After The End: New Beginnings

By SplendentGoddess

Romance / Erotica

Home Coming

Entering the house...their house...Kagome looked around, at least as best she could with the low light coming in from the window. In their hurry to move all of their possessions in she hadn't yet taken the time to start a fire in the firepit.

That was the least of her concerns in that moment, though, as she felt Inuyasha close the distance between them before suddenly, his hand was on her shoulder, spinning her around. Still in the beaten earth domo, she hadn't even slipped off her sandals yet to step up onto the raised wooden floor of the back half of the house, and suddenly his lips found hers as he crushed her to him almost desperately. It was as if he was pouring everything that'd been building up within him over their weeks of near celibacy into this one kiss. A few stolen moments and touches here and there over the last month had done nothing to even partly sate his newfound desires. Before, he wouldn't have known what he was missing. Before, he could have continued to pleasure himself alone in the forest and dream of what would one day come to pass, and it would've been enough.

This last month had been torture, and like a caged beast finally released back into the wild Inuyasha growled in victory as he claimed his wife's mouth, chin, neck, collarbone... That last one took some yanking of fabric to get it out of the way, but the miko offered no hint of protest, and her hands did not stay idle either. Inuyasha's growling only intensified as he felt her delicate hands yank and tug on his suikan just as desperately, getting it undone almost faster than he himself would do when throwing it over her head for protection. The opened robe hung loosely at his sides as her hands next went to work on tugging his longer kosode out of his hakama before untying that robe as well. Mirroring her work, Inuyasha's hands had already opened her chihaya. It was like they were in a race to see whose kosode would be opened first, all the while with their mouths never breaking contact, except of course for when Inuyasha's traveled along her throat, leaving her mouth free to gasp and moan. But quickly enough his mouth was over hers again, claiming every inch of her. It was a miracle they were both staying aware enough of their actions to avoid cutting her lip on a fang. If such an accident had happened in that moment, neither of them would've cared. Kagome probably wouldn't even have noticed.

Just like Inuyasha didn't notice the sound of his leather pouch dropping to the floor as his kosode came undone. His first clue that Kagome had won their little race was the feel of her warm hands on his bare stomach. Feeling her rub him all over, on his stomach and up to his chest, Inuyasha paused in what his own hands were doing to moan into the kiss as she smoothed her palms along his heated flesh. As her hands came up to his shoulders, pushing at his robes, the hanyou immediately took the hint and hastily shrugged out of his opened robes while she gripped his bare shoulders, letting the garments drop carelessly to the dirt floor behind him. His hands were back on her, then, and getting her kosode open immediately afterwards, revealing her bare stomach, her breasts teasingly hidden from view by the modern-day bra she still wore, his left hand then lifted and grabbed a fistful of hair at the back of her head, pulling her head back to better attack her throat while his right hand began plucking relentlessly at the ties to her hakama.

Feeling her hakama drop around her feet, Kagome removed her hands from his shoulders and shrugged out of her own robes. She managed to pull herself away from her husband's embrace, then, but only so that she could step out of her sandals and fallen hakama, standing before him in the beaten earth domo of their brand new house in her white cotton bra and panties, tabi still on her feet.

He growled again, and she swore she thought she saw him drooling a little, although it was hard to tell in the low light of the dark house. She could have lit the lantern. Miroku and Sango had given them one as their own housewarming present, and with a few leftover matches she could've had the lamp fire going in no time at all, but that would've required putting a stop to the passion between them, for even a moment, and in that moment, the look in her eyes told Inuyasha – who could see just fine – that she had no intention of stopping, even momentarily.

“Naked. Now,” he said, his voice barely legible, hardly human, as he crouched down and practically tore off the bindings around his ankles.

Standing back up he worked faster on untying his hakama than he'd ever untied them before in his entire life, and when they dropped he didn't even bother unwrapping his fundoshi, pushing it down his legs much the same way Kagome had just removed her own panties, having already unfastened her tabi and bra.

They were both naked.

They were both naked, alone, in their house. Together. Alone.

Naked.

Why was he still just standing there?

