After The End: New Beginnings

Has it really been a month already?

Time continued to pass by smoothly for our favorite hanyou and miko. After breakfast and a quick perimeter check Inuyasha would drop Kagome back off at Kaede's and then go help the builders with their house in any way he could until lunch, while Kagome studied with her sensei during those hours. He would come back when the construction workers broke for lunch, and then after their own midday meal was complete they would head up to the shrine grounds for a few hours, meeting up with Sango and Miroku for some sparing and spiritual training, sometimes having dinner with their friends afterwards though not every single night, so that the twins would not come to expect it as a daily occurrence.

That way, when the night of the new moon rolled around they were able to skip dinner at the monk and slayer's house without the girls wondering why. They spent Inuyasha's human night at Kaede's, as they'd previously agreed to do, deciding not to waste the money on a room at an inn. At first Inuyasha had planned on staying awake all night long, as he'd gotten into the habit of doing so very long ago, long before his nights were safe, as he honestly knew they were those days. With Kagome's persuasion, however, as she reminded her temporarily human husband that she could sense a youkai coming from miles away – and hadn't he said his senses were useless at night anyway with him so fully focused on her? – he'd chuckled quietly at her logic and allowed sleep to claim him that night, holding Kagome in his arms same as any other night, although he'd definitely felt his stronger human emotions making themselves known, as he'd tightened his grip on her a bit more than usual. She'd offered no protest.

One morning, Kaede told Kagome after breakfast that she wanted her to go collect some wild growing herbs on the hillside. It was something she'd eventually need to do all the time, anyway, so it would be good for her to get into the practice of it, and the elderly miko told her to think of it as a test of sorts, relating it to Kagome's school days. Playfully crinkling her nose and saying she'd take Kaede's tests over math homework any day, both miko chuckled slightly as Kagome grabbed a gathering basket and prepared to head out.

Instead of going on his perimeter check by himself, Inuyasha accompanied his wife up the hill. He didn't specifically tell her he didn't want her out in the herb fields by herself, he simply went with her, but Kagome didn't have a problem with it, appreciating the company. She knew it was the canine in him, his natural instinct telling him to follow her around, literally like a puppy dog. He just wanted to be near her, especially if she would otherwise be by herself. Leaving her at Kaede's, then at least he knew where she was, and that she was protected. Not that she needed the babaa to protect her, of course, but that was beside the point.

Kagome gathered a few different herbs for a while and then they headed back, and after seeing her safely to Kaede's Inuyasha then did a quick perimeter check solo before checking on the progress of their house. This process was repeated again the next day, except that pleasant morning was broken up for a moment when, as she reached to put a few herbs into her basket, Kagome dropped them and reached for her heart, instead, a small gasp escaping her lips.

Inuyasha was instantly on high alert.

“What?! What is it?!” he asked frantically, hand on Tetsusaiga's hilt.

Kagome shook her head, closing her eyes and concentrating a moment.

“I...I sense a very powerful demonic aura, approaching fast, but now that I think about it, I recognize it.”

Inuyasha, at first, had tensed even more at her words, but upon hearing her say she thought she recognized the youki he relaxed and released his sword.

“Keh, it's probably Sesshoumaru, then. It's been a while since he's last seen Rin so his next visit's been due.”

Turning his nose to the sky, he took a deep breath, and then nodded in confirmation, detecting his brother's scent on the wind.

“Yup, it's Sesshoumaru. He's not masking his presence. That means he wants us to know he's coming.”

“I'm glad he comes to visit Rin-chan like this,” Kagome said. “I imagine she'd be heartbroken if he didn't.”

“Yeah, probably,” Inuyasha agreed.

“I'm surprised she's even here, to be honest. I thought she'd go with Sesshoumaru.”

Inuyasha shook his head.

“Kaede-babaa said it,” he explained. “It seems like practice for returning her to a human village. For whatever she chooses.”

“So when she's older she'll make the decision to either stay or go back to traveling with your brother again?”

“Yeah, and I bet she'll pick him. She's fond of him, for whatever stupid reason.”

Kagome giggled at that.

Maybe that 'dog and his wife' story isn't about me and Inuyasha, after all, she thought, smiling fondly at the notion.

Rin was young, but she wasn't that young, especially by that time period's standards, and she'd heard the way the girl talked about Sesshoumaru. Kagome knew a crush when she saw one. The only real question was how Sesshoumaru felt about Rin in return.

