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* Kumiko has finished cooking, and is working on a bit of sewing while waiting for Gyo to come home
* Gyoshoku has had a wearying day of training with the priests at the shrine... everyone needs to keep up their skills with the growing hostilities, and Gyo finds it difficult to work with the priests, all of whom consider themselves superior to him
* Gyoshoku is far their superior in fighting, however, and has been able to work out a little of his frustration... though he will deny that to anyone who asks
* Gyoshoku comes home to the smell of something very tasty, loves coming home
* Gyoshoku enters and stands at the door a second, blinking as his eyes adjust to the dimmer light
<Gyoshoku> I'm home
* Kumiko looks up to see Gyo and shines up
<Kumiko> Gyo! Welcome home!
* Kumiko puts away her work quickly and gets to her feet
* Gyoshoku grins and opens his arms for her
* Kumiko goes to hug him. "I missed you."
<Gyoshoku> you know, I missed you, too
* Gyoshoku hugs her tightly
* Gyoshoku glances around
<Gyoshoku> no girls tonight? lucky me *kisses*
* Kumiko kisses back. "No, they're out..."
<Gyoshoku> mmm, good
<Kumiko> Are you hungry?
* Gyoshoku nods as his stomach growls
<Gyoshoku> what a question
<Gyoshoku> am I ever not hungry when I get home?
* Gyoshoku winks at her and kisses her quickly again
<Kumiko> not usually, no
* Kumiko reluctantly pulls out of his arms. "Luckily for you, I've already made dinner."
<Gyoshoku> luckily for me I married the single most amazing woman in existence
<Gyoshoku> dinner is just a happy side effect
* Kumiko kisses him and smiles
* Gyoshoku kisses back and his stomach rumbles again
<Kumiko> Poor Gyo... but I'm going to give you food now, don't you worry
<Gyoshoku> I forgot to eat anything at midday
* Gyoshoku didn't forget so much as not want to go into the dining hall and sit alone
* Kumiko kisses his cheek and finally pulls away enough to take his hand and lead him to the table
<Kumiko> you should take better care of my husband
* Gyoshoku shrugs
* Gyoshoku follows her to the table, sitting with a small sigh
<Gyoshoku> your husband won't suffer too much from missing a few meals
<Gyoshoku> he used to go a week at a time for a fast, remember
* Kumiko smiles slightly and deals out food
<Kumiko> I know...
<Kumiko> but I want to take care of you... and, well... when I'm not there, I want you to be taken care of anyway
<Kumiko> so I don't have to worry
* Gyoshoku eats and nods to her with his mouth full
* Gyoshoku swallows
<Gyoshoku> don't worry, koishii
<Gyoshoku> I just prefer your food, that's all
* Gyoshoku takes another bite and smiles to show her how much he enjoys it
* Kumiko smiles at him and starts eating herself. "Well... I'm glad you like it."
<Gyoshoku> very much
<Gyoshoku> how was your day?
<Kumiko> so... I could make riceballs for you to bring with you to the shrine...
<Gyoshoku> that's a good idea
<Kumiko> oh... it was alright, I've started working on some patchwork
<Gyoshoku> but I hate to make more work for you
<Kumiko> it's not like making riceballs take that long...
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> for all I know it takes hours
<Gyoshoku> you know me and cooking
* Kumiko smiles at him
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> did you get your meditation time in today?
<Kumiko> but, well, making riceballs is easy, and if it keeps you from going hungry...
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> good girl
<Gyoshoku> and you're practicing the breathing?
<Kumiko> yeah... of course
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> I wish I could stay and go through it all with you every day, but my goodwill is nearly used up and everyone is so anxious right now... we keep getting reports of more villages terrorised
<Kumiko> yeah...
* Kumiko bites her lip
<Gyoshoku> it's been a strain on everyone
<Kumiko> I understand that...
<Gyoshoku> people want time off to tend to members of their families who have been affected by Kagai
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> and everyone left has to be willing to sacrifice
<Gyoshoku> I don't think Midoriko-sama gets more than a few hours sleep a night
<Kumiko> that's not good...
<Gyoshoku> she's pushing herself
<Kumiko> of course... you don't always, either...
<Gyoshoku> no
<Gyoshoku> and that reminds me
* Gyoshoku sighs and looks down at his bowl
<Gyoshoku> starting day after tomorrow I will be patrolling with the slayers for... a week or so
<Kumiko> oh... *bites her lip*
<Kumiko> alright...
