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She walked down a well known and worn path with tired feet. Her haori was draped over one of her arms, hoping whatever slightest of breeze there was would help cool her skin. Looking between the trees, she could still make out a low hanging moon. But it was not the heat that had her taking to walking out of the village and into the woods these past few nights, although it didn't help much. No. There was something in the air, she could taste it, smell it, feel it brushing along her skin like a lovers caress.

For the past week or so, she had been carrying a small bag of what she held dearest to her heart. She did not know what was to come. Her mind had become numb since the final battle. She had decided to live in the past, seeing as she really had no future due to her time hopping had caused her studies to be... less then stellar. She had passed all her grades, but just barely. It wasn't she didn't understand the material she had to learn, her teachers had even said so themselves. It was just the tests, the evil, evil tests with their stupid questions.

Her mother was a little upset with the whole school thing, but what could she do? If she didn't, she didn't even want to think of what would happen to the world or the future if she didn't do what she had done. Everything her mother wanted for her, may not have even existed.

So she stayed in the past, it had accepted her, taught her with both gentle and harsh hands, much like her mother. The lessons may not have been wanted, but what she learned from them in the end made her stronger. After the first year of constantly being saved made her tired of the role she played in the group of shard hunters and to kill Naraku. So she asked, near begged, for Kaede and Miroku to help her with her spiritual abilities, and then the same could be said to actual combat lessons. Sango had taught her the basics with a sword and unarmed combat. For years, they had pushed her, teaching her all they could in compact form.

It felt like when she was cramming for school, only it was physical and gave her more then just migraines from over studying. Oh she got those, plus bruises, sprained ankles and joints, scratches, a few dislocations. Hell she even had a broken bone or two. Yes, her teachers were slave drivers, but the results were something she was grateful for.

She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts.

Her eyes narrowed as she watched the moon as a sudden weariness took over her. The world started to tilt, her vision started to blur while her limbs started to grow heavy and numb.

She stumbled to the closest tree, this feeling reminded her of the time she had unknowingly drank youkao sake, too much of it. Or, on a less than pleasant memory, when Mukotsu the poison master had poisoned her.

She could just barely make out the Goshinboku as she fell against it, clutching to it for support. It was too soon, whatever it was. She wasn't ready yet for whatever was yet to come. She furrowed her brows and clenched her teeth. She didn't get to say anything to the others.

The Goshinboku stood tall and proud as it's greatest miko fell to lay among it's roots, watching over as she slept, as another was calling upon the need of her aid. It was saddened, knowing she was not to come back. Though it prayed to the Kami that she find what she could not here. In the meantime, it would teach her what she would need while she slept from this world so she could awaken in the one that needed her.

A wind rushed through its boughs, cool and sweet, sending a few leaves of the great tree to brush against the slumbering miko. Another gust blew her image away, the others not knowing how the fates would force their precious friend to once again take to arms and fight a battle that was truly not her own.

A warm breeze caused a dark strand of hair to brush into her face. Her nose scrunched up at the tickling sensation. Absently she brushed it away. She was so enjoying the patched of sun that hit her skin, she felt like a cat sunning itself. Now she knew what was so attractive that had Buyo doing it all the time.

 

She hummed and stretched, and let out a content sigh as her back let out few cracks from a stiff sleep.

Sitting up with a lazy fox like smile and stretching her arms above her head, she frowned when a few more pops sounded out through the air. How on earth did she sleep last night? Another breeze brought her out of her senses. Her eyes fluttered open and then widened at the sight that was before her.

Tall wide trees were all around her, she sat against one that stood on the edge of a wide road. Her arms were still raised above her head. This was not where she fell asleep the night before. Letting her arms drop back to her sides, she looked up to the tree whose roots she was nestled among. The tree was huge, she would give it that, but it didn't have the massive amount spiritual power the Goshiboku possessed. She looked down into her lap, noticing that her haori laid a bit crumpled, in it were a few of Goshinboku's fragrant leaves. Picking one up she twirled it between her thumb and forefinger and brush it under he nose taking in its scent trying to figure out where she was.

Looking up once again, she decided it would most likely be best if she didn't stay in one place. She gathered all the leaves, she pocketed them and threw on her haori. She had no idea where, or better yet when she was, best not to look half naked. Although her tank top covered up the girls as her mother had started to call them after she had hit puberty. All the same, better to be safe then sorry. At least she wasn't wearing a skirt. A mental snort.

She stretched one last time as soon as she was on her feet, she looked about on trying to decide on which way she should to go. Feeling a tug from one direction, she went with that. It was odd, it was similar to when she felt a jewel shard, but this feeling was mixed. It was great evil, along with great innocence. An odd combination, but she followed none the less.

The air around her was old, ancient even, much more than compared to the Feudal Era. She'd never felt such magic either, or so much of it either. Her feet moved without sound, her mind though was going so many mile a minute. Nothing around her seemed familiar at all. There were no landmarks that she recognized, nor any villages.

She pulled out a map she had bought some years ago of Japan from a wanderers point of view. Rivers, mountains, forests and streams along with the more well known paths and roads were on it. She tried comparing it to what she was walking down now, but couldn't really find where she could be.

Furrowing her brows, she could feel a migraine in the making. That and something was whispering in the back of her mind. Things she had never heard of, places and names that were foreign to her. New languages she had never heard of, but because her mind was so focused on trying to figure out what the Fates wanted from her this time, she wasn't really paying much attention to anything.

After an hour of gaining nothing from the map, she stuffed it back into her small bag with a huff, not really caring if she damaged it or not. Then she tried to think of this from another perspective. How would the others react to such a situation?

Inuyasha, well he would throw a bitch fit, and end up blaming her for such a situation. Comparing her to Kikyo and how she would never end up lost. Her face scowled, her upper lip raised in a silent snarl. Baka, teme really. Thank the Kami she had overcome the childish crush she had on the inu hanyou after she started training.

Shippo, to young to really take things in perspective, but oh how she missed her kit, her son though not of her blood. Seven years to watch him grow was a great gift she would never give for anything.

Sango would be wary, after so many deceiving her, using her for their own gain with her only to end up with the shit end of the stick in the end. She might blame it on a spell, curse, a trick or trap of an evil much like Naraku. Even more so now that she and Miroku now had a family of their own.

Ah, Miroku. Although a pervert and con artist with a silver tongue, he was wise or very knowledgeable about many things. Even with the curse in his hand, he always was one to help her and the others through a hard time, always had that... smile that was just so Miroku. Thinking of him reminded her of the song from Nickelback.

She smiled and started to hum it. It was a rather good song, and she remembered how Miroku agreed with the song when he heard it the first time. Through her of course. So when she started to sing it out of nowhere, it wasn't really all that surprising.

My best friend gave me the best advice.
He said each day's a gift and not a given right.
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind.
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride.

She danced to the song, even though the beat and actual music was only in her head and couldn't be heard by any other. Not that she could see another near by to discourage her for being improper. Psh, so what if it was, she was having fun.

If today was you last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like you last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today's you last day?

Skipping and jumping or spinning about. Her arms were spread out above her with a bright smile on her face, as if she were to embrace the very sunshine itself. Hair and the edges of her clothing flowing about around her as she did so.

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

She ignored the nagging in the back of her head to pay attention. This was unknown territory, but for reasons unknown to her, she was feeling great. She had never felt so at one with nature before. Her aura brushed along and against the trees, she could feel them rejoicing with her in her merriment.

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That's you'd finally fall in love if today was you last day?

And in the deepest part of her heart, she really hoped she would finally be able to find someone who would love her for her. Not for being a link to a lost past, for her power and abilities, but for who she was as a person.

If today was you last day
Would you make you mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

She gave a mental snort to that. If time wasn't really on her side, then it wouldn't have allowed her to travel into the past. It wouldn't have stopped after traveling into the Palace beyond the mirror. True she couldn't really rewind it for trying to undo personal mistakes, but the whole time line was given a second chance through her.

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodby to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like you last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?
And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

She stopped giving one last grand sweep of her arms in the air after a last spin. Her face was upturned to bask in the patch of sun that managed to break through the tree canopy. Her hair floated down to brush against the small of her back, light reflecting off it in gleams of blue.

The sounds of shouts and cries coming closer brought her out of her little happy thoughts. She spun around trying to figure out where it was coming from. The next thing she knew was two things, maybe three if her head wasn't damaged. One, she was now on her back, two there was a heavy weight on top of her, which she could account due to four people on top of her. And three, she hurt.

"Oh! That was close!"

"I think I broken something."

"Trust a Brandybuck and a Took."

She really didn't care much at the moment what they were saying, it was not at all registering that she could understand them to begin with. She had just been squashed, and someones hands were pushing down on her hip bone rather painfully, and her head was still spinning.

"Oww~, that hurt." after she mumbled out her own discomfort the others seemed to still and quickly scurried off of her. As soon as the weight was off of her, she took in as much air as possible, a hand rubbing her forehead and she slowly pushed into a sitting position.

"Real sorry about that Miss! Didn' mean to throw you to the ground like tha'!" her eyes went over to the voice. Her eyes narrowed at the slight pain from the sudden throw to the ground, though they widened at the sight of what had thrown her to the ground, by landing on her.

Three small beings she had never seen before. Two of which were busily distracted and picking wild mushrooms, the third was wringing his hands in slight worry. Blond wavy hair atop a round pale face, though it was slightly smudged from the fall, and wide worried hazel eyes looking at her. She took in the rest of him. His clothes were foreign, resembling what she thought to have come from the far west, Europe. But his slightly pointed ears and somewhat large harry feet told her otherwise.

Just where the hell had she been brought to this time?

Chapter Text

"Put her in quarantine…start the blood work and run a full series of tests, let's see where we can go with this one."

"Sir, tests are complete and a full success. Subject took and has bonded with the anti-virus well."

"Ladies and gentlemen, seems we found our new cure."

Blue eyes snapped open, the pupils shrank at the brightness of the room, before said eyes slammed shut. The owner of the blue eyes moaned as pain slowly throbbed through their body and tried to move. Their body was stiff and felt like it hadn't moved for a while and the, simple, pain that throbbed not seconds ago was now searing through them.

Sitting up, black hair fell into their face, cold cords brushed along their skin. They lifted their head up and slowly opened their eyes once again. In the reflection of a larger mirror like window they saw their own face. From what they could tell, they were female. Long black hair, pale skin, of Asian decent and perhaps around early to mid twenties of age. Other then that she couldn't remember much at the moment.

Looking around the room she noticed that it was white and brightly lit. The only objects in the room was herself, the table she was on, the lamps and a monitor of some sort. Upon a closer look she noticed that it was her vitals on the screen. What scared her though was what was boldly written 'Project Kagome: Success'.

At seeing the name 'Kagome', did everything come back. In quick flashes did she remember who she was, what she did in her life, the whole quest and completing it. Finding Sesshoumaru in the present where he continued any training she had done in the past to more modern terms and then hiring her as co-owner and assistant to his company.

She remembered how Sesshoumaru and herself came to America to talk about trade or something with a major company called Umbrella. It wasn't until he denied wanting to after he found out some more about some, unsavory, projects, employees and unsettling rumors that he didn't want anything to do with them. After that their stay in the city went to shits. They were then stormed by Umbrella personnel. After that, she woke up here.

Coming back to reality, she started to pull the wired needles out, and disconnecting the monitors from herself. Looking once again around the room she took notice that the only way in and out was locked by card key. Taking a needle she tore it from the cord, and went to the door. Her body shook and her legs were slightly unstable, but she made it. Leaning heavily against the door she fiddled with the needle inside the slot.

A near minute went by before the door popped open, the air hissed as the pressure from inside and outside the room stabilized, causing a small rush of air to stir her hair and the hospital gown she wore. Opening the door just enough, she slipped through, instantly wrapping her arms around herself at the temperature difference.

Walking down the hallways, Kagome found it eerie at the lack of activity, the overturned furniture, the paper fluttering about on the small breezes that worked about the halls. But the reception area was the worst. All windows and the glass doors were shattered, and dark red was a stark contrast against the pristine white. What happened while she was in the room and for how long?

Looking around she found a found trench coat, thanking anyone for leaving it behind. Without hesitation, she put it on and walked out the door, not caring that she was bare foot and walking on broken glass. Outside was like a war zone, the air was thick from smoke and dust, fires still burned but there was no sign of life.

Vehicles lined the streets, all ruined, but it was the News papers that caught her eye. "The Dead Walk!". Her curiousness turned serious after that. Walking up to a police car she noticed the busted window, any weapon that was in there was now gone, so she went to the next closest one. Using her elbow she broke in and took whatever weapon was in there, then went to the back and broke into the trunk. Extra rounds along with another gun, some flares and a bag, better then nothing.

With that she started walking down the streets, keeping her eyes and ears sharp and open for any threats as well as a place to get proper clothes and more weapons.

It was half an hour later before she came across a clothing store that still had clothes. She went in, armed and ready for anything. After going over the entire store and finding no one, she went and looked for whatever could fit her but was also easy to move in. Before she could grab anything she fell to her knees as something moved inside her, trying to cling to her very being. She could feel it just under her skin, and see it as she looked at her arms and hands. Her natural defenses didn't take to it, so her stomach emptied it's very little contents on the floor.

Kami, what the hell did they do to me! And more importantly, who are they? When I find out, I'm going to rip them a new one!

Standing on shaky legs, she went looking once again for suitable clothing, finding a pair of black knee length carpis, a sports-bra like shirt, a pair of leather boots that hit just shy of her knees and a black leather cropped jacket that stopped just under her bust. With that she quickly dressed on the spot, no need for modesty when there was no one around. Afterward, she went on her way again, coming across a sort of weapons store, and thinking if only she was so lucky during the first time she came across trouble on such a scale.

She took what she needed, strapping any holsters to her body that fit the guns she had, and grinned when she saw a few blades. Better to have in case she ran out of ammo. On her thighs she tied and strapped on pouches of extra ammo, and whatever medical supplies the store had. They wouldn't help much against the undead and however it spread, but better to have and not need, than be unprepared.

With that she started on once again, guns loaded the one in her hand armed, the sawed off shot gun and the only accurate Japanese blade strapped to her back, the leather bands meeting and crossing between her breasts.

Walking out of the store she realized it was now night, taking in her surroundings before making a move in which direction she wanted to go. Little did she know she was being watched through the city security cameras.

Dr. Ashford watched his laptop screen jumping from camera to camera to find anyone that could help get his daughter out of the city alive, more then willing to give them a free ride out of the city if they succeeded in doing so. Thankfully he knew where his daughter was, his hope was that she was all right and still alive.

"Come on, there still has to be some one alive in this city."

And then he saw it, one of the cameras spotted a lone woman, that was a start. Another camera then spotted another woman, a few other cameras popped up with a few small groups. A few police, Umbrella personnel, maybe a few S.T.A.R.S. Things were looking up.

After a few encounters with some of the undead, Kagome realized she was walking blindly in this strange city, and nearly shot off a payphone as it went off. Ignoring it she went on her way, till the next payphone started to ring, she continued to walk. At the third phone she was fed up and decided to answer in case the sound drew the attention of any undead near by.

"What is it with woman survivors and not picking up?" she looked at the phone in confusion.

Placing the receiver back to her ear she spoke. "Can I help you?"

"Yes, actually you can. I can get you out of the city, but I need you to get my daughter first." she could hear the concern in his tone, and the urgency as well. She understood, when it came to Shippo, she went all out when it came to him.

It was his offer of a way out of this hell hole that caught her attention. "I'm listening." she needed to get out and back home, make sure Sesshoumaru was alright, and tell him what was happening here in Raccoon City.

"My name is Dr. Ashford, I run the genetics and viral research divisions of Umbrella Corporation. What I want from you is to get my daughter, Angela, out of the city. But you need to do this before sunrise, otherwise the entire city will be sanitized, you along with it." she stood there watching all corners as she took this information in, only one question she had to ask.

"And, where is your daughter?"

"She's hiding in her school, Raccoon City Junior School at 400 Ivy Street."

"Got it." with that she hung up and made her way.

Chapter Text

Sesshoumaru sat behind his desk staring at the group before him that had just asked for her help. Although they wouldn't tell him, but they would tell her, or should he say K. As soon as they mentioned who they needed help from he had called for her top be picked up, hesitantly, but only for a second. He was not afraid of a tiny mere slip of a human woman. No. Not he, the great and terrible Western Lord Sesshoumaru.

"Would any of you care for something to drink while we wait for, K's arrival? It may take a while."

"I'm sure we'll manage just fine."

The leader of this... odd group spoke up for them all. A middle aged man, American dressed in a military uniform of an operation he was not aware of. Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes for a mere moment at the thought of not knowing these... people and that they wanted her help. Just as quickly he was normally taking in group before him. They all, save one, wore similar outfits. Black leather jackets with black shirts underneath, camo pants and combat boots. It was dressed up, but ready for anything nonetheless. The man wore a black beret with a eagle's head for a insignia, that all wore somewhere on their persons.

To his left was the only woman. Red hair, peach pale skin with equally pale blue eyes. She seemed to be closer to the young dark skinned man to her own left. Close cropped hair, very minimum amount of facial hair, and somehow despite the seriousness of their plight, he seemed to have this air about him much similar to that of the kit's.

To the man's right was another young man. One who was taking the situation more seriously than that of the rest of the group. A slight creasing of the skin on his brow, the almost stiff posture, the tightening at the corner of his hazel eyes, and the ever so often clenching of his hands. His build was that what she would call, poster boy, for the military.

Behind them stood three males. The first one that drew his immediate attention was a dark skinned man. His hair was down closely similarly to that of the two youngest males, although his seemed more in the form resembling a Mohawk just ever so slightly, and his left ear sported a long piece of metal hanging from the lobe. This man very much looked like he did not want to be standing in his office at the moment. Arms crossed, a sour scowl on his face. Oh yes, he did not want to be there.

The next visible face belonged to that of shorter man that looked southern european mixed with northern african. Dark eyes behind black wire framed glasses, short somewhat tussled hair, facial hair to a minimum and an ear piece. He himself was busy with something in his hands, hidden from his sight, and whatever it was had his own brows furrowed in either concentration or displeasure.

And lastly, the oddest of the group before him, a man covered from head to toe in a form of body armor. Coal black in coloring, black gloves and pants, a slitted visor over his eyes and a sheathed katana on his back. He was the only one with a weapon openly displayed, for he was sure the others were also armed, but kept them concealed from his sight. Another thing that displeased him.

"So, what is it you require from K?"

"That's something I feel we can only discuss with him when he gets here. Classified."

Sesshoumaru raised a brow at the he more than the 'classified', or in other words not being told. Again, his ire rose up a notch at the entire situation before him. The sound of static from his desk phone shook him from his darker thoughts of what he would have done if they were in the past.

"Sesshoumaru-sama. Your brother and K are here. Shall I send them up?"

"Yes."

More static broke through and a slight pause before his secretary's reply filled the office. "Are... are you sure sir? K looks very... upset."

"Yes, send them up."

He pinched the bridge of his nose, knowing a headache was coming on. Leaning on his desk, he let out a silent sigh.

"Everything alright?" Sesshoumaru waved a hand in the air, as if to brush off the mans question. Oh if everything was alright, then the heavens would be raining kittens and she would stop conspiring with his mate behind his back.

Sitting up straight and fixing his suit jacket at the tell tale signs of Kagome's angry shouts sounding through the floor, of course his superior hearing caught it on long before the humans did. This was proving to be interesting in the least.

"Inuyasha! If you don't put me down this instant... I'm going to s-i-t you so hard... they'll be feeling it across the world!"

"Keh! Don't blame me woman. Blame the prick."

"Put. Me. DOWN!"

The door opened to a very irritated looking pair. Inuyasha, disguised as a human, much like himself, with long black hair in a low ponytail, warm brown eyes instead of the honey. He wore a button up and tie, but a pair of jeans and casual shoes. A deep scowl marred his face.

Over his shoulder was a woman, propping herself up to be able to pear at his face. Fists clenched onto the back of his shirt, face flushed and blue eyes sparking in anger. She wore a long knit sweater over a pair of shorts, and a baggy t-shirt. Her hair was in a messy loose bun. But she had done so in such a way, that she couldn't see the guests that also occupied the room with them. Other than that... nothing different from what he remembered of her in the past.

As soon as she was set on her feet, she kicked his shin and then stuck her chin up defiantly. The leader of the group smirked at the scene, and muttered 'spit fire' or something along the lines under his breath.

"Ow! What was that for?" Inuyasha to a step back, he may have been hanyuo, but that kick had an extra bit of power behind it. Taking a step back and grabbing his shin, he kept a weary eye on her.

"That's for listening to him for the first time in you life when it requires you dragging me out of BED!" with that she whirled around and pinned the taiyoukai with an fiery gaze, and marched right up to his desk.

"You! You had better be in a life or death situation, cause if not..." her eyes narrowed dangerously on him as her voice went just as dangerously low. "... I'll put you in one!" leaning her hands down on his desk. He could see the exhaustion behind the fire. She was dead on her feet. If it weren't for her anger, he was sure she would collapse and he knew he wasn't helping. Especially after what he put her through the last half year.

When he raised a brow at her words, she threw her hands up in the air with an exasperated sigh while spinning on her heel. Her hands instantly fell at the sight of the group gathered around where guests normally sat. A lazy eyebrow quirked up before the both angled downward and she pinched the bridge of her nose.

"You know what... I'm not gonna ask. Cause I'm going home. To a nice home cooked meal, hot shower, and to my nice warm bed." the last bit was said with a longing sigh as she waved a hand about before turning and making her way to the door.

"They need your assistance."

Her entire body froze at the sudden words. Not only due to the tone of his voice, which surprisingly sounded almost as tired as she felt, but the fact that he said it in English as well. The silence in the room caused her spine to stiffen, and she twitched as she turned to face her older adoptive brother. The old tick in her right brow came back with full force, and her speech was slightly stuttered and slurred due to her anger, irritation and exhaustion.

"A-and I nee~d... proper sleep and nutrition." she replied in English. Her teeth and jaw hurt slightly from how hard she had them clenched and grinding against each other. She once again spun around to try and make her way to the door that led to her freedom, four months of paid vacation. But then again, with Kagome's luck, the key word was try.

Her first step forward was thwarted when she was met with a hard wall and walked smack dab into it, throwing her off balance for a second and to take a step back. Small hands flew up to her abused nose, which also muffled her quiet cry of pain. Narrow eyes glared as best she could at the tall man before her, though it was most likely as effective a wilted sunflower trying to frighten away a storm cloud. Yeah, lame analogy, but it was something her father used to say when she was a child to try and cheer her up.

"You need to come with us."

Behind her hands, her lips pulled back in a silent snarl, and her blue eyes darkened as she tried to put as much of her frustration into her glare towards the man before her. Her hands dropped to her sides clenched into fists before planting them on her hips.

"Listen here..." she gave a momentary pause to step back and take in his appearance. "...Captain America, I need a lot of things. Taking orders from strangers, is not one of them!" she had made sure to put more emphasis of her words by thrusting her finger into the mans chest. When his brows merely tilted downwards, she gave a sigh as her shoulders slumped in defeat and only to stiffen when an arm dropped around them.

"Aw, come on now. You help us out, you'll be doing my friend here a favor." a dark skinned mand leaned down closer to her, ignoring the slight growl of her displeasure that she released. "In fact, you may be doing us all a favor!"

"Kindly remove yourself from my person." she sent a quick glare Inuyasha's way when he tried to silence his snickers.

"Don't be like that!" his grip around her shoulders tightened minutely.

"Remover yourself from my person." what was it with her and getting caught up in deaf men or always having to repeat herself with them. Not only that, she could feel anger coming from the only female that was with the group.

"Now, you just help my man here, and..."

It happened so fast. She had taken the man's hand that had refused to leave her person, had twisted it behind his back and he now also had her knee pressing into his back. She planted him face down on the low coffee table, his twisted arm still in her grip.

"Do NOT act so familiar with me." she put a tad amount of pressure on the arm in her grip before releasing him and stepping away, also making sure to push off from the knee planted in his back. She gave a glare to Captain America and walked around him, making it only as far as Inuyasha before she actually started to sway on her feet. Seeing that she did need his help, said person scooped her up bridal style into his arms and started for the door.

"I love her. And she needs your help."

Kagome had Inuyasha stop and looked back at him. Tired half lidded eyes took in the group one last time before even that became to much for her.

"She feel the same way?" she speech was slurred, and near inaudible with how quiet she was now and the yawn that broke in between.

The reply came without hesitation and was strong with his conviction. "Yes."

"Then who am I to deny love. Call me..." another yawn and her head fell against Inuyasha's shoulder, already her body and mind finally shutting down for it's much needed sleep. "... at the end of the week. We can... talk... then." and just like that, she was out.

Duke, or Captain America as Kagome had dubbed him, made a move to step forward and to protest, but was stopped at Inuyasha's hissed command.

"You've waited this long to call in, a week won't hurt much either."

Sesshoumaru sighed as the whole scene finally came to an end, and the two men waited a few moments before returning to their seats. The one complaining about physical abuse he endured from woman, the other clenching his jaw and fists.

"Well, I must apologize for her... actions. For the past half year she has been trying to recover two years work from memory alone." already he was going through which contact information he was going to give out to these people before him.

"Isn't that was computers are for?"

Without bothering to look up to reply, Sesshoumaru wrote down the few details along with the contact information.

"We were hacked six months ago. In order to save all her work and the company, she took an ax to the servers effected."

Breaker's brow lifted in disbelief. Could someone really do that? A quick glance at Snake Eyes reminded him, that yes, someone could and would if the means were necessary and time was short. His brows furrowed when he remembered how he skimmed cyber space looking for anything that could help Duke, on his urgings and words. Did his... looking cause the woman to drastically kill any servers?

"These are the contacts for Kagome. Please do wait until the end of the week. And once again, I apologize for her temper." he handed the obvious man in charge. "... forewarning though." he had yet to release the paper when a sudden thought struck him.

"What you all just saw now was a rather mild version of her temper. I do suggest you try and stay on her good side and let her do what she needs to do to... help you." he released the paper, and both men sat back into their seats. "Her temper can be rather... explosive." another sigh was released. He just knew he would be hearing from a lot of people by the end of the day. His mate, the kit, the miko's mother were just a few from the never ending list of associates that said miko seemed to acquire throughout the ages.

"Is there anything else that I can assist you in?"

"No, this should just about do it." with that said, all who were seated stood up, Sesshoumaru walked to stand in front of his desk and shook the man's hand.

"I thank you for your time. If anything should come up, we'll contact you or... Miss. Kagome." the man smirked when properly placing gender to 'K' now that they knew her identity.

"Hn, preferably me. Seeing as she will most likely cut herself from the outside world for the week."

After that, farewells were exchanged and the group left his office building, the one man grumbling the entire time after his abuse. Sesshoumaru let himself plop back into his seat, feeling very much too old at the moment. Pressing the button on his desk phone, he appointed his secretary to cancel anything he had for the rest of the day and that once she was done, she too had the day off as well.

All he wanted to do right now was go home and relax, maybe take some stress out in the dojo. It seemed even with the second chance in life, the miko would be caught up in something. After a certain age, one would think he could no longer be surprised, but with Kagome... Things would never be smooth or relaxed. She had a way of bringing utter chaos no matter where she went or whether it was her intention of not. But... surprisingly enough, despite the chaos that followed her, everything cleared up for the better whenever she was involved. Kami forbid, she was always involved.

Chapter Text

Kagome let out a yelp when and extra weight landed on her, causing herself and whatever it was that landed on her to crash against the moist soil bottom of the well. She let out a groan, her eyes screwed shut from the fall. Leaning up to rest on an elbow, her other hand came up to rub the back of her head, not at all minding the extra weight atop her at the moment. Gingerly, her fingers ran through her hair, checking for any signs of blood or forming bumps, just in case. A relieved sigh was let past her lips when her search revealed neither.

Bringing down her hand and placing it behind her to support her weight, she finally opened her eyes and looked down at what it was that collided with her in the first place. Blinking a few times, making sure her mind wasn't playing tricks on her, she stared wide eyed at the large, large, black dog that was sprawled across her.

With the hand she just used to check the back of her own head, she brought it slowly and cautiously to the dogs muzzle, relieved to feel warm puffs of air beat against her skin. Looking up briefly, she wondered how, or why, the dog was in the well to begin with. Looking back down, she took in it's form.

It was big, almost the size of Kouga's wolves even. It's fur was a dark, dark grey, perhaps black even. It looked a bit... scraggly in need of a good wash, but she was sure after it was, it was a handsome creature.

With the hand that was still held before it's muzzle, she tentatively stroked through it's fur, one to check for any form of wounds, the other, she couldn't help herself. It was a tick. One that had been itching as soon as she saw the scruffy looking thing. Slowly making sure to try and take in as much as she could before it woke up and attack her, she went over as much as she could. She was shocked at how easy it was for her to feel and count it's ribs, it seemed underneath all the fur, it was nothing but skin and bones.

She tsked. Another thing she hated about humans in general. It was sometimes disappointing to be considered being part of such an ignorant race. It was no wonder why so many powerful youkai had such hate towards the race in general. But that had nothing to do with the problem at hand.

Shaking her head to break herself free of her thoughts, Kagome looked back down at the dog in her lap. So far, she couldn't tell much, well she could tell that it was only knocked out cold, and was in need of a good bath and good food. But other than that, she needed to get it and herself out of the well.

Looking up, she noticed that no one had come yet to retrieve her. Looked like she was on her own of getting them both out of there. Running her hand on last time through it's fur, her lips twitched when the dog seemed to shiver and move closer to her petting, letting out a barely audio-able whine when she stopped her ministrations.

As carefully as she could, she removed the dog from her lap and got into a kneeling position, and just as carefully, placed the dog around her shoulders. She was shocked how light it was, weighing not much more than her old school bag. Anger boiled her blood, and she couldn't wait to get face to face with the people who caused the dog to be in such a state.

Standing slowly, holding the legs, and moving so it's head was more or less tucked under her chin, she positioned herself so that she could climb up the well's walls, and that it wouldn't fall off. It took much longer, having to pause and readjust so it wouldn't fall. But soon, she was up and out of the well huffing and puffing as she slid the creature from her shoulders, and plopping herself to lay on the cool grass.

Inuyasha wouldn't like her bringing in another stray, as he liked to call it, but she didn't care. She was old enough to make her own decisions, just like he was. She was a 23 year old, she was sure that qualified as old enough.

They had defeated Naraku, but had re-shattered the jewel in the process. Actually, Kikyo did, and Kagome wasn't afraid to point it out when a certain dog eared friend of hers liked to try and compare the two. But during the hunting of Naraku and the shards, she had taken up training from Sesshoumaru, much to Inuyaha's disgust, Sango, Miroku and Kaede. Yup, so this time around, she wasn't going to hide behind her friends or be clueless.

Taking in a deep breath, she rolled her head to look at the dog once again, and she slowly let the air back out. It looked even bigger in the light of the dieing sun, and it's fur revealed to be a coal black in color. Lightly, she pocked at it with her aura, and shot up. Wide eyes stared down at the... dog. She thought it was a dog, but it had the aura of a human. Just what had she stumbled upon this time?

Biting her lower lip, she looked on towards the village at the bottom of the well's hill. Oh Inuyasha was going to be pissed when he found out. Well, more like if he found out. Her caring heart and nature balked at the idea of leaving... the dog, behind. Her more wary side was questioning her sanity. Looking back at the dog, she decided to bring it along, she'd take full responsibility for it, screw Inuyasha.

Picking herself up and off the grass, she once more slung the creature over her shoulders. Perhaps it was a person cursed, or being punished by the gods? Oh she hoped not. Slowly and with steady well known steps, she made her way towards the village, towards a well known hut. It was going to be a long night.

 

He couldn't believe it. After the fighting was done, the enemy fled the battle, he fell to his knees on the craggy sharp rocks beneath. It wasn't fair. He had only spent a short amount of time with the man, one of the closest he had to a family, and now he was gone. Dead. And all because he fell through the Veil.

"I'm sorry Harry."

Said boy just bowed his head, his arms hung limply at his sides, fingers barely holding onto his wand. It was the first true loss for him, as he didn't really remember his parents. He never felt so lost, defeated, so alone.

Large, strong, warm hands gripped his upper arms and helped to haul him up to his feet and take him away from the dark and depressing chamber. His feet could barely pick themselves up to place one before the other, and his want fell to the ground, clattering and echoing around them all. He didn't have the will to pick it up, to leave the place, to do anything at the moment.

A second set of hands paused Professor Lupin's aid of escorting the young man from leaving when the youngest Weasley boy presented Harry's fallen wand to them. Nodding his head, he took the offered wand and stuffed it into an inner pocket to his coat. Reforming his around the boy, he was once again directing them out of the chamber, the others already waiting in the entrance way.

Harry glanced over his shoulder one last time at the Veil, the object that took his Godfather away. He kept his eyes on it till the doors to the chamber that housed the damn thing closed and locked behind them.

Chapter Text

Her grip tightened around the man that just turned her life upside down. Did she ever feel sick, she had moved at speeds without the use of any modern mode of transportation, but what she just experienced was a little something even she wasn't prepared for.

She whimpered slightly when she felt them both come to a complete stop, yet despite that, her arms around his neck and legs around his waist tightened once again. She was never asking for a little more excitement in her life. Ever. Again.

"You can let me go now."

She could hear the slight amusement in his voice, but she shook her head, burying her face deeper into the crook of his neck. She still needed time to get her bearings straight, to calm her heart, to let it finally sink in that what just happened, really did just happen.

"Nuh-uh. I might get angry if I do." she felt his hands grip her hip, trying to push her away from him, just further tightening her hold on him. She would have gripped at something, but there wasn't really any clothing, and his suit didn't count. "Please let this be a dream. Please, oh please! Let this be a dream!"

"I'm telling you, it safe to let go."

Slowly and unsure if it was the right thing to do, her legs dropped from around his waist, the tips of her toes just barely touching the surface of the solid ground.

"Your arms too." when she finally released from around his neck, gravity worked by letting her drop the short distance she had until she was fully standing on her own two feet. Her hands fisted over his chest, fingers curling into the palms of her hands.

"Now, turn around and open your eyes."

"Nuh-uh. That would definitely make me mad." she viciously shook her head. "I'm still at home, on the shrine in Tokyo Japan, Earth! Either sweeping the grounds or training my younger brother. Yup, there's no way I was just kidnapped by a man in a green suit to bring me to a planet who knows how far across the universe." she continued to mutter to herself, allowing herself to be turned around by gentle hands, though she kept her eyes clenched shut, hands now clenching her own shirt now.

"You're muttering."

"I have a right to mutter at the moment, thank you!" barking out at her kidnapper. Her head whipped about to face him, a scowl marring her face and yet, she kept her eyes closed.

"Easy, easy. Just open your eyes, there are some people I'd like you to meet."

Snapping her eyes open, she spun about and started to prob his chest with each and every word she spoke.

"Easy! EASY! Why I ought too..." throwing her hands up into the air she spun about, her eyes widening instantly at the view before her. "Kami-sama." arms dropping to her sides, she took it all in, though having trouble letting it sink in. Never before had she seen the realm beyond the atmosphere so clearly, Star clouds, distant planets, moons, stars... And below was a vast city, seemingly endless. Inching closer to the edge, she took a peek below just to see how high they actually were.

She let out a whimper, she wasn't exactly afraid of heights, but this was a little more than she was used too, and the only person that could catch her, was the one that brought her here. The last time she got kidnapped, she didn't trust her kidnapper with her life, and although she knew him to be a good guy, still didn't mean she was willing to just... put her life in his hands. Oh kami, if she ever wanted to go home she would have to do just that.

Another whimper escaped her. Never before had she been so far away from home with no one to help her.

"Why have you brought this... human here, brother?"

Whirling about to give this new guy a piece of her mind, mouth already open to give them a famous 'Kagome tongue lashing', though she paused at the new sight that greeted her. A very pink man in a green suit.

"Pink men in green suits... I must drugged on something..." glancing away all they could hear was something about 'tampered' and 'water'. Both watching her pace about, continuing her muttering.

Hal turned to Sinestro, grinning explaining what happened on his return to Earth, how he ended up landing at Kagome's home in Japan. She was still muttering and pacing, just enough space between them and herself. When asked why he brought her with him, Hal had a bit of a harder time answering that, all that came out was white light and how it helped him heal faster. Her caring for him over the last two weeks, while he recovered at her home.

"That still doesn't not answer why she came along."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA! Hang on one second. He," a finger was thrust in Hal's direction. "...brought me here against my will! I didn't ask to be brought here!"

"When I asked, you said..."

"That was to seeing you around! Ya know Perhaps I'll see ya around sometime! It was not code for, Take me with you to your secret home base on a distant PLANET!"

"Hal Jordan spoke of a white light that helped healed him?"

Spinning about and looking up, she didn't know what to do or say about the small blue people robed in deep red, sitting atop the high pillars, and all looking down upon her. Instantly, she knew they were ancient, beyond her better comprehension.

"Yes... "

"Please show us your hands."

Without a second thought, Kagome raised both her hands, splaying her fingers slightly figuring they were most likely looking for a ring similar to Hal's own green one. Silently they took in the sight of her ringless fingers, while she nervously glanced at Hal who just gave her a soft nod.

"Explain."

"What would you like to know?" just telling her to explain was too unclear. Explain how she got here? Her origins, the weather the last time she checked?

"What can this light do?"

Blinking, she mulled through her mind on how to put her answer into words, there was so many possibilities, and she wasn't even properly trained... well to the full extent actually, but she would just give them what she could do.

"As you already know I... it can heal. Forming barriers and more tangible weapons, it can... lock a being in place with some help. Purify impurities of any shape or form. And... if a being has enough, darkness, enough evil in them, it can be deadly. There is more... but..." she fidgeted on the spot, unsure how to continue without losing, or better said, giving up her secret.

"And how did you come upon this light?"

Furrowing her brows, she looked up at them without fear. She could tell them, but she didn't know how they would react to her answer, nor what that meant for her family back home.

"..." a warm hand fell on her shoulder, it comforted her more than she thought it would or could.

"I didn't."

"It's impossible for such a power source to merely.."

"I am the source." her interruption caused them all to fall silent. "If I want to do something, it will do that. I will it, to do what I need." the silence continued for minutes, or perhaps it was mere seconds. However long it was, it felt like an eternity to Kagome. Next time she asked the Kami for some more excitement, she was gonna shut her mouth and keep her thoughts to herself, this was a little too much for her. She had just been hoping for something a little closer to home.

"Show us."

Snapping her head up, not knowing when it dropped down to stare at the ground, she locked her gaze with of the blue being directly across and above her. She could feel her anger rise and the blatant demand of her to display her abilities to these people, like she was on some sort of show or a pet told to obey.

"The Guardians asked you to show them."

Turning slightly she took in the sight of Pinky with a scowl. The way he spoke reminded her much of a certain demon lord of her past. It was all high and mighty, sounding like he was talking down on her and not to her. She most likely chalked it up to her not being part of their little Green Club thingy, not that she wanted to be part of it anyways. Not only that, he sounded rather doubtful of her abilities, like if she tried, she'd end up falling flat on her face. So she decided to prove him wrong, not because some ancient being told her too.

Unlocking some of her powers, she let it engulf her entire body, emitting a white like glow that had soft pinks and blue licking across it like flames. Now she didn't know if it was because she was so fired up, or if it was the power of the world and all those in it messing with her own, but she started to rise. She didn't take any notice of it until Hal clamped a hand around her wrist and started to drag her back down.

Looking down at him from her floating position in the air, she gave him a shy smile and muttered a quiet thanks before swinging her gaze to those sitting on the pillars above them.

Hal had to admit, after becoming a Green Lantern, he had seen a lot of things, but this tiny woman continued to surprise him. And with how Sinestro looked, that miniscule look of shock that he had learned after a while, he could tell what Kagome had just done was new to him as well.

When she turned to look at him, he was even more surprised to see how her own eyes paled, to a silvery blue compared to her natural deep blue coloring. He was left wondering what else she had up her sleeve. Not only that, when he grabbed onto her while she was still floating, his entire being was washed with this warmth, filling him from the core to the very tips of his fingers, leaving him tingling all over. It also made him feel that much stronger, like he was just given a boost, and he shifted closer to her still hovering form.

Taking her form in once again, he watched as the light receded, yet she continued to float and hover next to him.

"You can come down now."

"Yeah...about that. I can't."

"Oh! Us lowly beings not good enough..."

"No! I mean, I really can't! I think it's your green light thingy messing with mine own. My own...light is back under lock and key..." she bit her lip... she should have just stayed in bed this morning... just watched from the safety of the kitchen as he went off. But no~, she just had to take the front row seat.

Hal's eyes widened before he chuckled and dragged her back down, wrapping an arm around her shoulders just to be sure. She let out a small cough when he gave her a squeeze and muttered something under her breath, most likely in Japanese.

"Oh... every one here will understand Japanese by the way. How do you think it was easy for me?"

"What? I can't even curse in Japanese now! So unfair!" he laughed at her pout, she did look hot...wait what?

"You curse?"

"Ah! You weren't supposed to hear that!" she blushed lightly, nibbling on her lower lip once again.

"And I thought you were a priestess!" he poked her side, both lost in their own conversation and oblivious to the others around them at the moment.

"Shut up. The first priestesses were warriors as well. Meaning they had to kill the enemies that threatened life and peace. I highly doubt me cursing is much worse. And stop poking me!" her hands flew to swat his own that came in for another poke to her side.

"What will you do now that you have seen her abilities?"

Sinestro's voice brought them back to reality, though when Hal went in for another poke to her side, Kagome just slapped his hand away, rather quickly and painfully. Hal shook his hand, trying to relieve the stinging sensation her slap had caused, it was a bit more powerful than he had thought, and she hadn't even been looking!

"Hmm, she will stay here so we can assess the full extent of, her abilities."

Kagome near fell over when those words were uttered, as if the key to her freedom had just locked the door and left to hang just out of arms reach. Suddenly she dropped to her knees, which was far more painful than normal as she had still been hovering an extra three feet above the ground. Hal pulled her up, though it was rather difficult, as she was not cooperating with him, it was all his fault to begin with anyways. Internally, Kagome was crying and throwing a temper tantrum, but on the outside, she had been dumbstruck. She really wished she had just wished the man well and left it at that this morning, stupid need for some excitement in her life. If it wasn't her mouth, than her thoughts were getting her in trouble.

Chapter Text

She stood there, her helmet held loosely in her grip as she silently took his appearance in. He still looked the same as she remembered him, nothing had changed since they last met. Large build, his hair was slightly longer, and he was wearing modern clothing, but other than that, he was still the same. She had been shocked when she had been called, saying that there was an old friend near where she was, and now that she stood there, it took all she needed to keep her jaw from dropping.

So she did the next best thing. She threw herself at him.

"Thor! I can't believe you're really here!" she ignored the others that were near by, though it was rude, she wanted to greet an old friend first and foremost. Pulling back, she was all smiles.

"I was shocked when I got the call, almost didn't believe him. I'm still reeling from that fact that you did call!" though he was true to his word, that fact that it had been five centuries for him and him to still remember.

The fact that he had her number... wait a minute, she gave him her home phone number, and seeing as they were in America, he would've needed to either learn the international code for Japan, or had someone do it for him.

Taking a quick glance at the others, they seemed rather curious and shocked that she was there to begin with, so they weren't the ones that did that call. Meaning...

"Oh my god! You've been to Earth before, and very recently." taking in his appearance, she didn't miss anything that played on his face, and what she saw made a slow, sly smile curl around her lips.

"And you met someone! Oh I have got to meet her! Though, I don't know if I should congratulate her, or pity her." her arms folded under her chest, a hand raised to curl under her chin.

"What is that supposed to mean?" his back stiffened, though not in a threatening way, just trying to do whatever it was when a man felt his... maleness was being threatened in some way shape of form.

"Oh please. This is you we're talking about. You can be very stubborn and pig headed, and you tend to let you temper and ego get the best of you at times. If I remember correctly, I felt like I was asked to watch over a child when your mother asked me to keep an eye I on you. I almost felt sorry for Sif when I had to leave." she waved a hand dismissively, only to pat it on his arm playfully.

"And you're still just as tiny."

"Why you...!" she threw her helmet at the male, she let out a disappointed sound from the back of her throat when he merely caught it. Back stiff, hands fisted at her sides, she felt very much like a pouting child that was denied her cookie.

"Can someone, please, tell me what's going on?" both turned to the group, Kagome scowled at the chuckling male next to her.

"You can explain this to them, O' mighty one. And give me my helmet back!" he proceeded to explain their history and relationship as she tried to pry her helmet from his grasp.

"Stupid... goddly... strength..." digging her heels into the ground, she pulled, and yanked and tugged at the black helmet in his grasp. "Let go!"

"Little girl..." he began with a playful tone in his voice.

"Don't you little girl me! I've made you kiss the ground before, I'll do it again!"

"You took him down?"

Turning from the blond male, her gaze landed on a redheaded woman. She seemed a little put out, and her disbelieving tone wasn't lost on Kagome. Kagome herself still had her hands on her helmet, that Thor was still refusing to let go of, and she had even place a foot on his hip to try and aid her. Sadly, it wasn't.

"Yeah, I did."

"I find that hard to believe, since you can't even retrieve your own helmet from said person."

Kagome righted herself into a proper standing position, raising a brow at the challenging tone in the woman's voice. Letting go of her helmet, she mimicked the woman's pose and pursed her lips. She had a feeling, that the two of them would be clashing.

"Let's make a bet shall we..."

"Don't involve me in this." Thor interrupted her, remembering times when she and Sif got together and plotted against him.

"To bad, helmet thief." turning back to the woman, she placed her hands on her hips, relaxing her posture. "As I was saying, let's make a bet. I bet you, that not only can I knock him off his feet," she ignored the scoff from Thor. "but I can also retrieve my helmet back."

"What do I get when you lose?" Kagome didn't miss the way that was spoken. This woman thought she wouldn't be able to do as she promised.

"Oh, I'm sure you can think of something... I do whatever you tell me to, no questions asked. And should I win, same goes for me. Deal?" the other woman nodded her head.

"Do I get a say in this?" both turned to him and quickly answered 'No' at the same time.

As soon as she got the go ahead from the woman, Kagome dropped down into a crouched position and swiped her leg, pulling Thor's own out from under him. He landed with a loud thud, and groaned, and while Kagome was picking herself back up, she plucked her helmet from Thor's, now, loose hold.

"I learned the best way to take you down, is through the element of surprise." she patted his chest and helped the man back to his own feet.

"Now, what was it you needed?"

Chapter Text

There was a bright light, and interestingly enough it wasn't at the end of some tunnel. Nope, just down a walkway, and before she let her thoughts wonder off on her, she had to remind herself, that she wasn't dead. She was still far to nauseous and a trite sore from pulling that last stunt which saved the man she was now holding up.

His feet barely keeping him up wasn't helping matters that they needed to get the hell out of there. The way out was only open for so much longer, and she sure as hell wanted to get back home and finish things up on her end. Curse that bastard that somehow pulled this off. And the kicker about all of this, was that there was a mad man that planned on storming their home with an army that was actually endless.

"Kagome! Hurry up!"

"How about helping me a little?" if she were feeling a little better, and didn't have her hands full, she was so going to smack him upside that head. Sam could be so... arg, she didn't have a word for him at the moment, but she would come up with something after they got the hell out of there.

Looking up when she heard running feet from ahead of her coming towards her, she would have laughed at the look on both of their faces. Though, when they took a closer look at the mans appearance, the other girl took his other side and threw his left arm over her own shoulders. Kagome threw her only female companion in this strange place a thankful smile. The two of them had more in common then thought possible.

"What were you thinking, bringing him along?"

"Your father asked me too, when he learned his true identity. I'll explain things later Sam, now let's get a move on" a quick glance proved that their common enemy was indeed closing in on them

"Will he even be able to make it through?"

"I he can't, than neither will I." Kagome turned to her friend, they were like sisters, and if Sango were here, the three of them would get along swimmingly.

Though she was a little more naïve then either herself or Sango, she was still willing to fight and throw herself in danger for what she believed in and what was right. That was fine in her books. That Kagome's own skills rose up because of her, were also a little something she was grateful for. Would they still be there on the other side, was a good question.

"Don't worry, you'll make it to the other side." make it out should have been a better way of phrasing it, though it was just minor details they could all laugh about once they were safe and away from the crazy clone.

"You still owe me an explanation as to your situation Kagome."

"Yeah, yeah..." she let out a soft grunt when the man shifted and pushed most of his weight onto her. At least he was picking up his feet better. "all in due time. Let's just get moving."

The light pulsed, raising up to the... heavens. And although it was white and bright, it wasn't actually blinding, but had a soft glow to it, like the rest of this place seemed to have. And while it wasn't exactly, people friendly, she would miss it. Still, she couldn't wait to get back home, to the trees, grass, blue skis and sunshine.

Shifting her hold on the forearm that hung over her right shoulder and her arm around the man's waist, she really hoped the old man was right about this, and pushed herself on. She'd have to deal with any wounds soon. If they remained after all of this. It also left her to wonder, would she be wearing what she currently was, once out, or what she had been when she entered. Letting out a near silent whimper, she prayed to any and all, that she wasn't. She'd be a mans wet dream come true if she did. She hadn't worn that old school uniform for years now.

All stumbled when the ground beneath them shook, and looking back, the man they were all running from had finally caught up to them. And so had Sam's father. Kagome caught the look in the old man's eye, and while she was against it, she nodded her head and pushed the others into moving forward. He wasn't going to be with them, he would be stopping his creation to let them escape.

A short bridge and then the raised platform, and then they were home. Safe and away from this craziness. Well, she was until she went back to finish her own little quest that had been put on hold because of a tyrant. Or two.

"Come on Sam. You're our only way out, we need to get going." Kagome once again shifted her hold on the man, still not sure if this was the friend she had been told so much about since she had been taken in by Sam's father. Her guardian had been shocked and immediately pulled her off to the side when he learned his identity. Had made her promise, to help him if anything should happen. Well, here she was helping him, and his son, and possible future daughter in law if the two love birds kept on the path they were going.

The three of them finally made it to the platform, and glancing behind them, spotted Sam trying to make his way back to his father. Only, said father was forcing a gap between Sam and Clu. Taking the weight of Tron entirely, she pushed Quorra towards Sam.

"Hurry! Go get him, we don't have a lot of time left!" Tron let out another groan, most likely disagreeing with being tossed about the way he was when he finally became himself again only to think he was about to die. Not on her watch.

She watched with bitterness as Sam struggled against Quorra, trying to convince his father that what he was doing wasn't the only option. But despite her size, Quorra was still rather strong and managed to get him up and onto the platform with them. She unconsciously buried her face in Tron's shoulder when she heard Flynn's last words to his son, she hated such situations. Sango and Kohaku still plagued her dreams to even this day.

Moving so she still had a hold on Tron and could still get a strong hold on Sam and Quorra at the same time, she followed their gaze and sadly watched as Clu struggled against Flynn's control of the Grid. Instincts kicked in when Tron finally came to and asked what was going on. One arm still around her shoulders for support, while the other raised to press a hand to his brow.

"We're getting out." was muttered, Kagome unsure who said it, even if it could have been herself that stated as such.

"Getting...out?" he opened his eyes, having them land on Kagome first, before taking Sam and Quorra and then turning towards Flynn and Clu. Seeing what was going on, he made to move towards his oldest and dearest friend but looked at her when she held him back.

"It's his wish that you come with us."

She could see the struggle in his eyes. The battle to comply with his friends wish and to go over to aid said friend. He turned his confused eyes towards Flynn himself, and that was when Sam started to raise his father's disk, their key to getting out, and all pulled closer to the young man, Kagome dragging Tron with the motion.

Kagome watched Flynn, a man she would openly say, was like a second father to her, smile knowing that not only was the world safe from Clu's invasion, but so were they. She felt tears burn tracks down her cheeks as memories of when it was just the three of them. No matter how ofter he may had said that Quorra and herself were like the daughters he never had, there wasn't a second the Sam wasn't on his mind.

All to quickly, the bright world of the Grid was replaced with dusty brick and cement walls. Kagome stepped up to the wall and ran her hand down it, feeling the gritty texture, dust and sticky webs left behind from long forgotten spiders. Bringing her hand close to her face, she saw that it was dirty, dusty and tingling from having run it down the wall's surface. Something that she hadn't felt since before she was thrown into the Grid, and rolling in the Outlands didn't count.

"We're home." she barely managed to utter anything at all.

Turning towards the others, she took in their appearances, Sam wore a leather jacket with a gray sweater hood hanging out the back and dark jeans, while Quorra and Tron wore the same thing. Looking down on herself, Kagome thanked everyone, and let out a sigh of relief that she wore wore something similar.

So when being home, on Earth and not in the Grid, finally sunk in, did she dig deep within herself and the let her miko abilities flare out, reaching out as far as they could and then some. She was shocked to feel how many had responded, it felt good to have something so familiar brush against her senses, and not in an actual life threatening way. Curious, slightly apprehensive, but not actually threatening.

"What the hell was that?"

Turning to Sam, she was surprised he was frowning, looking around to try and figure out something. Quorra and Tron also seemed unsure. Interesting. Seems the Grid did something to the senses, and she was just going off of Sam. Quorra and Tron weren't exactly human. Using her senses, she found out they were, just pure in a way. Like a blank slate.

"I'll tell you later. But let's get outta here. I believe the worlds waiting for us." she gave them all a lopsided smile and started for the only door. Turning, wide eyes took Tron in. Raising a brow in question with the look on his face and the grip he had on her arm.

"What..." it seemed that he had difficulty with coming to terms about everything. Not that she could blame him. He had been ripped from his home and was now in a strange new world.

"Don't worry, you'll get used to it, adapt. Besides, you have us." she offered a smile, hoping to ease him a bit.

"It's not that." sensing that it was something he didn't want to many to hear, Kagome ushered the other two out, stating that they would quickly follow.

"Alright. What is it about?" truly curious to what was troubling the former... program.

"I remember, everything. Including you." seeing where he was going with this, she chuckled and waved it off.

"It's alright, I understand. Forgiven, forgotten. You're a whole new you. Now let's go greet the world." removing her arm from his hold, she gripped his hand and dragged him out of the, cellar it seemed, and out into the morning.

Taking a deep breath, despite the slight acidic sting, she let it out with a smile. It was good to be back, and turning her head, she could feel the demonic auras closing in. Things were never dull in her life, and surprisingly enough...

That's just the way she liked it.

Chapter Text

She felt like shit, and that was an understatement of the year, and sadly nothing new to one Kagome Higurashi.

It was like she was used as a punching bag and then a speed bump. Not only that, whatever she was laying atop of, it was stiff, cold and thus left her back more than uncomfortable.

What was even more unsettling was the fact that she could feel her breath with every exhale, meaning something was too close for her comfort. Raising a hand to brush whatever was offending her personal space, she paused when she felt slightly warm material.

Bringing both hands up, she quickly learned it was some sort of thick plastic and in the middle was a seam of some sorts. Her still fuzzy brain was trying to function properly as her hands ran as far down as possible only to retreat and follow the seam upwards.

Whatever it was, it was just big enough to fit her. It was thick and allowed no light through, seeing as she was blinking to try and figure out where she had decided to fall asleep after the party. And oddly enough, when she had wiggled her toes, she found that her shoes were missing.

Making it to the end of the seam, she felt that there was a thick piece at the very end. Moving her head back to try and see what it was, she blinked in the darkness only to remember that there was no light. Pushing against the material to make it taught, she started to pull on that one piece until she realized that it was a zipper. Soon enough light and cool air streamed into whatever she was in, and thus allowing her two hands two rip her... whatever it was, open.

Throwing herself up into a sitting position, she screwed her eyes shut at the sudden brightness that was greeted to her, while taking large amounts of cool air. A few things registered while it felt like the world just tilted. Bringing a hand up to her head, it was cool, cooler than normal, and smelt highly of cleaning products. It reminded her of a hospital actually, of bleach, only without the attempt to hide said smell of bleach.

Cracking an eye open, and looking down, she was not pleased at what she saw. She knew what it was she was seeing, just, not the reason as to why.

She had been in a body bag. Not only that, she was atop an operating table... and from the looks of the metal doors lining the wall to her right, she was in the morgue. Not exactly the place one should wake up after a night of partying.

Pulling her knees up so that her legs would no longer be in the body bag, a shiver ran down her spine and it was due to more than that fact that the air was cool, she turned to her left and let her head hang and stared blankly at her bare feet. Her knees were banged up, feet looked like she ran through a mud patch and her dress that she wore to the party torn up. Examining her hands, they were in no better position.

Rolling her shoulders and neck, she frowned at the stiffness and realized that it also was rather difficult for her to breath. Stretching her fingers, wrists and then arms, she finally opened her eyes again and was greeted with the worst thing she thought possible since she had finished with her duty in the past.

On another operating table just across from her, was Jack Hunt. Her soon to be brother in law.

Rushing forward, she fell to her knees instantly. Wheezing slightly, she fought whatever reason that her muscles seemed stiff and uncooperative, and fought her way to his table by literally crawling and clawing her way to him.

Slapping a hand and gripping tightly to the rim, her muscles were burning as blood was rushing through her body once again, she pulled herself up, using what strength her legs had to help push her into standing position. She was leaning heavily on her arms and crawled and leaned in closer to the man that had helped her when she and Souta had hit a rough patch.

He looked as if he was simply asleep. But the paler of his skin, proved other wise. His short cropped light brown hair was still as tidy as could be. His face was free of any blemish that may be a cause to his death. Thick brows sat above dark blue, near black, eyes that would never open again. A straight nose pointing down to thin lips and then a strong chin.

Despite him being a... was a Navy Officer, he was built more like a swimmer. She smiled lightly when a memory of him always tinkering on something or other, and then telling her the cause as to why he joined.

I love mechanics. I love to protect the ones I love. Joining the Navy was the best choice logically. What's not to love? Besides, when I get to meet people like you... Mmm, gotta love the sites.

After that little end note, she proceeded to beat him with the new throw pillows she had bought for the living room.

Her body suddenly began to heave, and knowing what was coming, she quickly and as steadily as she could, turned around and emptied her stomachs contents into the sink at the end of Jack's table. When she was done, she wiped away whatever was left with the back of her hand and spat out what was left in her mouth. She scowled and grimaced at the foul taste in her mouth as well as the acidic smell that hit her nose.

Then she remembered how her body had been in such a state before. When Mukotsu had poisoned her. Although her memory of that exact time is a little fuzzy, just like last night it appears, she was pretty sure she hadn't been knocked out completely. Just pretty much, as disgusting as it was to even think it, putty in the poison master's hands.

Hissing reached her ears followed by a quiet 'Oh my', caused her to whip her head about and face the glass doors. Just in the threshold of the morgue stood an elderly man, looking like he was dressed either to leave work or just showed up. His coat was brown, either tweed or a trench, and a khaki fedora.

The sudden motion of moving her head so quickly to view the source of the sound and voice caused her to spew out the contents of her stomach once again and then drop painfully to her knees. Her hands still clung to the sink's rim, and she heard the man rush to her, talking to her. But she heard nothing as she tried to remember, or recall anything about the night of the party. She wasn't even sure if it happened last night, or a few nights ago... All she knew was that Jack was dead, someone had attempted to kill her as well, and she didn't know about Souta or Samantha at all.

Kind hands offered her a piece of fabric, which she took with shaking hands and then viciously wiped her mouth clean.

"Are you alright?"

Looking up, her gaze locked onto gentle blue eyes that had seen far to much, much like her own, and frowned. Was she alright? Physically, she felt awful. Mentally, there was too much between now and what she last remembered missing. Emotionally, she was torn. Her brother to be was dead on a metal slab, and she didn't know about her own brother or his fiance.

"Wah – waht – water." her throat was raw, she felt it was more so than from just emptying the complete contents of her stomach, and her mouth felt like it had been stuffed with sand.

The man nodded his head and moved about, though he quickly made it back to her side with a simple glass of water. As she slowly drank the life saving liquid, he used his cell and called some one. All the while he kept an eye on her. Not surprising, she most likely had been declared dead when she and Jack had been found.

When she was done with the water, and he with his call, he helped her back onto her feet and removed his coat to quickly wrap her up in it and then lead her to the only comfortable looking chair in the entire room. When she was sitting, he plucked the glass and quickly refiled it, helping her grip it properly when he returned.

"Are you feeling better?" if they had met under different circumstances, she would have thought that with his outfit, which was and adorable with his dark blue business suit, simple patterned button up and red bow tie, and English accent, she would have found the man adorable. But, seeing as they weren't, she smiled grimly when her gaze landed back on Jack and answered.

"Could be better." her voice and throat were feeling better now that she had some water, but they were still raw.

The sound of hissing filled the room again as a firm male voice echoed off the walls around them.

"This better be important Ducky."

The man, who had been identified as 'Ducky', stepped aside, allowing her and this new male to meet eye to eye.

Dark brows raised when they caught sight of her. He had silver hair, one that came from age and not being something of the supernatural, firm pale gray-blue eyes, and his lips somewhat pursed. He wore a coat over a business jacket, which was over a black long sleeved shirt with a few button at the collar, and that was over a white shirt and then dark slacks.

"I do believe a victim coming back from the dead can qualifies as important Jethro."

Kagome switched between to the two men before her, wondering if they could perhaps help her remember what had happened, why, and most importantly, catch the culprit.

Chapter Text

The mysteries around this petite woman still left things fuzzy with them. The entire family were standing in the back, shadowed slightly in the corner. When his first son called him about something that they needed to see, he rushed over, bringing his wife along. Belle was sitting in a chair, confused as to what was going on, she and Edward had been dancing till Kagome was asked to sing.

At first she ignored the pained look in his eyes, but it became unbearable when the newest student began to sing. While he seemed distracted while dancing with her, Edward seemed pained, upset and shocked when the pretty Japanese girl showed up with some family and friends, only it intensified when said girl began to sing.

When his entire family showed up, they all seemed to share similar expressions, and it was all because of Kagome. It was starting to piss her off really. She had said it herself, Kagome was nobody, and Belle took it to heart, treating the other girl as a nobody. She saw her as a threat for Edwards attention, that was now solely on the other girl, along with the rest of his family.

She bite back on any less than positive emotions when the exotic beauty walked in, wearing a strapless dress the stopped a few inches above her knees. The dress itself was colored in creams and pale tarnished gold, the bottom half of the dress lined with some sort of cream colored feathers. It reminded her very much of those flapper dresses. In fact her whole outfit seemed centered on the flapper look. Her onyx locks that had more life than her own drab brown hair, was styled in such a way, that large curls loosely framed her face while the rest was pulled and gathered at the base of her skull on the left side. A thick band of similar coloring as her dress with a few feathers attached by some sort of jeweled clasp brought her exotic blue eyes out even more and gave the girl herself a softer look.

Inwardly, Belle seethed. Not only was she good in almost every aspect, but now it seemed she could sing too. Her hands curled in on themselves, gripping the fabric of her own dress, and scratching at the skin of her thighs.

Edward was catching wind of Belles darker thoughts towards Kagome, began hissing in anger. Since the girl showed up, things have been more crazy then they thought they could get. At first, they all thought the Japanese woman was a relative of some one they had met just after the turn of the century, that took on their looks. But with how she was here and now, also her scent flowing freely around them, they knew it could only be the same woman they had met near a hundred years ago.

The only problem, both woman, or the same one, were in fact human. They could hear her heart beating, each breath she took while she sang. So the question was, what was she?

Memories of when they all first became a new family flooded their minds, they were still getting used to one another, to their new diet and how to mingle with humans and not draw attention.

The little club was rowdy with music, dancing, talking and laughter. Tonight they decided to go out as a family, though there was a risk, they all needed some time to relax, in a sense. They walked in taking in the people that were moving constantly, even if they were sitting at tables. Pushed farther to the side, they even spotted game tables, and behind them what seemed to be the private lounges.

The bar tenders were busy, hands flying as they constantly kept the drinks flowing. The scents of alcohol, sugar and smoke, and even sex mingled and floated about the air. A giggling pair stumbled out of the club, loudly offering their apologies when they bumped into the family looking around. Silent hisses were issued from Rosalie, until Carlisle silently warned her to behave.

A sudden hush washed over the club as an announcement was made to introduce that nights entertainment. A young woman with long hair, styled to match those who favored the short hair that women wore in the current fashions. They could tell right away that she was Asian of some sort, but her bright blue eyes drew them all in, as well as her scent. Pure, clean and oh so tempting to all of them, that even Carlisle himself was drawn to it and was itching to sink his teeth in to taste what flowed in her veins.

The woman smiled at something that was whispered in her ear, laughed and accepted the offered hand up onto the stage. With the band member still holding her hand he offered it a kiss, uttering something that caused her to laugh before taking a sip of whatever was in the glass she held in her other hand.

The band member returned to his spot, picking up his instrument, and the young woman moved to the microphone. Her smile brightened and she greeted everyone, who were just as enthusiastic to return their own greetings.

"Well, you know I'm up here to sing for all of you tonight, so I hope you enjoy it!" taking another sip of her drink, she waved her hand away when someone mentioned that she should put it down.

When she turned to glance at the band members behind her, she bared them her neck, and all of them stifled a groan and quickly took the now free chairs at a table closest to the exit. Carlisle ordered them all their drinks, something to take their minds off of the young woman that seemed to entrance them all.

From where you are
You see the smoke start to arise
Where they play cards
And you walk over, softly moving past the guards
The stakes are getting higher
You can feel it in your heart

He calls your bluff
He is the ace you never thought he played that much
And now it's more than all his cards you want to touch
You never know if winning this could really be enough

Take a look beyond the moon you see the stars
And when you look around, you know the room by heart

I have never dream it
Have you ever dreamed a night like this?
I cannot believe it
I may never see a night like this
When everything you think is incomplete
Starts happening when you are cheek to cheek
Could you ever dream it?
I have never dreamed, dreamed a night like this

How many times,
Have I been waiting by the door to hear these chimes?
To hear that some one debonaire has just arrived
And opened up to see my world before my eyes

That silhouette creates an image on the night I can't forget
It has the scent of something special, I can't rest
If I resist temptation, oh I know for sure that I will lose the bet

I walk away and suddenly it seems I'm not alone
In front of me he stands, I stop before he goes

I have never dreamed it
Have you ever dreamed a night like this?
I cannot believe it
I may never see a night like this
When everything you think is incomplete
Starts happening when you are cheek to cheek
Could you ever dream it?
I have never dreamed, dreamed a night like this

I have never dreamed it
Have you ever dreamed it?
I cannot believe it
I may never see a night like this
When everything you think is incomplete
Starts happening when you are cheek to cheek
Could you ever dream it?
I have never dreamed, dreamed a night like this

With each of the words uttered from her painted lips, Carlisle and his family became more and more entranced by her. Her voice had this lilting to it, sounding naturally husky and the alcohol only added to it's affect. Her eyes swept over the crowd, her lips always constantly curled up in a smile. Her voice washed over them, sending shivers running up and down their spines.

The night continued on as such, them simply keeping the young woman in their sights as she sang the night away. Whenever she wasn't singing she was dancing, and surprisingly she accepted to dancing with all of them when they each had asked it of her. And, yet sadly, she sang her last song for the night, danced her last dance and began to leave.

Kagome, as they learned her name, on the arm of some male that had them all hissing silently at, while said male let loose a low growl in return. A small finger tapped his nose, silencing his anger, muttered something in a foreign language they didn't know. The male rolled his eyes, huffed and replied in the same language which cause her to giggle.

"Ah! If it isn't my Cullen family! Sadly we must part ways, but perhaps we'll cross paths again!" she leaned down, swiped the wine bottle from their table and placing a kiss on Edwards cheek while doing so. A breathless giggle at the slightly shocked look on his face sounded around them, before Kagome threw her head back and drank directly from the bottle. Once again, the entire family was drawn to that portion of smooth unblemished skin when she stretched so. Her pulse slightly faster due to the alcohol and having just finished her last dance for the night.

Her blue eyes, such a strange and hypnotizing color for one of her culture, sparkled as she finished her drink and smiled at them once again.

"Come, my clever foxes, time to leave!" she waved as she and the male left the club, a red headed young man with a laughing fair haired young woman on his own arm quickly followed. Though they all heard laughter from the entire group, hers alone almost had them come undone and chase after her, take her, and claim her. The were practically leaning out of their chairs, hoping to keep that damn tempting scent of hers closer, longer, trap it in their lungs and lock it in their memories.

Sadly, they moved, as did Kagome, and they never did cross paths again. And seeing as she was human, when 50 years had pass, they knew she had to have passed. They all cursed themselves for not actually following after her when the spotted and knew that faithful night, that she was theirs.

And like that night near a hundred years before, she stood there once again, on stage singing dressed in the same dress even. There was no way they would let her slip through their fingers this time, though there was going to be a long talk to explain how it was possible that she was standing here today. She was obviously human, but she hadn't aged once since that fateful night all those years ago.

Accepting a hand, she was helped off the stage, the same redhead that had left after her if the recalled correctly, and directed her to a large family that was waiting for her. The white haired male was there as well, as well as the fair haired female. They weren't human, that much they could tell, but what they were, was lost on them.

Happy birthdays were directed towards her, and Kagome laughed as they all surged on her in a large group hug. Edwards hands clenched and unclenched, his emotions were all over the place, not sure who to react to such a scene before him. The smile was the same, her laughter, scent, everything. But he didn't understand how it was possible. He rolled his shoulders when he felt Jasper 'poke' at him, trying to help calm him down. It worked, somewhat, the other effect was just make him more agitated.

Kagome herself stiffened when she saw Inuyasha and Kikyo standing off the side. Inuyasha's earlier request still burned at the back of her thoughts. Now she knew for a fact that Kikyo wanted nothing more than to become a mother, they had gotten over themselves and Kikyo became the woman she had once been, due to being able to keep the portion of soul that was still Kagome's. But Inuyasha, she wasn't sure. Oh she knew he wanted to be a father, just not sure on how badly he wanted it.

She also knew for a fact, that despite the five hundred years, he still wanted her, and wasn't sure if her being a sort of surrogate mother, was just another way of him trying to own her. It seemed he wasn't content with either having one or the other, but needed to have them both. So, muttering something low and quickly, she swiftly made her way to Kikyo's side and ushered her outside.

"So, I heard you wish to be a mother." it wasn't a question, and with a quick glance, she could see the glimmer of hope in the other woman's eyes. Neither noticing an entire family paying attention to their conversation.

"I know after all I've done to you in the past, that I shouldn't be asking this of you, but..."

"The past is the past. The only good it does for the present and future, is teach us to learn from past mistakes. Hopefully, to keep from history repeating itself." Kikyo nodded her head, a shy and wry smile twisting at her lips.

"Then I assume you are aware of the proposal Inuyasha asked of me?" from the shocked and confused look Kikyo threw her, the other woman didn't. "Ah, I see. He proposed I become a surrogate mother, and he the father. This way, all parties are happy. A win, win sort of situation."

Gripping the other woman's hands, to keep her from drawing away and most likely do bodily harm on her husband and mate, but to also tell her the answer she gave.

"I flat out refused. He's got to learn, he can't have us both. Broke a glass with my bare hand when he called me while I was attending school. And when you both showed up and he demanded why I said no, well... you remember the punch." Kagome rolled her eyes, smiling lightly when Kikyo let out a sigh of relief.

"So... with that being the only way..."

Drawing back and placing her hands on her hips, Kagome gave Kikyo a cocky smirk.

"Who said that? I have it within me, to give you the ability to having children yourself. Like I want to get in on that sort of situation." she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. 500 years ago, she would have taken the chance, but now, she shuddered with disgust. Inuyasha was still her friend, but lately, he was stuck in the past himself, and she viewed him as nothing more than a friend, a brother even!

"You mean..." the hope in Kikyo's eyes burned even brighter.

"I've done it before. One of Sango's relatives got into an accident, lost the ability to ever having kids. Fixed that right up." she shrugged her shoulders. She tilted her head to the side, examining her nails, when she heard a gasp, though she did not act on it.

"But fixing something that was once there and then broken is different than giving it to someone who doesn't have it to begin with."

"How do you think Kagura got her heart back? Or those people who lost their livers to a kitsune? Now that one could have been avoided if they and simply asked me or the one they wanted to be with, but did she? No~, went and killed most of those people." Kagome muttered under her breath.

Chapter Text

"What is it Wheels?" a gruff voice asked, the question somewhat slurred due to the the male asking the question was biting down on a cigar to keep his hands free.

"I'm sending you and the others downtown. Some... thing is quickly approaching." a second male, somewhere between the ages of 40 to 50, replied. His brow furrowing as his own gaze fell from the built male standing before him and out towards the window.

Biting down a little more than necessary on his cigar, Logan took in the Professor's expression. A hand was gripping rather tightly on the armrest beneath it while the other curled in on itself into a white knuckled fist. His face alone darkened somewhat, which spoke volumes about whatever the man had caught wind of.

"Alright, call the others while I go get ready."

"Logan, I know it's a lot to ask of you, all of you, but no gear. And as much as I hate to say this, we need to them to make the first move."

A low growl rumbled through Logan's chest, it was just getting better and better. He muttered a tight 'Gotcha' and left the room, getting ready for a day in the city. There was always a reason for the way things panned out, but he always liked it best when the ball was in their court. They would be going in somewhat blind and with a hand tied behind their backs with the Professor's requests.

 

"Ah, Kagome come look at this!" said girl looked up from a game her brother had been begging about since he learned about the trip to America, placing it back on the shelf, she walked over to her friend's side to see what it was that caught her attention.

"Isn't this the coolest camera? Besides, you've been going on how you need a new one either way." Ayumi held up a sleek digital camera that was colored in blue, a sort of ice jeweled with how the casing was treated.

Kagome took the camera into her hands, fiddling with it to quickly get the basics of it's functions. It was simple and offered video recording with sound and a whole bunch of settings to alter the pictures outcomes. It didn't hurt when she saw that it was also within her price range and the language settings also had Japanese.

"You're right. I think I'm going to get it!" she smiled at her friend, as they both looked about for a sales person to flag one down and purchase it. Looks like Souta would have to wait a while longer for that game he wanted, not that he wasn't getting any sort of goodies while she was here.

Within the next 20 minutes, Kagome and Ayumi were outside the electronics store, one with a new camera the other with new CD's and heading towards where the were going to meet up with their other friends.

"I'm so glad we got to have some free time so early in our trip here. Last time we went anywhere with Megumi-sensei, she hardly let us go anywhere. And that was while we were still in Japan!" Ayumi threw up her hands in the air, nearly spilling her drink on someone walking past them. Kagome just shook her head fondly at her friends antics. "But we come to a whole different country and we're allowed to roam freely? I mean, what gives?"

Shrugging her shoulders, releasing the straw and throwing a playful smirk at her friend. "If Yuka and Eri were here right now, I'm sure one of them would say that Megumi-sensei needs to get laid, or is getting some with her sudden change of heart."

This time it was Ayumi's turn to choke on her drink and turn wide eyes her way. "Kagome! I can't believe you just said that!"

"What? I bet that would be on the top of their list to reason about Megumi-sensei being so... willy-nilly all of a sudden."

"They've already discussed the topic with you, haven't they?" at the deadpan look Kagome received, said girl could only shrug her shoulders.

Soon enough, both parties met up near a large fountain inside the large mall, smiling and eager to hear who bought what.

"I can't believe you two!" Ayumi pointed an accusing finger at the two stunned girls that hadn't really changed much appearance wise since Jr. High.

"What are you talking about?" a confused Eri spoke up turning away from the new camera Kagome had been showing them.

"You tainted Kagome so that she would talk about..." Ayumi paused, warily glancing around her as if their teacher would pop out of nowhere, leaned in to whisper the rest of her accusation. "...talk about sex so openly in public!"

Yuka curled in on herself to with hold her laughter at how serious their friend looked, Kagome coughed lightly in her hand knowing that her friends weren't the true culprits, and Eri blinked a few times before she took on a rather devious look.

"Oh, come on! It's not like we're speaking in English while here, and I highly doubt a whole lot of people who can understand Japanese will be really interested in what we have to say. Besides, we talk about sex all the time back home when we hang out after school. Which was always in public places I might add."

Ayumi's blush deepened to a point where Kagome worried her friend would make herself sick or pass out. While Ayumi and Yuka were talking about the proper topics to talk about in public, Eri asked what had brought the whole thing up.

"How Megumi-sensei is allowing us free reign here in America, compared to the short leashes during our last school trip. I told her if either of you were present when the topic came up, you would blame Megumi-sensei's lack of a sex life from then to what it could be now."

Eri blinked a few times, before a chuckle escaped her. It was true, actually, that either Yuka or herself would say something along those lines. They were all almost 18 now, and save for Kagome, they had all had sex already. It was interesting really. Ayumi was acting more like a virgin than Kagome was, then again, Kagome was the first one to get a boyfriend among the four of them. Blinking a few times, Eri recalled all the guys Kagome used to mention while in Jr. High. It was surprising that Kagome wasn't the first to lose her virginity as well, but then again, that was a personal choice and none of her business.

While Ayumi supported Kagome the most with her relationship with that Inuyasha guy, Yuka and herself were always there as well when something went wrong with their friend and her 'on again-off again' boyfriend. Their sharp comments were always welcomed when she needed them. Not that they didn't support her choices, they just knew, that guy was no good if he was two timing their friend.

"Alright you two, enough is enough. How about we get our picture taken with my new camera instead?" Kagome waved her new camera about, a smile on her face when Ayumi and Yuka both stopped in mid sentence to look at their friend. Eri just shook her head, a smile on her face and rolled her eyes before slinging an arm around her arguing friends.

"Why not. The first of many to document our adventure in America." the two either narrowed their eyes or pursed their lips, but nodded their heads and agreed. Eri and Kagome both let out relieved sighs, those two could go for hours on certain topics.

Turning around, Kagome asked a couple that were near by if they could take their picture, quickly showing which button did what and ran to her friends to share on a group hug. Smiling towards the camera, throwing up peace signs, they all rushed towards the couple and began to animatedly talk about how the picture looked. Kagome herself thanked the couple before turning to see the picture herself.

"You better send me a copy of it! It's so cool, and with the fountain right behind us...!"

"Will do, I'll be sure to send all of you a copy. But first, let's get something to eat, I'm starving!" three cheers, and all of them were quickly making their way towards the food court they had passed earlier.

Though Kagome halted mid step when a very familiar feeling washed down her spine. Wide eyes scanned the area as her head whipped about. Arms wrapping up around herself, she felt as if she had been plunged in ice water and her entire frame trembled.

"Kagome? Everything alright?"

Kagome didn't face her friend, brows furrowed as she tried to locate the source of her sudden dread. Not only that, her mind was trying to tell her that it was impossible. They had killed him, 500 years ago. She began turning on the spot when she heard his voice whisper her name, knowing for sure that he was in fact near by.

"Kagome?" Aymui's more timid and worried voice broke through to her panicked state of mind. Seeing their concerned faces, Kagome forced herself to smile, but her body still shivered, and her knuckles were now white with how hard she was gripping her upper arms. She wasn't afraid for herself, no, she was afraid for all the people near her.

"I-I'm fine. Just... a sudden chill. Maybe it's just jet lag or something." she waved it off.

Ayumi looked like she wasn't convinced and made to move closer to her friend when the glass from the rooftop window over the fountain rained down on them with a loud crash. Screams echoed around them, while the four of them ducked and wrapped their arms around the back of their heads and necks, making a run to where dangerous glass shards wouldn't risk injuring them.

Just as they made it safely under the balcony of the second floor, turned to see the cause, Ayumi was quickly ripped backwards and away from her friends.

"So, miko, this is where you hid yourself." Kagome looked up from her fallen position on the floor. Her knees were scrapped and bruised at the sudden jerk forward when Ayumi had been stolen from them, and long bloody scratches where Ayumi's nails clawed into her flesh.

"I must say, I do much prefer it here. But first..." a tentacle that was wrapped around Ayumi, lifted the girl higher squeezing the air out of the girl until she stopped struggling. "I want it."

It didn't take a whole lot for her to figure out what he was talking about. Licking her suddenly dry lips, she was having trouble answering due to the fact that Naraku was before her and using her friend as a shield.

"It no longer exists. I destroyed it after your death."

Naraku's face quickly turned from smug, to fury. Just as quickly, he tossed Ayumi to the side, with a lot of force too.

People already were running away, and from the corner of her eye, she watched how Naraku had followed Ayumi's path. His face twisted even more so when the girl simply stopped in mid air. The very air around the girl, seemed to warp slightly as she was dragged away a no longer in her own sight.

"Listen, I want you two to run towards where Ayumi is. Make sure she's safe."

"Are you nuts?" her head whipped about to face Eri, seems she was the only one not at all put off that their friend was just tossed away from a man that was sprouting tentacles. "And leave you here alone with that freak? No way!"

"Listen, I'll explain later, just go to Ayumi. Please." she begged, already pushing her friends away while Naraku's attention wasn't directed towards them. Her eyes snapped up when she saw that Ayumi was now being carried, err sort of, in front of a red headed woman.

Said woman was with a group that was calmly making their way towards Naraku, who didn't seem all that put off by all of this.

"You better. Especially about that miko bit he's going on about." with that said, Eri ducked behind carts and pulled Yuka with her towards their knocked out friend.

Kagome herself stayed crouched down and moved in the opposite direction, stiffening when Naraku's voice echoed around the still mall.

"And where do you think you're going miko?" suddenly, she herself was being hauled up into the air and towards Naraku himself. Which, though it sounded crazy, was something she needed to be done.

"No friends to save you now, little bird."

"How are you here Naraku?" she struggled in his hold, the feel of his tentacle wrapped around her made her sick, and she really wanted to be let go and stand on her own to feet to ask these questions.

"Ah, ah, ah. Little bird, I would be more worried about your own situation, if I were you." he crooned, bringing her closer, chuckling when she twisted and turned to keep as much distance between them as possible.

A bright red light filled her vision and gravity was doing its work till she fell into the fountain. Sputtering, she breached the waters surface, watching through narrowed eyes as the group finally made it to where Naraku and herself were. Naraku himself hissed and moved back, as large hands grasped her upper arms and dragged her out of the water before pushing her behind a wide back.

Coughing, she kept her eyes on Naraku at all times, making sure to see what move he would make next. While doing so, she also quickly took in the group that stood between her and Naraku, though they all had their backs to her.

The red head was... floating near Ayumi, who was also floating. Next to her was a man with light brown hair, a hand tightly holding onto a pair of sunglasses that she saw he was wearing. The man before her was... built to say the least, and had wild dark brown hair, near black. To his left was a black woman whose own hair was shockingly... white. And she knew it wasn't from age either. Another largely build male stood just off her own left with slicked back black hair. Lastly, a young man, probably a few years older then herself, with light bedhead finished off this... group.