She knew better than to say anything out loud along those lines right in that moment, however, as the feel of his youki quickly got stronger and stronger. She didn't know exactly what Sesshoumaru's hearing range was, but she was pretty sure they were already within it. When his shadow fell over them only a few seconds later she and Inuyasha both glanced up to see his humanoid form flying overhead, Jaken holding onto his mokomoko-sama for dear life. It was an amusing sight.

“Ah! Sesshoumaru-sama, it's Kagome!” the imp cried out loud enough for the miko to hear, and she mentally rolled her eyes.

As if Sesshoumaru hadn't sensed her reiki from as far back as she'd sensed his youki.

Still, it would be rude not to acknowledge him, especially since he hadn't gone out of his way to avoid flying directly over them in his approach.

“Onii-saan!” she cried out happily, only to pause at the nasty glare the daiyoukai gave her at the familiar greeting.

“Aw, he made a really mean face at me...” she muttered to herself, turning to look back at her husband, and the equally disgusted glare he was giving her as well. “And, Inuyasha, so are you.”

“That had a really nasty ring to it,” he answered, scowl firmly in place.

“Why? He's your brother, so he's my brother-in-law.” She blinked, truly confused.

Inuyasha rolled his eyes and sighed overdramatically.

“He barely tolerates the fact that he's related to a half-human, and now you went and threw his full-human relative in his face. I'm sure he smelled us a mile away; he knew damn well who you are to me, but you took away his ability to pretend to ignore it. If we weren't on as good of terms as we are now, he probably would've attacked us.”

Kagome waved off his concern with an eye roll of her own.

That Sesshoumaru disappeared a long time ago. Long before we defeated Naraku even.”

“Maybe...but you still shouldn't press your luck.”

Kagome rolled her eyes again and muttered a quiet “Feh” just for the hell of it, which had the desired effect as her husband laughed quietly. She silently got back to her herb basket, then, and after a couple of minutes Inuyasha let it go, realizing Kagome was probably right. After all, Sesshoumaru hadn't stopped to say anything threatening to her because of her poor choice in nicknames, and as pissed off as his look had been, it hadn't been his 'displease me again and I shall end you' look. He knew that look well, but it'd honestly been a long time since he'd seen it. As much as he was loath to admit it, his bastard of a brother really had mellowed out over the years.

They lingered on the hillside longer than they probably would have, but Inuyasha and Kagome both agreed to give Sesshoumaru and Rin some alone time together, knowing Rin was alone in Kaede's house while the elderly miko did her daily rounds in the village. They didn't return to Kaede's house with Kagome's basket of herbs until after Sesshoumaru's departure. Kaede was also back by the time they arrived, so Kagome immediately went over her herbs with the elderly miko while Rin happily showed Inuyasha the new kimono his brother had given her.

Once they were finished there, Inuyasha went back to the site of their future home to check on the progress again, and this time, Kagome went with him. Now that the framework was all up, the side and floor panels being put into place, the job required less specific expertise, allowing Inuyasha to assist more with the construction itself instead of just hauling the heavy stuff for the other men. Kagome went because she was itching to see the progress, and she would've offered to help with the construction, too, if such a thing wouldn't have been sooooo out of place in that time period, for their precious Shikon miko to swing a hammer. Heaven forbid. She chuckled quietly to herself at the absurd notion. But just because she wouldn't participate in the actual construction didn't mean she couldn't help. She could fetch things, and what if somebody got injured and needed a wound tended to?

She didn't need to explain herself to her husband, of course. Kagome's desire to hang out at the construction site made as much sense to Inuyasha as his desire to be with her while she gathered herbs did. She wanted to be with him. None of the workers had a problem with her presence.

After lunch they were joined by Miroku and Sango, the monk and slayer deciding sparring lessons could wait for now as they too joined in helping the building party, Shippou watching their children with Kaede and Rin's help. Slowly but surely, Inuyasha and Kagome's future home was actually starting to look like a house, and it was an exciting sight to see. Every day, there was a little more progress made, and every day, Inuyasha and Kagome got more and more excited to see the finished product.

Hanyou and miko were so busy lately that outside of their morning border patrols, which stayed just border patrols, they hardly had any moments of alone time whatsoever, always either at Kaede's, Sango and Miroku's, or at the construction site. Only once during that whole ten-day did they allow themselves to take a day off, and that was for a day trip back to the hot spring, only staying at the spring for a few hours before turning around and heading back home again. They'd made the most of those few hours, of course; it'd been just enough of a teaser to remind them both how they didn't have the sort of everyday privacy one needed to truly enjoy being a newly married couple. But they were working on it. That was why they were helping the construction workers; anything to help get their house built that much faster!