Kagome squeaked in surprise as he suddenly stalked forward and walked her backwards against the nearest wall, pinning her hands above her head with his left hand as he kissed her relentlessly. He ravished her mouth, face, neck, shoulders... Whatever he could reach, all the while holding her in place, just for the fun of it. Kagome knew it was a game. It was the predator in him, holding his prey hostage. If she wanted him to release her she had ample opportunity to say so as he took his time suckling her ample breasts. She offered no sound of protest. Had her hands been free, she would've only been using them to fist in his hair, or perhaps rub an ear. This was a side of her husband Kagome had never seen before, at least to this extreme. The shy virgin was definitely gone, but she had no complaints as he shoved his left leg in between her own, letting her straddle his thigh, coating him with her excitement as he ground his erection against her left hip.

She gasped, not in surprise, really. Just because. Because gasps and moans were all she could produce at the moment. He pulled back briefly to glance up at her face, but noting her seductive smirk when their eyes locked, he merely chuckled and got back to devouring her breasts. She started rocking against his leg, and his response was to shift his leg back and forth a little bit, giving her longer strokes.

If there had been a flash of hesitation or uncertainty in her gaze at his rough treatment of her he would've stopped in a heartbeat, but instead her look had only fueled his fire, and he let her know it too as he pulled away from her hardened nipple to stare her down a second time. Kagome shuddered at the look in his eyes, her shivers in no way related to the cool temperature in the room that she honestly didn't notice. The intensity of his rutilant gaze more than made up for the lack of a fire in the firepit. The flame of their passion was more than enough to keep her warm. The heat of his stare was almost too hot.

Without warning he grabbed her by the waist and hoisted her up, pressing her back against the wall for added support so he wasn't hurting her. Kagome squeaked in surprise but didn't protest, and as she felt him prodding at her entrance her response was to spread her legs wide, wrapping them around his waist, her hands back on his shoulders for added supports. Their eyes met. He inhaled through his nose, then growled low with hooded eyelids. She nodded. He brought her down.

They both cried out at the sensation of suddenly being joined as they should be, as they were meant to be. Inuyasha gave neither of them a chance to adjust as he started hammering into her with reckless abandon. It wasn't exactly how he'd imagined their first time in their new home would go. He'd wanted to lay her down gently on the futon. He'd wanted to be romantic, and slow, and worship her body and tell her how beautiful she was and how lucky he was and all that other mushy stuff he knew girls liked that he would never admit he honestly meant, except for when it was just the two of them alone, of course. But as soon as he'd realized it was just the two of them alone, with their new house built and waiting for them, he hadn't been able to wait even one minute longer before reclaiming what was his. He'd been hard as a rock before they'd even stepped inside.

Fortunately, Kagome didn't seem to have any complaints. Not if the way she was clutching his shoulders as she held on for dear life while unabashedly crying out loud enough to make him really glad they didn't have any neighbors was any indication. It didn't take long at all for his orgasm to rush up on him, but he didn't even slow down. If anything, he went even faster. His cry mingled with hers as he shouted his release, and she could feel his seed as it entered her. As his body begged him to stop he bit his lip to distract himself from his sensitized nerve endings, having no intention of stopping until she came as well. The taste of blood successfully distracted him. At least it was his own blood. Even in his craziness he had thankfully been careful enough of his fangs to avoid injuring Kagome.

And speaking of Kagome, she was seeing stars. Something was starting to wind up tight within her belly, like a coil that would snap at any moment. It was similar, and yet oh so different, to what she'd experienced before.

Before she had adequate time to contemplate what was happening, suddenly, it hit her, and she shrieked. Collapsing forward, Kagome sank her teeth into her husband's left shoulder. Fortunately, her mortal teeth were nowhere near strong enough to pierce his hanyou skin. White hot blinding pleasure-pain burned through her entire body, scorching her nerve endings, razing her sanity, and the feel of her inner muscles clamping down around him like a vice coupled with her teeth on his shoulder erased what little control Inuyasha had left. Head thrown back, fangs bared, he roared like the demon he was as he emptied himself within her a second time.