"You humans... such interesting creatures. It seems much has changed since last."

Kagome's eyes darted down when she heard the sound of metal, like swords being drawn from their sheaths, only to take half a step back when the hand of the man before her now bore... metal claws.

"Are ya saying you ain't human bub?" the three Japanese girls that were still awake to witness all of this whipped their heads towards the man. Kagome was internally crying, knowing that when all of this was said and done, the man would be asking her about the little chat she and Naraku had before the interruption.

"You still seem to attract the mutts, miko. This one just as bright as the others. This should be, entertaining."

"...crazy..." she muttered under breath as she ducked her head away from the source of her raging migraine for a few moments, not noticing that the man before her was taking a quick peek at her over his shoulder.

A startled gasp tore from her lips when Eri and Yuka suddenly jumped her, as she turned her head towards them for the sudden action, her eyes widened when they landed on the last two male members. One was quickly being covered in metal... or his skin was turning into metal, while the other was turning into ice.

Kagome let out a whimper. Like her life couldn't get any weirder with bad guys coming back from the grave after 500 years. No... now her life when from a fantasy to... sci-fi? She didn't feel anything demonic about these people, but they were displaying abilities she had only ever seen from demons of the past. Oh she had felt them in the present, which pleased her greatly, but this was a whole new ball game.

A sudden poof, or was it a clap? Cause Eri and Yuka to let out startled cries, and all three whipped their heads to the right to see a blue man appear out of nowhere. A blue cloud quickly disappeared, but the mans appearance was what kept Kagome's attention. He was blue, had a tail, only had three fingers on each hand and where normal looking feet should have been, there were... talons?

The man whispered something to the red head, who nodded while keeping her eyes on Naraku at all times, before reaching out for Ayumi and disappearing and leaving a blue-black cloud in his wake.

"Kagome... do you know what's going on?"

"... I'm just as lost." and she truly was. All she needed now was for Sesshoumaru to make his own appearance and then they could all sit down for tea while discussing frivolous things, like fashion perhaps. But then she furrowed her brows and turned towards Eri. "Why ask me?"

Eri looked at her with a raised brow and looking as if Kagome had lost her mind. "He keeps calling you 'Miko'. So I don't know... being a miko... you know things." the girl shrugged her shoulders, as if it made sense in her mind. Which it did.

"I am... and I do. But this... not so much. If you haven't realized in the last five years... I'm not good with current events!" Kagome quickly snapped back, it coming out in a rushed hiss. This was getting out of hand. This was not the time to argue with Naraku a few feet away.

Eri and Yuka pulled back, taking Kagome with them as they were still wrapped around her arms respectively, and Naraku launched tentacles against the strange group of people standing in his way.

Metal Man, she would give them all nicknames until she learned their names, let out a grunt as he simply stopped a tentacle that headed straight towards him, sliding a few feet before taking a grip of the slimy appendage.

Mr. Claws sliced right through whatever came at him, dodging and ducking to only continue the process. Red was still floating, but so things were being picked up and tossed at Naraku. Kagome was sure it was Red's doing, as her hand would sweep over fallen debris and launch them at the bastard. Iceman... was freezing and breaking all that came towards them while the last woman was creating strong winds to try and force Naraku back.

After a few minutes of nothing but, Naraku chuckled while looking directly at Kagome before launching his own attack. Kagome gasped before ducking from her friends hold on her and jumped before the people and threw up a barrier between the purple miasma and everyone behind her. She learned her body would purify the air for her before it entered her lungs, but not everyone else.

The people cried out at her sudden move and the quickly approaching toxic gas heading their way, they all came to a sudden halt when the rammed into a wall. The wall itself focused before exploding out and ridding the rest of the miasma.

"I'm impressed, miko. But how long can you last without your bow or friends to back you up?"

Without a second thought, a barrier was thrown up around her friends and the group behind her as a barrage of tentacles were launched directly at her. Ducking to her left, Kagome rolled before using the very weapons against her as a sort of surface to run at Naraku himself. In her hands, she forced her spiritual abilities into a sword and came at the bastard.

"The last five years have been good for me. As you'll quickly learn." taking a slice, she grimaced when no blood poured from the wound. Still the coward, it would seem. Meaning she would have to gain the upper hand by forcing his own.

Jumping away, landing in the fountain, her grip tightened on the hilt of her spirit sword. The action caused the blade to hum and brighten. She moved so that the barrier and people were no longer behind her, but with in her sights in case should anything happen.

"As I said, entertaining."

"And you're still stuck in the old ways. Aren't you... half breed?" her question gained the response she wanted, Naraku to grow angry and throw all care for being careful out the window and attacked her directly.

To say they were shocked would be an understatement. Here they thought the girl needed protection, but instead, she was fighting the man single handedly. The words they exchanged also seemed to be ones between two people that had a history together, but the girl looked no older than 16-17 at the least.

Logan frowned as he listened and understood everything that was being said. Relaxing his stance slightly, though keeping his claws at ready though, and moved forward placed a hand against the hazy wall separating the fight and themselves.

It sparked lightly, and instantly his entire being warmed and seemed to boost him. And as odd as it sounded, it felt highly... clean or pure to his senses.

"Jean?"

"It isn't mine. I think it's hers." the others followed his move and either placed a hand against the surface or tapped at the wall, most likely hoping to see a weak spot.

"Can you get to her to drop it?" Ororro spoke up, her eyes watching the two before them intently, very much upset with the whole thing.

"I've already tried as soon as it went up. I can't get through to her. It's like running into a wall." Jean floated higher, her hands guiding her till she reached the top and followed back down. They were encased in a dome of the stuff.

"Logan, perhaps you could ask her friends." Ororro suggested turning away from the fight to look at the male that had moved forward first, briefly eying the two girls trembling behind them all.

Said male gave a grunt, stepping back from the wall and having a difficult time tearing his eyes away from how the girl was fighting. She was holding the sword like an expert, but the moves she was using were something he'd never seen before. In all honesty, all her moves were foreign to him, it left him highly agitated. And the fact that the Professor didn't mention anything about their being any new mutants about left them not knowing a whole lot. She seemed to have a good grip on her powers too.

A wild card.

Letting a silent growl loose, he finally turned to face the two girls left behind as they watched their friend fight with wide eyes. When they finally noticed that he was watching them, they let out a squeak and took a step back from him. Seeing how their eyes had darted down to his claws, he retracted them and let out an aggravated sigh.

"Can you tell me what's going on?" the girls jumped slightly at his question, wide eyes darted to his face and blinked rapidly before one with shoulder length hair spoke up.

"All I know is, that he keeps calling her miko. Which isn't all that unusual, now that I think about it."

"Oh come off it! Just cause Kagome's live her entire life on a shrine don't make her a miko!"

"Well, she did take the training necessary to become her shrines next head miko. But apparently... that wasn't the only thing she'd been learning." the two of them nodded to themselves silent for a moment before their eyes darted to their friend after a loud crash sounded behind Logan.

Turning himself, he let loose another growl when he saw the bastard was holding the girl by her throat in the water of the fountain, a broken statue with water spraying all over the place tumbling far to close to the girls head.

"He also demanded something of her... though she said it was destroyed or something... after he died apparently." Logan turned to face the one that had answered him the first time, really thrown out of the loop at that bit of information.

Turning back to the struggle just out of their reach, he let his claws come out, itching to get in there and rip the bastard off the girl. But was totally thrown off by what happened next.

A bright light, and the girl herself was standing over what would have been a body of a cowering mass of asswipe, only, there was no body. The sword in her right hand soon vanished into nothing while she reached down with her left hand only to pause.

It was then they noticed that two of her fingers had been bent at the wrong angles, and her hand shook just the slightest amount, as if the pain was just being registered. But before she did anything she crouched down and grabbed something from the water with her right hand and examined it while she moved to sit on the fountains lip.

Placing what she had grabbed next to her, they watched as the wall that had held them back shimmered before disappearing and her right hand quickly make work of righting her fingers on her left hand. She curled in on herself, and Logan heard her hissing while cradling her left hand close to herself.

Jean and Ororro were instantly next to the girl checking for any signs of injury, but when the girl politely pushed them away, they soon checked for a body... or any sign of the man that had started all of this.

The two girls rushed to their friend's side, throwing the girl a hundred questions a second. Said girl, Kagome if Logan figured correctly, simply laughed and waved their worries away. When she opened her eyes, his own narrowed at the light that was fading away, leaving an, odd pare of blue eyes, visible on the Japanese girl.

Turning his head slightly, he could hear the tale tell signs of sirens making their way, and a brow ticked when he heard the Professor's voice speak to him in the back of his head. Seemed he wanted to talk with the girl. Turning back, he was shocked to see that the girl was watching his moves intently, seeing right through him. It left him slightly unnerved.

"There's someone that wants to speak to you, and someone you know waiting for ya as well." she simply blinked and smiled at him, at all of them and nodded her head. Standing, and waited for them to lead the way.

As Jean, Scott and Ororro lead the way, the three girls followed, where Peter and Bobby followed closely behind them. Logan took the time to observe the damage done to the fountain area, only to have his eyes land on the spot that marked where the girl had sat down.

Next to a wet patch, there was a smaller one, so whatever she had retrieved out of the water, she now had on her. Turning to eye the group now making their way back to the Jet they had used to get here, Logan watched the girl as she walked with her arms hooked with those of her friends. A wild card. Shaking his head, Logan quickly made his way, long strides following the group that was now plus three, four if one counted the knocked out girl that was most likely back at the Institute.

A miko, eh?

Chapter Text

Of all the places to be in America... Los Vegas was not where she thought she'd be. Some how, she had been part of the student exchange program her school was starting up. Apparently, her friends and family went behind her back and signed her up for it, figuring that she needed to get away and forget her two-timing-bad boy-boyfriend.

Now, when one thought of Los Vegas, one thought of casinos, live shows, and the City of Sin. Not where she was. Although she was just outside the actually city, where she was there was nothing but brown earth and sand. And whatever plant life that was there, was scraggly, very little of it, and no where green.

In short words, it was boring as hell. Not only that. She had a project due next week. and her partner was missing.

And all she knew was that he had been going on and on about some Jerry that had moved in next door to his friend Charley. So here she was, on her way to Charley's house... and if not him, than this Jerry person.

While she didn't know the guy all that much... and he was too much of an otaku for her tastes, Ed was an okay guy. And while the need to get his half of the project material did spur her, she was also worried for the guy. The short time she was there in Los Vegas, a lot of people had gone missing, and though his parents didn't call in or there weren't police crawling all over the place, Kagome knew better.

She had seen the darkest parts of the world, lived them, fought them and survived them. She knew what was out there, and while it may not be the specifics of what they were exactly, she knew that they were out there. And that was all that mattered.

Pulling up to the curb, she killed the engine and checked the address once again, just to be sure, she let out a relieved sigh when the numbers matched. Getting out, she didn't bother to actually lock the car, she wouldn't be there all that long.

Briskly walking up the pathway to the front door of Charley's house, she paused and turned to the supposed new neighbors house. Narrowing her eyes for a moment... she tried to place where she felt something similar. Glancing at the sky and then her watch, she noticed it was getting late. She had been driving all over the place looking for not only Ed's house, but Charley's as well.

Shaking her head, she hastened her pace and knocked on the door. It was only a few minutes before Charley himself answered the door, looking rather panicky as well.

"Uh... hey Charley. I was wondering if you've seen or heard from Ed."

"No... uh no. We talked a bit the other day... but he wasn't in class today." she watched how he kept glancing between herself, the sky and the house to her right.

"I know, that's why I'm asking you. He has half of a project that we're working on, and I grew worried when he didn't show up, or call. Is he sick? I dropped by his place... but his parents said he was fine."

Charley's eyes were still constantly darting to the one house, and he flinched when something either caught his eye or a noise sounded off somewhere behind her.

"No. No, I didn't hear anything. I also dropped by his place and got the same thing. If I do hear from him, I let him know you're worried and looking for him."

"Thanks, I'll see ya tomorrow then."

Her head reared back when he quickly slammed the door in her face with an even quicker good bye. Blinking a few times, she wondered what happened between yesterday and today to change him. Shaking her head, she moved across the yard and into his neighbors to knock on the next front door, muttering in Japanese all the way about how men were weird, no matter the era or species.

Knocking on the third door that that day, another sigh breathed past her lips as she ran a hand through her hair. While this house felt... off to her, she wanted to know what was going on with Ed. She blinked when the door was opened.

He looked human, that was for sure. A little paler than herself, a sign she took in for lack of time in the sun, but otherwise human. His hair was dark brown, perhaps even black, combed back and out of his face. Said face was angular, a little more so than those she had come across while in America. His eyes were especially dark, and if she didn't know better, but she did, had shades of red in them. He was clean shaven, wearing a basic wife beater and jeans with boots.

She would admit, he was a fine specimen of male. Too bad he wasn't exactly human, not that she didn't mind none-human relationships, but she got a feeling, that he was far more predator. Or perhaps... Ah. Undead. Yeah, not her cup of tea. Especially after Inuyasha and Kikyo.

"Hi, I'm sorry to disturb you, but I was wondering if you happen to know an Ed Lee." it was hard to keep her hands still in front of her. She could feel her powers just tingling beneath her skin, itching to react to a threat being so close.

"Ed Lee?" and if he were anything else, something that wasn't undead, she would have fallen to her knees at his voice. She was cursed. She blamed all her time being around males that had god like features.

"He's a classmate of mine, and I grew worried when he didn't show up today."

"And how does this tie to me?" he moved to lean an arm above his head on the door frame, moving closer to her while doing so. A slight smirk playing on his lips, it made him look more, charming.

She blinked when she realized he just took a sniff of the air between him. Undead with heightened senses. Well... it left her wondering what sort of undead he was. There were so only many meetings she had back in the past, and he most definitely was not a corpse raised from the dead through the power of a blade from hell.

"Ah... for the past few days, he had been going on and on about Charley's new neighbor Jerry. And seeing that that's you, I was wondering if he had come by, or... something." she furrowed her brows slightly, mentally wincing at how that sounded. With the way she had described it, it sounded like her classmate was some sort of stalker.

"Well, I'm sorry to say, but no. If he does come by for any reason, I'll let him know that..."

"Kagome."

"That Ka-go-me, dropped by." his smirk grew into something more predatory.

Her eyes narrowed automatically at that. Rolling her shoulders slightly, she knew it was going to be a stupid move, but she was going to come out and say it.

"I'm going to say this now, Jerry, I don't trust you. Call me crazy to try and... oh, I don't know, play it off as some sort of game, but I know for a fact, that you aren't human. So I'm going to warn you right now. Watch your yourself."

His smile was quickly wiped away, and she watched as his eyes darkened. That smirk came back quickly as he leaned in even closer, bending down slightly to be eye to eye with her. Pulling back his upper lip, he revealed a pair of canines that were far to prominent for a human.

"And what are you going to do about this so called, fact, of yours?"

"Nothing. Just keep your distance. You stay away from me, I stay away from you. And trust me, I'm not something your kind should be pissing off."

His smile didn't drop, though it did turn slightly patronizing. Like he was simply going along with her words as sort of game to fool her in a sense of safety. She would prove him otherwise.

"Oh, brave words from one so young. How is it put these days? Kitten's got claws?"

"I'll show you claws." she raised a hand, in was engulfed in the palest of pink like flames before only the faintest of glows was visible from the palm of her hand. She quickly placed it over his heart.

He hissed and stepped back from her, looking down at where her hand had been placed before looking back up to her.

"Messing with me is like playing with fire. Piss me off enough, and you'll get burned. And in your case, I can be deadly." with her piece said, she turned around and walked her way back to her car.

Jerry watched the petite young Asian woman walking away, and hand brushing up against where hers had been. For a mere moment, it had felt like he had was alive, and then it just burned like hell. He could feel an exact outline of where her hand had been. Rubbing at the spot, he watched her walk away, playing with the keys before stepping around to the drivers side.

He couldn't help but drop his eyes to her swaying hips, nor the smirk that grew on his face. Whatever she was, he could tell she could back up her words and be very dangerous to him, but, oh if he had never smelt something so divine in all his existence. He had thought little Amy had the most mouth watering of scents, but Kagome's...

A purr like sound echoed in the night as he watched the car and it's driver go off down the street. Her scent was forever burned into his memory, and hers would most definitely be easy to find. Though the hunt always did please him in the most primal of ways, he knew she would throw everything she had to keep him away, if not try and kill him.

Playing with fire. He had a feeling that she would taste just as tempting if not more so. It was just a matter of playing his cards right.

Chapter Text

Kagome clutched at her bleeding side as she stumbled down the highway. The rain soaked through her clothing, making her more than chilled to the bone. Her head was pounding, fingers numb and everything else was stinging from the needle like rain.

The only warmth she had at the moment, were the tears streaking down her face, and the burning sensations from the large gashes in her side. Her throat was horse after hours of calling out her brothers name.

Their camping trip in America had started out great. She and Souta had went with a few others on a sort of camping trip tour in America. They had already spent a week on the at one camping place, the plan was to spend the entire two months Souta had free before going back to school just hanging out like they use too, and were on their way to their second camping site.

They had stopped to grab something to eat and when they started to on their way back on the road. After that, things sort of got fuzzy. They were at least a day away from their next site so they had to make another stop for the night. At least, as far as Kagome remembered. They were attacked, by something. Her abilities worked against, whatever it was, but there was more than one of them. So when they noticed that she could actually take them out, they pulled a cheap shot on her and knocked her out.

When she came to, the sun had already started to rise, their transportation was shredded up, and whoever wasn't laying around dead was missing. Luckily, or maybe not, her brother wasn't one of the bodies around her. She more than likely thought, that whatever ambushed them, most likely left her for dead, if the deep and long gashes on her side were anything to go on.

So she had scrounged what she could from what was left, which wasn't much, and set out after them. They left a trail, though it was hard to follow, and she could feel Souta. As far she could tell about his state, he was fine, frightened, but fine.

Her eyes were growing heavy, and her feet stumbled over some form of rubble. They were on the move again, and Kagome let out a sob. She had promised not only herself and mother, but Souta as well, that she would take care of him. Gunshots rang through the air off to the side. There was a group, five humans, and seven of those, things. The exact things that had ambushed them the other night.

Picking herself up, not knowing when she had dropped to her knees, she took off towards the gunfire. She had been fired at with a lot more powerful, cannons from the Band of Seven, fire from the same group, arrows from Kikyo, acid, poison and a whole arsenal. Other than a well place shot, she'd survive a bullet. So she wasn't too worried.

Two young men were shooting off at the creatures, that were also holding not only the others hostage, but also her brother, as shields. That still didn't stop them from taking these things out. Taking in the two before her, off to the side was a black car, trunk open and filled to the brim with weapons. Just what she needed. Slinking over, she caught Souta's eye, but motioned him to be quiet. It wouldn't do to have the enemy know that she was in fact alive.

Taking in their forms, most were definitely human covered in various furs. Some had mutated body parts that were more animalistic and deformed, and the rest took on the actual form of an animal. Those that were in human form, were holding her brother and the others hostage, the rest were circling in on the two young man and backing the others up.

Moving closer to the car, she quietly looked in and grabbed what she could only guess was a shotgun. What she wouldn't give for a bow and some arrows instead, they were silent and she knew how to use them.

"What the hell are they Sammy?" her head whipped around to the two men, thinking she had been caught. She quietly released a breath she didn't know she had been holding. Deciding to keep still, perhaps she could learn what these things were and know how to better deal with them.

"Skin-walkers, Navajo witches. Bullets dipped in white ash are supposed to be able to kill them. Legend stated that they can also absorb other humans, or possess them into doing what they want."

"Supposed to kill them? Damn it Sammy! Ya got anything better than, supposed to kill them?" the lighter haired of the two of them kept shifting his gun from one to another, as was the darker haired of the two.

"They usually take off if perused! There haven't been many cases were they were actually killed."

Having heard enough, Kagome stood up and walked from behind the two, raising the gun towards the one that held her brother. Cocking it caused the two men to stiffen, not that she blamed them. For all they knew, she could be an enemy that got hold of one of their guns. But she was focused on the one that had a hold on Souta.

Animal like eyes narrowing, the glow in them not diminishing, when they landed on her, her own followed suit. The man tightened his hold on Souta. Big mistake. Walking forward a few more steps, she raised the gun, just above Souta's head so it would hit the others shoulder. She was happy that Souta still had some growing to do, otherwise, this move wouldn't really work out all that great.

Pushing her abilities into the gun till it faintly glowed, she fired and the area was filled with a bright light for an instant till the male reared back and let out a scream of pain, dropping Souta in the process where she took the second shot, right between the brows. Usually, when a being was hit with one of her purified arrows, well in this case a bullet, they turned into a nice glittering show. Not so much in this case. So they were human, or once were. Or a mix. Ah screw it, they were evil, she was not, time to take out the baddies.

Opening fire on the others that thought to storm her after she took down their obvious leader, gun shots, lights and screams filled the air. When there were no longer bullets, or shells, whatever left in the weapon, she used the gun itself as a weapon, the butt end striking any that came to close for comfort. A sickening crack and a feminine screech filled the air as the female reared back with her hands clutching her bloody nose. Swinging it upwards she sent the broken bone up into the skull, making sure to push her miko abilities to make sure it stayed dead.

It continued as so till there were only three left. Panting heavily she eyed them, as they shifted in their spots. Obviously, she had the ability to kill them, and they were unsure if they should rush her. Souta and the others that had been with them camping had rushed to hide behind the two men that each held a gun.

"Souta."

"Yeah?"

"I need another gun. See if one of the nice men are willing to share." she heard a sudden 'hey' and then Souta handed her a gun.

Switching off the empty with the loaded weapon, she raised it and pointed it towards the last three standing. Cocking it she fired at them without a second thought. She knew that they were evil, could practically taste it by being this close. Though nothing would compare to Naraku, it still set her off. With the last three dead, she turned to Souta, who ran and threw himself at her. Her arms immediately wrapped around his shoulders, glad to see that he was alive an well. Pushing him back slightly, she took in his form, making sure he truly was well and unharmed.

There were a few minor scratches here and there, patches of dirt and spots of discoloration hinting at bruising. But other than that, he was actually fine. Pulling him back into her arms, she felt as if the weight of the world was lifted from her shoulders.

A cough brought the two Higurashi siblings back to reality. Looking towards the two men, she blushed when the reality of what she just did crashed down on her. Coughing she looked the other way. Great... now there were others that knew she was, different. Perfect, just what she needed. Groaning, she buried her face in Souta's hair.

"Is it to much to ask for a proper vacation?" she whined and whimpered. Her brother simply patted her on the back.

"So, uh, what just happened?"

Chapter Text

Her head swam as her body swayed from the sudden jolt or landing, or arrival even. However one wanted to call it. Bringing a hand up to her head, she took notice of where she currently was, and mentally cursed that the others were not with her, then again she had been warned that it could happen. Not only that, she was in a room that looked suspiciously like a classroom. Glancing to her left, peering beyond the mask she wore, there were rows of children. And slightly behind her, was a lone adult, male.

Just what she needed.

Her head snapped towards the windows when she noticed Hakudoshi standing there with his chosen weapon and just in front of Entei. She tensed even further when the single adult in the room moved, his aura tensing and a sense of protectiveness washed over her. That all turned quickly to something of shock and fear as a giant roar and explosions sounded through the air.

Spreading out her senses, she could feel that the others were safe and alright, while her enemies were, engaged. Her back stiffened when she sensed two auras, one of them brushed back against hers familiarly. She had thought they died. But she needed to turn her attention to the threat before her. Hakudoshi.

He had grown since he had last entered a battle. She saw his smirk when the power of the Shikon washed over them, the others not knowing what exactly what it was, shivered. The two facing off one another, shifted, preparing to go against one another, though she was going to let him have the first move. It would allow her to have the advantage.

She was not disappointed. He lunged at her through the windows, glass showering across the room and raining down on the students closest to them. The children ducked away, while some assumed fighting stances themselves. And quicker than what Hakudoshi had thought possible, Kagome unsheathed her blade, ducked under his own strike and struck the arrogant youkai down. She had been trained under Sesshoumaru for the last ten years, not only himself but whoever he had deemed capable of teaching her.

When Kaede finally passed, then when Miroku and Sango had been sucked into the cursed Wind Tunnel in the palm of the monk's right hand, Sesshoumaru had taken her in and trained her in a way that, though was specifically meant for youkai, she herself being an unconventional miko adapted to it easily. She was truly one of a kind, a miko taught under the tutelage of demons, her natural born enemies, and taught how to kill more efficiently.

She watched as the bastard turned to ash, and she picked up his weapon of choice. Turning to the male, obviously a teacher, she watched as he prepared to do whatever it took to most likely defend the children behind her. But when another roar, or was that two, sounded through the air, closely followed by two more explosions. She could feel Naraku's aura explode and battle against what felt like a kitsune, turning to the windows, Entei pranced about, shifting on the spot, waiting for her seeing as she killed his previous owner and now belonged to her.

She moved forward and jumped out the now open window and went to the demonic horse. It towered over her, and snorted once she got close enough. Raising a hand, she rubbed at the velvet soft fur on his nuzzle, only to smile behind her mask when the horse pushed his nose further into her hand for more contact.

"Can you take me to where Naraku is?" though Entei now did belong to her, she never was one to truly own another being. Even Boyou, though the house cat, she often let the now... once obese cat wonder around free. She never truly owned them, more like took them in.

When a warm puff of air brushed against her mask and curled around her neck, she smiled again under her mask, knowing that despite he couldn't see it, it was sensed. Shoving the naginata between her back and Sango's large boomerang, Kagome then proceeded to mount Entei. She turned them towards where she felt Naraku's aura, along with the kitsune, two beings she was sure were actually dead along with many people. She urged Entei to hasten his pace when she felt the presence of a Death God suddenly appear. Not a good thing.

Pulling the naginata from it's position, she twirled it once in her hand and then threw it at the giant spider, ripping a loud screech from it. Her hand once again went over her shoulder and gripped Hiraikotsu and flung it through the air, separating the giant spider that was Naraku from the large nine tailed kistune. Both sprung back from the charged weapon, and just as Entei flew over the hugest toad Kagome had ever seen in her life, she dropped down, catching the returning weapon.

Charging the weapon once again, she then swung it so a tip was lodged in the earth and thus forming a long, large barrier around the mass of people behind her. The reason she did this, was because she didn't want any lives to die at the damn spiders hands, that was now a full youkai. She also didn't need anyone to get in her way while she got rid of the being once and for all.

Rotating her shoulders, she glanced at the large kitsune and narrowed her eyes on it. Although it was reacting as a kitsune did when cornered, it was also attacking this place, and the attack was sudden. And that's when she felt it, a sort of... illusion, or control was placed on it. Having suffered many herself her first year traveling in the past, it was like an acquired taste or scent, she knew when another was in such a state. She would have to deal with that, after she was done with Naraku and his two timing bitch.

Facing the giant spider once again, she pulled her blade free from it's sheath, and stood there. She could hear others calling to her to stand down, but not by name. She was certain it was a rank or title, one she had never heard of before, but this was her fight, and she was going to end it once and for all.

Naraku's laughter filled the air as a cloud of miasma surrounded the giant spider, pulling in on itself till the man himself stood in the center and walked forward. His long hair was still greasy looking and rippled down his back, but instead of the shear colorless black it once was, it was now a colorless white. His ears, that were once rounded like the human that he was born from, were now elfin like. Thick deep purple swept under his eyes, the points just short of reaching the bridge of his nose. His eyes were still a deep crimson, that reminded of the blood she always associated with him.

The bone protrusions that were once there before curving out from his back were replaced with what looked like spider legs curling from his back over his shoulders and around his chest forming a sort of protective armor. His outfit was more hellish, ranging in colors of or dark reds and purples, spiders and waves of what one could call blood decorated his outer haori. His once pale skin had a burnedish red tint to it.

When he smiled, his upper lip was pulled up, revealing fangs that were never there before, and his voice filled in the deathly silent area, washing over all present.

"After eight years, you think you truly have a chance at defeating me?" his voice was taunting, boasting that, yes, he was physically stronger and faster than her. But she would still bring him down, she knew something on him that he failed to realize.

"And with a blade as well, how, daring of you." she watched as his fingers grew and lengthened, looking much like spider legs themselves. She merely tilted her head to the side, the hold she had on her blade tightening just that much.

"I know something. Something you forgot. And it will be your demise." her voice was cool, steady and calm, like her breathing and heart rate, which confused him to no end.

"And what is that, my little miko." his grin sharpened and warped into something predatory, as his eyes drank her in, though her body was younger, resembling when they first crossed paths, which Kikyo had mentioned was a side affect of her forcing herself through the well, he knew what it would become. And he wanted it. Her. Broken, bleeding and needing. And very much like the mask she wore, she was a vixen trapped in the body of a human miko. But he had the power do change things to how he wanted them. He would make sure to break her wings, his little song bird, keep her caged and make her watch as he consumed the world and make it burn and then recreate it in his vision. Once that was done, he would get rid of the clay doll.

Why keep a doll, a portrait of the past, when the living being was there, ripe for the taking? When the future was in his grasp?

"You have a heart now. And how many demons have I taken down in the last eight years, that were just as powerful, if not more so, than yourself?"

Naraku stiffened, realizing the truth to her words. He had watched her through Kanna's mirror, until he threw the void child away, how Sesshoumaru trained the tiny miko. Forcing her to go up against many that opposed the House of the West, went up against those that even thought of trying to obtain the miko herself, and thus, the Shikon for their own gain. All had perished, and over the years quicker and quicker. Sesshoumaru was a perfect teacher with impossible standards, but she had adapted and learned. Well.

Behind her, she could hear two distinctive gasps. From two that truly understood the words she had just spoken, and could not believe she had taken such a gamble with the Jewel itself. It was a risky chance, and she had been more than willing to pay any consequences should things have not turned out how she had thought they would have.

"Either way, you will not succeed." after those words he charged her, and she waited till the last second to move.

Like Sesshoumaru had taught her, waste nothing, even in battle. Use what one needed, use the enemy's energy against them. Their strengths, their weaknesses, everything. Use little of yourself, at the last minute, read the enemy, the battle grounds, the nature around them and use it all to strike. Them. Down.

She knew that Kikyo and Inuyasha stood in their spots in the tree line that had been at Naraku's back before he struck out at her. The large kitsune was at her own, watching intently at the fight between herself and Naraku, the mass amount of people that had gathered and were trapped inside her barrier shifted and tensed as Kagome and Naraku darted around. The Death God, she could feel some form of amusement and interest coming from it. Those she was at the moment protecting were hidden from sight, as she wanted and told them too, while the two that had died before her eyes but were not dead, also seemed agitated standing just a hairs breath from her barrier.

Having tired of playing with the enemy and having learned that his tactics had not changed, much, she decided it was time to finally end this once and for all. The hand holding her blade tightened just that much as the entire blade was soon engulfed in a white flame that had pinks licking and dancing in and between them. She kept her eyes on the form of Naraku in her crouched position, his clawed hands flexing and he drew in his breath, a hissing sound before she had to duck and move out of the way of a fluctuating arrow shot from Kikyo. They both knew that her time was at an end, but a cornered and dieing animal usually fought the hardest before it would finally succumbed to it's death. She just had a little more time to prepare for it.

Using the knowledge of that there was a Death God present, she decided to not kill the monster before her. She would simply battle him in such a way, that would be unable to fight what was coming to him. A fate far worse than death. And also, the answer to the problem revolving around the Shikon. And it had all just clicked into place. She shook her head that the answer could be so easy, and seeing as it was, why they hadn't thought about it sooner, before all the death around the damned Shikon had started to escalate.

Launching forward, Kagome forced all her spiritual energy into the very tip of her blade and brought it horizontally down, blasting Naraku across the clearing. Following to where he landed, at a much leisurely pace, Kagome stood over him, watching him hiss and snarl at her from his place on the ground trying to move away from her. When she finally reached his feet, his snarls and hisses turned into laughter, blood rolling down his chin as a hand clutched over his heart where her cut had started and was the deepest. Also above where the full Shikon rested in his chest. It's dark power called out towards her, still whispering sweet tempting promises, but she ignored them, knowing they were nothing but lies.

"Was it worth it?" she couldn't help but ask. He had finally become a full demon, and for all of... less then half a day.

"I couldn't have what I truly desired, the reason for my creation, so I choose a different path."

She nodded once, knowing his story to how he was created, and then plunged her hand into his wounds, ignoring the near bone shattering grip he had on her wrist as she plucked and quickly purified Shikon from his chest. He stayed a full blooded demon, despite the reason no longer in his grasp, doing as he demanded of it, it being purified by her mere touch.

Standing once again, she backed away and then turned towards where Kikyo and Inuyasha stood and narrowed her eyes on the two. Knowing that the rest of the world wouldn't see such an action. Her fist tightened around the Jewel and Kikyo dropped, her body turning back to what it was, ashes, as the small portion of soul that had kept her living returned to Kagome, the rest shot up into the sky, free to be judged for the lives they once were and have a true rest after their deaths. Hundreds, if not more escaped, while Inuyasha himself was also finally freed from whatever Kikyo had placed him under.

Turning back to face Naraku one last time, she called out to the only being that could truly get rid of such a foul beast.

"Shinigami-sama! May I have a word?" keeping an eye on Naraku, she saw how he paled even more, quicker than he was losing blood, she turned her head towards the being she called upon.

The Shinigami appeared before her suddenly, though she did not flinch. He looked down at her, a tanto wedged between his black teeth that were shown from an impossibly large smile. It's pale cold skin was smooth and it's long hair hiding it's ears. Atop it's head were two horns, and the robe it wore hid it's body save for it's clawed hands.

"Miko-sama. It has been a long time since I've come across one of your kind." it's grin grew if at all possible, and the tanto didn't hinder it's speech.

"I can hazard the reason to you being summoned here. I want you to disregard it." it cocked it's head to the side in a manner similar to how Sesshoumaru would raise a brow towards her in question.

"Oh, and why should I do such a thing? I need to be paid for being called to this realm."

"Take a look at...him. How many souls do you see within?" both turned to a struggling Naraku, who had now caught onto his soon to be fate and was trying to get away from his sure death.

"Ah, he's one of those! Are you saying I can have them all? Do you usually spoil others so easily and freely little miko?" he chuckled as he turned back to her, sounding in a way, childish about to receive a great gift.

"Yes, they are all yours." she lifted the Shikon to his view, and she heard his chest vibrate with laughter as his hands rose up to close in on the Jewel yet not touch it. "Plus those in here as well. Save one."

"I take it you mean the miko also within?"

Nodding her head, she spoke up. "I believe her rest has been long over due."

"Deal. You truly are a strange, little miko. Though I have to ask, are you going to take care of the kitsune yourself? He was the reason I was called here."

Turning around, Kagome took in the kitsune. Seeing as it was now the center of the attention belonging too two powerful beings it rose up and let out a low snarl, baring it's teeth towards them, hackles raised and the nine tails behind it whipping and lashing about.

"Do you know why it is... what it is under?"

"That I do. The humans here have skills that are vastly different than from where you are from. The kitsune is under a form of mind control. And a powerful one. Is your favor of me to free it from such a bind?"

"Could you?"

"It would be my honor." the Shinigami bowed to her and then set off to collect the souls that were both housed in the Shikon while releasing Midoriko's own, as well as the souls that resided in Naraku. After gathering the countless souls, in one night, it quickly appeared before the giant kitsune, did whatever it needed to do to free it, then reappeared at her side.

She had followed it's movement, so while she was facing the kitsune, she turned to face the Shinigami.

"I would very much like to see how things play out from here." she bent her head in understanding and then returned to the kitsune.

It's hard yellow eyes watched the two of them, more so Kagome as she moved forward to stand apart from the Death God. The black fur around it's eyes ran up to fill the fur in it's ears, the rest being a burning orange that reminded her of her kit, Shippo. With each step forward, black lips lifted to reveal sharp fangs glistening in the moonlight. A quick glance at it's paws caused her to pause for a moment. They resembled hands more than kitsunes paws.

Turning back to it's face, she stopped, well within it's reach, waiting for the next move. After a few tense moments, it sat down, seeing that she was not about to make a move, well a threatening one, it's form shifted to resemble an actual kitsune and laid down. Crossing it's front paws, it laid it's muzzle atop them and sniffed the air about her. Rearing it's head back it looked at her with a new light before a deep rough chuckle sounded the air around them.

"You are a mysterious one. I sense a miko, yet I smell the blood of a kitsune within you. Explain."

She could only shake her head. Were all powerful youkai always so demanding?

"I adopted a red kit, and a teacher of mine was a shadow kitsune. Seeing as you are a nine tailed kitsune yourself, I can assume that you can take on a human like form." it chuckled again before nodding it's head and sat up. Though it didn't do such a transformation.

"And why, little miko, should I do such a thing?" it's grin was teasing, true nature to the kitsune. She was wondering why it had yet to comment on the facts about her previous interactions with it's kind.

"I saved you from a fate, that would be rather degrading, for one such as yourself." she kept her tone cool and collected.

"That you did. And it leaves me to wonder as to why."

"Perhaps I have a fondness to kitsunes. Could you please take on your more human form?" her neck was starting to strain from continuing looking up at the giant that towered above her.

Angry flames surrounded the body, and much like Naraku and his own transformation, it pulled in on itself before they were swallowed in on the human form of the kitsune. His skin was tanned, his eyes a burning yellow orange that deepened to near red at the center around the pupil. Long deep orange hair was pulled into a high tail, that swept as he made his way towards her, with long forelocks in front of elfin ears. Three whisker marks were slashed across his cheeks and all he wore was a pare of loose and low hakamas and an open haori.

Kagome sighed and shook her head, typical kitsune, she turned to the Death God next to her when he started to snicker.

"Not a word. Not. A. Word."

"I haven't said anything."

"You were thinking it. Just as bad."

"Miko." the kitsunes voice drawled, and she growled lowly, for a human, when the kitsunes eyes took her form in. It raised a clawed hand and ran it down the mask she wore, it's fingers stopping where her lips were beneath.

"Let us make way to the leader of this... place."

"Your mask is kitsune made."

"From the kit I adopted. A gift he said to show his love for his mother." she turned and the two powerful beings followed. The others that had kept hidden also fell in line, her brother running up to throw his arms around her waist and seemingly try to keep to her as if he were glued. She in turn, wrapped an arm around his shoulders. She looked back over her shoulder when Inuyasha seemingly crawled to her side, taking his hand seemed to bring him out of his funk, but she could also tell that the guilt he felt increased at least ten fold.

Waiting behind Hiraikotsu was none other than Miroku and Sango, both of which were twitching at not being able to pass that large weapon. Removing the arm she had around Souta she brushed her fingers over the surface of the bone weapon and was wrapped up in the arms of her friend. She could also feel the life within her growing and had to smile, the two of them finally got what they had always dreamed of since they met. Or this wasn't the first... she'd have to ask.

"I can't believe it's you." the words were fondly whispered into her ear before the former slayer gripped the mikos shoulders and began to shake her.

"What were you thinking? Letting Naraku wish and the damned Jewel! You could be dead right now!"

Removing her hands from Inuyasha's hold and from Souta's shoulder to grip her friends wrists and lift the hands that were shaking her.

"It was a risk, one that I was willing to pay for. But we all knew what he would wish for. It was Kikyo to begin with, but since she passed, it was to be a complete youkai." she shrugged her shoulders. "And how many youkai have we killed that were juiced up on the damned thing? The only problem was Naraku's heart. Making the wish would bring the two back together."

Kagome peeked around her two friends when a tall blond man holding a baby made his way towards them. He wore white robes that had flames climbing from the bottom, a strange headband with a metal plate that had what seemed to be a leaf engraved into it.

She turned back to her friends and raised her brow, but the comment Sango made caused her to remember.

"Are you making faces under that mask of yours? When did you wear a mask to begin with?"

"It matches the outfit I must add."

As she lifted the mask, Kagome followed Sango in giving the monk a mock glare. "Say another word, and I'll pound you to the ground."

"ANBU, state your na... Uchiha?"

"What's a fan got to do with this?" Souta piped up and looked at his sister, still somewhat confused as to all of this. The last ten years he could remember... but he was once again a 7 year old and his sister was once again 15. As if the last ten years didn't happen.

"Fox, you'll shut up if you know what's good for you. That goes for you too Death God... who should be leaving now by the way." said being bowed, though not without leaving a promise to check in on the miko every once in a while and it's own laughter ringing long after it left.

Tilting her head back, Kagome glared at the twinkling stars, that seemed to shine brighter than usual. Now it could have been the lack of pollution this world seemed to have, but Kagome knew better.

"Riiight. Let's make the former time traveling miko into a inter dimensional traveling miko! I Hope you gods are laughing it up." looking forward towards the mass of people that seemed to be itching to do something, then to her friends to the now obvious leader standing next to them. She couldn't help but let out a groan...

Life was never dull for her.

Chapter Text

Glancing back and forth between the two, Kagome let a small huff of inpatient air out as they continued to banter back and forth and glare at each other. Crossing her arms over her chest, a foot began to tap at the dusty ground beneath her feet, and cleared her throat. Sadly, it got no reaction from the two across from her, so she decided to take in her surroundings. Best way to understand, if barely, the territory she would be marching into.

The three of them stood atop a hill... or was it a knoll? It was dusty with pale and dry looking plants, and an oddly out of place Grandfather clock with a face reading 13 hours instead of the traditional 12. Everything was glittering, as if coated in a fine layer of frost, but seeing as the sun was blazing from across a vest nothingness of a wasteland, that couldn't be so. The air tinkled and shimmered with the little breeze that played about them.

Looking down, she followed an old beaten worn path to a vastness of The Labyrinth. She swallowed hard. She could make out the castle, seemingly at it's center, that was still so far away. The outer walls also seemed to shimmer in the light, and she could make out pale dots floating about weaving against the dark stones.

Beyond, she could make out the twisting walls and pathways, some areas were left wide open, some seemed to drop completely, giant trees of all shades of greens and browns blocked some views, to the far west mountains rose, while to the east the labyrinth seemed to blend into fields... She squinted when she saw something gleam and shine far beyond the castle... but she couldn't make it out. If she had to hazard a guess... she'd say it was an ocean. Perhaps.

Turning back to the bickering two, she let out another huff and pushed herself between the two, not really caring what either of them would do to her for her rude action. She had a younger brother to save, and when she got him back, because it was a question of when and not if, a certain spoiled brat to deal with. No one got away with wishing her brother away. No one.

"As entertaining as watching to two of you... argue, I'd rather get to the task of getting my brother back." she raised a brow in Sarah's direction when the other girl flushed and sheepishly coughed into her own hand.

The male, as she couldn't really call him a man as that pertained to humans which he clearly was not, drew himself up to his full height. It seemed he had forgotten all about her presence and was caught arguing with a teenage girl. The action made him far more imposing, even more so now that he was in his element.

His gaze took in the girl -young woman- that Sarah had become. In all honesty, she didn't really change all that much, personality wise. She had learned lessons in certain areas, having peeked in on her and the boy after she won Toby back, but overall, not much has changed. She had become enraged when he had showed up, with the young asian woman at his side, announcing that Toby had been wished away.

But once a deal had been worked out, she had been nothing but a cocky little thing all over again. It doubled so since she already had beaten his Labyrinth. She even went so far as to mock it, which was not a wise thing to do, as the Labyrinth was very much alive, and she was technically not a runner as she didn't wish anyone away this time.

Turning to the other young woman that somehow managed to reign Sarah's personality in, he was shocked still to see such... emotion in her eyes. And such odd eyes for one of her race, such deep blues. That had been his first sign, a sign that she either knew, or held, magic herself. It was the main reason to allow this little... deal to allow them to run for their respective brothers. It would give him a chance to understand what exactly she was.

He smiled as his eyes settled on Sarah once again, it only grew when she flinched back slightly, and he opened his mouth, choosing his words well, knowing it would put her on the spot, seeing as she wasn't alone this time.

"All rules apply, as you well know them, though there is one change." he brought an arm up to hold the elbow of the other, a crystal appearing in his right hand. He moved his hand, the crystal rolling from the back of his hand to his palm and then back again, he watched how Sarah once again followed the crystal movements as he spoke. Though the other one, she watched him solely, and he smirked causing her eyes to narrow and he knew he felt a spark of something as a result. "Seeing as you didn't wish your brother away, this time, you are not technically, a runner. The challenges of the Labyrinth will be a little more... formidable."

Sarah herself didn't understand what he was going on about, though it could be nothing more than another scare tactic to try and leave Toby and take the offered exchanged of her dreams coming true in return. Though, now that she thought about it, he didn't offer her her dreams.

"You have thirteen hours to win your brothers back, if not..." his voice echoed around them as he disappeared from their sights.

Sarah fidgeted on the spot as Kagome simply turned her gaze from where he stood to her classmate. Her ears were already ringing with the unasked questions about what the Goblin King had said about wishing her younger brother away before.

Though when she turned to meet the other girl's gaze, she didn't see any judgment or disbelief in her eyes. They were questioning, but nothing more.

"When I was fifteen... I wished my brother away to the Goblin King. I obviously beet him and got Toby back... but..." she shrugged her shoulders, not really knowing what else to say.

"The past is the past. The best we can do, is learn from it and hope not to make the same mistakes."

It unnerved Sarah at how... calmly Kagome was taking all of this. She furrowed her brows in confusion as the other girl simply turned and began to move towards the Labyrinth.

"That's all you have to say?" she didn't mean to sound angry, but this place had a way of bringing sides of herself that were best left alone.

Kagome sighed as she turned back to face Sarah, her tongue darting out to wet her dry lips.

"We all have said, done or know things we're not proud of, myself included. Who am I to judge, about something you did before we met? I will admit, that wishing away your brother is shocking, but I can tell you learned your lesson on that one. Correct?" she waited a few minutes until the other girl shyly nodded her head, though she still looked confused. "Then what more is there to say? Do you want me to scold you for wishing your brother away or something?"

"No. It's just, when people hear stories where a person wishes someone away, they always get angry and jump to how cruel those people are. I was sort of expecting you to do the same."

"I'm not like other people. Besides, those people most likely wanted something to happen to someone in their lives. The only differences between them and you were, that you knew what words to say and someone was listening."

A silence settled between them, it wasn't uncomfortable, and it allowed them to go over the words they had just shared.

"Let's get going. As they say, A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." once again, Kagome moved forward, Sarah quickly made it to her side. They walked in silence before Sarah spoke up.

"What do you think he meant by the challenges being more formidable?"

"How should I know? I've never been here before. But if I think about it, he said that because neither of us wished our brothers away, we weren't runners. So my guess is, that runners have a sort of safety net."

"Safety net?" Sarah frowned, not really following where her classmate was going with this. It also sort of twisted something deep in her gut that she was the one asking all the questions and not the other way around.

"Did you, in any way shape or form, get injured your last time here?" Kagome glanced at the green eyes brunette next to her. They had paused at the foot of the hill while Sarah quickly ran through her memories of the time she wished her brother away, and just as quickly shook her head negatively. "Then my guess is, that while the Labyrinth is challenging to those willing to take a chance to win back those wished away, they aren't really harmed. A sort of free pass if you think about it. But since we didn't wish our brothers away, my guess is, that we don't really have that pass. Now, I'm pretty sure, that the King won't allow us to come to too much harm, but I'm guessing he's bending the rules to allows us the chance to win back our brothers."

"Him giving us a chance?" Sarah snorted lightly, finding it hard to believe, not after everything he threw at her the last time.

"I'll put it the same way I did for him. Toby is your brother, Souta mine. Jenny had not right to wish them away, as they weren't in any way shape or form, hers to begin with. As such, she wouldn't risk anything to win them back, which is pretty much an unfair trade if you ask me. So I came up with a deal and we brought it to you, which you agreed to and now here we are."

They picked up again, moving towards the wall, where a small creature was going about doing something... Kagome wasn't sure as to what, though it looked like some form of gardening, if she had to describe it. She turned at the startled gasp that Sarah let out, seeing a wide eyed and wide smile look on her face, and reached a hand out to try and stop the other girl, but she was a fraction of a second to slow.

"Hoggle!"

Kagome raised a brow. Hoggle? It left her wondering if that was a what or a who, before she moved to stand next to Sarah. Said girl froze in place when the creature turned, showing them an angry face explaining how it wasn't a Hoggle. So was Hoggle a thing or a name?

"I... I'm sorry. I thought... you were a friend of mine. Do, do you know what happened to Hoggle?"

So Hoggle was a who.

"No. Now go away. Tuig very busy." the small creature huffed and went about organizing things into piles. Twigs, branches, pebbles and rocks, dried bits of grass or moss even. Why... she didn't know, but seeing as Sarah was upset and lost in her mind, Kagome stepped forward.

"I'm sorry, but I was wondering if you could show us how to get into the Labyrinth?"

The small creature paused and blinked large eyes at her, it's face was rather... round compared to the rest of it's body, which was rather thin and twig like. Bare feet which were rather long, shuffled about in the dirt, led up to knobby knees, it wore a mis-match of various fabrics stitched together, even some fur, or feathers. It allowed it's thin arms, which ended with long hands and fingers, that almost seemed much to large on it's body. What was surprising was it's rather neat and trimmed beard and mustache, and stark red cap.

He muttered something under his breath, but it was loud enough for her to hear that it was in a language that she didn't understand.

"You get's in through there. Now leave. Tuig very busy." he waved a spindled hand in a direction just behind her, where she turned to see a door that wasn't there just a few moments ago.

"Thank you!" she called after the surprisingly quick creature as she grabbed Sarah's hand and began for the large double doors.

"I don't understand."

"Understand what?" Kagome asked keep a light hold on Sarah, whom was still lost in thought.

"He helped me last time, this is where he's supposed to be." the girl frowned, as she kept her eyes on the ground.

"Like he said, things are different this time. I highly doubt he's going to make this easy for us, especially since you've already done this before. That would be cheating."

"But he cheats all the time!" Kagome blinked wide eyes at the sudden outburst, never once experiencing such from the girl next to her. Or better said, witnessing such.

"How so?"

Sarah began ticking things off on her fingers, and Kagome winced at each things that was listed off while also internally chuckling at how frighteningly similar the two actually were.

"He stole time from me, tried to send me back to the beginning, poisoned me, trick me into forgetting Toby, dropped me in the Bog of Eternal Stench, and he even sent the Cleaners after me!"

Kagome wasn't sure what, the Cleaners, were, but from the sound of them, it wasn't a bunch of people that simply cleaned up simple messes. Blinking a few times, Kagome took it all in.

"What are, The Cleaners?"

"Think of a meat slicer-n-dicer on wheels." Kagome flinched back at that, having had close calls with such things before.

"Why would he do that?" he had stated that, though not exactly, that Runners were actually safe from falling to harm while trying to win a wishes away child.

"I... may have called the Labyrinth... a piece of cake." Kagome chocked on air. Sarah just admitted to insulting his kingdom. Kagome knew better than to do such, it would be like telling Sesshoumaru that the Western Lands and his home were like a small little hut. She wouldn't insult his... anything... well... there were those few times when he was there sort of enemy. But those didn't count.

"No wonder. You pretty much insulted his kingdom."

"But sending the Cleaners after me! It wasn't fair!"

"Who said life was fair?" the questioned startled Sarah into losing the retort she was about to say. She was shocked that she fell back into an old routine, glad to have Kagome next to her to rant and rave about the misdeeds she suffered through at the Goblin King's hands, and remembered the lessons she learned during and after her last visit here.

"Let's get going, before we lose too much time." Kagome spoke up, shaking Sarah out of her thoughts, and both turned to open the doors.

They had barely brushed their finger tips across the ancient surface when the doors suddenly burst open, and a large strong wind rushed past them. Though not from within rushing out, it was from within, that much was for sure, it sucked the both of them in.

Sand, dust, glitter small rocks and twigs flew past them as the tried to keep their footing on solid ground, no matter how they slid against the solid surface. Till finally, they were both in the air, and landing heavily against a solid wall before them.

The doors to the Labyrinth slammed shut with a resounding echo as soon as the two of them landed on cool cobble stone. The ground beneath them seemed to shake and rumble and a wind rushed past them with such strength that they pushed themselves flat against either the wall or ground.

Soon it settled, and two curious young women chanced a peek, blinking rapidly. Slowly, they picked themselves up, putting things back the way they were before their sudden and brief flight.

"Well... that's a way to make a girl feel welcomed." Kagome muttered as she pulled a hair tie from one of her pants pockets and began to pull her hair up into a tight ponytail.

"That... was new. Even for me." Sarah wavered lightly on her feet, keeping a hand on a wall, the other one out before her just in case. Looking up, she nibbled on her lower lip lightly, she had a feeling Kagome was right, things were a lot different now. "Do you have an extra tie?"

Kagome finished securing her hair before pulling out a second hair tie and handed it to Sarah. She glanced down in the only two directions, both of which seemed to go on forever. While she waited for the other girl to finish with her own hair, Kagome spotted moss with eyes growing on the walls, and shivered.

"I've know the saying, that the walls have ears, but this... I'll admit, it's sorta creepy."

"I don't know if they're deliberate, but they're all over the place. As far as I know. But let's get going, 13 hours isn't a lot of time in a place like this. Keep your senses sharp, and don't trust your eyes. Not everything is as it seems here."

Kagome nodded her head in understanding. Illusions. Something else she was also familiar with. She followed after Sarah, the girl did have prior experience after all, but she would only follow for so long and to a certain degree. But her best bet were in her hands, and not her own.

The two of them walked gingerly down the path, each taking up a wall to run their hands along. Moss eyes following after them, the Labyrinth shifting in other areas, as if taking a deep and needed breath after so long a slumber.

An ancient magic, yet new, had been introduced to it's own. And it relished in the feeling of life itself walking down it's paths once again. For now, it would wait and watch, contemplate on what this new magic could do, and what to do in return.

It waited.

Chapter Text

If felt like forever... but in all reality, it had happened in a mere few hours. Kagome feeling more weary than she had ever before, clutched at a discarded fang, an unconscious kit, and a single shard as she stumbled upon her way.

Where was she going? Not even she knew that, she just let her feet move, following some sort of tug. Was it another shard? No, it didn't hold that ever fluctuating feel of the Shikon, but it was strong, whatever it was. All she knew, was that her best chances were to go there. Wherever it led her, to whomever, or whatever.

Soon, the sun was beginning to set, and heavy pregnant clouds rolled and filled the skies and just as quickly, opened up a down pour on her. It was then that she allowed her tears to fall. Her body had gone numb to whatever wounds she had gained in, first the sudden attack from Inuyasha, and then a surprise ambush of Kikyo and Naraku, and lastly, Inuyasha teaming up with Kikyo and Naraku.

As much as the betrayal ripped her heart, it was what happened right before Kagome could have a clear shot of Naraku that did her in. Using Kanna's mirror, Naraku had formed a sort of portal that acted much like Miroku's wind tunnel. It pulled everything in, including Miroku, Sango and Kirara. To where, she had no idea, but the fact of the matter was... they were gone and she was alone.

She didn't cry out, scream her anguish at the heavens, nor whimper. No, she was numb to everything, though that didn't stop the hot tears to roll down her face, quickly being washed away with the cold rain.

"Miko."

Red rimmed eyes snapped up to meet with cold golden ones. It was then, she realized, that she had locked onto Sesshoumaru's aura and blindly followed it. Taking in her surroundings quickly, she noticed that she was now at the mouth of a cave, deep in a forest, before her eyes settled onto the Lord of the West himself.

"He... he betrayed us."

Sesshoumaru took in her form, easily sighting the blood that was being washed away. And though she had been in the rain, he could still smell the stench of not only Naraku, but of his idiot half brother. It didn't take long for him to come to the conclusion of which 'he' she was talking about.

She was clutching to his father's former fang and an unconscious kit as if they were her life line, her anchor to the world. And it was then that Sesshoumaru did something he would vehemently deny, for it was a sign of weakness, he let out a quiet sigh. Stepping to the side, he ushered the tiny woman-child miko into the shelter of the cave. She had been a part of the half-breed's pack, and thus, his own. And despite the half-breed's betrayal, she was still pack, and now his to take care of.

Jumping slightly, the miko scuttled into the cave and quickly found a spot to bury herself into against the cave wall, ignoring a screeching Jaken, as her entire attention turned to concern as she looked over the kit. The fang had been placed gently at her side, so she could use both hands in searching for wounds on her own ward.

Already, he was going over everything that would be changing. First off, would be questioning the miko on everything that his idiot of a half brother had done, along with Naraku. As soon as he was pleased with her answers, they would return to the West, where he would immediately start on the miko's training. No longer would she stand on the side, for he had a feeling, things would drastically change.

"Miko, you will tell this Sesshoumaru of the half-breed's betrayal."

Snapping her head up and looking towards the intimidating male across from her, Kagome lowered her gaze and nodded her head. First though, she placed Shippo down, making sure he was as comfortable as could be and replaced him with a Tessaiga and shuffled forward toward the imposing demon lord.

"It's yours now. When it wouldn't work for Inuyasha, he tossed it aside." she held it across both her open palms, in offering.

Sesshoumaru himself eyed the sheathed blade. After so long of trying to obtain the legend of his mighty and terrible father, and failing, he had soon given up. After, he had been able to form his own blade, one made of not his fang, but by his own power alone. But still, what the miko had said was true. So, he lifted a hand and raised it to rest just above the sheath for a mere moment before wrapping long fingers around the worn wood that protected the fang inside. When there were no angry sparks in retaliation, he took it and slipped it in his sash where his other blades resided. He would have time to admire it later.

Kagome bowed her head and shuffled back to her chosen spot, and once she was comfortable, she began retelling the events of the day to how she ended up in her current position. When she was asked if she knew where Naraku had taken them all, she furrowed her brows and nibbling on her lower lip furiously. Oh she had an idea, she just wasn't sure if he would believe her.

"I... I have an idea." her tongue quickly darted out to try and sooth her dried lips. "I think, they are where I'm from. I think they're in the future."

 

She chatted animatedly with her brother on a cell. With all that happened in Jr. High, she had resorted to moving to a whole other city within the great part of Tokyo. But, that was just part of it. As the city itself was in the west, thus in Sesshoumaru's territory, and it was a focal point for strange happenings, he had sent her there to investigate.

"Yes, as soon as I get my schedule, and the day is done, I'll call home and let you guys know everything." she smiled lightly as she walked down the side walk. After everything that happened, her brother had become such a worry-wart. It was rather cute.

"Listen, I have to go. But I'll call as soon as I can tonight. Though it might be late, as I still have some unpacking to do. Yeah, I love you guys!" she cooed into the speaker, giggling when her brother made fake gagging noises before a quick 'love you too' was hastily spoken and he hung up.

Snapping her cell shut, Kagome shook her head still giggling slightly at her brothers antics. As much as he turned into a worry-wart, he still acted like a tough guy. Which meant feelings were bad and 'icky'.

Slipping her cell into her pocket, sighing when it wasn't her new uniform as she had yet to receive one along with her papers, she made her way towards the front entrance of the school. She ignored all the looks and sudden whispers her sudden appearance brought on, something that became easy to do since her time in the Feudal Era. Though she did see what the girls uniform looked like, and approved. It was just, she hated being the center of attention, and as she was dressed up in casual clothing instead of the school uniform, she was positive she would be dead center of everyone's attention.

Walking down the hall, she quickly spied the sign for the administrative offices, and made a bee-line towards it. Walking in, she smiled as she greeted the secretary behind the counter, to which was returned just as kind.

"Hello, I'm Higurashi, Kagome. I'm a new student here."

"Ah, hello Higurashi-san! I'm so glad you found the school ok. Though, I see you're not wearing the school uniform. Is everything alright?"

Nervously scratching the back of her neck, a just as nervous giggle escaped her. "Actually, I never received my uniform, or papers. I think it could be because I just moved to Karakura, but I also put in my previous address should anything happen, and my mother told me that nothing came in for me." shrugging her shoulders, she shifted slightly in her spot.

"Oh, that won't do. Alright, why don't you just fill this out, and I'll get some copies of you papers printed up." the woman placed a clipboard with a standard form on the school uniform for her to fill out while she disappeared through a door.

While she waited, Kagome was left wondering what the heck was wrong with the city. The spiritual levels were high, never had she felt them so high before. And that was saying a lot after all the holy and cursed locations she had visited in the past. Not only that, there were some especially powerful beings within the school's boundaries. She felt like she was riding a whirlwind with all that spiritual pressure. Sesshoumaru was sure to learn of this after school let out and she was safe in her apartment.

"Here you are Higurashi-san." the secretary returned and exchanged one set of papers for the form that had just been filled out. "As for your uniform, you can expect it either after school tomorrow or the day after. I'm really sorry about the mix up."

"It's alright, things happen. Thank you again!" she bowed and left the office, making her way to her first class, humming a tune as she went over her schedule, which was pretty standard. One thing was for sure, if Kagome hadn't stopped and asked a few other students where her class was, she would have been late. But she wasn't, so here she was, introducing herself to her class.

"Class, this is Higurashi, Kagome. She's our newest student. Higurashi, please introduce yourself."

Bowing, Kagome wore a light smile as she stood straight once again. Already, she could feel three beings that were spiritually powerful, two very similar, and oddly enough, one of the three didn't exactly feel... human.

"My name is Higurashi, Kagome. I just moved here, so please treat me kindly."

"Very nice. As you all have study period next, that is when you can all ask your questions. Higurashi, if you could please have a seat. And welcome to Karakura High."

Kagome nodded her head before making her way to the only free spot available. Right away, her eyes were drawn to a shock of orange hair, and following down to the person's face, she blinked a few times at the scowl the boy was wearing. Not at all put out by it, she had been on the constant receiving of Inuyasha's scowls, she smiled while tilting her head minutely. She noticed that her actions threw him off, and stifled her giggles before continuing to her seat. Sitting down, she kept her gaze on the back of his head, trying to figure out what exactly he was.

She had also noticed a bespectacled boy, who shared looks similar to her own, also seemed to have a sort of power. It was almost along the line of what she and Miroku, though not. And closer to the class entrance was a girl who was even smaller than her in stature that had a feeling of death clinging to her. And she didn't mean, as if the girl was sickly or dieing, simply that death was a part of her nature. She simply hoped that while she attended here, she'd get a chance to also have fun.

Chapter Text

Huffing, she eyed the small vaporous cloud with bored interest, as they waited for some form of action to happen. It was after 5 years of waiting after the better half of their group was forcefully taken by Naraku and then disappearing with the damn spider, that those left behind realized that Kagome was no longer aging like a proper human. They assumed it had to do with the fact that, not only was the Shikon incomplete, but so was her soul.

Over the last 500 and some years, they also learned that Naraku had managed to slip his group and his hostages had slipped into some sort of realm outside of proper time. Only problem was, that he never showed in just Japan, but at different locations around the world, and it was hard to tell of when he would show up. But they soon learned to read the signs that led up to his appearance.

Such as now, it was much easier with computers allowing real life access of information from across the globe. Which led herself and Shippo staked out atop a small cliff just outside the boundaries belonging to some large estate. And though one of their own did warn the owner of said estate, Shippo and herself came nonetheless, and were highly disappointed to see that their warning was not being heeded. Shiori did say, that the people would handle it.

Now Kagome was waiting out in the open in the back of a truck with a high power sniper rifle set up on the roof and her peering through it's scope. There were some guards, just milling about without a care in the world, and then a thick purple fog began to roll across the property. Those that took notice of it first called out to those closest before dropping. Soon enough, the whole place was alive.

"Time?"

"It's 23:52. About time, I was beginning to wonder if he wouldn't show."

"I'm the one freezing my ass off out here." Kagome replied in a low voice, despite the distance, she didn't want to ruin the chance.

Her brows furrowed when she spotted Naraku and the others finally take form. Sensing a deeply tainted half of the Shikon hanging off of Naraku's neck, as well as the pungent taint rolling off of Kikyo as she seemed to be practically trying to merge herself with the spider. The rest of the group consisted of reluctant participants.

Kagura looked ready to empty her stomach, but held herself well, considering that Naraku literally held her heart. Kanna was only there to support Kagura, because despite being classified as a creature of the void, she did hold feelings, reasoning and freewill. The rest were Sango, Miroku and Kohaku, all prisoners of the vile monster.

The corners of her lips dipped downward when she moved her sight, noticing a few individuals actually stepping just out of reach of the miasma. She silently muttered a few choice words under her breath before shifting back towards Naraku. Seeing as the others were all there, he was physically there as well, and not just a puppet.

Arming the rifle, she got ready, squeezing the trigger with a gloved hand though stopped suddenly when she heard Shippo speak. Releasing the trigger before she could even take a shot, she pulled back from the scope and glanced through the open back window at the back of Shippo's head as he flicked the stub of his finished cigarette.

"What is it?" she was more than concerned, he barely cursed, but when he did, he usually had cause and reason to do so.

"Kanna is using her mirror."

Swiftly, she peered through the scope and moved so she had Kanna in her sights. Cursing under her breath again, Kanna was indeed using her mirror. Shifting to across the field, she spotted a paled haired woman dropping to her knees. Seemed Naraku knew they would be there waiting for him and was forcing their hand.

Shifting back to Kanna, she silently and mentally urged the void child to shift so that she had a clear shot of the mirror to halt the soul stealing process. The last time they hadn't stopped the process, an entire village ended up losing their souls. As much as she wanted the bastard dead and gone, along with his whore, she wasn't willing to let others suffer, lose their souls or die in the process of achieving that goal.

As soon as she had the shot, she squeezed the trigger, already use to the kick back and loud shot that rang through the air. Moving back, she watched as her bullet light up the night sky as if it were a falling star, purifying the miasma and sink into Kanna's mirror. Soon enough, whatever souls that were trapped beneath the glossy smooth surface were forced out, along with the one that belonged to the woman.

Leaning back to look through her scope, she scowled deeply as she caught sight of a smirking Naraku before the group vanished once again. Stepping to the side, she leaned against the rooftop of the truck, her chin being supported on her crossed arms. Slipping a hand free, she thumped on the roof's surface, she alerted Shippo.

"I guess we should alert the owners of the manor and it's estate of what just happened."

"Already on it."

As Shippo spoke on his cell, Kagome started packing her rifle away and climbing into the passenger side, tucking the rifle case behind the seats.

"They would like to meet us."

"Figures. I'll call Sesshoumaru and let him know of what happened."

All she got in return was a soft grunt as Shippo started up the truck's engine and backed away from the cliff's edge.

"He showed up as we thought, with the others present. He got away though by using a human shield." her voice sounded tired as she pinched the bridge of her nose. As soon as they all saw the signs, Kagome dropped everything and partnered up with Shippo and both were on their way to London, England. It had been at least 72 hours, if not more, since she last slept.

"I'll call the staff for the London estate, though it won't be ready till tomorrow. I take it you're meeting with those that just witnessed today's events?"

"Yeah, we're on our way as we speak. I know the drill, I'll give them your contact information as well as where we're staying." all she got was his ever annoying 'hn' before he told her he would be arriving in London as soon as he could get free himself.

"He didn't sound to happy."

"None of us are with how tonight turned out."

The front gates to the estate were opened without haste, and they pulled up to the front of the manor. An elderly butler was already standing there waiting for them.

"Greetings, Sir Integra is awaiting for you in the office. If you would please follow me."

Kagome stood out of the truck and pulled on the cords of the belt of her wool trench a little tighter to fight against the cold. The action caused to show how petite she really was to any that was watching. Kagome herself, already shivered, though not due to the cold, but due to the very powerful aura that was within the the manor's walls.

From within the shadows, a pair of glowing carmine eyes took in the two strangers, and a wild grin appeared at the power that rolled off of them, especially the woman. The being shivered in excitement as it felt the power roll of the tiny female. It was a power that he hadn't before, and it filled him with an uncertain amount of curiosity and wonder as to what both of them were.

He took them in. They were both obvious of Asian decent, though they both had certain characteristics that were not standard of those cultures. The male had shocking red hair, much like a certain pilot he knew, and vivid green eyes. And the woman herself had surprisingly blue eyes. Both other than that, he could tell they were of Asian decent.

He felt and heard his mistress calling him, and his grin only grew more maddeningly for he knew he would be present to witness this unannounced meeting, where his mistress would hopefully learn of what exactly happened, and gain more than just a 'Please understand, it's for the best you don't know.'

He watched as the two strangers follow in after Walter, before appearing before his mistress himself. He smiled at the woman that sat in a chair behind a grand desk before him, his smile showing off his fangs, though he was furious inside at what had almost happened to her not an hour ago.

"You called Mistress." it wasn't a question, and his grin only grew more when he felt the slight irritation coming off of her. Despite his loyalty to her, he did enjoy messing with her slightly every now and then.

"As you most likely already know, we have guests. So, while I want you on your best behavior, I also want you to keep an eye on them."

"Am I to be present during this meeting."

"No, not until I tell you too." she waved a hand when she heard a knock on the door, indicating that she want him to hide himself in the shadows, and wait until further notice before he was to reveal himself.

"Sir Integra, our guests are here."

"Show them in"

Kagome turned to Shippo with a raised brow when the reply that came through the door was female instead of the male she had expected with the title of 'Sir' that they had been given. Shrugging her shoulders delicately as both followed the butler into the office where a paled haired woman was sitting behind a large desk. It wasn't hard to realize that this was the woman that had almost lost her soul that night.

While her hair was pale, a platinum blond, her skin was well tanned, a sharp pale blue eyes took her and Shippo in from behind round glasses. Despite that the person was indeed a woman, she held herself in such a way as masculine, wearing clothing that was also masculine, that Kagome came to the conclusion that the woman was either raised as a boy, or, choose to take on a more masculine persona. She didn't fail to notice the white gloves that she wore as she reached for something on her desk, and pulled back a cigar.

"Thank you Walter, you may go now."

"Very well Sir." with a bow, the aged butler left the guests and room, knowing she would be protected from whatever threat those two could pose a threat as.

"Please have a seat." Integra indicated the two chairs while lighting up her cigar.

"Is he going to join us?" Kagome couldn't help but ask as she made herself comfortable.

"He? May I ask who you are referring too?"

Kagome stared blatantly in the directions of the darkest shadows in the corner of the room, behind the woman herself. After a few moments, she turned her gaze back to the woman and raised a brow and crossed her legs.

"We came here to tell you what happened and answered your questions, as honestly as we could. As long as they were within our ability to do so. And here you have..." she turned to Shippo for help on the situation.

"A pet." his mischievous grin caused her to roll her eyes, he could be such a brat at times.

"You said it, not I. Anyways, you have one of your own hidden in the shadows. I think it would be fair if all of us were upfront. Besides, it would take much more than that to pull one over my eyes." Kagome pulled her hands out from her jacket pockets, and pulled her leather gloves off, folding them neatly in her lap.

"Alucard, you may come out."

The first that Kagome could make out, was a wide red rim of a hat, a foot in a black leather boot broke from the shadows where she saw the edges of a deep red trench coat follow the male's movements. He was wearing a heavy red trench coat over black with a shock of red in the form of a lose bow. While his face was mostly shadowed from the brim of his hat, she could make out a pair of round glasses as light glared off of them and shinning fangs as he smiled in their direction.

"A vampire. Haven't crossed paths with one in a long time." Kagome turned her gaze back to the woman with a raised brow. She went to open her mouth and speak, but she pursed her lips, furrowed her brows and tilted her head to the side slightly before leveling the vampire with an angry glare.

"Stay out of my head."

Alucard grinned even wider, if it was at all possible when the woman uttered those words. Perhaps he had finally met his match? She had sensed him, and blocked him from gaining anything from her mind, and with what he felt from her now, he knew she was powerful.

Her blue eyes shined in whatever lighting there was in the room, making them far more sharper, and that power she held was also sharpened that it caused a light sting against his own. Her face was delicate, but held a refined look. Like most asian's her face was rounder, coming to a soft pointed chin. Her blue eyes, a strange coloring for her race, were almond shaped and tilted up just slightly. Her nose was delicate and led to a set of slightly pouting lips. Her hair tumbled around her face in a halo of inky waves that had a blue sheen to it.

The woman's attention turned back to his mistress, and he listened attentively to what she had to say, all the while making sure all his were focused on the two strangers. The woman revealed herself as a one, Kagome Higurashi, and the male at her side simply as Shippo. And what his senses told him simply seemed to wrap the woman up in more than mystery.

His eyes told him of a young woman, perhaps around 25, if not a little older, of asian decent. His ears told him that she spoke English well, though there was this lilt to it that meant it was not her native tongue. They also told him, that despite that she knew what he was, her heart beat was not erratic, and beat at a steady pace. Since he couldn't actually feel her, he felt whatever power that rolled off of her. It caused his undead heart to lurch with excitement and pump his undead blood faster. Whatever power she held, it sparked against his own and he silently hissed when it slapped at his silent poking and probing. Catching her eye for a brief moment, he licked his lips when her scent spiked at her irritation. At first it was simply sweet to the like of plums and peaches, but her irritation and anger at his unwanted attentive attention spiced it, like cinnamon and ginger. It made him wonder what she would taste like.

"Alucard, enough." the sharp command from his mistress alerted him that she had become aware of his thoughts, and was not happy with them. He continued smiling, but obeyed with a bow of his head.

"See, a pet." Shippo snickered under his breath, though he was quick to bite the inside of his cheek at the sharp glare and uttering of his name Kagome sent him.

Sliding her eyes back to the woman, Kagome let out a tired sigh, Shippo always did act out after flying by the means of human transportation, and she was far to tired to do much about it.

"Forgive him. He forgets to act like the adult that he is. Now, before we take our leave, would it be alright if we examined where they appeared and disappeared?"

Integra for her part was finding it a little hard to believe the woman and her tale. Part of an organization that had been following a man and his female counterpart and their captives as they appeared in random locations across the globe? And over the last 500 years? Then again, she did have a vampire that was bound to her that was near 600 years old. And since the contract was made, she had seen a many great things that most would scoff at and later ask if she had her head examined.

"That is alright." she snuffed the last bit of her cigar out as she stood, her guests following her example and waited for her to lead them the way.

"I must ask, what was it that I was experiencing, before the two of you interrupted?"

"Having your soul stolen."

It was the nonchalant way, Ms. Higurashi had answered her, that caused her to stop and pivot on her heel to gaze at the petite woman with disbelief. Both of her brows were raised, and Ms. Higurashi simply shrugged her shoulders, as if it were a natural thing that happened far too often for the young woman.

"You speak as if this a natural occurring incident."

"I've lost count on how many times others have tried to steal my own. Not the most comfortable feeling. It'll be till morning, before you feel like yourself again and refreshed. Having your soul ripped out of you and forced back in will take that long, to settle properly."

Integra blinked a few times at how bluntly Ms. Higurashi spoke about it. She caught sight of Alucard as he eyes the petite woman with open and avid interest at this latest news. So, glancing at the woman for a brief moment, she spun about to face forward again and lead them to where the whole incident had occurred.

"On another note. I would burn those that died from the, toxic gas that was emitted. It has a nasty habit of spreading and killing all those around them. So you might want to get right on that as soon as this inspection is done."

They were finally out on the premises of the Hellsing estate, and making their way to where it all happened in a matter of minutes before the mysterious group disappeared. Integra and Alucard stopped just beyond where said toxic gas had reached the farthest, and watched as Kagome moved to the center and crouched down.

"What is it, you plan to do once you find this man?" Integra asked, she noticed how Kagome's companion stuffed his hands into his pocket and let out a light growl, but paid attention to Kagome.

"I plan to return a favor." her hand brushed over the dead grass, raising it to roll ash and dirt in her palm under her thumb.

"And that favor would be?" Integra asked, crossing her arms over her chest, shivering lightly. Not only from the slight chill in the air, but she was standing in the same spot where she had almost lost her soul.

Kagome was about to answer, when she spotted something in the dead grass in the area where Kagura, Kanna, Miroku, Sango, and Kohaku had huddled together behind Naraku and Kikyo. Standing up she moved to it and picked it up. It turned out to be a small scrap of fabric from Sango, but it was wrapped around something. Opening it up, was a bead, from Miroku and it was etched with something. Rubbing her thumb across the surface, she could make out very simplified characters of their message.

She smiled, it twisted slightly at what it meant and how long they had waited for something like this. She may wonder why the sudden change in Naraku's plans, but she could chalk it up to the meeting between himself and those that associated with Sir Integra. Namely speaking, the two vampires that were housed beneath her roof.

"I plan on sending him to hell." her eyes shined from within, as she placed a hand in the dead grass, it too lit from within. And with a sudden burst of power, the dead grass was quickly replaced with new and alive grass, while Kagome made her way towards them.

Chapter Text

She slammed heavily into the ground, the breath knocked right out of her, escaping as a wheezing, choked cough. The slimy appendage of one of Naraku's tentacles had wrapped tightly around her left ankle and was quickly climbing up her leg and squeezing her waist to a painful degree.

The others were shouting as she was being dragged with the monster into the pits of hell, while she herself was scrabbling for a foothold, something to grab onto and all the while telling the others to stay back. She managed to grab onto a long bow and her sword, gifted to her by Sesshoumaru himself.

Though soon enough, with her only weapons gripped tightly in her hands till her knuckles were white, she was soon wrapped completely with Naraku's tentacles as the two disappeared through the portal to hell that had been opened.

The others simply froze as the reality of what just happened finally sunk in. Sango clutched at Miroku as she let out a sob, raising a hand to stifle any more of them that wanted to escape. Shippo's own wails were already echoing in the open around them. Miroku cringed when he felt a throb in his right hand. Removing the prayer beads and cloth, he frowned. He was finally free of the Wind Tunnel, but it cost him, all of them, Kagome.

 

It had been a few months since Cas had pulled him out of hell, and all for the reason of the Apocalypse. Something he wasn't too happy about. And now here they were, the three of them because there seemed to be a crack to hell and demons were escaping through it. Which was luckily enough, in the middle of nowhere. So that meant either, that there would be no casualties as they fought those that would protect this crack, or it would take them a while to get to anywhere should anything happen.

"So, why exactly are we here again?" Dean muttered out. His hold on the duffel bag strap tightened as the three of them continued through the bush to the open field just up ahead of them.

"There is a crack open to Hell, and demons are escaping through it. I fear that whatever made it has yet to come through, and until then, it will remain open."

"So, we're here to what? Watch your back until you complete sealing it?"

"Yes."

Dean grunted slightly, if there was one thing about Castiel that he had noticed in the last few months, that the angel was blunt to the point that he was almost naïve and childlike. It pissed him off at certain times. Especially with the appearing-disappearing act. And if not that, then leaving without giving them the whole answer.

"Okay, great to know. Do you have any idea as to what's trying to get out?"

"No."

"Well isn't that just perfect. Do you know how many already got out and how many are still hanging around?"

"No."

"That's even better!" he couldn't help but gripe out.

Sam rolled his eyes, though he could understand where his brother was coming from. Ever since Dean had come back, they had only gotten half answers to any of there questions. Now they were being chased by demons and others alike with their plans of going along with the End of the World.

The finally made it to the edge of the field, already they counted at least 10 people. All of them possessed, if their black eyes were anything to go by. Crouching down, they ruffled through their bags, grabbing at their weapons and extra ammo.

They stopped when they noticed that a thick, heavy and violet colored fog started to seep up from the ground and fill the area. It curled around the legs of those standing in clearing. They noticed, that while the people weren't effected, it was killing off the plant life surrounding them.

"What the hell..."

Soon enough, a man emerged, and Dean couldn't help but snort at how he looked. He wore his hair long, abnormally so, he was sickly pale and wore the strangest style of clothing. But the fact that he wasn't showing any signs of demonic possession, yet the others that were possessed didn't seem to mind. They freely interacted with the man as if he were an equal.

"Do you know what's going on?"

"No. This does not make any sense."

"This just keeps getting better and better." Dean muttered under his breath.

"We've been in tougher situations before." Sam spoke up, hoping to lighten up the situation.

"Oh yeah! Give me the top three." Dean asked, shooting Sam's light support down to crash and burn.

"Well, there was... How about when... You remember the time, when..." he couldn't really come up with one, not one that measured up to their current situation. Not with this many possessed people, strange deadly fog and a mysterious person.

And then it happened. They weren't sure what happened or how it happened, but soon enough the demons were attacking them. And they just kept coming and coming. Even with the knife they 'borrowed' from Ruby. It didn't help, that as soon as they got close to the fog, it started to take effect on them. It was like acid, it ate away at their clothing and skin as soon as they stepped into it.

It left them at a standstill, the demons had a save zone that they couldn't enter, but the demons wouldn't get to close because they had the knife that could kill them. But the strangest thing that happened, was that the man was shifting, changing in a very hellish sort of way. Reminding Dean of just before he entered hell, of how he was able to see what the demons truly looked like.

Soon enough, long tentacles were reaching for them, and while they did slash at them with the knife, it didn't do much. And before they could reach them completely, a bright light fill the area. Clearing any remnants of the fog and disintegrating the large appendages that had been reaching for them.

"Miko."

"That was a warning shoot. The next will mean your death."

Though Naraku smirked when she slung the bow, that she had dragged with her into hell, over her shoulder and walked forward. She and Naraku turned towards a sudden shout, spying the three men standing just outside where Naraku's miasma had once been. She raised a brow, ignoring their concerned outcry, and continued on into the midst of the possessed people.

Once they got within her reach, she pressed her hand to the closest one and purified the demon that was within the person, and when it was done, they dropped. They continued until it was only Kagome and Naraku standing in the clearing.

The three watched as the people dropped after being touched by the woman. She had just suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and when they tried to warn her before she entered the clearing. She seemed pale, a stark contrast against the darkness of the night. Her long dark hair covering her back, and the only things she had on her were the two weapons, a bow and sword. She wore these strange faded wide red pants, and her chest was in wraps. Other than that, there was nothing to indicate who, or what she was.

"Do you know what she just did?" Sam whispered, leaning a little closer towards Castiel.

"I believe she purified the demons."

"What the hell does that mean!" Dean hissed, turning to the angel himself, still clueless as to what the hell was going on.

"He called her a miko earlier. They were once holy warriors from ancient Japan. They had the ability to annihilate any form of evil, destroy a soul completely."

The brothers turned to Castiel, both slightly wondering if they heard him correctly. Not only that, it sounded like he was slightly in wonder. But Sam had caught on how he described them.

"Were? That's past tense. Are you saying, that they don't exist anymore or something?"

"The last greatest miko disappeared a little over 500 years ago. Soon, the ones they fought against began to disappear and hide themselves amongst humans, meaning there were less and less need for true miko's."

The brothers kept switching their gazes from the two in the clearing, to Castiel, then back to the clearing. It left them wondering what exactly was going on. Was this woman really a miko, one of these so called holy warriors that could destroy a soul completely? Then she could be able to help them with this whole Apocalypse. Right?