<Gyoshoku> I don't want to go, but I need to
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> not just because it's expected
<Gyoshoku> but I feel responsible...
* Gyoshoku sighs
<Kumiko> I know...
* Kumiko moves closer to him
<Kumiko> it'll work out...
<Gyoshoku> we're going to investigate reports of a kuromiko...this could be our chance to cripple Kagai
<Gyoshoku> and I have to go
<Kumiko> yeah... that would be good
<Kumiko> I know you have to go
<Gyoshoku> I'm one of the few who can withstand her spells
<Kumiko> I know...
<Kumiko> I'll miss you... but... but it'll only be a week or so... I think I can survive without you that long...
<Gyoshoku> you'd better
* Kumiko smiles at him
<Kumiko> I'll miss you terribly
<Gyoshoku> I'm sorry
<Gyoshoku> you know you will be always in my mind and heart
* Kumiko nods slowly
<Gyoshoku> but this will be our longest separation since we met....
<Gyoshoku> I will miss you, too
<Kumiko> to think, we haven't been away from eachother that long even once since we met...
<Kumiko> even before we knew how much we loved eachother
* Gyoshoku smiles
* Gyoshoku strokes her cheek lightly
<Gyoshoku> every day without you will be like a lifetime
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Gyoshoku> but I will live for the moment we are reunited
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> me too...
<Gyoshoku> if I promise to eat and try to sleep, will you promise to take care of yourself?
<Kumiko> I'll eat and try to sleep *smiles*
<Gyoshoku> and meditate?
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> I meditate better the closer you are, though...
<Kumiko> it's easiest to relax then...
<Gyoshoku> I know the feeling
<Gyoshoku> but, do at least try
<Kumiko> I will
<Kumiko> and you take care of yourself...
<Gyoshoku> I will
* Gyoshoku finishes up his food
* Kumiko still has a bit left, as usual
* Kumiko eats slowly
* Gyoshoku doesn't mind
<Kumiko> I... just take care of yourself
* Gyoshoku catches her eye
<Gyoshoku> Kumiko... I promise I will be careful
* Kumiko looks back
<Kumiko> I'm being... a bit silly, I guess...
<Gyoshoku> I have every intention of living a long life and getting fat off your cooking
* Kumiko smiles at him
* Gyoshoku smiles back
<Kumiko> good...
<Gyoshoku> that's your secret plan, isn't it?
<Gyoshoku> fatten me up so I'm no good fighting anymore
* Kumiko giggles slightly
<Kumiko> no...
<Gyoshoku> are you sure? I mean, this is good food
<Kumiko> I'm pretty sure
<Kumiko> though it's a good plan
* Gyoshoku laughs
<Gyoshoku> I should have known you have no ability to be devious
<Gyoshoku> if I get fat, I will have only myself to blame
<Kumiko> I just... try to imagine a week without you, and... and that is so hard... and then I imagine a longer amount of time, for any reason, and that's when... when I have to tell you to take care of yourself...
<Kumiko> but I'll stop now... because... I'm mostly just being silly...
<Gyoshoku> maybe a little
<Gyoshoku> but I understand
<Gyoshoku> I've taken care of myself for a long time
<Gyoshoku> and now I have you to come home to
<Gyoshoku> so I will be extra careful
* Kumiko takes a deep breath and nods
<Kumiko> good
<Kumiko> tell me if I'm saying it too much...
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> alright
* Kumiko finishes her food
* Kumiko puts away the bowls and then returns to Gyo's side, hugging him tightly
<Kumiko> I love you more than anything
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Gyoshoku> I know, koishii
<Gyoshoku> and I love you more than I thought I could
<Kumiko> I know...
* Gyoshoku strokes her back
<Gyoshoku> tell you what
<Gyoshoku> let's take a little walk
<Kumiko> alright
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> that way, when I'm out in the world alone again, I can look at the scenery and think of walking with you
* Kumiko smiles back and nods
* Gyoshoku gets up and helps Kumiko to her feet
* Kumiko gets to her feet, and holds on to his hand still
<Gyoshoku> you're not too tired?
<Kumiko> no...
<Gyoshoku> I don't want to wear you out
<Kumiko> yes you do... *smiles* but not too much, and not by walking
* Gyoshoku laughs
<Gyoshoku> you know me so well
<Gyoshoku> I really don't want you to overdo it, though
<Kumiko> I'm your wife, if I don't know you well, who would?
