Kagome couldn't help but suppress an adoring chuckle as she awoke to the sight she saw. Father and son, curled up quite comfortably together, and fast asleep.
Or so she though until Inuyasha opened his softened golden eyes. He smiled with gentle teasing at his wife, placing a finger from his spare hand over his mouth in a "shhh" gesture and blinking contently at the little boy. Kagome nodded in understanding, her toothy grin stretching from ear to ear as she gently caressed her son's sleeping face, rubbing his cheek gently with her thumb.
Moments like this, Kagome reflected, were some of her favorite and most treasured in her life. Who would've guessed that the unruly hanyou she'd met stuck to a tree could have been such a gentle father and husband, or that she, at the time just an the awkward ninth grader from the future, could've winded up his wife? Who would've guesses that the two of them would one day have a sweet little son with curious little puppy ears jutting above his otherwise human face, with another child on the way? Yet here they were, eight years after that first fateful day, in that very position indeed.
But of course, no child sleeps forever. Michi yawned widely, shifting and stretching briefly in his father's warm haori, blinking open his innocent indigo eyes to look up as his smiling parents.
"Otou? Okaa?" he mumbled softly in his notable three-year-old 'accent'. "…Why am I in your room?"
"That's your own fault, kiddo," chided Inuyasha. "You came in last night after having that nightmare, remember?"
"…Oh, yeah," Michi agreed softly, recognition kindling in his expression. "Yeah, that was scary," he added, huddling a bit closer to his father. "But you know what, Otou? I didn't have any bad dreams sleeping next to you. You must have chased them away!" The boy beamed at his father, satisfied with his own logic. Inuyasha could only smile, doing his best to suppress the light, rising blush in his cheeks, though no doubt very pleased by his son's admiration.
Kagome's grin never faded, taking in every instant. She let the moment sink in for a minute, then hoisted herself into a sitting position, resting a hand on her rounded tummy.
"Well," she said lightly, "I'm sure he did. But now it's time to get up," she urged.
"Ok," said Michi, crawling out of Inuyasha's haori and hopping to the floor. Inuyasha sat up as well, reclaiming the fabric and shaking it out before pulling it back on.
Michi excitedly trotted out of the room, much more confident now in the morning light.
"C'mon, Okaa! Let's have breakfast!" he exclaimed, bounding into the main room where the cooking fire pit rested.
"I'm coming, just a minute!" Kagome called to her son, then turned to her husband.
"Mmm-hmm," she murmured gently, leaning towards him, "I definitely think you'll be ok with two."
"A…are you sure?" asked the hanyou.
"Of course, you goofball. Deny it as you like, but you're a wonderful father, Inuyasha."
Now it was Inuyasha's turn to beam.
The couple leaned in for just a brief kiss, but their lips had hardly touched when another call came from the other room.
"Hurry up, Okaa! I'm hungry!"
Kagome sighed good-naturedly.
"I'm coming, Michi!" She winked at her husband. "C'mon. Let's go feed the little guy." Inuyasha smirked.
The day passed rather uneventfully. Kagome had gone for a brief herb-picking session in the morning, trying to pluck out whatever was left before the colder weather really began to set in. She took little Michi with her, therefore leaving Inuyasha to some spare time at home.
Miroku stopped by around then, requesting that they hanyou joined him on an exorcism trip—it had been a few months since they'd done one together, after all, what with Kagome expecting and Miroku and Sango having to deal with their fourth and youngest little child, a son just over a year old now which they'd named Keitaro.
Of course, the twins hadn't that excited about the child being a boy—they were now just hoping that Kagome's new baby would be a girl—but four-year-old Moku was delighted to have a brother; he often tired of Misaki and Amaya's girly antics and was glad to have another boy to play with even when Michi wasn't visiting.
Inuyasha had stopped by the fields and told Kagome where he was going, and the miko simply nodded. She and Michi finished the mini-harvest and had a somewhat late lunch on their own, cooking up a quick and simple batch of rice.
Michi, still being a toddler, was put down for a nap afterwards, and having been out in the sun all morning and contentedly full from lunch, the child didn't put up much of an argument, leaving Kagome to reflect to herself as she sorted the herbs they'd gathered earlier.
She brought the basket to the front of the house, settling down just outside the door where the wood still lay. The way the house was built, said wood was about seven inches off the ground, raised almost like a modern porch and allowing her to sit rather comfortably, legs off the short drop and tucked slightly to the side.
Kagome didn't try to rush her sorting. No, it wasn't the most interesting job in the world, but over the past four years she'd lived in the Sengoku Jidai, she'd found it to be quite the common pastime. Besides, it gave her time to think while still doing something with her hands.