And then the two of them were clashing. The three of them just stood there watching the two of them go at it. It reminded the two brothers of those samurai movies with how they were moving about and fighting. But, the woman had the upper hand, and it seemed the man knew it as well. But he was going to go out fighting. He simply kept toying with the woman, dodging and sending extended appendages in their direction.

"Enough, this time I will destroy you."

With a burst of speed, she ducked under a swing in her direction, standing up, she spun her blade arm about in such a way, that while the two were back to back, her blade was at the man's neck. After a tense few moments, she spun about once again and cleaved the man's head clean from his shoulders. While the head rolled forward, the body tipped backwards and began to fall too it's knees. But neither the head or body made contact with the ground, both turned into a show of glittering ash.

They took in how she dispassionately watched the ash fall and then turned to the ground with a slight frown. They watched as she blinked in rapid session a few times before she took in her surroundings, as if seeing the world for the first time. Looking up, she let out a quiet whimper and fell to her knees.

"Should we go to her?" Sam leaned over towards Dean, whispering his question, as they kept their attention on the woman.

"I honestly don't know." Dean whispered his reply, frowning slightly when the woman leaned forward and seemed to nuzzle her face into the grass beneath her. She wore a smile of absolute bliss while she rubbed her face into the grass, the fact that she also seemed to be crying made the whole situation surreal.

They stood their full height from their slightly crouched positions at the edge of the clearing, and started towards her, making sure to step over the few unconscious bodies. Sam, being the more caring of the two stepped closer to her to check on her and ask if she was alright. Only, his movements were halted when cold metal was suddenly pressed lightly against his neck.

His eyes flashed down against the metal that shined in the night light and followed it to the hand that held it and then up the arm till his eyes were clashing with dark and guarded sapphire's. Immediately both his hands were up in a sign of surrender and he stumbled back.

"Look, I'm sorry. I was just making sure you were alright. Are, you alright?" he noticed she was taking everything about him in. Every flinch, twitch and subtle movement.

She narrowed her eyes, for them to only fly up towards Dean and Castiel as they moved forward. Her body tensed momentarily before relaxing her posture. Though they could tell from years of hunting, she was more than ready to take action should they move to quickly for her liking.

"I doubt she even understands you." Dead spoke up, fingering his gun as he too took her in, making sure nothing happened to Sam from the crazy woman.

"I understand perfectly."

They all stilled and eyed her more critically, Dean and Sam losing their tense posture and letting their guard down.

"Then why didn't you speak English from the beginning?"

"I was speaking Japanese. Old habits die hard I guess." she shrugged her shoulders as she looked off to the side briefly. Turning back towards them, she asked a simple question.

"What year is it?"

"Uhh, 2009."

"It's only been that long?" her brows furrowed as she glanced down, though it was quickly replaced with a tight smile. "Then again, Hell has a way of messing with one's sense of time."

"Hell? You were in hell?"

"Yes. Naraku, the monster I just destroyed, dragged me with him to hell. But, that was a little over 500 years ago." she looked up at them with wide blinking blue eyes, asking a question that threw them all off completely. "Do any of you have a cell phone by any chance?"

"500 years in hell and the first thing you ask is a cell phone? How do you even know what a cell phone is?" Sam asked as he stood up, dusting his pants off while doing so.

"I'll answer your questions later, but please, a cell phone." she stood up herself, tucking her blade to her side by tying it to what held her pants up.

"Uh, sure." Sam absently dug his cell out and handed it to the woman. They all watched as she began pushing buttons and moved to tuck some hair behind her ear before placing the cell to the same ear.

Kagome bit her lip with nervousness as she finally got the number punched in and could hear that it was ringing. It had been at least ten years since she had gone missing, and there was no telling what had happened within those ten years.

"Higurashi residence. Higurashi, Nodoka speaking."

She had waited so long to hear that voice, the voice of her mother, and the water works nearly started up and her throat felt swollen as she chocked up, and she swallowed hard before her voice worked properly.

"Hello? Is there someone there?"

"Mama, I'm coming home."

"Ka... Kagome? Is that really you?" before Kagome could even reply, her mother was going off. "Oh my baby! Where have you been? Are you alright? What happened to you? From where are you calling?"

"Mama... Mama... MOM! I have to cut this short, it's not my cell, and this is an international call. But I wanted to tell you, that everything is finally done, I'm safe and that I'm coming home."

"Alright. When you get home, you can tell me everything. I, I love you honey. And I'm so proud of you."

"Me too Mama." Kagome took in a deep breath and hung up. With a watery smile, she handed the cell back.

"You disappeared over 500 years ago. How is it possible that your mother is still alive?"

"Wait mother?"

Kagome herself was shocked that the man could understand her. Blinking a few times, she went over the question a few times. Still trying to comprehend the situation and how to explain herself. So she thought best to go with the truth. No matter how crazy it sounded.

"I was born in 1980. In 1995, when I turned 15, I fell through time. Literally. I found myself 500 years in the past. While there, I learned I was a protector of a very sacred and powerful artifact..."

"The Shikon no Tama." all turned to Castiel, Sam and Dean confused that he knew what the woman was talking about, which meant she wasn't crazy, while Kagome herself simply smiled lightly and nodded her head. Though her eyes were questioning.

"That's correct. Over the next four years I battled against Naraku with the aid of many that Naraku had wronged. It was during a battle against him that a portal to hell opened and begun to take him. Pushing the others out of the way, I ended up being dragged with him"

"So you're from this time." it wasn't a question, but she answered nonetheless.

"Yes."

"You've been in hell all this time."

"Yes."

"You're a miko."

"Yes."

"And all this over this... what was it again?" Dean asked, huffing slightly in disbelief about the whole situation.

"The Shikon no Tama. Or, Jewel of Four Souls." she pulled said jewel from beneath the wraps around her chest, ignoring the slight perverted look the one that interrogated her was giving her. She had spent enough time around Miroku, not only that, but depraved souls while in hell.

"You spent 500 years in hell fighting a bastard over a pink marble?"

"Despite it's, seemingly innocent size, this little marble is the cause for much blood shed. It's made up of the souls of a powerful miko before me, a horde of lower level youkai and a single man. All those who have claimed to have owned it, usually met with an untimely and bloody death. If not going mad before that."

"Huh. I think I remembering reading something about that a few years back. But it was so vague that I had dismissed it as nothing but a really fancy bed time story."

"Hmmm, I wouldn't know." she glanced down at the Jewel in her hand and let out a tired sigh. Even while she was in hell, demons and twisted souls could feel it and were drawn to it. Though surprisingly enough, even she learned some useful skills while she was trapped down there. Now it was just a question of how to destroy the damn thing. She could feel the high amount youki from the horde of lower level youkai souls from within, but what would that mean for Midoriko and the man himself still trapped within?

Mentally shrugging, she pushed her purifying abilities, and just like any youkai she had come across, it turned to glittering ash. Only to be blown away leaving her hand empty. If she had known it would have been so easy, she would have done this 500 years ago and saved everyone the pain and heartache. Dusting off her hands, she looked up to see stunned faces.

"What?"

"What just happened?"

"I purified the youkai souls, thus saving the souls of the miko and man trapped inside. My duty is finally done, and it's curse is finally lifted." taking in a deep breath of fresh air. She finally realized something.

"Oh! My name is Kagome Higurashi. May I know yours?" out of habit, she gave them a bow. She may have been in hell for over five centuries, but her mother had fiercely taught her the proper manners.

"Uh, I'm Sam, and this is my brother Dean Winchester. Next to us is Castiel."

"Winchester? As in Sam and Dean Winchester?"

"Do we know you?"

"No, but I have heard of you. But mostly of Dean. Let's just say, hell was very happy once it got it's claws in you, and very pissed when you had been stolen."

"I don't understand."

"When you're a living miko wondering around in hell, you're bound to cross paths with many that consider themselves part of the, elite." shrugging her shoulders, she turned her gaze away. She had far better things to contemplate at the moment, such as how was she going to get back home and then explain her ten year disappearance to her family.

"Everything alright?"

"Not really. I don't know where I am and how to get back home."

"And where do you live?" Kagome raised a brow to the question. She eyed Dean with wary, he reminded her far too much like Miroku, but seeing as they were the only ones that could help her without having her thrown into a mental institution, and shrugged and answered his question.

Castiel watched the proceedings silently, still somewhat amazed that the woman that had just appeared was the same that had disappeared over 500 years ago. Though mikos were of Shinto religion, they had possessed abilities that rivaled angels, with a few abilities that angels themselves couldn't imagine being able to do.

He had watched a few in the past after hearing of their abilities, curious. And the woman before them now, was the last of her kind, and may be able to help them in their cause at stopping the Apocalypse from actually happening.

"The Higurashi Shrine in Tokyo, Japan. But it's going to take a while to get there. I have no passport, no money... nothing." she nibbled on her lower lip, absently staring at the ground.

"I have an idea. Why not have Cas here take you home?"

Castiel was shook out of his musing when all eyes turned to him. Kagome herself gazed at him with confused eyes before furrowing her brows. Her attention back to Sam, still looking at the three of them with confusion.

"Uh, how can he help? I'd still need my passport."

"He's, special. Happens to be an angel."

Both her brows shot up and her gaze landed back on him. She eyed him up and down with wide blinking eyes, almost as if she didn't believe the answer she had just been given. He shifted slightly, unused to being under such scrutiny, or it's intensity.

Dean and Sam also watched how she took Castiel in, it was in a way, that she was looking through him instead of at him. It was slightly unnerving, and they felt a slight amount of comfort and not being the one under just a gaze.

"Not to be rude or anything, but how does him being an angel help?"

"Because he can... wait. You believe that he's actually an angel?"

"Why wouldn't I? Besides, if he's an angel, then I met one once while in hell." she shrugged her shoulders.

Now all of them turned their gazes to her, and she shifted slightly when no one did anything, she coughed lightly into a raised hand. Angry that all they continued to do was stare, she snapped lightly at them.

"What!"

"You met Lucifer?"

"Well, yes. 500 years is a long time, made even longer in Hell. As I said, I met with those that considered themselves the elite. He was particularly curious how I continued to stay pure while in Hell. Especially for so long. Other than that, I was constantly keeping an eye on Naraku and battling against him." she raised her arms to wrap around herself, her hands began to run up and down her arms, trying to fight off the cold. She didn't realize just how chilly the night air truly was, especially when all she was wearing was ancient wraps.

"I'm sorry, but can you truly help me? Because if you can, I would very much appreciate going home after so long." she began to shiver lightly as her body finally was adjusting to the change of Hell to being back on Earth.

"I apologize. Where did you say you lived again?"

"The Higurashi Shrine in Tokyo, Japan." she then gave him the exact address. With a nod of his head and a blink of her eye, she soon realized that she was no longer where she climbed her way out of hell, on standing on the shrine grounds.

Blinking wide eyes, she took in her surroundings, a smile started growing when she saw that nothing had really changed since she last jumped in the well ten years ago. She turned in a complete 360°, making sure to take in every bit that she could from her spot and to not miss a thing.

Without warning she flung herself at Dean first, wrapping her arms around his neck and planting a kiss against his cheek, whispering a thank you. She did the same for Sam, though because of their height differences, she ended up pulling him down to her level, surprising the man that she had such strength.

And lastly she wrapped her arms around Castiel, either not noticing or not caring at how he stiffened beneath her sudden affection. After removing her lips from his cheek, her lips tingled due to the slight stubble there, she leaned up even higher on her toes while pulling him further down so she could whisper her thanks in his ear.

"Thank you. I greatly appreciate what you've done for me."

Stepping back, she smiled at all three of them, bowing as she thanked them all once again. After straightening, she spun about and called out for her mother, and Souta. After three calls, the front door was opened with her mother and younger brother rushing out. She herself ran to meet them half way and as soon as they met, she was wrapped up in their arms, her mother clutching not only to her, but Souta as well.

"I'm sorry it took so long Mama."

"That doesn't matter. All that matters is that you're home again." the elder woman cried into her daughter's neck, relieved and happy to be holding her daughter in her arms again.

"Mama, I want you to meet the ones who brought me back home." Kagome turned smiling at the three still standing where she had left them to greet her mother. em"From left to right is Sam and Dean Winchester. And next to them is Castiel, he made it possible that I'm back home. I think it would only be polite to offer them inside."

"Yes, your right dear." after a final squeeze, Nodoka released her daughter, though reluctantly, and stepped to the side. Souta still had an arm around her shoulders.

"Guys, I want to introduce you to my family. This is my mother, Nodoka Higurashi, and my younger brother, Souta Higurashi. Would you like to come inside? The least we can do is offer you dinner."

"Free meal? I'm all for that." Dean moved forward, though Sam seemed slightly reluctant.

"I don't think we should intrude."

"Sam, shut up and come inside. It would be considered rude to not accept. If not for the three of you, I'd still be stranded in..." she furrowed her brows, still not sure where she had been.

"Wyoming." the brother offered simultaneously.

"Right, there. It's a free home cooked meal, what's there to say no too? See! Dean accepts!"

Sam rolled his eyes when Dean followed after Kagome and her brother, he knew Dean would never turn a free meal down.

"I can't believe how tall you've gotten!"

"I guess that means you can't call me squirt anymore, eh sis?"

"In you dreams!" Kagome gave her much taller younger brother a playful push before entering the house. She stayed by the door, keeping it open so the other three could enter before letting it close behind them all.

"Ah, Mama, I'm going to go for a quick shower. Is it alright?"

"But of course dear. You look as if you could use one. Dinner won't be ready for a while either way. But what about your guests?" Nodoka looked over her shoulder at said guests.

"Mmm. I'm gonna go for a quick shower, you think you'll be alright for a short while?"

Nodoka was amazed at how easily her daughter spoke English. She had been struggling with her studies, but comes home speaking a foreign language perfectly? She already knew her daughter wasn't telling her something, that it went beyond the ten years she had been missing, but she could wait. Her daughter would tell her eventually when she was ready.

"They understand! I'll be back down here quickly either way."

True to her word, not 20 minutes later, Kagome came bounding down the steps, seeing Sam, Dean and Castiel sitting in the living room where Souta was challenging Dean at a game. Rolling her eyes, Kagome was happy though that nothing had really changed.

"Sorry for the wait, and that my brother is forcing you to play games with him." Kagome flopped on the couch, landing between Sam and Castiel. She noticed that all of them were still wearing their jackets.

"Aren't you warm in those things?" she plucked at Castiel's jacket seeing it was a trench coat. Then underneath was a business suite where the neck tie had been slightly loosened. She turned and observed Sam in his own jacket, poking him in the shoulder.

"It's alright, we understand. And we're used to it." Sam shrugged his shoulders, taking in Kagome's changed state of dress. A simple long tank top and a pair of jeans. Her wet hair was pinned up in a messy bun, but she was watching their respective brothers playing the game Souta had challenged the man at.

"Is your brother always like this?"

"He has his moments."

"I heard that. Bitch."

"Jerk."

Kagome's brows shot up, but did nothing about it seeing is it was done so playfully and between brothers. Shaking her head, she turned to Castiel. It hadn't passed her that he barely spoke, but perhaps he was similar to Sesshoumaru in that fashion. Only spoke when needed too.

"About bringing me here. You didn't have to, but you did. Thank you."

He turned to her, his face also void of emotion, but she had been around Sesshoumaru long enough and in Hell long enough not to be thrown off by it.

"Were you truly from here the entire time?"

"I take it you mean more than just Tokyo, Japan. But yes, I'm originally from this time period."

"Then how is it you survived 500 years in Hell?"

"Honestly, I don't know. I'm just glad that I'm home again."

Soon after her answer, her mother called them into the kitchen, the table already set and food finished and ready to serve. It was an interesting affair. Dean having a difficult time with certain foods and chop sticks, it got to the point where Souta took pity on him and pulled out some extra forks and knives for the three of them. Sam laughing throughout the whole thing while trying to teach his older brother about the proper method of holding them.

Kagome turned to Castiel, seeing that the man... angel, was actually not eating anything. So she nudged him slightly to gain his attention.

"Not going to eat?"

"I don't require sustenance. I am an angel." she didn't miss the slight amount of stress on how he phrased the last bit.

"Whoa. Déjà vu." Sesshoumaru had answered her offerings of Ramen in the past frightening similarly. Shaking her head, she focused on the matter at hand.

"Yes, well, you may be an angel, but that body isn't."

"I am connected to heaven, as such this body no longer requires food as a source of energy."

Kagome blinked. And then blinked again, and finally a third time before letting out a sigh.

"Okay, not what I was expecting. Alright then, how about that, you're lack of eating, is upsetting my mother." her gaze turned to her mother, who had been eying the angel since the beginning of dinner.

Castiel followed her gaze, and indeed, the elder woman seemed upset with his lack of partaking in the meal. His brows furrowed as he looked down at the empty plate before him, not exactly sure what to do in this sort of situation.

"Look, I understand that you don't actually need it. But would you please humor my mother a little? Even if it's the tiniest amount, you'd end up making her happy. Even more so, now that I'm home. Here, if you don't know what you want, try from my plate." she held up her chopsticks, holding a portion of her meal towards him with her other hand beneath in case should anything fall.

He sat there eying the small portion of food being offered before he opened his mouth and took it. The flavor of the food exploded across his tongue, while he saw how Kagome smiled all the more, and began to chew.

"Good, huh."

He nodded his head. It was foreign to him, but the body he was housed in started to crave for more of what it had been denied for a while now. Swallowing the morsel, he eyed the table and the food spread out, unsure of what to take.

"Would you like some help?"

He turned to Kagome, seeing that she had placed her utensils down and seemed to understand his dilemma. Silently he nodded his head, and allowed her to pile some food onto his given plate.

"Since you don't actually need to eat, I'll give you a smaller portion of rice with veggies and some chicken."

Soon enough, his plate was returned to him, and as she promised, it held a smaller portion than the others. Kagome sat back to took up her chopstick and began eating from her plate, while he followed her example. Slowly, he took a small portion, the warmth and flavor of the food exploded once again across his tongue, and he slowly savored his meal. Quickly looking up, he noticed that the elder woman seemed pleased and had moved onto Dean, aiding him with his chopsticks.

A nudge from his right drew his attention back towards Kagome, she smiled up at him and whispered a victorious 'told ya' before continuing on with her own plate.

The rest of dinner went on as such, where Kagome was speaking with the three of them just outside of the kitchen doorway afterwards.

"Well, thanks again for everything."

"Thanks for the dinner."

"Mom cooked it, I just offered it to you. But, know that you're welcome here, anytime. Should you be in the neighborhood. And if you need anything, call me."

"You might regret that offer."

"I highly doubt that."

They simply nodded their heads, and with a rush of air, they were gone. Kagome smiled as she turned around and walked back into the kitchen to help her mother clean up. But to also explain what really happened since she last jumped through the well. She knew for a fact, that life would never be the same because of it. But she could make do.

Chapter Text

She was sure to beat Kagura for her current situation, more so then she had ever wanted to beat the Wind Witch. It was loud, hot, she had a headache and was the center of attention. Not only that, she had received the call at the worst possible moment. Sesshoumaru was breathing down her neck to get certain papers drawn up, proof read and ready for his new building that was going to be built in Hong Kong.

So here she was, in her business attire, which consisted of a navy blue pencil skirt with pale blue pinstripes, a matching blazer jacket on the arm of her chair, a pale blue silk blouse and shiny black pumps, sitting in a bar in the middle of no where. Best part. It was a vampire bar that attracted fang bangers. Not only was she attracting attention of the tourists with her looks, but the vampires as well.

Yes, Kagura better hurry her ass up if she wanted to survive.

Absently, she reached for her drink as she went over the page she was readying. Sesshoumaru wanted nothing but the best, but because he also hated how humans pretty much fucked with nature, it was to be the best eco-friendly materials. He already had a corner on recycling used materials, it was a lucrative business since humans were realizing their affects on the environment.

Her brow ticked when she felt the not so subtle 'push' of a certain vampire that had been watching her since she first entered. Psh. Like his glamor... or abilities of persuasion would work on her. He may be older than her, but she more than likely went through more than he ever had. Which helped build up her defenses on such... pokes at her.

She smirked when she not only felt his slight irritation at her reaction, but when Kagura finally entered her range. It was about time! Writing a few notes, she didn't bother to look up when the other woman made her way to the only available chair at the low table.

"It's about time you showed up! I was out of country, and even I made it at your appointed time." Kagome shifted, looking up and crossed her legs.

"You'll have to forgive me, something came up." she quickly ordered her drink as she settled into the chair.

"With you, something always comes up. Usually involving a man, or two." Kagome raised a brow as she began to put her work away and make herself more comfortable.

Kagura's painted lips curled up in a sultry smile as she hummed, but it became friendly when she got her drink. "True, but this time, not in the way you think."

"Do tell." Kagome muttered before taking a sip from her drink.

"Well, do you want the bad news first, or do you want the bad news first?" opening and shuffling through her own bag, Kagura procured a file and a familiar old white ceramic wine bottle. She near squealed and lunged for the bottle, Kagura rolling her eyes.

"Ah! Did you miss mommy? Mommy will never let you out of her sight ever again. No she won't. She's going to keep you forever this time." Kagome near purred as she rubbed her cheek against the worn white ceramic.

Though her blue eyes blinked widely when something wrong from within the bottle brushed against her senses. Moving so the bottle was at arm's length away, she pouted in Kagura's direction who only nodded at the silent question. Bringing the bottle closer, she tentatively lifted the lid just the slightest amounts, and instantly recoiled with a hiss in anger. This was her favorite sake bottle, and for good reason too!

"Blood ink?" she near slammed the bottle onto the table, feeling sick to her stomach. "Please tell me that isn't blood ink in there." she glared angrily at the innocent looking bottle, inwardly pouting at the loss of using the bottle forever more.

"Afraid so. But you're not going to like what the ink was being used for..." Kagura took sip from her wine, keeping a sharp eye on their surroundings. It didn't escape her notice how the tiny miko was once again drawing the attention of those around her.

Letting out a groan and covering her face with her hands, Kagome threw herself back into her seat, unintentionally exposing her throat to the entire room. She was far too deep into her thoughts to hear the sudden hisses or feel the building tension at the sudden move on her part.

No matter what she met in the last 500 years, all had said she had the most tempting scent, due to her blood. So predators were always drawn to her, and she just pulled a dumb move with her sitting in a room of such predators. Though it was a good thing she learned a thing or two in the centuries since she gained immortality. So to speak.

"Great, just great! I take it this is only part of it. Did you figure out who it was they were trying to contact?"

"We did. It's... him."

A sudden string of colorful curses flew from her mouth, and in more than one language. Kagura raised a brow, the miko only ever spoke like this when the situation was turning for the worst. The inu-hanyou was a bad influence in that area, even rubbing off such habits onto the tiny miko. Looks like said puppy had some lessons in manners ahead of him.

"Like it wasn't hard enough the first time round, who knows how he's changed since then. What sort of idiot took trying to contact him? To contact anyone from there to begin with?" Kagome quickly drowned the rest of her drink, pouting when it's effects were no where near where she needed them to be.

"Oh, it only get's better. Take a look at this file."

Doing just that, it took a while, but Kagome's expression began to turn dark. The more she read the darker it became, not only that, it got colder as well.

"So, you've finally managed to find her again. This is not good. And if what these papers say is true, there's going to be a lot of people pissed off and going to want part of the action." the file consisted of old newspaper clippings along with paper trails and photographs of a certain woman. Kikyo.

Kagome's brows furrowed as she read the more recent reports. This was not looking good.

"Now I see why we had a problem connecting anything to her, and why you called me way out here." closing the file, she pinched the bridge of her nose. "This is too much of a coincident for them to be separate."

"That was our assessment as well. What would be the best plan of action?"

"Right now? I need to get drunk. Really, really drunk. Sadly, they don't serve anything strong enough. I may have to call Sesshoumaru to get me to send some..." Kagome muttered under her breath as she started packing things away into her bag.

Kagura could only nod her head in understanding. Despite the miko being over 500 years, she still saw her as the young girl that bumbled along in the past. Sure, she had matured more than enough in the past, and quickly, but she had retained that certain quality. She most likely notched it to being raised in the 20th century and being able to easily adapt to the situations around her. The current situation though was looking grim, and was far too much, even for her to bare alone.

"But, we'll call Sesshoumaru to notify him of what's happening. He is not going to be happy. After that... we'll see." standing up, Kagura following suit as they both made their way to the bar to pay their bill.

"Well, I got us a shared room not to far from here. But I take it you packed light, didn't you?"

"More like not at all. I pretty much dropped everything once I got your call."

 

From the end of end of the bar, dark blue eyes watched the interesting petite Asian woman. She had pretty much drawn everyone's attention as soon as she set foot in his bar. Everything centered on the woman. And if he didn't know better, he'd say she glowed, more so then when Sookie first walked in with her white little summer dress. Not only that, the woman not only looked, but smelt delicious.

It left him itching to sink his teeth into her, wondering if her blood would be just as delicious as the rest of her. She was literally a breath of fresh air, her scent overpowering the stench of human arousal, beer, sweat, sex and blood.

With precise movements, she took a spot at a low table along the side, ordered a drink and proceeded to remove her jacket. She moved like sin, every movement fluid and left him wanting and hungry. So, he decided to 'poke' at her, try and sway her his way. Instead she stiffened in her seat and her eyes shot up and scanned the bar. When they landed on him, he smiled, barely showing his teeth and made sure that she got the message to come to him. He was shocked when she merely narrowed her eyes and looked away, dismissing him completely.

Soon enough, she pulled what looked like work out and busied herself with that. She ignored all who attempted to get near her, and even at the distance and over the music, hear her saying the extra seat was reserved for a friend. His attempts at swaying her hadn't stop, but he did smirk when he felt like he got slapped in return for his efforts. He didn't mind playing along.

So, he kept poking and brushing up against her, she pushed right back. It was type of foreplay that he was thoroughly enjoying, now to just get her to want the physical aspect of it. She was being such a tease. He watched as she turned her head towards the entrance slightly and smirk, but didn't look up from her work. Though it wasn't minute later she finally did look up and smile.

Another petite, though slightly more curvacious, Asian woman made her way towards the free seat. She was tempting, but Eric had his sights on the blue eyed woman. Something about her screamed 'take me'. And oh, did he want too. Take her, keep her, taint her. And all to a point she couldn't live without him.

The two women started speaking, and the woman he had been watching for the past hour... her voice had a natural huskiness to it, it made him shudder at the sound of it. The thoughts of how her voice would sound in different situations, mainly under his ministrations, were at the forefront of his mind.

But soon enough her anger seeped into the room, making her already delicious scent spike with a sort of stinging spiciness that it was almost impossible to hold back his groan. Red eyes caught his, seems her friend realized he hand been watching and paying key attention on them. But he was drawn back to the other one when she let out a groan and threw her head back slightly, covering her face with her hands.

Lowering his gaze, it fell on the delicate beating of her pulse, and he hissed slightly. Not only at the picture she made, groaning slightly and head tossed back, but also at the open invitation she was presenting the entire bar with. A low growl rumbled from deep within when he noticed others seemed interested in her, but she was his. One way or another. And seeing as this was his territory, his word was pretty much law.

Sadly though, the two of them were up on their feet, far too soon in his opinion, and making their way to the bar. Pulling out their wallets, he frowned slightly at that, and the fact that the woman was ignoring him.

"Kagome, when can you go back home?"

"Mmm, if I survive this, next year."

Eric watched as, Kagome, let her eyes become hooded, absently picking at a napkin on the bar top. Seeing her up close, within his reach, made his mouth water. All the details made that much more noticeable. The curve of her cheek, the slope of her jar to neck and flowing into delicate shoulders.

"But... I feel a but coming along."

"I don't want to put them in danger. To them, it'll only be a few weeks. But for me, it's been lifetimes since I last saw them. And my life has not gotten any less complicated in between then and now."

She scowled cutely, yet still making it sexy, something he didn't know was possible. Some how though, this woman, Kagome, pulled it off. A pink tongue darted out to swipe over her lower lip, he followed the action, leaning in closer to get a better whiff of her scent.

"Take a picture. It lasts longer."

His eyes darted up, blue clashing with blue, not have realized she was now facing him. Her short hair was styled up and out of her face, leaving expressive blue eyes visible from beneath sooty lashes. A pert nose rested above bow shaped lips that were pouting slightly. What he would do to simply claim them. But the current time wouldn't really allow him to act out on his impulses like he once could.

So instead, he smirked and leaned down heavily on a raised arm, bringing him closer to the petite woman. She merely raised a brow. Both turned slightly to the woman behind her, hearing her snicker lightly. He watched as Kagome shook her head while rolling her eyes.

"Is there something I can help you with?"

"I couldn't help but notice you is all. I'm Eric, Eric Northman. And you are?"

"Kagome. But sorry, we gotta go." she paid the barman and began turning so she could leave.

"So soon, you just got here."

"Things need to be done." turning to face her friend, once again baring her neck to his gaze. He was pretty sure it was done on purpose this time, he failed to miss he speaking. Or walking away for that matter.

"Ah come on Kagome, he was a fine specimen! When was the last time you took on a lover?" Kagura smirked at the miko, who was no longer put off with such talk.

"Yes, because having a bed partner saves the world. You and I both know better." Kagome drolled, what was it with her female friends thinking she needed a constant lover or partner?

"Well, hate to rain on whatever parade of yours your celebrating, but we're going to be dropping by here until she shows up. Why not make...nice in the mean time?"

"Then have at him." wondering why Kagura was taking forever to leave the establishment. It couldn't be just so Mr. Friendly Vampire could over hear what they were saying. Could it?

"Honey, I wasn't the one he was hunting tonight." Kagura smiled coyly in Kagome's direction, though she pouted at a sudden thought. "Then again, going out with you leaves little to be desired for myself. You're like a male magnet, and of the perfect specimens as well. Didn't you have a god or something chase after you a while back?"

Eric watched to two women leave, though he did end up paying more attention to Kagome's swaying hips and backside. That pencil skirt left little to the imagination, and the pumps she wore made her legs seem endless. He really wanted to sink his teeth into those, in any and every part of her actually.

Smirking, no matter how hard she played, it was only a matter of time.

Chapter Text

Fingers flew over the keyboard, filling the room with the sound of light tapping. The whirring of computers silently humming, as large screens illuminated the room and lone figure.

"Good. Now enter the name and password, and you'll be able to upload the data while the virus is downloaded will allow you to enter the vault."

Blue eyes narrowed as the hands flew to a second keyboard, gloved hands practically shaking doing so.

"How long do I have?"

"About 2 minutes, 3 tops. That'll give you enough time to find the evidence, files and get out undetected."

"You'll warn my if anything goes wrong or the plan doesn't pan out?"

"Now would I ever do that to you, I of all people?"

Lips curled up as a the person moved away from the computers and keyboards and towards the vault door that was now unlocked, a short, soft bark of laughter echoing off boring sterile walls.

"It would mean you would be deprived of your form of fun. And there was that time, ya know, when we first met..."

"Hey! I was practically a kid back then. Alright! Besides, the way I remember it, you enjoyed it just as much."

"Yeah, yeah..." a soft grunt and the sound of hissing as feet slid the smallest amount as the figure opened the vault door. "Damn this thing is heavy. But, back to the topic at hand, I agree. I just didn't say anything, otherwise you'd take that little inch and your ego would swell your head."

"And ruin my devilishly good looks? I don't think so. But thank you for noticing."

Black gloved hands finished pushing the door open wide enough so the figure could fit in. Bright lights flickering on, revealing safety deposit boxes lining all the walls, and a center island displaying variousglass cases. But the prize was in the back, also in glass casing and being held in bio-hazard safe vials.

Steady and sure steps were quick, and soon both hands were pressed lightly up against the glass that separated the figure and their reason for being there. Two vials contained different strands of hair, one shining silver, the other ebony. The other two contained blood, most likely also from two different subjects.

Quickly, remembering the time line, hands flew down to a small pocket, opening it up and pulling out a dagger like tool. A circle was drawn on the glass, only later to have an 'x' drawn through it, the tool was quickly replaced before an elbow smashed it's way through. Clearing a big enough space, and arm dove in and grabbed the four seemingly harmless vials and moved to the insland.

Out of a small pouch tucked near the small of the figures back, a protective case was placed on a small amount of free space and then opened. The four vials were gently placed into already pre-cut spaces and the case placed back into the pouch.

"Uh... slight problem."

"What do you mean, 'slight problem'?"

"Forget about leaving as if you were never there. Seems there was some sort of laser being shot through the glass as well as behind. Ya just tripped of some silent alarms."

"You were supposed to know this stuff before hand." the figure was already running back to the computers, fingers once again already flying across them, checking on the download/upload time. "About how much time?"

"A minute, maybe two. So hurry that ass of yours up"

"Hurry my ass up? I'll have you kn...ow..." eyes narrowed as new screens popped up, causing the figure to still in there movements for a moment. "Oh. That's not good."

"What? What is it?"

"Is there any way you can stall them?"

"Yeah, why? What's the problem?"

"Do it, and I'll show you when we meet up."

"Okay, overpowering all computerized entrances, access ways, including elevators."

"You really think, they'll take the elevators?"

"With kids these days, one never knows. They're about 30 seconds away from the building I might add. As soon as they're in, we'll have to cut off all communications. You understand, correct?"

"Sure do, just, warn me before you sign off please."

"Can do. Okay, I own all entry ways, that should buy you about, an extra 15 seconds. Is it really that bad?"

"I'll let him be the judge of that when I get back."

A USB stick was placed into a free port as fingers once again did their magic. Lines of text and extra windows popping up reflected off of a black helmet

"Download complete as well as upload. What about this... thing on your end?"

"Another 20 seconds and I'm out of here."

"Sad to say, but this is where we sign off. Meet us at the half way point."

"See ya there."

As the last bit of data was being downloaded onto the USB stick, the helmet was quickly thrown on as hands flew about, shifting gear into new arrangements. The USB stick was ripped out as soon as the download was done, and was quickly replaced with a device that would shoot enough electricity to fry the computers. At least the ones that were physically in the room and all the information those ones had.

Running out into the hallway, ignoring the small electrical charge that just went off, but stopping when a young male voice called out.

"Stop!"

Doing just that, she took the group in that managed to practically fly all the way up the 14 floors and were now panting slightly as the stairwell's door slowly closed behind them.

The obvious leader stood at the front, holding onto a staff. Black hair slightly mussed up, a simple black mask covering only his eyes. His costume bright in it's red's, green's and yellow's.

Just behind him on his right was a girl that practically merged with the shadows, cloaked in deep blue over a black body suit. Bright, if not angry, eyes shined from beneath the cloaks hood.

Behind the obvious leader's left was a green skinned and haired boy, a body suit of black and purple took on a ready for hand to hand combat stance. Though she knew better.

And in the back, a girl with fiery red hair and glowing green eyes floated, dressed in purple and silver. The same green glow of her eyes encompassed her fisted hands. She too was glaring at her, her displeasure easy to read.

Lastly, the largest and most likely the eldest of the group, a young man that was more robot than human. Despite that though, he was said to be the most... human among then.

"Sorry, but I gotta run." a muffled voice sounded around all present as she spoke, giving the group across from her a two finger salute and shifted. That alone jump started the group into action, in hopes of apprehending her.

She immediately ducked a wide arcing swing of a wooden staff, bending backwards, her rise back up shifting to the left as a large animal lunged at her. Pulling back to give enough space between herself and the group, she moved to prepare herself, only to see she was stuck by the very shadows holding her.

Seeing the smirk from the cloaked girl, she tilted her head, smirking herself. Though they wouldn't be able to see it with her helmet on. Releasing her own abilities, her light forced the shadows to recede and release her. And while the group was slightly stunned, she took the time to pull out the prepared ofudas for just this sort of situation.

Filling them with her abilities, snapped the loose paper before she threw them at her opponents. The girl that had demon blood in her froze in her spot before falling over, unable to move her body. Another was thrown at the red head, after ducking glowing green discs were tossed her way, also ceasing her actions.

Before she could toss another ofuda, large hairy arms wrapped around her from behind, squeezing her slightly to the point she ended up dropping her remaining ofudas and struggled in her captures arms.

"Stop struggling. It's not going to get you anywhere." the voice was cocky and also sounded slightly entertained.

Pausing for only a moment, she brought both legs together and kicked against the ground so she'd have extra momentum. The toes of her boots landed heavily and harshly against his shoulder blades, her ankles under his jaws and putting pressure on his neck.

The boy in the form of a green ape grunted, and squeezed her the more tighter, her added more pressure in retaliation. While her breathing was hindered, she had been squeezed to the point where ribs ended up cracking and she passed out, so this was nothing more than a really tight bear hug for her. He on the other hand, with her ankles hindering the blood flow in the main arteries in his neck, he'd end up growing dizzy, and fast, with the lack of oxygen to the brain. So while the two last male members tried to pry the ofudas from the only female members, without getting shocked, green boy was quickly loosing his hold on her.

Quickly enough, his hold on her dropped and he automatically shifted back into his actual form. Gasping for breath and coughing slightly, she dropped to all fours. Seeing his position, reminded her of her oldest and dearest friend, and gave her a devilish idea. She knew it had been a great idea to take up those lessons and keep a set on her. The fact that the boy could shift forms, and his size, wouldn't hinder her idea. It also seemed fitting.

Pulling out a beaded necklace, she quickly and silently uttered the activating spell and simply placed it around his neck while he couldn't defend himself. He paused in his actions and blinked green eyes before looking down and taking hold of the necklace. Looking up, she had to stifle her laughter at his questioning look before he returned his attention to the necklace as he tried to remove it.

"Heel." at her command, he froze, a comical look on his face as he tried to move but couldn't.

"Ahhh~! Not fair! What is this? What did you do?" his form was shifting to large sized animals, most likely in hopes of snapping the necklace off.

"Don't bother, it won't come off unless I take it off myself. And only myself." she snickered at his position, while in the form of a giant green tiger. She didn't think it was possible for a cat to actually pull off moving it's limbs so. He let out a whimper as he shifted back to his actual form.

Moving back once again, knowing that the spell itself only lasted so long. She almost felt bad when he saw his relieved look, knowing she would say the one word that would freeze him again. Almost.

"Heel." she shook her head, as he froze once again, this time, the pose itself comical as he had been in the middle of getting up off the floor.

She took the group in, the last two members trying in vain to aid their fellow members, while waring with themselves of going after her. Problem was, they were between her and the only safe exit. But there was always plan B. Grabbing small charges, she pushed the smallest amount of her ki into them and tossed them at the large floor to ceiling windows behind her. A few seconds later, air and wind were rushing around them, the last two members shifting to stop her, but also try and stay as close to their hindered teammates.

"Sorry to cut this short, but I have a previous engagement. Your two friends will be able to move again in about 5 minutes." with another salute, she took off for her only opening and pulled out the previous dagger from earlier. Gripping it tightly, she dove out, embedding it into the glass, it helped slow her decent until she could jump from a safe height.

Moving to her bike, she looked up, seeing the two members looking out the window, following the long ling of where her dagger cracked through the glass without actually shattering the windows till their sights landed on her completely. Starting up her bike, she waved before starting off down the street to meet the others at the halfway point as planned.

"Damn it!" Robin banged a fist against the wall closest to him. His eyes still watching the direction of where their opponent disappeared down the street.

Cyborg also grimaced as he assisted Raven and Starfire into sitting positions. He was glad that no one actually got hurt, and that Raven and Starfire were also unharmed. Standing up, he moved to the fallen papers that the bad guy had dropped when Beast Boy had managed to get a hold of him. Picking them up, she studied what was written on them, confused with the decorative designs. Even more so at how a thin piece of paper could immobilize his friends.

"What are these?"

"Bring them here and let me see." Raven spoke up from her position against the wall. Her brows furrowed when she took the paper in, and understood slightly what they meant.

"Those are ofudas. Holy people use them. It would explain how they were able to disperse my shadows so easily. They have holy powers. Complete opposite of my own." her eyes turned to the sound of Beast Boy letting out a cry when his body was finally freed from it's forced frozen hold and hit the ground.

"Ow~. Man, that hurt." sitting up indian style, he rubbed his chin to sooth the pain from landing on it. "Aren't holy people supposed to be all, good and not breaking and entering and stealing stuff then?" his hands once again began to tug at the necklace around his neck.

"Don't bother. When he said only he could take that off, he meant it." Raven sighed as she closed her eyes and tried to relax as much as she could in her state.

"I wonder what he was after? And why he was polite?" Starfire asked as she tried to take everything in around her.

"Polite? He put a freaking... collar on me!" Beast Boy shouted out, pointing at the wooden beads around his neck.

"He did not attack us in return, and before leaving he told us that Raven and I would be able to move again. Most would have not." she blinked her green eyes far too innocently. But her words made the others realize that she had observed correctly about their opponent.

"She's right. He could have easily taken me down. Killed me in all honestly. Instead he threw these at us, and... collared Beast Boy." Raven spoke up, not bothering to open her eyes.

"It doesn't matter! He broke the law!" Robin exclaimed, spinning about to take his team in. Cyborg crouched between Raven and Starfire. The two girls unable to move freely, and Beast Boy pulling on the necklace with all his strength either away from him of pulling it over his head and off.

His fist clenched again, not happy that they had been beaten so easily. Especially when their opponent hadn't even thrown a punch in return. Simply moving out of the way of their own attacks and then immobilized three of them. He vowed he would get the guy.

Away from the brooding Teen Titans leader, Kagome made her way to the halfway point where she would meet up with Shippo and Sesshoumaru. Slowing the bike down as she entered the empty shipping yard as she neared the two.

"You're late."

Killing the engine, Kagome rolled her eyes as she removed the helmet but remained on the bike. "I was, otherwise, occupied. They did show up as we had expected."

Place the helmet on the front of the bike, she removed the protective case from the small of her back and handed it to Sesshoumaru. Once it was in his hands, his dokkasou lit the area around them with a toxic green light as his acid ate and destroyed the case and it's contents. He dusted his hands once the job was done, allowing the small breeze to wipe all evidence away.

"You're not going to like what I discovered." she handed the two USB sticks to Shippo, who eyed the second one curiously. "Take a look at it." she urged.

Pocketing the first, and pulling out a laptop and plugged the second in. Using her bike to as a place table, he typed on the notebook, growling silently at what he saw on the screen. Turning the notebook so it faced Sesshoumaru, who was also displeased to see what the screen showed.

"How is it he's alive?"

"I don't know! I mean, he died when we were both in the Shikon! This doesn't make any sense." gloved hands ran over her face. Confused and tired after that night's events.

"It seems you'll be staying longer." Kagome simply nodded her head in acceptance. She had figured as much. "Come, it's getting late and we have work ahead of us."

Replacing the helmet back on, allowing her hair to flow down and behind her, she followed the car Sesshoumaru and Shippo were in. After checking for bugs, and removing the few that somehow managed to be planted on her or her bike. Making their way to Sesshoumaru's penthouse in the city.

A masked man observed the screen before him, watching the boy he wanted to take on as his own apprentice as he and the boy's team fought against a new and unknown villain. Or so it seemed. He tisked lightly at the boys moves, but was also intrigued by this new person and their abilities.

He still wanted Robin, but this new person showed potential. But it was too early to be too sure.

"How unlike you, Robin. To let the villain go. You still have so much to learn, it seems."

The figure rewatched the screens a few more times, taking in everything he could, as the darkness around him was only lit by said screens. Yes, the boy was still young and had much to learn. And this new one at as much potential as Robin. But the figure wondered what else they were capable of. Only time would show.

Chapter Text

Kagome closed her eyes and allowed the cool breeze that brought the smell of fresh air to wash over. Though she had been in this hell only a week, it felt like forever. She remembered how, well not the how she came to this place, more like how she woke up after the final battle.

She was still dressed in the outfit that Sango had given her, a modified version of a slayers outfit. The sleeves weren't attached and also gloved her three inner fingers, leaving her shoulders bare for easier movement. Her shinguards were bare, and covered the top of her feet with a thick fabric that wrapped around the soles of her now bare feet. All of her armor pieces were made from youkai bone and had the darkest blue coloring. Around her waist was a belt that held her sword, a gifted fang from Sesshoumaru after she was done her training with him, along with a pouch containing a short sharp blade attached to a strong wire.

Her head had been pounding, but other than that, everything was fine. Which shouldn't have been possible, as she had sustained several severe wounds during the battle. So when she woke up in a strange forest where the final battle didn't occur, she began to call out her friends and companions and she stumbled about. That was when she came upon a river and saw her own reflection, taking in her own appearance where she had a mini panic attack, and she wasn't sure, but she may have passed out as well.

Upon waking up, again, she tentatively took the changes in. Her entire body was covered in fur, short fine fur, that it was almost like a second skin. It was deep black, much similar to her hair color, and when she shifted, she caught sight of small circles or rings -it was hard to tell- that were just the slightest amount lighter in coloring. If she had to do a color comparison, it would be like her inky blue black hair intermingled with Kikyo's own dark black locks. Her ears were now pointed, and not in a similar fashion like that of Kouga's or Sesshoumaru's own elfin ears, but feline and also covered in the thinnest layer of fur. Her face, from her brows down to her chin and down her neck -and she was sure it continued past the collar of her top- were a light gray in coloring, as with her hands and her toes and soles of her feet. Said feet were clawed, in which she had to remove her boots to allow comfortable movement, claws tore through the fingers of her sleeves, and her teeth were now fangs And lastly, she had a tail.

Her memory of all the pictures Shippo drew where she was depicted as a cat came to mind, only in those pictures, cat Kagome was pink, here she was black. Probably similar to that of a black leopard or jaguar.

She became startled when a pink crystal moved along the bottom of the river due to it's current. Reaching out, she plucked it from the rocky, sandy bottom and examined it. It held power, but no where near that of the Shikon -to which she felt was once again residing in her- but it was power nonetheless. She also noticed that there elements in the crystal, and they were slightly tainting the purity of the crystal. Seeing as what she held an opportunity to see if she still held her miko abilities, she tried to purify the crystals impurities.

It was that simple act that caused her to be attacked by... lizard people. She fought back, but the shear amount of them was daunting, and she was soon overcome by them. They removed everything from her that could be used as weapon, tied her down and dragged her to a mountain where they appeared to be mining the crystals. They then presented her to a male cat being that wore golden colored armor and had a left saber tooth that reached down to his chin.

The lizards explained what they witnessed her do to the crystal and handed over her weapons to the male. He leaned down to her level, tightly grasp her chin and forced her head from side to side, all the while she kept her eyes on him.

"Interesting. Very interesting." his fingers tightened minutely around her jaw, his claws just pricking her skin. It caused a deep rumble in her chest, one she was unaware she was capable of, and he merely chuckled in return.

"Test the crystal, I want to see where it stands now. In the mean time, lock her up and then get back to work."

Apparently, he was pleased with the results from the crystal they had tested on and forced her to continue purifying whatever they unearthed. After the first day when she had passed out from the amount of crystals they had her purify, they kept it to one load in the morning, one at noon and then another in the evening. And each day, her jailer would come by to taunt her, and that brought her back to the present.

"And how are we keeping up today?"

Kagome's eyes flashed open, her pupils narrowing and she hissed out at the male before her, baring her fangs at him. She moved forward, her hands clawed out trying to reach him only for the chains that bound her to stop her short of her goal.

Grune chuckled at her and moved in closer, invading her personal space. A hand reached out and pulled on a few strands of her hair that spilled over her shoulder from her sudden movement to play with, she latched her teeth into the flesh of his hand. He let out a short snarl, ripped his hand out of her mouth only to backhand her with it. Her head whipped to the side so suddenly and quickly that she would surprised she if didn't suffer whiplash with it.

"Feisty. If you learned to behave, you'd be given special privileges. And if you swear your loyalty to me, you get your belongings back." he stepped aside to show her a cart or something holding her taken belongings.

She turned slowly to meet his gaze and spat the blood that pooled in her mouth. She had bitten the inside of her cheek when his hand had struck her. He let out a low growl and wiped the mess from his face and made to strike her again when a lizard came up to them and said something or other about needing him below.

"We'll continue your lessons when I get back." she thrashed and tugged against her chains, snarling when they turned their back on her and walked away. Their talking and laughter echoing in the tunnels behind them.

When she could no longer hear them, she stilled and pulled a splintered piece of metal that she managed to swipe from one of the tools they had left in her reach, and began to pick the locks of her chains. Having been kidnapped enough times, one learned to escape all sorts of manner of restraints.

It took a few minutes, the splinter wasn't the ideal tool to use, but she managed it and rushed over to her belongings and quickly placed them where they belonged. She glanced around the cavern she was in and took in a cart full of freshly purified crystals. Nibbling on her lower lip, she made a last minute decision to pack a few with her, they could be a source of currency for all she knew. Returning to where her sleeping mat was placed, she ripped a good sized patch to use as a makeshift pouch and grabbed a handful of the crystals. Tying the ends together, she tucked the pouch onto her belt and moved in the only direction that she knew of.

Following the current of fresh air and the direction that had brought her there, hoping she could just sneak out of the damn mines. Her tail bristled and twitched as it swung from side to side. There were lizards literally crawling all over the place, and Grune's voice bounced and echoed off the wall. With the machinery roaring in the background, it was hard to tell where exactly he was, and it wouldn't do to have him between her and her only way of getting out.

New voices, ones that sounded angry with Grune, made her smirk. Though it was quickly wiped off her face when a voice sounded behind her.

"How did you get out of your chains?" before she could turn around and make a move, the lizard shouted out. "The prisoner has escaped!"

She quickly moved and grabbed the lizard, and swung it into the tunnel wall. But the damage was done, she could already hear Grune telling the others to get her.

"What? Don't let her escape!" the sound of many lizards making their way towards her made her shift her stance to be ready. Six years of training under slave pushing Sango and Sesshoumaru, even more so from the inu caused her to learn or die, she choose to learn.

Fists went flying or she dropped into crouched positions and swiped their legs out from under them, standing back up, she tossed one or two over her shoulder and thus over the ledge and onto the level beneath them.

The others, though they were preoccupied with the driller, were also startled when two lizards landed not far from where they stood.

"That driller weakened the base of the mountain! We have to get out of here!" Tygra called out to the others.

Just as they were about to grab some Thundrilliam and run, a second driller appeared. It was quickly advancing on Lion-o who had replaced the Sword of Omens back on his hip, and Cheetara was halted in her move to grab some of the Thundrilliam when a large rock buried the cart closest to her into the ground. Tygra pulled her back at the last second and they all turned to a stumbling Lion-o as the second driller advanced.

Panthro was too far to be of much use, Tygra was still trying to right Cheetara and his gun had proved to be ineffective on the first one and Cheetara had a large piece of rock imbedded in her leg. They all saw a quick death for their newly appointed young lord before their eyes when the drill froze in it's place. Sparks ran up it's entire body as the drill bits stopped and started up again, reversed and stopped once again, only to repeat the cycle before a horizontal line appeared on it's body and the top slid off the bottom.

Crouched behind the fallen pieces was a black female feline. Her right arm holding a thin, but proven to be deadly, blade while her left had a hold of it's sheath. Black bangs covered her eyes while the rest was pulled up high and away from her face. She wore complete black suit save for dark blue armor. She stood gracefully and sheathed her sword at the same time. She quickly moved forward and grabbed Lion-o from his frozen stupor and began to drag him out of the tunnels, and that's when the others followed.

They kept running until they were at a safe distance. When they stopped atop a hill, they watched the mountain from their perch. It shook and trembled, but didn't fall. Still, they could see, even from the distance, smoke and clouds of dust billow up and out from the base.

They turned to the female that had saved Lion-o when they heard her make a noise. She turned her back on the mountain and was stretching, her face upturned towards the sun with a smile on her face.

"All that Thundrilliam, and for nothing! And you, who are you?" she whipped her head to face them and wide blue eyes took them in, quickly accessing them. Her eyes quickly zeroed in on the wounded Cheetara and moved towards her.

"Where do you think you're going?" Lion-o moved to block his wounded friend.

The female stopped and looked up at him, she only reached his chest -could easily be tucked under his chin- and he had to fight a blush at her close inspection of him. She tilted her head and then peered around him. She opened her mouth, as if to speak, before snapping it shut quickly and frowned lightly.

Peering around the male that resembled a lion, she took in their wounded comrade and nibbled her lower lip. It looked painful, and if it wasn't dealt with, could get infected. While some of the technology looked far more advanced than what Earth had, 21st century wise, this world also seemed to be leaning heavily in the other direction. More of magic. So she wasn't to sure what their take on micro organisms was or their medicine. And she obviously still had her miko abilities. Which was a saving grace.

It would be so much easier if she could speak better English! How it was a universal language, no pun intended, in other worlds was beyond her.

So, with one last nibble on her lower lip, she deftly dodged the male... lion and made her way towards their wounded comrade. Not without swiping was looked like a water skin from the largest male. Dropping to her knees, she waited for them all to settle, hoping beyond hope, that they'd understand she meant no harm. It took a while, and they were reluctant, but she finally got theirs and the only other female's permission.

Taking a firm hold on the injured leg, and another on the rock imbedded in it, she peered up at the female. She gritted her teeth and nodded her head. Kagome ripped the rock out, ignoring the hissing snarl and opened the water skin and poured it's contents over the wound, washing it out. Placing the empty water skin on the ground, and still holding the injured leg, she placed her free palm over the wound and took a deep breath.

Exhaling slowly, she opened her eyes and pushed her healing abilities forward to help the female. She ignored the startled gasps, as well as the sudden jerk on the leg she was holding, and began the process of helping the wound heal. When she deemed it healed enough, she reached for a pouch attached to her waist and pulled out a small amount of gauze to wrap the wound. Tying it off, just tight enough, she nodded her head and stood up.

Lion-o clenched his hands as he watched the strange female dart around him, steeling Panthro's water with her as she made her way towards Cheetara. It didn't become apparent what she wanted till she kneeled down before her injured leg.

"I... I think she want's to treat my wound." Cheetara whimpered slightly when she accidentally put some pressure on her injured leg.

"We can't really trust her. She was, in those caves with Grune." Panthro spoke up, looking somewhat upset that she had managed to take his water skin.

"But... I think she may have been the prisoner the lizards had been shouting about. If she was, then she was forced to be there. So he's as much her enemy as he is ours." Tygra spoke up, fixing his hold on Cheetara.

They stood around for a few moments, talking about the female as if she wasn't there. In fact, because she hadn't said anything, they seemed to have forgotten her completely. That is, until Cheetara spoke.

"Look, if she wanted to hurt me, she would have done it by now! She's just sitting there." they all looked down on the female, still holding Panthro's water skin and apparently waiting for them to decide.

"I say we let her do this. I'm injured already, what more could she do?"

"Other than cut you down?" Lion-o scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Lion-o. We didn't see, nor here her or her attack against the driller. She's had plenty of time to attack us. Since the mines till now. She hasn't. In fact, she saved your life." Cheetara shifted her stance, standing in a certain pose on only one leg was far more tiresome than expected.

"Fine. But if she hurts you..." Tygra silently snarled as he trailed off, his eyes pinning the female who seemed to have understood him and simply nodded her head.

She would have to admit, she didn't think it had been in so deep, otherwise she would have been better prepared for when the stone was ripped out of her leg. Letting out a hiss, her entire body tightened automatically in reflex. Though as the cool water was poured over her wound she eased up... only to stiffen again when a strange light was emitted from the hand above her wound. Stranger still, she eased completely. Her entire body felt warm, safe, and she knew then and there, this female was like her. A priestess.

Though not like herself or any of the other clerics she had ever seen before.

Soon enough, her wound was healed, the the female still wrapped it. Obviously she only helped up until a certain point and the rest her own body would take care of.

They all watched as the strange female stood up, stretch and take a step back, allowing them to assess Cheetara's wound. Panthro swiped his empty water skin, a crocked smirk as he took in the tiny female that just surprised them all.

"As amazing as this is... we still don't have any Thundrilliam." Tygra spoke up, slowly easing Cheetara onto her own two feet.

A sudden noise from the strange female brought all there attention onto her.

Now, Kagome's English may not have been the best, but she had been quick to learn that 'Thundrilliam' was what they called the crystals on this strange world. She quickly reached for her make shift pouch and untied it. Not only from her belt, but the ends as well. And pulling the ends back carefully, she displayed the pure shining crystals in the palms of her hands.

Panthro let out a roaring laugh as he took in the tiny female before them. Not only did she managed to escape Grune, have cleric powers, but managed to swipe some Thundrilliam as well. Leaning down to take a closer look at the crystals, he was shocked to see no foreign elements mixed in with the them. Picking one up, to examine it that much more closely, he could honestly say, he was amazed to see pure Thundrilliam staring back at him. Such a thing was not actually possible, and if it was, it was rare.

Dropping his hand, he took the tiny female in. He was sure she had something to do with it.

"I say we take her with us."

"You can't be serious!"

"What?"

"Are you out of your mind?"

"She was obviously a prisoner to Grune, meaning if we left her on her own, she may be taken again, despite her ability to take care of herself." he smirked as he looked down at the tine female. Just the fact that her escape pissed Grune off, made her alright in his books.

"Besides, take a look at this. And tell me what you see." he tossed the single Thundrilliam crystal towards Lion-o, who fumbled somewhat before finally getting a hold on it.

He followed Panthro's moves from earlier, lifted the crystal up so that the light could shine through it. Turning it this way and that, all he saw was a clear pink crystal. Then again, he really didn't pay much attention to Thundrilliam back home, so he was no expert.

"I see a clear piece of Thundrilliam."

"That's the thing. Thundrilliam is bound to have other elements in them, as it is mined from the earth. What you're holding there is pure Thundrilliam, the rest of these are pure as well." Panthro spoke up as he pushed the rest of Thundrilliam around in the tiny female's hands.

"But... but that's impossible! There's no way to get pure Thundrilliam. Unless you break it down far enough, then you just end up with dust!" Tygra spoke up as he made his way to Panthro's side and picked a crystal up for himself, shortly followed by Cheetara.

"And I have a feeling, she's the one that pulled off the impossible." Panthro stepped back, watching how the others lowered the crystals they were holding to take the female before them in. She simply watched them all in return. They weighed his words, and the likely outcomes of either taking her with them or leaving her behind. But ultimately, it was Lion-o's decision.

Letting out a sigh, he dropped the crystal back into her palms. She save his life, helped heal Cheetara, and was willingly offering them Thundrilliam. Looking up, he was startled slightly to see her eyes so intently on him. It was then he noticed how bright blue they were, that he had never seen so many shades of blue all at once...

"Fine. She can come with us" grumbling a bit, he rubbed the back of his head. He blushed lightly when she smiled up at him. Coughing into his hand, he quickly spoke, ignoring the slight snickering coming from Tygra .

"What's your name?"

"Kagome."

"Well then, Ka-go-me, let's get going then. We don't need Grune or his goons to come get us." he turned his head away from everyone when her smile only grew, causing him to blush all the more. He stormed off, once Panthro and Tygra fell into full laughter and Cheetara even giggled lightly along with them, leaving a confused Kagome behind.

Kagome herself, was lost to the situation. She understood that they were taking her with them, but as to why the one that reassembled a lion for storming off... she was lost. Retying the pouch close and securing it to her hip, as they didn't seem to want the crystals at the moment, she made to follow after the male.

As much as she wanted to rant and rave that she was neither in the past or her home, and most likely in a completely different world, she thought it best to follow these... beings. It was a new adventure on the horizon, and though she was filled with anticipation for it, thoughts of home were still lingering on the edges of her thoughts. Along with if she would ever make it back there.

Chapter Text

Kagome huffed as she packed the last of her clothing into the suitcase that had just been bought for her. She was trying her hardest to ignore the ranting and raving inu-hanyou that followed her short steps around her room, fuming how she was shirking her duties of detecting shards for school again.

"INUYASHA!" she had finally had enough. Spinning about and stomping a foot when she finally faced him. Her shoulders were hunched and shaking as well as her fisted hands and she stared her best friend dead in the eye.

Said friend's jaw seemed as if it became unhinged, unable to close properly before dropping open again, no words uttered before his god-smacked face resumed it's angry frustrated glare. He promptly shoved his hands into the billowing sleeves of his fire rat haori and claimed a spot on her bed.

"I can't do anything about it this time! It really is out of my hands. With my lack of attendance, but my ability to keep my average grades, the school is making take part in this little... project of theirs! I already tried to find a way out of it, but they aren't giving me an inch!" when all she got was his characteristic 'keh' while turning his face away from her, making sure to thrust his chin high up into the air, did she release a long tired sigh.

Running a hand through her hair, placing the other on her hip, she took in her room. She winced, it was rather... pink. Pale pink walls, beige carpeting, light pink bed spread... it was time for a change. To introduce different colors. But... back to the matter at hand.

"I just don't see why you have to be gone a whole 3 months."

"The teachers said it's to make up for the time I wasn't in school. That, and it'll save 35% of any lost grades! As much as I hate it, I really need this. Please understand Inuyasha. Mama has the number of the family I'm staying with so if there's an emergency, all she has to do is call and I'm on my way."

Inuyasha's shoulders finally slumped, he knew she was right. He barely let her have enough time to visit her family as it was and it ate at him. The only time she did get to see them was when they were running low on supplies, or when she needed to do those test things that were so important to her. He was just afraid that if she went home, she'd leave them all behind, him behind, and forget about them and everything else. Not that he was going to tell her that.

"Now, my bag if full of supplies for you to bring back to the others, just in case. Make sure Shippo doesn't go through all the candy in an hour, please..."

He watched as she rambled on about who got what, or if it was best to just ask Kaede to store it in the extra room they had built off of her hut. He was surprised, even with her being forced to be away, she was still looking out for them. She was ticking off her fingers and listing things, but it all went in one ear and out the other.

"Keh! I got it wench." he stood up from his spot and grabbed the bulging yellow monstrosity before slinging on his back. Just before he jumped out her window, he swung his face to look at her. "Be careful, Kami knows you attract far too much trouble."

Kagome smiled softly, knowing it was his own way of showing that he cared. "I will, and you watch your backs as well. And try not to tease or bully Shippo too much while I'm gone."

Inuyasha shook his head with another 'keh' before leaping out of her bedroom window. She watched as his red outfit and white hair darted across the shrine grounds towards the well house, quickly and silently sliding into the old building and disappearing from sight, though she could feel the magic of the well at work and then he was gone. Moving away from the window, she went downstairs to eat dinner, she would be setting off tomorrow, so Mama Higurashi had decided to do an early family meal.

o0o0o0o0o0o

Shifting her new backpack that had also been purchased for this event, Kagome moved through the throng of people at the train station. Although she was still in Tokyo, it was a whole other district, and she had no idea of where she was going. Or better yet, what the family looked like, the ones that would be housing her for the next 3 months.

Pausing every so often, she looked around until she finally spotted a family holding a sign. Higurashi Kagome. Turning, she made her way towards them, spotting a family of four that... looked nothing like one another. The only thing she could tell that were similar about them, were their eyes, which shockingly enough, were blue.

The father wore a typical outfit, a simple button up beneath a simple knitted sweater, slacks and dress shoes. His dark hair was combed in a rather business like look, and he was the only one to be wearing glasses. Next to him stood a kind and smiling woman. Her long hair was wavy, and such a coloring that it could almost be called blue. She wore similar clothing that her own mother wore, simple but fetching dress with a knitted sweater over with matching dress shoes and purse.

Before them stood two children, one her own age and the other around Souta's. The girl had her hair pulled up into twin buns where the rest fell into pigtails. It was sort of cute, even more so with her lighter hair color. Like her, she wasn't wearing a school uniform, most likely had permission to take the day off to be here to greet her. Instead, she wore jean Capri, with a pink tank top with a white light jacket and pink sneakers.

The boy wore shorts and a t-shirt with a soccer graphic printed on it. His hair was even lighter than that of the girl's, but messy, or slightly disheveled as Souta's always seemed to be. When she got closer, she smirked when she spied a knee sporting a band-aid. A typical little brother.

"I'm Higurashi, Kagome." Kagome bowed in greeting when she finally stood before the family, a polite but shy smile on her face.

"Ah! I'm so glad you made it Kagome-chan!" the mother clapped her hands together with an excited smile on her face. When Kagome righted herself, the woman introduced her family.

"This is my husband, Tsukino, Kenji." the man offered a polite and kind smile and bow, to which she returned.

"Our son, Tsukino, Shingo." the woman placed a hand on the boys shoulder, but when he did not make and move, the girl slightly pushed him to get him to pay attention. After a quick cry from the boy, he scowled lightly at his sister and bowed in her direction, to which Kagome returned.

The woman let out a light sigh, to which the girl laughed sheepishly in return, rubbing at the back of her neck. "This is our daughter, Tsukino, Usagi. With whom you'll be going to school with while you stay with us." both girls bowed towards each other, Usagi seemed to barely contain herself, looking like a rabbit ready to bolt. To do what, Kagome wasn't sure.

"And I'm Tsukino, Ikuko!" the woman bowed, showing off just as much energy as her daughter.

Soon enough, Kenji was pulling her suitcase leading the family towards where they had parked their car, Usagi excitedly asking all sorts of questions or announcing all the plans she had set up for the two of them. The rest of the family couldn't help but smile at the scene the two of them made, like two friends that hadn't seen each other in a long time, and not just recently introduced young girls.

Things were bound to get exciting with Kagome under their roof.

Chapter Text

Holding her hands up, palms open and facing the man before her, she shifted her weight, this was not the time to be waiting around. The others slightly behind her shifted uncomfortably, unsure as what to do. Not that she blamed them, they had been caught leaving the office building they had broken into to get the information they had needed to get this done and over with once and for all. And by none other than the big guy himself. Plus the kiddies.

When neither herself and hers, or them said anything, she dropped her hands and let out a long sigh.

"Listen, I know this looks bad," glancing around, files pertaining the certain information in Cat's hands, a hard drive and USB sticks in Bird's own hands and printed copies that they were to send to those that struck up the idea for this job, the proper authorities and the press in Dog's, Snake's and Rabbit's hands, it wasn't painting a pretty picture.

"Okay... really bad. But would you believe it, if this was all for a good cause?"

"Yeah. Money. Like the pay you were gonna get." Kagome turned her head to face the red headed young woman, perhaps a year or two younger than herself.

"Sorry, that's not our style. We're not into that Robin Hood mercenary crap."

"Then you must be getting something out of this?" the girl stubbornly crossed her arms over her chest, jutting her chin out in defiance.

"Oh, I won't deny that. But it's not what you think." she could hear and feel the unease of the others quickly turning into agitation, and she was in the same boat. Their window of opportunity was just as quickly closing, and if they missed this, they would never get a second chance.

"Listen, we don't have a lot of time here. So if you gotta do what you do best, then I suggest you keep up with us. We are not going to miss out on our only window of opportunity. All I ask is you wait till morning." she tilted her head slightly, taking in the others behind him. They didn't seem to like what she had to say. At all.

"Heck, bring the kiddies along. This'll be an event for the entire family!" said 'kiddies' bristled at their nicknames, it only caused her give a lopsided smile.

"And why should I trust you and what you have to say?" his voice was deep and guttural, and Kagome had to roll her shoulders to disguise that fact that it caused shivers to run up and down her spine.

"I'm inviting you to tag along, and if you're all still unhappy with what we're doing, I'll hand myself over and take whatever punishment this city's justice system dictates I should take. And I alone." she mimicked the girl in front of her, and folded her arms over her chest. "We don't have much time, so your answer would be greatly appreciated, sooner rather than later."

"You're not really leaving us much choice, are you?"

"Not really. Try and take us in, we'll fight and some of us will be able to complete what we're trying to do. Though that will most likely have a lower chance of us succeeding in our goal. Either way, we're gonna finish what we started."

"And why don't you just tell us what it is you plan on doing?"

"We already tried that route. And lives were lost because of that!" Widow snapped. Her anger was reaching an all time high, and Kagome knew that the longer they stood here, the worse her temper would become and thus clouding her judgment.

"She speaks the truth. So either you step aside and let us by, or tag along and witness what this company has been hiding from the rest of the world. The truth to their, honest money."

He took her stance in, a hand placed on a jutted hip. The others were just as itchy to get going, those that had held something had already packed them away into their respective sling backpacks. It was then that he really took them in. The material of their clothing, they wore a sort of body armor that was either synthetic or leather, over that was street wear. If they hadn't spotted the group, they could have easily blended in with those that walked the streets at night.

It was their obvious leader that he was still trying to figure out. They all wore masks, based on animals. They were either half masks or covered their entire faces. There was little to no detailing on them, but all had eye holes. Save one.

The Fox.

Hers had thick black brush strokes where eye holes should be. How she was able to move around without hitting or bumping into anything was beyond him, though perhaps she had piece of technology like his one time sonar equipment. But that couldn't be, he had been the only one to hold the prototype and he had Fox destroy it.

Her lips curled into a sly grin, and it left him to wonder what these people wanted so badly that they broke into this comanpy's building. It was true, that the company itself had questionable history to acquiring founding, that as Bruce Wayne he didn't do any business with them. But this was still breaking the law.

"Well? It's one or the other. Which do you choose?" neither really appeased to him, but he figured it was best to go with the lesser of evil.

"We'll follow you. One wrong move..." he left the threat hanging in the air, and her posture relaxed once again and nodded her head.

"But...!" he turned to the young woman, green-gray eyes staring into his own with shock.

"I'd rather keep my eye on them and learn what they're up too if they're offering. I'd rather not chase them all down after a confrontation, for them only to scatter in all directions afterward." he watched as she pouted, she was still rather childish when it came to this. While she was helpful, there was a lot she still needed to learn. He learned the hard way, that the world wasn't simply black and white. The gray was far larger than the two of them understood.

"Alright! Let's get going! This little chit-chat put us behind by..."

"10 minutes." the one in the rabbit mask spoke up.

"10 minutes! Time to start the race it seems!" her smile, while enthusiastic, was shadowed and he could tell by her movements she wanted nothing more than to depart and head to wherever their goal was.

"She reminds me of Catwoman..." Batgirl mumbled under her breath.

Fox, seeing as they only called each other than by the masks they wore, turned towards the upset girl. With the way she tilted her head slightly, he could only imagine that she raised a brow, and there was a small playful smirk on her lips. His little female helper was right, she did remind him of the cat burglar. She wasn't afraid to show her body, her attitude was playful and he wouldn't be surprised if she used her charms to get what she needed.

"Cat eh? Either way, I hope you can keep up." as soon as those words left her lip, the masked women turned and left the way they came. Out the 37th floor window. Robin, rushed forward, stopping at the broken glass, watching them use jump cords while running down the buildings wall to a roof directly next to it.

"Keeping up with them may be a little more difficult if they have a head start on us like they do." the boy wonder spoke up.

He and Batgirl moved to stand next to him and look out and below, the group now stood below, Fox standing and waving up at them.

"Well, come on! You keep standing there is the opposite of keeping up!"

He could hear the smirk in her voice. Despite how serious the situation seemed for them, she was acting rather... playful. She was living up to her mask. Shaking his head, he jumped out when she spun about and began leading her group away and towards their goal. The memory cloth of his cape stiffened and allowed him to glide just slightly above them while the two behind used their grappling guns to swing in behind and run just behind the group.

When he got close enough, dropped and rolled so he could pick up running withing the group itself that was just behind Fox.

"So the stories were true." his eyes shifted to a Snake masked man before turning his eyes back to Fox.

"Batman really can fly!" the same voice suited the mask, there was a certain quality to it that was just snake like, a sort of hiss to it.

"Not like our Bird though!" the youthful voice behind the Cat mask commented with a giggle.

"Actually, Fox is the one that really flies. Ah~ what I wouldn't give for her talents!" Bird cooed, while jumping over something or other.

Batman watched as these people ran, climbed and jumped, using nothing but their hands and own strength to get wherever it was they were going. His eyes widened slightly when Fox merely picked up speed at seeing the large gap between the current roof they were on and the next, with only a build board between them. He was even more amazed when she used the slight lip on the roof to launch herself at the build board and use it as a surface to actually run across, thus safely making it to the other roof. The others followed suite, while he and the others used their grappling guns to get across.

"I don't see what's so great about you." the one with a Spiders mask ground out. "Can't even make it across such a gap without using your little toys."

"Widow!" Fox snapped over her shoulder, still running in the same direction.

He realized, that if they kept with the direction they were heading, they'd soon arrive at the docks and cargo hold of Gotham City. Narrowing his eyes once again on the leader, he had to wonder what was pushing these people forward. He ground his teeth, thoughts of how he was being played started to rise, and the worst part was, he'd have to wait until they actually got there.

"Remember! Stick to the plan!" Fox called over her shoulder to the group she was leading. "Especially you Widow."

A growl answered the last order.

"Bird, you know what to do." the young woman wearing the bird mask nodded her head, before pausing and grabbing Robin's hand and dragging the boy off with her in a completely different direction. Rabbit following after the two.

"Keeping our promise. This way you can keep an eye on all of us." Fox slowed down and stopped just before a large chain linked fence and gate. He stared at the woman before him as the rest started to climb the fence to land on the other side. They all turned to said woman as she tilted her face up slightly and to the side, as if she were listening for something.

"Head south for... about... 50 meters. I'll meet you there after I've tripped the security system." they all nodded and took off after receiving their instructions.

"You're willingly going to trip the security system? What type of criminal are you?" Batgirl asked, confused beyond belief as the woman moved over to a box that controlled the gate.

"A necessary one. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes for the police to arrive, and I want to prove once and for all that we were right." she flinched momentarily as sparks flew after tearing the covering away from the control box.

"Ya know, if you shared with us, this would make things all that much more easier."

The woman turned to Batgirl, a tight smile was all they could see as she paused her movements.

"As Widow said, lives were lost when that method was used. This is our only option. As I said, it's necessary we do this. A lot is riding on this and we've waited far to long to be held back by this city's hero's." she turned back to the exposed components of the box and pulled wires and began to rewire them so the gates opened. And then, she rewired to set off the silent alarms.

Looking up, she took in the lights that were suddenly turned up, he still had to wonder how she could see with that mask of hers. Her lips smiled, though the city itself was always loud, even at night, they were far from it's center to hear the sirens being carried on the wind in the distance.

"Well, time to learn why we've done what we did." with that she took off in the direction the others did, not caring if they followed after her, though knowing full well that they would.

She once again let her aura out and brush along the containers, pushing herself that much harder when she felt that the group had stopped short of where they wanted and needed to be.

"Cat!" she whispered as the youthful one of their group came running towards them, her eyes were worried, it was that easy to see.

"It's... them! They're watching the containers!"

She growled lowly in her chest, rolling her shoulders as memories of the first time she came across those goons. But that was years ago. She had gotten stronger since then. Gritting her teeth.

"What can you see?"

"Snake and Dog said that they're armed, but are most likely using rubber bullets and beanbags. They said they heard them boasting about taking you down!" fretful hands took hold of the front of her sleeveless hoodie, and through the eye holes of Cat's mask, she could see tears gathering in the young woman's eyes.

"Don't worry. Drunken talk of washed out military men. Nothing more." she wrapped an arm around the girls shoulders and led them back to the others. Dog and Snake turned around and greeted her.

The rest stood of to the side, knowing that this was a possibility, Widow was pacing slightly and Bear was trying his best to calm the woman down. It was then that Batman noticed that there were more here than there were at the office building and turned a hard gaze to the Fox that was trying to calm Cat down.

"Just how many of you are there?" her nearly growled out around clenched teeth.

"Too many." her answer shocked him. Usually the reply he would have gotten in return would be something along the lines of 'enough', or 'more than you could ever handle'. But her answer was deeper, torn and almost regretful.

Taking in the group before him, he saw all manners of animal masks, their strange body armor under various street clothing.

"We take them by force, non-lethal methods. Widow, you stick to Bear."

"But...!" the other woman was silenced, and ground her teeth before relenting and letting herself slump against the large man next to her.

"Bird and Rabbit should pull through in... 3... 2... 1... now!" the lights went out and that was when Fox struck. He was about to enter there with her, but the others held him and Batgirl back, shaking their heads. He could take them on, but a person wearing a Horse mask made him pause.

"Fox would be upset if something happened to you, either of you. Let her and the ones she picked do this." the woman that spoke up turned to watch the fight going on. He followed her example.

He was shocked at the viciousness she used on the larger men. He winced slightly when one of the men took a cheap shot and shot her while her back was turned, only she for her to clutch her side for a moment before turning and baring her teeth to the coward. Her movements were fluid, graceful, deadly. He was sure, if this were a life and death situation, she would be the one to walk away from the fight.

"Dear god! She's like an animal out there!" Batgirl whispered from her spot behind him, all could hear how she was appalled by the sight before her, the grimace in her voice.

"What this company does... and she suffered it the longest. We're surprised she isn't killing them instead." a man wearing a Tiger mask spoke up.

"Though it's not like they don't deserve it." Widow spat out.

"How did you all get together?" he couldn't help but asking, wondering what the common factor for these people were.

Tiger spoke up again, not taking his eyes off the scene before them. "We were directed to her. She would just appear, hand us a mask and new identity. Wouldn't tell us anything unless we put it on. We sort of became an army, a family, made by a common enemy, and she led us here."

"But no matter how hard times may have gotten, she always made sure we would be prepared for the future! She kept us housed, the youngest of us in schools, the oldest in work. Only a select few of us know who she actually is behind the mask, know what she looks like." Horse spoke up after Tiger was done. When she caught the questioning gaze from the man next to her, she chuckled and shook her head.

"Sorry, but I'm not one of them. And... I won't betray everything she's done for us, by telling you who those select few are."

"Clear! Let's get to work ladies and gentlemen! It's the time we've all been waiting for!" Dog spoke up, true excitement in her voice. The whole air seemed to buzz with excitement, making it feel like the air itself was statically charged, like just before lightning struck.

Batman and Batgirl stood off to the as Fox directed Snake and Dog below one container, passed her own sling backpack to another and then took a running start and launched herself at a container that sat above two others. Well, she climbed her way there.

"Give me the bolt cutters." she had somehow managed to use her legs and feet to keep her attached to the container and free her hands as a pair of large bolt cutters was tosses as gently to her as possible.

She clipped the deadbolt on the handle lock and then dropped the useless bolt lock back down. But before she opened the container itself, she let her aura out, she knew what was in there, but the first time she got this far and attempted to open on, it had been trapped. She was thankful though... nothing happened.

Grasping the lever, she pushed to unlock the one door and heaved herself up into the container, the bolt cutters scrapping against the metal flooring. A foot in, a thick chain linked wall and door greeted her, raising the cutters once again, she cut the second dead lock that was in her way.

The others shifted nervously below, waiting for any sign that all this time, hoping their waiting and planning was just not for nothing. Batman and Batgirl looked behind them when they spotted Robin and the other two, Bird and Rabbit, coming in from behind them, some men in cuffs being restrained from the two that had separated from the rest of the large group.

"Great! Now they're kidnappers! How are you going to explain this to everyone when they ask what we were doing with them?" Batgirl cried out.

Rabbit turned towards the girl, a slight downturn of their lips showing the persons displeasure. "Watch and learn. Fox is coming out."

And she was. At first all they could see were a pair of feet, then legs... and then what they saw caused them to realize what had driven these people to go to such lengths. Fox was carrying a child.

"Human trafficking." Batman muttered under his breath. His fists clenched at his sides, his gloves quietly squealing in protest.

"Correct." The three caped crusaders turned back to Rabbit. "We are all victims of this man's greed." a slight shove of a well dressed man with his mouth gagged indicated who Rabbit was talking about. "Families were destroyed because of him. Fox was the first of us. She simply came home to find her family missing, and later they had attempted to take her as well. All of us here, are the ones that got away."

Soon, a rope ladder was attached to the second door and people were climbing down while Fox herself directed some to different containers. Those that weren't opening containers, were handing their sweaters, blankets and whatnot to the people that were walking out of the containers. They were wearing nothing more than simple gray tank tops and underwear.

Fox climbed down the rope ladder, walking towards them through the crowd in the large space. And the worst part was, it was quickly filling up.

"Still want to arrest me?" she held out her hands, baring her wrists, towards him. The question wasn't sarcastic, but asked with the purest honesty. He raised a fisted hand, unfurled his fingers and pushed her hands down, shaking his head.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"For trusting me." with that she turned around, and took some paper from Rabbit and waited till all the containers were emptied. Flipping through the papers, he heard her sigh and shake her head. "Ox, could you come here please?" A tall man with an Ox' mask stood next to her, patting her shoulder when he reached her side.

She simply nodded her head and called out in a foreign language, Japanese if he didn't know any better, and soon enough, a group of freed people were following Ox out of the small clearing and out of the containers.

This followed with Chinese, Vietnamese, and then other masked people spoke up in different languages. French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian... the list went on. By the time all the people were sorted out, the police had arrived, as well as the Fire department, NEWS reporters. When it was apparent what had just happened, hospitals sent some ambulances and other agencies had sent representatives as well.

The ones that had been at the office building stood to the side, talking to certain people, handing them each a copy of all the information, to do with whatever needed to be done.

"What are you going to do now?" he asked Fox.

The woman in question shrugged her petite shoulders as she watched the going on of the large mass of people before her. "Hopefully... go home. It's been eight years for me and my family. I'm just glad we freed them all in one shot. There are still many out there, and with the information we managed to pull from tonight, soon they can go home too."

He raised a hand and placed it on her shoulder. She stiffened for a moment under his hand, but relaxed. She covered her mouth as she let out a yawn and leaned minutely against him, and muttered under her breath.

"I don't know how you do it. I understand why, but not how you can continue." she shook her head.

He knew what she was talking about. It was a lonely life, but like she said, even if it wasn't out loud, someone had to do it.

Chapter Text

Pursing her lips, Kagome shifted the heavy cuffs on her wrists that were bound behind her back. The men around here were discussing on what to do with her.

This was all Inuyasha's fault. She was sure of it.

She had been enjoying her first real break after starting her residence at Tokyo's general hospital and somehow she wound up in an old brick factory with men that were British, at least they sounded British... only slightly more, guttural.

Yup, all Inuyasha's fault.

It was all a matter of how and why. Blinking she took in the surrounding room and how the men were dressed. It was also a question of -when- she was. As long as she got back home in one piece, she didn't really mind, and got back so she could some actual vacation time.

14 years after the Shikon, she had more than made up for her lack of skills and studies, so when she saw her chance of getting the hell out of there. Problem was, she didn't know where she was, the year, and could only follow that unforgettable aura that belonged to Inuyasha.

Her feet beat against the uneven stoned streets as she ran down them, angry shouts could be heard fading slightly in the background. Thankfully she burst out onto a somewhat busy street, she was stuck by the new scenery before her.

It looked like she stepped into a Victorian picture postcard.

Horses and carriages, women with obscenely tiny waists in rich colored dresses, gentlemen walking about with bowler hats.

She stuck out like a sore thumb in her jean capris, sneakers and heavy knit sweater. It didn't help that her hands were bound behind her back.