<Gyoshoku> no one
<Kumiko> and I know you want me to take care of myself...
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> you're the most precious thing in my life
<Gyoshoku> bring a wrap for your shoulders, it's getting cooler in the evenings now
* Gyoshoku fetches his shakujou and waits for her by the door
* Kumiko wraps herself up a bit and joins him again
<Kumiko> it's not that late yet, though...
<Gyoshoku> no
<Gyoshoku> but we might want to... stop... and... um... admire the wildlife or... something
* Kumiko giggles
<Kumiko> there's that, yes
<Gyoshoku> lots of interesting wildlife around here, you know
* Kumiko takes his hand. "I know."
* Gyoshoku and Kumiko walk out as the sun is setting
<Gyoshoku> if wildlife doesn't catch your fancy we could always stargaze
* Kumiko smiles
<Kumiko> we did, that first night...
<Kumiko> remember?
* Gyoshoku smiles as well
<Gyoshoku> hai
<Gyoshoku> sometimes that whole time feels like a whirlwind, a blur...
<Gyoshoku> but that night, I will always remember
<Kumiko> me too...
* Kumiko smiles at him
* Gyoshoku smiles back and squeezes her hand, leading them down the river
* Kumiko squeezes back
<Gyoshoku> I remember how I could smell the river in the wind
<Gyoshoku> and cherry blossoms... it's time to pick the cherries already...
<Kumiko> yeah...
* Gyoshoku chuckles to himself
<Kumiko> you always find that fruit very amusing, Gyo
* Kumiko smiles
<Gyoshoku> it reminds me of you
* Gyoshoku helps Kumiko over a fallen log
<Gyoshoku> do you know what else I remember from that night?
<Kumiko> hmm... no
* Kumiko walks closer to him
<Kumiko> do tell
<Gyoshoku> I remember feeling very grateful
<Gyoshoku> and it wasn't something I was used to
* Kumiko smiles at him
<Kumiko> I remember feeling very much...
<Kumiko> like I had to be close to you...
* Gyoshoku pulls her even closer as they walk and puts his arm around her
<Gyoshoku> I felt that way, too
* Kumiko leans against him, putting her arm around his waist in turn.
<Gyoshoku> but more than that, I felt like... heh, this is difficult to explain
<Kumiko> that was the right place to be, in your arms...
<Kumiko> hm?
* Gyoshoku shakes his head
<Gyoshoku> never mind
<Gyoshoku> I like your thought better
<Kumiko> tell
<Kumiko> you're better with words than I am
* Gyoshoku sighs slightly, trying to make sense of his thoughts
<Gyoshoku> it was... like a gift, being with you... getting what I wanted had always been so easy for me with women, but only because I took it... and this time, you were giving instead... and I felt like giving back
<Gyoshoku> I can't really put it into words
<Kumiko> I understand sort of what you mean, though...
<Gyoshoku> it was like trying to steal a trinket, and being given a treasure
<Kumiko> and... and... well, I'm yours, aren't I? and you're mine... and... yeah
* Kumiko blushes
<Kumiko> you're still better with words than I am
<Gyoshoku> maybe
<Gyoshoku> but I like your way of putting it, too
<Gyoshoku> I want to think of myself as belonging to you
* Kumiko smiles up at him
<Kumiko> and I belong to you, you know that
* Gyoshoku nods
<Gyoshoku> though I can't help feeling I got the much better gift in the bargain
* Kumiko sticks out her tongue at him
<Kumiko> stop talking badly about my husband
* Gyoshoku laughs
<Gyoshoku> yes, dear
<Kumiko> or I might have to threaten to hurt you
<Gyoshoku> are you threatening to threaten?
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> oh dear
* Kumiko giggles
<Gyoshoku> next thing you know we'll be promising to promise
* Kumiko nods again
* Gyoshoku leads them up the bank a bit as the river bends into a more wooded area, walks with Kumiko along the treeline in a sort of round about route back to their house
<Kumiko> anyway, I don't like it when you try to imply that I have poor judgement
<Gyoshoku> I think you have impeccable judgement...
<Gyoshoku> after all, of all the men available, I was certainly the best *winks*
<Gyoshoku> but no man could ever hope to be worthy of you... it's a flaw in the species
<Kumiko> now you're being silly
<Kumiko> but I love you anyway
<Gyoshoku> you see
<Gyoshoku> forgiving, loyal
<Gyoshoku> intelligent, beautiful
<Gyoshoku> what man could hope to measure up?
