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

Chapter 142

A/N: Anonymous posting people who I cannot reply to and who ask about babies: I suggest you reread chapters 17 and 18, which explains why they will not be talking about planning a family like a normal couple. Thanks. I do answer all questions sent to me in comments if that person is logged in and accepts replies, but this has come up a number of times, and I thought I'd make a public statement.

And once again, remember we're still on day 15 of InuYasha and Kagome's married life. They're far more into "We can haz sex nao?" than the thought of procreation, just like most newlywed couples.

"Otou!" Yusuko said, stopping to bend down and look at something.

Noriko ran over to stand next to her sister. "Oooh."

"Well, what have you found?" the monk asked, as he walked over to see what new thing the two girls had discovered.

"Yusuko is the little explorer," Kagome said, watching Miroku ooh and ah over the flower his daughters were admiring.

"She does have a good eye," Sango said. "And Noriko is almost as good."

"My daughters are smart girls," Miroku said, looking back at the two women. "Like their mother."

Sango smiled at her husband. "But with your curiosity."

They were almost to the split to the path that lead to Miroku's house. The walk home had been filled with light, inconsequential talk, carefully avoiding the topics of Chiya and anything that had happened that day.

"Long as they don't pick up Miroku's hustle," InuYasha said, barely loud enough to hear.

Kagome shook her head and gave her husband a shove.

Miroku ignored the hanyou as he rejoined the adults. "I'm thinking in another year or so, I may start a school. Girls this smart deserve to learn what they can."

Yusuko, now bored with the flower, moved down the path, bent over again, and found a pretty pebble, ran back to Miroku. "Look, Otou!"

"Very nice," he said, accepting the stone from his daughter.

"Aren't they still going to be a little young to start school?" Kagome asked as Miroku tucked the pebble in his sleeve to join a couple of other ones there.

"Tameo's been hinting," InuYasha said. "I think they've been sending the brats who can afford it down to Edo to get their learning."

"Afford it?" Kagome said. Noriko walked up to her and offered her a small purple flower. She knelt down. "Very pretty, Noriko."

"Hold it?" the little girl asked.

The miko nodded, smiling. "Of course."

"Watch out," Sango said, laughing as Noriko ran to join her sister. "Your sleeves will get as full as the rest of us."

"Yes, afford it," Miroku said. "Someone has to pay the teacher for his time. The teacher has to live, too."

Kagome looked up at the monk, frowning. "But what about the children who can't afford it?"

Miroku looked at her. "The way of the world is hard," he said, rubbing his chin. "Still, if their parents really want them to learn, I'm sure we can work out something."

"It's not exactly like your world," InuYasha said, resting his hand on Kagome's shoulder.

She nodded, her brows still knit together. "I know that. But it just seems . . . "

Miroku decided to change the subject. "So," the monk said to InuYasha, "are you coming back to the temple with me? We're almost to the turn off."

InuYasha's ear twitched, and he frowned."Why? You don't need me," he said. "You heard Ryota. Roofs don't like me."

This made Miroku snicker. "You're sure it's roofs or just rotten boards?"

"Feh," the hanyou said. "What difference does it make? And look what happened afterwards. I've had enough of people today."

Kagome wrapped her hand in InuYasha's. "It's been a hard afternoon. Maybe we should just go home. I'm tired, and I still have to fix dinner."

"Home sounds like a good idea," Sango said. "I think we're all a bit tired. I know the girls are."

The monk shrugged as they reached the split in the road. "Well, if you're going to desert me this afternoon, I'll see you later. Hopefully, Ryota was able to keep the work going. But I do plan on calling on you if we have to finish up tomorrow."

"Whatever, Bouzu," the hanyou said. "Just not this evening."

Miroku picked up his daughters. "Come, my beauties. If Inu-ojisan won't come with us, he won't come with us."

"Won't come?" Noriko asked, and turned to look at InuYasha and Kagome.

"Not tonight, sweetie," Kagome said. "We'll see you tomorrow." She turned to Sango. "Sewing in the afternoon?"

"Sounds good," Sango said. "I suspect it will be much less . . . eventful at my house."

Waving goodbye, InuYasha and Kagome headed up the path to their own house.

As InuYasha and Kagome headed home, Kaede who had never gotten to attend because of Aki and two other villagers who had needed medical help, sat in her hut, enjoying the quiet.

"Such an afternoon," she said, taking her kettle off the fire. "So much for a relaxing afternoon with Hisa-chan. First Aki, then Shigeru and Mitsunari. How those two men could both end up hurt the same day. You would think with all the years between them, they would know how to fill a cart without tipping it over. Sometimes I think Shigeru does these things on purpose. I don't know why Toshiro puts up with him. I'm still not sure if his ankle was hurt as much as he claimed it was. But Mitsunari's back is going to hurt for a while."

She poured the hot water into the teapot. "There is a time where it is a blessing just to sit down to a cup of tea."

The old miko closed her good eye and breathed deeply, letting it out slowly as she relaxed. The air still smelled of the poultice she had made for Hisako's grandson Mitsunari. It was a pungent smell, but not unpleasant. Still it made her think of her own aches, and she poured the tea into her cup and wrapped her hands around the warmth of it gratefully.

Her quiet, though, didn't last long. She had just taken the first sip of the green liquid when the doormat rattled.

"Kaede-obaasan!" Rin said, peeking into the old miko's hut. "Are you here?"