A shout from behind her threw her back into action, and she took off down the street darting between horses and carriages, ignoring the startled gasps and angry shouts. Ever since she met Inuyasha, this always happened. Crazy sects wanting to offer her up as a sacrifice, use her as hostage material... along with whatever else the crazies thought she was good for.

“Kagome!”

Skidding to a stop, she whipped her head around looking for her old friend only to blink wide eyes as they landed on a human Inuyasha.

“Inuyasha?”

Before she could get an answer she was tackled from the side, and knocked roughly, into the carriage she was standing next to. Startled voices sounded from inside, but she was more focused on the man she was struggling with.

She gained the upper hand when the carriage door opened, though she did fall back and landed painfully with a step jabbing into her back and spine. Pushing with a foot against the ground, she managed to roll backwards into the carriage herself, dislodging the man's hold from her. Before he could scramble to get a hold on her again, a foot struck out and in the mans face.

The other door opened and she was yanked from behind, though she didn't let the surprise last long. Pushing with her legs once again against the carriage floor, she curled in on herself and kicked the man behind her and rocked forward into sitting position.

Her little break didn't last long as more men from the factory started rushing from the street she had run down not a few minutes earlier and through the open carriage door. Rolling backwards once again, and out of the carriage she spun about to face the man that had attempted to grab her from behind.

His hands left his face, revealing an angry scowl before he rushed her with raised fists. She didn't give him a second chance, instead she gave him a spinning kick to the face. The man himself spun till he was facing toward the right away from her and crumpled to the ground.

A strong grip on the back of her neck caused her to let out a strangled yelp, gritting her teeth as she was forced to face the carriage once again. Ignoring the carriage passengers that were peeking out to watch the proceedings. When the man that had a grip on her tried to push her into the carriage, she jumped and did a wall jump and flip instead. She had taken up learning everything and anything she could, other than her educational studies, to better defend herself.

From her crouched position, she quickly spun and knocked the man off his feet and just as quickly brought her heel down against his chest to knock the wind out of him.

“Really, does nothing ever change with you?”

“I never had any problem until -after- I met you.”

More men rushed her and she proceeded to take them on, huffing when she spotted Inuyasha sitting on the horse he had ridden from wherever .

“You know, as fun as it is to feel like Jackie Chan, you could lend a helping hand here.”

“Who?”

“I'll tell you about him later. How about you tell me why I'm here.” Kagome was now sitting in the carriage, just past the open door, using a set of keys to try and undo the cuffs she was wearing.

“Sesshoumaru's wife is pregnant, as well as my own. We don't trust anyone else but you.”

“I'm honored and congratulations. I'm upset that you didn't invite me to the wedding, or that you didn't write or leave any messages.”

Holmes was still watching the woman, ignoring how she was dressed, more impressed with her fighting skills. All of it done with her hands behind her back save for the last two. And now she was picking lock to the very cuffs that bound her hands.

The fact that she was a woman and could fight so well piqued his interest. It was after the fact, that he realized her strange and peculiar clothing that he finally saw her as a puzzle. And interestingly enough, it wasn't until the woman called herself a doctor the Watson was also paying attention.

So not only could she fight, but was apparently a doctor as well. What she was talking about next was rather interesting in and on itself.

“Well, if your wives are wearing corsets, we're going to have to loosen them up so their abdominal muscles can build up strength again. Not to mention the babies are going to need room to grow properly. Can't really do that with those... death traps on.” they watched as she finally tossed the cuffs into the street at her feet. “How those things make a woman beautiful is beyond me. Tailor the dress to fit the body, not the body to fit the dress.”

“They are not going to be happy to hear that.”

“Yes, well, trust me. I'm the doctor, they aren't. I've seen and read the damage those things can do. While we're on it, tell me their diet habits. What they eat, how much they eat, how often and when. As well as how active they are. But most importantly, about how far along they are?”

Once she had the information, she took a moment to think things over. If there was one thing both men found attractive in a woman, was the ability to think. Be able to solve problems, think things through strategically.

“Well then, let's get out of here and we can start working after I meet your wives.” she stood up, dusting off the back of her trousers, which little to the imagination of her form, began to walk towards one of the visiting Japanese lords. She paused before turning to them, a half smile on her face, which they finally got to see properly now that she wasn't moving around and fighting.

She was of Asian decent, most likely Japanese as well. Her face was delicately rounded like most Japanese women, softer than the more angular faces of those of European women. Almond shaped eyes, dark sweeping eyelashes, full lips. But unlike those that came from Japan, her eyes were a deep clear blue.

“Sorry for interrupting your... privacy.” she gave a short bow and turned towards the Japanese lord, who pulled her up to ride behind him on the horse, the two talking as they rode away. Most likely to where the lord was staying.

“Well, that was interesting. I particularly enjoyed the show. To bad we didn't get to have dinner with it.”

“Are those not the men that are running the smuggling ring?” Watson nodded in the direction of the men there were still rolling around on the ground, moaning and groaning lightly in pain.

“Well what do you know. I do believe we owe a visit to those Japanese lords a visit, we were invited, were we not?”

“Holmes...”

“Besides, Miss. Kagome I believe her name was, did bring down the smuggling ring we were paid to go investigate.” he snatched Watson's cane to tap against the wall ahead of them, signaling to move forward once again.

Watson took his cane bake, quirking his lips to the side and sighed through his nose. If there was one thing that hadn't changed about Holmes, once he got interested in a puzzle, a mystery, a case, he went after it with all he had. It may not look like it, his mind though went on how to solve it by going at it sideways. It didn't help when he would take morphine binges, or any other drug, and sit around lethargic.

Shaking his head, he mentally agreed with Holmes though. The woman was a mystery, highly educated as well as able to defend herself. She was not the conventional woman, held no apparent shame for what she was wearing, meaning she was obviously was used to such apparel. She was a doctor, meaning educated and well so. She also spoke as if she were equal to the Japanese lord, surprisingly enough he spoke to her as an equal, meaning she had his respect.

Like Holmes said, they would be paying the Japanese lords a visit, and perhaps they could learn more about this mysterious Kagome.

Chapter Text

Kagome had merely paused and blinked at the sleek looking jet that was, oh-so conveniently parked behind the mall. Shrugging her shoulders, she walked in after the others, Eri and Yuka quick to shuffle in after her, hissing their questions at how she could trust these strange people so easily.

Logan, who had been listening to everything being said, was also somewhat surprised at the lengths this girl was trusting them. She was not at all afraid of them after what she had just witnessed them do. Then again, she seemed to have known her attacker on a rather personal level. It left him to wonder and keep a wary eye on the girl, more so at her friends answer.

"Believe me, I don't trust them. I am merely going along with the lesser evil here." she continued to stand, dripping lightly still from her time forced in the fountain.

"If ya don't trust us, why take the risk of coming with us?" he needed to understand what drove this girl, see where she fell. Friend or foe.

She turned her blue eyes his way, face completely blank of any form of emotion. Raising a brow, to which he returned when she shifted to stand between him and her friends, she narrowed her eyes slightly before answering.

"You have our friend. I am -not- about to abandon her." her tone was firm, and her posture and stance was one of defiance. Chin tilted up just the slightest amount, back straight and shoulders thrown back the slightest amount and her feet shoulder width apart. She was wary of them and showing she was prepared should they try anything.

"But it means going somewhere you don't know, being among others you don't know."

She turned her head to the side lightly, though enough to keep him in her gaze, and gave a soft scoff, and tight half smile. "Something that is not new to me."

Her reply caused him to narrow his eyes. It wasn't hard to interpret that answer there, but it left him wondering what the girl was involved in. One, she was a mutant with tight control on her abilities. Two, she new how to fight. Because of his mutation, he was older than he appeared and had learned what he could. But even he was unfamiliar with the style she had used against the man. Three, she apparently had an enemy that wasn't afraid to attack in broad daylight or in a very crowded place. Four, said man was after something the girl had, though her friends said they overheard Kagome telling the man it was destroyed after he died.

Even after the attack, she was still on edge. Around them.

"Logan, could you tell her to sit down? We're going to take off now."

Grunting, he relayed Scott's message. Her reaction was not what he was expecting.

Wide eyes blinked in his direction, before she shook her head with an amused smile. "Sit in leather seats while wet? I learned my lesson, I'd rather stand thank you."

She shifted her stance to something more stable, and gripped the back of the seat of one that her friends were in. Shrugging his shoulders, he could tell she wasn't about to sit, he told Scott to go ahead. Despite the unsure look, he shrugged his and started the jet up.

The others had been paying attention to the girl and her short conversation with Logan. Bobby had nudged Peter who sat next to him, asking what he thought about the girl with a grin. The large man simply shook his head, causing Bobby to grumble under his breath. Storm kept an eye on the one girl standing, she had been shocked at the fact that she went at her attacker with such an intent to kill. And from the grim expression on Jean's face, she wasn't happy about that fact either. Piotr was amazed that she had willingly gone up against a person that was larger than her.

Kagome was smirking as her friends were quietly gushing at being in a jet. Though it was also her first time, she was far more concerned with them than herself. Though she did wonder as to where they were going, who they were meeting, how Ayumi was doing and who this mystery person was that knew her and wanted to talk to her.

There were no windows to really see where they were going, and she didn't quite trust using her abilities unnoticed around these people. That meant she would have to wait till they landed to try and figure out where they were. Which surprisingly, didn't take that long.

She braced herself as she felt the jet begin to decent, not like a regular one would. No, it circled around and stopped flying forward and began a vertical decent. It was smooth in landing, smoother than Kirara's even. Though it took a few minutes till the pilot to power open the door till the others made any form of movement.

Eri and Yuka unbuckled their safety belts and waited till their, hosts, began to leave the jet before following after. They clung to Kagome by grasping tightly to the back of her shirt or wrapping themselves around her arms.

Being who he was, it didn't fail Logan's observations of how the girl was reacting. She was following the others, but she had done a quick sweep of the grounds, the nearest points where one could get away, taking stock of some of the students that were outside as well as the windows and doors of the building they were walking towards. It didn't take that long, a mere curious sweep of her surroundings and her face was devoid of any emotion, but she acting very protective of her friends.

He himself looked forward when he spotted the professor sitting just outside the threshold of the main back doors, next to him a stranger. This stranger left him feeling... threatened and he was fighting off his more primal side. The girl herself noticed as well, and he sensed a sudden spike in her anger. Most likely from the stranger.

"I taught you better than that, than to allow yourself to be surprised." the stranger spoke in a deep tone, almost monotone, voice.

"And I haven't seen or heard a word of you or the others since I got back. Sesshoumaru-sama." her words were tight with anger and she didn't even bother to look up at the rather tall man.

The man himself was in a sharp business suit. His hair was in a business cut and, like Kagome's own hair, mimicked a raven's wing. The color of his eyes were amber in coloring and his body frame was well defined. But there was something about him that spoke volumes, that behind his simplistic, if not aristocratic, looks, there was power. And a lot of it.

"I'm sorry. My name is Kagome. Before I answer any of your questions, would it be possible to see our friend first?"

Professor Xavier smiled towards the young woman. Despite her current state, she was polite and concerned more for her friend's condition than her own. And, as much as there was some things that needed clearing up, he was sure she wouldn't talk unless she got to see her friend first.

"And I'm Charles Xavier. If you'll follow me, we'll see your friend first."

Jean looked like she was about to protest, but it was apparent that the Professor spoke to her telepathically, if her slight sneer was anything to go by. As the group made there way to where the girl was being held, students stopped in what they were doing to watch the proceedings, whispering as to what could be going on. Already new rumors were spreading. They were getting new students, the girl was an international ally to the X-Men, she was someone important and needed their protection... The list went on.

"Kagome-chan... Where are we going?"

"We're going to see how Ayumi is doing."

The two girls gasped, obviously just remembering their other friend, and more importantly, what had happened to her. They seemed to clutch all the more to Kagome as they were now heading below the mansion and towards their medical ward.

The doors opened upon their nearing, showing a room where Ayumi was laying on a observation bed with a rather large, blue, looking creature looming over her. Eri and Yuka barely managed to stifle their gasps and screams, where as Kagome was solely concentrated on the unconscious girl.

The three girls quickly made their way to their friend's side, the two wary of Hank as he looked up from the monitors and greeted his colleges, and moved to the side to allow the three girls closer to their friend.

Extracting her arms from her friends hold, Kagome and placed them on Ayumi's forehead and chest. Calling forth her abilities, she swept them through her body, taking stock of any form of injuries that Naraku could have caused, as well as making sure that he hadn't injected her with any of his miasma or his own youki.

"Three fractured ribs... strained and pulled muscles... a popped shoulder... and high adrenaline. Nothing to serious."

Logan blinked as she listed off the supposed injuries, before he asked Hank what he could tell them about the girl herself.

"Well, she'll survive, but I'm concerned with the damage done to her chest. Not only does she have some fractured ribs, but the muscles there are also considerably strained and stressed. She'll have to restrain her..."

A loud popping and snapping sounded from the unconscious girl and all that had turned to Hank were now observing the girls. Kagome was standing over her friend, her hands glowing slightly as her own friend was glowing in the same way Kagome's hands were.

"Kagome... what are you doing?"

"Treating Ayumi's wounds."

"You can do that?" Eri stared at her friend with awe.

"Have for a while now."

"I think ya need to update your diagnostics. Girl said she just treated her wounds." Logan kept a watchful eye on said girl as Hank moved closer to the unconscious girl. Kagome made room, dragging her friends with her though they were wary, but followed seeing as the still clung to her.

"Thank you for allowing me to see her."

"May I ask, what it was you just did."

"I healed her wounds, though she will still need some rest. I think it would be best, if the conversation happened where you first intended it to take place." the only reason she was being so political about the current situation, was due to the demon standing just behind her.

The professor nodded his head in understanding before turning about and leading them to somewhere more private. Most likely either his office or the room he himself taught in. The students that had gathered were still in their places, now there were more.

They all grouped into the room, the Professor sitting before Kagome and her own with the X-Men behind him, save for Logan. He stood off to the side, observing the proceedings.

"You said you healed your friend. How?"

"I can... control a certain form of energy. It can be offensive, defensive or benign, all depending on what I need."

"And can you explain what happened at the mall?"

"I... no. No, I can't." her brows furrowed the slightest amount as she looked down at the floor. The man that had been waiting for her leaned down to whisper something in her ear, so quietly that not even Logan could catch what was being said.

The girl's face darkened before reaching into her pocket and procured whatever it was that she had swiped from the fountain earlier. In all honestly, it looked like some form of crudely made doll. And it was broken at that. But, from the way the girl and the man, Sesshoumaru if Logan recalled, reacted to it, it wasn't a simple doll.

"The... man, that attacked me, was thought to have been dead. And for a very long time now. This," she held up the doll for the rest to see. "is proof of that he is in fact, alive."

"I don't see how a broken, doll, can prove if a man is dead or alive. Besides, someone else could have dropped it." Jean spoke up, crossing her arms over her chest.

"This is something called, Demon Puppetry. It allows the user to be in two places at once. The man that attacked me used this quite often, that it could be called his calling card. So to speak. And as far as I know, he was the only one who knew how to do such." she dipped her head slightly

"You do know, that using the term demon is rather rude." Jean spoke up once again.

The girl's reaction was not what they were expecting. She blinked wide eyes at them all, seemingly unknowing at the moment before she spoke up once again.

"What else am I supposed to use then?" it wasn't sarcastic, it was pure honesty.

"Mutant. The man that attacked you was a mutant. Not a demon. As are you, in fact."

The three girls were now staring wide eyes at the group before them. Kagome herself was at a loss, but it seemed her two friends had an inkling of understanding as to what the woman meant. So, she turned towards Sesshoumaru.

"Mutant?"

Now the others were at a loss. How could this girl not know what she was? She had displayed mutant abilities, rather well they might add. But she didn't understand the concept at all. They watched instead as the man leaned down to whisper in her ear once again, realization dawning on her face at his explanation. She nodded her head but shrugged her shoulders.

"I understand now. But, neither he nor I are mutants."

"But how do you explain what you did at the mall? What you just did for your friend?" Scott spoke up, his brows furrowed.

"I am a miko, which is Japanese for priestess."

"Now you're just using your heritage and religion to hide your mutation." Jean scoffed, which earned a dark look from the girl, and a low growl, that only Logan picked up, from Sesshoumaru.

"From what I understand, each person and their mutations are unique, and no two are the same. There may be similarities, but never exacts. Mikos are pretty much all the same, but may specialize in a different set of skills, areas or expertise. It also depends on how powerful they are and how well trained the are."

"Are you saying, any that say they are a miko, have these abilities?"

"No. As far as I know, I'm the last true miko. The rest are usually girls with an after school job."

"I don't mean to be rude, but that sounds like a mutant to me." Bobby spoke up leaning against the wall behind him.

"That's alright. Perhaps you're right, and my abilities are that of a mutation, then again maybe not. It's not like there's a test I can take to say otherwise."

"Actually..." all turned to Storm. This would be the first time she spoke up since they arrived. "We do have a student among us, that can neutralize mutant abilities in others, by simply being in the same room as them."

"Ororro! You can't seriously suggest such a thing!" Jean cried out.

"I myself come from a long line of priestesses. We all share similar characteristics and have potential over the elements. When I was told I was mutant and that was where my abilities came from, I was somewhat crushed. For so long, I had thought it was due to my own religion. If it brings her comfort to see this, then I say we ask Jimmy to come here."

Xavier saw the logic in that, and asked Bobby to retrieve the boy, while also telepathically trying to calm Jean down. The woman simply scowled in return. Her reactions towards the girl were startling and concerning to say the least, and Xavier was going to have a talk with her after this.

A few minutes later in the tense silence, Bobby returned with Jimmy, the younger boy looking towards the Professor questioningly.

"Jimmy, this here is Kagome." Kagome herself offered a small wave and smile towards the boy, who nodded his head somewhat in return. "I asked you here for a little test is all."

With that said, the Professor nodded his head towards Kagome, giving her the go ahead. She raised a hand, simply observing it for a second. She could still feel her power pulsing through her veins, and a quick glance thrown at Sesshoumaru showed whatever he was doing to hide himself was still intact. Turning back to her hand, she caught the sight of the smug look on the redheaded woman, it reminded her of Kikyo. Of the times the undead priestess was nearby when she herself had failed at a task.

Pushing forth, a pale pink flame wrapped around her hand, causing the others, save Sesshoumaru, to gasp in surprise. Slowly, she allowed it to climb up her arm and then spread over her entire body, and just as slowly diminish into nothing.

"As I said, my source of energy is very unique. Where mutations are a form of evolution in human DNA, thus the source of their abilities, mine is much more... deeper. I draw from my soul itself. Blood does have a factor, but nothing like my soul."

At the scoff from Jean as she turned away from the group visiting. Scott tried to sooth her ruffled feathers, Jimmy was simply staring wide eyed at the girl that could still use her abilities in his presence. Ororro was smiling lightly, Piotr was silent and Bobby was eying the girl in a new light. Logan himself was watching the girl was a far more critical eye after that display.

Sesshoumaru bent down once again to whisper something into her ear, Kagome nodded and turned towards the door, drawing the attention of the others.

"Ayumi is awake. I think it would be best we took our leave. Though I must warn you. Naraku, the man that attacked me earlier, watch out for him. He'll strike at those you care about most to achieve his goals. Though I can't say what those goals are now." she furrowed her brows as her eyes glazed over slightly, most likely she turned inwardly.

"Speaking of which, why would you assume a person dead?"

"Because in our last confrontation, I killed him. I also suggest you go for a killing strike when against him."

"How can you say such a thing? Go for the killing strike? You're no better than him!"

"Jean!"

"No Scott, she's barely an adult, and she's telling us to kill another person? She has to be twisted and sick to suggest such a thing!"

"Know this, Naraku was not born like you or myself. He's not from a world like now." Logan and the Professor easily picked up on how she worded that last sentence. "He will kill any and all that stand in his way. Don't believe me? Then you are more than welcome to ask the hundreds I helped bury because of him. Naraku was created from one mans lust for a woman, and a horde of low level demons that sought to kill the very same woman. He is a master manipulate, can easily look like another being, and enjoys pitting loved ones against one another. Trust me, unless he finds a use for you, which you better hope he doesn't, he'll kill you. So, go ahead and use today's justice system and lock him up. He'll simply escape and kill those the kept him bound and then come hunting for you."

By now Ayumi was brought to the room and the girl rushed towards her friends. It was easy to see she was shaken up after everything she had been through, if one were to go by the look on her face and how she clutched to her friends.

"There's more between Heaven and Hell, than in your philosophies. And you all just learned that there is more out there than humans and mutants."

"Isn't it 'Heaven and Earth'?" Kagome turned to Bobby, he had now pushed himself away from the wall, his hands stuffed into his pants pockets.

"Yes, if I were quoting Shakespeare. But, Hell is just as real as Earth and Heaven." she shrugged her shoulders, ignoring the questioning gazes that statement brought her.

"If what you say is true, about this Naraku person, wouldn't there have been something about it in the news?" Ororro was also upset that the girl was telling them she killed the man before and was telling them to kill the same man should they ever cross paths.

"Hmmm, no. News was spread by word of mouth 500 years ago." she smirked at their disbelieving looks. "Interpret that as you will. We really must be going now. Thank you for your aid for myself and my friends." she bowed, her friends offering hesitant ones as well before the five left.

Logan caught how Sesshoumaru seemed mildly upset with Kagome for revealing certain facts, she had simply shrugged her shoulders, replying that they would learn them sooner or later. And if it was from Naraku, the spider would twist the truth to suit his own needs first and foremost.

He lost hearing range the further they walked. And he turned towards the Professor, seeing the varying expressions on everyone's faces from what they all had just witnessed. Storm herself seemed slightly hopeful, Scott was more concerned with trying to calm Jean down, Bobby had let out a low whistle, smirking slightly as he tried to get Piotr more involved and Jimmy was looking as if he still couldn't believe what had just happened.

The Professor himself looked more troubled than before the meeting. Not surprising really, they had just learned humans and mutants were not the only ones that lived in the world. There was in fact a whole world they didn't really know or understand.

Logan himself wasn't happy. The girl was a wild card.

Chapter Text

A groan escaped her as she shifted. The sounds of chatter were muffled and she rolled over, not wanting to wake up but sleep no longer wished to stay it seemed. Not only that, she wanted the sweetness of darkness to overcome her, her body ached that much! It felt like she had been used as someone's personal punching bag and then tested as a speed bump on top of it.

Fingers curled around the thin, but surprisingly warm covers, and pulled them over her head, hoping it would help her get back to sleep. She didn't care Inuyasha would later complain about her sleeping in, she was sure she was covered from head to toe in a rainbow of bruises. At least she felt like she was, and hoping that she wasn't.

As she curled in on herself under the covers, she quickly sucked in air through her clenched teeth, the sound hissing around her under the blanket. But damn! Did she ever hurt. Her brows pinched when the reason as to why came up blank. Perhaps she was still too tired to remember and needed more sleep to actually recall them.

Nodding her head and tucking her hands under her chin she figured it was the best plan and was once again sleeping.

A figure walked towards the sleeping young woman, hoping this latest checkup would prove that she was awake. Sighing, it seemed that she wasn't. Though, she had moved to block out the suns rays that made their way to her sleeping form and covered herself with the covers that were provided for her was a good improvement. She had been still for so long, that everyone had worried for the worst.

Stepping up to the mass curled up and around the blankets, a smile made it's way onto the owners face. Memories of when it was just one of those days and they didn't want to get out of bed, simply roll over and sleep the day away. But they still needed to see how the young woman was doing.

Pulling the blanket back slightly, taking a peek at the white bandages that was wrapped around the young woman's head, they couldn't help but frown. The young woman's wounds wouldn't close for the longest time, no matter what they used. Everyone was constantly having to change the wraps to steep up the blood that was constantly and slowly bleeding out of her. But, since the last time the woman had been checked up on, which was just a few hours ago, all forms of wounds seemed to have vanished.

Gentle hands slowly peeled back the wrapping around the young woman's head. The blood was a dark brown in coloring against the off white, almost dry and the wound that should have been the source of the blood was replaced by a simple pink marring on her, otherwise blemish free, skin.

Seems the young woman had another mystery about her, other than suddenly appearing out of nowhere, bloody and battered and barely able to stand. The question was, was she friend or foe.

Another sigh sounded around the air, time to retell the latest discovery about the young woman.

Shuffled feet quickly spun about, leaving the young woman to her sleep, their owner seeking out the one that could possibly have answers to these questions, other than the young woman herself seeing as she was still out, and left the young woman to sleep a little longer.

Unaware, Kagome slept, not knowing where she was, who she was with and that she was neither at home, or in the Feudal Era. But a whole other world entirely.

Feeling much better after she had fallen back asleep, Kagome tenderly stretched her aching body, letting out a breath when her muscles finally relaxed. She smiled, eyes still closed as the rest of herself was finally waking up and was going to stay awake.

She was surprised Inuyasha hadn't forced her up to go hunt for Naraku or Shards. Now that she thought about it, the sounds that filtered through to her still awakening mind, were nothing of what the group she traveled with. There was no fire crackling near by, no grumbling Inuyasha demanding she wake up and make him his Ramen, no Shippo playing with Kirara near by, no shouts from Sango as she slapped Miroku for letting his hands wander once again.

Brows pinching, Kagome slowly opened her eyes. Narrowing them, she had to blink the fuzziness away and once her vision was clear, she wished she had kept them shut. Instead of being greeted by a canopy of trees with patches of sky above her, red colored fabric that she knew to be the roof of a tent was what she saw.

Turning her head, she took her new surroundings in. The ground was covered in large carpets, most of the tent was filled with large plush pillows, a chest and low table. She herself took one side on a low cot.

Pushing herself into a sitting position and swinging her legs over the side, her knees tilted to the right with how low the cot was. It was also then she noticed her changed appearance. She now wore a one piece long... it was a gown right? The sleeves were cut just a little longer over her wrists with a few buttons on the outer wrists. The neck line was somewhat scooped, though it showed nothing more than her collar bones and a bit of her shoulders. It hugged her upper torso and then flowed freely from her hips.

It left her wondering who changed her... Quickly shaking her head, leaving her with a few moments to suffer the room spinning, Kagome pushed herself up onto unsteady legs. Just how long had she been out? Arms outstretched, she smiled at her personal victory of staying vertical and not falling flat on her face.

Still acting much like a new born foal, with her arms stretched before her, in case she should take a fall, Kagome looked up and towards the only entrance to the tent she currently occupied. Her steps were short, wobbly and barely lifted off the ground. Or could one call it a floor with carpets simply tossed about?

What was she thinking at a time like this? Perhaps she had not only suffered a good -wellbad- head injury, but perhaps blood loss as well? The thought made her shiver, which didn't help her quest to make it to the... door. She always did hate trying to figure out the proper terms for such situations. But that shouldn't distract her from her task.

Knitting her brows, after stumbling, she stood there. A quick thought, a hand picked up the damn skirt of her current attire and also gave a glare at the corner piece of carpet that had almost caused her to tumble.

Picking up her way forward, another smile made its way onto her face as she finally grasped the edge of the fabric the blocked her to the outside world. As soon as she pulled it back, she took one sweep of the world and let the fabric go. The world was not what she had hoped it would be.

Falling to her knees, she ignored the pain as the world she had just peeked on seemed to continue on before her eyes even though it was now, once again, blocked by the heavy red material.

Rolling hills with rocky outcrops, a path between countless tents that dotted them like wild flowers. Banners high above them, fluttering and snapping in the air. Weapon racks easily glinted and shined in the sun. But it was the beings that walked about throughout the entire camp. None of them truly belonged to the beings of Japan.

Just where was she?

Hands fisting tightly into the material of her simple dress, Kagome once again took in the tent she was occupying. The colors were rich, plush, and then it hit her. She and the others had come across some war tents during their wondering, and they were all made of off white canvases. Dies to color that amount of fabric and to such a rich degree would be costly and hard to do during that era.

But here, it was in abundance. Not only that, the design of everything wasn't what she had come to known with the Feudal Era, it seemed more... like something that came from the picture books or movies she knew about of knights saving the damsel in distress. European.

Did that mean she was somewhere in Europe? If so, how did she get there? And most importantly, how was she to get back?

Wrapping her arms around herself, she faced forward once again and looked down at her lap. That would explain the beings she had seen milling about outside. Half horse and half humanoid were centaurs, the goat people were satyrs... or fauns... Then again, some had more human looking faces while the others didn't, so one group could be one while the second kind the other. And the beautiful females that also mingled about? She wouldn't be surprised if they were elves or... what were they again? Muses... no nymphs. Spirits of the very nature around her.

Her head snapped up when the cloth was suddenly pulled back, wide blue eyes looking up at one of the very females that had been walking about. Both took the other in, neither seeming to breath, realizing that Kagome was now very awake and taking how the other looked.

The female wore something that was most definitely not Japanese, nothing about this place was. Her eyes were a bright green, unnaturally so, her hair curled about her face in deep browns. And though her face was more angular than that of Asian decent, it was also softer, almost willowy.

And suddenly she smiled and turned her head and called out to someone or other behind her. Kagome furrowed her brows at what she said, and the fact that she could actually understand her to begin with. Sure, she had been good in her classes before the whole Shikon thing, but her grades had suddenly dropped since she started her quest. And while they say it's like riding a bike, you never truly forget, she had never been that well at understanding English to begin with.

Looking back up at the female, gentle hands helped her to her feet and back into the tent. Kagome could hear commotions outside and it left her wondering what she was involved in this time. But more importantly...

Who was Aslan, and what did the female mean by Daughter of Eve?

Soon enough, Kagome was given another dress to put on, well, an outer dress to put over the one she had on. It was a deep red, she couldn't help but laugh at the irony or it, with the shoulders cut even wider than the white under piece she wore, with the neck line also cut just a little lower so it allowed the white to be seen. The sleeves only went just past her elbows, flaring only a little. This one too, hugged her torso and flared out gently past her hips.

Delicate golden ivy was stitched along the seams and she could admit, it was beautiful in it's simplicity. Though Kagome was questioning herself how long it would be before she fell flat on her face by tripping on the long skirts of the dress or over something said skirts hid from her view.

A group of women sat around her, Kagome was still somewhat dazed about the whole thing, as they chatted about something or other. One was behind her, playing and weaving her hair and all Kagome could do was blink. She had been pulled out of the tent, and set off just to the side of it, all the while still waiting for this Aslan to appear.

Everyone that passed by kept staring at her, not that she wasn't used to it by now, it's just, this time she didn't have her friends with her. She was truly the center of attention and it made her uneasy. Brought out of her musings, Kagome watched as the females picked themselves up and left her, smiling and laughing the entire way, bidding her farewells.

Blinking, seeing as she didn't know what else to do, she sat there and looked towards the beings that bowed in her direction. Now, they hadn't done that at all during the time she was outside, so it left her to wonder who they were bowing to, since it wasn't her.

Looking to her left, she nearly had a heart attack when she came face to face with a lion. She fell back when it finally clicked in her mind that she just came face to face with a lion. Falling back on one arm, another rose as a hand pressed against her chest over her frantic heart. Wide eyes stared at the ground.

"Death by heart attack... how sad can I get?" she muttered to herself, not really knowing she said her thoughts out loud.

"Does meeting me, truly, terrify you?" a deep voice rumbled, a slight hint of amusement making it sound...

Wait a minute.

Kagome blinked a few times. The only one beside her was the lion. Looking back at the lion, that was now sitting -which she took as a good sign, hopefully- she took the beast before her in. Brows furrowed, she was sitting next to...

"A talking lion... now I've seen it all." she next thing she knew, a white rabbit wearing a vest coat carrying a pocket watch would run by at any moment... Please no...

Raising her eyes back up to the lion, she took him in. He looked like a normal, average lion. A smile on his face... okay, not your normal every day lion.

"To answer your question... I've never been this close to a lion before. Please forgive me, if I've offended you in anyway." she bowed her head. The lion chuckled lightly at her answer... why did this always have happen to her?

"What is your name, daughter of Eve?" the lion spoke, moving to lay down before her, crossing his giant paw. Paws that could kill, her mind supplied.

"...Kagome. Why do you call me that? Daughter of Eve?" she tilted her head to the side, she had stopped the sudden urge to tell him that her mother's name was in fact Nodoka.

"It is what the beings of Narnia call your kind. You, are a daughter of Eve. Are you in any way related to Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie?"

Kagome had to think. Narnia was what had caught her attention, not the names of four other people. She had never heard of Narnia before... In fact, she was pretty sure she wouldn't find it on any world map either. Letting out a breath, it figures she'd wind up in some fantastical world, she felt a lot like Alice in Wonderland. Both fell into a world not their own.

"No, I'm afraid I don't know them." she bit her lip... a thought had just occurred to her. "Um, what is your name?"

"I am Aslan."

Eyes went wide. "You're Aslan?" she felt her face heat up when he chuckled.

"Were you expecting some one else, young one?" his amusement was easily heard in his voice. She could also easily see the laughter in his eyes.

Kagome was sure with the amount of blood rushing to her face, she'd pass out from heat stroke, that's how warm she felt.

"Well, yes. I didn't think you'd be..." she absently waved a hand about. She let out a whimper and ducked her head, wishing that the ground would simply open up and swallow her. Was it possible to die of mortification?

He chuckled again, she was a strange one. Though, he still needed to know how she came to appear in his lands and the power that rolled off of her like great waves beating off the shores. Though the power was indeed great, it was the purest he had ever felt off a human. It reminded him of natural crisp winters that Narnia had, of cleansing pure waters of deep rivers and oceans, of freshly sprung life in springs light.

"Tell me young one, how did you get to be here in Narnia?"

Kagome looked at him before turning to take in the camp, arms coming up to hug herself. Her fingers dug into her arms, almost to the point she was bruising herself, just more proof that this was reality.

"I don't know." her brows furrowed as she tried to recall the last events before she woke in this strange world. Biting her lower lip she tried to force herself to remember, instead of coming up with nothing.

Pain flashed in her mind. But from who, or what? Gray purple light zooming past her, calls of names mingling with one another till she couldn't tell who was calling, and for who. Colors blurred... and then she remembered. Kikyo.

"I... think, you could say, I was banished here. I think." her eyes followed whatever moved before her, but she wasn't seeing the world before her. Her eyes were looking beyond, as her memories played, brokenly, before her.

"Banished?" his tone was gentle, but she could hear the lining surprise beneath it all.

"By an enemy of sorts. She sent me here. Why, I do not know, nor how." letting out a sigh, her hands dropped into her lap, feeling like dead weight.

"Would it have to do with your power?"

Her head shot up, wide eyes taking Aslan in. Power? Did he mean her miko abilities? That could be the only thing she could think of. Looking off to the side, a grim smile darkened her features.

"Perhaps. It wouldn't be the first time she had attempted anything against me. She fears I am trying to take a place she once held. But she doesn't realize, she still holds it." her hand rose unconsciously to try and sooth the pain in her heart. She had given up on Inuyasha a while after Kikyo was risen from the dead.

"Why does she fear you so?" it was truly puzzling.

"The dead are jealous of the living." was all she said, and she could see from the corner of her eye how his head reared back at her statement. She couldn't stop the tight sad smile that curled her lips.

"My enemy, exists, because she holds half my soul. I allow her to hold it, because a dear friend of mine lost her too soon in his life." her knees drew up to her chest where she buried her face, it hurt to say such things. That Inuyasha would prefer a ghost of the past to actually, truly, live with those that accepted him for who he was, regardless of what he was.

Aslan took in the form of the tiny female before him, truly in shock. Never before had he heard of such things, to willingly allow the enemy, a being that would and did cause harm, to hold half of ones soul? And all because another close to her, needed both in his life. She truly was a selfless creature, unlike any he had ever come across.

She reminded him more of Narnia than the very beings that lived in it. A constant winter overshadowing it, a death like state but still struggling to be alive. He could feel the pain of the land in his very bones, that was just slowly starting to ease due to the arrival of the four children that would one day become kings and queens of the very land. He could not imagine what she went through every day upon waking.

"Are you not in pain, young one?" she lifted her head, and she showed him for the first time through her eyes, the sheer amount of pain she was in. He could see the tears waiting to spill, but she held them. She most likely had learned to hold them a long time ago.

"Constantly."

He rose up and moved towards her, he curled his body around her and she had immediately latched onto him, her fingers twisting into his mane. And he allowed it. She cried silently, though no tears fell, and held onto him.

How long she held onto this gentle lion, she didn't know. She didn't care either. The only other that knew of her constant pain was Miroku, and while he had told her time and again to call the other half back, she had simply asked if he knew of a way to dull the pain.

The steady rhythm of his breathing and heartbeat slowly rocked Kagome into sleep. She had been emotionally and mentally drained by everything. She was still surprised at how easily she told him such things, but those thoughts flew from her mind like tiny song birds as she curled up next to the lion.

Aslan once again took her in. Pure and selfless. And to a point to willingly be in the amount of pain she was in for the care of one dear to her.

He laid his head on his crossed paws, where his tail curled into his body. He literally tucked her into his side, she was that tiny, but he could tell she was no child, yet also not quiet yet a woman either. One still young, should not have to go through what she did.

He recalled how he found her. He had been returning from a hunt, and when he felt a massive amount of power that was foreign to him he followed it to it's source. Thoughts of it being a trick, trap or aid to Jadis. But instead, he found her, Kagome.

Stumbling about in a dazed fashion, clutching onto anything to help keep her standing. Her entire body was covered in blood, wounds both deep and shallow. Bruises criss crossed her entire being, and yet she still pushed herself forward. Most likely trying to make it back to where she thought was home or somewhere familiar.

She had looked towards him, but did not see him, and then pushed onwards. A few steps later, she simply collapsed on herself. Every wheezing breath she took, rattled her, she shivered, but pushed herself up on her arms and tried to continue forward.

He was at awe by her strength, that she could and would continue to push herself forward in such a state amazed him. A lesser being would have succumb to such wounds, but he felt a power from within her trying to aid in her own recovery.

He moved towards her, using the small amount of space she had used to push herself back up, to let her collapse once again on his back. She was a daughter of Eve, that much he knew. But she had a power unlike any he had come across, and thought it best to bring her back to camp. It was on the way, she finally fell unconscious.

The Narnians had stopped what they were doing upon his entrance to his camp, taking in the tiny bloody daughter of Eve on his back. Immediately, others followed, worried if a future queen of theirs had been injured.

The nymphs that were milling about his camp took it upon themselves to treat and redress her while he went to wash the blood off himself. He told them to come to him once she woke again. After his bath he spoke to the captain among the centaurs, who had been cautious of the daughter of Eve, having been told what their future queens looked like.

And now here he was, curled around her as she slept tucked into his side. There was no signs of pain, either from her wounds or lack of a complete soul, completely peaceful. Like the spring spreading deeper into Narnia. The others would arrive soon.

Chapter Text

Hands formed into claws and dug themselves deep into the rough but mossy surface beneath them, as the body they belonged to heaved up and onto the surface.

With a somewhat wet splat, Kagome let herself plop into the only stable space, not really liking how high in the tree she was, but she was far too exhausted to go anywhere else. What she could appreciate was that the branch itself was wide, enough room to fit three people side by side, and even better was that there was a sort of niche in the middle. So there was no fear of her rolling over and plummeting to her death.

Something Inuyasha was sure to say only she could accomplish.

With a final deep breath, a short wriggle to make herself more comfortable, she let sleep claim her. And to think, all she and the others had wanted was a nice day at the beach to try and relax and cool down from the summer heat.

 

Letting out a groan, she swatted at the hand the kept poking at her. She was far to tired and sore to be woken up simply so Inuyasha could get his damn Ramen. Besides, if he wanted it badly enough, he could make it himself, it wasn't all that hard. Boil water, pour water into cups, let them sit for five minute and voila! Instant Ramen.

When the hand returned, but in a different place, she was sure it was no longer Inuyasha, cause he would have resorted to shoving her. This was more like Shippo or Miroku. When rough fingers began plucking at her sarong, she rolled over to slap the damn monk.

But when her eyes landed on a far more angular face that was far too tanned with hair that was brown and not black and also in dreadlocks, did she pause short of swinging her hand. Curious green eyes flew to her face as the persona above her moved in a little closer.

With a startled cry, she rolled over to get away from the stranger, her arms clung to the branch as if remembering what her brain didn't. That she was on a branch in a tree, and very high up branch at that.

Her legs swung up and under the branch, causing her grip on the branch to slip somewhat. With a whimper, she moved to grab what looked like a vine, only to be missing it by a hair's breath. Looking down beneath her, the next branch was a little to much of a drop for her tastes, so she continued for the vine.

She paused when a strong arm wrapped around her shoulders. Looking up, she was a little unsettled by how close the man's face was, she let go of the branch and whipped so that her arms wrapped around his neck. Slowly, he pulled her back up and placed her back on the branch and when he finally released her, she scuttled back and away from the man until her back was tightly pressed against the trunk of the tree.

Seeing as she had no where else to go, her eyes flew about wildly taking in the world around her. It was then, she quickly realized, that she wasn't in Japan anymore. The colors of nature around her were far to vibrant, the forest far too dense, the trees far too high and the calls of animals were nothing like those native to Japan.

Her moment of taking stock of her surroundings came to an abrupt halt when she felt a warmth press to her chest between her breasts. Looking down, she saw only the top of the man's head, as he seemingly listened to her heart beat. Which was most likely going as fast if not faster than the Shinkansen at the moment. So she held still, clutching at the trunk behind her, as he continued to listen for whatever reason.

After a few harrowing moments, the man finally moved his head to look up at her, a bright smile on his face. Why he was smiling, she had no idea, but she let out a breath when he sat back up, which meant moving away from her. Though she froze when he raised his hands to place them on either side of her face and pull her forward towards him gently. When he turned her head to the side lightly, he then pressed her head to his own chest, just above where his heart lay beneath.

She furrowed her brows at the steady, if not somewhat elevated beating of his heart seemed to ring louder in her ears than the world around them. For some reason, this all had a sort of alarming familiarity to it. But she couldn't quite place how it seemed familiar to her.

Pulling back, though he seemed reluctant to allow her to leave, Kagome moved so she was once again pressed against the trunk behind her. She blushed lightly when she realized just how little the man before her was wearing, if a loincloth could really be counted as clothing. Though she was thankful he was covered. He was tanned, darkly so, and his body showed old faint signs of scars. Claw marks, long gashes, even a few that looked like he had been bitten. He was ripped, all hard muscle, but not in an overly buff way, he was more built like a surfer or swimmer. A more broader chest that slimmed down to narrow hips and then lower to powerful thighs and calfs...

Shooting her eyes back up to his face, she thought it best to take his facial features in. It was angular, almost sharply so. His was was also longer than those of Asian descent. Powerful jaw lines, leading to a pointed chin. Thin masculine lips sat below a strong and straight nose. Intense green eyes set below slightly brooding brows. Though at the moment, he wore a more excited and curious expression.

Then again, she herself was wearing a bikini, but her blue sarong covered up her lower half. She was upset that she ended up losing her top in whatever brought her... here. And her footwear. So she did what came natural to her, she started to grumble under her breath while looking for a way out of the tree, that didn't involve falling while also trying to keep her eyes on the man's face.

“Stuck in a tree with a man in a loincloth. Just another thing to add to my list of weird things that only happens to me. At least he hasn't done anything, unlike Miroku. Why this happens to me, is something I'd like to know, and hopefully soon. At least the others can't see me now. Especially Eri, Yuka and Ayumi. Now to get down...”

“Now... to... get... down.”

Her head snapped up and she blinked owlishly towards the man. Had she heard correctly? In all the time since he appeared, and while she was awake, he hadn't spoken a single word. So, she was going to go out on a limb, and hopefully she'd get an answer, if not... communication would be difficult.

“Can, can you talk?” she licked her lower lip as she looked up at him hopefully. When all she got was a sort of soft grunt and him cocking his head to the side lightly, did she close her eyes and allow her head to fall backwards against the three trunk. That was pretty much a no in her book.

“Tarzan.”

Opening her eyes up and looking at the strange man, her brows furrowed slightly when he shuffled closer towards her. It was then that she noticed how he sat more hunched over and tucked in on herself, but his voice caused her to pay attention to his face.

“Tar...zan.” he had brought up both his hands and placed them on his chest when he repeated himself.

Furrowing his brows, she realized that he was telling her his name. And once again, she was struck by that familiar feeling that she should -know- what was going on, like she had done this before or seen it somewhere.

Licking her lower lip again, she was debating whether it would be such a good idea to tell him her own name. But when he continued to look expectantly and excitedly towards her, very much like Shippo when he knew she had candy on her, she let out a sigh and decided to go with the flow at the moment.

“Ka-go-me.” she raised a hand and placed it on her own chest as she slowly spoke her own name.

She couldn't help the small smile when he slowly repeated her, looking like he was tasting something new and foreign that actually saying her name. If she were honest with herself, she could say it was actually rather adorable. She nodded her head when he said it again, more sure of himself.

“Kagome.” when he placed a hand where she had when saying her name. All she could do was humm with a small smile in place when he finally understood that he was saying her name correctly. Once again, reminding her of Shippo with his childlike innocence.

Though her eyes began to widen when he started to crowd in on her, forcing her to push herself tighter against the tree once again. Out of options, she clenched her eyes shut and tucked her chin to her chest. She waited a few moments for whatever was to happen. Only, they snapped open when she swore she heard a faint shout of her name.

Her head snapped sharply to her left and she strained her ears, hoping beyond hope that she was hearing someone she knew shouting her name and not hearing things. Or Tarzan just whispering her name for whatever reason.

But seeing as he was also paying attention to something in the same direction, perhaps she wasn't hearing things. Another stressful moments later, she heard the faint echoing of her name being shouted, and she had to hold her self back from shouting 'here' in return. So she did the next best thing. She scrambled out of that tree like a pro.

Childhood years of climbing the Goshinboku, and ever other tree since she started the Shikon quest made climbing out of her current perch a piece of cake. And as soon as she touched down on Terra firma, she shot off towards the origin of the shout. Picking up her blue sarong to allow better and more leg freedom, and was practically flying towards the source of the shouting.

Tarzan was hot on her heals, though from above. If the situation were any different, she would have been amazed at the feat, but her smile was growing the closer she got to the source. Skidding to a stop at the edge of a cliff that over looked a rather beautiful lake. To one side, a wide water fall fanned out, creating a curtain of falling water then a clear lake spread out from where the waterfall hit the lake. In the middle of the lake was a small rock that broke the surface, and on it was Sango.

“Sango!”

The woman paused in her shout and whipped her head in Kagome's direction. Her frantic look melted instantly it landed on the younger woman and replaced with relief. It was how Sango was cradling her right arm as well as soothing her right ankle that worried Kagome more than the fact that she was sitting on a rock in the middle of the lake.

“Kagome! Thank the Kami!”

“Hang on... I'm going to come to you.” Kagome shouted as she inched closer to the cliff's edge and tried to find a spot where she could climb down, or where the land met with the lake itself, anything. But there was nothing, and the closest lake shore was actually behind Sango herself, and she didn't want to risk getting lost trying to get down to it.

Taking stock of how high the cliff actually was, as well as for any rock formations below her, she nibbled on her lower lip when an idea came to mind. It wouldn't be all that much higher than what she had dived from because of school, or her time spent in the past. In fact it would be the shortest dive, and most likely the safest.

“Kagome? Who... who is that... man behind you?”

Looking up towards Sango at the question, Kagome turned around to see that Tarzan was standing behind her, a little to close for comfort, and was taking Sango in from over her shoulder. Realizing that she was taking him in, he turned down to look at her instead and tilted his head slightly. It was then that she realized that he was tall, much taller than she had thought. It must have been how he had been crouching and hunched in on himself back at the tree.

“I'll explain him later. In the mean time, hang on.”

She chuckled as she retreated when she heard Sango grumbling on she had no where else to go. Kagome made sure that the knot of her sarong was tied tightly, as well as the straps of her twisted bandeau bikini top. No need to lose either of those while she took the dive. She flashed a smile in Tarzan's direction when he looked at her questioningly before taking a running start and dove off the cliff.

She heard Sango's brief cry before she hit the water, and to be honest, it was a welcome relief from the heavy stickiness of the jungle heat. Kicking her legs, she momentarily took in the bright underwater world of the lake she was swimming in, the fish that darted and swam. But she was more worried about Sango, so she swam towards the rock that her best friend was sitting on.

As soon as she breached the surface, she was already getting an ear full, but she couldn't help but smile as she heaved herself up onto the rock to sit next to one she considered a sister.

“Relax Sango, I've jumped from higher heights before. Now turn around and let me see your right arm.”

She had seen how it was hanging as soon as she had pulled herself out of the water, and not that she had a closer look, she could tell it had been dislocated.

“Brace yourself, this is going to hurt.” she allowed for Sango to have a brief few seconds to steel herself for what was to come.

Counting to three internally, she forced the joint back into place and Sango allowed a short shout of pain to echo around them. Kagome began to sooth the sore muscles slowly that surrounded her shoulder, pushing just the slightest amount of spiritual energy to help along with the healing as well as numbing the pain just the slightest amount.

“How long have you been here?”

“All night. It took me everything I had just to get on this damn rock.”

“I can only imagine. Now, what's wrong with your leg?”

Sango twisted and Kagome was back in the water to better examine her friend's ankle. There was only so much room on the rock. As Sango was about to explain what was wrong, she let out a startled squeak and shifted away from the water.

Looking up, Kagome was confused with the violent blush that had taken over Sango's face completely. Following her gaze to where she was looking, Kagome could only blink when she saw Tarzan swimming beside her and was examining Sango's kimono with vivid interest.

“New friend of yours?”

Kagome sighed when she could hear the tell tale signs of Sango's anger as Tarzan began to touch the actual material of the kimono. Her words had come out slightly hissed, meaning she was gritting her teeth, and from the shaking that Kagome could see, restraining herself from lashing out.

“Err, yes. He's merely curious, try not to hurt him. He's nothing like Miroku.” at least she hoped he wasn't, but she wasn't about to say that out loud. “Now, your leg.”

Sango kept a wary eye on Tarzan, while slowly easing her leg towards Kagome. She hissed lightly and tried to yank her leg back as soon as Kagome had taken hold of her foot and probed at her ankle.

“Well, I can tell you this, you sprained your ankle.”

“Are you sure? What if it's broken?” the worry was clear in her voice, meaning her attention was solely on Kagome and no longer worried about Tarzan and seemed to have stopped his examination of Sango's kimono and was now focused on what she herself was doing.

“Well, there's no bone protrusions, I took a deeper look and there's also no fracturing either. Did you get this last night?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm, then from the lack of swelling and discoloration, this means it's a minor sprain. Move forward a bit so that your ankle is in the water. If you also have something I can bind your ankle with, I can wrap it for you.”

She took the long strip of fabric that Sango offered her, from where it came she didn't know, but that woman was bound to carry something or other tucked away in her sleeves. Resting her feet on the ledge and began the process of wrapping Sango's injured ankle as well as push a bit of spiritual energy to also help the healing process as well.

“Did you see any of the others at all?” Sango asked, watching how the man was watching Kagome with vivid interest.

“No, you're the first. I hope they're alright.”

“I'm sure they are. And I'm sure we'll see them all soon enough.” Although she had tried to reassure the young miko of her worries, Sango herself couldn't help but worry slightly as well. They sat in silence as they let their minds wonder. Though the silence was soon broken when Kagome made a quiet yet startled noise, drawing Sango's attention towards her dearest friend.

The man hand moved to examine one of Kagome's hands. Flipping it over for a look at her palm, gently forcing the fingers to move from curling to splaying them before pushing one of his own hands flush against it.

Sango's brow furrowed slightly at his awed expression, like the man had learned something that was life altering by the simply action. But looking towards Kagome, she seemed almost saddened by his actions, so it was obvious she understood something about this man. He weaved their fingers together, allowing their hands to fall back under the water. In all honesty, it seemed to Sango that Kagome had yet managed to gain the attention of another male suitor.

“You still haven't explained him.”

“Ah! Oh... umm.” Kagome coughed lightly, as she turned her attention back to Sango. A violent blush over took her face as Tarzan once again began inspecting her. It was started off with her hair and ears, eliciting a giggle from her.

“H-he lives in the jungle I s'ppose. And if how he's acting around us, I'd say we're the first people he's ever seen in his life.” she inched away from his seeking fingers.

“The first people.... how is that even possible?!”

“I'm not sure...” she trailed off, wondering the same herself.

“Ah! Lady Sango, Lady Kagome. If I haven't seen a more tempting sight in my life!”

Both women's face's became deadpan in an instant as Miroku's voice echoed over the lake towards them. They both turned towards where he was standing. He had taken off his outer robes exposing his chest, to which Sango immediately broke out into a blush. Kagome moved a bit, which in tun exposed Tarzan to Miroku's gaze, but she was more interested in something else that could help Sango back to shore.

“And who is you're new friend, Lady Kagome?”

Rolling her eyes at the suggestive tone, and his brow waggle, she shook her head to fight back the comment that wanted to be said.

“Never mind that, I'll explain later. Do you see a large branch or piece of wood near you?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Sango's hurt and can't swim back to shore.”

That was all the prompting Miroku needed in searching for what was needed. Kagome smirked, while he would never allow a lady hurt to be unattended, he would jump into action as soon as he knew Sango was injured in any way shape or form. Soon enough, he tossed a sturdy sized branch that would help Sango get back to solid land.

“I can get there just fine.”

“You just got your shoulder popped back into place and have a sprained ankle. Let's not over work either of them. Otherwise, it'll take longer to heal.”

When the branch was finally within reach, she helped Sango into the water. It took much maneuvering, pausing to try and figure out how to keep her weight on either her injured leg or strained arm. When it became apparent what they were doing, Tarzan himself helped Sango even.

Kagome laughed at her friend's bright red face. Even after everything they had been through, that was still the most skin Sango had ever seen on a male, and to have said male touch her. She was surprised her friend hadn't fainted. Sango was finally supported by the branch, Kagome threw herself on the last bit of free space and started to swim them both to shore. Sango grumbled under her breath that she really could do it all on her own, as well as naked men always seemingly following them around.

Kagome glanced towards said 'naked man', who was swimming next to her at a leisurely pace to stay next to them. Looking forward once again, she noticed how Miroku was now standing in the water, his outer robes placed on a rock to keep dry, and was waiting for them.

“It's good to see that both of you are safe.” Miroku spoke with a smile as he waded into deeper waters to help Sango to her feet and get her to dry land.

“Well, more or less.” Kagome muttered as she abandoned the branch and also left the lake behind her friends. Her hands rose up to ring out the excess water before doing the same to her sarong. She crouched down where Miroku had safely deposited Sango so he could retrieve his outer robes.

“How are you feeling?”

“Other than the pain in my ankle? Confused, hungry and tired. I'm also worried about the others.” Sango allowed herself to lay out fully on her back, letting out a happy sigh and wriggled slightly to get more comfortable.

“Mmm, I know the feeling.” Kagome moved to sit next to Sango and leaned back on her hands. She watched Miroku move to Sango's other side before her gaze swept over the scene before her. At this perspective, the lake and waterfall were that much more beautiful. It only she had her camera.

“Miroku?”

“Yes, Lady Kagome?”

“Have you seen, heard or sensed the others?” her eyes moved to catch some movement, seeing it was Tarzan as he slowly made his way towards Miroku. Miroku in turn raised a brow at him and was leaning out of the man's reach just slightly.

“I'm afraid not, Lady Kagome. Now, about your new friend here?”

“Hmm, I have reason to believe he's lived here all his life. And before you ask, I think we're the first people he's met. His name is Tarzan.”

Tarzan himself looked in her direction, obviously at the sound of his name. He let go of Miroku's ear, seemingly done his inspection of the small golden loop threaded through it and made his way towards her. Why she didn't know.

The others followed his movements, as he made his way towards Kagome. It was easy to see, despite them all being his first encounters with people, he had taken a liking to Kagome. Then again, it wasn't surprising, she had a way of drawing other's attention towards her. How and what sort of attention varied from person to person, but it was attraction from this Tarzan person.

Kagome herself was still trying to figure out where they were and how Tarzan seemed to spark a forgotten memory. Looking out at the lake with a sort of lethargic sweep, memories of her father reading Peter Pan came to mind. The lake did sort of remind her of the mermaid's lagoon, it was enchanting enough. All it needed was the mermaids and it would be as if the story had come to life.

It was then it all clicked into place. Her father had been one to read her the classics before after tucking her in, she was mentally slapping herself silly for not seeing it sooner. Sitting up fully, she turned her entire attention towards Tarzan. Well, for a feral child, this was how she always pictured him to look. She never did understand the portrayal of him with blond hair or short hair at that. Did the creators of those movie or tv adaptations never read the book?

Shaking her head, she turned away from Tarzan towards her friends and spoke up.

“I know where we are, and when we are.”

“Huh?! How?” Sango pushed herself up onto her elbows, favoring her left arm.

“My new friend, as the two of you seem to call him.” she crawled over to sit between her legs and began drawing a crude map from memory alone. “You see, when my father was still alive, he would read me stories to help me sleep. Some about children who could fly and fought pirates, of a little girl falling into a magical land, from folk tales of Japan to stories from around the world. One of them was about how a boy was raised by gorillas, a type of animal specific to a certain land. That boy was name Tarzan, and lived between a hundred to two hundred years ago in a land called Africa.”

Moving back a bit, Kagome pointed out Japan on her little drawn out world map. “This is Japan, where we're from. And all the way over here,” her hand glided to where she had drawn out Africa, more specifically the Pacific coast of Africa and draw a circle around the middle of the landmass. “...is more or less where we are.”

She let out a whimper as she leaned back, allowing them to take in what she just told them, letting out a startled gasp when she bumped into Tarzan. He briefly looked down at her before returning to what she had drawn out in the sand, allowing Kagome to pull herself forward.

“This is... troubling news.”

“Yes and not only that... I think I broke history!” Kagome let out a quiet wale and buried her face in her hands.

“Broke... history? I don't think such a thing is possible, Lady Kag-!” Miroku was suddenly halted when Kagome herself stood up abruptly, startling the others.

“Listen! He...” she indicated Tarzan that was crouched next to her. “...is supposed to meet a woman by the name of Jane Porter first. She was going to be the first human he would have ever seen. They would fall in love and have a child together... but he met me first! Meaning I broke history! Which is something that can't be broken!”

She had been pacing furiously by the end of her triad, also muttering to herself how she may very well end the world without bushing a button. Chewing her thumb nail, she tried to go over how and why they were sent here, why just the three of them, where the others were but most importantly how to get back home.

All the while Tarzan had mimicked Kagome, much to Sango's and Miroku's entertainment, only to have Kagome bump into him. She let out another whimper as the reason to her sudden realization took a hold of her to help stabilize her moment of imbalance.

Things were never easy for her, and now she dragged Sango and Miroku into all of it. The worst part was, she couldn't remember how they got there, meaning she didn't know the way back.

Chapter Text

Rereading the letter she held in one hand, and then glancing at the garment bag she held in the other, she turned her eyes towards her mother with a raised brow. Perhaps she could get some answers there, seeing as she was totally confused as to what was going on.

"Those were dropped off while you were away dear." her mother shrugged her shoulders, also not clear on the subject matter at hand.

But Kagome didn't miss the sharp gleam in her mother's eyes or the curious gaze Souta kept throwing her as he chewed on his snack. Carefully placing the bag on the table, she took in the letter carefully in, once again. She wanted to be sure that she was reading it correctly and she was the one that was supposed to be reading it.

"Well, apparently, I have a full scholarship to attend Ouran High School." her mother instantly let out a joyous cry and rushed over to hug her.

As soon as her mother was next to her, she also read the letter in her hand, her smile growing while she read from start to finish. Souta had dropped the cookie he snuck off the plate that sat in the middle of the table at the news and also rushed to her free side to read the letter.

"Oh, this is wonderful! My baby girl being able to attend such a prestigious school. And on a scholarship! With that, you'll be able to do almost anything you want!" her mother gave her a squeeze before returning to do the dishes. All the while she was talking to herself about the things she would need and the possibilities the future now held for her.

"What sort of scholarship is it?"

"Apparently, sports. I'm still at a loss to how I got one. It wasn't one of the high school's mama and I looked at."

"Maybe they heard about you?"

"Possibly. I'm still shocked I got one though. From what I've heard, the academics scholarship was given to this girl name Fujioka." Kagome shrugged her shoulders, reading the letter yet again. She was still having a hard time believing what she was seeing.

"Wow, then she must be, like super smart."

Nodding her head, Kagome could only hope she could maintain an average at best. To be the top in all your subjects was hard work and tiring. She had been relatively good in her grades, but that was before the Shikon quest, which was now complete.

"Kagome, why don't you try on the uniform they obviously sent you as well."

Placing the letter down, Kagome picked up the garment bag carefully and draped it over an arm and walked out of the kitchen to head to her room. She was still in a daze with what the day had brought her while she had been out with Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi. Speaking of which, they were going to freak when they learned of this.

Perhaps that's how Ouran learned of her? Through the schools she applied to? She didn't see how or why they would reach out to her, there were probably others, many really, that were far superior than herself when it came to sports. Her thoughts than wandered to what she would have to do, if she went, to keep the scholarship. Academics was easy, maintain the top in all your classes. But sports? She figured she would be required to participate in certain sporting events, but the question was how many, which ones, and what about her other classes.

The sound of her door closing brought her out of thoughts. Blinking, she took in how her hand was still on the door knob. Shrugging her shoulders she made her way towards her bed and placed the garment bag down and pulled on the zipper and pulled back the covers.

Immediately, pale yellow greeted her gaze. If she wanted to be technical, it was either a medium champagne or pale goldenrod. Reaching down, she felt the material and bit her lower lip when she realized it was most likely highly expensive. Pushing the rest of the bag open, she took in the off white cuffs and collar and the simple, thin dark red ribbon.

Her inner girl was squealing, while the rest was still at odds to the entire situation. Carefully removing the dress from the bag, she held it up against her front and took it in as best she could. Placing the dress back down, she stripped of her clothing and proceeded to dawn the dress on.

Carefully, she moved over to the full length mirror in her room while buttoning up the back as far as she could. She was slightly disturbed, that the school knew her measurements, but then again, they could of read her files.

Smoothing out the front of her dress and then pulling her hair free, she took herself wearing the dress in. The shoulders puffed out slightly, reminding her of all the princesses in her childhood fairy tale stories and movies, whereas the sleeves themselves were more straight and fitted to her arms without being constricting. The top half of the dress was flattering to her figure, hugging her chest and toned stomach, while also allowing her room to move about. The skirt flared out from just above her hips and flowed easily.

The garment bag had also provided her with some white tights and a pair of black buckle shoes, so she decided to wear those as well. Returning to her bed she put the remaining items of the uniform on and stood her full height. Nibbling on her lower lip, she took herself in once again. Her mother was most likely waiting to see what she looked like, but she had something she wanted to do, to get out of her system before venturing downstairs.

She twirled around on the spot, trying to be as quiet as possible while doing so, but despite her best efforts, she ended up giggling like the girl she was at her actions. Stopping, she raised her hands to her head and wavered lightly on her feet, "Whoa... head rush."

Giggling a bit once again, Kagome waited for the room to stop spinning before making her way downstairs. She looked up when she heard her mother's sighing coo, stopping at the foot of the stairs allowing her mother to rush her so she could nit and pick the uniform. All the while going on about how she was so proud, that her baby was finally getting the break she deserved and so on and so forth.

"Mom, before we get ahead of ourselves, I think it would be best to contact the school. I mean, I didn't apply to attend Ouran and this could all be some serious mix up."

Her mother's arms dropped and the older woman formed a pout, but nodded her head and smiled down at her. Leaning down, she kissed Kagome's brow, "Ever doing what was right. Either way Kagome, I'm proud of you. Know that."

That had been about two month's ago, and now Kagome stood before Ouran with wide eyes. She knew the school was prestigious, but she didn't think it would be over the top! She was still reeling from the whole thing, and the day had come to an end.

Glancing at the clock, she let out a sigh. She had just missed the next bus, it wouldn't be at least an hour until she could take one that was comfortable enough to ride. The uniform she had one was one of two given to her, and she didn't want to risk it getting damaged in any way. The uniforms from public school were expensive enough, she shuddered to think what the prices were Ouran's uniforms.

Gathering her books she figured it would be best to utilized her time to study. She had been told all that was required of her to maintain her scholarship. She would be part of one sporting club of her choice, meaning attending all sporting events and the such while also maintaining an average in all her classes. While it wasn't too difficult, it would be best to put just that much more effort into her studies. Just to be safe.

Not only that, she had yet to pick which sport she wanted to be a part of. She had till the end of the week. So she wasn't exactly in a rush, but she still really wasn't sure what to do.

"You going to study as well Higurashi-san?"

Kagome turned towards the other scholarship student, and smiled as she nodded her head in the other girl's direction. It was so nice to not be the only one in all of this. And though their common background of being middle class citizens in a first class school were what initially drew them to each other, she hoped to achieve an actual friendship with the other girl.

"Yes. I want to wait a little before taking the bus home. Not only that, I still have a few things I need to go over. Like which sport I'm going to take up while here." tilting her head to the side, Kagome watched Fujioka get a better grip on her own books. "Would you like to study together?"

"Ah, I wouldn't mind some company."

Nodding their heads, they left the classroom last, ignoring the whispers they could blatantly hear. The rest of the school body weren't as discrete as they like to think they were. And while Haruhi felt a tick in her brow form from the gossip, Kagome was mostly unaffected. Traveling in the past while wearing her old school uniform had brought a lot, and she meant a lot, of attention her way. And then the friends she had traveled with. Yeah, she was pretty much used to the whispers and stares.

"So, what is it you want to achieve with the education Ouran will give you?"

Blinking at the sudden questions and being drawn out of her thoughts, Kagome glanced at Fujioka to see an honest curious look on the girl's face. Blinking once again, she faced forward and thought about the question.

"I'm not exactly sure. I want to do something that will help others. Maybe a teacher, or a doctor. Not sure yet. I'm still surprised I got a scholarship to attend Ouran to be honest, especially when I didn't apply to attend. You?"

Haruhi was shocked to hear that Higurashi-san was given the scholarship. Shaking her head lightly, she went over her answer and figured from what she knew of the other girl, it suited her rather well. So far, Higurashi had been nothing but kind and polite, and not just that, but she held herself rather well and pretty much floated when she moved. So much so, she had first thought her to be another rich daughter. Imagine her surprise when heard that she wasn't and came from a middle class family like herself.

"I want to be a lawyer, like my mom was. So I guess, I want to help others as well."

Their conversation was light as they made their way towards the library, still unsure of what exactly to talk about but quickly warming up to one another. Though it sadly came to a halt when they finally entered the library. It was rather noisy, which was the complete opposite of a library. It didn't help either of them when they saw random butlers walking around offering food and drink or pushing trollies to collect dirty dishes. The students themselves were chatting and enjoying their time out of the classroom apparently, but little studying was actually being done.

Kagome hesitantly asked in a wavering voice as her mind was still processing what she was seeing, "Want to try, somewhere else?"

At seeing Fujioka's nod, they spun about and quickly left the library, Haruhi muttering under her breath the entire time about rich bastards that didn't understand the concept of a library or it's uses. Kagome had to agree with her on that one. The library was huge, so it had to have taken a lot to fill so quickly with that amount of chatter. Not only that, Kagome was sure she had spotted a small espresso bar tucked away in the farthest corner.

It took them ten minutes to find anywhere that was remotely quite, and Fujioka was not happy with the development.

"Don't they know those places were meant to be quiet so others could study in peace?! And usually students are running out the doors to live their lives, why are these ones sticking around?" Haruhi panted as she tried to catch her breath from finally letting out her anger at the situation.

Kagome nodded her head, balancing her books on a hip as she looked around them. The hallway was actually quite and voiced her own opinion and observation, "I have to agree, this place is like a whole new world. But I think we finally found what we were looking for. It's really quiet here."

Looking up at the other girl, Haruhi also took the time to take in the hallway they were now standing in. She raised a brow at the sign closest to them and read it out loud, "Third Music Room."

"Why on earth would a school need three music rooms?"

"I stopped asking questions that anybody with common sense would by lunch time today. I think it's just another method of showing off their wealth. Rich bastards."

Sighing, Kagome shook her head and rolled her shoulders, "Shall we? I don't hear anything, and I don't think we're going to find any other place that's quiet to actually study."

"Not like we have much choice, but, it is better than nothing..."

Both girls came to a halt just beyond the threshold when six male students unanimously greeted them. A set of ginger haired twins, that reminded Kagome of Shippo in more ways than just their looks. A tall, silent dark haired male glanced their way from over his shoulder, reminding of a calm Sesshoumaru. Next to him was the shortest of the group with blond hair and a bright smile that reminded her of an excited Shippo. A dark haired male wearing glasses that Kagome thought was a mix of both Sesshoumaru and Miroku, she shuddered mentally at the comparison, and lastly the leading male with his blond hair and blue eyes as he sat there elegantly.

The silence that engulfed them was practically stifling, so Kagome leaned down and whispered to Fujioka, "I think if we move now, we can leave the twilight zone and go back to reality."

When all she got was silence, Kagome turned to Fujioka, she jumped and rushed to the other girl's side when she saw the she was leaning heavily against the door for support. Her face was pale and she was shaking slightly.

"What the heck?! What's with this beautiful group..."

"Are you alright, Fujioka..."

"It's just the commoners. No fun."

At the sounds of two voices, Kagome was sure it was the twins, her face quickly became void of emotion as she turned towards the group of boys, continuing to support Fujioka. Really. With how the twins spoke of commoners, one would think that commoners were as easily comparable to a rock.

"Watch you mouths. They are our important guests, even if they are commoners."

Scratch that, they had just raised up in the ranks to a sloth. Exotic... but rather boring. Especially to this sort of breed of people. Kagome raised a brow when she noticed a shadow fall over Fujioka's and her form, only to see the obvious leaders presenting them a hand as he greeted them once again.

"Welcome to Ouran High School's Host Club. Rare scholarship students Higurashi Kagome-chan and Fujioka Haruhi-kun!"

Still clutching to Kagome, Haruhi turned and looked towards the only one of the group that had moved forward, blinking as she felt like she was coming back to herself. "How... how did you know...?"

Both girls turned towards the next boy to step forward and speak to them. "It seems our school isn't suitable for commoners. Unless you have a lot of nerve, you can't get a scholarship. If I didn't know all there was about either of you, then I myself shouldn't be attending Ouran. Don't you think?"

Kagome's face went deadpan, while Haruhi felt the tick in her brow from earlier return. She forced a smile in the boy's direction, while 'thanking' him for explaining nothing.

"So to speak, the two of you are heroes, Higurashi-chan, Fujioka-kun!"

Kagome let out a startled squeak when the blond rushed them, causing both her and Haruhi to lean back to gain some breathing room between them. Wrapping an arm around both their shoulders, in a rather strong hold Kagome might add, and go off about how they were heroes to the commoner peers across Japan. Or something like that.

Kagome was more concentrated on trying to detach herself from him, not bothering to really listen to what he had to say. She had heard enough from Sesshoumaru and his green little toad on how she was a common human. But her struggles were getting her nowhere.

Suddenly free from his hold, Kagome hopped a bit on one foot to regain her balance and turned towards Haruhi, who was watching the boy go on about how it was startling to see that one of the scholarship students was gay.

Turning towards Haruhi, Kagome spoke up, confused on what she missed while trying to make her escape, "Wha... Gay? They don't know..."

Her question was stopped when the boy started presenting the others, labeling them in such a way, that she could help but pay attention to him and forget about her question completely.

"What would either of you like? Wild? Lolita? Pedophile? Or..." combing back his hair he was once again in their personal space, giving them what he was sure to to think was a disarming look. "Would you like to try me?"

Haruhi finally snapped, Kagome merely raised a brow. She had, sadly, dealt with far more wild versions of male attention. Miroku and his groping ways, along with asking each and every girl he met to bare him his child. Kouga, who kidnapped her then declared her his woman and didn't understand the word no. Inuyasha, who mistook her for Kikyo, then tried to kill her, and then... yeah. She didn't want to go into details on that one or continue with her list. It was a long list.

Feeling her hand being hugged on, she glanced down to see the smallest of the males hug one of her arms to his chest along with one of Haruhi's, he looked up at them with a bright smile.

"Haru-chan, Gome-chan. Are you really heroes? Can you tell me the story of the time you saved the queen?"

"Who gave you permission to call me Haru-chan!?" when the boy released them, Haruhi snatched up her freed hand and began to lead them back the way they came.

"Anyways, we were just looking for a quiet place to study! So please excuse - !"

Kagome watched with widening eyes as a vase both she and Haruhi had bumped into fall towards the ground. It was as if in slow motion, as if fate were taunting them that they could save the vase from it's doom. Though really, it was an empty possibility.

She felt her heart and stomach drop when the vase finally connected with the floor and shattered, the pieces scattering and spinning until they came to a stop. It was silent as all eyes fell to where the majority of the vase now laid.

"Oh no. That vase was supposed our feature in the school auction." one twin spoke up, while the other picked up his brother's slack.

"We were going to start the bidding at 8 million yen... What'll we do now?"

Feeling faint, Kagome wavered slightly on her spot. It didn't help that she could feel Haruhi shaking through that hand that was still gripping her own. Both spoke up at the same time, their thoughts obviously identical.

"We'll... We'll pay it back..."

"Can you? One of you can't even afford a uniform." twin A spoke up.

Where twin B finished, "What's with the weird clothing by the way?"

"What would you do, Tamaki?" Glasses turned to the leader, with a certain disinterest about the whole situation.

"Do you both know the saying; When in Rome, do as the Romans do?" his gaze turned somewhat dark, causing Kagome's heart to flip flop at her feet, it still hadn't returned to it's rightful place. "If either of you can't pay with money, then you'll pay with your bodies. From now on, you'll be the Host club's dogs!"

If it were at all possible, Kagome witnessed Haruhi fainting while maintaining a vertical position. As for herself, she felt like the fates had it out for her. First she broke the Shikon, which led her on a wild adventure, and now this. At least she didn't fall down anything to get here.

She just hoped whatever happened, wasn't too wild. But as she took in Haruhi's prone form and the others that now surrounded them, that was highly unlikely.

Chapter Text

The four of them were walking down the halls, laughing about the latest prank they had managed to pull on Snivilus.

"Did you see the look on his face?!" James managed to ask through his laughter, his eyes sparking with not only amusement, but actual tears from laughing so hard.

"A pity we didn't have a camera with us at the time. To frame that expression for all eternity." Sirius snickered along side him. Raising his arms, hands poised as if he were reading a title. "Snivilus; Proudest of Slytherin."

Remus merely smirked, shaking his head at their antics. He could already see Lily's face as she argued with James as she tried to defend Severus' honor. In fact, he swore he could hear her voice as well.

Furrowing his brows, he tilted his head lightly. They were known to have vivid imaginations, but he wasn't that good.

"POTTER!"

Ah. He really was hearing Lily's voice. All boys turned around, seeing a livid looking Lily storming her way towards them. Her red hair whipping behind her, her brows furrowed deeply and lips set in a scowl.

"How could you!?"

"How could I what?" James asked sheepishly, scratching at the back of his head, messing up his hair even more than it already was.

Sirius merely rolled his eyes, he still find it sort of pathetic that his best mate was head over heals in love with the girl. Sure she was a pretty face, but no matter how hard his best mate tried to so something right, it only seemed to upset her all the more.

Slinging an arm around Remus and beckoning Peter to come closer, he whispered lowly so only the two of them would hear. "How long do you think it'll last this time?"

"I say a minute, perhaps two if how she is right now is anything to go by." Remus murmured under his breath, wincing when Lily let out a high tone after James said something or other.

"I say five. She's really angry this time." Peter spoke up, his tone that was usually quiet and timid compared to the others, sounded much to sure this time. In fact, it was almost like he was looking forward to a long verbal attack on James thanks to Lily.

Lips still in a half smirk, Sirius watched as James stumbled over himself trying to woo the fair Lily Evans. It used to be the other way around, though still was to some degree. The girls were starting to back off though when they realized that James Potter only had eyes for the fiery red head.

When a third minute rolled around, and feeling sorry for his mate, Sirius removed his arms from their positions around Remus' and Peter's shoulder and stepped forward to cease James' torture. Only, he was beaten to the punch, by an unexpected outsider.

"Lily-san! There you are! How could you leave me with those... those..."

All heads turned to a petite girl that was around their age, who was currently frowning at the floor, waving a hand in an obvious hunt to find a word to finish her sentence. Shaking her head, she walked up towards the girl, ignoring the boys completely, who were all wondering who she was.

Lily herself, still flushed from arguing with James, turned towards the girl and actually looked sheepish. It was hard to tell if she was now blushing or not.

"I'm sorry Kagome, I just... got angry when I heard something happened to a friend of mine. I didn't mean to just leave you so suddenly."

The new girl, now identified as Kagome, dropped her frown. She blinked a few time, blue, very blue eyes Sirius noted, before smiling at the other girl.

Sirius watched as Kagome walked towards them, her steps calm, her rave hair bouncing lightly with each step she took. His mind was gone, going over the various facts that he picked up from Kagome far too fast to realize he was actually doing so.

Her eyes, as he had observed earlier, were a startling blue, made even more startling and exotic with her obvious asian decent. Her eyes were a little more rounded, but definitely almond shaped, her nose was pert and sat above naturally pink, and very kissable lips. He also quickly noticed when she finally stopped in front of them, that he would easily be able to tuck her under his chin, she was that tiny compared to him. Her hair was raven colored, showing tints of blues or deep violets, and tumbled down her back in loose wild waves and looked far to tempting. In fact, his fingers twitched to simply reach out and see if it was as silky as it looked.

He mentally tisked at the fact that the school robe hid her figure from his view, but if he had any idea, it would be simply perfect. And to top it off, her voice was soothing, not quietly so, just simply soothing.

"Ah, well then I understand, Lily-san. Defending a friends honor is something I'm only too used too."

Remus, seemingly the only one that still had his wits about in among the boys, spoke up, interrupting the conversation the two girls were having. "Lily, who is this?"

Both girls turned towards the boy, blinking, as if realizing they weren't alone in the hallway. It took a couple of moments for the question to register in Lily's mind, and when she did, did her eyes widen before she proceeded with the introductions. Of their entire group, Remus was the only she seemed to really get along with, despite James' attempts.

"Ah! This is Kagome Higurashi. She transferred in this year." her eyes narrowed slightly on James, making the poor boy sheepishly smile in return. "If you had been paying any attention, at all, during the feast at the beginning of the year, you would have known that."

"Ah, Lily, don't be like that. Of course we were paying a attention! But it's been a few weeks, how could we possibly remember ever first year-!"

Deadpan, Lily interrupted him. "She's in our year."

"Well then... Which house is she in? Cause I'm sure I've seen her before-"

Lily's tone grew annoyed, and she ground out through gritted teeth in his direction. "She's in our house."

All boys turned towards the subject of the current discussion, finding trying to stifle her amusement while James was once again being put on the spot. Realizing that all their attention was once again turned towards her, Kagome sobered up as best she could and smiled in their direction.

"As I was saying, this is Kagome." pursing her lips for a moment, Lily wondered if she should leave the introductions simply at that and continue with her earlier plans of going to the library and study with Kagome. But, she thought it best to introduce them to Kagome as well, as sad as it was the they were taking place so long after Kagome started, and get them done and over with and out of the way.

"Kagome, this is James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew."

Kagome nodded to each boy in the same turn as Lily introduced them, still smiling despite the awkward situation. Though her attention quickly turned to Sirius as he took hold of her hand and raised it up to place a kiss on the back of her knuckles.

"Tis a pleasure to meet such a lovely witch. I am deeply sorry that the introductions are only happening now." he made sure to keep her hand close so his lips would brush against her knuckles as he spoke.

Many a girl had swooned at the simple action, and he was sure the same would be said for the girl before him. Sadly, it wasn't. She simply raised a brow in his direction, and playful smirk on her face as she drew her hand away. Her next words leaving him in a state of shock.

"Dogs were always quick to charm and please. No matter what form they take." she turned to Lily, brows still raised and still smiling. "You have... interesting friends."

"Believe me when I say this, we aren't exactly what you would call friends." ignoring the questioning look the girl threw her way, James' cry of protest, Lily snatched the other girl's wrist and dragged the startled girl away.

Sirius was still in shock. Not only had the girl not fallen for him, like the countless before her, but she had practically came out and called him a dog. He grunted and moved half a step forward when a hand landed on his upper back in a friendly slap. Turning, he saw James smiling at him, seemingly amused at his current situation before turning his attention back towards the retreating forms of the two girls.

It was then that Sirius seemed to understand James' singular attraction with Lily, cause he had a feeling, whatever his mate had, he just got it as well. And towards this new girl of their own house. Kagome.

"It's alright Sirius, I know how you feel. I was exactly the same way when Lily simply brushed off my own, if not devilishly handsome, charms."

Trying to play it off, Sirius scoffed slightly, but James saw through it far too easily. They had been friends for five years now, so it was easy to read each other. James could only smirk at his friend, seeing that spark in his eye, easily accepting the challenge this Kagome was putting up for his 'dog of a friend'. It was sure to be interesting, and he would no longer be the only one that would pursue a specific girl of his choice.

If he didn't have Lily, he wouldn't mind going after Kagome, and approved of his friend's taste. But as it was, he did have Lily, well, not yet at least. But that would soon change! Either way, it would be interesting to see Sirius try and woo the girl. Of course he would be there to help out, or laugh it up as Sirius and the others did in his own attempts with Lily.

Smiling, and slinging an arm around Sirius' and Remus' shoulders, he dragged them towards where the girls were. Knowing Lily the why he did, she was no doubt in the library, studying. With Snivilus. Time to put that to an end.

Besides, he was already planning the next prank they could pull on the Slytherin. Now that would be priceless.

Chapter Text

For a few short seconds, Kagome thought she was falling through a vast emptiness. Through nothing but a swirling gray mass. That is until she hit, or landed, something solid and painfully so.

But that gave way and she fell through that as well, until a second solid surface stopped her. At least momentarily. Now, it could have been due to the battle she had just fought, the curse that Naraku and Kikyo tossed her way, a poison that the bastard released into the air, or maybe she hit her head hard when she first crash landed, but Kagome thought she saw a a flying saucer heading straight for her.

Instincts kicked in, despite her situation, she rolled out of the way just barely missing being hit by the... thing. Wide eyes followed how it bounce off the ground only to land on a strangely dressed man that looked just as shocked to see her there.

And for a third time, she felt the ground beneath her disappear leaving her weightless for a few moments before gravity began to work against her. Her hands scrambled for a foot hold, something to grab onto as her lower half pulled her and swung recklessly till only her upper arms were only able to support her.

Gritting her teeth, she slapped a hand against the clear floor and tried to pull herself up away from the drop that most likely meant her doom. Clawing she managed a few inches before the... structure moved, causing her to lose what grip she hand and a startled cry left her lips and she fell the rest of the way.

