Kagome found him in the Goshinboku. He was studiously ignoring her with a scowl on his rough features. Even from the ground she could see his discontent as he clutched Tetsuaiga to his chest.
"Inuyasha," she called up, "I'm back!"
She waited patiently for a response, but only a single twitch revealed he had heard her. Kagome sighed, dropping her pack on the ground and stretching to reach the first branch. In a flash, Inuyasha dropped down next to her, frowning thunderously.
"What are you doing, wench?" he demanded.
Kagome dropped her arms and smiled. "I was going to come up and see you," she explained.
"Keh! You can't get that high up."
"Yeah, but it got you to come down, didn't it?"
Inuyasha crossed his arms, looking off in the distance behind her, as though her last comment wasn't even worth answering. Kagome restrained the grin that threatened to curl her lips, which would undoubtedly irritate the hanyou even more.
"I wanted you to know I was back," Kagome said amiably, purposely ignoring Inuyasha's pout.
"Keh!" he replied intelligently.
"Okay," Kagome bated, "I guess I'll just start telling Miroku when I get back first."
Inuyasha's ears flattened slightly."Fine," he ground out.
Kagome let loose a long sigh and reached to heft her monstrous bag back up. Inuyasha grabbed it before she could though, easily tossing it over his shoulder, as though it weighed five pounds, instead of fifty.
"Thank you, Inuyasha," Kagome commented gratefully.
Inuyasha flushed, ears plastering to his head. "Can't have you injuring yourself. You'll just go home again."
Kagome nodded sagely, deciding to not start a squabble with him. They began to meander their way back to the village, comfortably silent. Kagome glanced at him subtly out of the corner of her eye. He was tense and quiet, and she couldn't help but feel a warmth flutter through her belly when she studied him. So stoic in his own way, independent and wary, and it made Kagome feel like crossing the unfathomable distance that separated them.
Before she could lose nerve, Kagome allowed her hand to bridge the few inches to his, lightly grasping his calloused fingers in hers. Inuyasha hesitated and swallowed, cheeks flushing nearly as red as his haori.
"Keh," he mumbled, but his fingers curled gently around hers, and with that single motion they both took a step to cross the monumental gap between them.