* Gyoshoku is very obviously joking in tone
* Kumiko stops and reaches up to kiss his cheek
* Gyoshoku kisses hers in turn
<Kumiko> the most handsome, kind and intelligent man I've ever met
* Gyoshoku looks back over his shoulder
<Gyoshoku> oh, you meant me *winks*
<Kumiko> yes
<Kumiko> you
<Gyoshoku> good, I thought I was going to have to beat someone up out of jealousy
* Kumiko giggles
<Gyoshoku> and what would that do for my image, hmm?
* Kumiko wraps her arms around him
<Kumiko> I love you
<Kumiko> you silly, silly man
* Gyoshoku hugs her in turn
<Gyoshoku> and I love you, silly man's wife
<Kumiko> lucky thing, that
<Kumiko> us loving eachother
<Kumiko> and being married and all
* Gyoshoku kisses her
<Gyoshoku> luckier than you know
* Kumiko kisses back
<Kumiko> I know pretty well that we're lucky
* Gyoshoku looks around
<Gyoshoku> wouldn't you know it... not a single wild animal around to admire
* Kumiko smiles and hugs him
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Kumiko> they probably know to keep away from us by now
<Gyoshoku> but I was so looking forward to admiring them
<Gyoshoku> now what will we do to pass the time?
<Kumiko> hmmmm
<Kumiko> well, you're the smart one
<Gyoshoku> am I?
* Gyoshoku kisses her neck right under her ear
<Gyoshoku> and here I was thinking I was the sex-crazed one
* Kumiko tilts her head slightly. "Maybe you're both..."
* Gyoshoku kisses up slightly and nibbles on her ear
* Kumiko gasps slightly, closing her eyes
<Kumiko> Mmm, Gyo...
* Gyoshoku smiles
<Gyoshoku> I love the way you say my name
<Gyoshoku> especially when you do that little moan first
* Kumiko smiles as well
<Kumiko> I love saying your name
<Kumiko> especially when you do that thing that makes me moan first
* Gyoshoku nibbles her ear again
* Kumiko moans his name again, finally moving her hands around from around his neck to his chest... and the ties to his sash
* Gyoshoku kisses around her neck and sucks on the skin right where her neck meets her shoulder
* Kumiko gets distracted from untying his clothes and just enjoys his attention to her neck for a while
* Gyoshoku sighs happily and kisses her lips
<Gyoshoku> maybe we should go home... if I think about -this- when I'm on patrol I doubt I'll be much good to my colleagues
* Kumiko giggles slightly and kisses back
<Kumiko> maybe, yes...
<Kumiko> and home has the advantage of a soft bed
<Gyoshoku> mhm
<Gyoshoku> and less likelihood of unsightly grass stains *winks*
* Kumiko smiles and kisses him again. "Yes, there's that, too."
* Gyoshoku hugs her tightly
* Kumiko hugs back
* Gyoshoku steps back and looks her up and down
<Gyoshoku> this is what I want to remember...
* Kumiko looks up at him
* Kumiko smiles at him
<Gyoshoku> how you seem to glow, even here
<Gyoshoku> yes, and that smile
<Gyoshoku> and the flush on your cheeks
<Gyoshoku> and this little wisp of hair *grins and smooths the hair down*
* Kumiko smiles up at him. "I'm memorising... everything I can about you..."
<Kumiko> your face... your voice...
* Gyoshoku smiles back
<Gyoshoku> let's go home?
* Kumiko nods
<Kumiko> let's...
<Kumiko> to our home
* Gyoshoku takes her hand and leads them back toward the house by a slightly different route than they took down the river
<Gyoshoku> the nights will be very cold without you
<Kumiko> yeah...
<Kumiko> lonely...
* Gyoshoku nods
<Kumiko> we'll have to... to make up for lost time when you get back
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> you certainly know how to motivate a man to come home safely
* Kumiko smiles up at him
<Kumiko> I need you
<Gyoshoku> and I need you
* Gyoshoku stops, they are nearly home, and looks up at the sky which is just showing the first stars
* Kumiko stops and looks up as well
<Gyoshoku> everywhere you go, the stars are the same
<Kumiko> I'll look at them, then...