She landed painfully, wincing when she heard a loud cracking pop echoed around her. Pushing herself up into a leaning position, her dislocated arm clutched to herself tenderly, Kagome took the world in around her, shivering when she realized it was neither the past nor her own modern day home. She was somewhere entirely new and foreign.

Everything was dark, seemingly in a state of dusk or night. The structures around her were also dark, if not black. The only coloring were the neon lights the lit the place up. The architecture was sleek, a seeming mix of organic and technology she had never seen before. And doing a complete 360, she quickly realized that she was in an arena, and that the structure that she was on was some sort of game stage, with a display-announcement system high above.

Glancing below, she saw more strangely dressed men in the glass-crystal... cell like confinement, taking her in the same way she was taking their world. The structure stopped it's rotation suddenly, almost throwing her off balance, but she used the time to push herself into standing on her own two feet.

No sooner had she done that, did she wish she hadn't. Everything swam, her balance was thrown off for a few seconds and her head began to pound. When she settled, she noticed forms of... flying transport draw near, as well as what looked like motobikes approaching on the ground below.

Once again, instincts drew up within her, knowing this was most likely not a good thing for her. Whipping her head about, she tried to find a way out of her situation. It was most likely because of her quest in the past, that her instincts usually never led her wrong, and were also one of the main reasons, other than Inuyasha, that she was still alive to this day. Whatever that day was.

So into her thoughts of trying to find a way out, did she fail to notice one of the chambers open up and allow one of the men inside to drop down behind her silently. But she didn't fail to hear the sort of humming purr.

Whipping about and stumbling back a step, Kagome took the being in before her with a wary eye. He wore black from head to toe, with only a few small red points that were alight to offer any contrast. His outfit reminded her greatly of Sango's slayer suit, but she highly doubted that what he wore was made of dragon hide.

Her body tensed even further when he reached out behind his back. She thought that he would be drawing a twin set of blades, or something of the sort, but what he brought back stumped her. A set of... rings? Discs?

They were also black, lined with the same red lights that were on his suite. It wasn't until he was now holding the dics, did she notice that those red lights lined his thumb and first two fingers.

Despite what her instincts were telling, she relaxed her posture, not really seeing what a couple of ring discs could do against her. She had gone up against far deadlier weapons, and look where she was now! Well, besides in a strange world facing a strange male with a strange choice of weapon.

What really threw her off, was when she heard that they too, were humming.

So before her stood a... male... that had a weapon that reminded her of... what's that tv series again? Someone or other... Warrior Princess.

Either way, she kept her eyes on him. And what went through her mind, really made her question if she ended up hitting her head, and hard, on her landing in this world. He had a great body?! Honestly... she must have really, really hit her head hard. A sane person doesn't thing such thoughts about an unknown... wait... she thought the same thing about Sesshoumaru.

There had to be something wrong with her.

She shifted slightly when one of the... airships approached closer, making her realize the one Mr. Ring used was no longer in the air, making her wonder where it went. It was shaped oddly, with two... what she could call soldiers on either side and a row of rather normal looking people. The odd thing though, was that they looked to be... immobilized and they all wore varying expressions of fear, anger or the one crazy one that looked rather excited.

Kagome took half a step back when one of the soldiers stepped off and approached her, there was a free spot on that air ship and she had a pretty good idea they were going to place her in it. Taking another step back, she quickly glanced behind her when she felt the floor beneath her foot drop off. No where to run.

Her attention was quick to return to the soldier when he grabbed her injured arm and pull her forward, the action easily snapping the ball back into it's socket. Painfully. She couldn't stop the sudden pain filled cry if she wanted too, but she quickly bit down on it and started to fight back. She only hoped the lessons Sango had given her would be enough.

Besides the words they were using in her direction made no sense, and it hadn't even registered that she could understand them. Seeing as they were speaking English, a class she had failed, among others.

She had managed to get out of the soldiers hold, but in forgetting that there were two of them, she didn't realized or notice the second one come up on her before her world went dark.

She let out a groan as she came too, the back of her head throbbing and her wishing that what she remembered last was nothing more than a really weird dream brought on by being knocked unconscious.

Bringing a hand up, she pressed it to her brow, rubbing to soothe away her headache. Her brows furrowed when she realized that she wasn't feeling the skin of her palm, but some sort of strange material. Opening her eyes, she looked down at her hand and silently whimpered when she realized, that it looked like the same material of the outfit of the male that had those ring weapons.

Looking down at herself, she quickly realized that she was no longer in her tattered and torn clothing, but an outfit similar to the male. Black with strange glowing lines that followed down her body in the palest pink, almost white, coloring. The most prominent one, a thick ring over the scar where the Shikon was ripped out of her side. The rest seemed to flow out from that point, following her natural body line.

Hearing footsteps, she looked up and realized for the first time that she wasn't alone, four women dressed identically surrounded her. When the footsteps came from behind, she tried to twist about to see what was going on, but her world went hazy when a weight was pushed against her back and something clicked into place.

Her fingers twitched as she was forced to face forward. It felt like she was being downloaded... it was an odd sensation. And while she wasn't exactly present as a whole to the current situation, when her fingers and hands twitched again, she could barely notice how the four women seemed to be confused. Obviously it was taking too long.

"...something's wrong..."

"This one is... different."

If she were her normal self, she would have demanded what they meant by those words. But when the process was finally finished, she stumbled forward and raised a hand to her brow yet again. She felt like she had been spinning around in circles forever. But she didn't get much chance to right herself as more soldiers appeared and dragged her off once again.

As she was leaving the chamber, she watched dazed how the women walked backwards into ports in the walls, only to have a form fitting casing lock them in. Obviously their jobs were done.

 

Kagome stared her opponent down, before glancing at the ring... disc in her hand. So this was some sort of gladiator game? Where it was either kill or be killed?

Not only that, apparently she impressed the one in charge with her skills of evading the one soldier to have her placed in these games. Something no other female has ever done. Lucky her.

She had already gone up against one other 'player', quickly learning that he was really fighting in means to kill her. But she wasn't. Sure it was a life or death situation, but it was a forced one, and she wouldn't be the one to end another's life in such a situation. Which was most likely a really stupid idea as the other had no qualms to end her life.

But she tossed her disc in such a way that it caused the floor before him to disappear right in the middle of him stepping forward. When her disc came back, and both realized his fate, she moved forward to try and save him. But she was about half a second too late.

With her arm stretched out towards him, she watched with wide eyes as he fell... and his death was nothing she was prepared for. He literally shattered in to a thousand pieces, only for those to quickly disappear themselves.

Is that how she would die in this strange world too? It would be ironic, to shatter into thousands of pieces... Like the Shikon. Somewhat morbid, but fitting.

But she was now facing her second opponent, knowing that he would also being willing to kill her, just to live a little longer. The man in change... she really wanted to kick his ass.

Her grip on her disc tightened, causing it to brighten a tad amount. She rolled her shoulders and furrowed her brow when she felt something brush against her back. Seeing there was still some time before the next game rounds began, she reached behind her and paused... a second disc? Everyone else she saw had only one.

Great, even in a whole new world... she was still exempt for normalcy.

Gripping it and pulling it forward, she watched how the male across from her froze, most likely just as shocked as she was, the entire audience seemed to roar as she gripped both discs. She wouldn't play the girl with her heart on her sleeve, the damsel in distress this time, she would play this sick game, win it and find a way to get the hell back home.

She won the round quickly, the crowd cheering her victory, but her grip on her discs tightened all the more, making them hum lightly. She didn't bother turning around, she was using the time to observe her surroundings, looking for a weak spot, a way out.

When she felt her new opponent appear in the chamber, she took one last sweep of the arena before turning around, only to pause in her step when she realized who she was faced up against. The male that she had dubbed Mr. Rings. Glancing up to take int the score board, she was quick to learn that his name was... Rinzler.

Taking his form in once again, she widened her stance, she would be prepared for whatever... Rinzler had to throw at her.

A minute, maybe more into the game, and she was realizing, that he was far more experienced then her previous opponents. If the situation weren't such, she consider it a rather good way of training. But the situation was such, and she sure as hell wasn't going to die not even an hour after arriving in this strange world.

A sound echoed around them, and mere seconds later, the laws of physics no longer applied. They were now 'playing' on the ceiling. She stumbled about to get to her feet, suffering vertigo and barely able to dodge his flying discs. So she decided to pull a different sort of move, one he most likely wouldn't expect and she was sure that it would backfire on her. She tackled him.

She let out a cry of triumph with a stupid grin on her face and her mouth already moving before her brain could catch up.

"Didn't see that one coming, did you."

Blinking wide blue eyes, she let her head drop till her brow was nearly to his chest. "This mouth of mine is going to kill me one of these days."

Her grip on him tightened when she felt gravity was up and running normally once again, and let out a pained groan when she landed on the ground, with the extra weight on top of her.

"...you're heavy..." she managed to cough out.

She bit her lip as her whole body seemed to ring with pain, and that damn disc thing dug into her back. Her head felt like it was about to split, it was in that much pain that she didn't notice that she had bit so hard on her own lip that it did split, a small trail of blood running down to her chin.

Blinking, she struggled when she felt... Rinzler shift his hold on her so that both her hands were above her head in one of his own he raised the other hand to her face, causing her to flinch back on instinct alone. It didn't help that he was straddling her waist to keep her still.

She winced when he brushed his thumb over her split lip only to follow the small tail of blood to her chin. He raised his hand and tilted his head as he observed her blood... making her wonder what the hell was going on.

She let out a squeak when he suddenly stood up onto his feet, dragging her with him. He turned them both towards what she would call the VIP box. What he did next not only shocked her, but confused the hell out of her.

"User!"

"You can talk?! I thought you could only do that... purring thing."

When he turned to look down at her, tilting his head in such a way that it sort of reminded her of Sesshoumaru whenever she asked a stupid question, she felt her cheeks bloom into an instant blush.

"Right... What the hell is a user?" all that came to her mind was someone who used drugs or something like that... which she was not. But she figured it had to something to do with her blood. Maybe it meant human to them?

If that was so... then what were they?

The next thing she knew, was that she was being present to the one in charge. Unlike everyone else she saw, he wore robes, with those glowing lines in the color orange. He also wore a helmet... so she wasn't entirely sure if he was a he... For all she knew, he could be a she. But when they spoke up, question on their gender became obvious.

"State your name user!"

Raising a brow... she was being reminded of Sesshoumaru more and more. Only they were calling her 'user' instead of miko, human or wench. Not only that... it meant these beings really weren't human.

"Kagome Higurashi."

 

She had been living with Flynn and Quorra for a few years now, making her 24. So that meant, about 7 years, she had lived in the Grid. 7 years of not seeing either of her friends or family. 7 years of not knowing what happened after she left. 7 years left to wonder, if she would ever get out.

Because she didn't appear in the Grid the same way Kevin appeared, so there was no saying if the doorway he used, would work on her.

They both knew of her past, had watched her history through her discs... which was still pretty amazing to her to say the least.

But that wasn't why she was running down the streets of the Grid. Quorra and her had taken to each other like peas to a pod. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that both of them were female, or that they were of similar age. Appearance wise at least.

No, she and Quorra went to the Grid to get the latest of information and intel for Flynn, seeing as he was being hunted and the moment he set foot on the Grid, Clu would know and things would get out of hand. They themselves were also being hunted, as they were the only links to Flynn, but this wasn't the first time they were chased down, but it had been a while since she had Rinzler on her trail.

Ducking down a narrow passageway, she tucked herself into a shadowed corner, pressing a hand over her heart and trying to breath as silently as possible, so she placed her other hand over her mouth. Looking up, she mentally counted and went over the back up plan should anything like this happen.

Go straight to the Outlands. Their transports couldn't handle the rough terrain, which was something in their favor.

When her heart and breathing calmed, she raised both hands to run through her hair.

Her world spun when she was suddenly pressed up against a wall, and looking up she mentally winced when she saw that Rinzler stood before her. It took only a second for that to register in her mind before she began to struggle to get out of his hold, as quietly as she could. Shouting would draw attention of those guards, and she'd rather deal with one opponent, not a multiple batch of opponents.

Cheeks instantly flushed and she let out a squeak when he position her in such a way, that if she didn't know him any better, which she hoped she did, that it would be called intimate. Both her hands were held above her head with one of his own, his other hand on her waist to hold her at eye lever and he forced himself to stand between her legs. He had obviously learned she would kick a male where it hurt the most if they attempted anything she deemed inappropriate towards her.

With her arms stretched up above her, and her only support was a too strong grip on her waist, she hoped to elevate the pain in her shoulders and where his hand gripped her by wrapping her legs around his waist. If she hadn't thought the position intimate before, or she hadn't been blushing before, she was sure both were doubly so now.

But, to overcome her embarrassment, she narrowed her eyes on his mask, lifting her upper lip to growl at him. He merely did his purring thing in return and pressed himself tighter to her.

"Where is Flynn?"

Huffing, she turned away from him. Like she was going to talk, she hadn't before, she wouldn't start now. If Quorra saw her now... she'd get an ear full. Letting out a sigh, she dropped her head back against the wall behind her... that girl was almost as bad as Sango when it came to gossip. Almost as bad as her three friends from Jr. High.

She stiffened when she felt something pressed against her chest, and looked down about to give him a tongue lashing, but sucked in a breath when she was met with a sight of brown hair instead of his black helmet.

What. Was. He. Doing?

The heat returned to her cheeks with a vengeance and she tried her hardest not to squirm. It was awkward, beyond anything she had ever experienced really. She was sure her heart was beating like the wings of a humming bird.

Wait.

Was he... listening to her heart beat?

She then remembered how Quorra spoke up once, saying she noticed that Rinzler seemed to be... obsessed in her. Something about catching him by surprise or along the likes of that. Oh how she hoped her only female friend in this world was wrong.

"... so warm..."

Okay- this was out of this world awkward! She had never had an opponent go all... soft on her in the middle of an interrogation. And even though her let go of her hands, to surprisingly, wrap both arms around her waist, she left them up there, hoping reality would kick in again. And soon.

And then she got angry. He was using her as a pillow. A warm pillow for him to snuggle?! Why did she always get into these sort of situations? She was a good girl. She may have broken the Shikon, but she had started doing what the Kami asked of her, piecing it back together and help in trying to get rid of the nastiest monster of Feudal Japan. And what did she get for that?!

Sent to the virtual world of the Grid, where she would soon live with a man that was like a second father to her, gain a sister and obviously an obsessed stalker that apparently had bipolar issues. Cause it seemed as quick as he was to try and kill her, he was just as quick to hug her.

Chapter Text

He stood there taking his surroundings in, like the others were, trying to find and signs of civilization to indicate when and where they were. Sadly, all around them was nothing but open fields with forest framing it in, and in the distance, they could make out mountains.

TARDIS looked very out of place, standing in the middle of nowhere, as it was. The blue painted police box a glaringly obvious sore thumb.

"Is it possible... that we're lost?" Amy piped up, her voice just holding a tinge of worry.

"One can only get lost, if they knew where they were going. Which is something I've come to learn, we never really know where we're going. Rory answered, not all that hard to hear the annoyance in his voice.

Pulling himself upright, having the need to not only defend himself, but TARDIS as well, the Doctor managed to only get so far as opening his mouth before a loud explosion was heard and the ground shook. They all spread their arms out to keep themselves balanced and looked towards the direction of where the explosion sounded from.

"What was that?"

"I don't know, and frankly, I don't want to." Rory turned towards the Doctor. "How about we leave? We came, we saw, lovely country side by the way, now we can go."

"I'm afraid we can't."

"What do you mean, 'we can't'?"

"Just that. It seems TARDIS has suffered a power surge of some kind, it'll take a day, two at the most, till she's fully operational again."

"A power surge?"

"It's what forced us here to begin with."

"A power surge?! What sort of power surge?!" Rory cried out, getting more and more upset by the second.

"Um... I think we should... uh move."

Both turned towards Am, having momentarily forgotten her. Seeing her wide eye stare in the direction of where the explosion had happened a few minutes ago. They turned to see what she was staring at, only for themselves to freeze the moment they saw the reason.

It looked like a giant bird. A very ugly one, but a giant bird nonetheless. And it was heading towards them.

"Well, we now know what cause the explosion." Rory spoke up, having nothing else to really say.

Because really, what did one say, when a giant demonic looking bird was quickly approaching?

Kagome grumbled under her breath as she and the others followed their, fearless leader. Ever since Kikyo shattered the Jewel a second time, thinking she could purify it and Naraku at the same time with her last arrow, Inuyasha had been, well off.

No longer was his first love little Ms. Perfect. But that didn't stop him from defending the former priestess, or compare her to said former priestess. And quite frankly, she's had enough!

She was 24, almost 25! And in the last nine years, she had grown up in more ways than one. Sure she wasn't exactly the model priestess, but she sure as hell came a long way from the bumbling 15 years old she once was.

She finished schooling with average grades, which was both a feat and disappointment as she once held the top of her classes. She only saw her family whenever their supplies were thin, which had happened less and less, since Ramen was no longer the food of the month. Thank the Kami for that. And Kaede allowed them to keep a stock of medical supplies in her hut. And more importantly, she no longer wore her school uniform.

Why she did so for the longest time, she'll never know. Perhaps it had been a way to help identify her as Kagome.

No, know she wore jeans and simple shirts. Much more practical, comfortable, durable, and cheaper.

But that wasn't her reason of being upset. No. Inuyasha had the gall to say Kikyo wasn't at fault when she broke the Shikon. It was either; she had no other option, it was a ditch effort to save their pathetic human lives, or there was a bigger plan at play.

Yeah, the former priestess was still after her soul thinking she'd be human again. Oh, and dragging Inuyasha to hell. But hey, that was okay in his book apparently. So it was more than understandable, as to why she was upset. Not only that, but Inuyasha was demanding she hurry up in finding 'His Shards'.

"Ya know what... if Kikyo is -so- great, why not have her help us?!"

"She's got better things to do!"

"Because stopping a maniac that's after the ultimate power source isn't important?"

Usually when Inuyasha started, she'd calmly and with a clear mind, argue her point. But the words that were coming out of his mouth, and since that morning, have been pulling the wrong cords, or pushed the wrong buttons. She could only imagine how the others felt. They had all grown up, even Shippo who was at Sesshoumaru's palace with Rin, all but Inuyasha that is. Kagome had a better understanding for Sesshoumaru's feelings towards their self appointed leader.

"Ya know what? You're right, I'm sorry." she threw her hands up in the air, telling him he was right, regardless of if he was wrong which was usually all the time, made things all that much easier. "Besides, I sense a shard... coming straight for us."

Before he could even ask from which direction, Kagome pointed a finger in said direction. They all got themselves ready and prepared for the whatever it was. Not entirely sure if the one with the shard was friend or foe. What greeted them, was the ugliest bird they had ever encountered. Yes, it was demonic looking, but, like a five year old's imagination for a demon bird, that exploded and put itself back together again.

"Sango... have you ever seen such a bird before?" lowering her bow for a moment to get a better look at the thing, not that she wanted to, before they destroyed it and did the world of sight a monumental favor.

Before Sango could even answer, Inuyasha jumped in swinging his sword like a fool and simply knocking the giant bird down. Heavily. The others braced themselves as the ground shook, their hands plastered over their ears and eyes clenched shut to keep the dust and debris out.

Kagome's eyes snapped open when she felt both physically, as well as sensed the shard, move. Getting stable on her own two feet, Kagome shouted out through the still lingering dust cloud while taking off for the damn over grown bird. A few moments later, the others were hot on her heels. After the years where running was one of second natures, keeping the ugly thing in her sights wasn't really hard, but keeping up with it was. She was only human. So as such, she was about to wait for Inuyasha and the others to help with the chase, only to decide against it when she saw what looked like a phone booth in the middle of the field ahead of the damn bird.

Picking up speed, she reached for an arrow and drew back on her bow string in fluid movement, without stopping in her run, and took her shot. It raced through the air like a shooting star, causing the bird to skid to a halt, squawking as it tripped and landed heavily against the ground. Wings and legs lashing out wildly building up another dust cloud.

Ignoring the three stunned and shocked people, she dove after the damn bird and wrestled to get to the shard that was in it's neck. One hand was wrapped tightly around a handful of soft downy feathers, the other plunged into said feathers and groped about to reach for the shard.

The moment it left the thing's neck, it instantly reverted to a natural sized chicken, to which Kagome landed painfully on her back with a squawking and clucking chicken in her arms.

Blinking wide eyes up at the clear blue sky, Kagome tossed the damn chicken off of her. Groaning, her body obviously protesting to her sitting up, she pushed the damn chicken away from her, grumbling under her breath about damn chickens and shards.

"Are you alright, Lady Kagome?"

"Nothing a nice dip in a hot spring can't cure. And how many times have I told you, cut it out with that 'Lady' title?" she scowled at the ground as she rubbed at the back of head, hoping to soothe the small bump there.

Hearing something from behind her, Kagome took in the three people and blue phone booth behind her.

Oh... This was going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

Kagome grumbled under her breath, that week off had been absolute paradise. Nothing but sleeping when night came, eating whole actual meals, having the ability to sit in the tub and relax, and not have the insistent buzzing chatter of doctors, assistants and technical chattering in her ear.

But that blissful week was over, she'd be going back to work, and on top of that, she was going to be putting her incomplete work and applying it to a real life situation. Well, her work was complete, but due to the skimming of confidential files from an outside source caused all the work to pretty much go down the drain when she killed the servers.

She listened with half an ear as her personal assistant chattered on about the various state of completion on the various projects she over looked. Nodding her head ever now and then, she would hum lightly to show she either agreed or disagreed with what the woman was saying.

"Ms. Higurashi, are you even listening to me?"

"Yes Megumi-san, I am listening to you. But you'll only have to repeat yourself to Sesshoumaru-sama and whomever he chooses to replace me with."

"You're being fired?!" the woman let out a scandalized gasp and froze in her quick steps behind the miko.

"No, I'm taking on a project that will have me gone for an unknown amount of time. I'll try and keep in contact as much as I can to keep up with the progress." she started pulling the various files she felt she would need for said, project.

"Oh thank the Kami." a short relieved breath could be heard behind Kagome. "Now... what is this side project your taking on that requires you to leave?"

"Sorry, that's confidential." Kagome offered the slightly frazzled woman an apologetic smile as she continued gather the materials that would prove most useful in the job she was taking on for her sudden... clients.

Her assistant huffed, muttering under her breath about how others were always getting involved and blocking her from doing her job properly. And Kagome could honestly admit, Megumi-san was correct. First the hack, then everyone constantly complaining or wanting something from her and now this.

"Miko."

Both women turned towards the open office door to where Sesshoumaru stood, one hand on her luggage, the other tucked in his business suit jacket pocket.

"I take they're here. Let me just go down to the lab and gather the samples that I asked the others to prepare just for this."

All three were then walking down towards the lab, only to have Kagome turn a corner and bump into someone. Stumbling back half a step, she looked up with a raised brow to see Duke standing there, looking the same she had the first time they had met.

"I'm to escort you to the roof where our trasnport is."

"Ah. I need a few minutes to grab a few things from the lab. And then I'm all ready to go." Kagome gave him a second before she continued on towards the lab to grab said samples. All the way she was listing the things that she wanted in the progress reports on all projects to Megumi-san as well as anything else she thought would be important. She requested that Sesshoumaru not start any new projects in her lab while she was away, or to allow whoever was going to take her place while she was away.

Sesshoumaru huffed, she was acting like a worried mother hen over her work place. Not that she could blame the miko after all the blood, sweat and tears she shed on all her projects in that lab. And they may actually come to fruition with this job she had been asked to take on.

She punched in the code that allowed them all access into the lab and she made her way to the desk she had set up there when she had practically lived there for the past six months. Placing the files she had gathered, she pulled out her research papers and began placing them in a safety briefcase as well as gather her laptop and place that and all it's cords into a small travel bag.

Pulling a necklace from beneath her shirt she walked over to a safety deposit box and pulled out the most vital informative papers and her external hard drive out to also go in the briefcase. Just as she was closing and locking it's door, Megumi-san approached her with a small case that held the prepared samples for this job alone.

Kagome took the small case, raising her head when she heard the other woman sniffle a little. "Megumi-san, it's not like I won't be coming back."

"I know... But out of all the jobs I've ever had, you were the greatest boss. Now I'm going to work under Sesshoumaru-sama!"

Kagome smiled as Megumi-san sniffled a little more, she couldn't blame the other woman. Sesshoumaru could be a slave driver and had high expectations for all of those who worked under him.

"Don't worry, Megumi-san, when I come back, the both of us are going to get paid vacation." her eyes slid to Sesshoumaru, as if daring the demon lord to say otherwise. "Isn't that right, Sesshoumaru-sama."

Said male simply gave his classical 'Hn' as they all filed out of the lab and headed towards the roof. It made Kagome wonder what it was they would be traveling in. A helicopter could only travel so far, unless it was a military, they were made from longer distance travel.

Her eyes blinked at the form of transport that waited for them atop of Sesshoumaru's building. It's body resembled a helicopter, but she saw no blades, and on the sides looked like guns. Blinking a few more times, mentally crying how her life was never going to be normal again.

"You don't have one of those." she turned towards Duke when a strangled sound came from the back of his throat.

Turning to the man, she raised a brow at the small amount of amusement that she picked up from him.

"What?! It's true! I can tell you, it's most likely on his Christmas wish list now" she grumbled the last bit under her breath as she started walking forward, trying to ignore the slight displeased look coming from Sesshoumaru and the amused ones from Duke and Megumi-san.

"Paid vacation... This is all for paid vacation. Maybe somewhere nice and warm, but away tourists. Tourists are loud and annoying."

"You okay Ma'am?"

"Please drop the Ma'am, General. But other than the fact that my boss is most likely plotting out my death because I revealed he makes Christmas wish lists, then peachy." she watched as said General took her luggage with a grin and then handed it to those in the... airship to stow away before she was helped into herself and buckled into her seat.

"How long until we get... wherever it is we're going?"

"Not going to ask where we're going first?"

"Nope." she popped the 'p' as she tried to get comfortable in her seat. "Besides, I figured if I even ask, I'm more than likely not to get an answer."

"... You're acting like you've been in a situation like this before."

"Believe me, you don't even know the half of it." she closed her eyes and allowed herself to slouch slightly so she could get some real last minute shut eye before she dove herself into her work. Cause she had a habit of forgetting even the basics of the world around her.

It was easy to ignore they questioning looks they were throwing her way, after everything she went through in the Feudal Era, in her school uniform of all things, she learned to ignore such looks. On top of that, Sesshoumaru was a good teacher.

They had woken her up as soon as they landed at their base, where Kagome immediately began listing all that she would need in order for her to be able to do what she was brought here to do.

"I'll need all her medical, before and after the nano's entered her system. Blood samples, hopefully with nano's if at all possible."

"That'll take a few days to acquire and be brought here. Anything you need that we can provide you with immediately?"

"I'll need a fully equipped lab and medical supplies. And if at all possible, I'm going to need to be connected with my servers back in Tokyo. As you are aware, my work isn't exactly complete, so I'll be working on completing that and trying to cure... Jane Doe, at the same time."

"Jane Doe?"

"I wasn't exactly given her name. I prefer to use names, not titles."

"Ana."

Kagome and the General turned towards Duke after he spoke up. He was facing forward the entire time, refusing to face them.

"...Ana?"

"That's her name."

Kagome smiled softly as she watched Duke continue to face forward. "It's a beautiful name. I'm sure she's a great woman."

Duke nodded his head before walking away, leaving Kagome to stand there with the General. Said General waved his hand for someone to come forward. Watching the only other female on this strange team, not that she had any right to call their team strange after the group she had been a part of, walk forward, rolling her eyes fondly as the male she left behind called after her.

"Ms. Higurashi, Scarlett here will show you where your quarters are and give you a quick rundown of the areas you have access to. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Scarlett here or myself."

Kagome nodded her head one in his direction, blinking when he gave her a small smile.

"Thank you for doing this on such short notice. I'm sure you know Duke appreciates this, as do we all."

"Think nothing of it, it's what I do."

Nodding his head, he walked off calling out to someone or other to have said person run up to him. Blinking a few times, Kagome turned to her... guide and blinked a few more times when she recalled the first impression she must have left on the other woman.

Sticking out her hand towards the redhead, Kagome thought it would be best to do a proper greeting. Her first impressions still seemed to suck.

"Kagome Higurashi."

The other woman glanced down at the hand with open surprise before pale blue clashed with darker blue. A small smile twitched at the corner of her lips as she took hold of her offered hand.

"Shana O'Hara, but call me Scarlett. Everyone does."

"Then please, call me Kagome. I... would like to apologize for how I acted last week. From what I remember... I was rather... out of line." when Kagome got her hand back, she rubbed at the back of her neck.

"It's alright, Ripcord doesn't really understand that such open displays of physical contact with strangers, is not comfortable for most in Japan."

"Oh it wasn't that, per say, as more along the lines of me being beyond exhausted. I didn't hurt him to badly, did I?"

Scarlett let out a laugh, causing those nearby to turn towards them and wonder what it was they were talking about.

"More like his pride. The men and women here are a tough sort. They should be able to take anything, it just proved that he had let himself get lazy in his training."

"Ah. Glad I was able to point that out?" she offered a sheepish smile.

It became more at ease when Scarlett returned it.

"Well, time to show you your quarters and to get you familiar with the places you're allowed to go. You need a hand with any of that?"

Looking back at the luggage she brought with her, Kagome mentally grimaced at the amount she brought with her. She wasn't sure on how long she would be staying to help this mysterious Ana, so she had packed a bit of everything to cover the basics.

"If you don't mind... Sorry I brought so much, wasn't exactly sure how long I'd end up staying here so I pretty much covered the basics."

"Not a problem. I'll admit, it'll be nice to have another woman around that's close to the team." Scarlett grabbed the large suitcase and duffel bag as Kagome carried the rest, which pretty much consisted of all her work.

"Don't tell me you're the only woman..."

"No! Just on the first team. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys and all... but really..."

"Trust me when I say, I more than understand." Kagome chuckled under her breath as Scarlett began showing her the way to where everything was.

She couldn't help the fond memories of the past as they flooded to the forefront of her mind. Maybe being here to help this Ana was just what she needed as well. Who knew.

It had been almost a month and Kagome had hit a wall. So she planned on doing what she always did when she hit a wall, go for a run. But unlike back in Tokyo, she couldn't exactly go for a run around the neighborhood at the shrine, so she decided to use the small gym that Scarlett had shown her the first day she arrived. She had already used it, at odd hours, without anyone saying that she couldn't.

So, dressed in a long loose tank and some sport jogging pants, a bottle of water, the files where she was hitting a dead end with a pen and her MP3 player, she made her way to put the treadmill to good use. She'd be killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Earplugs already on and music playing, she went directly to the free treadmill, passing Scarlett with a friendly greeting, and got herself set up. She started of easy, wanting to get a jog in to clear her mind before she even attempted to take another look at those files.

It had been about 20 minutes later, that the rest of the team started filing into the small gym, pausing at seeing Kagome there as well. Who seemed to be either unaware of their presence or didn't care.

"Wow... Didn't know the Doc had that kind of body." Ripcord gave a low whistle of appreciation, though he grunted when he received an elbow to the gut from Duke.

When he went to question his best friend for his actions, he followed Duke's eyes till they landed on a rather upset looking Scarlett. After a few blinks, realizing he was caught not only checking another woman out, but one that Scarlett took on as a friend, he sheepishly smiled and began his 'kiss ass' mode.

"Ah, didn't mean anything by it, was just observing."

She narrowed her eyes on him before shaking her head with a roll of her eyes and faced forward again. It was obvious that she was going to continue with her own jog.

"Though Ripcord dose have a valid point, Ms. Higurashi does possess a very alluring body." Breaker piped up, causing all heads to turn towards him.

When he realized that he was the center of everyone's attention, he quickly took in all their faces and expressions and could only shrug his shoulders.

"I think you only noticed because of that brain of hers." Heavy Duty spoke up with amusement as he made his way to the weights.

"Could you please stop talking about me as if I wasn't here."

When they all turned towards her, she was counting her pulse with her feet planted on the rims of the treadmill. She turned to look at them with a raised brow and dropped both hands to her hips. When no one said anything, other than Heavy Duty and Scarlett chuckling under their breaths, Kagome rolled her eyes and turned the treadmill off.

"Men. I honestly don't envy you, Scarlett." Kagome shook her head as she gathered her things and prepared to leave the gym to their use.

As she headed towards the exit, she had to sidestep Snake Eyes, only for her to pause as she looked up at him with slightly narrowed eyes.

"You may not be saying it, but you thinking it still counts"

They all watched her leave the small gym, her muttering under her breath in a mixture of English and Japanese.

Scarlett observed it all with a crooked smile, but she quickly saw how Snake Eyes lingered in watching Kagome, only facing forward when the petite woman turned a corner. Her eyes widened when she knew she had been caught in watching him, and he paused for a moment knowing he had been caught as well.

But her expression soon changed to something akin to a fox or the cat that ate the canary. So Snake Eyes had a thing for Doc, huh?

Scarlett's pale blue eyes followed Snake Eyes as he went to his usual corner to do his own work out. Oh this was too good to be true. In all honesty, she had thought a few times that no one would ever catch his interest or that he would never show such interest. But in walks Kagome, and the woman was literally turning heads.

But she quickly recalled how this all started. Kagome spoke up with a request that they not talk about her as if she wasn't there. The thing was, Kagome had been listening to her music the entire time she had entered the gym, so how did she know?

Just another mystery that surrounded Doc, the nickname they had taken up to calling Kagome. Whom didn't seem to mind really. The woman was beginning to really settle in with the team. Perhaps, Scarlett could petition forward about getting Kagome to join the Joe's? The woman obviously had the skills and talent, easily worked with others as well as on her own, was loyal and... Scarlett could continue with the list, because Kagome was damn near perfect to join them.

But first... Snake Eyes.

Oh, was she going to have fun with this.

Chapter Text

Hiding a yawn behind a delicate hand, Kagome had to wonder why she was being... what was the word again? Accosted? Well she was sure that whoever got her to take this trip wouldn't agree with such a term, but the fact of the matter was, she was being called to do something.

She had yet to figure out what that something was. But whatever it was, it was dragging her to Starling City. And away from her archery tournament.

Her head rolled against the head rest of the back seat of the car she was in to look out the window. To think, she had finally gotten back to a normal life, using the skills she acquired in the past to further herself as best she could in the present, she pretty much gets kidnapped.

And by the Starling City Police Department.

Though it did make her wonder what the hell was going on that she was in the situation to begin with. But there had to be another way to figuring it out.

"We're almost there Ma'am."

"That's great. Would be even better if I knew where and why." she muttered as she watched the world outside pass by.

She tapped the back of her fingers against the glass, a headache growing and she stocked it up to jet lag. Something she could really use an aspirin for. Hopefully she could get that and some coffee at wherever she was going.

Though she had a pretty sure idea that it would end up being a police department. One of the many in Starling City.

Within the next 15 minutes though, they finally arrived at a Police department, where a middle aged man immediately opened the door she sat next too and allowed her out of the back seat of the car.

"Miss. Higurashi, sorry for the inconvenience, but you were the one I was told that could help us."

Kagome raised a brow at the man, wondering whatever it was she was supposed to help the man with.

"Oh? Is that the reason why I got this escort out of the tournament I was participating in?"

The man opened his mouth as if to answer her but shook his head and asked her to follow him inside instead. She raised a brow again and simply followed him, as she took his appearance in.

He wore a dark suit, it looked just the smallest amount on the worn side. In fact, his entire being looked a little on the scruffy side. Dark hair combed back with graying at the temples, even his stubble showed signs of gray. His dark eyes looked shadowed and were slightly red. He was obviously a man who was putting himself into his work for a certain reason.

She followed him through the department office, ignoring the various other officers that were busy working until she wound up in an interrogation room.

Crossing her arms and raising her brow, she looked at the man. "This doesn't explain anything, really."

"I'm sorry for the inconvenience, Miss. Higurashi, but I wanted this done with discretion."

"Okay. Wanted -what- done, with discretion?"

He simply indicated one of the chairs to which Kagome's only option was to take if she wanted any answers. With a sigh, she walked forward and took the seat across from him and sat down.

"Before we start, would it be alright if I had an aspirin and coffee? Seems I'm suffering jet-lag."

"Ah sure, could you hold on for a second while I have someone to get that for you?"

She nodded her head and relaxed her posture. So this man wanted her cooperation and was willing to do whatever he could to get that cooperation. Even if it meant having a co-worker running errands and delivery.

"So while we wait for that, can I at least learn why I'm here?"

He nodded his head and moved forward. "For the past few months Starling City has had a... vigilante running through it's streets."

"Okay... and how do I fit into all of this?"

A knock drew both of their attention to the only door. The man stood up and opened the door, allowing another officer in with two things in his hands. A small bottle of aspirin and a mug she hoped was filled with some coffee. Preferably drinkable coffee.

She nodded her head in thanks, and quickly took two pills before handing the bottle back to the officer and watched them leave while taking a swig of coffee. She had to bite back on a slight grimace. It was a bit more bitter than she had thought, but she had drunk more vile things in the past.

The man that led her in went back to his spot, carrying a long cylinder where something rattled inside of it lightly.

"Before we continue, my I have a name? You know mine, but I don't have yours."

"Detective Quentin Lance."

"So Detective Quentin Lance, is this where the mystery of why I'm here be revealed to me? Other than the fact it seems to involve a vigilante?"

"It's because of the vigilante, and that you're considered a professional. I was hoping to gain your opinion." while he was talking, he unscrewed the top and pulled an arrow out of the cylinder.

Taking another quick sip of her coffee, she placed it to the side as the arrow was placed on the table before her. She reached out, but quickly looked up to see if it was alright to actually pick the evidence up. When the detective nodded his head, Kagome picked it up and began taking the arrow in.

It was at first sight, it looked like a standard modern carbon fiber arrow, with green and yellow fletching. The head was a pretty standard looking two bladed broadhead that was was green in coloring. In fact, the shaft itself was either a dark green or black. It was hard to tell in the lighting.

She took in the arrow's length, weight, balance, even tested it for flexibility. All in all, she was impressed. It was good craftsmanship, obvious custom made. And decided to share her observations.

"Basic targeting arrow. The shaft is made of aluminum, maybe carbon coated. Hard to tell with it being painted. Basic two bladed broadhead arrow point with a screw on heft, also aluminum. No serial number anywhere, so your vigilante knows how to cover his tracks. And the fact that the arrowhead is custom made, shows that he not only knows what he's doing, but he's very good at it."

"What do you mean?"

"I highly doubt that your vigilante is simply to a local hunting and game shop. So he either is making these arrow heads himself, or has someone doing it for him. Either way, it has to be made within certain... boundaries. It can't be to heavy or to light or the flight will be off and miss the intended target. The heft has to fit the shaft properly, or the head will simply fall off during flight."

She put the arrow back down and reached for the mug of coffee to take a sip, keeping her eyes on the arrow the entire time.

"Has anyone seen what type of bow this vigilante bow is using? Long or short? Shape?"

"Is there any significance?"

"Longbows are usually as tall as the archer, allowing the archer to draw back as far as the jaw, may have slightly longer range but that's about it. It's usually a prestige bow, and used more for show these says then anything. Short bows, while not allowing much in drawback, allow the archer to be in tighter places and more speed. Not only in the arrow flight, but in also drawing their arrow." she took in a deep breath, she looked down at her coffee, swirling the contents of her mug.

"As for the the shape, it is also telling. Recurve bows, the ends curve away from the archer when the bow is unstrung. It stores more energy, has more accuracy, and is the choice of bow for beginners and veterans. That's just an example."

The Detective nodded his head, seemingly going over the information he had just received from her. It allowed her to sip at her slightly bitter coffee, allowing it to warm her slightly and the burned caffeine jolt her system into a slight better awareness.

"That sounds about right." he started muttering to himself, seemingly forgetting she was still in the room with him. Either way, it was very revealing. "Bastard's quick, and manages to get into tight places..."

He suddenly looked up, seemingly coming back to, not only himself, but to the reality of where he was. He looked up at her and offered what one could call a smile.

"Thank you for all your help, Miss. Higurashi. Sorry about how we acquired it, that it required dragging you away from your tournament, but your help was greatly appreciated."

Kagome merely nodded her head and stood up. Offering a tired smile before leaving the room and making her way out of the building.

Unaware to one tired miko, she was being observed by said vigilante and his 'associate'.

"So she's the one that Lance brought in? I don't see what's so special about her."

Oliver took a quick glance at Diggle with a raised brow, not really all that surprised. Looks like someone needed to do their homework.

"That's Kagome Higurashi, she's the female archery champion. On an national and international level. There's a tournament just outside the city. Could be why she's in the States." Oliver turned back around to the woman of their conversation.

She was standing on the sidewalk, talking into a cellphone.

He would say, from this vantage point, she was a looker. Her black hair fell freely down past her shoulders, contrasting against the cream colored sweater she was wearing. The jeans she was wearing allowed all to see the amazing set of legs she had, and the ankle boots she wore only added to them. She quickly fished out a cell phone and pressed it to her ear, obviously answering a call.

From the way she reacted, it obviously was not a happy one. She angrily ran a hand through her hair and hung up and glared at the small hand held device. Running her hand through her hair again, she pressed a few buttons before bringing her cell to her ear again.

"Are we going to just sit here and watch her all day? Or are we going to try and figure out why she was brought here?"

Oliver blinked as he took the other man in, raising a brow trying to figure out where Diggle was trying to go with his questioning.

"She's not only an archery champion, but also considered an expert on the subject. So it's safe to say that Lance brought her in to get her opinion on me."

"I get that, but why are we just sitting here watching her? There are things that need to be done. Your words exactly."

Their conversation was brought to a halt as the subject of said conversation began to walk in their direction, still talking on her cell.

"Listen, I just called from my trainer, seems the tournament was canceled. Apparently the sponsors have been caught with some sort of shady background, dealings or whatever." she walked right past them into the small cafe they were sitting outside of.

"I don't know, guess I'll stay for the duration. The tournament may be over, but I can stay here until my flight back at the end of the month. But my trainer is already flying over, meaning I'm out of a room and bed, think I can bunk with you until I find a better place?"

She stood just before the doors, taking in the menus that were behind the counters. They watched as they nodded her head as she covered a yawn with a delicate hand.

"Oh it's nothing more than jet lag. So exhausted and a slight headache, nothing to really worry about. About to get something rich in caffeine." her face perked up a bit, a smile slowly tilting her lips upward, that Oliver was unaware that his own twitched and followed.

"You know you don't have to do that, I wouldn't mind sharing a coffee with you, but-" they watched as she rolled her eyes and took a step back to take in the cafe's name and then the the street name it was on. The address was shared and she bid her farewell and quickly hung up and walked into the cafe.

Oliver watched as she ordered her drink only to come back outside and sit at a table not that far away from the one himself and Diggle were sitting at. After a few minutes, he decided to get a little closer and try and figure her out.

Ignoring Diggle's protests on how that it was a stupid idea, Oliver walked the few short feet and stood next to her table. Up close as he was, he took in how she looked. A really Japanese beauty, pale sun kissed skin, soft round features, bowed lips beneath a delicate nose.

"You know, just standing there is what one would consider creepy." a single eye cracked open and landed on him.

Shocked wasn't a word he usually would have used. Instead of the dark brown, he was greeted with deep blue. When she raised a brow, he cleared his throat and offered a smile as he indicate to the seat that was free. He watched how she took the seat in before returning her gaze to him. After a few seconds, she waved her hand towards the chair.

"I was just shocked to see you here." when he saw the look on her face, he quickly tried to save himself. "Sorry. You're Kagome Higurashi, champion of the female archery tournaments."

"Are you a fan of archery?"

"I've recently become interested in the sport."

She hummed as she took a sip of her drink. "I think I may know the reason behind that. And archery is not a sport. At least not for me."

"Oh? What is it then? For you that is?"

"A life saver."

Oliver watched as she took another sip of her drink as he went over the answer. There were so many possible ways to interpret that sort of answer, especially after everything he's been through. Did she mean simply getting her out of a bad childhood situation, or literally saving her life?

"Life saver?"

Before Kagome could answer, a car horn honked, drawing their attention. Kagome smiled when her sights landed on a person she obviously knew and raised her hand in greeting and also to indicate that she would need a moment. The man leaned against the jeep, nodding his head and crossing his arms over his chest with a smile on his face.

Oliver then watched as Kagome went through the motions of flagging down a waiter to pay for her drink and pull out her wallet. He followed her as she stood up and put her wallet away.

"You're a smart man, I'm sure you'll figure it out." she lifted her head and gave him a playful smile. "Have a pleasant day, Mr. Queen." with that she left him standing at the table and made her way to the man and jeep.

Oliver stood there, far too intrigued with the woman to let her out of his sights just yet. Stuffing his hands in his slack's pockets, he hummed to indicate that he was aware of Diggle's approach. Nothing was said between them as they both watched as Kagome enter the front passenger seat and the jeep disappear down the street.

"Find anything?"

"Well, she knows who I am, even without introductions. She has a friend in the city, if not a few of them. The tournament she was a part of was canceled for unknown reasons. But other than that, it seems I'll have to do some digging up on her."

Diggle rolled his eyes when he caught 'that' look on the young man. The woman had caught his interest. Usually that would mean bad news, perhaps it would for himself in the end, but he knew for a fact that Oliver Queen would find all that he could on the young woman.

With a tired sigh and a shake of his head, he directed them back to the car. Seems like they had some research ahead of them.

Chapter Text

Wide eyes took in the four... short beings. All had curly hair, their ears were pointed just in the slightest, wearing clothing that looked more similar to something from Europe or some Fantasy convention, and large hairy feet.

"Miss?" the one across from her asked.

"Ah... I'm, I'm fine. Are you alright?" she was still in shock from the sudden appearance of these four, childlike beings.

"I'm quiet alrigh' Miss. Quiet sturdy, I am. So nothin' to worry about."

Kagome couldn't help but smile and chuckle lightly. She giggled even more when his cheeks began to burn and color. He reminded her of Shippo slightly when he had been caught doing something and tried to be polite to get out of punishment.

"I think we should get off the road."

Kagome turned to look at the only one with dark curls, taking in his apprehensive form. He kept eying both ends of the long stretch of road. Her brows furrowed when a sudden chilling wind came from the direction she was heading in, and she noticed how a feeling very much similar to Kikyo was quickly approaching.

He didn't need to say it twice when she quickly stood up and grabbed the one across from her as gently as possible and pulled him to his feet. Once he was on his own feet, she went to the other two that didn't seem to hear their friend, she was assuming they were all friends, and pulled them away from their mushroom picking.

She followed the other two the the side of the road and pushed the two she had grabbed a hold of under a thick root next to the other two before climbing into a hollow in the trees trunk that was just big enough for her to squeeze into. If she was away from Japan and somewhere in Europe, she didn't know what the undead were like and if her abilities had any effect against them.

She had just managed to pull her knees up to her chest when the sounds of heavy hooves stopped just behind them on the road. Silently, she recited every prayer, chant, song she knew that the being wouldn't notice them and quickly move on.

A coldness quickly seeped into her fingers and toes, wrapping around her spine like when Kikyo and her serpent servants were near. Only unlike Kikyo, insects started coming out of the wood and earth, crawling over her, and she did all that she could not to scream and run. Not only that, the amount of evil taint and darkness suddenly started to grow as the being started to sniff at the air, and she had to repress her powers from flaring and lashing out.

Her eyes snapped open when a sudden shift in the air whizzed past her and a crash was heard a bit in the distance behind her. One of them threw something as a distraction, and she wasn't going to just sit there in the hollow near that thing. She knocked her shoulder hard climbing out and taking off. She had no idea what possessed her to follow the four, but she figured she could ask them, and it seemed, protect them until they parted ways.

When the four reached a distance that they deemed safe enough, though in her opinion and experience, anyone on a horse could easily catch and out run anyone on foot. Unless the ones on foot were demonic, then they were quicker. But then unbidden Entei came to mind and the damnable Hakudoshi.

"What was that?" the question brought her out of her less then favorable memories.

She absently helped the one who had asked the question back onto his feet as the others seemed to have taken to silence. Though she curiously eyed the dark haired one, the one who seemed to be the heart of this little group.

"Speakin' of which, who are you?" the one with a dark teal coat demanded of her.

Raising a brow, she planted her hands on her hips as she smirked at him.

"I'm the one that cushioned your... landing back on the road. But, if you need a name, then you can call me Kagome." she gave a slight bow, not knowing the proper way of introducing oneself in this strange land.

Besides the one that had spoken to her upon their landing and the dark haired one, the other two seemed lost for a moment before they seemed to remember that they had in fact landed on her.

Chapter Text

In order to keep up with the finances to support not only the house and shrine; but the food, medical supplies, new clothing because of the jewel quest, Nodoka Higurashi once again rejoined the work force. The savings and what money the shrine brought in was for the shrine itself, and whatever was left behind from her husbands death, was quickly dwindling with everything Kagome needed. Not only that, Souta was a growing boy. His clothes were just as quickly being outgrown and the food needed to keep him running was tallying up a high bill.

She started off small, working at the bottom of her last employer's and worked her way quickly to the top. She had studied and worked in accounting's for a small company, maintained her position when it was bought over but quite once she married and became pregnant with Kagome. So while things may have been advanced since she last worked accounting's and she needed to be taught how to operate these news advances, it was like fitting into an old comfortable spot. It was well known and easy to get a grip on.

When a decision to take an advancement for herself came up, she was all for it. The only set back, it would require she move to America for at least three years, if not more, to help establish the company's new setup in New York. She was given some time to think about it, but they needed her answer soon or would go with someone else.

She knew that in the long run, it would help the whole family and better set her children's future. But it would also mean uprooting said children, one of whom was trying to accomplish a very important task the Kami's and Fate had set out for. But the answer came easily, when her eldest returned, bloody and battered, but alive, stating that it was finally done.

So, returning to work, she gave her employer's her answer, but requested a few weeks to help her 'sick' daughter back to full health before hurtling over such a large task as to moving to America. They were understanding, and gave her the extra time she needed, and helped her get a family home, the transfer scripts she would need not only for herself, but for her children as well.

When Kagome was finally fully healed, and after being told of the plans and about the move, they all waved their final fairwell's to their Grandfather, whom Kagome worried over as he was staying behind, drove to the international airport and bored their plane to New York.

The flight was long, pretty much a whole day, if not longer, sitting in a flying metal can and only walking down anorexic allies to either regain feelings in their legs or to use the tiny closet like bathrooms. So it was easy to understand when they all let out a sigh of relief when they finally landed, hauled their heavy luggage and went to the airport hotel to stay for the night before heading to their new home.

As per request, their new home was outside the city, a quaint little neighborhood that more or less resembled their old one, only American. Nodoka herself could easily commute to work either by train or car, which she was also provided with. It wouldn't be until the next day, that her children would be asking about their new schools, Kagome more than happy to hear that she wouldn't have to wear uniforms anymore as she was sure perverted old men had designed the ones she wore throughout her schooling years back in Tokyo. Souta himself was more interested in what they had for sports teams and gaming.

She simply smiled at her children from the front seat of the taxi as her children were wide eyed by the sights around them as they drove towards their new home. While they weren't all that pleased to have to sit the whole way from the city to their new home, the sights around them were more than enough to distract them.

Soon enough, they were at their new home, already set up by the company with their furniture and basics, leaving the rest entirely up to them. So they set to unpacking their things right away, hoping to burn all the energy they had store in them from not only the long flight, but also the long ride from the city to their new home.

It took them the whole day, with Nodoka herself stopping earlier to start on dinner, but she more than made up the next day. A week later, they had finally finished setting things up to their preferences, their selected rooms stylized to match each person. And about another two to finally be settled in and accustomed to the time differences as well as cultural differences.

Kagome herself was lounging on the window seat that came with her room, reading one of the many books Eri had bought for her. She was dressed in simple but comfy jeans, a plain blue t-shirt and simple white sock. Her hair was done up in a sloppy bun and around her neck was a simple locket.

Leaning back on the massively comfortable pillows, Kagome turned a page and continued her reading. One leg up up on the window seat, the other kicking back and forth lazily, with her toes just skimming the floor.

Hearing something, she furrowed her brows and lowered her book to take her room in. If there was one thing Kagome quickly noticed about their new home, heck their street even, was that there was a lingering of magic in the air. It had been centered on the house across the street when they first arrived, but it soon spread and grew and was now also intermingling with their new home.

Pursing her lips, she raised her book back up and continued reading. So far nothing really of much notice had happened. Sometimes the feeling of magic would spike, sometimes there would be slightly odd sounds echoing from the shadows, other times, things would 'move'. Like her Mama would place her keys on the counter, only to find them on the kitchen table instead. But other than that, nothing really happened.

She was about to turn the page, when she heard the noise again. It was louder this time, or she was better able to distinguish it, because it sounded like... giggles and snickering. Lowering the book she placed it down next to her after saving her page and pushed herself up into sitting position. With both feet on the floor, she quickly stood up and searched her room.

Pursing her lips and planting her hands on her hips when her search revealed nothing, she decided to put some music on. Getting back into her earlier position, she picked her book up and began to read from where she left off. It was halted immediately when she felt something scurry across her foot.

With a startled cry, she quickly pulled herself completely up onto the window seat and searched the surrounding floor and dark corners for whatever it was that ran across her foot. Sitting on her knees barely over the edge, her fingers curled into the cushion beneath her when the sounds of giggling and snickering grew.

"Everything alright?"

Looking up, she blinked wide eyes as she took her Mama and Souta in. Clearing her throat sheepishly at their expecting looks, Kagome drew herself up and eased the tension from her body.

"Ah... something ran across my feet and startled me."

Souta threw her a disbelieving look before he chuckled. "After everything you've been through, something running across your foot startles you?"

"Well excuse me. I've been hearing strange noises for the past hour and then something ran across my foot. So forgive me for being a little paranoid." she childishly stuck her tongue out at him.

Nodoka for her part frowned lightly at what she just heard. She too had noticed strange going on's since really settling in their new home. She had hoped it had been that it was being in a different country in a new house, but perhaps there was something living in the house with them.

"Well... I'll call tomorrow to get the house inspected. Hopefully we don't have some little uninvited critters living with us."

"You mean rats?" Kagome shivered as she remembered that never ending sea of rats that had been set free back in the past. They had ate and destroyed everything in their path.

"Could be rats. I've heard that squirrels sometimes start little families in the attic of the houses in this area, or stray cats even."

"Squirrels?! Can I keep one as a pet?"

Both turned to the excited Souta at the question that nearly had the boy bouncing on the balls of his feet. When he realized that he wasn't about to get an answer, at least not one that he wanted, he spoke up.

"What?"

"Honestly? A pet squirrel? I don't think so." she shook her head, wondering why her son would want such a pet, or how he came to the idea.

"Then could we get a pet dog? I mean, we will be here for years, according to your boss, and we have the room."

Looking down at her son, seeing that hopeful face of his, she had to bite the inside of her cheek. "Not right now, perhaps after the both of you have started school. It's still a little too early for us to get a pet."

"If we get a pet, it would keep away these... critters as you called them."

Nodoka sighed as she began to lead her youngest away from her eldest's room. Kagome bit back on the urge to giggle as she heard her mother mutter a 'We'll see'. Her brother threw a pretty smart trick, using their possible pest problem as a reason to getting a dog.

With the reason why her Mama and Souta had gathered at her bedroom door forgotten, she curled on her stomach and resumed her reading with a smile enjoying the peaceful evening.

After that one incident, Kagome would grow accustomed to feeling something brushing against her from dark corners. Nothing perverted, but more along the lines of trying to playfully spook her. In fact, it reminded her a lot of Shippo and his pranking ways.

It had been the night after her first day of school, that she noticed more activity coming from the house across from her. In fact it sounded like a party. In the bedroom of a fellow classmate? What made it even weirder was the fact that her family and herself seemed to be the only ones that noticed. But that was quickly thrown out the window when she noticed a small boy, around the age of five or a bit older look up at the window

He had wavy blond hair, bright blue eyes and rosy chubby cheeks. He wore a red and white stripped shirt underneath a jean overalls and red sneakers.

She blinked when he turned towards her, and when he looked between herself and the lit window a few times, a smile lit on his face and he ran towards her as fast as his short legs could manage.

"You see them don't you?! Sarah says I shouldn't talk about them and mom doesn't believe me!"

When the boy clutched at the hem of her sweater, bouncing on his feet and tugging at her sweater every time he landed back on his feet. Blinking a few times, she glanced at the window once again to take in the lit room. Various forms of shadows danced on the ceiling, music playing, colorful... things flew across the window. Taking it in for another second, she turned back to the boy that still looked very hopeful and waiting for an answer from her.

She could simply nod her head, her lips twitching when the boy let out an excited cry and started bouncing on his feet in earnest.

"They are real! I knew it, I knew it!" he started doing a little jig on the spot before her, to which Kagome could only let out a chuckle at.

He stopped his spinning and looked up at her, face bright with excitement. "Do they do magic for you and play with you as well?"

"Mmm, not really. They like to play pranks on me more than anything."

The boy's eyes grew wide before he tried to hide his laughter, but a few snickers managed past the hands he pressed to his mouth. Kagome's own smile grew and she crouched down to try and get to his eye level.

"Though I do have a question. What -are- they?"

"You mean you don't know?"

Pursing her lips and shook her head. "Nope. Afraid not. Could you tell me?"

He opened his mouth to answer her, but quickly snapped it shut and took in his surroundings, his eyes stopping slightly behind and above her. Turning around, Kagome spotted an owl resting on a tree branch in the tree that stood in the front yard of the house whose property she was on.

Turning around, she took in the boy again, watching how he continued to stare at the owl and seemingly trying to will something from the silent night hunter. What, she wasn't sure, but the boy nodded his head and turned back to her.

Leaning in closer, he cupped his hands around his mouth and whispered the answer to her.

"Goblins."

Her eyes widened as she mentally pictured 'goblins' the media always depicted. It was nothing close to the playful auras that leaked out from the dark corners of her new home. Facing the boy as he took a step back, wearing a smile that was a little, to knowing, for one his age.

"Really now..."

"Yes. But you have to keep it a secret. You promise?"

Taking the boy in, she took in the seriousness of his tone and expression but nodded her head and then spoke the words out loud.

"Would it be alright if I told my family?"

He screwed his mouth and narrowed his eyes on her for a moment. His gaze on her was one that was testing her, seeing if she was worthy enough.

"They'll believe me and can also keep a secret."

"They believe? Your mom too?"

"Especially my mom. See, back in Japan, we lived at a very special place that was full of magic. It's not the same type of magic as your goblin friends, but it's magic nonetheless."

"Okay, but only them and no one else."

"I swear on it. Pinky promise even." she smirked as she offered her pinky to him, to which he quickly wrapped his own tiny one around and shook their hands on it.

"What's your name?"

"I'm Kagome Higurashi." she spoke it slowly, making it easier for him to catch the pronounciations of her name.

A chuckle escaped her when his face screwed up and he repeated after her, acting like he was trying new food and wasn't sure he liked the taste. But he tried it a few times and then looked up at her, seeing if he said it correctly. She nodded her head with a smile on her face.

Standing up, she offered her hand and started directing him to the front door. "And what's your name?"

"Toby Williams!"

Kagome continued to talk with him for the short walk it took to get him back to his house and then introduce herself to his parents. All the while unaware of how she was being watched by a set of oddly matched blue eyes from the owl she had spotted in the tree a few minutes earlier.

It followed her as she quickly ran back to her own home, easily sensing those that had been watching the over the boy since he had left the labyrinth also within the young woman's own home.

Spreading it's wings it left it's perch and landed on a tree branch outside a window that lit up as the young woman entered the room behind the window and tossed herself at a desk and began her homework. Soon enough, a boy entered and distracted the young woman from her work.

The owl watched as the two played, rolling around on the floor and attacking each other with tickles. Though the young woman claimed herself the victor, the boy declared she cheated and demanded a rematch, only to be interrupted from a called from the first floor echoing to their ears about dinner.

The boy said that it wasn't over and warned his sister to be prepared for any sudden and surprise attacks in the near future to which the young woman accepted the challenge.

Watching the two leave the room, the sister turning the light off and quickly disappearing from the owl's sight, a third observer watched the owl with narrowed eyes, mixed feelings filling her body. But the first and foremost was wonder.

Sarah Williams was curious as to why the Goblin King was perched outside the new neighbor's house. And wondered what it could mean.

Chapter Text

Kagome got out of the car with the, the heels of her shoes clacked against the asphalt as she made her way to the trunk of the car she was renting. Opening it, she retrieved a single case that was inside it before closing it and making her way to the building where she would be dropping off the item she was personally handling.

A small smile played on her lips as she took in the city she was in. Venice, Italy. Just one of the perks of her job. An Antiques and Ancient Documents Dealer. Well, that's what her official job title. It went beyond just simple antiques and ancient documents. Most of it dealt with the occult, but it was an honest job, and all parties got something out of it.

Entering the building, she made her way to the front desk, handed a simple white stock card and was immediately given instructions on how to get to her current client. Smiling, she wished the woman a good day and made her way.

The elevator ride was boring, and the music that was playing in the metal box just as dismal. She ended up tapping one of her feet out of habit, hoping that the ride up would somehow magically speed up. A silent sigh escaped her when a familiar 'ding' echoed off the walls, and she almost hastily exited the elevator.

Once again, her heels clacked as she walked down a marbled hall, straight down to the far end where a large set of double doors rested. Without even having to knock, the doors opened for her, most likely having been watched since she stepped off the elevator, perhaps even as soon as she entered the building.

"Ah, a lovely lady presenting me with my lovely prize."

Her lips twitched into half a smirk as she walked to stand before the man's desk. Placing the case atop it, she quickly proceeded to unlock and open it, spinning it so the contents where shown to the client. Where most of her jobs did deal with the occult or supernatural objects, this one did in fact deal with something simple and mundane. The best way to keep up appearances was to do what her job actually was entitled as.

So she contained the urge to roll her eyes when she handed the male before her a set of white gloves, before allowing him to withdraw the contents of the case. He smiled as he withdrew and ancient tome. An original of medieval scripture to be exact.

"I see you like what you see."

"Oh do I ever. How on earth did you ever get this?" the man asked without even looking up as he gingerly turned it's pages.

"Trade secret. Now, you do understand the terms of payment." it wasn't a question, but the man didn't seem to mind.

"But of course." he moved to a computer that was just to the side, though he seemed as if he would rather continue examining the tome before him instead.

Him hands moved over a keyboard, while Kagome pulled out a cell, already connecting with her account. Not a minute later, she received a message stating that the transfer was complete. Smiling, she placed her call back into her pocket, retrieved the case and stood up. Turning to her client, she smiled all the more, happy to have succeeded in a honest sale.

"It was a pleasure doing business. Now if you'll excuse me, I have another client waiting." not a total lie, but she did want to get a move on and relax while she was in Venice.

"Such a pity, I would have rather enjoyed your company. Perhaps a dinner tonight?"

"I must decline. I don't mix business with pleasure. Complicates things and makes my life messy. Have a pleasant day." offering a slight bow, she turned on her heel and left the office, and the man with his latest treasure. While he was trying to get a little more out of her than what she offered, other than her services in tracking down artifacts and documents, she was sure he was more than pleased with what he had just gained this day.

As she entered the elevator, her cell went off. She answered in Italian, something she had picked up doing whenever she was in a foreign country was answer in their language.

"Ciao."

"Kagome?"

"Si." she didn't even bat an eyelash at the fact that it wasn't someone that she usually spoke to, or often. But since their last departure, and it sounded like the man was unsure with the number he had just called, Kagome couldn't help but mess with him.

"This is Kagome I'm talking to. Correct?"

"Of course it is? Who else would answer to 'Kagome'? It's not a common name, even by Japanese standards." though she knew he couldn't see it, she couldn't help the smile that curled around the corners of her lips.

"No one, but who answers a call by saying 'see ya'?"

"In Italy, ciao can be used for both 'hello' and 'goodbye'. But I highly doubt you called for a lesson in linguistic skills."

"No, I didn't. I called, cause we could use your expertise."

Kagome blinked with that and when the elevator stopped and opened onto the main floor. Walking out and back to her car, she nodded her head in the secretary's direction before leaving the building.

"What type of expertise?" those boys knew pretty much all about her, not that she was happy about it, but they had crossed paths many times where they ended up helping each other out on a lot of them.

"It's about Sam."

"Sam? I thought he was..." she trailed off, not really wanting to finish that question. She remembered when he first called, asking her for help on how to get his brother out of Hell. Alive and in one piece.

"Not anymore. He's back. But... something's wrong with him."

"Alright, give me two days, and I'll be there. Where will you be?" although she could just track them down, she'd rather not and do this the honest way. They owed each other that much.

He gave her the location of where they would be, and a forewarning that things were far more harrier than before the Apocalypse. To which Kagome could only roll her eyes. Like she didn't know that, America was just one country, there was a whole world in upheaval when involving the supernatural. And she pretty much dealt with it far more than those two even realized it.

"Alright. Just hang tight, and I'll be there."

Hanging up, she called a few friends, and of course the one that pointed her in the right direction of where there would be potential clients. She wouldn't call them a boss, or a partner, more like a guiding compass.

"Listen, something's come up so get someone else to deal with any of my regular clients."

"Everything alright? And for how long do you think you'll be, vacationing?"

"Yeah, as far as I can tell. And to be honest, I don't know. But I'll call you as soon as I find out what's going on."

"Alright. Watch yourself, the whole world, and all the realms in between are in total, chaos."

"I will, but thanks Shippo. Say hi to everyone for me and send them my love."

"Will do."

As soon as that call was dealt with, she began making arrangements for getting a flight ready. Not only for herself, but her tools as well. With how things were, and she was practically a walking target, being who and what she was, she wanted to be well prepared for whatever she'd be walking into.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o 0o0

It felt good to be wearing casual clothing once again, not having to gussy herself up, simple jeans, shirts and a good pair of sturdy shoes. No need to put on makeup or tease her hair into something so, sterile, in her opinion.

Quickly glancing at the piece of paper that was clipped to a map, she made sure she was on the right road heading in the right direction. She still had a tendency to get lost, despite all that time in the past. Unless, she had already been there before. Relief washed through her when she spotted the hotel that she had been told they were staying at, and pulled into the parking lot.

She didn't bother to go to the front desk. She could either just crash with the boys, or pay for a room after. Firstly, she wanted to know what was going on. Pulling into a spot, she quickly killed the engine and made her way to the room number that they were in.

Knocking lightly on the door, she barely waited for a reply before she walked in. Her smile and all thoughts of greeting the boys flew out of her mind when she saw what she would consider the top of her 'everything weird list'. Castiel was in front of the television, which was odd to begin with, but it was what he was watching the struck her stupid. The fact the the brothers were simply off to the side, one seemingly not caring, while the other... more than a little uncomfortable, just made the entire scene far too surreal.

"You don't watch porn in a room full of dudes and... you don't... talk about it. Just turn it off!" there was a moment of silence, where Kagome saw Castiel momentarily looked down, confusing her far to struck stupid mind to wonder why. She questioned her sanity when the answer was made abundantly clear with what was said next.

"Well, now he's got a boner!"

"I... should have, called first. Shouldn't I?" she was debating on walking straight back out or... walking straight back out and getting the first flight back to Tokyo.

All turned to look at her, with her hand still on the door knob to their room, now all were seemingly struck stupid. Well, Sam seemed to be the only one calm about the entire situation. It was his reaction that Kagome focused on. Or his lack there of. Focusing her senses on him, she furrowed her brows when she got, nothing from him. Like he was completely hollow.

"Kagome!" Dean looked somewhat relieved at the change in subject matter. He seemed stuck in standing up to, do something, or just continue sitting there.

"I see now why you called." Kagome pushed the door close softly, and moving further into the room, despite the weirdness that was going on. "No soul."

Either way, it was still good to see Sam's face. Especially after what she had heard, how he had willingly allowed Lucifer to take over his body and plunged into hell. Lucifer's prison to be more specific.

"You can tell?"

"Please. I'm a priestess, remember? I happen to know a thing or two about souls. Hey Castiel." she quickly greeted the angel from her current location. Before another word was uttered from anyone, she was wrapped up in a tight hug from the eldest brother.

"Thank's for coming."

"Think nothing of it." she comfortingly patted his back, before moving to greet Sam. "It's good see you again, Sam." like Dean, she gave him a hug, while he continued to sit at his laptop. Only, she quickly moved out of it and kept a firm grip on his wrists when she felt them creep to unwelcome territory.

"Trust me, you don't want to go there." she narrowed her eyes on him. Stepping even further away from him, dropping his hands in the process, eying him warily, she turned to Dean with questioning eyes. "Something I should know about, other than the fact that he has no soul?"

The room's door opened before she could get an answer, and all turned to see who it was this time. Kagome raised a brow in questioning, when it was an older man. Balding, wearing clothing similar to what Sam and Dean usually wore. Clothing that was made for easy hunting. Though his attention had turned to the television Automatically.

"This is what you boys do? Sit around watching porn with angels?" his greeting had Kagome stifle her laughter, making her snort lightly instead, and drawing the man's attention. "And who's this?"

"This is Kagome, she's... a friend of ours that may be able to help." she simply offered a small wave in greeting.

"Oh? And how can she help?"

"Trust me. I can do all sorts of, tricks, that you could only dream of. And that's without all your needed toys." a mysterious smirk was thrown his way as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"Please, did you have to put it that way?"

Turning to Dean, she raised a brow, wondering what he was going on about. When a moan sounded from the television, drawing everyone's attention once again. Dean grabbed the remote and quickly turned the thing off, shrouding them in an awkward silence.

"Grow up. And get your mind out of the gutter. Besides, what I said was the truth. Where you certain need, tools, I can do on ability and talent alone." she rolled her eyes while shaking her head. Wasn't he supposed to be the suave one here?

"So, what's the plan, now that everyone seems to be here?"

"Wait, what? Who are you to be demanding anything?"

"I wasn't demanding, I was asking. And as Dean introduced me, I'm Kagome. Trust me, you want me on your team."

Chapter Text

Elrond took the seated company in with a raised brow as they argued over the One Ring Frodo had placed upon the small table that sat in the center of the gathering. It wasn't what he had hoped for when they all gathered here.

His attention was called back when the dwarf drew himself up and prepared to strike against the ring with his ax, the others already in the process of standing and calling out to him. But something happened, the table shook as if by itself. As if a weight had been tossed against it.

The entire group hushed and watched with wide eyes as a ghostly image quickly appeared and their voice echoed around them, sounding as if they were from far away.

The ghostly image was that of a young woman that seemed slouched against the small table, but was curled forward awkwardly forward, long black hair covering her face. Elrond moved forward and around the table to get a better view of this ghost.

She wore strange clothing, that of which resembled something a male would wear. And when she struggled to pull herself up, moving her head slightly, it was revealed that her right hand was tightly grasped around an arrow.

-That's smarts...- her eyes opened to slits as she hissed, taking in the weapon that pierced her.

-Lady Kagome! Are you alright?-

She turned away and faced forward, a slight grimace of a smile offered to whomever she was speaking to, and soon two more ghostly images rushed towards her. A man dressed in black and purple robes, his own dark hair pulled back at the nape of his neck allowing the others to notice small golden loops in his ears. And in his hand a wooden staff with a golden headpiece where small golden rings chimed through the air.

Next to him was a woman wearing strange black armor, her hair pulled up high and away from her face, a single blade at her hip. Her kind face was drawn in worry as she took in the obvious, Lady Kagome.

-How many times have I told you to stop calling me by that ridiculous title, Miroku?-

The two figures relaxed some, seeing that their friend was alright. Perhaps.

-Enough times to stand yet another round of saying such it would seem.- he bent down to take in the wound from the front as the other woman took it in from the side, seemingly trying to see the exit.

-It looks like it went clean through, though it's pinning you to this tree.-

-That's good to know, but doesn't make it hurt any less. Think you can remove the head and pull the shaft out... I think there might have been some poison on the arrow head.-

They watched as she tried to get a look over her shoulder to see it. She gave up with a sigh and let her head fall back, obviously against the tree she was pinned to but they couldn't see that.

-I don't see why you allow her to continue walking around like that!-

-Sango... it's because he needs her. We all understand that. Besides the fact that she's only after my life, she's actually helping us trying to get rid of Naraku. I'm all for getting as much help against him. Cause we're going to need it.-

-But she has half...!-

-Sango, it is Lady Kagome's decision. Although I don't agree with it. The dead are not meant to be brought back.-

-Well I didn't bring her back. That witch...!-

Her tale ended when the other woman, Sango, suddenly ripped the arrow shaft out. Kagome immediately slouched as she curled forward, letting out a pained hissing groan. The others winced, as if feeling the phantom pain themselves.

-...warn me next time please... damn it that hurt... I think I felt it actually brush against my heart...- she shivered slightly and pushed herself up and glance at the piece of wood in the other woman's hands.

The man stood up and took what was left of the weapon and brushed some blood away. His brows furrowed as he closely observed the wood before quickly tossing it away with an angry glare.

-I know that look... that's not a good look.- Kagome grunted as she stood up, swaying lightly clutching to the 'tree' behind her.

-I fear that the arrow was not dipped in poison, but was rather drenched in darkness.- he sighed and turned to the still slightly bleeding young woman. -I fear that your wound my take a long time to heal properly, if at all.-

-So... it was cursed?-

-In a way. It was meant to steal your soul... and obviously give it to Kikyo... leaving you in a... undead state of being. But you're stronger than her and stopped that from happening. But it will scar, and will most likely there will be remnants of pain for the rest of your life because of the curse that was placed on the arrow.-

-Joy.- Kagome pushed herself to stand her full height, which was rather tiny compared for them, but still taller than the Hobits. She took a stumbling step forward, which so happened to be in Fordo's direction.

Elrond noticed how the halfling was absently rubbing at his own recent recovery from his own near brush with such a fate.

-Kagome... don't take this the wrong way, but... I think you should go home, and stay, stay.-

-I'm not offended, but...- Kagome turned around and offered the two with her a bright smile, as if she hadn't just been pinned to a tree or had an arrow ripped out of her. -Despite all of this being thrust upon me; the needing to destroy both Naraku and the Jewel before Naraku tries to use it to... oh I don't know, control the world maybe, I got to meet you and everyone else. And for that I'm grateful.-

-What about your family? Don't you miss them?!-

-Constantly.-

-Then go home!-

-But that would mean giving up. And it's for them, and everyone I care for that are the reason I'm fighting! Like I said, at the beginning it all may have been thrust upon me, but I choose to continue this quest of ours and see it through. Destroy Naraku and the Jewel and bring peace, freedom and... happy sunshine and rainbows to the land!-

-Happy sunshine and rainbows?- the man leaned in towards the woman, whispering his question in her ear.

-Perhaps the blood loss has gone to her head?-

As if to answer their question, Kagome wavered slightly on her spot, raising a hand to her brow and let out a quiet groan. When she brought her head up and opened her eyes again, they realized that she was actually taking -them- in when she was taking her surroundings in.

Her strange blue eyes took each and every one of them in, widening slightly before they centered on the One Ring. Her eyes narrowed on it slightly, causing a slight glow to enter at the corner of her eyes that started not only them, but her companions as well.

She was about to say something, but wavered again.

-Perhaps Sango is right. The blood loss has gone to my head, so we should head over to Grandma Kaede's.-

-Oh?- Miroku raised a brow as he placed a steadying hand on Kagome's uninjured shoulder.

-I'm seeing and sensing things, so let's go.-

-Care to share with us.-

Already, the two were at her sides, and slowly leading her away.

-If I had to describe them... some looked elves, a few dwarves... maybe a wizard some other men... and a really small man?- she leaned heavily against Miroku, her description had them all freezing in their seats wondering if such a thing were possible.

-And then there was a stupid ring sitting on a table too.-

-Whatever you say, Lady Kagome. We'll see Grandmother Kaede, get your wound seen too and then you can have a nice hot bath.-

-That sounds great! But you're not welcome to join!- she tossed a look at her support.

-I'm wounded you would think such of me Lady Kagome!-

-Whatever. And if that hand moves any lower in an attempt to cop a feel, I will hurt you...-

-MONK!-

-It's my cursed hand! I swear!-

The three ghostly figures disappeared, but an echoing sound of a slap still lingered and a faint 'It was worth it' before all traces of the scene disappeared.

The air around them seemed alive with their buzzing minds. What had just happened? What did it mean? Such questions, though not shared, rang loud and clear through the air.

Elrond turned and began to move to where he had origionally stood, only to stop short just before the table. There, next to the One Ring, was a bloody arrow head with a short piece of arrow shaft laying in a small puddle of blood.

Stepping aside, he glanced towards Gandalf, who also quickly took notice of the only piece of evidence to what had just happened laying on the table. Said 'wizard' stood up and moved forward and picked up the small piece of arrow, a few drops of blood dripping onto the ground.

"Curious. The arrow head is shaped like none I've ever seen before, and completely drenched in darkness. But the blood itself... is the purest I've ever felt." Gandalf twisted and turned the arrow head between his thumb and forefinger, taking it in from all angles, a few more drops of blood falling to the earth.

The others soon stood up to also observed what Gandalf held in his hand, Elrond furrowed his brow, also taking it in, but refusing to tough such a... tainted weapon. It displeased him greatly that such a dark thing was in his lands to begin with. But he could not fault the young woman. Not when she thought their world was images brought on by blood loss. He had seen many humans suffer such during battle.

Frodo himself was amazed that there -really- was someone else that understood what he was going through, went through. He moved to stand and also approach Gandalf to see this arrow head, but something caught his eye. Looking down to see what it was, his brown eyes widened when he saw a drop of blood land on the ground adding to a small gathering of drops there. It wasn't the blood itself that drew his attention, but what happened when they dripped down into a crack between the stone that did.

A first it was small, a simple green leaf. But it grew quickly and blossomed into a sprig with small white bell-like flowers.

"Gandalf... look."

Catching the wizards attention who looked to where Frodo was pointing, he knelt down to take in the small sprig of fresh life. He carefully plucked the flower and brought it up to his face for closer inspection.

"Very interesting. But sadly, we do have more important things to worry about." with that said, Gandalf stood his full height with both the arrow and flower sprig in hand and turned to Elrond.

Both gave a nod and indicated for the others to return to their seats to continue with the reason they were there to begin with. Planning the destruction of the One Ring.

Chapter Text

She didn't know how it was possible. Well the mechanics of getting there she did, but not the rights that allowed them as such.

They, as in her friends; Eri, Yuka, Ayumi, and herself, were in Vegas. Sin City. At the whopping age of 17.

She didn't know how they managed to get not only their own parents to agree to this, but her own mother as well. And quite frankly, she was sure she didn't want to know.

Letting out a tired sigh, it being caused by more than just jet-lag, Kagome pinched the bridge of her nose. "Why are we here again?"

"To have fun!"

"Have an adventure!"

"To get away from that two-timing bastard of your ex!"

Rolling her eyes, and trying to soothe her oncoming headache, Kagome merely shook her head. They decided to do all that, in Las Vegas? Somewhere a little closer to home would have been fine.

"I already told you guys, Inuyasha and me have an understanding. Have for a long time now. We're simply friends."

"Then why haven't you gone out with anyone from school since this so call 'understanding'?" Eri asked.

"I've been busy trying to bring my marks back up. You know that."

"Okay, well we're away from school and marks, use this time to meet a guy!"

Glancing around herself, Kagome took in the various people. And there were a lot of them, in many shapes, sizes and colors. And their coloring went far and beyond natural skin coloring. Blinking rapidly, Kagome and the others watched how a group of... males, she wasn't sure if they were boys or grown men, chase after a woman with green painted skin and a mini skirt and tube top that looked to be made out of tinfoil.

"Anything... male here is either; to old, to young, or all of the above. And worst of all, an a otaku."

"Er... well... you do have a point." Ayumi hesitated in admitting, but then Yuka spoke up, her tone speaking volumes.

"But you still have to try!"

"Fine. How though?"

"Kiss a random guy!" she took on a victorious pose, that actually had some people stop to photograph. Weirdos. "That jerk two-timed you for the longest time. What better way to simply grab the next cutest guy, since Hojo will never be it, kiss him and go from there?!"

"Are you serious?" Kagome really hoped her friend wasn't.

"Deadly." she swung a finger and thrust it at Kagome's face, causing said girl to lean back just the slightest amount or fear the safety of an eye, or both of them.

"I, Yuka, demand that you, Kagome, kiss the first guy you see!"

"No way, that's way too cliché. Make it so she has to kiss the first guy that talks to her, or offers her something, or bumps into her. And if she doesn't, give her a penalty." Eri shook her head, more upset with what Yuka just said content wise, instead that she was demanding their 'recently fully recovered' friend.

"Hmmm, you may be right. Alright, Kagome you have to kiss the first guy you..." Yuka took on a thoughtful pose, eying the crowd and surroundings before her eyes stopped on something and a sly smirk curled her lips. "Kagome has to kiss the first guy she bumps into. He does have to be around our age, older men are nasty. And if you don't... for the entire stay here, you have to do everything, and I mean everything, we do and say you have to do."

The other three blinked at her, but when Ayumi and Eri moved to stand next to Yuka, as if to support their friend, they clearly saw what she saw and also grinned. Nodding their heads and verbally agreeing with Yuka, they began to walk forward, Kagome taking a step backwards with a relenting sigh.

"Fine, one kiss to a complete stranger. Not like it could kill me... hopefully." she begun to spin around with her next step, completely missing the devious smirks on her friends faces.

That was, until she walked right into something solid. "Oof!"

Looking up as her hands automatically went to soothe her sore nose, she was about to apologize to the person she bumped into but stopped short at who the person was. A boy, and around her age.

Blond hair, slightly darker brows over intense blue eyes that were set in a boyish face. He was about a head taller than her, and she wouldn't deny if asked, he was cute.

She scowled up at him, making him furrow his brows in return. When it looked like he was about to open his mouth to talk, Kagome struck. She took hold of his shirt and pulled him down while she met him half way and brought their lips together. She thought it better to get the whole thing done and over with and have some semblance of peace with the rest of this... trip. She would apologize right after, and hope to Kami that this complete stranger would understand and be forgiving.

Those that were obviously with him paused at her sudden action, she could hear a girls voice question him. Oh Kami... she really hoped she wasn't this guy's girlfriend. When he moved to open his mouth again, she really hoped it was in an attempted to shout at her, she pulled back and was about to snark at her friends when she realized something.

Looking up, her hand still fisted in his sweater, she had trouble coming to terms with her sudden realization, but voiced it nonetheless. Not that she was paying attention. "...you're not human..."

