surprised me," Kagome said, looking up at her husband. "Has Miroku done anything that would make Sango feel uneasy about her?"
InuYasha shrugged. "Not that I've ever noticed, but Chiya doesn't like to come around me very much. She does like to talk to the bouzu a bit. Always dropping off small donations. Maybe she said something to Sango that made Sango feel like Chiya doesn't approve of her. Wouldn't be surprised. Chiya's got a reputation for being as shrill if not shriller than her mother." He turned to look at Kagome. "And married monks are unusual. She may not know what to think about her. Maybe Chiya feels Sango cuts into the time he could be doing monk stuff or something."
"Huh," Kagome said, her brows knitting together as she thought about it. "In the time I grew up, married monks were normal, and single ones who never married weren't. Funny how that goes."
"I think they must do everything different where you come from," InuYasha said. "That time is weird."
Kagome laughed. "Maybe so." She switched her sewing basket to her other hand. "Anyway, what did you learn about the shed?"
This time, it was InuYasha who got the confused look and frowned. He shook his head and took a long breath. "I'm not really sure. Seems that Tsuneo and Daitaro have lots of opinions about it."
"Like what?" she asked.
"All sorts of things. Like why and where to put one. They even come in more shapes than I realized. I'll be glad when they actually start building it, because they got me totally confused." He put his hands in his sleeves. "I don't know if they were just having fun thinking about building it or were messing with me on purpose."
"I bet it was the first one," Kagome said. She rested her free hand on his arm. "You know they both think well of you, especially Daitaro."
He nodded. "That's what Daitaro said. It just makes me feel . . . I don't know." He held up his catch. "Kind of like a fish out of water?"
"Well, you're not a farmer." Kagome tugged on his sleeve to get him to uncross his arms. "I don't know anything about them either, and I bet I would have been just as confused."
He took her hand. "I guess. Anyway, Choujiro will be here in a couple of days, they said, and they'll start seeing how much wood those trees will make."
"You think everybody will leave us alone this afternoon?" Kagome asked.
"We can hope," InuYasha said. "If they don't, we can run off again."
Kagome smiled. "We can, can't we?"
For once, when they reached their house, there was no sign of anybody nearby. They stood on the verandah for a moment, while InuYasha turned around and looked, just to make sure.
"Good," he said. "No Kinjiro or anybody else."
This made Kagome giggle a little. "You know, that sounds bad to say, but very good at the same time."
"It does, doesn't it," he said, smirking. "But the good really outweighs the bad today."
"I agree," she said, nodding. "Let's go inside. I still have a couple of things to do before we have lunch."
"Like what?" he said as they entered.
Kagome slipped off her shoes. "I need to get my chihaya washed and rinsed, so it'll have some time to dry before tomorrow."
InuYasha watched her for a moment as she walked across the room and put up her sewing things. "I'll go fill up the water for tonight." He grabbed a bucket and headed outside.
He had to go back and forth from the stream several times to get enough water for their drinking and bathing uses. The first time found Kagome hanging up the jacket to dry.
"Your soaking work?" he asked, lifting the lid on his outside water bucket, and pouring fresh water into it.
"More or less," Kagome said, frowning at one faint brown mark on the upper back. She touched it and sighed. "It'll be good enough to wear, I think. Sunlight will help, too."
The next time he came back in, Kagome was cutting up the fish he had caught. "You had good fishing while I was at Sango's," she said as he began to fill up the water barrel they used for drinking and cooking. "Didn't take you very long."
"Yeah. Fish must have wanted to get caught," he said. "A group of boys gathered to watch. It's funny how they like to see me do that. They've been trying to use my technique. One of them caught a fish that way last week. What're you going to fix with them?"
"Grilled for lunch, stewed for dinner," she said cryptically, and went on with her preparation.
He shrugged and went back outside.
When he came back the last time, with water to heat for their bath later than evening, he left it on the verandah. The house was starting to smell with the scents of cooking food. Following his nose, he went inside, only to be given instructions on what to do with the water in the laundry tub.
"And I thought today was supposed to be our day off," he said, as he carefully used the water on the garden, the same way Kagome had done it in the morning. "Is this what we're supposed to do to rest?"
After a lunch of grilled fish and rice, Kagome announced that she wanted to mop the floor. He helped her move the little bit of furniture that was movable outside - their small chest, the wash stand, the low table. She added her sewing basket to the stack, and then got to work.
Not knowing what else to do, he went to the side of the house, took off his jacket and began to chop wood. But for some reason, it wasn't a satisfying task, so he picked up an armful of wood and went inside. He walked toward the wood cradle at the back of the beaten earth floor of the doma, being sure not to get anything on the wooden platform. Kagome, humming and wiping the floor as she moved around on her hands and knees, smiled at him as he walked in.
"You always seem to bring the wood in when I'm mopping," she said. "You did that the first time I cleaned the floor."
"I did, didn't I?" he asked, stacking the wood carefully. "You were singing about crows."
She laughed a little. "Mama used to sing that one to me when I was little and she was teaching me how to do things. I just sort of use it as my housework song. Nearly done here."
And with that, she went back to work.
After that, there was really not much for him to do. Kagome, on the other hand, seemed to be finding plenty to do. While the floor was drying, she found a nice spot in the yard to sit down at, put her work basket on the low table, and pulled out the kosode she was working on.
"That looks almost done," he said, plopping down next to her.
"Maybe tomorrow." She was focusing on one of the sleeves. "It takes a while to do all the hemming."
He picked up the bottom of the garment and ran a finger along a seam. "You do good work. I don't know why you were nervous about it."