When the next Market Day rolled around Miroku agreed to go with them, hoping his presence would help smooth things over between the couple and the vendors, plus by now there were a few things he honestly needed to get, anyway. Borrowing one of Haruto's smaller wheel carts, Miroku told his friends that he and Sango would happily store a few pieces of furniture at their place until their house was finished, assuring hanyou and miko that they need not worry about being unable to buy certain items yet simply for a lack of where to put them in the meantime. With that thought in mind, their goal was a futon and bedroom chest of drawers. Inuyasha didn't mind it if their living space was a bit sparse at first, if it took them until the Market Day after their house was completed to finish the kitchen, but he wanted that bedroom move-in ready the day the last roof shingle went on, and he didn't even blush as he said so in Miroku's presence, thanking the houshi for agreeing to hold the items at his place despite how cluttered it would temporarily make things. Miroku's reply was a wave of his hand and, “What are friends for?”

That trip to market went noticeably smoother than last time, and when they passed by the bowl maker's cart he even scrambled to apologize for his previous behavior, as Kagome had hoped he would. She smiled and bowed and forgave him, but they didn't buy anything more from him that trip.

After Miroku got his few cooking spices Sango had requested it was time to shop for a futon, and with Miroku doing the talking the vendor didn't think anything of it. This merchant was also one who only cared about making the sale, so the houshi and hanyou could have been sharing the miko for all he cared, although of course such a thought had not occurred to the man. He simply had no thoughts on the matter whatsoever, eager to sell his best, most comfortable futon, when Miroku told him he required the best and money was no object. Those instructions had come directly from the inu-hanyou trying to remain inconspicuous in the background while the houshi and merchant haggled.

Miroku was one of a kind. Even after telling the merchant to his face that he wanted the best, not caring what it cost, he still managed to grind the man down to a very reasonable price, all the while making the merchant act as if Miroku were doing him an immeasurable favor by buying from him in the first place.

Inuyasha wasn't the only one who'd noticed.

“Your tongue is smoother than silk, Miroku-sama, but I must say I'm glad for it in this case,” Kagome said once they were away from the vendor, and the monk only chuckled softly in reply.

He repeated the procedure, to a lesser extent, to win his friends a fabulous discount on a sturdy and functional chest of drawers, as well as a large storage chest with a hinged lid that could double as a bench seat, and while they were in the market village they also began inquiring about where, and from whom, they could procure a luxurious self-heating bathtub. Such an expensive item was well beyond what one could buy at this humble peasant market village, but most of the vendors knew vendors who knew vendors, and before the day was out Inuyasha had more than one recommendation for a metal worker who lived in Edo. That was a worry for another day, since it would take him a while to save up the money, but it was good to already have a lead.

Thinking about the cost, Inuyasha also took a little time to chat with some of the merchants who'd always been more friendly towards him and Miroku over the last three years. The ones, like the leatherworker, who knew precisely who they were, who also knew who Kagome was, and couldn't care less about the hanyou and miko's relationship as they were too busy bowing their gratitude to Kagome and praising the kami for her safe return to them. Those men Inuyasha spoke with about the possibility of putting together some temporary trade deals. Lots of the traveling vendors didn't actually make their own wares, or at least not all of them. Plenty of the merchants bought in bulk from suppliers that lived in the villages they passed through or near, buying those villagers' goods to resell on the road for a profit. Such was the case with many of the locals from Kaede's village who sold cloth and baskets at the market to help support their families. Those villagers didn't stay all day long at the market, hoping to sell their wares to shoppers themselves. They simply sold the whole lot to a vendor, as a supplier, taking their payment and heading back home.

Inuyasha could do that too. He didn't have very many skills, but he could do a few select things that nobody else in their region could do simply because of his demonic strength and speed. With Riku's help he could bring large hides and furs to the leatherworkers. He could travel great distances to bring large chunks of wood from trees that were native in different regions to the woodworkers. Identifying the plants by scent, he could hunt down rare, hard to find herbs and spices. It wasn't something he wanted to make a habit of long-term, especially since most of it would also mean extended periods of time away from Kagome, but the tub he wanted to get for her would not be cheap, and so he needed to do whatever he could to earn as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, and then after he got the tub and got their bathing room complete he could stop worrying so much about money and enjoy his days with Kagome, instead.