It was said quietly, barely a whisper even, but he heard her. His eyes widened as she slowly lowered to her full height. Her own eyes were wide as she slide her gaze to the girl, that seemed to share a resemblance and she pushed her senses out, causing the two of them to stiffen just the slightest amount.

"...you both aren't." she didn't know what they were, but she sure knew what they weren't.

She moved to take a step back, hearing the leading man say that they, the obvious siblings, didn't have time to sight see and make new friends, but the boy she till had a hold on took hold of her wrist and began to drag her away.

And what did her friends do? Congratulate her and wish her fun!

"No!" she beat and pulled at the hand around her wrist, trying to pry the fingers open and make a mad dash back to the hotel room she and her friends were staying in, but his grip was unrelenting.

"Seth, what are you doing?! Leave her behind, we don't have time for this. Not to mention this is something we consider kidnapping!" the man spoke up when he saw that she was being dragged with them, to... wherever they were heading.

"Jack Bruno... she knows." the girl spoke up, causing the two adults to freeze and set their sights on her.

Letting out a quiet whimper, Kagome tried to hide behind her captor.

"What do you know?"

Looking around frantically, Kagome settled for something, anything that could get her out of this mess she was is.

"That the sky is blue because the water molecules in the air only reflect the blue wavelengths of the light spectrum!"

"She knows we aren't human."

"I didn't say that!" she glared at the boy that still had a grip on her wrist.

"That wasn't a denial."

Pausing in her retort from the woman's quick comment, Kagome took a second, perhaps to long, to say something, anything. "I mean... you aren't?! Wow, you sure could have fooled me!" she laughed sheepishly while turning away from them, hoping to play it innocent.

"So you do know."

Pinching her lips together, Kagome gave a sharp nod of her head.

"And you figured that out... from a kiss?!"

"NO!" wincing back when they started walking again and dragged her around back of the building, Kagome calmed down, as best as she could seeing she was being kidnapped. Again. "I figured it out... after the kiss..."

If she hadn't been blushing before, she sure was now. She should have just ignored Yuka, Eri and Ayumi. Who kissed a random stranger these days anyways? Well... lots of people actually. But she wasn't one of them!

"And just for the record... I don't go around kissing random guys... human..." she glanced at the boy that still had a hold on her wrist. "Or other."

As they walked through the back parking lot that was usually reserved for the hotel staff, the obvious leader spoke up.

"Then what was that back there?"

"That was... the lesser of two evils. And a majority of stupidity on my part." Kagome sighed as she took in the various vehicles parked and aligned in their spaces. How did she always end up in these weird situations? It had to be bad karma because of the Shikon, plain and simple.

Chapter Text

Kagome stared at the building before her, if it could be called that. Glancing down at the envelopes in her hands and then back at the decrepit building, she let out a long suffering sigh.

Said envelopes had somehow got attached to some larger packages sent to the shrine. They were addressed to a student, but there was only a school address. When she tried to return them to the post office about the mix up, the person in charge took one look at the address and immediately fainted. When they came too, they were a muttering mass and babbling idiot.

"Y-you sure this is the right address Nee-chan?"

Glancing down at her younger brother, she understood the reason for his nervousness and being frightened. If she hadn't seen half the things she had while in the past, she would have steered blocks around the school

Sadly, it was after archery practice and picking up her brother that she had promised to deliver the letters to this Oga, Tatsumi.

If only she didn't always have such a bleeding heart.

"Stick close to me squirt." she ruffled his hair before securing the sling carrying her bow.

Walking into the school yard with confidence, she momentarily checked to see that her younger brother was indeed sticking closely. It wasn't even a few steps into the yard when the cat calls and lewd comments began.

Rolling her eyes she made her way into the school with full intent on locating a teacher or the administrations office and return the envelopes and leave. Thus began the hunt for either. It took 15 minutes and scouring the entire first floor to quickly realize something very important.

The school seemed to lack a proper staff.

"How is this place a school when there are no teachers?!" with a frustrated cry, Kagome propped an elbow in one hand and pinched the bridge of her nose.

Souta warily glanced around them when her heard the shuffling of feet making their way towards them after his sister's outburst. So far, they had been lucky and avoided any sort of confrontation with any of the... students.

Scooting closer to Kagome, he clutched onto the hem of her high school blazer, tugging on it lightly to get her attention.

"N-nee-chan-!"

"Heeeyyy~ babeh. Ya look a little lost. I'll help ya out... but it'll cost ya."

Kagome didn't even dignify her response with lifting her head, she had heard plenty while in the past. Perhaps she should change to wearing casual clothing? It would be cheaper and cover more. Kami knows her mother was getting tired of the dry wash, repair bills as well as forking over a fortune to pay for a new uniform.

"I'm sure it would." she grunted out, no longer in the mood to be so charitable as she was when she had first set out to return the letters.

"Come on, I'll make sure ya like it~!

Raising her head, she lazily took in the closing circle of delinquents that were making sure to block out any form of escape.

"You leave my Nee-chan alone!"

Watching Souta stiffen in rage and stand up for her made her well up with pride. She would have to admit, hanging out with Inuyasha did a lot for his self confidence. And while he had been upset that she and Inuyasha would never be, her hanyou best friend was still welcomed warmly. Inuyasha had even been sure to teach Souta how to defend her for these sorts of situations.

Her gaze turned icy hot when one of the delinquents roughly took hold of her brother and tossed him out of the ring. All lessons from Sango, Miroku and even Sesshoumaru all on instant access in her mind. Her posture shifted ever so subtly to one that was battle ready.

Not that they were paying much attention.

"Shut it brat. Perhaps ya'll learn how to be a real man today!"

The other laughed at the joke and Kagome's temper, anger and fighting spirit rose all the more.

"Don't touch my brother."

"Eh~? What was that bitch?"

If there was one thing she had grown to despise since her travels, was being called anything other than her name.

Walking towards the obvious leader of the group, him thinking it was his lucky day. She was going to enjoy crushing that dream and teaching him a few lessons.

"I said; Don't touch my brother."

In a move so quick, she threw out her fist charged with a bit of her spiritual powers, her expression not changing when it connected with his stomach and sent him flying down the hall.

The others gaped at the site. The girl looked so tiny, delicate that they hadn't even entertained the thought that she might know how to fight. And with her kind depositional, let alone lift a finger to hurt someone.

"Bitch! You'll pay for that!"

As if the signal for them to attack, they all rushed her, angry and obviously willing to strike against a girl.

Kagome used her petite stature to duck and weave between them and strike quickly where it counted. One of Sesshoumaru's main lesson was anatomy. Why?

Know the enemy.

He had taught her, drilled into her head more like it, that a blow to certain areas on the body would render her opponents unable to fight back. Sango had taught her how to use her enemies size and weight against them with little energy out, while Sesshoumaru was all about quickness, accuracy and striking where it counted.

Though there had been weapons training as well. But they had both agreed on the fact that she needed to learn how to fight and defend herself without a weapon just as much how to learn all the ways of using a bow.

In a few minutes, Kagome was crouched over her last opponent tightly gripping the collar of his shirt.

"Now, you're going to tell me, nicely, where I can find one Oga, Tatsumi."

"The... the roof!"

"And how will I recognize him?"

"He... he carries a b-baby with him!"

Kagome furrowed her brows and blinked. A kid that attended this school carried a baby around with him? She was questioning the guy's mental stability at doing such a thing. Shaking her head, she cleared her mind of such thoughts and returned to the matter at hand.

Deciding that she had what she needed, she smiled politely and let the guy go. "Thank you for your help!"

Calling Souta back to her side, she smiled once more towards those that she had taken down and bowed, looking for all intents and purposes, an innocent high school girl. "Bye-bye~!"

"C-cute..."

Smiling now that she knew where the owners of the letters in her pocket were, she happily skipped her way to the roof, answering any questions Souta threw her way.

"That was so cool Nee-chan! Can you teach me that?"

"Perhaps. But if I decide to do so, you won't use this to go looking for fights. Promise me this."

"I swear!"

Any problems they might have come across while on their way to the roof, Kagome quickly took care of. She wanted to get this task done and over with so she could go home. She was sure her Ka-san said something about oden for supper.

Climbing the stairs, Kagome hummed under her breath as she looked up and saw bright blue sky and a few white clouds through the open door that led to the roof. She let out a sigh as she heard the tell tale signs of a fight taking place. This place was starting to really push her bottons.

"Souta, stay behind me."

"Un." he nodded his head, having quickly learned on this trip, that if he wanted to keep all extended body parts and leave unscathed, listening to his sister was the way to go.

She cautiously stepped out onto the rooftop, scanning all that laid before her, she let out a frustrated huff of hot air. There was no boy with a baby.

"Looks like we missed him." tisking, she shook her head. This was turning out more difficult that she had originally thought.

"Can I help you?"

Glancing to the side, she raised a brow at the older boy that was leaning against the wall next to the door. Her eyes narrowed the slightest amount, unsure if he was going to demand some ridiculous payment for offering his help as well.

He had dark brown hair that shine purple, making it hard to say what color it actually was, brown eyes that were half lidded and a kind smile in place. He was wearing a hoody beneath his gakuran jacket.

"I'm looking for Oga, Tatsumi?"

"Oh?"

Seeing he was interested in knowing why she was looking for him, Kagome pursed her lips. "Do you happen to know where I can find him?"

His eyes swept up and down her form, well hopefully her uniform. Either way didn't appease her actually, she didn't really want any one here to know where she went to school. Who knew what went through their heads. She highly doubted the Kami even knew.

"He went down to the school yard. Though I should warn you, he is otherwise... occupied."

Grumbling under her breath, she harshly pushed a hand through her hair. "Joy." She didn't have to be a genius to figure out what the guy meant by occupied.

He chuckled lightly under his breath.

"Thank you for your assistance." she bowed towards him and waved farewell as she directed Souta back down the very stairs they had just climbed up.

"Wha-? This is getting annoying Nee-chan!"

"Quite complaining. You climb more steps at home." she ruffled his hair once again. "But you're right, this is getting annoying."

Natsume smirked at the quickly fading words between brother and sister. He had been mildly surprised when the appeared on the roof top, both wearing uniforms to rather well known Jr. High and High School. It made him rather curious what the girl could possibly want with Oga.

Not only that, he wondered how she made it all the way up to the roof unscathed. The boy looked a little ruffled, the girl had a faded dirt smudge on her cheek. But he could already guess to how she made it in one piece and undisturbed to the roof. One was either crazy or had the ability to fight to walk through this place relatively unarmed.

Moving towards the chain-link fence that lined the rooftop, he observed the proceedings, interested in how the girl was going to react and interact in regards to Oga.

"Hopefully we do catch this guy in the school yard, then we can leave right away."

"See, silver lining."

Souta grumbled under his breath as the made their way back to the beginning. "When can Inuyasha-nee-san visit again?"

"Hmmm, hard to tell. He's been busy helping with Sango and Miroku since they got married." it's not like she could blurt out how he was helping in repairing and rebuilding the old slayer village.

They both stood in the school's main. Souta in shock that humans could actually achieve near demonic levels in fighting, Kagome in annoyance as she knew she would have to interrupt the fight so she get her task done and over with.

"Stick, very, close to me. I want this done and over with as quickly as possible."

Nodding his head, they both moved forward cautiously towards the fight.

Kagome finally spotted Oga, Tatsumi. He really was carrying around a baby. A naked green haired baby.

And from what she was sensing, it was demonic.

Her eyes sharply followed the movements of those engaged. The boy she had been looking for for the past... 45 minutes and a girl wielding a bokken. The fact that they were fighting while the baby clung to the boy was totally wrong, regardless of the baby's demonic heritage.

Hearing a battle cry from the girl, Kagome's eyes widened when said girl swung a little wildly in her anger. The path heading directly towards them, specifically Souta.

Reacting on instinct, and a years worth of harsh training, Kagome pulled her bow from it's slip and slid forward to block the downward strike, playing it safe to add a small amount of her spiritual power into the block.

The pressure of both wooden weapons connecting caused such a whiplash and dust storm, it took a while for everything to settle down.

Once it did, Kagome eyed the other girl coolly, something Sesshoumaru had also beat into her skull when staring an opponent down. The girl was panting heavily, dirt and minor bruises marring her exposed flesh.

The white trench she wore slowly fluttered in the dying winds along with her long hair. Kagome felt a old pinch of pain at seeing the girl's face. It was like a disturbing mix of her own and Kikyo's. Raven blue hair, and blue gray eyes that leaned more on gray compared to her own blue. But she had the same ivory white skin Kikyo possessed along with the straight hair.

When the girl raised her eyes, they widened in shock as they looked up at her. Apparently, the girl wasn't the only one shocked. The onlookers were whispering about her ability to not only take the brunt of some super attack, but stop it as well.

"Your skills are impressive, I will admit." her eyes narrowed on the girl. "However, you are sorely lacking in keeping your surroundings in check and you swing your blade far too wildly. These facts make you a poor swordsman."

She could feel Sesshoumaru in the back of her head, urging her on, as if to say teach the girl for her impudence. Kagome wanted to bang her head against something solid to rid herself of the quickly growing headache.

Knocking the bokken away with her bow, she turned towards Souta. "You alright?" her eyes took in his form, trying to assess for any damages. Her brows furrowed when she noticed a thin cut running along his cheek.

"I-I'm fine. A little shook up."

Nodding her head, she turned towards the still battle ready Oga, Tatsumi. Starting towards him, she slipped her bow back into it's slip with practiced ease. She was really hoping this was him so she could finally go home.

"Are you Tasumi, Oga?"

Her eyes slanted over to a silver haired male that was watching her in... a very Miroku like fashion when she heard him muttering about beautiful maidens. Returning her to the one standing across from her with the baby peeking from over his shoulder.

"Yeah. What of it?"

Raising a brow, her thoughts told her she would never lead a normal life when the pointed out the similarities between this school and her friends of the past. A silver haired Miroku and a dark haired human version of Inuyasha.

Shaking her head, she started to reach for the envelopes. "I have something for you." she ignored how the silver haired boy cried about cruel and unfair fates.

Pulling the few wrapped letters, she held them out towards the boy. His stance relaxed as he stared at the envelopes in her hand. After a few moments where he simply stared at them, she cocked a hip out and waved the hand that was outstretched towards him.

"Well, are you going to take them? We have a long train ride home."

"You must be some kind of stupid to come all the way here to give these to me."

"Listen here pal, the polite thing to say after someone went out of their way to make sure you got this and hunted you through that war zone called a school for an hour, would be Thank you, how very kind of you." she snarled out as she threw his damn mail into his chest.

"I didn't ask you to! Why not have the mail delivery service do it? It's their damn job!" he leaned down so they were nose to nose.

Years of arguing with Inuyasha, and in such ways, made it so she no longer cared how close the one she argued with got. But her cheeks were flushed with her mounting frustration and anger.

"Because the moment the guy at the office saw the address, he turned into a blubbering idiot after tossing your mail back into my face! I tried on numerous accounts to get a mailman to deliver these to you, but they always sat on my doorstep each morning!"

Beel, growing excited at the mounting anger and fighting pumped his fist into the air from his spot on Oga's back with is characteristic 'Buu' cry. His eyes shined brightly as they stared at the girl that stood on the tips of her toes and screamed into Oga's face, getting reactions from him like no other girl actually ever been able to do.

Leaning against Oga's shoulders, he reached forward and took a fist full of black hair a gentle breeze brought his way and pulled.

The silence the took over the entire school body at the reaction of Beel's action was deafening.

Kagome stared wide eyed into Oga's eyes realizing he was doing the same, their current situation happening because of a baby. Demonic heritage notwithstanding. Kagome stood on the tips of her toes, lips locked against those of a total stranger.

A quiet voice in the back of her mentioned a few facts that she was trying to get to shut up.

Oga was actually rather attractive, his shoulder and chest slightly broader than most boys she knew. His dark hair was slightly shaggy, falling before his brown eyes. The voice was also sure to mention that his lips were actually warm and somewhat soft for a guy that attended such a school and was more than likely constantly fighting.

Blinking, she slide her eyes towards that of the baby, seeing he had a firm grip on her hair and looked like he wasn't about to let go anytime soon. Turning back to Oga, she blinked again when she could only notice a blush, or perhaps angry flush, was slowly creeping onto his cheeks.

Seeing a guy with such a character actually blushing, her lips could help but quirk a small amount into a smile. Luckily, or sadly depending on how one looked at it, she's had more then her share of accident kisses, that she stopped counting them as kisses.

Oga made a strange sound from the back of his throat, perhaps from the miniscule movement, and Kagome attempted to pull away from Oga. A firm tug from Beel though brought her right back in a lip lock.

Moving back a small amount, Kagome muttered under her breath, ignoring the upset cries from the silvered hair boy behind Oga, the hushed whispers from the on lookers, the girl in white as she sputtered about and her brother's snicker.

"Hang on." raising her hands, she gently began the process of peeling Beel's finger back from her hair. "He's got a strong grip."

Her lips quirked as she watched the facial expressions the baby would throw her in her attempt of freeing her hair. Once done, she tapped his nose. "It's not nice to tug on peoples hair."

She couldn't help but giggle as she tapped his nose one more time, watching as he went cross-eyed at the movement. Turning her attention back to Oga, more than ready to apologize she paused at his froze state.

"Sorry about-" she cocked her head to the side, before sly smile curled the corners of her lips. "Don't tell me... was that your first kiss?"

"N-no!" His shoulders stiffening, as he tossed his head to the side while baring his gritted teeth, the flush across his cheeks growing a little more brighter were all that she needed to know the answer to that.

Raising a hand to try and hide her chuckles, she shook her head. Waving her head, she waved Souta forward, motioning that they were leaving. Turning she started to leave the school yard, and the disbelieving student body behind.

"It was interesting in meeting you Oga, Tatsumi!"

"Can I have an ice cream?"

"How about this, get an 80 or higher on your next test, and I'll buy you a game."

Souta stared wide eyed at his sister. "Any game?"

Ruffling his hair, she smiled down at him. "Any game you want."

"Have I told you lately how awesome you are?!"

"Not recently. So start praising squirt."

As soon as the siblings disappeared around the wall and were out of ear shot, all chaos ensued about how Oga the Demon King was kissed by a girl. To which said demon king readily threw out some well placed if not well deserved, punches and kicks. When that was done, he turned to his friend, huffing under his breath and wiped the back of his hand under his chin.

His brows angled at the state Furuichi was in. Pathetic really. Tears pouring down his face, a bit of snot running as his mouth was gaping open with the corners turned down.

"What the hell is wrong with you, you idiot?"

"How do you do it?!" Oga leaned back when his friend was suddenly in his face, crying pathetically. "You have Hilda-chan living under the same roof as you. You're the only guy that Kunieda-san pays any attention too that don't involve fighting. And now strange beautiful girls come here for you and you end up k-k-kissing them!"

Gritting his teeth at his friend's pathetic wale, Oga reared an arm back punch his friend in the face. He could only growl when Furuichi whimpered how unfair life was a few moments he landed a few feet away.

Turning his head to glare his current problem, he growled lowly. "Why the hell did you do that?"

Said baby pumped a chubby fist into the air with excitement, showing how pleased he was around his pacifier. "Da Buu!"

Shaking his head, he looked down at what had caused the entire mess. Letters addressed to him from the school. Shuffling through them, he paused at seeing was looked like a ticket stub stuck to one of the envelopes. Carefully, he pulled it off and brought it for a closer inspection. It was from a school fair, and he could make out the first name attached to it. Kagome.

His shoulders suddenly hunched as he ducked his head in pain, he could already feel blood trickling down his scalp. Turning around, he glared at the second cause for his recent problems.

"The hell?!"

"I sense a miko had been here." Hilda's eyes narrowed at him from beneath her bangs. "How could you allow the Master within the presence of such a... human?"

Oga blinked, already used to how she degraded humans, what with her constantly going on how Beel was here to destroy the world and all that shit, but this was a whole new level of distaste.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." he knocked the umbrella off his head, grunting as he absently soothed the painful knot now forming on his head.

"A miko. A holy woman? She has the ability to not only harm the Master, but from the feel of things, she may very well be able to kill him!" she seethed as she poked him painfully with the tip of her umbrella.

He glanced back down to the letters and ticket stub in his hands, as his mind flashed the only face that Hilda could be talking about. She could kill Beel? He didn't really feel anything particularly powerful about her, sure she stopped that wild swing from his current opponent without a sweat, but that was about it.

Hilda seeing the glance down, quickly snatched the ticket stub from his hand and examined it. After a few moments, she lowered her hand and thrust the annoying umbrella into his face. "You will take to the location stated on this piece of paper."

"The hell I will! You go there yourself!" his outraged cry began to earn him one Hilda's fierce glares as she began to beat him with her umbrella.

"You will do this as the Masters parent, and I shall go along to truly assess the threat."

"Gah!"

Oga's head snapped back when the tip of the umbrella had been thrust painfully into his forehead, causing pain to explode and a fresh wound to form. Stumbling back a step, he raised a hand to his brow, grimacing at the feel of fresh blood.

Lowering his hand he could only snarl at the sight of his own blood on his hand. "You crazy-!"

Both demonic maid and school boy paused instantly when a soft sniffle sounded from from Oga's right shoulder. They both glanced towards Beel, their entire beings freezing at the watery eyes, furrowed brows and quivering pacifier.

"Whoa! Hey there now! No need to cry. It's only-!"

To late. Beel let out a cry, instantly shocking Oga with the electricity that came whenever he became upset. The entire area around the school boy got shocked, Furuichi quickly backpedaling to stay out of harms way as Hilda took a leap backwards.

At the end, Oga was hunched over, smoke rising from his crispy form. Skin covered in soot and ash, clothes a little more frayed. But after so many temper tantrums, one outburst wasn't going to kill him. Chuckling manically under his breath, Oga finally spoke up.

"Fine, we'll go."

Beel sniffled before cheering, showing he was more than ready to head out on and adventure.

All this because the mailing system was run by cowards.

Chapter Text

Her body felt exhausted, but, in a good way. She had just finished her last exam and was now free from high school. Sure it would be a while till she got the results, but she was done all the same. Now she could go home, change into something more comfortable, and relax. All that cramming, lack of sleep and proper meals and stressful exams were behind her.

Stretching her arms above her, she let out a relieved sigh when a few pops echoed around her. Letting her arms dropped back at her sides, she took in the neighborhood street she was currently walking down on her way back home.

It was hard to imagine, that 500 years ago, this had all been nothing more than farmland and a small village. One she had become a part of, helped defend and grow. And although much had changed over the centuries, it was still a community where everyone knew each other, which sometimes got annoying, was quiet, calm, and peaceful. Seems there were some things that time didn't change after all.

Climbing the shrine steps with ease, Kagome mentally went over where everyone else probably was, seeing as she only had to show up for her exams. Souta was most likely at a friends, playing soccer at the local playground, or at the arcade with some friends. Mama would most likely be out shopping for that night's dinner and Grandpa was probably talking the ear off of some unlucky shrine patron or drinking tea with an old friend.

So that meant she could really relax. Nodding her head, Kagome decided on taking a nice soothing bath and then changing into something less formal. And she followed through with that plan.

A sudden rush of wind greeted her when she landed on the final step, letting out a surprised squeak and covered her face to protect herself from any flying debris. After a few moments, the wind suddenly died down, and Kagome lowered her arms, taking in the grounds before her.

"What the... What was that?" her eyes swept over all that she could see from her vantage point, before darting up to the sky. The skies were a clear bright blue with a few white clouds drifting by, so that ruled out a sudden storm.

It was then she noticed, that it was completely silent. There were no birds chirping, no crickets or other insect noises, even background noise was missing. Like the entire world was standing still. Within a heartbeat, the blink of an eye, noise started to filter into her mind. A distant dog barking, the sound of light and distant traffic, the murmurs of shrine visitors, birds and the rustling of the branches as they swayed in a light breeze.

A shiver ran down her spine and Kagome rushed into the house. She was not at all liking what she was feeling. On edge, she was even looking over her shoulder while she walked the short distance to her room and then bathroom. It was like she was expecting something to jump out from behind the corner, she felt that paranoid. Then again, she had spent enough time in the past, where things that did jump from around the corner usually wanted to kill her, were enough to make any person wary.

But all thoughts on the past and the scars it left on her, as well as the sudden and strange wind quickly melted away as she let herself sink into the hot and relaxing bath waters. Modern plumbing, she was sure, was one of man's greatest achievements. Don't get her wrong, she loved the natural hot springs that littered the Feudal Era, always at the right temperature, full with natural minerals the body needed and could use, modern plumbing was simply her heaven.

After her bath, and a nice cup of tea, Kagome decided she deserved a nap. It had been a stressful day, what with her exam and all. So, making her way downstairs, she allowed herself to fall back onto the old sofa, made herself comfortable and quickly fell asleep.

She didn't know how long it had been till a state of semi consciousness returned to her. The sort that had her between sleeping and awake, between dreaming and alert. Whatever brought her to this place, she wanted to part in it, she simply wanted to go back to sleep. Rolling over, her lungs seized when she felt herself rolling off the edge of the sofa and the expected drop quickly followed.

Eyes screwing themselves shut, she felt gravity work against her. But what was different, and not in a good way, was the fall was taking far too long, and the air had a slight chill to it that it shouldn't. She let out a pained groan when she did finally land, but her eyes snapped open when a second groan echoed around her ears, one that didn't belong to her.

Pushing herself up onto all fours, she stared at the person below her. They were unearthly beautiful, rich brown hair, fair skin, delicate features. When they opened her eyes, she scuttled back and away from the person she landed on, taking in what the were wearing. If anything, it looked like something someone would wear in those fantasy movies of knights and dragons and elves... Her heart stopped when the person sat up, a hand raised to sooth their sore head, the action ended up brushing long strands away from their face and revealing a pointed ear.

Her head whipped about wildly as she began the shaky process of standing up. No where near home or anything that resembled home. High mountains, tall ancient trees with the structures built into the very stone and trees themselves.

At the sound of a soft questioning voice, she turned her attention back towards the one she landed on. Their voice was soft, but held a defensiveness and was questioning, but it was in a language she didn't understand. Her brows furrowed with worry when they continued to question her, quickly getting to their feet.

She shrunk back at their taller stature, when she heard others calling out in the strange language, her eyes darted all over the place, trying to find a way out, something familiar, where the others were coming from. Her entire being flinched when she felt a hand grab hold of her upper arm and turned towards the one she fell on. Seeing the confusion and concern in their eyes didn't help her.

When he spoke up once again, this time in English, her lungs seized up once again. Perhaps she was in Europe, but she had never heard that language before, so she couldn't be anywhere near there.

Tears of frustration welled in her eyes, and her heart hammered a tattoo against her breast with how quickly and powerfully it was beating. The momentary calm she had was broken when the voices from mere moments ago sounded as if they were right next to her.

Jumping back from the male and whipping her head in the direction that sounded the closest, panic consumed her when she saw that these newcomers were armed and at the ready. After all that time spent in the past, knowing she was not only outnumbered but unarmed, Kagome booked it.

Running was near second nature to her, simply following her feet till they led her either into or out of danger was something she was too used to. Ducking around corners, she ignored the startled cries of those she nearly plowed down as she searched for a way out and back home.

As she continued to run, she turned a corner while checking over shoulder to make sure there was still ample space between herself and her pursuers She let out out a startled squeak when she felt herself run into someone and fall back.

Eyes shooting up, she stared wide eyed at the two before her. Like the one she landed on, they were unearthly beautiful. Both had long, rich brown hair, fair complexions, ancient eyes and delicately pointed ears. Their clothing looked soft, both in color and material. An she could tell, the two were related to each other, in some way, and closely if the strong resemblances were anything to go by.

Hearing her pursuers finally catching up, Kagome tore herself from her study of the two and scrambled to her feet and looked for a way out. She spun about in time to see an arrow fly straight towards her. But no sooner had the archer released the arrow, Kagome noticed how his eyes strayed to those behind her and let out a startled and warning call.

Instincts once again flooded her, took over and she reached out with a hand.

The world stood still and she was sure with how heavily her heart was drumming, the entire world could hear it. Taking in deep and calming breaths, Kagome's stance relaxed. Lowering her arm, arrow clutched in hand she could only blink at the rather shocked looking archer.

Said archer returned to himself and bowed, his actions and the tone of his words caused her stomach to drop. A hand lightly touched her shoulder, causing her to jump and spin about and drop the arrow all at once. Clutching the material of her shirt, she whimpered slightly at the male's furrowed brows.

Her eyes shifted to the woman when she spoke something to the male. After a few moments, he nodded his head. His gaze softened slightly and he motioned for her to follow. She hesitated for but a moment, but when the female offered her a kind smile did Kagome take a step forward. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw the questioning in the archer's own eyes.

Facing forward she anxiously followed after them, wondering what would await her future while she did so.

-o-o-o-

Humming a tune under her breath, Kagome kicked her leg back and forth as she read the words before her. It had been three years since she arrived to the land of Middle-Earth and lived with the elves. It took awhile, a long while, for her to adjust, but if there was one thing she was good at, it was adjusting and adapting.

A couple of months after her appearance, Kagome realized she was slowly becoming able to understand the language of the elves themselves. Not only that, but speak it, read it, hell, she could write it in her sleep if she wanted to.

When Elrond confronted her about after she confided with Arwen about it, they drew to two conclusions. The magic of their world was helping her in finding a way home be enabling her to slowly learn and know their languages, or, whatever brought her here, meant for her to stay.

The elven king felt it was more the latter, something Kagome could see as a better and likely possibility, but she wasn't about to give up hope. That was another thing she was good at. Holding onto hope during the bleakest of moments.

He allowed her time to herself to really adjust to the idea she may very well never see her home ever again. And it took a while, mourning her home and family, but still have a seed of hope at the possibility of seeing them again. And while she had toyed with the idea of returning to the past, permanently, it would have been her own choice.

If there was one thing Kagome absolutely hated, it was not being allowed a choice or be able for herself. It left her feeling helpless, and when it involved her life and future, it was not a pleasant feeling.

Kagome tore her eyes away from the page when something tickled her senses. Brow furrowing a bit, she concentrated on whatever could be the source that so eagerly and intimately brushed against her senses.

The moment she did, she nearly threw herself off her perch in the tree she sat in and immediately suck in her senses. Whatever it was, it was dark. And while where the Shikon always had that spark of purity due to Midoriko's soul, the source that disturbed her so was purely dark. And like the Shikon, it was was sentient.

Snapping the book shut, she tucked it carefully under her arm and climbed down swiftly. She quickly came to the conclusion to seek Elrond and tell him what she had sensed, and that it was making it's way into elven territory.

"Kagome, there you are."

Turning, Kagome offered her dearest friend since her arrival. "Arwen. Were you looking for me?"

"With you, one doesn't need go very far. I still have to see why you always insist in reading up in a tree."

"It... reminds me of home. Our house was surrounded by trees, but there was this one tree that was ancient and stood out from the rest. I used to climb it as a child. Even more so after my father died, rereading the stories he had told me when he stilled lived." she shrugged her shoulders as the two of them walked down the smooth pathways and halls towards the location Kagome sensed Elrond.

"Ah. You are quite the odd one. A child of man, but with elf qualities. I think perhaps that is why the others so easily accepted you." Arwen smiled towards her friend. "Though you still carry habits of your world that are foreign to both our races."

"Making her, one of a kind." Elrond spoke up with a raised brow as he eyed the two females before him.

Kagome's smirk instantly dropped as she now faced the king and could convey what she had sensed. The elves had taken her in, making them and their home her new family in this strange world.

"I come wishing to tell you something that has just recently... troubled me."

"Oh?"

"While reading, I... sensed something quickly approaching. Something... dark and filled with malice."

The two elves stiffened at her words. Elrond's brow pinched deeply while Arwen suddenly grew worried and fidgety.

"Are you certain?"

Kagome's own brows furrowed at his firm voice. She closed her eyes and concentrated her senses. Lips pinching, she pushed her senses towards where she felt the sickening presence. "There are... five quickly making their way here. One is... carrying, the object of being that had disturbed my reading earlier."

Both elves watched as she tilted her head slightly, turning as if able to see what she was sensing from the direction she felt them approach. "They are being followed... by... something... undead. A lot of them too."

Her eyes suddenly flew open with a startled gasp and her face drained of color. "One is injured with a curse... or poison... Whatever it is, it's tainting him... into that like their pursuers."

Arwen swiftly left their sides, leaving a confused Kagome and upset king behind. It was to the ranger that she left them for, not that Kagome knew or Elrond approved of. It left a tense and awkward silence in her wake.

"Was it... something I said?"

"I believe it is my turn, to share with you, as you have with us." Elrond directed Kagome into a private room to tell her about the Ring.

It was well into the late evening when Elrond's tale was finished, and Kagome had a headache as she went over the main important details of said tale.

"So... a Ring of evil that plagues your world, is being brought here so there can be a discussion of what to do with it." Kagome rubbed her temples, questioning the Kami why her. "And if it were ever reunited with it's creator, it pretty much means the end of... everything."

Elrond nodded his head in her direction, obviously no words were needed.

"Why did you tell me this?"

"Because... you have dealt with something like this before."

"What does that-!" she stopped in her sentence when things clicked into place. "I can't do away with this Ring like I did the Shikon. The Shikon was made of souls, evil and good. But this Ring... It's pure evil and malice. I would sooner die before being able to eradicate it from this world. And it would still be there after."

The king let out a sigh as he turned his gaze over to the window to look out upon his kingdom.

"Elrond..." Kagome stood and made her way to his side, placing an and on his arm. "I am grateful for everything you and yours have done for me. A stranger brought here by even stranger and mysterious circumstances. Meaning I am willing to put my life on the line to aid you and yours. But such an endeavour, would be pointless and bring nothing. Ask of me anything else, and I will gladly do it."

"You are more wiser than any being of man I have ever come across."

"I'll take that as a compliment." she smirked as she withdrew her hand and turned to face the kingdom as well.

"As it was meant to be." Elrond turned to her, examining the tiny woman that he had taken in.

She had quickly become a friend to his own daughter, a confidant really. And to him, a reminder that among men... there were always those of exception. She had even found a way into his heart, making him care for her as if she were one of his own.

"Arwen approaches."

Turning back to the window, Elrond saw the Kagome was indeed correct. But the hastiness of her return troubled him. And when he spotted that she was not alone and seemed to be holding a child with her, did he swiftly leave the room with Kagome behind him.

Arwen panted as she clutched to the one with her. "We have to help him. The Nazgul struck him down."

A few elves quickly took the person from her arms so she could quickly dismount the exhausted horse.

"Kagome..."

"Right." needing no other words, Kagome followed the elves that had taken the wounded being, reading to aid in all she could.

"And of the others? Nazgul?"

"They should be here by soon, if they keep their pace. And washed away by the river." Arwen wore a worried expression as she watched the last of Kagome's skirts disappeared around a corner.

"Gandalf will return in the morning with another hobbit of his. I must see to that representatives of each kingdom come to Rivendell. Something must be done, and soon."

-o-o-o-

Kagome felt odd as Elrond directed her towards this secret meeting on what to do with the Ring. Especially since she wa on his left arm like someone of actual royalty.

"This awkward." she couldn't hold it in any longer. She had never been one truly able to sit still for long periods, or stay silent for that matter.

The corner of Elrond's lips twitched, having become accustomed to her need to filling in uncomfortable silences. "Oh?"

"I hate it when you do that." huffing, she let out a breath that blew a few stray bangs out of her eyes. "I'm going to be the only woman present. I feel like I'm intruding on some sort of... I don't know, gentlemen's club."

He raised a brow at the term she used. It was easy to try and understand what she was trying to say, even with her odd terms and foreign sayings, but he understood her feelings on the current situation.

"I am inviting you along, because you have dealt with something like this before."

"And I am so looking forward to repeating the process. And being the only woman involved! Yay. Thank you for this opportunity." she grumbled under her breath.

"Such tones are not fit for a woman."

"I'm nervous. I get like that when I'm extremely nervous. Though I do apologize."

He bowed his head in acceptance. Nearing where the meeting was taking place, he motioned her to prepare herself. She took in a deep breath, praying to the Kami she didn't make a fool of either herself or Elrond to doing this, and lifted her chin up just the slightest amount and walked as gracefully as she could.

Which, in all reality, was nothing compared to the elf beside her.

All chatter ceased the moment they arrived, forcing Kagome to fight down the blush that so wanted to encompass her cheeks.

She swept her eyes over all that were present. Man, elves, dwarves and hobbit. Her eyes softened when they caught the curious eyes of said hobbit, the very one she helped save. Ignoring the curious, if not somewhat hostile stares, Kagome picked up her skirts as she descended the few stairs and made her way to the only seat left open.

"Now that we are all here, we can begin. Bring forth-"

"Wait. Are you to say that she's to take part?"

Kagome raised a brow in the direction of the man that spoke up. His hair was dirtied blond and fell to his shoulders, the beginnings of a beard on his chin, stubble covering the rest of his lower face. His eyes were dark, and with how his brows were furrowed, she couldn't tell what color they were.

"Only fools make comments on things they do not know." Kagome hummed lightly under her breath as she got as comfortable in her seat.

The elf closest to her sent her a smirk, having heard the words she spoke and obviously found them entertaining.

"What did you say, woman?" the man's low growl directed towards her meant her heard something of what she said.

"I only mean to say, that you do not know why you were summoned here. Would it not be best, to discover why we are all here first, before we state our comments and opinions?"

The man went to comment once again, but Elrond decided to intervene first before things got too far out of hand.

"Enough Boromir, Kagome here speaks the truth." when there was once again silence and calm among them Elrond spoke the words that revealed the reason of the meeting. "Bring forth the Ring, Frodo."

Kagome watched how Frodo left his chair and shuffled forward. A hand went to his pocket and slowly laid the Ring on the small surface of the center piece, she wasn't sure what to call it. She caught how the hobbit seemed to life his shoulders, as if a terrible weight had been lifted from them.

It was a feeling she was only too familiar with.

He quickly returned to his seat, and her eyes scanned the rest of those seated, taking in their now tense forms. Her own eyes took in the Ring, almost with boredom. She could hear the damn whispers to take it, but like with the Shikon, she wanted nothing the damn thing promised her. She knew better.

Power, titles, riches... they had never attracted her.

Flicking her eyes away with ease, she watched again as the men all began to murmur as Elrond declared the Ring a problem of all Middle-Earth so they were here to decide it's fate. An argument broke out, loud angry words between them, and before them knew it, a dwarf jumped from his seat and swung down his ax on the Ring.

The ax shattered, pieces flying out and away from the Ring. Kagome ducked her head to the side. Just in time too, a cool sensation overtook her right cheek. While the rest were in shock, Kagome raised a hand, and hissed at the stinging sensation upon contact. Bringing her hand before her face, her brows furrowed at the few drabbles of blood that shined on her finger tips.

"Are you alright?"

Looking over to the hobbit next to her, she blinked wide blue eyes in surprise that he had noticed. Smiling softly, she lowered her hand and answered him. "It's merely a cut. It will heal. But thank you, for your concern."

Frodo nodded his head as he watched her turned to face forward once again. He wasn't sure, but he felt lighter around her, safer, and familiar. Even when he had the Ring on him. Although he had been shocked to see her enter at Elrond's side, he was more than glad she was seated next to him. Especially now, after the dwarf brought down his ax, chaos broke out.

But, he glanced towards her shocked to see her glowing the faintest amounts with her brows furrowed, she appeared otherwise calm. When the one named Boromir began of speaking of using the Ring against Sauron, Gandalf then proceeded to speak.

Darkness sudden blotted out the sun, the others silenced themselves. Glancing at the king, Frodo noticed how he looked upset, and glancing around the others looked uneasy. But the woman, her face was emotionless, a cool mask, but the glow about her seemed all the more brighter.

When Gandalf stopped, there was once again a tense silence among them. Boromir then spoke up, speaking of plans on using the Ring as a weapon against the enemy. Kagome couldn't help but roll her eyes at the idiocy of the plan. The next thing she knew, the blond elf stood up speaking how the one that pretty much called out on the fools plan was someone's heir, and King.

"Gondor has no king." Boromir sneered silently in the other man's direction. "Gondor needs no king." with that, he turned his back on the man, his words and actions loud and clear.

Kagome may have been there for a year, but still she didn't understand the importance of the stranger's role for this city of Gondor. She had been in Rivendell the entire time, reading nothing but what their library had to offer in hopes of finding a way home.

Chaos once again took them over when Elrond said the Ring could only be destroyed by the fires that created it, words of anger quickly heating and escalating. It was then that Kagome noticed how the power around the Ring seemed to grow, as if feeding on the negativity that was quickly flooding the area.

"I will take it."

Turning to the hobbit, Kagome wore a concerned face as she took in the timid determination Frodo wore.

"Are you sure?" she whispered silently towards him, the others still heatedly arguing.

Frodo glanced at the woman, seeing her open curiosity as she was the only one that heard him. Swallowing, his hands tightened into fists and back straightening, he nodded his head. He feared he would be able to speak past the lump in his throat.

Kagome's face softened at the finality of his answer, though it was wordless. She placed a comforting and encouraging hand on his shoulder before turning a determined face forward. The others were still arguing, not at all aware of what just transpired.

Dropping her hand, Kagome called her powers forth and took a swipe at the air for two reasons, as she called for silence. One, to direct the attention towards her, and secondly, to clear the negativity that the Ring was feeding off of.

"Silence!" she lowered her arms when all stopped and turned towards her, her face set in a firm look as she took each and everyone of them in. Expression and posture softening, Kagome took a step back, allowing Frodo to take the spot like. "Frodo wishes to speak."

Turning to the hobbit, she nodded her head with a soft smile as she once again place an encouraging hand on his shoulder.

"I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor."

Kagome remained where she was a Frodo's side, a comforting and encouraging hand on his shoulders as all other swung their eyes towards the hobbit.

"Though... I do not know the way."

The tallest of them all, a man in gray with a wiry gray beard let out a tired sigh as he turned and faced Frodo solely. His eyes twinkled and smiled somewhat as he moved to stand behind him next to Kagome. "I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear."

"If by my life or death I can protect you, I will, You have my sword." the supposed king of Gondor spoke up. Aragorn if Kagome remembered correctly, also stepped forward.

"And you have my bow." the elf that had stood up for Aragorn joined the growing group.

"And -my- axe." the dwarf declared, grumbling as he joined the ranks, muttering about flighty elves and needing something that couldn't be blown away by a mere breeze.

Kagome's lips twitched in trying to keep herself from smiling.

"You carry the fates of us all, little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done." Boromir spoke somewhat solemnly, but also stood among the ranks that were now behind the one willing to take such a cursed item to see to it's destruction.

Elrond took in the group before him, his hand somewhat tightening when he noticed the unwavering gaze of Kagome as she stood firm next to the halfling.

"Kagome?"

"You already know my answer and standing on the subject." she bowed her head in a silent plea for his understanding and acceptance, but lifted it the smallest amount to show she would fight on the subject.

He let out a sigh, waiting a few moments with acknowledging her decision with a slight bow of his own head. "So be it. Seven companions, a fellowship..."

A rustling from the bushes behind them all interrupted Elrond a hobbit came tumbling out, one calling as he moved before Kagome to stand next to Frodo. "Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me."

Kagome couldn't hold back the smile at the sight of the hobbit standing proudly before the elven king, as if daring him to deny him being there. Said king raised a brow, also looking rather amused. "No, indeed, it is hardly possible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret Council, and you are not."

The new hobbit nodded somewhat sheepishly, only to have two more hobbits rushing into the Council from the bushes behind them. Kagome's smile grew all the more the the astonished look at the two new intruders.

"We're coming, too!" one cried out. "You'll have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us."

The other nodded and crossed his arms over his chest determinedly. "Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission. Quest. Thing."

The one hobbit leaned over. "Well, that leaves you out, Pip."

Kagome's eyes twinkled as Elrond cut in.

"Ten companions." He nodded in acknowledgement of Kirara's mew of inclusion. "So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring."

Pippin grinned and clapped his hands. "Great! Where are we going?"

Kagome laughed as she shook her head. Seeing that the Council had come to an end and Elrond was beckoning her, she patted Frodo on the shoulder as she made her way to the elven king's side.

"Are you sure of this, Kagome?"

"I am. As I have said this already, you and yours took me in and treated me as if I were your own. If I can help in keep you all safe in any way, then I will do so." the both glanced back to the others as they spoke in hushed tones. "I wish that I could do away with that cursed Ring like I had the Shikon. Such a burden... Something no one should have to bare."

Elrond sighed as he stared the tiny human woman down. He could see the she would not sway from her decision. She reminded him of his daughter, the two were so alike.

"You and Arwen are too far alike. Stubborn."

"Now that, I'll take as a compliment."

He raised a brow at her impish smile. "You would." Shaking his head, he let out a low sigh. "Go tell her of your decision."

When Kagome furrowed her brows slightly, he spoke in Sindarin, making his answer more private for them as he told her the reason just barely above a whisper.

"You are a sister of her heart, making you a daughter of my heart. Know that you are always welcome here."

Her eyes grew wider and wider as he continued to talk, and when he was done, she wore a smile that was blinding. By the time it all settled into her mind, that she would have a home among those that accepted her for who and what she was, she quickly threw her arms around Elrond and quietly thanked him.

Either she was unaware or didn't care of the stares her actions caused. With a final squeeze, she quickly made her way towards where she felt Arwen's presence, leaving a somewhat startled king and confused audience.

Chuckling under his breath, Elrond straightened his robes out, and when he noticed the silence, he swept his eyes over the rest of the Council. Regaining his regal appearance, the others were quick to turn away and hastily resume their previous discussion.

Feeling a gentle tugging on one of his sleeves, Elrond looked downward and blinked when the ringbearer gave him a questioning look.

"I don't mean to be rude, but who was that?"

"That, Master Frodo, was Kagome."

"Is she also an elf?"

The others were paying all of their attention to the current discussion, though trying to appear as if they weren't interested in what was being said.

Elrond furrowed his brows a trite more so than normal. He had noticed the changes taking place about Kagome. His suspicions from when she first appeared in his kingdom only becoming fact at this point. It was gradual, for Kagome, but for an elf it happened so quickly. The magic of their world and whatever brought her here, meant for her to stay.

Her features had become more delicate, she had actually grown so that she was considered about elf size, though still delicate for an elf, and a sure sign, her ears had actually grown points. The oddest thing though about her, whatever magic she had before she came here, stayed with her.

The only question left unanswered, would she have the lifespan of an elf, or that of a mortal? That was a question only time could answer.

But to answer Frodo's question, without really answering, Elrond spoke up.

"She is a member of this house and my family." he looked at the ring bearer critically for a few moments before speaking up once again. "But, it is time to prepare, Master Frodo. Tomorrow you leave for Mordor. Rest. You will need it."

With that, he swept away and towards his own quarters. His daughter was not going to be pleased he was allowing Kagome to leave on this quest, especially if the goal was Mordor.

"Kagome, there you are."

"Forgive me, your father had me attend the Council. It's also why I sought you out." Kagome darted her eyes to the side when her friend cocked her head to the side ever so slightly. Taking in a deep breath, Kagome thought it best to just tell her the truth. "The Ring is being taken to Mordor. Frodo will be it's bearer."

Arwen actually let out a gasp, obviously not having thought of that as an outcome.

"He will not be going alone, nine will be going with him. I do not know all their names. The other three hobbits, Gandalf, a dwarf another elf, Boromir, myself and Aragorn will all be with him."

"I see." Arwen's eyes narrowed a moment later. "I heard you state yourself among those to travel with Frodo."

"You did." seeing that slightly hurt expression on her friend's face, Kagome stepped forward and took Arwen's hands into her own. "You understand why. I wish to return the kindness you, your father and yours has shown me. I do not want to see this beautiful world fall into darkness."

"As much as we have accepted you into our home and family, this isn't your burden to bare. You have already done such before, it would be unfair to you to go through that all again."

"Life is rarely fair. I'll take whatever blessing I receive and treasure them dearly. You and the elves is one of them." Kagome looked out the window to the kingdom that spread before her. "Your father has... accepted me as family, welcoming me into his house and home. Many wouldn't have been so generous. I wish to keep my new family safe."

"By going into Mordor, with the Ring? You don't need to go to such lengths Kagome."

"Perhaps, but you all are more than worth it."

Seeing that she wasn't going to argue her friend and sister out of it, Arwen let out a sigh. Tucking a stray strand of hair, her eyes lingered on the pointed ear that hadn't been there when she first appeared. Her father did invite Kagome into their house, home and family, but would Kagome sail with them to the undying lands when this was done.

"When do you leave?"

"In the morning."

Her brows furrowed again, she had hoped to have a little more time with Kagome. Not only that, Aragorn's name had been mentioned as one of those that would be going with Frodo. She would have to divide her time with both of them.

"Go. I see the way you look. One of the others I mentioned is someone else you care for." seeing that her friend was about to argue, Kagome smiled and began direction Arwen to the door. "Arwen, go to him."

After a hesitant nod, Arwen went in the direction of where Kagome pointed out that the others still lingered. Letting out a sigh, Kagome leaned against the door frame for a few moments before pushing herself to make her way to her own room.

It was along the way when she heard the sounds that she was not alone.

Turning her head slightly, indicating that she knew her shadow was there, she spoke up. "May I help you with something?"

"I was wondering, are you truly to go with us tomorrow?"

Glancing out the corner of her eye, she spied the blond elf that had taken part in the Council.

"I am."

"May I ask why?"

"You may." she smirk at his raised brow. Chuckling under her breath, she gave him a vague answer. "I have... done something of this sort before."

"Something of this sort?"

"Go on a quest to destroy an evil that threatened to plague the land. As well as a prized object that would have most doubtedly allowed him to do succeed."

Her travelling companion paused for a moment as he truly took her in. "And when did this happen?"

"A... long time ago. In a land I feel I can no longer return to." her eyes misted over as she finally accepted that she was never going to go back home. It wasn't just home, but her family and friends. If she could at least tell them she was alright, and that she loved them, it would lift so much from her shoulders.

Shaking her head, she turned to the elf. "I don't know your name."

He smiled softly, raising a hand to her cheek. He wiped a stray tear, one she had not been aware of. "Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood, my lady."

"Just Kagome. I'm not overly fond of titles. Your highness."

"Only if you return the favor."

Smiling she bowed her head. "Legolas."

His smile brightened a little more at her acceptance of his request. Returning it, she glanced around, wondering when they had stopped.

"If you'll excuse me, I must prepare for tomorrow."

Chapter Text

Running through the forest allowed him the freedom he so desired. Feeling the wind rake through his fur as he breathed in the fresh air of the forest, his paws pounding against the earth which kicked up small twigs and debris. Hearing the animals of the forest, catching the scent of a stag not too far from his own location.

It was one of the reasons why he loved patrolling so much. The only downside, was that the others that were also on patrol could hear his thoughts. Because otherwise it took a lot of willpower and concentration to keep the others out of his head.

“Don’t be like that. Who else would watch your back? The leeches? That leech lover?”

Jake bit back on the snarl at the sound of Sam’s voice echoing in his head. His ears slamming back against his skull, he was getting sick and tired of hearing about Bella and the leeches. She had made her choice a long time ago, pretty loud a clear too, so he was moving on.

“Why are we talking about her this early in the morning?” Seth whined the question everyone was thinking. Why were they dredging up the past?

“At least Jake isn’t still hung up on her.” piped up Embry. “Otherwise we might have had to call some help. Perhaps rent out a padded room.”

Rolling his eyes Jake let out a mental snort before sharing with the others that he was going to patrol his area before he threw up based on the topic of conversation.

Shaking his head and get rid of whatever debris clung to his russet fur before making his way towards the La Push borders. Ears flicked back and forth as sounds of the forest echoed around him, his eyesight allowing him to see farther and far more sharper than as he could as a human.

And then he heard it, something not natural to the forest. Making his way towards the source, he paused for a slight moment and took a sniff of the air. No sickly sweet scent of the leeches, so that was a plus right off the bat, as well as the lack of scent that belonged to Bella. Also a plus. But at the moment, he couldn’t quite make it out, so he cautiously decided to move closer.

And then the wind shifted, and it was then he picked up a scent that left him wanting nothing more than too simply bath in it for the rest of his life.

Sweet and tart wild berries with cinnamon spice. Hot and sweet, but also delicate and utterly female.

He followed the scent, more like it dragged him along, until he found the source and drown in it. It was then he heard the sounds of footsteps and light humming, of someone just ahead, walking through the forest. It wasn’t uncommon, there was a hikers trail that passed through this area of the forest that would lead to the beach.

What got him curious though was the fact that there was only one person hiking that trail. In a break of the lower plant life that gave way to allowing him to see a flash of pale tanned skin. Freezing in his place, he pushed his snout further out, trying to see who it was walking through the forest.

His nose twitched as he tried to inhale as much of that scent as he could. He could feel his entire being beneath his russet fur shifting, stretching and tightening, his muscles bunching up for something. What it was, he wasn’t sure but he could feel his inner wolf howling from within to pay absolute attention to the person just ahead of him. Why he didn’t know. But so far, his instincts hadn’t led him wrong so he decided to observe.

He could only stare in wonder when the person fully came into view. A young woman, around his age, perhaps a year or two younger than himself. She was the source of the addicting scent, some faceless woman?

He moved forward, unknowingly stepping on a small dry twig and snapping it beneath his paw. He flinched back, eyes clenched shut and ears snapping back against his skull as she paused in her walking and humming. After a moment, he cracked an eye open and saw her, and that’s when it hit him in the gut. Time froze, everything zeroed in on her, he could feel his heart picking up to an unspeakable speed and everything that he is and was going to be was now held down on her, to her and because of her.

Her blue eyes swept over the forest searching for the cause of the snapped twig. But Jake himself was lost in those blues and their varying shades and how they sparkled and shined when the light hit them and it drew him in all the more. Shaking his head, he decided to take in the rest of her features.

Trimmed arched brows, delicate nose, soft rosy cheeks that gave her a youthful appearance but nowhere near childish. Her lips were slightly parted but were so tempting and delectable that it took everything he had simply not to claim them as his own. Raven hair was swept up into a loose bun, but wisps tumbled free framing her face and exposing her slender neck.

She wore a simple blue t-shirt that hugged her oh so very nicely, revealing a generous chest that would fit his hands perfectly as well as a slim waist that then flowed into curved hips that led down to a pair of legs that were encased in a pair of skinny jeans ending with a pair of simple sneakers.

Despite her petite size, five foot five at the most, she had a pair of legs on her that just wouldn’t quit. And as far as he knew, she was more curvier than what he thought Asian women to be, not that he was complaining, he was very much enjoying what he was seeing.

When she furrowed her brows slightly as she swept her eyes over the area again, she resumed humming when her search didn’t reveal anything. He waited till she turned and resumed the path she was hiking before allowing himself to loosen up and peek out of the bushes and continue to watch her.

After a few feet she stopped and took a seat on a old rotted log. Though a few moments later, after checking her surroundings, she allowed herself to drop back onto a mossy patch that rested just behind the log itself.

Her hair haloed around her, tangling with the plantlife of the forest floor. He let out a low whimper when she wriggled to make herself more comfortable, letting out a pleased moan as she let out one last stretch, which had her arching her back that made her chest and the curve of the small of her back all the more prominent, before she let herself fall back onto the earth completely.

Arms circled around her head, he watched as she slowly opened her eyes once again and looked straight up, a small smile curling her lips at the corners. Not realizing what he was doing, he started to move closer, wanting... no... needing to get closer, to drown in her scent, to feel her warmth, her skin against his body. This time he purposefully stepped on a dry twig, and his body shivered when her wide blue eyes landed on him as she whipped to find the source of the disturbance of her peace. His eyes caught how the pulse against the side of her neck jumped, his ears caught her awed inhale while she took in his form. His nose twitched and flared when the softest of breezes brought her scent his way.

He would never get enough of her scent. It was made all the more better when he could pick up her excitement. In fact he could literally taste it, that was how strong it was.

Seeing her eyes taking in every detail of his form, he preened under her gaze, letting out a low pleased growl. Instead of moving directly towards her, he headed more towards her back, deciding to circle her. She pushed herself up onto her arms, twisting her neck to keep her eyes on him at all times.

When he was behind her once again, she herself turned so she was on her haunches, her hands placed so to keep her balanced. She was poised so that she was ready for anything, to bolt, should he do anything. But instead, she moved towards him on all fours, and he near whimpered at her prowling form that was coming closer and closer towards him.

The moment the tips of her delicate finger tips touched him, he knew then and there, he would never let her go, that he couldn’t.

She was his imprint.

 

His eyes followed each of her movements. Taking in how she came to him, the stretch of her muscles beneath her pale golden tanned skin. The way the simple white sun dress flowed with each step she took, the way her raven colored hair swayed and bounced. Her bare feet sinking and shifting slightly as the sand beneath her gave way. Her blue eyes, the same unending stormy blues that trapped him to her when he first saw her, were locked onto his own dark ones.

Her delicately arched brows were furrowed ever so slightly, showing her concern. Most likely at why he had decided to sit away from the others, not taking part in the bonfire. Instead he chose to isolate himself, sitting between some massive roots that twisted out of the sandy earth where beach met with forest, knowing full well she would come to him. The others had been… hogging her attention, his imprint's attention, knowing full well that he had become somewhat possessive for said attention when he finally accepted her as his imprint.

He could hear his wolf let out a pleased low rumble when she knelt down just out of his reach, but it turned into near purring when he ignored her questioning and literally crawled into his lap. It made her look far more feline, her eyes catching the light just so that it turned them near silver. Her movements silent and predatory . But more importantly, it exposed her neck to him when her hair fell over the one shoulder. As well as giving him a peek at the bountiful mounds hidden beneath her sundress.

Raising his hands, he took hold of her waist, not to quicken her pace as more to help her keep balance for when she finally settled herself in his lap. They lowered to her hips, giving them a sensual squeeze that earned him a pleased hum, till they finally lowered to her pert and perfect ass. Squeezing the flesh there, he pulled her closer until they were nearly fused, letting her feel exactly how she affected him.

Her tiny hands settled on his stomach as she let out an awed breath, throwing her head back just the slightest amount. Taking the invitation, he buried his nose into the few strands that fell there, taking in her scent like the addict that he was. He was sure, even if she wasn't his imprint, he would be addicted to her scent. Fresh with life, power of a storm, as calming as a cool breeze and as warm as the sun. Everything living and her growing arousal only spiced it, making it that much more heady.

He felt his stomach tighten, began to place kisses down her neck until he reached the madly fluttering pulse point. Tightening his hold on her ass, he brought her down on his growing arousal letting out a pleased growl when she let out a broken whimper of his name. Giving the flesh in his hands another squeeze, he slowly dragged his hands down her legs, scraping his nails along the smooth and sensitive skin.

He felt her shiver as his hands made their return trek, this time underneath the fabric of her dress. He froze for a moment when he pushed the waist of her dress a little higher, but felt no evidence of underwear when he rubbed circles that had her grinding down on him on her own. One hand released her hip to rise up and squeeze a breast as she claimed his lips in a fiery passion, her arms wrapping around his neck, nails scraping at the back of her neck and tangling in his hair to keep him in place. Not that he was about to go anywhere.

No he was perfectly content right where he was, with his imprint in his lap moving deliciously against-!

He had been so in his thoughts, he didn’t pay attention to her or her hands, and apparently, she had decided to remedy that. She had managed to open his pants with one hand, while continuing to tease the fine hairs on the back of his neck. But he was paying attention now with how her hand gripped him so, pumping and squeezing him.

At his pleased growl, his little minx giggled against his lips. With a particularly tight and long pull, his fingers flexed her perfect ass as he bucked up into her hand, wanting to prolong such delicious friction.

Having enough of her teasing touches, he knocked her hand away and with the hold he had on her, dragged her so she was in his lap. His name fell from her lips like a prayer as he leaned forward to nip at her neck, her own name sounding like a needy whine when she began to move against him.

Her heat felt glorious and wet. And it was all his, and always would be.

Kneading the toned flesh in his hands, he shifted both her and himself and began to teasingly prod her. His dark eyes were only too eager to watch the pleasured and tortured expressions that would wash across her face. One hand released it’s perch and drifted forward, sliding across her hip and down to where they were joined so calloused fingers stroked and tweaked her.

Her eyes opened to reveal darkened blues, that were beginning to quickly fog over. Plump lips that were swollen from his earlier treatment parted so she could pant, her tiny pink tongue darting out and swiping over her lower lip.

His other hand climbed up her back, feeling the muscles as she moved against his hand and cock though never taking him in, till it tangled with the hair at the base of her skull. In a quick move, he brought her down to him so he could taste of her sweet mouth while three fingers thrusted up in her.

He was only too pleased to swallow her cry while he let loose a low rumbling growl from deep within his chest at the feeling of how her walls fluttered before clamping down on his intruding and seeking fingers. Slowly, he began to pump his fingers in and out of her, curling them every so often, chuckling at how her entire body would shiver at the action.

She would moan, whimper, whine and sigh, and all of it was just for his ears only. He did have a passing thought of if he could make her a screamer... but that would have to be tested another day where they were truly alone. She dropped her head onto his shoulder, her warm moist breath panting against his already sensitive skin. Her hands clawed at his chest and stomach when he twisted his fingers as best he could, happily encouraging her to rock against his hand and arousal.

Feeling her walls beginning to flutter, he increased the speed of his thrusting. Her panting begs flowing from her mouth more broken than complete. And when he didn’t comply with them right away, his little minx darted her tongue out against his pulse and traced it up to his ear where she nibbled the lobe. Still ignoring her needs for the moment, her mouth trailed back down, nipping her way only to sooth her bites with her scorching tongue.

Unable to take it any longer, he fell into her requests to bringing her to an end. When her body tensed for a moment, it gave him enough time to direct her towards him so he could once again swallow her cry.

He couldn’t hold back his own whimper if he wanted to, her walls clenched down on his three fingers so tightly and engulfed them into such a heat, he could only imagine how it would feel around his own throbbing member.

When she finally came down from her high, he released her, smugly enjoying how her entire body trembled in his hold, how the sigh of his name sounded just as shaken as it left her lips. Her arms rose lazily to wrap around his neck to support herself more securely against him.

Pulling his hand away, he raised it and took in the proof that glistened on his fingers. Bringing it to his mouth, he could only growl as her taste exploded across his tongue, his other hand dropping to her waist to hold her to him possessively. Her taste was just another thing about her that he was getting addicted too.

Shifting his hands to her hips, he sensually squeezed her as he began to slowly enter her, unable to hold back the growls that were building up in his chest and throat at the fluttering heated grip of her around him. And once he was fully seated within her, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Fisting a hand in her hair, he forced her down to him, their pants mingling and then claimed her lips somewhat harshly.

After a few minutes of him conquering and dominating her mouth, he pulled back and rumbled one word against her lips. “Mine.”

Chapter Text

She was late.

And it wasn't for a very important date. Sadly enough, it wasn't for any date.

16 and the only dates she had were rather... boring ones with Hojo. He was a sweet, nice and caring guy, but after everything she'd been through, sweet, nice and caring just didn't cut it anymore.

It didn't help that her three friends kept insisting that she go out with Hojo. Or were the cause for her being late at the moment. Not that she could blame them, she was hardly ever around for them to really hang out, what with the Shikon and Naraku still in the past.

A girl could only live a double life for so long though. And her time was quickly coming to an end.

To living a double life that is.

"Guys, I really enjoyed hanging out with you today, honestly, but I'm exhausted and I have some very important things to do in the morning."

"Oh boo! If it has to do with that two-timing ex of yours, I say make him wait!" Eri scowled, swiping at the air as if to remove something foul smelling.

"Yeah! Especially everything he put you through!" Yuka nodded her head eagerly.

"Meaning... that you're free!" Ayumi cheered, skipping a few steps as she clapped her hands in excitement.

"Oh! So true!" Yuka spun and pinned Kagome with 'the look', the one that demanded something from the young miko.

Said girl took half a step back, mentally praying to each and every god up there, that they take pity on her and let her get out of this one in one piece. Mentally and emotionally. Those three could be... notorious when it came to her relationship status. Oddly enough.

"Uh..." shaking her head, she cleared her throat, hoping to bypass the direction of the current conversation.

"Kagome! Where are you going?!"

"Home! It's late, I'm tired and tomorrow is important. I suggest you do the same!"

The three girls huffed, seeing as Kagome managed to weasel her way out of it far too easily. Meaning they were far more tired than they had realized themselves. Nodding their heads, they were just about to wish Kagome goodbye, when said girl let out a quiet cry of distress.

All three of there were instantly running to their friends side. The neighborhood in which they all lived in was relatively quiet and safe, so they were worried when Kagome had cried out the way she did.

What they saw, stunned them. Their friend, had apparently run into someone and caused the both of them to fall, landing in a tangle of limbs on the ground.

"Ow~ my head."

"Kagome, are you alright?!"

"Should we call someone?"

"Is there a pervert we need to beat?"

Kagome pushed herself till she rested on her elbows, raising one hand to rub the back of her head, brows furrowing when she felt a slight chill in the air around them. Her friends questions going completely ignored at the moment.

"I'm fine." running her hands through her hair, pleased to feel no forming knots. Cracking an eye open she gazed up at the person she bumped into and was startled by the shock of white hair that greeted her.

At first she thought it had been Inuyasha, coming to drag her back to the past earlier than promised, but instead of warm golds meeting her gaze, icy blues instead.

Blinking rapidly a few times, she felt her face flush he raised a brow at her continued staring. "I'm so sorry! I wasn't paying any attention!"

His own expression turned surprise as soon as she finished her apology, like he hadn't been expecting it. At all. He pushed himself off of her and back until he was on his haunches, and reached to pick up a staff she hadn't noticed until now. It was also then she noticed what he was wearing. A navy blue hoody that had a frost like design at the sleeve cuffs and around his collar. And a pair of well worn brown pants that also sported the same frost design at the frayed edges.

"Crikey Jack, running down young girls now?"

Blinking at the accent, Kagome turned to see the newest speaker and froze the moment she set eyes on them. A giant, talking rabbit? Said rabbit was casually picking the dirt from under his... claws before looking up towards the boy that was still crouched in front of her.

"Kagome! Are you alright?!" Eri was at her side, quickly checking the stunned girl over.

"Did the pervert get away?! The coward." Yuka muttered darkly as she scanned the streets.

Kagome blinked at the boy across from her as he let out an angered huff, the roaring laughter from the giant rabbit most likely wasn't helping.

"You don't see the giant talking rabbit?" she pointed harmlessly towards said rabbit, whose laughing ceased the moment she said those words and stared her down.

"Oh my. Maybe you hit your head?" Ayumi was also checking for any sort of wounds as well as for signs of a fever. "I say we walk her home. I don't feel any signs of a fever or a knot. But I don't want her walking up all those stairs alone."

The other two girls nodded as Kagome continued to take in both the boy and the rabbit. She allowed her friends to help her to her feet and lightly tug her in the direction home as she kept her eyes on the two.

"But the rabbit! He speaks with an Australian accent! And the boy-!"

"So there was a pervert? Dressed as a rabbit?" Yuka asked, obviously more than confused at her friends words.

"No! They are right there!" she twisted in their hold, pointing at the larger than life rabbit. Facing forward again, she faltered when she came face to face with a short golden man with golden eyes.

The next thing she knew, her vision was assaulted with golden sand particles and sleep swept through her entire being.

Chapter Text

It was relatively late, the sun low almost gone beyond the horizon completely, the air cool in the springtime. The quiet neighborhood still sounding somewhat lively, a few passing cars every now and then, dogs barking from behind fences, a few cats meowing, the last birds chirping in the distance.

Four girls were walking down a street, their lulled chatter mixing and disappearing into the night.

"Kami Kagome, how can you read and walk at the same time? Wait. Let me rephrase that. Study and walk at the same time." Eri, a girl with shoulder length black hair held back with a yellow headband peered at the object of her confusion.

"Trust me, since meeting Inuyasha, I've learned to study in almost every situation possible." came a slightly slurred reply, the sound of a page turning quickly after.

"I can believe that. Despite all the school you missed last year, you still managed to keep above average scores." Yuka spoke up, ruffling her pixie cut styled hair. "Though it was touch and go there for math."

Ayumi, a girl with curly black hair stuck her tongue out. "Math was the worst."

A noncommittal 'Hmm' sounded from behind Kagomes book as she continued to study, somehow easily bypassing others that still wondered the sidewalks.

"I'm worried though. After all that studying we just did in the library, and you're still cramming." Ayumi frowned, leaning closer to their studious friend, causing all four of them to halt as she pushed the textbook below Kagome's eye level. "Not only that, you have some serious dark bruising under your eyes. When was the last time you slept?"

Blinking her eyes rapidly, Kagome adjusted her sights to her concerned friends. "A few days ago I guess. These finals have me up all the time."

"Kagome, that's not healthy. I understand wanting to learn and study before an exam, but not getting enough sleep won't help either!" Yuka fluttered about her friend, taking the textbook and stuffing it into her friends bookbag.

"I meditate a few hours each day, which is surprisingly just as refreshing as taking a nap. Besides, after this last exam, I am going to crash all weekend." she pinched the bridge of her nose when she felt the tell tale signs of her eyes being tired.

Her friends watched in mild concern as Kagome simply shook of the tiredness, perked up at seeing a convenience store just ahead and began to march right for it. Their concern only grew when she halted suddenly and narrowed her eyes at the entrance.

"Either I'm seeing things due to sleep deprivation... or... there's a giant rabbit wielding a boomerang in front of that store." she shook her head as the others slowly approached her, taking in the entrance of the store and not seeing what their friend was.

"Uh... Kagome, I think that's the sleep deprivation."

"Ya sure? It... he looks pretty solid to me."

"He?" Eri threw Kagome a questioning glance.

"Well I started with it, but after his initial shock at my apparent ability to see him, he quickly corrected me on him being a he. He's got an Australian accent. Makes him kinda cute."

The three girls watched as their friend giggled as she kept her eyes before her. Though they did move a bit as if she really were watching a 'giant rabbit' move about.

"And this giant Australian rabbit is what, psychedelic pink?" at Yuka's sarcastic question, Kagome snorted to cover up her laughter.

Waving her hand about, Kagome shook her head as she tried to get over the laughter that simply wanted to get out at how offended the rabbit looked. The fact that she wasn't upset at seeing something her friends couldn't was definitely a sign that she needed more sleep. But she was going to defend this rabbit, imaginary or not.

"No, no. Most definitely not psychedelic pink. If I'd have to describe his coloring, then I'd say... steel blue. With tattoos?" she leaned in closer to him, causing him to slightly stiffen under her sudden inspection. She absently raised a hand to see if it was tattoos or a really interesting fur coloration, expecting her hand to go right through him. Instead, they combed right through the softest fur she had ever felt.

Tired eyes widening as far as they could, she truly looked up at the face of the rabbit as her hand slowly retreated from his arm. But then something caught her eye, a twitch from above. Feeling an old and familiar itch return, and being tired failing her better judgement, Kagome went for it.

"Oh they're so soft!" her cheeks bloomed instantly her fingers and thumbs rubbed soothing circles into the long ears of the rabbit as she completely ignored the shocked but quickly dazing rabbit beneath her ministrations.

"Hey Bunnymund, North sent me here to-!" Jack froze at the sight that greeted him at his arrival in the large city.

A girl had literally climbed the giant rabbit... to rub at his ears. When she was apparently done, she snuggled into his chest, cooing about how soft his fur was. Taking a quick glance to the three girls, he assumed her friends, they were confused and slightly shocked at what they were seeing. Which was most likely their friend floating in mid air.

Jack could only stare at the scene before him. Bunnymund was being... cuddled passionately, by some strange girl. Though her friends quickly pulled her off, inspecting where Bunnymund stood, narrowing their eyes when they saw nothing.

His eyes followed the girl as she pouted slightly, shrug her friends off and then walk into the store. Turning his attention to Bunnymund, he could only blink at the frazzled looking rabbit. His ears twitched as the rest of him stood stock still. When the girl came out a few minutes later, carrying a small white plastic bag, she slurred out an apology and bowed a farewell before the girls flocked and steered her in the right direction that could only be towards their home.

"What... was that?"

"I 'ave no idea. Was getting ready for Easter here, when she spotted me. Next thing I know-"

"Wait! Spotted you?! As in, actually see you?!"

Bunnymund twitched and waved his hands in the direction the group of girls disappeared down. "She was just hanging off of me, mate! I'm pretty sure seeing me wasn' a problem with 'er! Besides... she gave a pretty accurate description of my appearance to the others."

"I think... she could be the reason North sent me here to talk to you about." his words caught the rabbit's attention, whom seemed somewhat grateful that it was no longer on him or the situation he had just been in.

"North said there was something... odd going on around here, and since you were in the area, wanted to see if you could... check the place out." Jack scratched his chin, turning sly eyes towards his fellow guardian. "Seems you were the one getting checked out though."

Chapter Text

Things were wrong. Very, very wrong.

The TARDIS was picking up on something that... really shouldn't be there, but was needed at the same time. An anomaly, and he was excited to discover whatever it was.

Grinning, he pressed a few buttons, turned a few knobs and ran to the other side, making sure to grab the hammer and bring it down when he realized that the parking was glitching again. With a sudden jolt and a crash, he was thrown to the floor, laughing at being on the verge of discovering something new.

Picking himself back up, he reread the readings that the TARDIS was picking up, brows furrowing as he read them. It couldn't be possible, but it was there staring at him in the face. Letting out a quiet hum, he tore off his glasses and made to see what the outside world looked like.

Walking out the TARDIS he could only blink at the darkness that greeted him. It wasn't something to be alarmed about, apparently it was night, wherever he was. There was enough light shining through some windows, and from the various outlines that he was making out, it was obviously that he was inside someone's house.

Narrowing his eyes, he could only wonder why the TARDIS locked onto this house. Pulling out his sonic-screwdriver he began to take some more readings, the small blue light at the end not giving much more light that would be of any help. But he was not paying attention to his current surroundings, the readings his screwdriver were picking up were a little more interesting.

Seeing a shadow shifting among the others, moving, he ducked just in time for his head not to connect with... whatever swung towards him. Readjusting his screwdriver, he ducked another swing his way and shot his arm out upwards and pressed on it, causing all the lights in the residence and his attacker to shield their eyes.

Blinking to readjust his own eyesight to the sudden flood of light. He could only stare at the petite woman that stood before him. When she finally readjusted to the light, she glanced around and as soon as her eyes landed on him, her held her weapon choice directed towards him and her expression turned fierce.

To be honest with himself, if he didn't know what humans were capable of if they felt in any way threatened, then he would honestly say he wasn't threatened in the least. But he had seen, he had also traveled with some of the most powerful humans that had done everything in their abilities to keep the universe, reality, time line and everything else the way it should always be. It was with that knowledge and feeling and seeing that this woman was different that made him react the way he did.

"Easy there!"

Her expressions turned very confused before anger and desperation took over once again. "Right. Says the male standing in my living room uninvited!" she threateningly shook the bat in her hands.

"Whoa!" thrusting his hands in front of himself, taking a short but quick step back.

"I don't know who..." her eyes narrowed on him and did a complete up and down check and when her eyes locked with his once again they narrowed all the more. "...or what you are. That still doesn't explain the reason why you broke into my house... with a phone booth of all things!"

She lowered the bat as she eyed said the booth behind him, brow raised in question. Then suddenly, her entire posture sagged and she raised her free hand and ran it over her face. He watched with curious interest as she shrugged her shoulders and muttered to herself as she placed the bat into a corner.

"I'm far to exhausted for this. And I have exams in the morning... Oh Kami-sama, why me?"

"What did you mean by 'what I am'?"

"It's already 4 in the morning? Way to early for this. Who are you, seriously, and what do you want?"

"I asked you first."

Raising a brow she only looked at him. "I think my questions override yours, seeing as you are standing in my house, still uninvited I might add."

Furrowing his brows slightly he thought over what she said, and could only nod, agreeing with her reasoning. Clearing his expression to something that was a little more polite and introduced himself. "Sorry, I'm the Doctor."

"Uh... that's a title... not a name." she furrowed her brows as she looked at him.

"That it is. And I think you're the first to say that and not ask what type of doctor I am."

"Right... then I'll just continue to call you the Doctor. And the second part?"

"My ship detected a time anomaly and was also running low. The two mixed and caused the landing to be off. Just a bit."

"Your ship?" oh Kami, she had a crazy person in her house.

"Yes, the TARDIS." he lovingly patted the blue phone booth behind him with a fond smile.

"Your ship... is a blue phone booth?"

"It's a Police call box, and no. That's absurd, a phone booth is not my ship. It's disguised as a call box."

Eying the man before her with a critical eye, they also flickered quickly towards the nearest exit and phone, her mind calculating which was the closest and provide her with the best option of getting help. Turning her attention back to the 'Doctor' she blurted the first question that came to mind.

"Did you stop taking any form of medication in the last 24 hours? If so, do I need to call someone?"

"What?! No! Why would you ask me that?"

"Because you just told me your ship, which is disguised as a police call box, landed in my living room due it being low on fuel and detection of a time... anomaly..." her voice trailed off as the last bit finally registered in her mind.

With wide eyes, she stared at the man as he raised a brow in question. She began to shrink back as his gaze became more inquisitive and rather knowing as well. Nibbling on her lower lip, she turned away from his gaze, covering it up with a cough before clearing her throat and turning back to him.

"Um... right. Did you want me to call someone for you?"

"You know about it."

"About what?"

"The time anomaly."

Her eyes flickered to the side briefly in the direction of where the well was located beyond the house. A stupid move on her part, but it was an instinctive move that she couldn't have helped even if she wanted too. It was a family kept secret, well as far as she knew.

"No I don't"

"Yes you do." he raised a hand when she opened her mouth to argue against him. "The fact that you answered 'No I don't' instead of asking what a time anomaly is, shows that you know what one is and are very aware of it."

Snapping her mouth shut she glanced off to the side. He got her there. "Yeah."

Chapter Text

Kagome snickered when she heard Souta grumble under his breath when yet another person bumped into him, without apologizing he commented under his breath.

"Hey come on, there's way more people back home in Tokyo! You're just grumpy because you're jet lagged."

Souta threw a tired glare her way, causing her to let out another set of snickers at his expression. Composing herself, though still grinning at her brother's expense, Kagome reached over and ruffled his hair.

"Aww come on! Don't mess with the hair!" Souta pouted as he tried to rearrange his hair to the way he had it, before she ruffled his feathers so to speak.

"'Don't mess with the hair'... you sound like a girl."

"Do not!"

Raising a brow in his direction, Kagome merely rolled her eyes before facing forward once again and took in the line of people ahead of them. All to get into the Museum of Natural History in New York city. Ever since she was done with the Shikon, since she started the quest really, she had been engrossed with history and everything that had to do with myths and legends.

"How much longer~?"

Turning back to Souta, Kagome could only shake her head. "You're the one that begged to come along, and I told you it could be a few minutes before we actually get in. Something about the latest for displays or whatnot."

Kagome looked down at the brochure that she had managed to pick up at the airport. It had been on a whim, sort of, as they waited for a few things to clear up there. They had a whole month in the city, but Souta wanted to see everything at once. The museum was the first on their list, otherwise it would get boring. Real fast.

"But did we have to come at this time? Since when are they opened at night anyways?"

"It's a part of their new... program. Says here it's the best way and highly interactive. You're lucky the night tours was part of the packaged deal. The tickets are way more expensive than I thought they would be." she perked up when she saw there was an Asian exhibit there as well. It made her wonder if they would have anything on the Feudal Era.

She had taken up hunting anything that had survived from the era she used to visit. There had yet to be anything that tied to her adventures, as of yet, which way kinda disappointing.

"Come on Kagome, the line's moving. We're finally in!"

Lips quirking into a half smile, Kagome shook her head and moved forward. Not without apologising to the people behind her first that is. Mama had -beaten- manners into her and Souta. Not only that, the woman could be fierce. Shaking her head once again, Kagome froze as she took in the museum around her.

She took in the various... interactive exhibit pieces. Wide eyes followed the horse that just walked past her, only to dart up to a miniature plane that flew over head, to the 'animated dinosaur bones' before her. Latest technology her ass.

These things were alive!

Letting out a whimper, Kagome curled in on herself when a zebra approached her. Clenching her eyes shut, her head reared back when she felt warm air puff against her face. Her fingers curled around the brochure when the warm air moved to the side of her head followed by something fuzzy nuzzling the side of her face.

Hearing the coo's, oh's and some disappointed children nearby, Kagome snapped her eyes open. Souta didn't say anything, which was weird because he always had something to say. Looking around her, she refrained from huffing when she noticed he was no longer beside her. Typical.

She managed a few steps forward, in hopes of hunting down her brother, when she came to a stop due to a grip on the back of her shirt. Turning around to ask the person that had grabbed onto her for whatever reason, she came up short when she saw that it was still the zebra.

Looking the animal in the eye, she carefully extracted her shirt from it's mouth and took a few steps backwards. She let out a whimper when it followed her actions to keep close to her, it seemed. Taking a few more backward steps, at a quicker speed, she let out a startled gasp when she bumped into someone behind her.

Spinning about, she quickly walked forward, hoping to ignore the zebra that was stalking her, and began to look for her brother. Souta was so going to get an ear full for running off like this. She could hear the people around her laughing, or talking as the zebra continued to follow her.

Looking behind her, it turned into a little... gathering of animals that caused her to widen her eyes. There was now an osterreich, antelope and even a lion. All of which were very much alive. Inuyasha had always said she drew everything in. It seemed animals that were magically brought to life were now on that list.

Pursing her lips, Kagome turned about and once again began her pursuit of finding Souta. She perked up when she saw what appeared to be an employee of the museum standing next to someone that was wearing ancient egyptian outfit, so she made her way towards them

"Hi, excuse me." she smiled politely when she got their attention. "I was wondering if you happen to have seen my brother. He kinda took off on me a few minutes ago."

Fishing out her wallet, she pulled out the most up to date photo of him and handed it to the man.

As he took the photo in, Kagome tried her hardest to ignore the powerful golden tablet that the young man next to her was holding. If she had to bet her life on it, she said the tablet was what made everything alive when it shouldn't have been possible.

"Actually, I did see him rush off towards the reptile house. Did you want me to get him called to the front desk?"

Kagome grimaced at the thought of reptiles, they had usually been one of the many that had been used or tried to kill her. Such as Tsubaki using her snake to put a death curse on her.

"That's alright, I'll just head over there myself thanks."

"Alright, glad to help out."

Kagome put the photo back into her wallet, and when she was about to move where her brother was, mentally wondering why she hadn't used her own abilities to follow his aura, she felt one of the animal's nudge her against her back.

"Ummm... before I go... could you do something about them?" she vaguely indicated the animals that were now standing a little too closely for her comfort.

She watched as a shocked expression took over the man's face, a slightly subtle surprise on the egyptian man's face as they took in the animals behind her. Turning around when neither one of them said anything, her own eyes widened at seeing that the small group had grown.