"You do good work, too," she said, smiling. "I don't know why you get nervous when people notice."
"Feh." He laid back and watched the clouds float by.
After the floor was dry, InuYasha moved the furniture back in and Kagome reorganized her clothing cabinet. Together, they brought in the futon and cover, and Kagome rolled them up and put the bedding in its place.
Trying to stay out of the way, he sat in a corner of the room watching her work. Finishing up with the clothes cabinet, Kagome went out, and took the dry clothes off the line and came back with them in a basket. She sat it down not far from where he was sitting. Adjusting the blue scarf she had tied around her head, she smiled at him, sat down and began folding a kosode.
"It's been a nice day," she said. "I got just about everything I wanted to do done."
"Good," InuYasha said. He tried not to frown, even though all this activity confused him. It surprised him how happy this was making her, how content she seemed.
"I'm pretty sure I'll get your under kosode finished tomorrow" she said, folding the garment's sleeves just so. "All I have left is hemming the bottom. I'm glad to know you're going to have something decent to wear."
"Thanks," he replied. "You need to make something for yourself next."
Nodding, she began folding his regular under kosode. He hadn't realized how patched and mended it was before. She ran a finger along one mended place that looked like it was pulling open. "I might have to fix this one again. This shirt has seen a lot of action."
"Keh," he replied, not exactly sure what to say. "It happens when you get into fights. Sometimes, I get cut. That cat put some hurt on my shoulder. Shame my kosode can't heal as well as I do."
"I guess." She folded it with as much care as she had done her own garment. "Now that you have another one, I'll be able to take the time to fix this one better."
It didn't take her long to do all the other pieces - her hakama, some towels, a few other things.
He gave her a half-smile, and then sighed, dropping his eyes back to the floor.
"Is anything the matter?" she asked as she picked up the now folded clothes.
"No," he said. He watched her feet as she walked across the room to their clothes cabinet. She opened a drawer and, it squeaked a little as she pulled it open.
"Need to fix that," InuYasha said.
"That would be nice," Kagome said. Humming her little song, she put her kosode, wrap skirt and hakama away in their drawer. Closing his eyes, InuYasha could hear the rustle of the linen cloth as she lay the garments down and smoothed them. Opening another drawer, she put away his shirt and his extra fundoshi. She closed that, and he could hear the rustle of her clothes as she moved away.
"Are you sure everything's all right?" she asked, pausing a moment. Her hands were filled with towels.
"Keh," he said. For once, he kept his ear from twitching. She began to move away.
Keeping his head low, InuYasha watched Kagome's feet as she walked to the kitchen cabinet where she put up the towels and began going through the herbs Kaede had given her. His ears focused in on her as she moved, following her progress as he listened to the sound of jars being shoved and moved as she searched for just the right one. Evidently, she found what she wanted, and he heard her close the cabinet. Once again he watched her feet move across the room as she brought a packet of something that smelled sweet, like honey and wild flowers to put in the drawers with the clothes. He liked the smell well enough, which was a good thing, since all of their clothes, except for his fire rat, smelled like it now.
InuYasha looked up at her, and he swallowed, trying to think of something to say, but couldn't. Kagome closed the drawer with her clothes which squeaked again, and she smiled at him. He dropped his head back down and clasped his sword, pulling it out of his obi and laying it down next to him as he watched her feet move across the smooth wooden floor in the direction of the fire pit.
She knelt down by the low table that she used to prepare their meals. He could hear her pouring some water into a bowl.
"Thanks for filling up the water bucket," she said.
"Yeah," he replied. "Needed something to do. Got enough for our bath, too."
"That's nice. I've done enough today that a bath will feel good," she said.
As his ears tracked her movements, he could swear he heard her smile. The smell of dried fish reached his nose, joining the smell of her slow cooking stew. He looked up to see her taking several dried fish out of the container she stored them in, and he watched out of heavily lidded eyes as she cleaned them and added them into the bowl of water to soak, something she did every day to make soup.
Standing up, she walked across the floor again to the wash basin. She washed her hands, took the water outside, emptied the basin and came back inside. Replacing the basin, she dried her hands on a clean towel she kept there. After that, she went over to the shelf where she kept her cookware, and picked up another bowl.
InuYasha watched her walk briskly back to the area by the fire pit, put down the bowl, and move towards him. Her feet moved closer and closer to him. He got that tingling sense of anticipation he would get sometimes when he hunted and knew the prey was near at hand. He tensed, imperceivably. Kagome, totally unaware of the change in her husband, smiled once more as she passed him and began to reach for something on the shelf of the clothes cabinet.
Suddenly, two strong arms wrapped around her.
"Woman, you walk too much," InuYasha said. "This was supposed to be your day off, but you're making me tired just watching you."
Kagome's eyes went from irritation to amusement, watching the look on her husband's face, pouty, intense, and in need of some attention. "I was just trying to get dinner started," she said, her eyes searching his, but with unspoken laughter. "I thought you liked to eat."
"Dinner can wait," he said, giving her a stern mock frown. "You've been working too hard. You haven't rested at all - I can't let you go back to Kaede-babaa's all tired out. I think you need a nap."
"A nap?" she said. "But I'm not sleepy."
His hands reached around her waist and loosened the bow to her wrap skirt. "Yes, a nap." He let the garment fall open. His lips found hers, and gently claimed them. "I'll have to join you to make sure you get some rest."
He unfastened his jacket as he moved towards their stored bedding. "You stay there. I'll roll out the futon," he said.
"Hentai," she said, but she gave him a sultry grin.
He smiled. "Only for you."
Dinner was late. Neither of them really seemed to mind it.