Kagome would have told Inuyasha that a bathtub wasn't really that important, especially with the hot spring within traveling distance, but she recognized him as a man on a mission and honestly, the thought was so sweet, that he wanted so badly to do this for her, that she absolutely was not going to try and talk him out of it. She even offered to help him, though he politely told her not to worry about it, that it was his job to provide the tub for her and she shouldn't have to help him pay for it. Besides, with her needing to learn all her miko training, she wasn't like a normal housewife who had the time to learn a wifely skill like cloth weaving or dyeing. Kagome, like Kaede, would never spin her own thread or weave her own cloth, although she would at least sew her own clothing once she learned how, Kagome swore, and Inuyasha didn't argue with her on that point.

With nobody at the market village having heard of anybody suffering from any youkai troubles at the moment, something Miroku and Inuyasha always checked on while they were there, just in case, the trio headed back home by early afternoon, making it home in time for dinner, having had a light lunch of traveling food courtesy of the market town.

Getting back into their routine at Kaede's village, it was more of the same over the next few days, with noticeable progress being made on their house on a daily basis. Plus when Kagome, Inuyasha, Miroku and Sango took a day off from helping with the construction to get back to her spiritual training again, Inuyasha could also see that Kagome was making noticeable improvements in her control. She still couldn't make a deflective barrier, yet, but she was now able to extend a round purifying barrier out away from herself, the same as Kaede could create. Feeling braver now that the barrier wasn't wrapped around Kagome like a second skin, Inuyasha eagerly helped her train and practice with the Tetsusaiga. He'd apologized to the blade beforehand, but the sword had hummed compliantly, as if understanding why it was necessary and also wanting to do whatever it could to help Kagome get stronger.

Not using much force, and standing far enough away so that only the tip would touch her barrier and would never reach her body now that the barrier's circumference was large enough, Inuyasha swung the transformed Tetsusaiga at his wife, releasing no demonic attacks. The blade crackled as it came into contact with her barrier and then almost immediately reverted back into its dormant state, allowing his momentum to complete the swing, the purified blade now passing right through her barrier. Just like Kaede had said it would.

Hand getting a little too close to the barrier for comfort, Inuyasha retracted his arm and sheathed Tetsusaiga, letting the sword take a break before trying it again, with Miroku this time. The monk had the great idea of Kagome extending her aura out to sense the feel of his own reiki as he created a deflective barrier, in the hope that maybe she could sense how he did it.

Once Inuyasha could sense that Tetsusaiga was ready for round two, he waited until Kagome and Miroku were close together, his wife within the monk's barrier. He gave Miroku a critical eye, letting the pervert know he better not try anything, because Red Tetsusaiga was strong enough to break through his deflective barrier if it came to it, but Miroku merely rolled his eyes, knowing the threat wasn't serious. Glancing Sango's way, his wife gave him an encouraging nod.

“Feel the difference in my energy,” Miroku instructed his pupil then, and nodding, Kagome closed her eyes and held her hands up palms out, sensing the vibrations of Miroku's barrier.

Inuyasha held Tetsusaiga at the ready, and with the demonic blade once again transformed, he gave a brief grunt of warning and then swung, the blade bouncing harmlessly off the houshi's barrier without reverting back into its dormant state. It felt almost the same as when he'd previously tried to break Naraku's barriers, before gaining Red Tetsusaiga, except of course he could sense no darkness from the bouzu's barrier, knowing it was made with reiki instead of jyaki. Even so, it did not purify the youki out of his blade, and swinging again, Inuyasha gritted his teeth and managed to maintain contact that time, holding Tetsusaiga's blade against the barrier. It wasn't being purified, but neither was it penetrating the barrier, as the energy flashed and crackled where the two forces met. Miroku's eyes were open, but he had almost no expression on his face, clearly concentrating on what he was doing, his grip tight around his staff. He was using the demonic aura of Inuyasha's blade to repel it. It was a very, very weak version of the Bakuryuuha, in principle, at least, throwing his enemy's energy back at him instead of dispersing the energy. Kagome understood that; she could feel the difference.

When she and Inuyasha tried again, she still purified Tetsusaiga almost immediately. She slumped her shoulders in defeat after dropping her barrier, but he gave her an encouraging hug, not caring about their friends bearing witness.