"My life is no longer normal..." muttering under her breath, she ran a hand through her hair as the man shooed them all away, as much as they seemed to not want too.

"Thanks again."

Larry nodded his head and watched as the young woman made her way towards the reptile house. Sure things had gotten more lively now that they did night tours of the museum, but none had really taken a liking to any specific person.

"That was weird. That ever happen before?"

"Why are you asking me? This is the first time outsiders have been in the museum during the night. Though I have to admit, there was something about the girl..."

Placing his hand on his hips, Larry took in the egyptian Pharaoh, his lips quirked up into a half smile as he continued to watch in the direction the young woman had gone off in.

"Is our Pharaoh interested in a girl?"

Ahkmenrah whipped his head about to face him head on. His eyes were wide and he had a god smacked look on his face.

"Whatever gave you that idea?!"

"Well, she's a pretty girl, and you didn't take your eyes off her the entire time she stood here, and you said it yourself, there was something about her."

Kagome stared wide eyed at the living wax figures that stood before her with large grins. She could hear her brother prattling on with his questions with far too much enthusiasm that she thought possible.

Blinking wide eyes, a hand absently reached and pinched herself, causing her to let out a startled and pained yelp. Whimpering as she soothed the pain away, she looked up just in time to prepare herself for a tackling hug from 'Sango'.

"Kagome-chan!"

"Sango... ? Miroku... ? Is this... real?"

"I believe so, Lady Kagome. Imagine our surprise when we woke up a few nights ago. As strange as it is. We know we are not those you befriended during... your quest, but we do have all their memories, feelings and skills intact."

As if to prove his point, Miroku joined the hug, which almost caused tears to form in Kagome's eyes. Almost. But like Miroku had said, despite not being the true Sango and Miroku, they were still them in essence, cause Kagome stiffened when she felt an all too familiar sensation.

One of Miroku's hands groping her backside.

"PERVERT!"

Souta winced when the resounding slap echoed through the room around them, but was quick to question the man's mental stability when the monk let out a pleased sigh and whispered 'how it was worth it'.

"I see that swinging hand of yours has not slackened since our last parting, Lady Kagome." Miroku chuckled as he soothed his stinging cheek.

Sango shook her head, releasing Kagome from her near strangling hug and stepped to the side. Her eyes however, stopped when she noticed Souta who seemed to stiffen when he realized that he was spotted under her stare.

"This must be your younger brother, Souta yes?"

"Mmm, it's been months since... well you know. We both are on break from school and I decided it was high time to get some quality time with him. Away from distractions and whatnot, so we came here to New York." Kagome smiled fondly, her expression not faltering when she removed Miroku's hand when he tried to go for another grab.

"Don't even think about it monk."

"Forgive me Lady Kagome, I just can't help myself in the presence of two beautiful women such as yourself and my lovely Sango."

"Then why aren't you trying that with Sango?"

"Oh trust me, he's been doing that every night since we first arrived here." Sango grumbled as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"Shall we take a walk? This way we can get acquainted and give you a most wonderful tour of the museum!"

The Higurashi siblings nodded their heads and started to leave the room, the four of them chatting excitedly and retelling old tales for Souta and themselves. Their laughter easily drawing the attention of others, especially when Sango and Miroku shared the story of their life after Kagome left with the two visitors.

"You should have seen him when the twins became of age and started to draw the attention of the village boys." Sango shook her head with a fond smile on her face as all three watched Miroku chuckle under his breath and scratch at the back of neck.

"Oh I'm getting a feeling he 'laid down the law' and said no boys until they were... what 40?"

"Close. And this coming from the man that offered 'fortune telling' to all the village girls. It only got worse when they actually started to show interest in the village boys. I'm surprised he didn't get any early greys because of those two."

By then, they had made it back to the main foyer once again, pausing before continuing on with the tour of the museum. But when they started to make a move, they were paused by a jade statue of Buddha approaching them and bowed towards Kagome.

Startled blue eyes blinked widely before Kagome realized herself and returned the bow. As the two began to talk, about Kagome's past and what she did for the world, Souta leaned in towards Miroku.

"Did -the- Buddha just bow to my sister?"

"Apparently he did. Though it's not surprising, Lady Kagome does have a way with such things in life. Your sister is a very special person."

Souta blinked as he watched his sister talking with Buddha like it was an everyday thing for her. Everything came to life in the museum at night, not really shocking to her. A statue of Buddha that may actually contain a part of -the- Buddha's essence, to have said statue thank her for what she did in the past, pretty awesome. Then again, he was pretty sure after the well where she learned magic was real and all that, she pretty much learned to accept things as they were.

Off to the side, Larry stood next to Ahkmenrah as they once again watched the strange Japanese young woman. True those of the museum were interacting with the visitors, it was purely for historical reasons. But the two recent members from the Japanese historical and mythical exhibition had stuck pretty close to the two siblings. And then Buddha -approached- the young woman, obviously seeking her out and not the other way around.

Then there was the way the two from the Japanese historical and mythical exhibit interacted with the two siblings. Like they were the oldest of friends. But that couldn't be possible. For some very good reasons. One, the two recent members of their museum family were very much new, with this being their first museum show. And two, there were based on supposed figures from around 500 years ago, and the young woman looked about 20.

Chancing a glance at Ahkmenrah, the young pharaoh looked about the same age, but was in fact thousands of years old. So maybe the girl was like him? He just couldn't figure out the how.

"Something's not adding up about her."

Ahkmenrah didn't need to long to realize which 'her' Larry was talking about. Their first clue had been the small gathering of animals that had followed after when she first entered the museum. Then she quickly located her brother, only after asking once of his whereabouts. Then she stuck with the two latest members to join them, and lastly, Buddha showed her a sign of respect by bowing to her first, and not the other way around.

And now that he thought about it, he could sense magic about her. Different than that of the tablet's, but it was magic all the same.

He carefully watched as she laughed at something Buddha said before waving him goodbye only to rejoin her younger brother and two others, he wasn't sure what they were to her.

Standing his full height, he turned to Larry. "Watch the tablet, please." with that, he made his way towards the small group.

"What's that all about?"

Turning towards his son, Larry could only raise a brow when he watched how Pharaoh Ahkmenrah regally, and looking very much like the pharaoh that he was, make his way to the curious young woman.

"I think our pharaoh took an interest in a certain girl."

"Well, this is going to be interesting then."

Larry nodded his head. He felt, in a place like this, that was only putting it mildly.

Chapter Text

The screen before them showed a rather well protected exhibit at one of the more popular museums of Gotham city, the time stamp showing that it was around 11:30 pm. A single security guard walked in on the screen, scanning the area, checking the glass casing and then moved on after one more sweep of the room.

"Is there a reason why we're watching this?" Beast Boy spoke up, not really understanding the reason all members were gathered. Or that Batman and Superman themselves were also there.

Batman replied, but didn't turn away from the screen "Wait a minute, then you'll see."

A minute later, the shadows shifted, almost extending towards the exhibit case until finally a figure appeared. At first it was hard to tell, what with the shadows seemingly taken up most of the room by that point.

The figure though finally stepped up to the case that held the exhibit, which was an ancient Buddhist staff, revealing that they were a woman. She was clothed in black from head to toe. A high-neck, sleeveless top that left her shoulders bare. On each arm though were sleeves that started at her upper arms and ended in archer gloves. Black pants tucked into black boots. A black bow and quiver of black arrows were seen peeking over a shoulder. Her long black hair swayed with each step from the high pony tail it was held in, and lastly, was the black mask that conceal her entire face.

Nightwing leaned a little closer, trying to make out the details of the mask. It looked like it was made of smooth material, painted black. Silver and blue painted showing facial features of an animal. It then clicked in his mind. It was a fox. Leaning back, he watched how she crouched down and picked at the lock and carefully removed the glass casing.

She took hold of the staff, examined it carefully, tilting her head this way and that, before sliding it between her back and weapons. Though her hands didn't return to her sides just yet. Instead she pulled something stark in contrast to the black of her outfit and the shadows and placed it where the staff once rested.

Once done, she proceeded to put the glass case back where it belonged and then walked away as if she hadn't just committed a crime. A few short minutes later, the guard returned spotted the missing staff and ran off the screen.

The screen switched off to show static and all members turned their attention towards Batman as he typed something away on the keyboard.

"This was her first hit on American soil. But she had done the same thing in some major museums across Europe, Russia, China and Japan." numerous footage of various museums popped up onto the screen, all showing her handling certain artifacts.

"Each time she hits, the alarms are set -after- the items are discovered missing."

"Meaning she somehow hacked into the museum and disabled them." Robin spoke up, taking each picture in rather intently.

"Yes, though it is unsure how. So far." Batman returned to the keyboard, new pictures showing the various empty cases save for one item, a paper figure. "Each of these folded figures contained a note. All the same."

"I have taken that which was not mine. I shall be found and judged for my crimes."

"Okay, that I don't understand. She breaks into these places, takes one thing, but leaves a note that she admits to being guilty?" Beast Boy spoke up, scratching the back of his head, turning towards Batman and Superman, hoping to hear something that would explain.

Superman spoke up while Batman was once again typing a few keys and new pictures popped up on the screen. "Actually, the artifacts that she took were already stolen. A few years back, a string of thefts from Japanese shrines, temples and museums took place. A few private collections were also hit, but all the items stolen were never found."

They all turned to the screen after one last picture appeared. "It hit international news when one robbery went south. A girl was returning from school early, discovered the robbers and immediately tried to contact the police. Thinking that the thefts would now stop, the police started calling their forces back. Instead it cost the girl her family and she herself was left for dead. She recovered, but, little is known how well. She was taken in by Mamoru Nishikawa and hasn't been heard or seen from since."

Instantly, the team felt varying mixed emotions rise up within them. Awe that the girl had stood up to the robbers, anger at what her just actions had cost her, sorrow for the lingering scars she would have to live with.

"Soon after the first museum robberies, the items were then returned to their rightful owners and an investigation had started to track down how they ended up in the various museums to begin with."

The screen went black and Batman finally returned his attention to the Young Justice team before them. "So far, no one has suffered any major injuries, but she is highly skilled. Her last heist in Europe resulted in a confrontation with the police, as well as a small private army of hired protection. All of whom she managed to evade with the item she had set out to repossess. The hired protection ended up in the hospital with minor injuries, but that doesn't make her any less lethal."

Superman took up once again. "With this knowledge now in their hands, the museums with any and all recent additions of ancient Japanese artifacts are working backwards in seeing if they are holding something that they are not allowed too. But that takes a lot of time, so they've decided to ship the items in question to one location. Where you'll be guarding and waiting for her to appear. You are to engage her cautiously, but also get as much information from her as possible."

"Wouldn't it just be easier to bring her in, and then question her?" Batgirl spoke up. She was left at odds with the current situation. The woman was robbing museums. But on the other hand, she only took what had been wrongfully taken and returning the items back to their owners.

"That would be best. But be careful."

"Quick question. What about the items that are not in a museum? There are those out there that collect such artifacts, regardless of how they obtain them. It's a sure bet that she may track down the items that have landed in a private collection as well." Nightwing spoke up, the thought having just come to him.

"We were given a list of all the major artifacts that were stolen and compared them to the ones that are currently now in Gotham's main museum as well as the ones that had been returned. There are still some that have yet to be... retrieved and returned, but three major ones have yet to appear in any major museum."

"We already have a few ideas on who could have bought the three items, and have already started looking into them. Other than that, the rest is now in your hands."

With their latest mission explained, Nightwing turned to the others, it was time to plan. It was one that threw them all off, because this was not simply someone stealing for the money, but to return something that had been wrongfully taken to begin with. They knew this woman could have notified the museums and gone the proper route, but because most items were only there on loan, the ones that were displaying the artifacts could have pulled them off the exhibition and the items themselves could simply, disappear.

But they were also upset, because she was stealing them, and that was against the law. It left them realising that there was far more grey than there was black and white put together. And Nightwing knew, this was going to test and push them all to their limits in certain aspects. Himself included.

Three nights after Batman and Superman first presented them the case, and nothing happened. It was the fourth night and they were wondering if she was going to show at all now, which left them far too relaxed.

"Does she have a name?"

Wonder Girl turned to Beast Boy, a brow raised at the sudden question. "Does she have a name?"

"Yeah. The police must have been calling her something all this time. They couldn't have been calling her... her, all this time. Could they?" he scratched at his cheek, brows furrowed as he and Wonder Girl patrolled their designated area for the night.

Wonder Girl turned to face forward scanning the dark and shadowed hallway. Shrugging her shoulders, she didn't put much thought into the matter at hand. "I'm sure she was given many names. Why the sudden interest?"

"I'm bored. 'She' has been a no-show for the last three nights, so I'm starting to wonder if she'll show at all."

"With the way she's been going, I think so. Seemed pretty determined on getting those artifacts back where they belong. There's only two here at the museum, now that it's been confirmed, and the three that are in someone's private collection somewhere."

"Right." Beast Boy also returned to observing the hallway, a silence settling in over them until Nightwing asked how things were going through their shared coms.

"Silent. Again. What if she really -doesn't- show up? How much longer are we going to play night watch here?" Beast Boy spoke up.

"After tonight, we'll meet up with Batman and Superman again and talk about taking a different approach. But for tonight, keep a sharp eye out."

It was once again silent as the two turned about to take in the hallway once again, having done at least five rounds on the long stretch already. That is, until Beast Boy spoke up. "We should give her a name."

Wonder Girl sputtered for a bit and whipped her head about to face Beast Boy. "She isn't some sort of pet that you brought home with you! I'm sure she has a name already."

"Bah! If it was given by the police, it's probably something stupid." Beast Boy grinned as he started thinking about different names they could call the thief by. "How about Shadow, cause she blends into the shadows almost like it's natural. Or Fox. She wears that Japanese fox mask and leaves a folded note in a fox figure. Then again, since the thief is a woman, Vixen would most likely be better."

Unknown to the two talking as the patrolled the hallway, the topic of their conversation was watching them with a smirk beneath her mask. And all about giving her a name? It was almost comical, but it showed her that they were relaxed, enough to have let her slip in past their securities. But that didn't mean she could simply play around them like she had the security guards at the previous museums. No. Despite them being her age or younger, they had far more experience than those guards, or those brutish hired men back in Europe. She had observed each and everyone of them, somewhat disappointed that none had noticed her yet, but it also allowed her to read and learn more about the members of the Young Justice League in far better detail than the files she read when she first landed on American soil.

After the duo gave the team leader an update, she decided it was time to do what she had come there to do. Retrieve the stolen artifacts and return them to their rightful owners. And then she could go for the idiot that had hired the thugs to steal all these artifacts to get his hands on three very specific swords.

Moving in the shadows, she moved to the room that held the last two artifacts. Nothing too difficult to get out of the museum, but the two teams that stood between her and the artifacts and her exits, they said otherwise.

The leader, Nightwing stood next to the archer with the mechanical arm. Arsenal. And then Superboy stood next to Miss Martian. From what she read the last two had been in a relationship, but Superboy broke it off after Miss Martian pushed a suspect too hard to get information. It resulted in the suspect falling in a catatonic state. Despite them being able to work well with each other should the need arise, there was still friction there, and she would use that to her advantage.

Moving as if she were liquid, one with the shadows, she started to get to work. At first, the four below didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, that is, until the shadows themselves actually swallowed up the entire room, which left them mostly blinded.

The small red lights on Arsenal's mechanical arm allowed them some light and there was some from the hallways and the moon that leaked into the main room, but other than that, they were in complete darkness.

She smiled as she heard their sudden outburst at the plunge in darkness as well as the leader calling in the rest of the team. While they moved themselves about to try and protect the items she had come to retrieve, she slipped between them on silent feet and set herself to work.

Beast Boy would turn himself into a nocturnal animal, thus being able to see her. As for the amphibian and bug boy, she wasn't sure, but it would be best she did this quietly. Sensing her two aids quickly and silently approach her, she removed the first artifact and placed it in the protective satchel before moving onto the other artifact to repeat the process.

Whispering quietly to her aids, she smile as they slipped out and a few seconds later the shadows receded revealing two empty cases with her notes. The team first turned towards the cases they had been there to protect, and quickly spun about to see if the thief was still around.

The first to spot her was Beast Boy, to which he cried out notifying the others.

Nightwing stepped forward, his body easily prepared for a physical confrontation. "Who are you?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "I go by many names. Simply take your pick." her answer somewhat muffled due to the mask that concealed her entire face.

"Return the artifacts."

"Artifacts? I have nothing on me." her lips curved up into a smile as she spoke the truth, not that they could see it, hands raised as she did a complete spin on the spot. "Besides, from what the news have been saying, the artifacts have been returning to their rightful owners back in Japan." her arms dropped back to her side slowly, only for her hands to land on her hips and she took on a relaxed stance.

"...is it just me, or does she remind you of a certain cat burglar?"

"Cat? My dear Beast Boy, you had it right earlier. I, am a fox." she shifted slightly, as if bouncing to a song only she could hear. Cocking her head to the side, seemingly hearing something only she could hear, she quickly turned back to the team. "And this fox is running late, I'm afraid."

Spinning about to walk out, she paused when she heard them prepare to restrain her, to keep her from leaving. Turning to look at them from over her shoulder, the one that wasn't obstructed by her quiver of arrows or bow, she smirked once again as they stood at the ready, twitching for her to make the first move.

"If you're expecting me to fight, think again. We're surrounded by priceless, one of a kind, ancient artifacts. The slightest slip up could lead to one of their destructions." she tisked, waving a finger at them before simply turning about to walk the same way she walked in.

At the sound of many feet following after, she chuckled lightly under her breath. She ignored the few choice words that were made in her direction. She tilted her head once again, seemingly hearing something, and once she made it to the hallway, she darted in the direction that led to the roof. Her lips curled up into a smile of excitement as she heard their startled cries and gave chase after her.

Nightwing cursed under his breath as he quickly chased after her, it wasn't easy with the way she darted from shadow to shadow, seamlessly blending into them. Impulse was the fastest on their team, so it left him wondering why she hadn't been caught yet. His mental questions were answered when Robin spoke up saying that Impulse had somehow been restrained after running through a shadowed spot.

As if hearing the comment, laughter floated from in front of him that was quickly followed by a comment. "Wouldn't be fair if I was caught this early in the game!"

Gritting his teeth he pushed himself to run faster, but she still somehow managed to keep just a hairs breath out of reach. Finally she burst out onto the roof, a sudden wind whipping her hair about her as she scanned for something.

"End of the line."

She turned around, tilting her head as she did so. At the sounds of the rest of the team quickly approaching, a flick of her wrist, and the door slammed shut behind him. Turning his head slightly so that he could take it in, while still keeping an eye on her, he narrowed his eyes when he realized something.

"You can use magic."

"Not something that's so easily accepted in today's day and age. Science has taken a firm grip on people that it is no longer about faith, simply answers. Regardless of how they're achieved." her tone seemed upset at the fact, which roused a few other questions in his mind.

Grabbing hold of his main choice of weapons, he struck. He was not liking where this was going. She could use magic, which would explain the lack of alarm going off during each of her heists. So he thought it best to keep her busy and distract her long enough until the rest of the team managed to unlock the door and help him against her. There was no telling what she was capable of.

She quickly took hold of her bow and parried and blocked each of his moves, dancing out of the way of his attacks. But not once did she strike back. Watching her jump back to create some room between them, and closer to the ledge, he narrowed his eyes on her form.

"I just want to talk."

Her stance relaxed some, and she slowly slung her bow back over her shoulders and then kept her hands up in the air.

They listened to the distant sounds of the city, the bangs and muffled cries of the rest of the team behind the still locked door. Seeing her maintain that docile stance, he relaxed the slightest amount. Perhaps now he would learn why she had been doing what she had.

What happened next though, none of them expected. The team had gone silent, which neither really noticed, and she had just started to talk when the door was blasted off it's hinges and bits and pieces went flying about.

His eyes widened when he noticed that she was tipping and falling backwards, over the ledge, he darted forward to stop it.

With a hold on a pipe behind him, and an arm wrapped around her waist, he tried to calm his frantic breathing and his racing heart. He looked down at her, not noticing that she had a hand wrapped around the back of his neck while the other rose to her mask, that now revealed the lower half of her face.

"This mask was a gift... and very, very old."

An eyebrow quirked at that. "You almost got blown off a roof, and you're worried about a mask?"

She lowered her hand and turned towards him completely, it was then he noticed her mask had no holes for the eyes, making him wonder how it was she was even able to achieve all that she had thus far. After a few moments, the sound of the rest of the team spilling out onto the roof echoed around them, and he began to slowly pull them back.

Keeping a firm hold on her, he paused when he felt her free hand place itself on his chest over his heart. Looking down at her, he watched how her lips curled up into a smile. "Why would I fear falling, when I got a hero right here with me to save me from danger?"

He merely quirked a brow. She was the bad guy in this confrontation, if anything, she should fear him simply letting her fall of the building's roof.

After he righted both of them, he kept a hold on her and watched her, rather confused about the lack of fight she had put up, but her next words really threw him out of the loop.

"I'm sorry."

"If you're apologizing about the heists..."

"No, not that. I'm sorry for what I'm about to do. But I hope this makes up for that." with that said, she pulled him down using the hand that was still wrapped around the back of his neck and brought their lips together.

He froze, completely shocked that this was happening, and from the stunned silence of the team behind him, he wasn't the only one. His grip on the pipe next to him tightened when her other hand slid down his chest and she nipped at his lower lip. Despite the fact that they were obviously on either side of the law, so to speak, he was still 18 and a guy. With hormones. So having a rather warm female figure pressed up against his own body the way it was, which was due to his hold on her, the the eager lips that slid across his own in such a tempting way, it shouldn't have been a surprise that his body naturally responded.

The moment he did, her lips curved up into a smile, and something in him tightened at the sensation. She nipped at his lower lips a couple of more times before a moist tongue swiped across it, he let out a low moan. It quickly turned into a groan of pain as he was painfully shoved away from her, only to barely watch her willingly jump off the side of the rooftop.

Scrambling after her, he looked down, shocked to see her already standing on the street below. She looked up, and waved towards him and took off down the street. The rest of the team ran up to the ledge to watch her disappear into the shadows, and no one said a word.

Standing up straight and running a hand through his hair, Nightwing let out a harsh breath, the night had not gone the way he had planned or hoped.

"Dude, what was that all about?"

Leveling the team's fast footed friend a look, he was inwardly pleased to see him raise his hands in a universal sign of 'I surrender'. He really didn't feel like explaining himself at the moment, because in all honesty, he didn't know if he actually could. And he was dreading explaining to Batman how she got away.

"What's that in your hand?"

Hearing Batgirl's voice, Nightwing looked down at his hand, seeing a small folded piece of what looked like to be paper. Unfolding it, he blinked when he saw a short note written on it. She had planned the whole thing, the note was the only way to explain it!

"Let's play again."

It had been a week since the museum heist. Vixen, as she was now properly dubbed, had yet to make another appearance, but they figured that she was also looking for the last three artifacts, which were in a private collection somewhere.

Stuffing his hands into his jeans pockets, Dick walked down the sidewalk enjoying what little normalcy and freedom he got. It had gone to hell in trying to explain to Batman how Vixen got away. Then again, the man should understand on some level, Catwoman used the same methods all the time. Not that he pointed that one out, Batman had thought that Vixen managing to get away was punishment enough, though there were those late nights spent in the gyms and dojos to make up for the loss.

Right now, he was on his way to Wayne Tower, school having finally let out, because the man himself wanted something from him. Said it was important. Well, he wanted to walk, the fresh air felt good. Besides, he had been sitting all day, he really didn't want to sit for the short ride there as well.

He was pulled out of his thoughts when a petite body collided with his and a soft cry quickly followed. Looking down, he spotted a girl around his age sprawled out on the sidewalk, rubbing at her nose and supporting her upper body with her other hand.

Quickly sweeping over her, he could honestly say she was very pretty. Raven black hair tumbled about her face in waves, framing her heart shaped face. A delicate neck leading to delicate shoulders, slim arms ending in fine delicate hands. A simple royal blue t-shirt under a cropped black jacket. Faded skinny jeans encased her legs, a mental voice stating was that her legs seemed to go on forever to which he ignored after he squashed it, and a pair of low runners on her feet.

Crouching down, he started to help her gather her things and place them back into the leather satchel that she had dropped.

"I am so sorry, I didn't mean to bump into you like that."

"It's alright. Wasn't really paying attention myself."

He watched her smile as she grabbed the last two things before she turned towards him. It was then he noticed the large sunglasses that she wore, hiding her eyes from him. But considering how sunny it was, it wasn't all that surprising.

"Actually, since you're already helping me, could you perhaps help me with something else? I'm supposed to meet someone, but I have no idea how to get to where I'm supposed to meet him." she ducked her head lightly, and he couldn't help but smile at the light blush.

Going over her request, and over the fact that he himself was supposed to meet Wayne, he gave a low groan and frustrated sigh. On any other day, he wouldn't mind helping her, but Wayne said that it was important.

"I'm sorry, I would love to, but I have to go to Wayne Tower. Got my own meeting I'm supposed to be at."

She perked up and tilted her head. "Wayne Tower? That's where I need to go as well!"

He blinked as he watched her stand up and dust her pants off. Standing up, he handed her the last item that had still been in his hands and watched her put it away while wondering why she needed to go there as well. Looking down, he briefly caught sight of a folder peeking out of her satchel. Perhaps she was looking for a job there? But her state of dress wasn't exactly interview material.

"Really? May I ask why, if it's not too personal."

"My..." she pinched her lips for a moment before continuing. "I guess he's my guardian slash older brother is there. Says it's important that I be there. I would have been there earlier, but not only do I not know my way around this city, the usual driver was needed elsewhere today."

"Well then, I guess I'll be your guide for the afternoon."

She let out a light giggle as she started to follow after him. They soon fell into light conversation, her explaining that she just recently moved with her guardian-older brother to America from Tokyo, to him sharing his rather boring day at school.

"I don't know, you say that now, but after you'll be missing those boring days."

"I know the school systems in Japan are different, but did you already graduate?"

"No. School hasn't really been the same since I started Jr. High. I was away a lot, and recently I was pulled out of public school for certain reasons." she shrugged her shoulders, the action tugging on the arm that was looped with his own, he still wondered how and when that happened. "But, Big Brother says that's about to change. Though I'm not sure how."

Seeing Wayne Tower, it still amazed him how tall and grand it was, he paused for a moment. "Well, here we are."

She hummed, not taking in the building before her at all, which confused him greatly. Most after moving to Gotham took in the the building before them in awe, she was simply staring straight ahead. Perhaps she was used to things on a grand scale, look at Tokyo. And then she said that the usual driver was busy with a different task, so her guardian could be wealthy as well.

Shrugging it off, they walked up the steps and into the building. He winced when he saw Wayne talking with another man, meaning the meeting he was supposed to sit in on was over.

He opened his mouth to apologize for his tardiness, but the man that was with Wayne spoke up, and the girl next to him answered.

"Kagome, you are late."

"Forgive me, Aniki, but Jaken said you appointed him a different chore today and a different driver was then also appointed. We encountered car trouble on the way."

"Oh?"

"Don't ask me, I'm car illiterate." she shrugged her shoulders before turning towards Wayne. "I apologize again for being late, Mr. Wayne. And that it is a pleasure to meet you." she bowed, as was customary in Japan.

"You never told me she was so polite, or a fine young lady."

"I not comfortable with your compliments, Mr. Wayne." sure she had heard he was a bit of a playboy, being Gotham's number one bachelor and all that, but she was rather young compared to him, so she really didn't know how to take them.

"Oh?" he cleared his throat when she merely raised a brow. "I see that you already met Dick, my own ward. That's good."

"Why is that?"

This time, Mamoru spoke up, his voice far more stricter and cooler than that of Wayne's spoke up. "You'll be attending the same school as he does starting next week. The board already know everything."

"Really?! I'm going to be going back to school?" at his classic 'Hn' of a reply, Kagome let go of Dick and jumped to hug Mamoru, thanking him and enjoying the fact that it ruffled his feathers. He had left her in the dark for a while, so he had it coming.

"Thank you!"

"Now if only you and the others could be as excited about your own studies."

Dick raised a brow in Wayne's direction, still in shock that Kagome was Mamoru's ward and would be starting to attend the same school he did. But he came to a shocking realization with the knowledge of her being Nishikawa's ward.

"Wait, you're Kagome Higurashi, am I correct?"

She let Nishikawa go and turned towards him, her smile dimming somewhat. "Yes I am. And before you ask, yes, all that was said in the news did happen."

A heavy silence settled over them, making Dick feel... like a dick. But thankfully Wayne spoke up, breaking the heavy feeling.

"And I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I simply hope that time heals those wounds."

"I am also sorry. And I'd like to apologize for my... bluntness."

"Thank you, both of you. But I'm still at a loss as to why meeting Dick was important, and for the both of us."

"Dick will be your guide when you start school, and Nishikawa-san told me that while you may have just settled in, an emergency came up back in Tokyo that required his attentions, so he'll be gone for the next two weeks."

"Ah." she turned to Mamoru. "You couldn't have mentioned this over the phone, or tonight at home?"

"I leave for the airport in an hour. Sadly, Jaken is also needed. And since there are no other staff at the estate, Mr. Wayne has kindly offered you a room for the next two weeks."

Kagome's brow shot up at the news, but she wasn't the only one. "Just moved to America and I already get to sleep over at someone else's place. Aren't I a lucky girl."

Wayne chuckled, enjoying her rather fresh personality. "Nishikawa-san has already had some of your things prepared and sent over. And since he has to leave right away, Dick and I will allow to say your goodbyes before we head home."

Wayne threw an arm around Dick's shoulders and led him away from the two.

Kagome waited until they were out of earshot and then outside before she spoke up, and in Japanese to boot.

"Are you sure this is safe? I mean I sensed that Dick is... which is a safe bet to say Wayne is also..."

"So they are the ones that play hero at night?" he let out a silent sigh when she nodded her head. "Then take this as an opportunity to study them."

"But what about the plan?"

"I'm sure on certain days, a shikigami could take your place after school while you continue with the plan. It would also help your case of not being... which name did they give you here?"

"...Vixen..." she blushed lightly when she felt Sesshoumaru's intense, yet highly amused gaze on her.

"Fitting with the scents you were drenched in the other night. Your kit may either take pride in your actions, question the idea of a new father, or threaten the bird you seemed to have grown attached to."

Kagome's blush intensified at the idea of any of those happening, but tried to play it cool. Brushing the comment off, she asked when Shippo would be arriving from his job in Europe.

"In a few weeks time. We should both be home by the time I'm done with business in Tokyo." with that, he patted her on the head and stalked off towards where a taxi was waiting for him.

She winced, knowing that the other driver would be fired as sure as Sesshoumaru's heart was beating. The dog demon hated taxi's, and for very good reason. They were simply far too many scents going on with the constant change of passengers. And one was never sure if the taxi would be well kept or not.

Shaking her head free of the knowledge that not only would their driver losing his job, but Jaken was very well going to get a scolding for the fact that Sesshoumaru had to ride a taxi, Kagome made her way towards where Wayne and Dick were waiting for her.

Seeing that they were waiting by their appointed ride, Kagome made her way towards them, bowing when she reached their side. "I want to thank you for accepting me into your home on such short notice."

"Think nothing of it. I was glad to help when Nishikawa asked and told me of the sudden situation."

Standing back up straight, Kagome smiled as they entered the car, all sitting in the back seat. She perked up when she noticed the driver looking at all of them with an... interesting look on his face.

"Alfred, take us home."

"Right away sir."

Chapter Text

If there were any type of demon that Kagome hated the most, at the moment, she would tell you nest crows. One had somehow gotten hold of a shard, and if that wasn't troubling enough, it was in the future. Or her present, whichever one decided to pick.

So here she was, running like a madman with a bow and quiver of arrows strapped to her back, through the streets of Tokyo. And to top it all off, Inuyasha was tracking the damn bird as he chased it down to make sure it didn't decide to head in busy areas.

It was working. Sort of. She was now in an area she was not familiar with. Oh she knew it was the edge of the district she lived in, but other than that, she was easily running into dead ends trying to keep up with the crow and Inuyasha.

And to think, the same breed of demon that aided her in shattering the Shikon was now in the present. She had an ominous feeling in the pit of her stomach. Crows and any demons of the insect persuasion usually were never a good sign in her book.

Glancing up, she could barely make out the demon itself, but she felt the tainted shard. And like the magnetic north, she followed after it.

Until she ran into a wall. A... collapsible wall?

Blinking dazed eyes, she took in the blue sky above her before she shifted her gaze to the wall that fell down with her.

At first she thought she was seeing Miroku, and that the entire chasing a demon in modern day Tokyo had been nothing but a really weird dream. But then the differences between Miroku and this man atop her filtered through her highly confused and over stressed brain.

Where Miroku had deep violet eyes, this person had gray. Where Miroku had his ebony hair pulled into a short tail at the base of his skull, the man above her had soot black hair he kept free.

Though as she mentally admitted to herself earlier, she had been highly confused and stressed, and the fact that the man was wearing a yukata didn't help either.

It wasn't until the feeling of the shard was growing weaker the farther away it got that she remembered she had a job to do.

Squirming and lightly pushing against the man seemed to bring him out of his own daze, if the slight widening of his eyes and the slow scramble to disentangle themselves from each other was anything to go by.

When she finally got to her feet, she was hastily picking up a few of her fallen arrows and then bowed to the man.

"I'm so sorry, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, please forgive me!" it was rushed, and rather jumbled, but she couldn't wait for a reply before she took off once again after the stupid crow. Not at all aware of the stunned group she left behind.

Shigure himself continued to stare after the direction the girl took off, even after she disappeared from sight.

"Um, aren't you supposed to be a dog right now?"

The timid question from Tohru drew his attention away from where he was staring after to look down at the girl herself. When he could only stare down at her, she began to fidget in her spot.

"Un-unless she's a member of the Sohma family?"

"Never saw her before, so I highly doubt it." Kyo spoke up as he stuffed his hands into his pockets, though he did frown as he glanced in the direction the girl ran off in.

"Well, if she isn't from the Sohma family, then who is she?" Tohru tilted her head to the side, as she tapped her bottom lip.

"I believe this may be of some help."

Everyone turned towards Yuki as he bent down to pick something off the ground. Glancing in his hand, they found a wallet, one belonging to none that were currently present.

It was white with pink sakura flowers on one side and a sakura tree in bloom on the other. Opening it up, Yuki looked at he first card that he saw. A student id.

"Higurashi, Kagome. She's a high school student attending... West River High School? That is quite the distance from here." he quickly pulled the card out to quickly read the back of it, easily locating the girl's residence. "She apparently lives at a shrine. Could be the reason she was carrying that bow and arrows..."

Shigure could only blink, still in shock at what just happened. His mind continued to replay it actually.

They had just left Ayame's little shop, and not a few minutes later, a form crashed into him and then gravity and a weight pulled him down. After the sudden shock and realization that someone had not only run into him, but dragged him down with them.

Opening his eyes, he looked down to smart talk the youth that caused the small accident, only to stop at the sight before him. A young woman. At that realization, his mind was running miles a minute at why he hadn't turned into his dog form the moment they crashed into one another.

But then his body began to relay to his brain what he was feeling. Her body was soft and warm, and seemingly fit against his own harder form perfectly. Her skin was blemish free, what he saw that is. Her face was heart shaped, a pert nose set over natural red lips. Long sooty eyelashes rested against the tops of her cheek while her brows were slightly pinched, probably from the sudden fall and perhaps pain from landing on the sidewalk.

He felt her fingers uncurl from their tight grip on the front of his yukata and she released a quite groan of discomfort. It was then she opened her eyes that he felt his own widen as well as his heart skip a beat when his eyes locked with daze blues. Though he did mentally slap himself for that, his heart skipped a beat? What was he, a high school girl?

He was not! He was 100% adult male, it was the woman that would sigh or their hearts would skip in his presence.

After a few moments, she blinked a few more times before her eyes seemed to finally clear as she returned his gaze. And once again, he was struck to his very core.

Sadly, the moment didn't last. She began to squirm beneath him, of course to have an actual female beneath him and still maintain his form didn't help his situation, but then she began to push against him. In a flurry of movements, she was up, apologizing and then took off before he could even get a word in edgewise.

And that brought him back to the present.

But then his insides began to gnaw on themselves, such a development would have to be told to Akito. Turning back in the direction the girl ran off in, he caught sight of Ayame. Seemed those that were under his care were not the only ones to witness the event.

Fear gripped his insides, though technically the Sohma family secret hadn't been revealed, but the fact that he hadn't transformed after getting tangled up with the young woman was a fact that Akito was going to want to hear.

He didn't know what to expect, the girl seemed to have been in a rush, obviously she had something important to do. But because of her little bump into him, she may either end up dragged in their family secrets or Hatori would end up wiping her memory of anything that was involved with the Sohma family.

But a deep part in him wanted to meet the young woman again. There was something about her that seemed to pull him in, and it was more than just the fact that he held her in his arms and didn't turn into a dog.

"Kagome..."

Despite what the future may hold, he knew he was going to see her again soon. They did have her wallet, and she was most likely going to need it after all.

Chapter Text

One minute they were fighting against the latest detachment of Naraku, the next a bright flash of light and then a painful landing. Sort of.

There had been the ground, but then there was also something somewhat soft between her and said ground. Furrowing her brows, Kagome could only wonder if she had been killed, knocked out and then woke up at Kaede's... or... she wasn't sure. But there was usually always a third option, she was sure it would come to her after the world stopped spinning.

Her landing pad shifted and let out a groan, startling her into moving. She rolled, she could have been tossed during the battle and one of the others caught her, only to fall as the person she had landed on managed to push themselves up a little. Letting out a sudden cry, she had not expected them to get back up so quickly unless they had been lying there for some time, and the short fall ended rather painfully for her. Again.

"Lady... Kagome?"

Well, there was Miroku, somewhere. Her eyes were still closed due to the fact that the world was still spinning, even if it was behind closed eyelids.

"...here... Sango-chan?"

"Give me a moment please."

And there was Sango. After answering Miroku and calling out Sango made her realize something very important. It gave her a splitting headache. So instead, she flared out her aura, hoping that Inuyasha, Shippo and Kirara were nearby. And nearby could relatively mean meters away. Just as long as they were in her radar's reach, as Souta once called her ability, then all was good.

When she felt nothing, well nothing that belonged to youkai, Kagome bolted up and snapped her eyes open. A move she instantly regretted. Curling in on herself, pressing the heels of her hands to her temples and her brow to her raised knee, she let out a groan of discomfort.

Why had she done that?

Oh right. She could not feel Inuyasha's, Shippo's and Kirara's aura. Nor Naraku's. Nor Kagura's. Nor Kanna's and Kouga's... nothing. Not even a tiny speck of youkai anywhere.

Gingerly, she cracked her eyes open again and blinked a few times at the sight that greeted her.

A grassy hill, some trees here and there, bright blue sky with her favorite large, white fluffy clouds. The air smelt of the sea, was warm and made even slightly toasty with the sun shinning. Scanning the area once again, she had to grimace when the sun peeked out from behind a cloud and slammed her eyes shut yet again.

"Are the two of you alright, Sango-chan, Lady Kagome?"

Pushing herself up onto shaky legs, Kagome mentally thanked that she could feel her quiver as well as hear the arrows shift about, and the slight tapping of her bow against her shoulder. Oddly though, she was sure she had been using during the battle against... whatever the detachment's name was.

Her arms shot out when she suffered a moment of vertigo, leaning forward just a bit as she tried to balance herself on the tips of her toes. When she was once again steady, one arm still outstretched to help keep her balanced, the other rose to press once again against her slightly throbbing temple.

"Give me a moment. I need to get..." opening her eyes, they landed on something she was having trouble comprehending. And then she mentally wondered why she hadn't noticed them before, they were sort of in your face obvious. "...my bearings straight."

Biting down on her lower lip, she wondered if she was suffering head trauma. Or perhaps a side affect from long term exposure to Naraku's miasma. She was pretty sure her imagination wasn't this... creative, even if she had a few weird dreams after passing out due to exhaustion.

Taking the... people in, she wasn't even sure what to call them, she tentatively called out to Sango. "Sango, you're familiar with ninjas, yes?"

"Arg... yes. Why do you ask?"

"I'm not sure, but I think I'm looking at some."

There was a pause before Sango asked, sounding rather confused. "How can you not be sure?"

Nibbling on her lower lip again, Kagome said the one thing that made her unsure of the people across from her. "They're very... colorful."

Hearing someone make to stand, Kagome took a peek out of the corner of her eye, seeing Sango stumble while keeping her own eyes clenched shut.

"Well, there's six of them. Each a different color. Red, blue, green, yellow, pink, then black." Kagome narrowed her eyes on them, taking in their stances and how they were talking amongst themselves.

They were speaking English, she was quick to understand that and they sounded confused. But because they were basically whispering to each other, she couldn't really hear what exactly they were saying.

It didn't help that they were wearing what she thought to be biker helmets. Colorful ninja's that wore biker helmets? As often she had seen weird things, this was one of the oddest ones. Why couldn't she have a relatively normal day in the Feudal Era?

Well, if she wanted to be technical, this wasn't the Feudal Era, but who wanted to get technical? It had started off in the past, and if it had started there, the only way it should have ended in the present was if she went through the well. Was she even in the present? Oh she hoped they were in the present, cause if not... she had no idea of where or when she was.

Sango had finally managed to make it to her side, all the while taking in the ninjas. "They are not very convincing ninjas if they are so brightly colored. Ninjas are all about stealth."

"Oh maybe this is a dream? Shared hallucination? Effects of long term exposure to Naraku's miasma? Some one pinch me to tell me I'm not dreaming..." trailing off on her hopeful reasons to what was going on, Kagome suddenly stiffened when she received said pinch.

Spinning, her hand swung around and landed with a resounding slap against a familiar cheek. "Miroku you pervert!"

The commotion brought the... ninja's attention solely onto them, and she was still using the term ninja fairly loosely. Shaking her head at the dazed monk that looked only too pleased with himself, she grumbled under her breath when he quickly came to his own defense.

"But Lady Kagome, I was only doing as you asked." his free hand continued to rub at his sore cheek.

"Usually when one asks to be pinched, it mean's here." she pointed to her upper arm, a relatively safe zone. "And I was being... rhetorical! I didn't actually mean it. My head hurts enough as it is to know that this isn't a dream!"

A strange sound drew everyone's attention downwards. Kagome could only blink at the pasty clay like coloring of the being that laid next to her feet. It shifted before pushing itself up onto it's haunches, it's hands raised to it's head as if to block or sooth it's own headache.

Seeing the ninjas from the corner of her eye, she still really wasn't sure if they were, tensed and a few moments later called towards them and motioned for them to move away. Turning her attention towards them completely, her brow furrowed as she cocked her head slightly. What on earth was wrong with them?

The... creature made a sound, causing her to head to snap back to watch it and that's when she realized some interesting facts from what she could see. There were some black slashes across it's upper chest, it wore a belt with some sort of buckle that she couldn't make out, but the truly odd features were it's hands and head.

They appeared to be made out of... clay?

When it turned it's head towards her, revealing at rather disturbing face, like the beginning stages of something carved from clay, towards her, Kagome let out a quite squeak and gave a small jump back. Her escape was short lived when a clammy hand wrapped around her ankle, causing her to let out a louder cry of distress.

The ninjas froze for a mere moment before dashing their way towards them, but by that time, Kagome had gripped her bow and swung it down on the creature.

Now normally, she charged arrows, not her actual bow. And when said arrows managed to hit her target, the creature turned into ash, this one... sort of. It exploded into blobs or sticky chunks of glittering ash.

The air around them stilled, Kagome panting as she maintained her pose. One leg up where the creature had held it and arms and bow still as if said creature was beneath the bow where the two came into contact.

Slowly, she lowered her arms and leg, the ninjas slowed their approach till they were a few steps away and Sango and Miroku only blinked still poised to defend her. Looking down at herself, taking in the splattered chunks of clay and glittering ash, she let out a whimper.

"I look like a kid's arts and crafts project exploded on me... Will this even wash out?" her hands began the process of trying to dust the stuff off.

"Uh... that's a first time the Putties did... that."

Pausing in her self cleaning, Kagome looked up towards the... ninjas. Hearing them clearly now, she blinked as she took them in, as did Sango and Miroku. Now that they were up close, she could see that there were details to their helmets, animal faces.

The yellow one was some sort of cat, that much was easy to tell. The green and red ones looked like representations of lizards. The black one looked like an elephant, the blue one... she wasn't sure. And lastly the pink one... it looked like some sort of bird, humming bird perhaps?

And at their waists... were those daggers or guns?

So... ninjas with some sort of samurai influence? None of this was making much sense. Why couldn't she be either in the past or in her comfy bed?

"Are you guys alright? And what did you just do to that Putty?"

Snapped out of her inner musings, Kagome shook her head and turned back towards the ninjas. Blinking a few times, Kagome decided to attempt some English in hopes of communication with them.

"Ah... we are fine. Are... are you ninjas?" she mentally winced at the heavy accent.

The glanced at each other, physically turning their heads to do so. When they turned to focus back on them, their silent conversation done, the one before her shook their head. "No, we're Power Rangers."

"Power... Rangers?" her face fell from the confusion it held to a grimace. Just her luck, she was in some unknown part of the world, in an unknown era, with... Power Rangers. Whatever the heck that meant.

Her free hand rose to rub at her temple as everyone spoke up at once, asking her all sorts of questions. Apparently, her act of speaking up, deemed her the person to have all the answers. Snorting slightly under her breath. If she did, she wouldn't be so far behind in her classes.

Chapter Text

Hopping around on one foot while trying to to get a shoe on was no easy task, but that's what Kagome was currently doing. She was in a rush, so she had no other option but to continue moving while getting ready or get ready while she was in a rush. Sadly, she stubbed the toe of her other foot when she turned suddenly after her cell phone went off.

Hobbling back to where she left her cell, she mumbled under her breath. Tiny shards of an all powerful jewel scattered across Japan, she could find. A larger singing modern object? To hell in a handbasket apparently. Finally pulling the demonic object from under her pillow, which hadn't placed it there, she panted out a greeting as she returned to rushing to the front door. While putting her other shoe on.

"Hello?"

"Ah, good, you didn't leave yet."

Kagome blinked at the sound of her mother's comment. Searching for a clock, she slipped a bit when she pulled back to read the one in the living room. "No, but I'm about to. It's already late."

"I know, but I need a favour dear."

Her full attention was now on whatever her mother had to say, though her stomach did drop on her a little. Why now of all times?!

"I'm listening."

"You're brother got hurt during his game."

"Is he alright? What happened?" Souta got hurt? Her mind was running over the possibles on what could have happened during his latest soccer match.

"I'm not quite sure, we're at the hospital now. I know you're getting ready for your own tournament, but I need you to deliver Takenori's package. The last time we used a currier, and the contents were destroyed."

"Takenori-oji?" her voice trailed off as her mind already began to calculate the distance, time and let out a groan. But her Mama needed this done, and after everything, Kagome was willing to do whatever her Mama asked of her. "I can do it."

"I called your supervising teacher and explained everything, and he assured me that they can pick you up."

"Alright, where's the package and where am I going?" a little more relaxed, she finally managed to put on the other shoe without incident.

"It's on the kitchen table. As for dropping it off, you'll have to go to where he works. It was the only way your teacher was going to be able to pick you up."

Blinking as she bypassed her duffle bag and bow sling, Kagome blinked at the small box on the kitchen table. The last time they did send something through currier, her Mama got so mad. Even more so when the company had the gall to charge them extra despite the state the contents were.

This package was relatively small, and peeking the neatly scrawled writing from her Mama, Kagome raised a brow at the address.

"L.M.E.?"

"Yes, your uncle is a talent agent there. I called ahead to let them know you're coming, so you shouldn't have too much trouble seeing your uncle. Thank you Kagome."

"It's no problem." in the background there was a sudden call that was too muffled to hear clearly.

"That's for us, we have to go. I'm sorry we couldn't be there to see you off and that you have to do this on top of things."

"It's nothing Mama, tell Souta I'll see him when I get back home and expecting to hear everything that happened."

"I'll do that. Good luck dear, and see you when you return."

And just like that, Kagome's hectic schedule took a veer. Into a direction she had not expected was possible. Shrugging her shoulders, she slipped her cell into a pocket and decided first to shoulder her duffle bag and slip before tackling on transporting the package.

After a year of toting around her destroyed yellow school bag, the one that held everything to survive travelling in the past, her current luggage was lightweight. Only problem, not as easy to manage. Three different things to handle at once was a little tricky compared to the bulging bag and easily slip on and off quiver and bow. This time around she had her hands full.

Letting out a deep breath, she ventured forth. Down the shrine steps and into Tokyo, to visit her uncle to ensure the safe delivery of a package. She did wonder what it was she was transporting, but she figured she could ask her uncle. It had been a long time since she last saw him and his family.

Before the well actually.

Funny how a single year can change so much. Or nothing at all.

The bus ride was uneventful, handling her belongings and the package off the bus took some time. Thankfully an older man offered her help to which she respectfully thanked him in return. She blinked when he smiled and commented on such proper manners being so rare in her generation.

During her travels, it was easy to see that the past left marks on her. Just as easily as she left an impression on the populace of the past.

Turning around, she took in the large building. One modern day marvel, skyscrapers. While the company building her uncle worked in wasn't as tall as actual skyscrapers, most of the block was monopolized by the company. Making her way towards the main building, she could only hope, she took in the people that were milling about.

Men and women were talking, either to others or through their cells, the interior was slick and modern but still comforting and welcoming. But it was still big, and made an impression. Walking towards the front desk, Kagome ignored the looks and subtle whispers in regards to her.

The pretty woman behind the desk smiled and turned her complete attention onto her. "Hello, how may I help you?"

"Yes, I'm here to deliver a package to my uncle, Sawara Takenori."

The smile became a little more warmer, though still maintaining a professional air. "Yes, your mother called earlier. Take the elevators to your right up to the 15th floor. Follow the system for the talent section. If you're still lost, just ask."

Kagome nodded her head, arms cradling the package with great care. "Would it be alright if I left my bags here?"

The woman took in said bags with a quick blink, before nodding her head. "Of course, just come around to the side. I'll be sure to keep an eye on them."

With a nod, Kagome deposited her bag and sling before thanking the woman and making her way towards the elevator. The trip up was… boring, and the sappy music that played softly did not help. Shaking her head when she heard the soft bell that announced her floor, she took a breath and read the signs opposite the elevators to find where her uncle worked.

Turning in the direction, a strange scent wafted towards her from behind. Brows furrowed, Kagome paused and checked her surroundings. Soon, startled gasps and whispers echoed softly off the hallway walls. Along with the sound of something that sounded like hooves.

Going against her better judgement, Kagome turned around, and promptly pinched herself at what she saw making it's way towards her down the hall.

A man dressed up as a desert traveler, riding a camel.

What type of company did her uncle work for?!

Speaking of uncle, she saw him walking next to said camel, holding a conversation with it's rider like it was an everyday occurrence.

"Takenori-oji?" her voice warbled a bit, she really wasn't sure about the current sight, and the conversation looked relatively important. Though it was hard to tell… what with the man riding a camel and all.

Both men paused in their conversation and looked towards her, one in wonder while the other in relief.

"Kagome-chan!"

Her uncle spoke softly to the rider and quickly made his way towards her, but Kagome was currently staring a camel down. She was vaguely aware of the hug she was receiving along with the warm greetings, but she could only stare at the animal and it's rider.

"There's...a camel... in this hallway."

Her uncle tripped over his greeting and followed her pointed gaze to said camel. The president did have a way of stealing ones attention and making first impressions.

"That's… our president, Rōri Takarada."

Kagome's eyes widened, if at all possible, with the news. "I see. The rich really can afford to be eccentric."

"Not that I'm not happy to see you, but why are you here?"

Shaking her head and turning towards her uncle, Kagome blinked as her brain processed his question. She blinked a few more times as she took her uncle's face in before coming up with an answer.

"Souta got hurt during his game, so Mama had to take him to see a doctor. So I'm delivering this package to you in her stead." she lifted her arms to indicate said package.

Her uncle simply stared down at her before taking in the package, his entire face bloomed into excitement before suddenly dragging her off in the direction she had started off with when she first landed on the floor.

As she followed her uncle, more like keep up with his pace, Kagome looked over her shoulder to see that the president was watching curiously and motioned the camel to follow after.

"Is he really the president?"

"Yes, he just really like to… express himself."

Facing forward, Kagome furrowed her frowned slightly at her uncle's expression. It looked somewhat… exasperated. Meaning that this was nothing new for him.

"So he's always riding camels on the 15th floor?"

His head whipped about with a shocked look on his face. "What?! No. It's different every day."

It was Kagome's turn to look shocked. "Everyday is… different!?" she had a newfound respect for her uncle if he was putting up with such an eccentric boss everyday.

They slowed down when the finally reached an area that was full of desks and offices. People were busy running about doing whatever it was they were paid to do. Kagome could honestly say she had no idea what it was they were doing.

"So Mama mentioned that you are the head of the talent section here at LME?"

"Ah, that's right."

"What exactly does that mean, and what do you do?"

"Well, LME has different sections. One for music, acting, talent, hosts and so on. The talent section is pretty much a mix of them all. For example, a person who has more than one talent, such as singing, acting and modeling, would fall under my section. As for myself, I manage these people, the jobs that come in and who is being asked for these jobs."

He pulled her into a comfy office that looked over the rest that were working and took a seat in what Kagome could tell was his chair.

"Ah." though she was slightly thrown off at a rather sly look he threw her.

"Why? Are you interested in joining the entertainment industry?"

Blinking, Kagome cocked her head to the side as she went over the question. She never really thought about her future since the Shikon quest, and ever since the well barred her from the past she had dove head first into her studies.

"Never really thought about it. And I wouldn't even know where to start, to be honest."

"Well, since you're here, we can talk about it. Your mother mentioned in our conversations lately, that she was worried for your future. Something about you being… empty?"

"Ah. Last year had been really… different for me. Opened my eyes and made me realize that I really don't have an idea of what I want with my future. But that conversation is going to have to wait. I have my own tournament to attend to." she placed the package on his desk and quickly looked at the small clock that sat atop it.

"My ride to said tournament should-" Kagome was cut off at a sudden announcement that echoed through the entire floor, if not the entire building.

"Calling Miss. Higurashi. Megumi-sensei has arrived."

Smiling, Kagome returned her attention back to her uncle. "That's me." seeing a blank piece of paper and pen, Kagome quickly snatched them up. "Here's my cell number."

"Ah, then here's mine." he handed her a business card that she read before tucking it away into her pocket.

"Then I'll send you a message when the tournament is done and we're on our way back." smiling still, she turned towards the door and began for the door and got so far as opening it and getting one foot out.

"What sort of tournament is it?"

"Archery. I'll see ya then. Ja ne, Oji-san!" with an excited wave, she turned and came face to face with the camel.

Letting out a squeak, she took half a step back. Tilting to the side, she took her first good look at the president.

He was handsome, for an older man. Dark hair that looked wavy from beneath his… head piece could be seen, he had a long masculine face that bore signs of age. Though time treated him kindly. A thin stylish moustache rested over his upper lip and dark grey eyes took her in. And despite his costume hiding his form, she could tell he was tall. If not well built, though not in an overly strong form.

Bowing respectfully, she acknowledge him. "President-san." With a final farewell, she quickly made her way towards the elevators to head down to the lobby so she could finally get going to her tournament.

Lory watched the young woman go, going over what he had witnessed. There was something about her, a similar feeling he had after Mogami-kun had auditioned, or after Kotonami-san failed the auditions as well. Most would say he was looking for things that weren't there, but he knew what he saw and felt. And there definitely had been something about that young woman.

"Sir, please don't eye my niece like that."

Turning to look at Sawara, he raised a brow at his comment. "Niece? And I'm not eyeing her."

"Yes, from my younger sister. And you were eyeing her like you found the latest puzzle, which means prey." his flat look, something that Lory was used to by now, caused Lory himself to wipe all expression off his face.

"Prey? Not only is that inappropriate, but highly inaccurate." he turned to take in the last spot she had stood in and contemplated over the girl and his next words very carefully. "I got a sense from her, much like Mogami-san and Kotonami-san when they first tried joining us."

Takenori looked totally perplexed, eyes wide as the presidents words worked their way through his mind. But before he could ask on what his boss meant, the man turned back towards him and asked a new question.

"What was it that your niece wanted?"

"Ah, she was delivering something. My father in law has an interesting network of contacts, so through him I managed to get a gift for Sachiyo."

"That's right, your daughter's birthday is coming up." Lory nodded his head as he stroked his chin. "Why didn't your niece stay a little longer than?"

"She's participating in an archery contest. That announcement just now was for her."

Takenori hummed as he watched a summary of the tournament that Kagome had participated in. The announcers were also talking about their review of said tournament, their words only managing to go in half an ear.

"... -l's team was a refreshing shock! We were surprised by Higurashi-san's performance. It says in her papers that she only joined the club when she first started high school, and had no prior training. To think there is such a thing as a natural in the archery world." the woman's voice sounded surprised, pleased but surprised.

"I know what you mean. Just look at her form and that concentration! Not only that, for a first year she also picked up the slack when a fellow team mate couldn't participate in the longbow part of this tournament." the faceless male spoke enthusiastically as Kagome finished her round and turned to return to the rest of her team. "Also look at her grace and poise even afterward! Call me foolish-"

"What's that you're watching there, Sawara-san?"

Looking up, Takenori blinked when he spotted Matsushima walking in with a few folders in his hand. Though the other's man attention was quickly drawn to the real that was still playing on his screen.

"Wow, she's pretty good. I didn't know you were interested in archery."

"I'm not, well not really."

Matsushima raised a brow as he turned to Takenori. "Then how do you explain that?" he nodded his chin towards the screen.

"Oh that's because-" the phone on his desk rang, where he quickly asked for a moment. "Sawara speaking."

"Sir, you have a guest here. Your niece is waiting here at the front desk."

Smiling, he thanked the secretary before telling her that he would be right down. "You'll have to excuse me, something just came up that needs my immediate attention." he was already up and heading towards the elevators before Matsushima could get a word in edgewise.

"Wonder what that was all about…" shrugging his shoulders, he placed the folders on the desk for his college to go over after he returned.

Takenori hummed as he rode the elevator down to the main floor. Kagome's recent visit had been the first time he had seen her for a long time. He was glad that the bridge between his family and his sister's was being rebuilt.

When the elevator doors opened, he paused when he saw Mogami-chan waiting. Without really thinking other than wanting to share his joy, he slung an arm around the girl's shoulders and dragged her with him.

"Mogami-chan, so good to see you!"

"Sawara-san!?"

Kyoko began to panic, remembering that the manager of the studio had more than likely called Sawara-san about her performance. It was also more than likely that he had watched her debut. Not only that… she was sure she had just spotted Tsuruga-san from the corner of her eye.

While she had spoken with Tsuruga-san the other night, it had been as Bo and not herself. The last time she had spoke to him as Kyoko, she had flipped him the bird and then stormed off. Panic began to set in when their eyes met and Tsuruga began to follow after.

Whipping her head about to face forward, she also just realized that Sawara had just asked her a question.

"Ah… yes!" perhaps a little too much enthusiasm in that reply?

"Pleased to hear that. Just this way then."

What had she just agreed to this time? Not another odd Love Me member job. The last one had been nothing like he had described, and the one before that didn't end quite like she had thought. Although… she was now a student of the acting training classes, so that was a plus.

"There she is now. Kagome-chan!"

Kyoko jumped at the name, deeply buried memories of her childhood began to bubble to the surface. Memories of happier times when it had been Shotaro, herself and a blue eyed girl. It had been the three of them for the longest time. Shotaro would only talk to the two of them, her more so than the other girl. Kyoko had been picked on because of that fact, and the other girl was picked on because of her blue eyes and name.

Her name was the same as the children's game, Kagome Kagome.

The girl at the front desk had her back towards them which showed nothing more than a high school uniform and her raven black hair. Kyoko felt her heart pounding so loudly, that she was sure the entire building could hear it. And it only got louder and quicker when the girl began to turn.

Blue eyes.

Her heart froze at those eyes. The face was the same, more grown up, but still the same. Soft oval face instead of childishly round. Her cheeks no longer childishly pudgy, but those of a young woman. Actually, everything about her had very few signs of a child.

"Takenori-oji!"

Kyoko watched with bated breath as this Kagome waved enthusiastically and jogged lightly towards them. Kyoko's brows furrowed. "Wait, oji?"

"She's my niece, didn't you pay attention to what I was saying?"

"Of-of course! It's still kinda hard is all." Kyoko stuttered her reply. Turning her head to the side to scratch the back of her neck, she spied that Tsuruga was quickly gaining ground. Jumping forward, her full attention was once again this Kagome.

"I just finished watching the summary news on your tournament, congratulations Kagome-chan!"

It was easy to hear the pride in Sawara's voice.

"Thank you, Takenori-oji! But it was a team effort." she smiled before turning towards Kyoko, canting her head to the side slightly. Her brows furrowed as her blue eyes took in Kyoko's form. She took a glance at Sawara, and Kyoko could already hear the oncoming question. In a sense, it hurt that Kagome didn't seem to recognized her. If this was -her- Kagome.

"Oh that's right! Kagome, I'd like you to meet-"

"Kyoko-chan?"

Kyoko perked up, this was -her- Kagome! A smile was slowly growing on Kaogme's face, the same one that had helped Kyoko when they were once kids.

"You… you remember me?"

"How could I forget little Kyoko-chan! Although… we're not little anymore. And you're new hair cut threw me off. But I like it."

Then without warning, Kyoko was in Kagome's arms, receiving a warm hug. One that Kagome would always give her whenever she needed them. That had been one of Kagome's gifts, seemingly knowing when to comfort, support or leave alone.

"The two of you know each other?"

Sawara's voice broke through Kyoto's thoughts, also causing Kagome to take a step back. Kagome was still all smiles, while she herself was still somewhat in shock.

"Kyoko-chan was my best friend when I still lived in Kyoto." Kagome gripped her hands and leaned in just the slightest amount. "It's been so long! We really should get together and catch up after all these years. When did you get in Tokyo to begin with? You should have called!"

All of a sudden, Kyoko felt nervous. Sawara-san on one side, Kagome in front of her, and Tsuruga-san who she had flipped off the other night just behind her. It felt like the pressure was mounting and continuing to do so.

"I-I… I um…" she stuttered, something she hadn't done since she had been a child.

Kagome furrowed her brows minutely, her eyes searching. As she continued to sweat up a storm, she could only blink as she was suddenly being pulled away from Sawara-san and Tsuruga-san by a gentle yet firm hold from Kagome.

"Okay, now that we have some privacy, we can talk."

"..." still the same old Kagome. But when she still had yet to say anything, Kagome quirked a brow and a sly smile.

"I don't have to tease you about goblins catching your tongue, that you spotted fairies or something, do I?"

"No!" Kyoko's cheeks warmed, huffing a slight amount when Kagome began to chuckle.

"Good. So, when did you come to Tokyo?"

"A… few years ago."

"A few years ago?!" Kagome's eyes widened and she leaned forward a bit, making the shock easy to read. "And you didn't call us in all that time? How come?"

"...I didn't have your contact information."

Kagome furrowed her brows. "But… I wrote it plenty enough times in all the letters I sent you. It was one of the things I made sure you had after Mama moved us here to Tokyo."

Blinking, Kyoko stared at Kagome blankly. "Letters?"

"Yeah, the letters… Wait. Are you saying you didn't get -any- of my letters?" her brows once again furrowed. "After we were settled in with Ji-chan, I wrote you every two weeks. But when I didn't get any reply after… six months…" Kagome shrugged her shoulders. "I figured you were upset that I had to move and wanted nothing more to do with me."

"Not at all! I had thought you had forgotten all about me!"

"Never. I never forget a friend. And you were my -best- friend." Kagome looked up at her, a shy smile in place. "I'd really like to be friends again, hopefully best friends, despite all the years we were separated. If you want?"

Kyoko stiffened, a blush starting to warm her cheeks. A best friend, even better, a girl friend! She could do all the things she had dreamed about doing with the other girls from Jr. High, and with Kagome!

When Kaname-san agreed, everything would be perfect!

Ren watched the two girls, memories of a time he had long ago forgotten once again quickly resurfaced. The fact that Kyoko was one of the young girls he had met when he himself had been a kid and had visited Kyoto with his family had shocked him. But as he watched this new girl, apparently Sawara-san's niece, drag Kyoko away to talk to her, he could only assume she was the other girl he had met.

He observed her, Kagome if he remembered correctly, as the two of them walked back. Kagome, like Kyoko, had grown up. But the blue eyes that had startled him when he was a boy were still as vibrant and shined with her emotions as they had back then.

"What was that all about, Kagome-chan?"

"Just agreeing to setting a date to catch up with one another. Sorry for stealing Kyoko-chan away." Kagome's smile was still warm.

When he glanced his attention towards Kyoko, she stiffened under his stare and changed the subject back to Kagome.

"Sawara-san mentioned something about a tournament?"

"Kagome-chan won first place in an archery tournament!" Sawara-san boasted, causing his niece to blush the slightest amount at suddenly being the center of everyone's attention.

"Takenori-oji~ I'm on a team, meaning it was a team effort."

"But the announcers said you picked up for someone that couldn't compete suddenly."

"...announcers?"

"You mean you didn't know that the tournament was being broadcasted?"

Kagome blinked a few times shaking her head slowly. "No. I was more concentrated on the tournament, and helping my teammate after… Helping my teammate."

"I didn't know you were into archery."

Kagome turned to Kyoko-chan. "I got into it recently, still a novice in the archery world to be honest. Only started it… just under a year ago."

"Only a year and you're winning tournaments? That's quite the feat."

Kagome turned towards Yashiro-san, blinking as she took him and his manager in as if realizing for the first time that they had been there all along. Kyoko was panicking now that they were now part of the conversation.

"Oh! Thank you…"

"Ah, I'm Yashiro Yukihito." his manager was smiling pleasantly and bowed politely to the girl.

Kagome returned the smile and gesture. "Thank you for the compliment, Yashiro-san." She turned towards him, smile still in place. "And you are?"

He blinked, for multiple reasons. Firstly, to have that smile that he remembered so well directed towards him after all these years caused his heart to stutter. Secondly, he mentally wondered how she didn't know who he was. And he meant that in a way that wasn't too egotistical.

"Kagome-chan… you don't recognize Tsuruga Ren?" Sawara-san quietly spoke up.

"Last year, I was… otherwise occupied too much to worry about the entertainment world. And while I was in Jr. High…" she shrugged her shoulders. "I was more into… I don't know, trying to pass my tests, get the cutest boy to notice me, fashion and stuff like that. It was then I was just beginning to notice and recognize stars."

She turned towards him, a sheepish smile in place. "I mean no disrespect, Tsuruga-san."

"It's alright. It's good to hear that you're worried about your grades and about being respectful towards others." he offered a polite smile, then he turned towards Kyoko-chan. "Isn't that right, Mogami-san?"

The girl instantly stiffened, backing a few steps shivering as he continued to stare her down. Even Kagome had stiffened, but he wasn't sure if it was a reaction to Kyoko or not.

"Ah-ah… ah-!" her face grew pale quickly enough that it caused the others to grow worried.

"It was rather rude of you to walk away after seeing me. I am your senior, after all." by then, the girl was shaking and trembling.

"How do you do!" she bowed so quickly and so passionately, that he was almost sure she would end up tossing herself onto the floor.

"What, no middle finger this time?" he saw how Kagome's eyes widened at his words before she bit down on her lips and turned away to cough into a raised fist, obviously trying to disguise her laughter.

Yashiro-san choked on something at his side while Sawara-san groaned and ran a hand down his face. Seemed the man forgot all about that night, if the mutterings under his breath were anything to go by.

Seeing Kyoko curl her fingers as she shook subtlety, it was only easy to figure out what she was thinking. "Just now, you were thinking I was an unforgiving person, weren't you?"

She shot up, shaking her head frantically. "I did not! I did not! I did not think that!"

Standing to his full height he continued to smile down at the girl, she slowed down in shaking her head negatively before stopping altogether. It was his turn to bite his inner cheek. Kyoko's eyes began to swim with tears, her lower lip to tremble.

"Yes I did!" the words came out in a childish cry, as if she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Raising a fist to try and stifle his laughter, he shook with the minute amount of laughter he was holding in. Kagome on the other hand, was finally letting her own break out.

"Maa-maa! You haven't changed all that much, have you!"

"So mean, Kagome-chan!" Kyoko pouted as she began to wipe the fallen tears.

Ren watched as the two girls spoke with one another, Kagome still amused as she apologized while Kyoko began to scold her old friend. The surprising point was, that Kyoko was no longer crying.

"Did… did she really give you the finger?"

Ren hummed as he turned to face his manager, not at all surprised to see the astonished look on his face. Giving the two girls a brief glance, he could only smile at seeing that they were exchanging numbers.

"Ah, I pushed her. Perhaps a little too hard. But I was also trying to point out that paparazzi and reporters will be just as pushy, if not more so."

"Another of your lessons, then." Yashiro pushed his glasses back up onto his nose so they rested more comfortably. "It's odd."

"What is?"

"To see Mogami-san without her uniform."

Ren turned to the girl, taking in her outfit. While it was nice, it was somewhat odd to see her not wearing the Love Me uniform that he had become accustomed to in regards to her.

"Mogami-san." he waited until he had her attention. "Why aren't you wearing your uniform?"

"Eh? Uniform? You work here, Kyoko-chan?"

Kyoko herself blushed lightly as she absently scratched a cheek. "Uh, yeah, started just under three months ago."

Kagome blinked rapidly at the news before shaking her head. "And the job you do requires a uniform?" her brows were furrowed, clearly confused.

"Eh… in a way."

"Mogami-san, did you just finish a job for the Love Me section, is that why you're not wearing the uniform?" Yashiro asked.

"Wait, Love Me Section?" Kagome kept glancing between the all of them, looking like she hoped someone would clear things up for her. She turned to Sawara, a brow raised. "You didn't mention that section last time."

Sawara-san let out a little sigh. "It's one the president recently came up with."

"Not that recent, if Kyoko-chan has been working here for three months." she commented with a raised brow.

Her uncle ignored it and continued with the explanation. "Anyways, while it is an… odd section, the members of that section are treated no less than members of any other section. They are on the bottom and have to work their way up to the top. Doing work directly tied to the entertainment business, such as appearing on screen and such, may not happen as quickly as with members of other sections."

Kagome nodded her head, but it was easy to tell she was still somewhat confused by how her brows were slightly furrowed. "I… see."

She was about to talk up once again, but a light musical ringtone distracted her. She offered an apologetic smile and stepped away from them to answer her cell. A few moments later, she returned to them. "I'm sorry, but I have to go now."

Sawara-san perked up. "Ah, that was your Mother?" at Kagome's nod, Sawara-san smiled. "Tell her that the 9th is alright. Don't worry, she'll understand."

"Oh… alright then." she turned to Kyoko and smiled. "Don't forget to call me! It was a pleasure meeting you. Ja-ne!" she bowed before leaving with a wave.

It wasn't until after Kagome finally disappeared that they turned their conversation back business.

"You still haven't answered why you're not wearing your uniform, Mogami-san."

Kagome chatted with Ayumi, Eri, and Yuka as they headed towards the main entrance, happy that school had finally let out.

"I'm still shocked that you met the Tsuruga Ren and didn't even recognize him!" Yuka gushed causing the others to giggle as Kagome rolled her eyes.

"Well I'm sorry, but I've been busy these past few months I've been more worried about my grades than dramas. And you remember last year." she didn't explain any more than that, having long decided to stick with the 'sick' excuses she had used while traveling through time.

"Oh pooh. I'm more upset that you didn't ask for an autograph!" Ayumi sulked.

While she was the most naive of them all, she still was a teenage girl. It sort of got her goat that Kagome met a famous person, had an uncle that worked with famous people, and hadn't said a thing all this time.

They continued chatting, Kagome more than pleased that the topic had finally shifted to something else. Though the topic change did leave much to be desired. Why did they always have to ask if she would finally give Houjo a chance?

Kagome was about to answer when a student rushed passed them, nearly knocking the four of them down.

Yuka called out, more than angry at what just happened. "Hey, watch where you're going!"

"And no apology either, how rude." Ayumi huffed, cleaning herself of invisible dust.

Eri was also about to comment when a few more rushed past them, all calling out excitedly. The four girls paused whipping their heads about as more students continued to rush past them in an excited manner.

"What the heck is going on here?!" Eri blinked. When the next student decided to rush past, she snagged them and demanded an answer.

"There's a limo at the main entrance!" the young boy wrenched himself free from Eri's grip and raced off towards the entrance.

The four of them stood there exchanging looks before they shrugged their shoulders and continued on their way. They figured the limo had nothing to do with them. It was rather chaotic when they finally got outside. A mass of students were climbing over each other 'ooing' and 'awing' and speculating about the reasons why the limo was there.

They huffed as they shouldered their way past the moving wall. "Sheesh, you'd think they'd never seen a limo before, let alone a car." Eri huffed as she began to straighten her uniform.

"The closest they got to one is probably watching one in the movies or tv." Ayumi rationalized as she too fixed her appearance.

Yuka huffed, her cheeks red as she glared at the group. "Doesn't give them the right to cop a feel. Perverts."

"Maa-maa they're only-"

"Higurashi-san?"

Everyone froze as the driver stood next to the car. Kagome raised a brow as she turned around to face the man. He matched the limo, which was weird to her. He was tall, dark wavy hair and dark skin. He wore a suit that looked like it was something more from the Victorian era, but all in all, he was very handsome.

Kagome shifted a bit uncomfortably when she realized she was quickly under everyone's intense inspection. Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she focused more on the man.

"Yes?" she canted her head to the side, wondering who this man was and what he wanted.

"I'm here because the President requires your services."

"The Presi… Oh. Him. What services? I never heard of any such request." she was semi shocked that his face showed not a single emotion at all. If she didn't know any better, she would have thought he was Sesshoumaru in disguise.

"He did not tell me Miss. All that he told me was that it was urgent and you were the one he needed to help solve the issue."

His facial expression remained neutral, as well as his voice. It didn't give her much to go on. Letting out a sigh, she nodded her head and walked forward.

"Kagome-chan?!"

She offered her friends a reassuring smile and wave. "Don't worry guys, we'll have to go another time though!"

The ride was silent, and a might uncomfortable. It didn't help that she had no idea on what the President of LME could possibly want from her, or that the driver wasn't talking. With that thought in mind, she decided to make some calls.

Going through her contacts, she found her uncle's number and decided to call him first. Perhaps with him working at LME, he might know what the President wanted with her. It took a few rings before she finally got through. And she had to smile at his greeting.

"Sawara Takenori, head of Talent LME, how may I help you?"

"Hi Oji-san!"

"Kagome?"

"Of course! Unless you have others calling you oji?" she giggled as he floundered about a bit.

"No, no! It's good to hear from you. How is everything?"

"Everything is going well. Oh! And Mama said the 9th is perfect." she watched the buildings past the window she sat next to.

"That's good to hear. I don't mean to sound rude, but why the call?"

"Not at all, you're a busy man. I was wondering if you've spoken with the President recently."

"The President… LME's President? Takarada-san? Not recently, why?"

"Oh, I was wondering if you might know the reason I'm on my way to… hang on a moment." she pressed the cell to her shoulder. "Excuse me, Driver-san. Are we on our way to LME?"

"Yes Miss."

"Ah, thank you." pressing the cell back to her ear, she started back up with her uncle. "I'm on my way to LME, due to the President's request."

"I don't have any knowledge of anything regarding that. Are you sure?"

"There was a driver and limo waiting for me after school let out, and I can see LME coming up. I just don't know why is all." she blinked and leaned towards the other window to get a better view of the building.

"Well, I can ask, but he tends to keep the details of these projects of his secret. I'll see you soon then. Don't forget to call your Mother to let her know of your detour."

"Hai! See you soon." she ended the call and did the quick search to call home, hoping her mother was home and would understand the mysteriousness of the entire thing.

"Higurashi residence, Higurashi Souta speaking."

"Hey squirt, is Mama home?"

"Kagome! Where are you? Your friends have been calling and shouting at me through the phone. Something about you being kidnapped in a limo?"

Chuckling, Kagome could only shake her head. Her friends still had the ability to blow things out of proportion. "I'm fine. I'm on my way to where Takenori-oji works."

"I… see." it was evidently clear that he didn't. But that was alright, she was still as lost as he was.

"I called to let Mama know, could you tell her if she should ask?"

"Yeah, yeah, I can tell her. But you owe me!"

Kagome raised a brow, not that Souta could see it. "Oh? And how do you figure that?"

"I can hear that stupid tone telling me there are people calling. Most likely your classmates wanting to know what was up with the limo and you. And the fact that I have to tell Mom where you're at."

"We'll see. Anyways, I have to go now. See ya later squirt, love ya."

"Blech! Isn't my leg in a cast enough, now you have to go and say that love stuff?!" he made fake gagging noises, causing Kagome to chuckle.

"Alright, alright! See ya later squirt."

Hanging up, she tucked her cell away and then undid her seatbelt. Just as she was grabbing her book bag, the drive stepped out of the car and then opened the door for her. Kagome blinked a few times before offering him her thanks.

"If you'd follow me, Miss. Higurashi."

"Ah… Kagome please."

He nodded his head before directing her to where she could only assume the President was waiting for her. From the looks she was getting from those nearby and around, not many people knew what was going on. Which was saying a lot, they were part of the entertainment business and it seemed like a priority to know what was going on.

Kagome followed the man around the park house and into what appeared to be a studio and a dojo put together. There were a few people milling about, some faces looked familiar from movies or tv dramas she had seen, the rest were lost to her. Well, save for the President, she recognized him. Which was a task made… interesting, seeing he was dressed up as a Feudal lord this time.

"Sir, I've brought Miss. Kagome here as you requested."

The man perked up, reminding her much of a child… or puppy. "Ah! Good, good. Just in time too!"

Bowing to greet the man, she spoke the words that had her mind buzzing most of the trip. "Takarada-san, as much as this is a pleasure, why exactly have you brought me here?"

"Follow me if you'd please."

Letting out a sigh, she could only nod her head and follow after the eccentric and excitable man.

"Sawara-san had mentioned that you were a member on your school's archery team, and after watching your latest tournament, I realized you were the one to solve a little dilemma one of our actresses was dealing with."

Canting her head to the side with a raised brow, she wondered if he was implying she teach this actress archery or something along those lines.

"Are you asking for me to teach this actress archery?"

He stopped his gait and spun about to face her with a bright smile. "That's exactly what I need! We've already had many teachers, but they've never really gotten through to her. Seeing as you're around the same age, I had hoped you would be willing to take up the job."

They stood there, him watching her expectantly while she considered the situation. On the plus side, she'd get to see her uncle and Kyoko-chan more often. On the down side, if she were to ride in a limo ever lesson day, the school wouldn't leave her alone, and she'd end up with less time for homework.

Taking in a breath, she nodded her head. "I'll accept."

"Wonderful! I'll have my driver pick you up on lesson days and drop you off at home…"

As he continued on listing everything, they once again started walking. It was then that Kagome realized it was towards changing rooms.

"Am I supposed to dress up for these lessons?"

"Ah, our little actress is playing the role of a miko. So she's been having trouble putting the lessons she had to use in the required clothing for the part she's playing."

"..."

"I'll leave you here then, and announce that you've taken on the job! Thank you, Miss. Kagome."

They bowed to each other, and Kagome watched as he left, bounding towards the group he had left to lead her to her… dressing room. Opening the door, she paused when she saw the red and white of a miko's uniform neatly folded on a small table next to a mirror.

Sighing, she pushed herself forward. The last time she had worn one, was in the past, and she had nearly killed her friends because of Menomaru. Not only that, she was always told on how she looked like Kikyo. Those reds and white were more often than not tied to less than pleasant memories for her.

Ren was walking with Yashiro towards his car, it was finally the end of the day for him. Which was nice, since he hadn't had such an early day in a while.

On his way towards his car, he passed through one of the spare and larger studios, surprised to see a newbie actress dressed up with a small group of others. Deciding to see what it was all about, he made the detour. It hadn't past him when he noticed the President was also present.

"Tsuruga-san, this is a surprise." Takarada clasped his hand in a friendly shake, and gave a nod of acknowledgment to Yashiro.

"It is. What's going on?"

"Ah, our little Aoki-chan is here to receive some lessons to help her with her latest role."

The three men turned towards said actress. She was a bubbly young thing, all smiles and seemingly incapable of sitting still.

"Speaking of which, it seems the teacher is running a little late. Tsuruga-san, could you do me a favour and check up on them? Their in changing room number 4."

Nodding his head, he left the group and his manager to run the small favour. He recalled the role Aoki Ai was playing. A miko in a historical drama, but was having difficulty fitting into the role. Not that he could blame her, there wasn't much on miko these days. At least, not any that knew of the duties mikos of the past had to perform. But there were libraries and experts out there.

He shook his head when he arrived to the room's door and knocked on it. Blinking, he strained to hear something from behind the door to indicate that there was indeed someone in the room. There was nothing, or the echos of the others in the large studio made it hard for him to hear if there were anyone in the room.

Knocking a second time, he waited a few moments and still no reply. Growing slightly concerned, he gripped the handle and pushed the door open, only to pause on the scene he just walked in on.

Kagome in the middle of changing into her own set of miko attire.

The red hakama were already on, but she was still in the process of pushing her arm into the sleeves of the haori. It caused for him to be able to see a lot of skin from the waist up. But what caught his interest, were the silvery-

"Are you going to stand there, or close the door to let me finish changing?"

Her flat voice broke through his thoughts and forced him to make eye contact. There were a few startling realizations. She wasn't blushing at the unexpected intrusion, in fact she sounded… bored more than anything. She wasn't screaming or demanding him to leave. And she bore scars, disturbing ones that made him wonder what happened to the girl he met in Kyoto.

She let out a sigh and allowed the sleeve to fall, pulling it to rest on her shoulder properly. Her actions broke him out of his stunned state of being.

"Forgive me."

Closing the door, he turned away and ran a hand down his face. Of all the things to see, of all the people to see, what he just witnessed was not one of them. In fact she had been so far away from his mind, he had actually assumed the teacher would be another expert male.

His heart jumped when the door opened and she walked out, lifting her hair free from under the haori.

"I'm sorry."

"Think nothing of it. I wasn't paying attention to when you knocked, and you were only checking up on me. It was an accident." she fixed the collar of her haori before making her way towards the group that had waited for her.

"I still insist on apologizing."

"Then I forgive you." her tone was flat, no real emotion what so ever, nor were there any depicted on her face.