With his legs becoming unstable, he took a hesitant step back away from the wall. Kagome could feel how shaky he was, and unwrapped her legs from around his waist, his softening member slipping free as he somehow muscled up the strength to set her on her feet before he collapsed. Kagome snorted a laugh at the sight, making her way over to the raised wooden floor, her kosode in hand which she spread out on the wood to have a seat. Glancing back Inuyasha's way, he was lying prone on the hard packed earth, and if it weren't for how dark it now was in the house she would've seen sweat glistening on his body as he panted heavily for breath.

“You wear me out, woman,” she heard him grunt after a moment, as he forced himself to get up.

“Didn't think it was possible to tire you out,” Kagome replied teasingly.

It was Inuyasha's turn to snort a laugh, as he rummaged around in his fallen clothing for his leather pouch. Finding it, he remained nude as he hopped up onto the raised wooden floor and approached the cool and waiting firepit. It had been prepped, just not lit, so there was plenty of kindling present, a nice stack of firewood in the cradle down in the domo. Using his tinder and a couple of thinner sticks from the kindling pile, he quickly had his fire egg via the drilling method, and Kagome watched, sated and smiling, as he went about building up their fire.

Once that was done, he came over and joined her on the edge of the raised wooden floor. She smirked at him as he took a seat beside her, and he had the good grace to look sheepish, a light blush dusting his cheeks.

“Uh...sorry 'bout that. I couldn't wait.”

Kagome clicked her tongue, and then with laughing eyes, she responded with, “That's all right, I forgive you.”

They both laughed.

“I know how to make it up to you. How about a nice hot bath to get cleaned up before bed, so we're not all sweaty in our brand new futon?”

“Mmmm...” she hummed, closing her eyes appreciatively. “Sounds like a plan.”

Nodding, Inuyasha went over to his clothes and donned his hakama, forgoing putting his fundoshi back on since he'd be getting naked again pretty soon, anyway. Kagome had similar thoughts, and standing up, she wrapped her kosode around herself, leaving that her only garment as she collected their other clothing and brought everything into the back sleeping room, leaving the sliding door open so that she could better see what she was doing with the light from the firepit in the main room. Finding the lamp Sango and Miroku had given them, she brought it out to the main room, and carefully grabbing a smaller stick from the firepit that was only burning on one end, she lit the lamp and brought it with her back into the bedroom, putting it in its place near the futon. Inuyasha, meanwhile, had taken off to the nearby river with their two large water buckets, after pouring the clean drinking water that had already been in one of the buckets into their largest metal pot, putting it over the fire to heat.

He was back in no time, the river honestly being just a few hops away for him when using his demonic speed. They spent the time it took for the pot of water to heat up talking about pleasant things, their hopes and dreams for the future. A new chapter in their lives was just beginning, and this was a new start that was long in the making, as far as they were both concerned. Finally, finally, they could start life together as a true married couple. The last month or so of their marriage was really more like an engagement, in Kagome's mind, since they had hardly been able to find two seconds alone together unless they escaped out into the wild. They'd even joked at one point about just moving out into the forest and living at the hot spring for a couple of weeks, but they'd ultimately decided against it, knowing they needed to maintain their presence in the village. It would've been too irresponsible to go on a prolonged vacation just so that they could have sex, but staying at Kaede's...well...they were both very glad to finally have a place all their own.

They'd spent a few nights while their house was still being built down by the river, near the spot they'd gone to that first night, just lying beside one another, looking up at the stars as they shared their fantasies. They'd known not to dare doing anything beyond simple kissing at the spot where they'd already been busted by nosy neighbors, but Hideaki and Yumiko's intrusion hadn't turned them off to the location as a whole. It was where Inuyasha had first seen Kagome naked, after all. It would forever hold a special place in his heart. He'd since confessed to her that while at that time he honestly had been hoping to steal the jewel shard, he'd also been surprised by the unexpected sight of her naked, glistening skin, and the only reason he'd called her disgusting had been to hide the fact that he'd actually found her very attractive. He'd just recently woken up from his seal, after all, and he'd still thought at the time that Kikyou had betrayed him, ripping his heart out to stomp on and laugh in his face. That was why he'd hated seeing her in the miko robes at that time. He'd hated the reminder. He wasn't about to trust Kagome so soon, knowing she was Kikyou's reincarnation. Not yet. Not until he'd finally gotten it in his head that Kagome was Kagome, not Kikyou. Then he'd fallen and fallen hard.