“You remember how long it took me to figure out the Kaze no Kizu, don't you? And that was just the beginning. I sure as shit didn't learn all my new tricks in one day. You'll get it.”

“Thanks...I needed that.”


Hanyou and miko both gasped in surprised horror as a giant, demonic bone boomerang came barreling straight for them, and before Inuyasha could even think about grabbing Kagome and launching them both out of the way he suddenly found himself enveloped in a bluish purple light, Kagome's bow held out in front of them like a shield as she shouted “Back!”

The giant boomerang was knocked back, rather than crackling from being purified before still striking them as the giant sharp object it was.

“What the fuck, Sango?!” Inuyasha bellowed, glaring at the taijiya who was trying hard not to laugh.

“What?” she asked. “Don't you remember where I keep Hiraikotsu, hanging on the wall back at the house? Did you see me bring it with us today?”

Inuyasha blinked, confused, as he looked off to the other side to see...another Sango...who jumped up and caught the returning bone boomerang, before that Sango and Hiraikotsu both disappeared in a puff of smoke to be replaced by a young kitsune boy holding a harmless stick.

“It wouldn't have hurt you, honest!” he said, waving the stick in show. Had Kagome purified Shippou's illusion, it would've merely been a small stick that hit them.

Inuyasha narrowed his eyes, growling lowly. He did not like being scared like that! But before he could take two steps towards the now terrified kitsune, it was Kagome's laughter that time that caused him to glance back her way.

“That was such a good idea, Shippou-chan!” Kagome praised, and the fight went right out of Inuyasha at those words.

It had worked, after all.

Damn brat.

“Feh, whatever.”

Kagome giggled, scooping Shippou up into her arms, and Inuyasha grinned at the sight.

Everyone knew Kagome still had a long way to go before it would become second nature to her, but at least she had rejuvenated faith in herself and her abilities. She knew she could do it. If she could do it once, then she could do it again.

Hard to believe so much time has passed already... Miroku thought, as he nailed the next shingle into place.

He was among a few other villagers presently up on Inuyasha's roof, putting the last of the shingles in place. When he had first joined the construction crew a couple of the builders had politely tried to tell him his added assistance wasn't necessary, but he'd replied simply that Inuyasha was his friend, and that since Inuyasha had helped him with his house, he felt it only right to return the favor. He was a monk, yes, but he was a husband first, and would be doing any and every bit of repair work that would ever need to be tended to on his own home. Unless anything major ever needed to be repaired, he would be the one fixing little problems with the temple, too; he was no stranger to manual labor.

“Here,” Inuyasha said, landing next to Miroku with a bucketful of shingles and nails.

“Thanks,” Miroku replied, as he reached for the next shingle courtesy of his hanyou friend.

It was faster for Inuyasha to just jump down and grab some more and jump back up again rather than using the ladder. The other workers had only been startled momentarily the first time, but they were used to it now, as well as accepting he and the monk as part of the construction crew. Kagome and Sango were also present, though the miko had known better than to try and ask if she could also help with the roof. They probably wouldn't have refused her, but it would've been...weird...for a woman, and especially a miko, to do something like nailing roof shingles in place. So instead, Kagome, dressed in her miko robes of course, along with Sango, who'd left the twins with Kaede, Rin and Shippou but had little Ichirou on her back, contented themselves with assisting the couple of other women who were also present. When it was time to break for lunch, as our favorite four were now eating lunch on site with the other workers, miko and slayer assisted the other women in serving the men their tea and meals. They especially made sure they were the ones who served their own husbands.

Kagome had also brought a basket of some time period medical supplies with her, and on the rare occasion when somebody had indeed gotten hurt, although thankfully nobody had had anything more serious than a large splinter or lightly bashed thumb, Kagome was instantly in village-healer-mode. Nobody could dare think that a mild injury while building their youkai protector's home was bad luck, not with their precious Miko-sama present to immediately treat their injury and offer a short blessing.

“Oi, Kagome!” Inuyasha called from his place on the roof, and looking up, Kagome was prepared to catch the empty bucket he tossed down to her.

“Right!” Nodding, she quickly went over to the stack of waiting shingles and grabbed another bucketful, grabbing the required amount of nails from that pile as well so that by the time Inuyasha leapt down all she had to do was hand him the ready bucket.

“Thanks,” he said. “Won't be long now.”

