Title: The Floating Lanterns
Universe: Post Canon
Word Count: 510
Summary: Inuyasha watches from a tree as Obon draws to a close. Will Kagome be able to draw him
out to participate?
Inuyasha watched the procession of villagers from his perch in a tree. They were all in high spirits from the earlier festivities and he could see the chōchin they carried as they approached the river's edge. From his vantage point he could see as the first villager lit his lantern and set it in the water.
“Inuyasha?” The gentle voice drew his attention to the woman he knew had been standing below the tree for some time. Glancing down, he saw her smile at him as she held her own lantern. “Come on, or we'll miss the Tōrō nagashi.”
“Feh” he said as he crossed his arms, folding his hands into the voluminous sleeves of his haori. “What's the point? You're ancestors haven't even been born yet. S'not like their spirits are here for them to return to the world of the dead.”
Kagome flinched at his words and lowered her face. He had been like this for the last few days, always coming up with an excuse why he shouldn't participate in the festivities occurring. Obon was nearly over, and he hadn't participated at all. “Please Inuyasha?”
He sighed. Why couldn't she understand? Nobody would want a hanyou like him intruding on their festival. He had never been welcome at one before and he was sure it would be no different now. But one look at her dejected face and he found himself leaping down. “Keh.”
A brilliant smile lit her face and he felt himself relaxing. He grabbed the paper lantern from her as he said “Let's get this over with.”
Still smiling, Kagome led him to the water's edge. He held the lantern as she lit it, then set it in the water as she offered her prayers. As they watched the lantern follow the others, she leaned against him, smile growing wider as he wrapped his arms around her, and replied to his earlier comment. “The spirits of my ancestors may not be present but yours are. It is only right to honor them as they are part of you,” she grasped one of his hands and moved it to her stomach. “And part of our child. We'll have to teach him or her to honor both sides of their heritage.”
Inuyasha's eyes grew wide and he drew in a deep breath as he realized what she was saying. “K-Kagome” he choked out, voice thick with emotion before he pulled her into a tighter embrace, eyes closed as he offered a silent prayer of thanks to the kami.
As he opened his eyes, they landed on the lantern they had just set adrift. Through tear-blurred eyes he spotted the spirits of his parents as they waved to him. “Thank you” he whispered as he watched them fade as the lantern moved further away.
Turning his attention back to the woman in his arms, he placed a gentle, lingering kiss to her temple before sweeping her up into his arms. “Come on, let's go home.”