Even so, he was a man, with a working set of eyes. Even not yet liking or trusting the girl, he probably would've had a wet dream about her body that night if it weren't for the fight with Yura of the Hair and his subsequent injuries, since they had ultimately proven distracting. But it was during that fight that he'd finally gained an ounce of respect for Kagome, and he hadn't honestly hated her, even then, or otherwise he never would've given her his fire-rat suikan for protection. A part of him had been drawn to her from the very beginning, before she'd even removed Kikyou's arrow, but the rest of him had hated himself for that weakness, doing everything in his power to convince himself he hated her. He'd confessed all this to her during one of those starry nights by the river, and Kagome had confessed in turn to all of the times she'd thought negatively about him as well, thinking in not so many words that he was an asshole she didn't want to have anything to do with. He'd chuckled at the confession. Her thoughts of him back then had hardly been a secret, after all. Her more favorable feelings towards him hadn't really been a secret, either. He'd known all along when she'd fallen in love with him. Hell, he'd heard her shout it at the top of her lungs when that damn baby had tried to grasp the darkness in her heart. He'd known how she'd felt, it'd just taken him a while to admit to himself that he actually felt the same way.

Now, in that moment, as he poured the first pot of hot water into the extra large wash tub that was their temporary bathtub until he got her a nicer one, pouring the next bucket of water into the pot to heat as well, Inuyasha could not only admit to himself that he loved her, but he could openly tell the miko to her face just what she meant to him. She was his everything. His wife, his mate, his reason for living. The fact that she was Kikyou's reincarnation had nothing to do with anything.

In fact, he even told her that, since it was undeniable that she and Kikyou had the same soul, it wasn't really that she was now the reincarnation of the woman he had once loved, but instead, as far as he was concerned, Kikyou had been the preincarnation of the woman destined to become his mate. A sneak preview. She had been the right soul, but the wrong lifetime. She hadn't been ready for him yet, and that was why things hadn't worked out between them. All along, it had always, only been Kagome. She was the one the fates had meant for him. Perhaps all along Kagome had not been sent back in time to correct Kikyou's mistakes, but perhaps instead, Kikyou had made those so-called mistakes per destiny in preparation for Kagome's arrival. Miko with her powers were not needed in the future, after all. Kagome had been born to be in the past. She had been born for him.She hadn't just been sent back to release him from his seal, Kikyou had sealed him to preserve him safe and sound for Kagome's arrival. Everything had happened as it was meant to.

He did not want to think about her mortality, but knowing it would be stupid to completely ignore the elephant in the room he told her in that moment that he wasn't stupid, he just didn't want to dwell on something he couldn't change. Kagome immediately agreed, and swore she'd try not to worry about it too much, either. They could both lose themselves in negative thoughts about what would happen a few decades down the road, but why the hell would they want to do that and ruin the present? It was all about now, enjoying each and every moment as they came. He would cherish however much time he had with her, one day at a time.

It was with that last thought in mind that Kagome followed Inuyasha into the bathing room off the main living area, stripping out of her kosode before settling herself down into the tub that was now mostly filled thanks to a couple additional quick trips to the river and back Inuyasha had made during pauses in their conversation. She was definitely glad they had such a nearby water source. Once they had their proper self-heating bathtub she knew she'd want to rinse off before soaking, as one does, but for now this bath was less about relaxing and more about getting clean before bed, the water in the wash bin only coming up to her waist. It would get the job done.