Just a few more herbs left. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two—
Kagome turned to see Michi slipping out of the slightly-opened sliding door, closing it behind him. The child's hair was ruffled and his indigo eyes squinted—he must have just woken up. He padded over to his mother.
"Hey, sweetheart," cooed Kagome, kissing the top of the child's head lightly as he sat down next to her, his short toddler legs hardly reaching the ground after the seven-inch drop. "Done with your nap?" The boy nodded.
"Whatcha doing?" he asked curiously.
"I'm sorting the herbs we picked this morning. See? And now I'm…done!" she explained sweetly, placing the last two herbs in their piles.
"Oh," said Michi. There was a brief silence. "Hey, Okaa?"
"How did you meet Otou?"
Kagome blinked in surprise, but when she met Michi's eyes, they were earnest and curious.
"Why do you ask?"
The boy shrugged.
Kagome sighed, placing her arms behind her and leaning back.
"It really is a long story," she said with a light smile resting on her lips. "In fact," she added, suddenly recalling Michi's favorite bedtime story, "You're already familiar with it."
"I am?" asked Michi. "I don't remember."
"Oh? Well, then I'll tell it to you. Once upon a time there was a hanyou. He once knew a miko who protected a magical jewel. But then there was an evil monkey involved who wanted the jewel—"
"So he tricked the hanyou and the Jewel miko into hating each other, and the hanyou ended up pinned to a big tree," Michi finished. "But what dose that have to do with anything?"
"Well, do you know what happens next in the story, Michi?"
"Yeah, the Jewel miko dies and the hanyou gets stuck to the tree for fifty whole years! Then he meets a new miko who frees him. So…?"
Kagome giggled lightly at her son's curiosity and vaguely at his inability to take subtle clues. It may just be a characteristic of his youthfulness, but it was certainly a trait that reminded her of the child's father. That hanyou could seem so dense sometimes, it wasn't even funny.
Ok, maybe a little.
"Oh, sweetheart," sighed Kagome sweetly, smiling lovingly at her son. "Don't you know? That's a true story." Michi blinked in surprise.
"That bedtime story that Otou tells you. It's a true story. That's why it's so long—it's not even over yet!"
"Mmmhmm. Where dose Otou usually end it?"
"When the evil monkey was defeated. The monk and the demon slayer got married an' even had kids, but the hanyou and the miko were separated for three years. Then they finally found each other again and they got married, too. And that's it. Happily ever after."
"I see," mused Kagome. "Well, you wanna know what happened after that?"
"After the hanyou and the miko got married, the miko, who had lived in a different world, had a lot to learn about this world, so she spent a lot of time learning, and the hanyou was always there to help. Not long after they got married, they moved into a nice house on the outskirts of the village, near the forest. And then, in late winter, they got the most wonderful surprise: they were going to have a baby!"
"Really? They have kids, too?"
Kagome just laughed out loud.
"You should know, sweetheart. The baby was born the following September. He was the cutest little baby boy with dark fuzzy hair and adorable puppy ears. They named him…Michi."
Michi's eyes went wide in sudden understanding. He stared at his mother for a moment before attempting to speak.
"Wait…so…the baby was me?" he gasped.
"Mmmhmm," answered Kagome.
"And so…you're the new miko from the story? And Otou's the hanyou?"
"Well…what about the monk? And the demon slayer?"
"Miroku-sama and Sango-sama," explained Kagome. "And the kids they had at the end were Amaya, Misaki, and Moku."
"Whoa," gasped Michi, blinking in realization. "So you and Otou really went on that adventure? You really beat the evil monkey and the jewel?"
"The monkey's name was Naraku. And yes, we did."
"Wow!" exclaimed the toddler. "I have the coolest parents ever!" he decided, standing excitedly and embracing his mother.
Kagome beamed, overjoyed to hear such a statement from her little son. She returned the brief embrace as best she could.
"Well, I have the coolest son ever," she cooed affectionately. Michi grinned toothily. After a moment, though, his eyes wandered down to his mother's extended stomach. He put a small hand on it, and to his luck, the baby kicked. Kagome covered the child's hand with her own, holding it there sweetly.
"I can't wait 'till the baby is born," Michi commented. "Then I can tell him or her all about the story!"
Kagome could only smile.
"Well, you know what, Michi? I'm sure the baby would love to hear its big brother's bedtime stories."
Michi grinned happily.
(For real this time. XD)
Ok, so I said this was a oneshot. And it was at first—but then this little idea for a second chapter struck me and I just had to write it! :3 Sorry for any cheesiness. But it's good cheese, right? 8D
Also, thank you to the three of you who took a just minute of your time to review chapter one. It's greatly appreciated. ^^