"I'm here, child," the old miko said, holding her tea cup in the palm of her hand. "I thought you were spending the day with Iya today. I'm surprised to see you back already."

Rin walked in, but made no move to step out of the beaten earth doma at the front of the house and up on the wooden floor. "Rin was over at Tazu's with Iya, but then Kimi-sama came home," the girl said. She looked at the old miko, obviously distressed. "Rin was afraid you were at Hisa-sama's house, but decided to check here first. Kimi-sama said to come get you."

That surprised Kaede. She tilted her head, her good eye clearly fixed on the young girl who was nervously looking at her feet. "Whatever for, child? Did someone get hurt at the temple?" She put her teacup down and shifted to get the basket of emergency supplies she had put together just in case something happened.

The girl shook her head, although she wasn't exactly confident. "Rin doesn't think anybody got hurt. Kimi-sama had Chiya-sama with her, and Chiya-sama was crying hard and pulling at her hair. Iya, Tazu and I got kicked out once they got there, but then Kimi-sama came out and asked Rin to go get you."

"That doesn't sound good," Kaede said. "What happened, I wonder?" She got up, and began going through her herbs. "I suspect she'll need something to calm down if it was bad enough for them to send for you."

Rin shrugged."They didn't tell Rin, but on the way back, she saw Michio-sama talking to Choujiro-sama, and he was yelling about Chiya-sama." She looked up at the miko, chewing on her bottom lip. "Do you think . . . do you think they had a fight?"

"It's possible, child. They've had them before." Kaede sighed.

"But Chiya-sama was crying really loudly. Rin could hear her through the door. She was saying things about Michio-sama not understanding anything. And she talked like it was all InuYasha-ojisan's fault." The young girl frowned. "Why would she be blaming InuYasha-ojisan?"

"We'll have to find out," the miko said, lifting a box off the shelf. "But it seems these last few days, it's been one thing after another for Tsuneo-sama's family." She opened up the box and took a bag of herbs out. "I'm glad I made extra of this when Haname needed it. But I certainly didn't expect to be giving the same medicine to her daughter three days later."

"What's it for?" Rin asked.

"It helps people who are upset get some rest," Kaede said. "It sounds very much like Chiya-chan will be needing it."

"She was very loud." Rin stepped up on the wooden platform. "Can Rin help?"

"Maybe so," Kaede said. She looked thoughtfully at her herbs, and gathered a few more things. Rin took them from her hands and put them all into her basket. "We'll know when we get there."

Together, they headed out of the door.

As Rin and Kaede left their house, InuYasha lifted the door mat to his own home.

"I know I just took a day off yesterday," Kagome said, walking inside. She put her sewing basket down on the edge of the raised wooden floor. "But today was wild enough to make me want to take another day off tomorrow."

"Yeah," InuYasha said, letting the doormat fall behind him. "Too many more days like today, and I'll be thinking of moving somewhere with no people."

Kagome, turned to face him as she slipped off her shoes. "Too many more days like today, and I'll be asking you to go back to that nice place we went yesterday to stay."

He gave her a small smirk, and walked up to her, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close to his chest. "Right now it wouldn't take much to convince me to go."

She leaned back into his arms. "Yeah. But where would you get your pickles?" she asked.

He snickered. "I did without pickles a long time. I suspect I could make do if I had to," he said, breathing into her ear. She jerked her shoulder up a little in response as it tickled her. "Maybe you could learn to make them for me. You're good at making things." His hands slipped from her waist and trailed up to brush against breasts. "Look how you turned this shack into a home."

"That reminds me," Kagome said, pulling away from his grasp, much to his chagrin. She stepped up on the wooden floor and grabbed her sewing basket. "I finished your kosode today," she said, fishing it out of the basket and holding it up. "You need to try it on."

InuYasha took it from her hand, and looked at it carefully, examining her stitching. "I told you that you were good at making things." Looking up at her, he gave her a small, pleased smile not quite matching the intensity Kagome saw in his eyes.

She smiled back, moved next to him, and undid the tie to his jacket. "You have to try it on, you know."

"You're sure you don't just want to see me get out of my clothes?" He smirked at her, watching her laugh a little as he did, but began shrugging out of his jacket.

"I always like to see you without your clothes," she said, smirking right back as he handed her his jacket. "But right now, I want to see how it fits."

He nodded and pulled off his kosode, handing it to her as well before putting on the new shirt. Tucking it in, he rolled his shoulders and stretched out his arms. "I don't know how to behave, wearing a kosode that doesn't have any rips in it," he said. "It feels good."

"Good," Kagome said, admiring him a moment before looking down at the kosode he had just taken off. She lifted the sleeve up that Kimi had patiently sewn. "Maybe this one can go a little longer before you get another tear in your shirt."

"That one's had a rough time," he acknowledged, taking it, and his jacket out of Kagome's arms before pulling her close, and letting the garments drop to the floor. "I can think of better things to do than get my shirt ripped." He gave her a quick kiss on the lips. "Unless it's you ripping it off of me." He kissed her again, this time, longer and slower.

Kagome was the one who broke the kiss, looking up at him as she smiled. "I think I'm hungry."

He pulled her close, and kissed her earlobe. "I know I am. You always make me hungry, woman."

She giggled, and pulled away. "I mean for dinner. You want to stir up the fire? I'll go wash the rice."

Sighing, he let her go and nodded. "But I know what I want for dessert," he said.

"First things first," she said, laughing just a little, and grabbing the bowl she used to wash the rice, began to fix their evening meal.