Watching Inuyasha strip out of his hakama as he stood beside her, she smiled up at him, the look in her eyes a cross between perverted and serene. She liked what she saw, but far beyond that, she was genuinely happy in that moment in time, as he pulled up a stool to sit behind her and begin washing her back. Normally the husband should bathe first, and Kagome and Inuyasha both knew that, but he didn't give a damn about human customs and to him, this was a gift he wanted to give to her, plain and simple. Plus he got to stare at her naked body and paw all over her as he helped wash her, so it was a gift for himself as well. He told her as much with a quiet laugh.

“Hentai,” Kagome teased in return, chuckling as well. Closing her eyes, she smiled in bliss as he carefully poured some hot – but not too hot – water down her back and shoulders, her hair pinned up on top of her head to avoid getting it wet.

“Only for you,” was his soft reply.

For the next few minutes, Kagome thoroughly enjoyed Inuyasha's delicate touches as he washed her. He would've gotten into the tub with her but there wasn't enough room, so he had to wait his turn to wash the sweat and other sticky substances off his own body as well. Ordinarily, he wouldn't mind leaving them both covered with the scent of their love making. In fact, he would quite thoroughly enjoy smelling the scent of sex on the both of them, and told Kagome as much, but he knew how important being clean was to her, and despite his canine instincts he wasn't so far gone down that path that he honestly thought her wanting to get clean was her rejecting his claim of her in any way. So what if she liked to be clean, and that in doing so, it washed off his scent? He'd just have to put his scent back on her again, was all. Sleeping in his arms would do it. She didn't have to smell like sex to smell like his to other inu-youkai. Besides, she was his wife by human law, so she was his no matter what she smelled like.

“You covering me with your scent definitely isn't a problem,” Kagome answered as she stood carefully in the tub, accepting the towel Inuyasha handed her which she used to dry herself off with a bit before accepting his hand next to step carefully out of the tub, watching as he took a seat in her place.

The water had cooled a little bit, which he actually preferred. As far as Inuyasha was concerned, Kagome could always bathe first. She continued talking as she sat on the stool behind him, removing the tie from her hair and using it to tie his hair up instead, before then starting with his back the same as he had done for her.

“You're damn right I'm not trying to reject your claim or get rid of your scent,” she assured him as she worked. “I just don't like feeling sweaty and dirty. But you can most definitely hold me in your arms all night long, every single night if you want to, and now that we have our own place, we can both be naked every single night, too.”

“Don't know how I'm supposed to get any sleep like that,” he chuckled in reply.

She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and tweaked one of his ears.

“Oh, I'm sure I can think of some way to tire you out.”

“But then you'd just want another bath again. It'd be a never ending cycle.”

They both laughed, and then Inuyasha told her if this was to become a nightly routine, it was definitely one he could live with.

Finished with his turn in the bath, he left the water in the tub and accepted the towel Kagome handed him, although the playfully threatening look he gave her told her he'd contemplated shaking himself dry until she'd sent him a playfully threatening look of her own. It was dark in the wash room, but with the sliding door open she'd had enough light to see by to see that look in his eyes. Slumping playfully, ears down, he gave her his best 'Miroku' look of feigned innocence combined with hurt at the accusation. She rolled her eyes.

Heading back into the main room, Kagome once again dressed in her kosode and Inuyasha in his hakama, the miko went over to the kitchen side of the domo and started preparing a quick and easy dinner from the things Sango and Miroku had given them.

While Inuyasha had made a few trips back and forth bringing over the furniture they'd had stored at the monk and slayer's house Kagome had helped Sango whip up a few things so that she and Inuyasha wouldn't have to worry about cooking dinner from scratch that night. Tomorrow, they'd worry about getting more supplies, like rice, as well as getting their vegetable garden started. Of course, it would take a long while before they had their own vegetables, but the sooner they got it started, the sooner they'd see results. At least as their friends had already assured them, they had plenty of rice, courtesy of Inuyasha's share over at Sango and Miroku's house, and besides that there were plenty of fish in the river. They would definitely not starve. In addition, Kagome was sure they could get a few different vegetables from various villagers to keep them going until their own garden was up and running. She was looking forward to that time, when she could actually pick and prepare her own foods, grown right out in her own backyard. For that night, however, their simple pre-made dinner courtesy of their taijiya friend was more than enough.