With that he was back up on the roof again, and Kagome walked over to where her taijiya best friend was standing out of the way, breastfeeding her son.

Even after being back in the past for over a month, it was still odd, at times, watching Sango be a mother. After all, she had quickly been reminded of Sango's warrior status during their sparring lessons. It was easy at those times, seeing the woman dressed in her black leathers, to forget that she was a wife and mother now. A wife and mother, but still a taijiya. It was a man's profession, really. Women weren't usually warriors, but Sango was. A female warrior. They were few and far between, but they existed. Kagome liked to think that, in her own way, she was a warrior too, but she wasn't stupid. Her weapon was her reiki, and by extent, her arrows. She would never be as good at physical combat as Sango was; she wanted only to be able to defend herself in a pinch. Just because she was a wife now, and would hopefully one day become a mother as well, didn't mean she was suddenly no longer the Shikon miko, and the Shikon miko needed to keep up on her battle skills. She had not stopped being the Shikon miko just because the Shikon no Tama itself was finally gone from their world any more than Sango had stopped being a taijiya to become a wife and mother or Miroku had stopped being a monk to become a husband and father.

Theirs was quite the unconventional little village, Kagome mused, with a Buddhist monk married to a warrior woman and a half human forest youkai married to a reincarnated miko from the future. She snickered.

Sango gave her an inquisitive look, but Kagome waved it off. Thinking again about her sparring lessons with her friend, she smiled. She had quite a few healing bruises thanks to her training with Sango. Fortunately, she healed rather fast, and Sango was always careful to not seriously hurt her in the first place, but still.

The first few nights, Kagome had had some aches in places she didn't even know she had places. Thankfully, behind the cover of Kaede's changing screen Inuyasha had been more than happy to massage her aching muscles. They'd kept it innocent in mixed company, of course, but even so he'd had to go 'fishing' a couple of times after a few of her massages. She would've offered to go with him, but frankly, she'd been too tired those nights. He certainly hadn't been disappointed in her lack of asking to accompany him. The thought of being disappointed probably hadn't even occurred to him. She was sore and tired. How selfish would it have been to want to drag her out of bed for something like that when all she wanted to do was sleep? If they could have taken care of it right there inbed that would've been a different story, but not while Kaede and Rin were under the same roof.

Truthfully, Inuyasha had just been relieved she hadn't been upset with him for going in the first place. He'd even admitted as much, since he'd looked nervous at first, and after she'd asked him what was wrong he'd surprisingly decided to be up front and honest about it. She'd actually been perplexed by his worries at first. Why the hell should it bother her if he was horny and needed to go masturbate? He couldn't have worried that she found the act itself disgusting; not after she'd boldly asked to watch him do it their last trip to the hot spring. Maybe some women felt insecure, that if their guys were 'taking care of it' themselves it meant they either didn't want or need them, but when it came to Inuyasha Kagome knew that was the farthest thing from the truth. She'd assured him of her confidence in her own desirability, then, and that it didn't bother her if he needed to take care of his needs while they lacked the privacy for her to do it for him. She knew he both wanted and needed her; he reminded her of that fact on a daily basis, informing her of just how little sleep she would be getting their first night in their new house.

Which would hopefully be that night, by the looks of things, Kagome thought in that moment.

As Sango put the freshly burped Ichirou back into his sling and strapped him back across her back, Kagome adopted a whimsical smile, her thoughts wandering once again to her nervous, horny husband. At the time, she'd told Inuyasha that she understood. Their options were somewhat limited at the moment. The last thing she'd wanted was for him to suffer, so if he needed to go 'fishing' he had her blessing. But she'd also told him that after they were alone in their new house, just the two of them, that he should never fear needing to go 'fishing' by himself ever again. If he wanted to, for something different, of course she wouldn't be angry, but if he needed to go 'fishing' in the middle of the night but didn't really want to do it alone, he was, wake her up so that she could go 'fishing' with him, from the warmth of their bed.

He'd blushed twenty shades since she'd whispered all this too him quietly in Kaede's hut while the elderly miko and young Rin slept soundly just on the other side of the privacy screen, but he'd still nodded his understanding, before immediately rushing out of the hut. She'd figured that after that kind of a conversation he'd really needed to go 'fishing'.

She chuckled at the memory.

“What's so funny?” Sango asked, giving her friend an amused, inquisitive look.

Kagome merely shook her head.

“I'll tell you later, when we aren't within someone's hearing range.”