<Gyoshoku> and so will I
<Kumiko> and remember that...
* Gyoshoku chuckles
<Gyoshoku> maybe it will make you seem closer
<Kumiko> maybe...
* Kumiko hugs him
<Kumiko> I'll miss you so very much
* Gyoshoku hugs back
<Gyoshoku> let's think about now
<Kumiko> I know...
<Gyoshoku> we have tonight and tomorrow
* Kumiko nods
<Gyoshoku> maybe I shouldn't have told you so soon
<Kumiko> no... I'm glad you did...
* Kumiko sighs
<Kumiko> and at the same time, I can't help missing you already
* Gyoshoku hugs again
<Gyoshoku> stop missing me when I'm holding you
<Gyoshoku> I want to make every moment we have together memorable
* Kumiko hugs him
<Kumiko> alright
* Kumiko closes her eyes and hugs him even tighter
<Kumiko> I need to be close to you
<Gyoshoku> you are
* Gyoshoku stoops and pulls her up into his arms, and then carries her the rest of the way home
<Kumiko> I know...
* Kumiko holds on to him
<Kumiko> and I... won't miss you while you're holding me... but... but I can only answer for when you're actually holding me...
* Gyoshoku sets her down inside the house and leans in to kiss her, using his foot to slide the door closed
<Gyoshoku> then I will hold you all night
* Kumiko kisses back
<Kumiko> good
* Gyoshoku reaches around and unties her obi, kissing her neck at the same time
* Kumiko smiles slightly, finishing with untying the sash and working her hands under his clothes
* Gyoshoku moans and moves his hands under her robes as well
* Kumiko reaches up to kiss his neck, while working on getting him out of the haori
<Kumiko> I need to be *kiss* as close to you *kiss* as humanly possible *kiss*
<Gyoshoku> ahhh, gods
* Gyoshoku lets his hands leave her long enough to help her with removing his clothing
* Gyoshoku pulls her to him as soon as he's free of the clothing, pushing her robes aside so they are skin to skin
* Kumiko reaches up to kiss him, while pressing close
* Gyoshoku kisses back
<Gyoshoku> I love you *kiss* so much
* Gyoshoku finishes removing her robes and wraps his arms around her tightly
<Kumiko> I love you too *kiss*
* Gyoshoku rests his forehead against hers, catching his breath and trying to calm down a bit
* Kumiko looks up into his eyes, still clinging to him
* Gyoshoku smiles at her, breathing deeply
<Gyoshoku> there's no need to be so rushed
* Kumiko smiles back
<Kumiko> I know...
<Kumiko> I just... I need to be close to you... you know...?
<Gyoshoku> I know
<Gyoshoku> well, we're pretty close right now
* Gyoshoku shifts slightly against her to illustrate the point
<Kumiko> mmm... yes, we are...
* Kumiko smiles at him, stroking his back slowly
* Gyoshoku mirrors her actions
<Kumiko> bed?
* Gyoshoku nods and kisses her deeply while backing slowly toward the bed
* Gyoshoku kneels down when he gets there, not wanting to let go of her for even a second
* Kumiko kisses him back and goes with him, taking it step by step until they're in bed without having had let go of eachother at all
<Gyoshoku> this reminds me of our wedding night...s
<Kumiko> being tied together?
<Gyoshoku> mhm
* Kumiko smiles at him
<Kumiko> I like being tied to you
* Gyoshoku runs his hands down her body
<Gyoshoku> I'm glad
<Gyoshoku> because I like having you tied to me, too
* Kumiko lets one hand trail down his side slowly. "That's good... because I'm never going to let go of you."
* Gyoshoku shivers slightly and kisses her
* Kumiko kisses back
* Gyoshoku strokes her skin lovingly, and kisses her everywhere he can reach, eventually granting her wish of being as close as humanly possible to each other
* Kumiko does the same, and is very happy with being so close to him
* Gyoshoku is very happy with the closeness, and the process... voices his satisfaction with the entire event loudly and repeatedly
* Kumiko is very satisfied with the process of closeness, and lets Gyo know, too
* Gyoshoku holds her in an almost-as-close-as-humanly-possible way
* Kumiko keeps clinging to him
<Kumiko> I love you so very much
<Gyoshoku> I love you, too
<Kumiko> and we're going to live happily ever after
<Kumiko> because I say so
* Gyoshoku smiles and nods
<Gyoshoku> alright
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