“Anything so I don't have to go fishing right now,” Inuyasha said with all sincerity.

It was Kagome who adopted the perverted smirk as she replied with, “That's right. If you're gonna do any 'fishing' tonight, you're gonna do it right here, mister.”

His eyebrows rose, but then he chuckled, shaking his head.

“Only if you help me.”

“Only if you're a good boy,” she countered.

“Oh, I'll be a good boy. I'll be a very good boy.”

“That's for me to determine.”

“What happened to not wanting to get the bedding dirty?”

“Who said that?” she countered. “Don't get me wrong, the bath felt wonderful, but I don't recall actually saying I refused to get into bed without a bath first, and what was that about you wanting me covered in your scent?”

His nostrils flared at her not-so-subtle proposal. They couldn't finish the rest of their dinner fast enough.

Getting their fire in the firepit banked up properly for the night they retired to their sleeping room, quickly stripping out of what little clothes they'd been wearing before settling down into their futon for the very first time. It was a surreal moment for both hanyou and miko, lying there in bed together, turning to look each other's way, realizing this was their bed; they were home.

Giving her husband a sultry smile, Kagome reached over and extinguished the lamp. They didn't get to sleep until at least an hour later.


Everyone was more than generous when it came to helping our favorite hanyou and miko get established in their new home. Hideaki and his younger brother Katsu gave seeds and fertilizer, as well as a few pointers on how best to plant and grow the various things that neither hanyou nor miko had previous experience growing.

Fortunately, for Kagome's peace of mind, even though at first when she started to ask for something the villagers practically fell over themselves to give it as a gift without question, when she insisted that she or Inuyasha could do something for them in return, as trade, most of the time the villagers merely bowed humbly and thanked them deeply for the perhaps unneeded, but appreciated gesture. Most commonly Inuyasha paid for labor with labor. In exchange for Hideaki's family helping them get their vegetable garden up and running, for example, he chopped up several days' worth of firewood for the man's family in return. For those who actually gave them ready vegetables to eat, he caught them fish. For the few villagers who were not the best at fishing, and relied more heavily on their vegetable gardens, it was a win/win situation.

Kagome, being a village miko, had to accept that certain things would be gifted to her regularly as payment for her standard miko services, the same as the villagers had always provided for Kaede's basic needs, and the younger miko was okay with this. Besides what Miroku and Sango insisted was their share, Haruto also promised them a fair rice ration from the village's main supply, as well as plain, basic cloth whenever they needed it, and several other little things, even if they weren't so little economically speaking.

The smith, for example, would always provide her with arrowheads whenever she needed them. Her arrows were for the defense of their entire village, after all, to destroy evil monsters that would do them harm. How could she possibly be expected to pay for them? This Kagome accepted, gratefully in fact, but when she approached the village's best basket weaver with a custom order for a couple of different types of basket containers she'd like, she politely told the woman that she wanted to be thought of no differently from any other village woman asking for such merchandise. Most of the village women traded amongst themselves. While somebody was the best at making baskets, somebody else was the best at dyeing fabrics, and so on and so forth. Kagome's specialty was her reiki, everyone knew, and so when the woman replied that she would gladly trade and make for Kagome the new baskets she wanted in exchange for a house blessing the future-born miko smiled and accepted it as fair trade. At least it was something. She might not know how to spin thread or weave cloth, but warding off dark spirits was definitely something she was good at.

For the various wooden storage containers she wanted for the house, Inuyasha not only provided the actual wood, but feeling especially grateful to Arata for his role in helping to build the house itself, not to mention all the various shelves that were already in place where Kagome had wanted them, he caught a nice sized boar for the man's family to feast on. Riku had again been called upon to assist Inuyasha with proper butchering, so that he could give the woodworker's family the ready cuts of meat instead of dumping a dead pig on their doorstep like a lower canine would do, and the board maker had humbly accepted Inuyasha's generous gift. The leatherworker had been grateful for the opportunity to assist Inuyasha again, of course, and like before he was paid for his own services with the hide and leftover meat.