“Oi, you talkin' 'bout me, woman?” Inuyasha asked with an amused smirk of his own, suddenly standing right behind her.

Case in point, Kagome thought, shaking her head again.

“I'll tell you later, too. Right now, I just wish that roof would get done as fast as possible.”

“Keh, no argument here.”

With that, Inuyasha grabbed another bunch of shingles and hopped back up onto the roof again. Done...their house would be done after this. The roof was the last thing...and then it was just a matter of bringing in the few pieces of furniture they'd already bought. Their house was finished.

He and Kagome had put less and less time aside for other things, anything, other than working on their house these last few days. Her spiritual training had been put on hold as Miroku assisted him alongside the other workers, and while her herbal lessons with Kaede could have continued they were suspended for the time being because she'd insisted on being there as well to witness the progress. She hadn't even gone with him on his morning patrols all week for the logical reason that he could actually run quite a bit faster without her on his back, not because she actually weighed anything to him, but he did have to be careful of how he jumped around to make sure she wouldn't fall or get hurt in any way. Alone, he could actually crash through the forest growth much more recklessly and not worry about the branches whipping around him because he was protected by his fire-rat robes and thick youkai skin. Kagome would get all bashed and cut up if he pulled the kind of stuff he did alone with her on his back. She understood that. He'd been getting up early, spending the maybe only twenty minutes on his expedited patrol while Kaede was still fixing breakfast, so that the only thing Kagome really missed out on was their lazy mornings of waking up in each other's arms. Totally worth it to get the patrol itself over and done with sooner. By the time breakfast was ready at its usual hour he was already back, the perimeter check completed, and then as soon as breakfast was over they were at their new house, Inuyasha helping the construction workers in any and every way possible.

Hammering his last shingle into place, Inuyasha at first moved to jump off the roof and grab another armload again, but then something struck him. There were no more shingles to grab. The other men were exiting the roof. Looking around where he and Miroku stood, there weren't any bare spots of the boards underneath still in need of a shingle. The roof was finished.

The roof was finished! And it was only late afternoon! There was plenty of daylight left to start dragging in their belongings. Quickly launching himself in Kagome and Sango's direction, he was joined a minute or two later by the monk who'd had to take the ladder. As the rest of the workers packed up their belongings and bowed their departure, wishing Inuyasha and Kagome good blessings for their new home, all the hanyou could think about was wanting to get their stuff that was stored at both Sango and Miroku's house as well as Kaede's house. They didn't have everything; as he'd originally figured much of the main room and kitchen furnishings would have to wait until this next upcoming Market Day, but all he cared about in that moment was getting their sleeping room set up.

It took excruciatingly longer than he deemed necessary, but finally, about an hour later, their few pieces of furniture were all in place, their dishes and other smaller accessories stacked neatly in the left front corner of the main room that would become their kitchen, opposite the sliding door to the right that led into the bathing room that for now had a large metal tub in it similar to Sango's but would one day contain a proper bathtub. Kagome's things, her original things left there from the future, were all packed back up in her yellow backpack, which was sitting next to her quiver of finished arrows and the bow from Mt. Azusa in the back left corner of the sleeping room, opposite the chest of drawers, which was in the front left corner, nearer the door leading into the main room. The clothing chest contained her pajamas and yukata, as well as her changes of underclothes. The empty bench-like storage chest beside it was where they would normally store their futon and other bedding, which was currently rolled out, blankets in place, the bed ready to be occupied for the first of many nights.

By some stroke of luck, or perhaps good ol' Miroku had wisely spread the word not to bother them this evening, nobody had shown up so far to deliver them any housewarming gifts. There were a ton of things they needed, a ton of things they planned on hitting up some of the villagers for – even though if Kagome had her way they'd be paying for the items in firewood and/or meat – but that could wait until tomorrow. Right now, in that moment, with the evening sun dipping behind the trees, most of the village preparing dinner, Kagome and Inuyasha had opted not to dine with Sango and Miroku or Kaede, and who could blame them? Standing outside their front door, under the cover of the verandah's overhang, Kagome kicked an imaginary pebble in the hard beaten earth, staring at the hanging door mat before her with unexpected butterflies in her stomach. This was it. She was home.

From his place behind her Inuyasha growled low in his throat, and Kagome could feel her husband's demonic aura flare in strength as he watched her slowly enter their house, his eyes burning into her from behind truly like a demon stalking its prey.

They didn't make it to the bedroom.

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