Slowly, bit by bit, they were getting their house put together, turning their new house into a home. When the next Market Day came around they borrowed the headman's largest wheeled cart and picked up the last few large pieces of furniture that had been custom ordered in advance, hanyou and miko having timed everything that needed to be ordered so that they knew it would be ready on this Market Day. They could have had the kitchen cabinetry delivered to Kaede's village, for an extra cost, but they were all about saving money whenever able and Inuyasha didn't mind mimicking an ox when the load he was hauling actually belonged to him.

Getting all the big stuff put into place that night before bed, the next day Kagome immediately started putting all their smaller kitchen items away where they were supposed to go, bowls and cups in their designated cupboards, chopsticks in their little lidded boxes on the counter. He watched her work, amused, not caring in the slightest where she decided to store stuff; he was definitely leaving it all up to her. All he cared about was that he had Kagome back, and they had a home together. Like he gave a crap which cupboard held which types of dishes.

Finally, the moment came when, aside from the grandiose bathtub he wanted to one day get for her, they were fully moved in, their house complete and ready to function day in and day out. Their vegetable garden, while still barren, was tilled and seeded, tracks in place for easy watering whenever they disposed of used buckets of water. Their storage shed, which had been strategically placed downwind, was already functioning as shelter for what would become their first batch of miso.

“I'll sort these in a minute,” Kagome said, half to herself, as she sat a basket of herbs down on the kitchen counter, a few medicinal, but most of them edibles, from the western hillside. Slipping off her sandals, she stepped up onto the raised wooden floor and headed back into their bedroom, Inuyasha watching her from his place in the domo.

It was almost too much for the hanyou, who had to secretly pinch himself as he held his arms crossed within his sleeves just to make sure these last few days hadn't been a dream. Had he and Kagome really woken up together that morning as husband and wife, in their own bed, gotten dressed, made breakfast, then went on a border patrol followed by his wife spending some time collecting herbs? Yes...yes they had.

Suddenly, he made a decision.

“Hey...” he said as he entered the sleeping room, stilling Kagome as she stood barefoot in her miko robes, about to trade them out for her yukata. “Let's go for a run.”

She smirked at him.

“Didn't we just go for a run this morning? Or do you mean a run run?”

He chuckled.

“Nah, I just mean a regular run. There's a cliff up in the mountains I go to sometimes that has an awesome view of the village. I'd like to take you there.”

“All right,” she answered with a smile.

Reaching for her bow he added, “It ain't far, you don't need your arrows. We'll be back in just a few minutes.”

Nodding, Kagome didn't bother putting her tabi back on, either, just following him back into the main part of the house and stepping into her sandals as she stepped down into the beaten earth domo. Inuyasha made sure their fire was still smoldering under its pile of ashes, and then they were out the door.

So much has changed in such a relatively short period of time... Kagome thought, as she held onto her husband's shoulders, thoroughly enjoying the ride. She would never get tired of racing through the trees with him. And from now on, things are also going to gradually change.

She thought about the time when their vegetables would come in, when their miso was ready, but beyond that, far beyond, she thought about when the gods might bless them with their own little one, or ones, thinking of Sango and Miroku's three children. Had she really still been worrying about her grades less than two months ago? It all seemed so surreal.

I'm going to live here, along with Inuyasha... she told herself, as if she too had to make sure she wasn't dreaming. She smiled. And let our days together grow.

She wouldn't worry about something as trivial as her mortality. She certainly didn't feel like she was aging in that moment. She couldn't honestly imagine her body doing something as traitorous as taking her away from Inuyasha again, now that she'd finally found her way back to him. If she could fight the laws of time and space once, then surely she could fight the laws of time once more. Nothing was taking her away from Inuyasha. Nothing. Wherever he went, she would follow, and they would face the world, together. A thousand sacred jewels couldn't break their bond.

Coming to a stop on the clifftop Inuyasha had wanted to show her, Kagome had to admit, it was a fabulous view. She was glad he'd brought her here. Gazing down at the valley below made her current line of thought that much more meaningful, to spy the great vastness laid out before them.

Inuyasha and I...are bound to tomorrow.

~ Fin ~

(for now)


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