"You're awfully understandable."

She tossed him a look from the corner of her eye and raised a brow. "It was easy to see you didn't do it on purpose. If you had, I would have reacted differently. But, what's done is done, no need to make a big deal out of it."

His steps faltered at her words, his mind going over her words and what they could possible mean. As he watched her walk towards the President, who then introduced her to her student, he took in how she lacked any proper emotion. The happy girl from the other day was gone, in her stead was a hollow woman.

What had happened to her?

Chapter Text

Kagome smiled as she looked out the window, enjoying the view below. This was just one of the reasons she loved her job. It had been the main factor, drive to take this job, but now... she loved everything that came with it.

Her partner in crime was looking a little smug, enjoying not only her excitement, but taking in the view as well as knowing what waited for them when they finally landed.

"I wonder what their expressions will be when they see us." Kagome mused.

"With them being the military, none too pleased I expect."

Turning to the other woman with a raised brow, Kagome smirked. Shaking her head, she chuckled at Lois' attempt at a serious look. "You enjoy this part far too much."

Lois blinked before a slow smile. "You know me all too well. But I'm not the only one."

Kagome shrugged, moving to hold a rail when the helicopter started to buck as they descended. "True. But it's just one of the perks that come with the job."

"That's why I like working with you, Kagome. That and you have sharp eyes."

Kagome gasped, laying her hands above her heart in an obvious play of being flattered. She didn't stop when they landed and the door was opened.

"Oh Lois... you say such the sweetest things." she faked sniffling and turned to the first person standing next to the helicopter door. "She says she likes my pretty eyes!"

The man merely blinked wide confused eyes up at her. The poor man was rescued when Lois spoke up, drawing Kagome's attention.

"Kagome... for someone so grown up... you sure act immature at times."

Pouting, Kagome huffed as she was helped out of the helicopter, stuck her tongue out at Lois. "Life would be really boring if we acted mature and like the adults we are all the time. There are times for being mature and there are times where we can act out our inner child."

"You have a gift... to make such silly things sound so profound."

"Most think it's due to my Japanese heritage. And... thank you."

"Miss. Lane, Miss. Higurashi. You're early, we were expecting you tomorrow."

Both women turned towards one of the men that was there to greet them. Unlike the one that was helping with their bags, this one was part of the military. Kagome jumped forward to take her camera bags while Lois dealt with the one introducing them and beginning a short explanation of things they were willing to share.

"Thanks, I can take my bags."

"It's alright Miss, I got them."

"Please..." she pouted a little as she held a hand out to take her bag. Looking up at the man, she implored him with her eyes.

He fidgeted a bit as they stood there, Kagome staring up at him, while he continued to hold their bags.

"Please... I feel naked without it while on the job." she raised her hand, offering a shy smile which bloomed into something more brighter when he reluctantly handed her camera bag back. "Thank you!"

"Kagome... stop flirting with the guy, we got work to do."

Spinning about, she offered a mock salute to Lois. "Aye, aye mon capitan!"

"Game face Kagome, we're officially on the job."

"Alright." turning to the one in charge, she asked with a straight face. "I'll need to know the locations, what and who I am allowed to shoot. While we're on it, a few papers need to be signed on both our ends."

The man raised a brow in silent questioning.

Smiling, Kagome canted her head to the side slightly. "Nothing more than us stating we'll abide by the rules and cannot take legal action should we break those rules that result in injury or damaged equipment. And the others to state that you and your are allowing us to use the gathered material, and not confiscate it or use it against us, the Daily Planet and so on and so forth."

"Right... this way. We can discuss more in detail inside."

"And the rest of our bags?"

"Oh, Joe can take care of them."

Lois and Kagome turned to Joe, seeing him standing there already arms full with the rest of their bags. He looked a little lost at the unsaid command but could only shrug his shoulders as they began their trek to where they would be informed of the exact details.

"Be careful, those bags are heavy!"

"Than offer him a hand, or are you worried about your equipment?" Kagome asked, teasing her work college.

"You know how I get with my equipment after a flight."

"Yeah, you get twitchy and check through everything like a person that suffers OCD to make sure they're in working order. Let's just hope this meeting doesn't run long..."

Unknowing to the two women, Joe could only smirk at their conversation. They were certainly not what he expected for reporters. He couldn't deny that they were... good looking, he had been especially thrown off at seeing a pair of blue eyes similar to his own staring back at him.

Shaking his head, he would continue to be 'Joe', but once it got dark, he was going to do what he came for.

"Does he really expect us to use a bucket in the corner?"

"What did you expect? We're so far up north that running water is a luxury here. And I don't even know the physics of those portable toilets in these freezing temperatures." Kagome commented as she went through her camera bags.

While she had checked for memory space, and battery life, these were much colder temperatures than she had ever been in with her camera. Raising the device to eye level, she took a few test shots to make sure the lens was also working properlly.

"Besides, we have been through worse." turning to Lois, camera still on, she smiled as she got some surprise shots of her work college and friend.

"Oh do you always have to do that?"

"The pictures that are sudden are always the best. True emotions. Now, ready to head out there in the freezing night?"

Lois smiled, her own smaller digital camera ready in hand. "Let's."

Kagome was more than happy that she had bought herself the thicker winter coat and the new fleece lined gloves, the air outside was freezing!

"I don't know which is worse, this freezing temperature or being out in the scorching sun that time we did a report on Egypt and the demonstrations in the middle of summer!"

"Oh hush you, you enjoy wherever we go."

"Too true."

"Good, now zoom in as close you can to the plateau top."

Following Lois' lead, Kagome zoomed in to where the actual site was taking place. Just like Lois, Kagome was more curious than cautious. Which was most likely why the two of them worked so well with each other. They also believe in the truth. But whereas Lois felt that every story had to be told, Kagome knew that sometimes, some things were best left alone.

Especially after her stint in Jr. High where she was time traveling and fighting battles and enemies that most people though were mere fairy tales. It was why she choose photo journalism as a carrier. It allowed her to travel, something that she couldn't give up after the past, meet and learn new people, customs, and stories.

Looking at the display, a brow quirked up at a rather odd sight. Zooming in on the area, her brows furrowed at what she saw, but not comprehending.

"Lois, take a look at this and tell me what you see." Leaning the camera towards Lois, she tapped lightly next to what she wanted her to inspect. "Is that... what I think it is?"

"A man in a t-shirt?"

Kagome nodded her head.

"Than that's what it is. But I'm more interested in where he's going." with a smile that Kagome was only too familiar with after working with Lois for so long, she began to lead the way.

Pursing her own lips, Kagome hesitated but a moment before following after. She was sure she was not going to like what was to happen when they discovered where their mystery man was. Slinging the strap for her camera over her head, she figured with where the guy was going and with them following, she was going to need her hands free.

When they finally got to the cliff face, Kagome pressed her back against the rocky wall behind her and looked for footprints. "Just step where I've stepped. Safer this way."

"How do you know this?"

"I've been in mountains before, it shows that it's stable and will hold our weight. Also keep a grip on the wall behind you."

"After all this time working with you, and you still manage to surprise me."

Kagome threw a smirk at Lois. "Then I've done my deed for the day."

Turning the corner, Kagome paused at the large hole in the ice. She stared for a few long moments taking in the smooth ridges that continued on deeper, she shook her head and watched her foot placement. "Careful, it's icy up here. Keep a firm grip on the rock wall."

She put a little more push in her last step off the rock and into the entrance of the icy tunnel. Turning about, she watched Lois and her steps, keeping her hands out just in case.

"How do you make this look so easy?"

"Lots of experience." helping Lois keep her balance, she waited a few moments before they both turned to face the tunnel.

"Whoa..."

"My thoughts exactly." Kagome commented as she took off a glove and felt the texture of the wall before her. It was smooth to the touch, and slightly warm for ice. "Thermal?"

"What was that?"

Turning to Lois, with her hand still pressed against the ice. "Come feel this."

Lois did just that, her own brows quickly furrowing. "It's still warm."

"Exactly. And we don't have the technology just yet for thermal or laser drilling. At lest, not of this magnitude." stepping away and making her way down the tunnel, Kagome observed the tunnel walls and roof, there were no breaks or interruptions. That obviously meant the same method was used throughout the entire drilling, which was recent.

"Unless the military is hiding such technology."

"How? It's still in a research stage. Such drills have accomplished nothing more than holes big enough than a few millimeters."

"Then lets find out who and with what accomplished this."

"You ready for it?"

Lois turned to Kagome with furrowed brows. "Just what are you getting at..."

Kagome raised a brow, as if testing Lois' resolve. "Well... since we, as in humans, don't have the technology to dig or mine so... smoothly and our answer will more than likely be at the end of this tunnel..." Kagome turned to face forward once and started walking once again. "... it only stands that what did dig this tunnel is more than human."

"Are... are you seriously talking about aliens?!" a soft bark of laughter echoed around them from Lois, but Kagome wasn't laughing with her. "In all this time, not once have you even brought up the subject of aliens and UFO's."

The laughter turned to giggles but soon those stopped as well. "Kagome? You don't seriously believe in that sort of thing... do you?"

"Well, we're about to find out..." Kagome trailed off when she noticed that the texture up ahead, while smooth, was darker and not ice.

Despite it's foreign texture and questionable age, it had an organic flow to it. It was the oddest mix of technology and organic architecture she had ever seen. But if this really was something from another planet, it made a lot of sense.

Pulling her camera, Kagome was already adjusting the setting and lens and taking pictures.

"Kagome... are you...?"

"Uh-huh."

"Is this really...?"

"Yup. Even I'm still having trouble processing all of this." turning this way and that still taking pictures, Kagome paused and lowered her camera when she saw... something.

Wide blue eyes stared at the floating object, more than sure that it was observing them in turn. No matter how hard she took the thing in though, she couldn't make out any known form of a camera or lens. So how was it following their movement?

She slowly raised a free hand and slowly waved it up and down, cautiously watching how it followed her hand.

"Kagome, what are you-! Oh my..."

The two of them stood in silence for what seemed like eternity. Them staring at... well it... and it staring back. Or at least what could be considered staring, it was hard to tell what with it having no eyes or camera lens to speak of.

Lois leaned into Kagome, whispering under her breath. "Quick... take a picture."

Kagomes eyes shot to Lois. "Are you crazy?! We don't know what that thing is or what it's capable of!"

"If it could have done something, it would have done it a while ago now. So just take a picture. Just one picture isn't going to hurt someone."

Pursing her lips, Kagome knew it was no use arguing with Lois. At least not on certain subjects. While her friend knew when to back down, certain matters she would butt her heads against anyone and anything to get a good story.

"Fine just one..." with furrowed brows, Kagome turned her attention back to the... thing. Raising her camera and focusing on it, she jumped when it suddenly... changed. Quickly pushing Lois out of the way, Kagome's world exploded into pain.

"Kagome!"

She heard Lois' voice echoing around them, the sound of her camera breaking to which she mentally cried about, and metallic hissing. She herself groaned after she came to a halt when she finished rolling. Her back was killing her after impacting with the wall behind her, at least it was solid material whatever it was, she was sure she had whip lash from how quickly it all happened, and her right side was... in pain.

She wasn't sure if it was burning or freezing... it was hard to tell and compare the injury to. Never before had she been shot at... well not with anything that really struck her down like bullets and the like.

Letting out another groan when she felt her world settle and the pain in her side blooming outwards, she vocalized her protest against being moved.

"Kagome! Oh my god... I'm so sorry!"

"Heh... taking a picture... wouldn't hurt... anyone... my ass." she blinked dazed eyes to meet with Lois' upset ones. Offering the best smile she could muster, she tried to reassure her friend. "Hey... don't worry. I'm more in shock and dizzy than hurt."

The sound of metal crushing and slightly grinding... caused Kagome to turn her head to where that... thing had been floating. Blinking a few times before the quickly widened, she was shocked at the great strength the man was displaying.

"Sugoi..."

"Kagome?"

Turning back to Lois... she blinked her wide eyes. "Huh?"

"How are you feeling?" Lois's hands fluttered about, but she seemed unsure what to do with them.

"Huh? Oh... give me a minute... I'll be fine." gritting her teeth, Kagome proceeded to push herself up onto her elbows. But did it ever hurt!

"Lay back, you're hemorrhaging internally. The wound needs to be cauterized."

"Like I said, give me a minute... I'll be fine." she could already feel her abilities at work, repairing the damage. And as for the blood... her body would filter it so she wouldn't be killed by the very source that kept her alive. Enough injuries that involved internal bleeding were healed as such while she had been in the past.

Pushing concerned hands away, Kagome sat up completely and began her search for her camera. When her eyes landed on what was left of it... she let out a cry and scrambled for it on all fours. Picking up the pieces, she ended up ignoring the world around her as she mourned for her camera.

"So cruel... this was my first and favorite camera..." she continued to sniffle as she inspected the pieces. Not only were they broken, but some appeared burnt as well.

She jumped when a hand landed heavily on her shoulder and spun her about, but she didn't react until her jacket and shirt were pushed up.

"What are you doing?!" squawking and floundering about, she tried to push the hands away or pry the fingers holding her clothes up. But it was like trying to move or bend steel.

Letting out a squeak at the feeling of callused fingers brushing where her wound once was, Kagome blushed under the mans inspection and intense scrutiny. Even Lois leaned in to get a closer look. Lowering her hands, she covered her exposed stomach as best as possible, this was not how she saw things happening. Turning her eyes away, she avoided their questioning gazes.

Very few knew of her abilities, and those outside her immediate family always bombarded her with questions, stares, reacted oddly around her.

"How is that possible... I saw how deeply it went."

Kagome furrowed her own brows at those words. Turning to face him, she tried her best to ignore the fact that her stomach was still exposed by him, and that Lois' eyes were constantly darting between her face and stomach.

"Now that's impossible. How could you possibly know how deep it went?" she huffed yet again and pushed his hands away, most likely having caught him off guard with her own question.

"Kagome... there was so much blood... how did you heal so quickly?"

Stiffening, she turned to observe her friend. "Um... it was just a flesh wound?" she hated the fact that it had sounded more like a question than an actual answer.

"With that much blood?"

"It looked worse than it actually was."

"No, that was deep and bleeding heavily."

Narrowing her eyes on the man, she pursed her lips. "High white blood cell count."

Her merely raised a challenging brow.

Her eyes darted between Lois and the man that ultimately saved their lives from that thing. When they landed on Lois once again, she offered a sheepish smile. "Must be my Japanese heritage?"

"Kagome..."

"Oh all right!" smoothing her hands down the front of her jacket, she fidgeted with the zipper. "I've... I just heal quicker. I don't know how to really explain it properlly. Injuries, sicknesses... don't effect me like others. That and... other things."

Staring the woman down, Clark felt his eyes widen at her admittance. And all his life... he thought he was the only one. But here before him, he saw with his very eyes on how her wound healed so quickly, was someone that proved otherwise.

She fidgeted as they continued to stare at her, doing her best to ignore their gazes. Her own eyes were darting all over the place, reminding him of a scared and frightened animal looking for the way out.

"Oh Kagome! I'm just so glad you're safe!"

Clark watched how Lois threw her arms around Kagome, clutching onto the smaller woman that sat frozen in surprise. She awkwardly returned the hug before Lois began to fret over her, asking questions without really waiting for an answer. As much as Clark wanted to question the woman herself to get answers as well, he was sure the Colonel would notice the two missing from the camp.

So with a plan of dropping them off somewhere safe and to get answers to help him learn who he really was, he also planned on asking Kagome on who she really was. But that would have to come later.

Chapter Text

Ducking a stream of flying sheets, they carefully walked down the hallway. This was whole new territory for all of them, some of them not even knowing it had existed to begin with.

The hallway it's self was warmly lit, the color looking much like aged parchment. Words in every language, and then some that were long forgotten, were delicately scrawled across the walls. Pictures of bight colors broke the monotony of words every now and then, all depicting scenes of heroism, love, tragedy, adventure and so on. Some of these pictures were no bigger than a childs hand, some as big as a horse.

More flying sheets continued to pass them, a near constant stream of them really.

Jack stepped lightly to duck under a stream of the sheets and his gaze followed after them. A large room could be seen at the end of the hallway, the top of a large globe could be seen spinning slowly. Beyond it several floors full of shelves and books, tables, couches only to disappear into a faded distance.

Books, scrolls and sheets of paper were flying from one end to the other. The air was filled with the sounds of turning pages, light whispers and soft music. It smelt crisply of paper, dusty of parchment, warm and inviting all at once leaving Jack slightly light headed.

"I said no! If you want to enjoy a book, then read it not eat it!"

The sudden angry cry echoed around them, causing them to blink. They strained their ears when something 'spoke' up. It was hard to tell, it was a soft high pitch sound, much like Tooths baby teeth. Once they finally entered the beginnings of the room, a chamber more like it, they searched for the owner of the voice.

A head suddenly popping out of nowhere from above, startling Bunnymund into jumping back while the others were merely startled. Jack was going to hold this over Bunnymund for as long as her could.

Turning back to the person that startled them, he could only blink.

Black hair swayed lightly as she turned to take them all in, bright blue eyes blinking and lips slowly curling into a smile while her cheeks began to blush.

"Oh guests!"

She quickly disappeared over the ledge she obviously had been standing on, the one just over their heads, before she dropped down in front of them. Her arms were outstretched at her sides as she was crouched down, but they quickly smoothed out her skirt as she stood up.

Once she was done putting things back into place, she looked up at them with a bright smile. "Sorry for startling you, but I rarely get guests. Welcome to my library!" she clasped her hands before her as she rose to the tips of her toes.

She was... tiny, slightly shorter than Tooth herself. But from what Jack could gather, she wasn't a child either. Her green skirt was brushing past her knees, though the pleats were at different heights so it was hard to tell. A red sash wrapped around her waist, the ends trailing down her left side. A brown vest over an off white shirt where the sleeves were puffy.

Upon closer inspection, golden words were stitched into the ends of her red sash, which also held a book that swung with her movements at her right side. And tucked behind her right ear, a pen.

"So, how may I help you?" she tilted her head, smile still in place.

Santa stepped forward, his booming voice easily echoing around them. "Ah, Man in Moon said you are to be next Guardian!"

The girl blinked rapidly, obviously in shock at the news. Not only that, the entire library went still. The books, pages and scrolls stopped in mid flight, the whispering and music no longer filling the chamber.

In fact, it became eery.

As Jack looked around, he spotted several crows resting atop the shelves and all were watching them. Little worm like critters from nearby shelves were also keenly watching them. It was highly unnerving.

"Why? What's happening?" Her voice was quiet, barely a whisper.

When no one answered her question, her brows pinched and the corner of her lips turned downwards. The expression didn't suit her at all.

"Please, answer me."

Tooth flew a little closer, an uneasy smile in place. "We don't understand what you mean."

She turned to Tooth, frown still in place. "Only when something is happening with the children, are new Guardians called upon. Especially in dire needs. So I ask again, what's happening?"

Tooth wrung her hands and drew in on herself, Jack could only wonder how she knew that and she answered him.

"Everything that happens, is recorded and added to my library. A few years ago, Pitch rose up and Jack was called upon as a Guardian. So please, what is happening?" by now, she sounded desperate and pleading.

Bunnymund stepped forward, his ears twitching. "The children are disappearing."

It took a few moments, but once the news settled, her eyes widened and all color drained from her face. She spun about and jumped over the railing behind her, causing them rush forward after her in worry for her safety.

They watched as she was carried over to the globe by a book and took it in. Her eyes were sharp as they scanned the lights that represented the children of the world. But when she got to Japan, her actions seemed frantic. She quickly rose to hover above the globe where she called out.

"Bring me the pages of every child that has disappeared!"

The books, pages and scrolls were once again flying across the library and in the distance there was a sound quickly approaching. The sound of waves at first, fluttering wings, but soon enough it turned out to be pages rushing forward.

The circled her, and she was quickly reading them. With a flick of her hands, pages were darting up to make room for new ones. It was a dizzying spectacle, and they were the ones watching her. Others pages she had returned to where they came from, most of which were aged, but the rest, which was a startling amount, stayed.

The book carried her back to them, stopping just before the edge of the balcony, the countless pages following behind her. "These pages show unexplainable disappearances of children all over the world in the last week. Unknown to humans, and mysterious ever to our standards."

They took in the wall of pages behind her, truly taking in how many that were missing. It rose to such heights, as to block view of the glass ceiling above them and spread out just as far.

While they were taking in the vast amount of pages, she was busy with her pen and book. Her hand was quickly flowing across the page the sound of her pen scratching across the surface. The moment she was done, something flowed from the pages to land next to them. It looked much like ink spilling, but as more flowed from the book onto the floor, it was spilling upwards not outwards.

Soon enough a figure stood there, a younger version of the librarian. If the situation were not as dire, Jack would admit she was adorable.

"I need you to watch over while I help the Guardians stop this and bring the others back where they belong. Notify me if there is any change in the pattern of children going missing." the little child nodded her head and used a different book to take her to standing above the globe, whispered commands sounding in the air around them.

The librarian reached out a hand and a single sheet of paper flew to it. "This is the first child to go missing. She was playing in her room due to sudden bad weather. It states here, like all the other pages, the room went dark and all sound was blocked off and she caught a glimpse of a strange... place. After that it just stops."

"What just stops?"

She looked towards Jack, a very worried look on her face. "Her page. Ever person ever born gets a book. It is filled with their life, each birthday starting a new chapter. For it to stop so suddenly is... not possible."

"They... they aren't..." Tooth mumbled, her hands flew to her mouth as if afraid to ask -that- question out loud.

"No, they're still alive. Just not... here. Their pages describe how afraid they were when everything of the world was cut off from them and then nothing. It's as if someone took them away somewhere, it doesn't state where. Or who or what for that matter. But there might be one who does."

"Who?"

Her face pinched up as if she had just sucked a lemon and she turned her gaze away. "Pitch."

"... are you saying... he took the children?"

"No. If he did, their books would still continue. But with how terrified the children were when they were taken... he might be able to track where they were taken."

They instantly broke into arguments on how they weren't going to get him to help, especially after what he had attempted to do a few short years ago. As they continued to argue in her direction, Jack watched how her expression darkened, the feeling of the library also darkening along with her.

She was then suddenly in their faces. "If you're not willing to forgive and forget, then I'll go see him myself. This is not about you or him, but the children. You called upon me to become a Guardian, you the great ones that protect children from everything that is harmful to them outside the human realm. But did you even bother to think that nightmares are needed just as much as sweet dreams?"

I'm sure they learned to conquer their fears due to him, to become outstanding adults. Without him, there would be no one brave enough to explore uncharted land and waters, no one to think to reach beyond the stars into the darkness of space, no heroes to conquer evil. Why? Because they would still be afraid. But they learned that conquering your fear in nightmares and childhood shows them that later on in life, they can do the same when they grow up

And right now... their childhood is being robbed of them. We don't know who. We don't know how, why, or for what. So if you don't like my simple suggestion, then I don't want to be a Guardian. He needs children to believe in him just as much as you do. Without them... none of you truly exist. You said so yourselves."

They stood there, her words ringing in their ears. What she said was true, but it didn't make them any happier. Silence, save for the whispering and fluttering of pages, echoed around them.

"If he so much as looks at me wrong..." Bunnymund narrowed his eyes on the librarian.

She raised a challenging brow. "Of course he will, you all banished him to his realm of nightmares and now ask for his help. But if attempts anything against any of us while trying to save the children, that's a whole different matter."

When they grumbled under their breaths, she merely rolled her eyes. "Come on then, we're going to see Pitch to see if he's willing to help freely."

"If not?"

"We'll simply have to persuade him. Or remind him that he needs the children just as much as we do." she jumped down onto the floor, only to take a hand from Santa and Bunnymund and lead them back to the book, which was now open.

"What are ya doin'?"

"My way of travel, since we're all here." she turned to look over her shoulder. "Come on flying folk."

Jack let a breeze carry him to fly next to Bunnymund, Sandy and Tooth Just behind them. Observing the girl, Jack finally asked the first thing that had been burning his tongue.

"What's your name?"

"Call me... Kagome."

Chapter Text

The world was dark and blanketed in stars, their light twinkling through the canopy of the forest. Night creatures went about their natural habits, sounding out their cries and calls while the rest of the forest creatures slept the night away. All seemed well and calm on such a peaceful night.

A howl ripping through the cool air spoke of something far more primal and instinctual. Three sets of eyes nearby to make sure all stayed well, that a dear friend was kept uninterrupted on this very dangerous night.

Unbeknownst to the small group of tight knit friends, in the middle of said forest was a creature that was going to change all that they knew and believed in.

A petite figure laid curled on the forest floor shivering and whimpering. Pain racked the tiny figure, a coppery scent tainting the air as they tried to reach for some unknown goal while trying to shield o bloody wound.

Her vision kept swimming in and out, the world was dark and hazy and she felt as if the weight of the entire world was baring down on her. Clutching her arm injured arm to her chest, she tried her best to keep the forest floor from entering her wounds. Her other arm was clawing in an aimless direction.

All around her, she only heard the sounds o f her whimpering pants, night birds and a few insects. So when the sharp snapping of a twig echoed around her, she sluggishly turned in it's direction. She saw a figure just barely stepping into some light that managed to break through the canopy, but pain clouded her vision so much, she took no notice of who or what was hesitantly making its way towards her.

"...please..." her hand shook as she reached towards the figure, her plea barely a whisper past her dried and cracked lips.

Stretching her fingers out towards the figure when they finally began to approach her, twitching at the need to feel another living being in her desperate and fragile state, she cried out when they froze at the call of a predator. Their form was immediately erect and frozen, and she could just make out the wary look upon their faces as they searched the woods. They tossed her a look before darting off, heading deeper in to the forest.

Tears began to fall down her cheeks just as she allowed her own hand to fall, and silently, she cried. For the first time in a long time, Kagome felt... hopeless, alone, fear. As another howl echoed around her, sounding much more closer than the earlier one, she curled deeper in on herself. Was this her end?

Was she going to die in this forest, alone? What about her family and friends? Did the others even know of her missing from their little band of shard hunters? Or even where to begin in searching for her?

So deep into her thoughts, Kagome didn't notice the creature that stood at the edge of the clearing she rested in. It's hunched panting form that sniffed at the air and let out deep bone rattling growls. She did however take notice when it finally approached her and a cool nose nudged at her form.

Being so consumed by pain, she thought nothing more than to try and brush whatever was cool and wet away so she could suffer in peace. Instead, a puff of moist war air hit her fingertips, warmth coiling around them. In fact, whatever was behind her radiated such heat, warmth was returning to her entire back.

Heavy lids finally fell close, but her brows furrowed when some deep part of her mind told her to stay awake and aware due to the predator that hovered over her. She could feel it moving around her, the scent of earthy mush and something that awoke the familiar in her caused her to let out a moan. Her mind was losing it's grip on consciousness, which could be viewed as a blessing with how it was numbing the pain. Whatever predator that was over her, she vaguely wondered when it was going to pounce, it most likely never had easier prey.

The feeling of something cool and wet returned, snuffling around her wounded front and then nudging her onto her back. Groaning at the dizzying sensation, it quickly turned into a hiss of pain when Kagome felt a rough tongue grazing along her torn flesh. Flinching, she twitched away from the appendage, or at least tried. Her actions earned her a growl and large rough hands taking a firm grip of her arm and hip. Soon the being was above her, if the intense heat she was feeling was anything to go by.

It continued to lick at her spilt blood, sometimes agitating her wounds for more blood to flow, but never did it use it's fangs or claws. Groaning not only in her discomfort, but confusion as well, Kagome lolled her head to the side. Perhaps this was nothing more than a far to vivid nightmare concocted by Naraku in some shape or form.

The creature nuzzled her exposed neck as it let out something that could be called a purr before a warm and rough tongue licked up her pulse point. Shivering, Kagome brought her arms to her chest, truly confused and growing more and more tired by the second. The creature nuzzled her neck a few short minutes longer, it was also sure to add a few licks and nibbles, before returning to her chest. She shivered when she felt claws carefully remove what she was sure what had once been her shirt and nudged her arms to get to the wounds on her chest.

Whimpering again in pain, it was the only thing keeping her from blissful blackness at this point, the creature let out another low purring growl. After what felt like forever, it shifted so that it rested on the ground behind her and carefully brought her into it's arms. A furry body wrapped itself around her own, it's heat more than easily radiating into her own tiny form.

Movement from in front of her was heard, she couldn't open her eyes now even if she wanted to, caused the creature behind her to shift and growl lowly. She could feel the vibrations from deep within it's chest as they worked through her entire body. A low whine, Kagome furrowed her brows and somehow pegged the new critter intruding to be a dog, seemed to ease the creature behind her.

The dog, she wasn't entirely sure but she would stick with that until she finally passed out, slowly approached. It's steps were light, as were it's whines and whimpers. The creature behind her slowly eased on it's growls, and it's body eased with each forward step the dog took. Finally, Kagome felt the dog lay itself along the length of her front. What she vaguely found odd, was how it seemed to be careful to not touch her wounds.

With warmth at her front and her back, the head of the dog pressed carefully against her chest and the muzzle of the creature resting gently where her shoulder and neck met, Kagome quickly let herself fall into that most welcomed blackness.

The creature eyed the dog with gold eyes and blue gray eyes returned the stare with their own wariness. The creature stared a few moments longer until it let out a huff and buried it's face deeper into the mass of raven locks. As for the dog, it snuggled deeper into the exposed flesh, though it was careful of the freshly cleaned wounds. Both quickly fell asleep, one knowing there were two others keeping an eye out should anything happen.

When the suns first light hit his face, he let out a groan and buried his face deeper into the warmth before him with hopes of falling back asleep. The warmth before him shifted, making him realize it wasn't his pillow. Then he remembered what last night had been, and that he couldn't have been in his bed last night, and this wasn't the cot in the tiny stick house that had been provided for him.

Blue eyes snapped open as his body lurched backwards. His mind froze and he went into shock at what was presented before him.

A young woman, perhaps around his own age of 18 if not a few years younger, laid on her side and faced him. When she shivered and drew in on herself for warmth, his eyes fell to her state of dress. Or lack thereof. Now, at first he blushed, she was in nothing but a skirt and brazier, but all thoughts came to a complete halt at the vicious claw marks that marred her pale skin.

He snatched his hands back, his mind reeling at where they had been to begin with, and checked them over.

"If you're looking for blood, you won't find any. You didn't attack her."

Head snapping up, Remus blinked wide eyes at a pair that were watching his every move from over the girls shoulder. Said girl shivered before turning over and burying herself into Sirius for more warmth. Both of them watched her, Sirius blushed and seemed at war with himself on where to put his hands. He let out a sigh when the girl shivered again and wrapped his arms around her.

Something in Remus shifted at the sight, not quite comfortable with the scene. But he shook it off when he realized, more or less, that is was that cursed werewolf in him that was displeased. Or the fact that it urged him to either rip his friend apart or join him. Physically shaking his head to clear such thoughts, he thought it best to sit up.

"What happened?" he rolled his shoulders as he looked around them, not familiar with the clearing they were currently in. How deep in the Forbidden Forest were they this time?

"Well, we didn't make it to the shack in time. So when you transformed, we directed you towards the forest. We thought things would have gone normally, but you found her."

Looking down at said her, Remus scanned her form, taking in each and every angry red slash. "And you're sure I didn't do... that?"

"She was already injured, from what..." Sirius shrugged his shoulder. He started to push himself up into a sitting position, careful of the still injured girl who snugged deeper into Sirius' warmth after he settled her in his lap. "In fact, you pretty much cleaned her wounds and keeping watch over her."

Opening his mouth to ask his friend to elaborate, he closed it when the two missing members of their little group showed up. James was carrying a familiar cloak over his arm as his eyes darted over the three of them.

"We'll use this to hide her, those wounds should be looked at. Peter volunteered to run distraction while we get back inside and head to Dumbledore." James walked towards them only to halt at sudden twin growls from both Sirius and Remus.

Wide eyes blinked and shifted between the two of them. "...everything alright?"

Remus coughed into a raised hand, trying to end the sudden and unwanted growls. He chanced a quick look towards Sirius to see his friend looking highly confused, he turned his attention back to James. "Er, yes. I think. Let's get her inside and to see Dumbledore, perhaps he might know who she is."

James nodded his head and took a wary step forward, when the two of them stayed silent, he closed the distance. But as he watched them, he handed the cloak to Remus rather than wrap the girl up in it himself. The werewolf was internally pleased, though he was greatly denying this fact, and shifted to wrap the cloak around the girls shoulders with Sirius' help.

Remus watched as she disappeared beneath the cloak, but his nose eased his suddenly worried mind that she was indeed still there with them. When Sirius was finally on his own feet, still carrying the unknown girl in his arms, though it looked more like he was holding air, they stood there for a few moments.

"Right, let's get this done and over with."

Chapter Text

Now, if this were a scene in a movie, she would be laughing her head off. The fact is, she thought this sort of thing did only happen in movies. It was that comical, ridiculous and of course that meant if it could, it would actually happen to her.

First, a witch cast a spell or curse or... whatever and she found herself away from the others. Where? She had no idea, a forest that looked like any other, especially at night. Secondly, she had decided to take a bath the following morning to wash away the demon guts that she was still covered in. It was a safe bet to say, that the stench of said guts is what kept most night predators away from her that night. Thirdly, it was during her bath that a fox had actually came up, and snatched her smaller traveling bag.

Which led her to her current situation, chasing down said fox. She managed to grab whatever fell out. If it was clothing, she literally stumbled into them. Now she was running in a pair of jeans, her socks, one shoe, and her bra. She couldn't forget the fact that one arm was quickly losing the ability to reach out as she picked up other random belongings that fell out.

"Get back here you... you... you... thief!" she gained more speed as she leaned forward a bit.

In fact she was nearly running on all fours, down hill, over roots and bramble. All the while, unaware that she was heading directly into the path of a traveling group.

Said group had been traveling for a week now, only in the beginning stages of falling into group dynamics. They all already were set in protecting the heart of their group, following the wise words of the group elder, the brave leadership of their most experienced while of course enjoying the bantering of the two most with the most racial history.

Their leader smirked at the light chatter between two of their smallest members, not at all surprised it was about the lack of food they had. Over exaggerating that they would die if they due to their lack of elevensies.

The leader paused the group when his oldest friend paused and turned his attention to the woods. All were now paying attention, it took a while for them to hear what their more... fairer member was clearly able to pick up.

Running, more like heavy stumbling, and angry calls. Quickly, a fox burst out onto the path with a sagging traveling satchel in it's mouth. The apparent owner came crashing out of the forest right behind with arms full of random belongings. Very much under dressed, and not aware of them at all.

"No! No, no, no, no, no! Get back here!"

She chased the fox between them and around them, her entire focus on the agile critter that was chasing her by her nose. A set scowl on her face as she continued after the fox.

"You're not going to like the consequences if you don't drop that bag!" she let out a huff as she narrowed her eyes on the fox, which seemed to bark in laughter at her.

The soft sounding tink of a jewel falling and hitting pebbles on the beaten path drew everyones attention. As for the woman, her eyes grew wide before she dove for the jewel, halting when Boromir reached down and plucked it as it rolled to a stop next to his boot.

They watched how she froze, her eyes following the jewel up before warily taking in Boromir's appearance. It seemed then, she noticed the rest of them by her apparent form curling in on herself. But she turned her attention back to Boromir immediately, her eyes darting between the mans face and the slightly swinging jewel on a delicate chain.

Kagome licked her lips, she could already tell that this man was obviously hearing the darker whispers of the Shikon. The jewel itself was now shaded a pale violet instead of the pale pink. Licking her lips one more time, she spoke up, drawing the mans attention to her and away from the jewel.

"Please, can I have that back?" shifting her arms to continue holding her fallen belongings to her chest, she held out a free hand where her fingers twitched nervously.

The man lowered his hand a short amount, only for his brows to furrow and once again stare at the jewel. He twisted his gloved hand which caused the chain to be wrapped tighter around it. When he tilted his head slightly, towards the direction of the jewel, Kagome paid attention to how it darkened yet again.

"Give me the jewel, now." she shifted her feet to how Sango had taught her as she stretched to her full height. Which was sadly, nothing compared to half the men around her.

When he continued to ignore her, her brows narrowed and she put more strength into her words, which caused to the others to shift. "Give me the jewel, now, or you will not like the consequences."

Her tone obviously broke through whatever hold the Shikon had on him, but the look the man gave her did not sit well.

"...is it yours?"

"Yes. Family heirloom. May I please have it back?" her fingers twitched again, indicating that her hand was still there, waiting to take the Shikon back.

The mans hand tightened around the jewel, that Kagome took for a sign as his way of saying 'no'. Pursing her lips, Kagome narrowed her eyes on the man, not at all liking the fact that he still had the Shikon in his hold.

"Boromir, give the girl the jewel back."

Kagomes eyes darted to the one that spoke up, another rough looking male. Instead his hair was dark brown compared to the man that still held the Shikon with his dark blond hair. The she felt her brow tick at how she was referred to as a girl.

"I find it hard to believe, that this... girl, running around as she is, is in fact the owner of this jewel. I think I'll hold onto this." he brought his other hand up and began to delicately wrap the chain around his hand.

Her head tilted down slightly, though she kept her eyes on the man as her brows angled downwards. Before the others could react, she crouched down and spun with a leg out, knocking the feet out from under the man. And as he fell, she used her free hand to pull his sword out of it's sheath and press it to his neck.

"You should have just given me the jewel back." her eyes quickly darted to the others as they prepared themselves to defend their friend from her.

"Ah, ah... I simply want the jewel back, and then I'll be on my way." she turned back to the man she held the sword at his neck. "You shouldn't have listened to a thing it said... they're nothing but lies."

Mentally, she was hoping the man would hand the Shikon over, the sword was unbelievably heavy. Nothing like the blades she held while in the Feudal Era. But she would contemplate the differences between the blade she currently held to the ones of home later, after she had the Shikon back under her...

"Ah! Thank you!" she smiled brightly, as she handed the man his weapon back to free her hand which she quickly used to snatched the Shikon back.

Standing back up, she somehow managed to place the chair over her head and put it on. Clutching her belongings to her chest, she smiled once again at the man as he pushed himself onto his feet and sheathed his sword.

"Sorry about that, and disrupting you and yours. I'll be leaving now, goodbye!" she bowed as was customary to her culture, not caring if it was to them or not because it was polite where she came from, and turned her attention back to the fox that now sat before her.

She raised a brow as it cocked its head to the side, the strap of her bag still in its mouth. Seeing as this being her chance, she made her way towards the animal only to whine when it got up and darted out of her reach.

"Oh come on already! You were just sitting there this entire time why would you... What is this, a game?" crying out, she stomped her foot with a childish pout.

With the corner of her lips tilted downward, she contemplated her next move as she continued to eye the fox. Biting the inside of her cheek, she recalled Shippo, and how everything ended up turned into a game for the orphaned kit. Or how he always was sure to ask for treats whenever she returned home to stock up on supplies.

Humming, she smirked as the fox tilted its head yet again. "You give me the bag and I'll give you a treat!" her sing songed as she slowly crouched down.

"Are you seriously trying to bribe a fox."

Her eyes darted to the dark haired man that had tried to get his friend to return the Shikon to her. "Shh! I prefer to call it negotiation. Now don't scare it off."

Smiling she twitched the fingers of her free hand in a beckoning motion for the fox to come to her. After a few tentative steps, it halted when what sounded like the old man spoke up.

"Now why would you do that, my dear?"

"The rest of my clothes are in that bag, and I don't particularly like the idea of being half naked. Now please, shush." turning her attention back to the fox, she smiled as it once again returned to making wary steps towards her. "That's it! Come on... just a little... closer..."

Slowly, she wrapped her fingers around her bag, and pulled it from it's lose hold. Dragging it into her lap, she opened it and pulled out a shirt and quickly pulled it on. Now able to free her other hand, she pulled the small wrapped pouch and pinched her lips when she realized it was the very last of her rations.

A bark from the fox, drew her attention yet again to the creature. Mumbling under her breath, she mentally agreed with Inuyasha about how she was far too kind for her own good.

"Here, take it and go. Now I have to hunt... or fish... or hopefully there's a village or settlement nearby." tossing the last of her smoked meat at the fox, she carelessly repacked her belongings back into her bag.

Standing up suddenly, she shouldered her bag while also grumbling about how she felt naked without her bow and arrows. Rolling her shoulders, she turned to the group. "In which direction is the nearest village?"

"A week back down the road on foot, you'll reach Rivendell." the dark haired male continued to answer her questions.

Kagome quietly repeated the name, not only to get familiar with it, but also mentally clearing a few things up. Like where she was, or not. As she was most certainly -not- any where near Japan. She knew most major cities in modern Japan and their ancient names and locations due to her years of time hopping.

"Right. Thank you." she nodded her head and was about to walk around the group.

"What did you mean, by the whispers?"

A brow shot up at the sudden question from the man she had pinned to the ground with his own weapon, not at all expecting the sudden question from him.

"When you said they were lies, what did you mean by that?"

She recalled how the other man called him Boromir, so she could only assume that was his name. Eying the others, a sigh slipped past her lips at the expectant looks the others were giving her for her answer to the question.

"Personally, I've never heard them. At least not from the jewel." her eyes cut to what she could only assume was a child... with oddly large hairy feet. "Whatever you're carrying, however, is annoying."

The entire group stiffened at her words, though she didn't notice as she was now pulling her hair from under the chain that held the Shikon and was mentally preparing herself to go hunt or forage for food before trekking her way to this Rivendell place.

When she opened her eyes, she reared back at the sudden artillery that was aimed at her. "Whoa, boys, settle down!" she frowned at the sudden hostility directed towards her. "What did I say?"

"You mentioned... about what Master Frodo wears." one of the childlike, his voice was far too deep to belong to an actual child, spoke up. His form tense as he stood before the one that carried the annoying object that continued to chatter in her ear.

"Yes, it's something I'm able to do." at their confused look, she figured she would need to clarify. "I can sense things... things of power, auras, what a being is..." she trailed off with a shrug of her shoulders.

"And what about what Frodo is carrying?"

The old man in gray, leaned heavily on his staff as his bright eyes shined and sparkled in her direction from under the shade of the wide brim of his hat.

"You... want to know... what I sense, you mean?" at his nod, she concentrated on the one that was named Frodo, taking in his nervous stance and fidgeting. "Well, whatever he's carrying is small, powerful in it's own right... and extremely dark and heavy. Could use with a few seals."

She leaned down a bit as she eyes the male... whatever he was, humming as she cupped her her chin in thought. "Yeah... a few seals around whatever it is should block most of that... power, although not for long. Difficult, difficult..."

Since she knew she wasn't near Japan, she was unsure of how effective a sealing sutra would be on items of power that she wasn't familiar with. She had no idea of how the magics of this place worked, so for all she knew it could cancel out the seals, backfire, or reverse the effect and boost the power.

"Seal?"

Absently nodding her head, she stood back up to her full height and pulled out a sutra from her back pocket and waved it around. "Yeah, a seal. Useful in these sort of situations, but are not permanent. With the... magics here unknown to me, I'm unsure of how long I would be able to seal it. It could be anywhere from a few days, weeks, months to a few years. In all honestly, I would destroy whatever it is."

With another shrug of her shoulders, she stuffed the slip of paper back into her back pocket. With a sniff, she nodded her head towards the group. "Well, this was a interesting chat, but I guess I'll just be heading towards... Riverdale... I think it was."

"It's Rivendell. Have you not heard of it?"

Looking up towards the group, she shook her head. "Nope. Which means I know where I'm not."

"Isn't it know where you are?" one of the childlike beings spoke up, his face scrunched up in obvious confusion.

"Usually, but since I have no idea as to where I am... or when for that matter..." she furrowed her brows as she gazed off to the side, she harshly ran a hand through her hair scratching the back of her head at the end. Shaking her head, she returned her attention back to the group. "As I was saying, I have no idea as to where I am, but that means I know where I'm not. So lets say I toss out a few names, such as Tokyo, Edo, heck what about Japan?"

She waited for a response, she would take any of recognition, but when none came she let out a sigh. "Based from your reactions, none of those names mean anything to you. Great... like my life wasn't complicated enough."

They all watched as she ran a hand through her hair as she scowled in the direction of the forest. She shook her head and turned to them with a smile. "Well, best be off then! Have a successful... quest!"

She had barely made a few steps before Gandalf spoke up halting the woman's movements. "How is it you think we're on a quest?"

"Evil item tucked away and out of sight, every one armed and ready to jump out of their skin at the slightest noise, most of you carrying packs and a horse carrying what is more likely supplies. This all points to a long journey with, what I hope, a destination that leads to the destruction of the item in question." she turned to look at them over her shoulder. Smirking at their floundering, she chuckled lightly. "And before you ask, I know because I've done the same thing already... well, still looking for a way to safely destroy the cursed thing, but we defeated the evil foe that had less than charitable plans for the world."

Kagome gave a backwards wave to the silent men as she once again began her way towards the... towards Rivendell. "Good luck!"

When her world spun so suddenly and she felt something digging into her stomach, she let out a squeak. Blinking rapidly as she regained her senses, she looked down at two smirking faces that seemed rather amused with her current situation. Twisting about, she scowled when she caught sight of dirty blond hair, the same hair that belonged to the man she managed to get the Shikon away from.

"This is kidnapping! And very undignified!" tiny hands pushed against a broad back as she tried to support herself, and relieve the pressure diffing into her stomach.

"You'll have to forgive Boromir, my dear." Kagome turned to face the wisened old man that looked very much like a wizard with a raised brow. "I believe you hurt his pride from earlier."

"As a warrior, he shouldn't underestimate his opponent. Especially a women." she groaned when said man gave a particular sharp jab into her stomach.

"It isn't a woman's place to act as such, or dress as such."

Rolling her eyes, she propped her elbow against his back and dropped her chin into her hand. "Yet I still managed to catch you off guard. And have you ever tried to defend yourself in nothing but a dress? Not only does it hinder ones running, but it makes for far too easy access."

At the strange looks she got she rolled her eyes, she really didn't want to explain that. In fact, she felt that she shouldn't have too.

"I have a few questions my dear, if you would please." blinking at the old man once again, she nodded her head as best she could considering her situation.

"You... know a part of the ring, yet you seem as if you want nothing to do with it. Why is that?" he smirked at her light scowl.

"That's because I don't want anything to do with it. It's nothing but false power, empty promises and a sure way to a quick death. If I wanted power, which I could care less for, I would gain it through my own means." she blinked when she realized her answer reminded her of what Sesshoumaru once said to her.

"A woman that doesn't want power? Now I've seen the day!" Boromir let out a laugh. "Next you'll say you do not want riches and jewels."

"Personally... no. Though I wouldn't mind something to help my family back home... Ah-, they more than likely know what's happened by now... At least if Inuyasha said anything without it sounding too dramatic... like I died or something." Kagome sighed as she let her head drop, groaning when her forehead fell against something painful.

The others watched on as the young woman continued to mumble as Boromir carried her. She would break her quiet words with requests and demands that she be put down only for Boromir to deny them or ignore her. It wasn't until she spoke about how she was fine to having a free ride, that Boromir attempted to drop her. His smirk at expecting to see her land in a huff at his feet was wiped away when she managed to land on her feet silently.

Legolas didn't get himself involved until the young woman attempted to make a dash into the forest. Quickly and easily blocking her path, though she managed to surprise him by launching herself over him in a graceful arch. Her quick getaway was thwarted by Merry and Pippin when they latched themselves around a leg each.

"What are you... children?" she cried out as she tried to shake them off. A startled shreak echoed around them followed by snickering from both of the Hobbits still attached to her. "Keep your hands to yourself!"

Aragorn chuckled, it was one of the first times the air felt lighter since they all set out on this quest as she had put it. But as Boromir had stated through his actions, the fact that she knew of the Ring, meant she couldn't be allowed to roam the countryside spreading word of it's return to the land.

Another cry from the woman rang around them followed by chuckles from the Hobbits before the made a dash to the front of the group.

"I told you to keep your hands to yourselves!"

Chapter Text

Kagome sighed as she watched the girl fumble yet again with the bow and quiver. She had yet to retrieve an arrow yet. While Aoki, Ai was an eager student, she had a habit of over thinking things.

At first, Kagome had requested if she was able to read the plot to understand Aoki-san's character better. What she read, upset her greatly. It seemed much like her own adventures were coming to life, that's how similar the plot was. While there wasn't any sacred artifact that could lead to the destruction of Japan, she did get nauseous.

A miko that helped a man that was unwanted by all, deemed unfit and undeserving to live. Aoki-san's character stumbles upon him and helps him, and while healing him the two begin to grow feelings. Sadly, a lord's daughter sees his noble nature and his heart is soon swayed towards her. Because Aoki-san's character a miko, she's stuck between following her heart which is to love a man that doesn't truly appreciate her and all she's done, or her duty which is to serve the people until she either dies a miko or gets lucky enough to marry a priest.

Placing the script back down, she stood up and walked back over to her student. Even in her head, it sounded odd. "Aoki-san, don't think. Go with your emotions, your heart."

"Higurashi-san~! I don't understand your lessons!" Aoki whined as she threw down her arms and stomped a foot.

Letting out a sigh, Kagome tried to figure out make it any easier for the girl to understand. "I don't mean to be rude, but did you say that every time it got hard for you to get where you are now?"

"What do you mean, Higurashi-san?" the girl tilted her head to the side and blinked wide innocent eyes.

Standing up straight, Kagome looked the girl straight on. "I'm sure you went to various auditions, lessons and had various other jobs. Yes?"

The girl nodded her head, making it somewhat easier for Kagome. Meaning this might just work.

"Were there any times you became confused, or felt that you didn't understand?" when Aoki nodded her head, Kagome smiled lightly. "How did you overcome those moments?"

Aoki furrowed her brows and nibbled on her lower lip before smiling brightly. "I continued to push forward! If I needed help, I would ask for it. Or I would study and look up the information I needed!"

Nodding her own head with a hum, Kagome asked this one question to that. "And why is that?"

"Eh? Because I really want to be an actress!"

Smiling, Kagome then began to position Aoki back into the stance for archery. "Good. Now I want you to remember all those times were you succeeded, were accepted and passed every test. Can you do that?"

Aoki nodded her head, whispering a quiet yes.

"Good. See the target all the way back there? Think of that as your own personal goal, a well known and loved actress. You are the arrow, and the bow is the work you have to put into reaching your goal." slowly, Kagome began to step back from the actress. "There will be times where the challenges are harder, others much easier, but to reach your target you have to work hard. Now pull back on the bow string and release when you're ready."

Kagome watched with a critical eye, taking in Aoki's form. While it was sloppy, it would get better if the girl kept up her practice, but she figured it was also good enough for a tv drama. Her eyes were quick to follow the arrow as it was finally released, smirking when it finally hit the target. It wasn't dead center like she could see Aoki had been hoping for, but it was finally a start.

"There, you see?" Kagome laughed when Aoki turned towards her with a pout. "You've just started archery, it'll take a bit more practice before you hit a bulls eye. But other than that, how do you feel?"

Aokis pout quickly dropped from her face. "Well... actually, I feel pretty good."

"Good. Now you only need to remember the proper stance, and the rest should fall into place." at seeing the pout return and a hearing a groan, Kagome chuckled. "The stance is to ensure you don't hurt yourself, while also ensuring you hit the target. Now, let's start from the beginning."

She laughed and ignored the quiet whines and complaints of her student, smiling the entire time.

It had been near a month since that fateful day when Aoki finally managed to hit the target. She finally understood the basics of archery, and was managing to get closer to the targets center. Meaning that Kagome was going to have to see for how much longer Aoki and the President continued wanting her to teach.

During that month, Kagome managed to catch up with Kyoko whenever they crossed paths. It was awkward at first, after so long with no contact between the two of them, but they finally settled on starting at the beginning all over again. Although... Kagome had been furious when she heard when that damn brat Fuwa Shoutaro had done to Kyoko.

But right now, she had other things on her mind that needed her immediate attention.

Kagome rushed around with the others, getting the last minute preparations. Like the others, she wore the standard white button up shirt with black slacks, shoes, tie and apron. Her ravens wing black hair was pulled up into a messy bun, it allowed the stray strands to frame her face.

She was a server, a roll she willing volunteered for as part of the school festival. Her class decided to go with the restaurant cafe job rather than setting up one or two stands.

"Kagome, do you know where Ayumi-chan is? She was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago!"

Letting out a huff as she readjusted her hold on the heavy table cloths, Kagome looked over her shoulder. Absently, she blew a straw hair out of her face before answering. "She hasn't called me, so no, I don't know where she is."

The teacher let out a groan before waving her off. Readjusting her hold yet again, Kagome rushed towards the last tables, which were of course all the way at the back, to get them covered so the others could set them.

Soon enough, the festival was running, and she was walking around with a tray. Whether it was to bring drinks or food, or to return empty glasses and used plate, she was constantly moving. So it was safe to assume, that she hadn't been expecting to bump into a little girl seeing as this was a way to try and persuade new students to choose their school compared to others.

Blinking dazed blue eyes, she wondered what it was she actually tripped over. When a small whimper echoed into her ears, she quickly shook herself and looked for the source. Eyes widened when they settled upon a tiny blond haired girl as she rubbed at her eyes.

"Oh... oh my!" she scrambled on her hands and knees, quickly crawling towards the girl. "I didn't see you there, I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Still on her knees, she hovered as the girl. She was internally panicking, she could have really hurt the girl. Not only there, where were her parents? Internally, she began to panic how said parents would react to seeing their daughter in tears and on the ground.

"Can... can you stand? Or should I take you to the nurse myself?" her head began to spin and she was sure she was hyperventilating.

The girl drew her hands away, revealing bright hazel eyes that were swimming with tears. Kagome felt even worse than before and began to fluster. Her klutzy self had done it again, this time to someone much smaller than herself.

A giggle caused her to cease all thoughts and actions and she zeroed in on the girl once again. Brows furrowing slightly, hands still raised in a position where she was more than ready to help the girl. Apparently, this caused the girl to let out another giggle.

Now Kagome was really confused. Hadn't this girl been crying just a few moments ago?

"Kyoko-san was right!"

"Wha..." how did this girl know Kyoko? Unless Kyoko babysat... That, and she had no idea what this kid was talking about.

"You really are a klutz!"

Lips pursed and blue eyes narrowed, Kagome contemplated the child before her that was now laughing. Taking in the girls appearance, she could see now why she had been thrown off. A dark violet lolita styled dress with a matching bow to keep her long hair out of her face, she really did look like a little angel.

She was suddenly rubbing her knuckles into the girls temples, not too painfully but enough to stop her laughter. "If I didn't know any better, I would think you were a devious kitsune spirit out to cause mischief and mayhem!"

The little girl stopped her complaining and whining only to grab her wrists, halting Kagome's form of punishment. Hazel eyes stared up at Kagome with wide wonder. "Do you really think so? Me? A likeness to a devious spirit?"

Thrown off at the eagerness and hope the girl was presenting her with. Only problem was, Kagome wasn't sure if the girl wanted to hear that, yes she did just compare her to a kitsune spirit, or no she did not. So instead, she pulled a different move.

Pulling her hands back, she flicked the girl in the forehead. "Did that tumble hurt you that bad? I said it myself. I thought you were a devious kitsune spirit out to cause mischief and mayhem." she gave an extra huff at the end of her little speech.

It quickly died though, when the girls earlier words finally filtered through her brain. "Wait. Did you just say Kyoko-chan? Is she here? And who are you exactly?"

The girls excited and blissful smile quickly morphed into a tiny 'o', like she had come to a realization. "I'm so sorry! My name is Takarada, Maria! I came with Kyoko-san!"

Kagome could only blink as the girl quickly spun up onto her feet, dusted her skirts and actually curtsied her introduction. But when the name filtered through, her lips pursed and the corners dipped downwards. Of course, that kept secret would spill into her life. She just hoped it was this child and Kyoko-chan, she wasn't sure she would be able to handle someone with a name and face high schoolers loved. Heaven forbid, if the President showed up.

"Well, Maria-chan, do you want to go to the nurses? I did run you over pretty hard, to which I'm sorry." Kagome herself began to stand up, dusting her slacks off before bending to retrieve her tray.

"I'm alright! Though... I am thirsty." the girls voice came out more teasing and sing songed, which to Kagome meant she was up to something.

Looking down at the child, she could only blink at how she was rocking on her feet which caused the skirts of her dress to ripple about her. Oh yes, the picture of innocence. But... Standing her full height, Kagome offered her hand.

"Then lets go to the rooftop, there's a cafe set up there. Something to eat and drink, my treat!" smiling, she canted her head to the side as she waited for the girls reply. "While you enjoy your treat, I'll call Kyoko-chan and tell her where you are before she worries too much."

Maria giggled as she accepted the hand and followed after the older girl. Her interest in Higurashi, Kagome had been piqued when she heard her Grandfather talking to himself about the girl, and then later spied on how he cornered Kyoko-chan to learn more about her. Still, despite all that, she still had no clearer idea than her Grandfather about Higurashi.

"Higurashi-san, can you tell me what you know of kitsune spirits?" Maria had been stunned when she had been scolded by the older girl in such a fashion, not only being compared to a spirit but the noogie as well. It was very... sisterly to be honest.

She watched as the girl turned blue eyes towards her as she navigated them through the crowded hallway before facing forward again. "Please, call me Kagome. And what is it specifically you want to know?"

"Alright, Kagome-san. I was wondering how you came to learn about kitsune spirits. Most people today don't believe in spirits unless something doesn't go their way." Maria frowned at the floor, her displeasure at her own comment.

Kagome hummed. "I grew up on a shrine, learning about all sorts of spirits, demons, charms and such."

The answer surprised Maria as well as plant a seed of some unknown feeling. "Is that all?"

When Kagome paused and looked around them before crouching down. "Would you believe me if I said I met a few?"

Maria's eyes widened at the whispered confession also tightening her hold around Kagome's hand. "Really?"

The question was full of excitement, eagerness and hope. An odd combination to be sure, for such a conversation topic that most would dismiss as childish fancy.

"Oh yes. The first one, and the one I've known the longest, was still very young and only able to perform more childlike tricks and illusions. But there were others, in fact, I stumbled across an entire kitsune school!"

Maria leaned forward a bit, more than excited at the shared knowledge, also whispered a simple request. "Can you share more with me?"

Kagome blinked at the simple question, wondering if it was in fact a good idea or not. It wasn't like she came across anyone from the past, most people would pass off her story as nothing more than that. But she had to wonder what this child would interpret them as.

"Why not, tea and a story." at the bright and excited expression, Kagome closed her eyes and took a page from Miroku's book by nodding sagely. "But only one story."

"Awww, that's not fair."

Opening an eye at the whine, she fought down the urge to smirk at the pout Maria was wearing. "You did run off from Kyoko-chan, so we still have to find her. And I'm more than willing to share another story the next time we meet."

She opened both eyes to gauge Maria's reaction. As expected of a child, the pout quickly transformed into a bright smile. "I accept!"

Playfully rolling her eyes, Kagome once again began leading Maria to the rooftop that was now a cafe for the duration of the school festival. She left with specific instructions to her fellow classmates while she went to the office to ask for the use of the intercom to notify Kyoko-chan that Maria was found and safe.

She could only smirk as she waited in the office, wondering how panicky her friend was going to be as she made her way to the office. Interestingly enough, she only had to wait a few short minutes to experience just that.

"Maa-maa, Kyoko-chan, it looks like you could use with a refreshment yourself." she teased her flustered friend, as Kyoko leaned heavily on her knees, trying to catch her breath.

"I... can't... believe... that... girl!"

Kagome continued to smile as she raised a brow. Shaking her head, she pushed off of the wall and made her way towards her tired friend. "Come on, she's on the rooftop cafe. How does iced tea sound? My treat."

Kyoko nodded her head as she stood up, still panting and exhausted after having literally run through the entire maze of stalls, booths and large stage looking for Maria-chan. Her mind having gone through all the various plays of how the President would take the news that his granddaughter skipped her own classes only to be lost at an unknown high school.

"You know, when I said you could bring a friend... I wasn't exactly expecting you to bring the Presidents granddaughter of all people."

Kyoko sighed as while walked next to her friend. "I wanted to bring another friend along, one I met while working at LME, but she was busy."

"Oh? Whose this new friend?"

Kyoko sighed with a happy smile in place, clasping her hands as her mind began to wander. "Kotonami, Kanae! She's wonderful! Such passion, energy, strength and acting skills! She actually reminds me of you in looks..."

Kagome almost missed a step at the confession. She was still licking her wounds when it came to her and Kikyo, she really hoped there wouldn't be such a problem between herself and Kyoko's new friend. "Oh? I hope to meet her soon then. If you speak so highly of her, I can't wait to meet her."

Kyoko herself was in high heaven at the idea of Kanae and Kagome meeting. The idea of them becoming friends had her light on her feet the rest of the way to the rooftop as her mind played all sorts of scenes the three of them could do. Slumber parties, shopping trips, eating out, styling each others hair and makeup!

It wasn't until she was seated in a chair across from Maria-chan that she was brought out of her inner musings. Blinking wide eyes, she took in the tall glass of ice tea that was in her hands to the milk shake Maria herself was drinking. Looking around her, she took in the clear blue skies above them, the other tables and patrons of the cafe, but there were no signs of Kagome.

"She and some of the others went to do something to attract more customers. Although, she didn't look to happy with whatever idea they came up with." Maria waved a spoon that had been given with her milk shake.

"How long was I sitting here?" she furrowed her brows as she took a sip of her drink, humming at the refreshing taste and soothing coolness.

"Oh, about a minute. They snatched her up the moment she gave you your drink." Maria shrugged her shoulders and went back to own treat. "I guess we'll have to wait until she returns."

Looking down at her drink, Kyoko tried to think about how different hers and Kagomes situations were. She was working in an entertainment company and Kagome was living the life of a regular high school girl. Sipping her drink, she took in the chattering students and potential future students. There was a larger table that had a group of school girls that were obviously a few years younger than herself. Kyoko sighed, wondering if she had gone to school, if she would be doing something similar to what Kagome was doing right now.

Would she be participating in a school festival to attract possible future students? Would she have fellow female classmates as friends? A few dressed in actual school uniforms walked by and she sighed at the lost possibilities.

Meanwhile Maria was eying Kyoko, wondering what it was about all this that caught her attention? It was just a school festival, nothing really special in her honest opinion.

"Oh that's right! Maria-chan, how did you get free time on such short notice?" Kyoko took another sip of her drink as she waited expectantly for an answer.

"Oh? I didn't. I simply snuck out."

Kyoko choked on her sip, only to cough as she tried to clear her airway. She couldn't be serious, could she? Looking at how she was more involved with enjoying her milkshake, she shook her head. Mentally groaning, Kyoko dropped her face into a raised hand. That meant Maria's teachers had more than likely notified the President, who was more than likely going crazy in searching for her if her memory of not too long ago were anything to go by. Which more than likely meant he was somehow going to learn she was here and show up, and that meant things were going to get... hectic for Kagome.

She stood up with a rush, startling all those on the rooftop as she loudly proclaimed her inner most thoughts for all to hear. "I'M SORRY KAGOME! PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME OR OUR FRIENDSHIP!"

"What on Earth are you crying about? I'm not about to leave your or our friendship."

Kyoko let out a happy cry as she spun about to embrace Kagome at the words that seemed to soothe and calm her distraught emotions. Only to pause midway at the person that stood where she was sure she heard Kagome's voice. Instead there stood a young man around her age, wearing what one would expect of an English butler.

Taking the man in, her expression dropped. Standing in a proper stance, she offered a polite smile before leaning to the side thinking Kagome was behind him. She repeated for the other side, but could only blink when she saw no sight of Kagome. Looking the man in the eye, she could only blink at the bright red that stared back at her, she offered yet again a polite smile.

"Kyoko-chan, what are you doing?"

Rearing back so suddenly that she almost knocked into the person sitting behind her, she tried to calm down enough to go over what she was seeing. "Ka-Ka-Kagome-chan?"

Her friend let out a sigh as she brushed some bangs out of her face. "You'll have to forgive me. It seems some of my classmates decided we needed to spice things up after yesterdays count. They decided to have some of us cosplay as popular manga and anime characters."

Kyoko could only watch in shock as a brow sharper than one she was used to on Kagome ticked a bit. Hands in white gloves straightened themselves as she rolled her shoulders, it was then that Kyoko noticed the hushed whispering, coes and sighs had picked up the moment Kagome reappeared.

"Apparently the character they chose for me is a demonic butler of some sort. Sebastian Micheal or something. I really would have liked they had given me some more notice or chosen someone else." Kagome let out another sigh, it wasn't that she didn't mind, but it had been so last minute and her classmates didn't tell her anything about it. Shaking her head her to clear her thoughts, she turned her attention back to her friend. "What were you talking about just now anyways?"

As if remembering her earlier thoughts, Kyoko panicked at what was bound to happen in the immediate future. "I'm sorry Kagome-chan! But I think the President is going to arrive here sometime soon!" she threw herself at her friend, worry for their friendship once again at the forefront of her mind.

"Why? Oh. Because of Maria-chan?" both friends turned towards the child in question as she paused in finishing the last bit of her milkshake. "I already know. I contacted my Uncle who in turn notified the President. I was told it would take about an hour for them to be here to pick her up."

"Oh bah. Such a party pooper." Maria huffed as she pushed her now empty glass away from her and allowed her chin to drop in her free hand.

"I only did what was responsible of me, Maria-chan. Besides, I wanted to make sure you actually had permission to be here. When my Uncle sounded surprised, then I knew for sure you ended up skipping. I'm sure your Grandfather became more than worried when the school called him to let him know of your sudden absence."

Maria continued to pout at the sudden rain on her parade. Kagome herself pursed her lips, eyes flickering to Kyoko she decided on something quick and on the spot. "My shift is over, and I hear the drama club decided to do a haunted maze this year. Would you care to join me, my lady?"

Kagome placed a hand over her heart as she bowed in Maria's direction, a smile in place as she watched the excitement quickly grow on her face. The girl quickly jumped down from her seat and played along by returning the bow with a curtsy. "I would gladly accept."

Offering her hand, Kagome turned to Kyoko and raised a brow. "Are you coming along as well?"

"Sounds like fun!"

They left the rooftop cafe, ignoring the sighs of lovestruck school girls that remained. Or the group that had decided to follow after them. Kagome watched on bemusedly at how Maria took the entire maze in awe, not at all really surprised at the little scare she showed. There were moments when she jumped at being suddenly startled, but she was more interested in how everything looked in they daylight. Or if she could recreate it herself.

"I'm sure we can ask them how they made it all. It shouldn't be too hard, seeing as each class was given a certain budget to work with despite what they wanted to do." Kagome commented as she continued to escort her friend and newest acquaintance through her school festival.

It was when people began rushing down the hallways that Kagome knew the President had arrived. The same thing had happened when he... summoned her. When she spied a quick look at Maria and then Kyoko, and hearing their exasperated sighs, this was not new to them.

"Your Grandfather really does like to make an entrance."

Maria pursed her lips as they stood to the side while others quickly rushed by. It was while they were waiting for the most of the rush before making their way to where the excitement was, that three excited voices calling out Kagomes name drew their attention.

The party of three turned around and watched as another party of three was quickly making their way towards them. All of them wearing something or other to indicate their own participation in the festival. One as what could be assume ghost, one as a chef and the last in a simple black and white suit.

"Kagome! Looks like that limo is here again, going to make another... trip to see your Uncle?" the one dressed up as a ghost questioned as the two groups became one.

Shaking her head, Kagome replied. "No, the limo isn't for me. This time."

The three of them showed their confusion in various ways, one frowning, one blinking and one canting their head to the side. All Kagome could do was chuckled lightly behind a raised hand before drawing Maria to stand before her.

"It seems, the little lady decided to skip her classes today." she smiled as all eyes turned to the rather output young girl.

"Oh my god, isn't she just the face of innocence!" the chef giggled as she crouched down before the girl. Though she threw a sly smirk up towards Kagome. "Meaning if you're with Kagome here, you're just chock full of mischief."

The one dressed up as a ghost canted her head to the side as she examined the girl. "I remember you, you were the one complimenting the realism of our haunted house. I'm more surprised at the lack of scare from you, but thanks for the compliments."

"Who are they Kagome?" the one in the suit asked as the chef stood back up her full height.

"Oh, right, please forgive me. Guys, this is Takarada, Maria. And this is my oldest friend, Mogami, Kyoko!" Kagome smiled as she introduced the two to her friends.

The three girls gasped and gaped at the two, making Kagome chuckled nervously under her breath as she absently scratched at the back of her head.

"So -you're- Mogami-san!" the one in the suit finally spoke up.

As for Kyoko, she was unsure of how to respond to that other than with a nervous nod of her head.

"Oh it's so great to finally meet you!" the girl bowed with a bright smile, the other two following suit and Kyoko responded in kind. "When Kagome first moved here and we met in grade school, you were all she talked about. Even more so recently!" the one in the suit greeted first.

"Don't forget about that boy of a brat that seemed to annoy her... Toushu? Fosharu? Ah whatever, it is a pleasure at finally meeting you, Mogami-san."

"And as these guys seemed to have forgotten themselves," the one as a chef spoke up with a sly smirk. "I'm Kawano, Yuka. The ghost is Toma, Eri. And our maestro is Yoshino, Ayumi!"

"Ah, it's a pleasure to meet you all! Please treat me kindly." Kyoko bowed yet again to which they returned.

Ayumi turned to Kagome that still had her hands placed on the girls shoulders. "So are we going to face the music, or hope the crowd disperses?"

"I highly doubt that they'll clear out, at least not until Maria-chan is with her Grandfather." Kagome nodded her head to indicate the still pouting child.

"Pity, seems like someone doesn't want to go..." Yuka trailed off, though when she noticed where they all were standing she grew yet another devious smirk. "Hey, kid."

When Maria looked up, she could only blink at the smirk that was aimed in her direction.

"It's a shame really, all dressed up and not really getting to enjoy your day. If only there was a way to remember it..." she tried as subtle as possible to indicate the room she stood in front of.

Her smirk grew when Maria followed her hint and blinked. Her brows furrowed, not sure she was exactly understanding where the older girl was getting at.

"I mean, it's not everyday one gets escorted by a demonic butler..." she leaned down to whisper. "Even if it is cosplay, you have to admit, Kagome-chan makes for a stunning demon."

Maria blinked and looked up at the person in question, twisting her head to look over her shoulder. Kagome tilted her head in question and blinked. It was then that Maria took in the changed appearance, and couldn't help the light blush that over took her cheeks.

The magic of make-up made her femininely slender face a touch more masculine, adding sharper angles without it being odd. Contact lenses made her eyes an eerie red violet, and a wig styled so naturally she had not even noticed it was one.

Turning to the girl name Yuka, she stated clearly what it was she had been hinting at and agreeing with it completely. "I want our picture taken."

It was then that Kagome caught on and quickly glanced around, mentally groaning. Her friends were going to ask for copies, that was for sure. But she was also sure it wouldn't be the last. "Yuka..."

"Don't Yuka me, the girl knows what she wants. Now are you going to deny a face like this?" Yuka carefully pulled Maria towards her and crouched behind her, both pouting and pleading with puppy dog eyes at a grumbling Kagome.

"Fine! One picture, and then Maria-chan goes straight to her Grandfather!" she let out a quiet 'oof' at the sudden hug. "Yes, yes, you're welcome. Now let's not keep your Grandfather waiting."

Five minutes later, or what had been promised five minute but had turned into 15, of posing and promising to send the best out of the small photo shooting, Kagome escorted a rather pleased group to where the President stood waiting.

Kyoko, Maria, and Kagome could only let out a sigh at the outfit he was wearing as the other three that that had accompanied them stare in absolute shook. Not that they could blame the girls, or the others that continued to stare. The man was dressed up as if he were one of the three musketeers. Heeled shoes, tights and all. Well... no powdered wigs, thank the Kami for that, but it was still a shocking scene to see.

"Takarada-san, it's a pleasure seeing you again." at Kagomes greeting, all turn their attention at the cross dressing school girl that was holding Marias hand.

"Ah, Higurashi-san!" the man stepped back from his current conversation with a fellow student of the school to turn his attention towards his Granddaughter and the small group that she stood with. "I must say, you look rather dashing."

Kagome had to force the smile, really hoping this didn't prove to change her current situation while teaching Aoki-san. "Thank you, it appears I'm not the only one. Protecting the French crown or planning to usurp it?"

"Ah, you know your history. What if I were of royalty myself?" he raised a challenging brow, his smirk still in place.

Playing along, because with the President, there really was just no fighting it, she bowed respectfully. "Then it pleases me to return the little lady to his majesty."

As she stood up straight, she lightly led Maria to the Presidents side. While his smirk was still in place, he quickly assessed Maria, sharp eyes taking in everything. His eyes then turned to Kagome where he bowed his head slightly. "Thank you for taking care of her, Higurashi-san."

"It was a pleasure." Kagome then turned towards Maria. "It was also a pleasure to meet you. Hopefully next time will be on more... honest means."

Maria smiled as she nodded her head. "Don't forget, you promised a story on our next visit. And I want the best picture!"

Nodding her head, Kagome agreed. "Of course, I'll be sure to send it through my Uncle once it's been developed. But I do believe we've kept your Grandfather waiting long enough."

Putting on the face of an absolute angel, Maria curtsied one more time to which Kagome bowed in return and watched with a smile as the child ducked into the limo. When Kagome stood up straight, she reared back a tiny amount at the sharp gleam that entered the Presidents eye.

"Sir, before you leave, I'd like to ask you a question."

Mori hummed, pausing before entering the limo himself. "Yes, Higurashi-san?"

"I was wondering how much longer my services would be required?" she canted her head to the side as she waited for his reply.

"Continue as normal for the week, but I would like you to come in for something else on Saturday. Is that acceptable?"

At his maintained smirk, Kagomes felt her brows pinch the slightest amount as she wondered what it was he wanted, and more importantly, what he was up too. "I'm free then."

"Good, how does 2pm sound?"

"As I said, I'll be free." standing straight, she rolled her shoulders, mentally rechecking her calender. She had nothing planned, nor did her family, shrine or school, but she would have to check to make sure.

"Good, we can discuss it then. I'm also quite impressed with your acting skills, Higurashi-san." his comment caused her to raise a brow.

"Improv and actual acting are very different. I believe I was doing the former." she replied.

"You made the character very believable, the others would have to agree." when he swept a hand to the crowd that had been watching the entire conversation, Kagome mentally cried at the awestruck looks she was currently receiving. She had been right earlier, she would more like be seeing the photography club a lot more today, if not being asked to take personal shots with the patrons of her class' cafe.

"Thank you sir, for the compliment. I look forward to seeing your this Saturday." bowing again as the President bid his own farewell with a chuckle, she stood up and watched with the others as the limo drove off.

"Kyoko-chan?" Said girl turned towards Kagome with a quiet humm, indicating she had her attention.

"You've been working with the President longer than I have, should I be worried?"

Blinking at the sudden question, Kyoko canted her head as she contemplated a proper answer. "Well, I don't work with him personally, but to answer your question... Yes, so be prepared."

A quiet whimper echoed in the air that somehow ignited the excited chatter of the crowd behind Kagome and her friends.

It was finally Saturday, the rest of the week had gone of without so much as a hiccup. The school festival ended with a bang, where Kagome was forced to dress up as some sort of Chinese celestial maiden and bestow the winner of some challenge a wish that was within reason. Her friends had begun working on her portfolio, or blackmail collection in Kagome's personal opinion.

Kagome had managed to get a rather professional looking copy of the best photo of her and Maria sent to her Uncle to hand to Maria herself. She herself had been shocked to see what she actually looked like. Now she wasn't a narcissist, but she would admit, she looked pretty hot as a guy.

Taking in a deep breath, she mentally prepared herself for whatever was to come before stepping into LME. With the President and what Kyoko told her, there was no sure way to know what was in store for her. Her friends from school wished her the best of luck, and that she would succeed whatever was thrown her way.

Walking towards the front desk, she smiled at the receptionists that sat taking calls and typing away. "Hello again, Takarada-san and I have a meeting today at 2?"

"One moment please, Higurashi-san."

Nodding her head towards the receptionist she was currently interacting with, she listened with half an ear as she called the President up. A minute later her attention was drawn back to the woman. "If you could wait a few short minutes, someone will come to escort you Higurashi-san."

"Oh? Thank you." she found it odd that she wasn't simply directed to the elevators and told where to go, but that someone was going to collect her. Shrugging her shoulders, she figured it was simply how the President worked.

She moved to the side, thinking it best to step out of the way should anyone else need to speak with the receptionist, Kagome patiently waited for whoever the President sent down to escort her. It was as she let her mind wander after a minute that she was called out of her thoughts when someone called out her name.

"Higurashi-san!"

Blinking, she quickly scanned the crowd before blue eyes landed on a familiar pair. Pushing off the pillar she was leaning against with a smile, she made her way towards the two. "Tsuruga-san, Yashiro-san, it's a pleasure to see you both again!"

"You as well." Yashiro smiled politely as he returned the greeting.

"Extra lessons today? I thought it was only during the week." Ren spoke up, drawing the young womans attention onto him with his question, as well curious gaze from his manager.

"Oh no, the President set up today's meeting for, something else." her brows furrowed slightly as she shrugged her shoulders.

"Lessons? Meetings? I'm a little lost here." it was at Yashiros words that Kagome threw Ren a questioning glance to which he nodded his head.

"I've been teaching Aoki-san archery for the last month, for her upcoming roll in a drama. I think today's meeting will further negotiate how her lessons are to continue, as well as whatever the President wishes to discuss with me."

It still amazed Ren how grown up and mature Kagome could be. He still remembered Kyoko as an easily awe inspired girl that believed in fairies and magic. Kagome had been a bright girl, eager to learn and experience new things. Both had been accepting of him when they were children, and from the short time he had spent with Kagome during her time teaching Aoki, he could safely say that both were still very much the same at the core.

But it was also easy to see that both had been through something that had changed their outlook on the world. Or at least certain aspects. It was whatever happened to Kagome that was still troubling him. Ever since he accidentally walked in on her in the changing room and seeing those scars...

"Takenori-oji! Now the only person missing is Kyoko-chan. One of these days we should book a table for these meetings of ours."

Ren shook his head to clear his thoughts. He smiled at the small joke she spoke, though it was true, they were all constantly meeting like this on the main floor.

"Ah, sadly, this isn't personal. I'm here to escort you to where the President is waiting. Do you know what he wants to meet you in at our auditions stage?"

All eyes turned towards Kagome, were she stared with wide eyes towards her Uncle. Her brows slowly rose as she floundered about in her obvious attempt to form words.

"Wha... no! Unless he usually conducts meetings in such places, then I have no idea." she furrowed her brows and chewed on her lip, obviously sorting through her thoughts before she turned her eyes on him and Yashiro. "You two wouldn't happen to know what's going on, do you?"

The tone of her voice rose at the end of her question, highly sounding of hope that they could clear things up on the very confusing manner. At their negative responses, Kagome let out a sigh. "Well, guess I'll have to see to figure it out then. I hope the two of you have a pleasant afternoon!"

Ren merely raised a brow and wished her luck in whatever the President had in store for her. He watched as she followed her Uncles lead and discussed family business with him. Though his mind was more curious as to what the President could possibly be up to, and he wasn't the only one.

"How long have you known Higurashi-san has been teaching Aoki-san archery?" Yashiros question broke through his thoughts as they made his way to his car.

As much as he was interested in learning what the President was up too with Kagome, he did have work to do. "Since the beginning."

Yashiro raised a brow. "It never crossed your mind to share with me?"

"I didn't think it was that important." Ren shrugged his shoulders, it had been a month and most already knew the information and considered it old news now.

"Ah. Though it is curious what Takarada-san has in store with Higurashi-san. Guess we'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out and see."

As Ren was climbing behind the wheel of his car, he quietly agreed with his manager. "It would seem so."

Kagome in the meantime, was staring at the various forms in front of her. Perhaps rather dumbly as well, but she was unsure what it was the President was getting at. Application forms for the various sections of LME?

Looking at the man himself that was sitting across from her, she raised a brow. "Sir... I'm not following what it is you actually want from me."

She tried to ignore the outfit. He actually reminded her of those men that were painted on those cheesy covers for romance novels. Was he actually glittering?

"Please humor me, Higurashi-san." he leaned back into his chair, which looked far more comfortable than the one she was sitting in but that could have been due to the strangeness of the situation.

"Um... okay." chewing on the inside of her cheek, she took in the various applications. While her Uncle had given her a brief rundown of the others, she decided to stick with what she was familiar with and chose the application for the talent section. As far as she understood, it was pretty much a jack of all trades for the entertainment business.

The basics were easy, name, address, contact information and the such. The next sheet proved a little more thought was needed. What her skills were, hobbies, favorite class subjects, colors, food... word?

"Ah, Takarada-san, when it means favorite word... does it mean favorite word to describe myself, outlook on life or is it more general?"

"It's more or less in general." he watched as she nodded her head and continued to fill out the form. It was what came after he was more interested in, especially after what he had witnessed after picking Maria up from that school festival. He had not been that shocked in a long time, not since Mogami-kun first started working at LME.

He had pulled the others and requested that they treat this as they would any other audition, even Sawara-san. It would be interesting to see how the man would react, he was sure the girl would prove it entertaining once she realized what all this was for. It wasn't illegal, he had already went ahead and called the girls mother to let her know what it was he wanted to do and the woman said she would support her daughter with whatever choice she wanted.

Smirking at the memory, the woman did warn him if any harm came to her daughter or Kagome became upset for whatever reason, she would make her pay for it. The woman was fierce, and fiercely protective of her children.

"Well, it's all finished, Takarada-san. Will you explain to me what this was all about?"

Blinking at the girl across from him, he looked down and took in the finished forms. Quickly scanning them, his lips twitched when he noticed a few certain aspects that truly made the applications complete. A picture was missing, but more importantly, her signature. "You forgot to sign."

He continued to smirk when she rose a brow at his statement. "I'm not about to sign anything when I have no idea what's going on. I may be young, but I'm not stupid."

Chuckling, he handed the last sheet back to Kagome. "I didn't say you were. You already have your mothers permission, so you may sign."

Her other brow rose as she absently took the sheet back. "Does my Uncle know what's going on?"

"No, you'll be be explained after we're done." sharp eyes watched as she finally signed the form only to quickly sort it with the others.

"I still don't know what it is we're doing to begin with."

He chuckled at her huff as he stood up and beckoned her to follow him. The walk was silent for the most part, but he could hear some muttering from her every now and then. She really was such an amusing girl.

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, here's the reason that I've called you here today." he led Kagome to the center stage as he took his seat among the others. He only smiled when Sawara-san stared at him with a shocked expression. Seemed the man finally figured out what was going on. And from the stunned expression on the girl herself...

"Takarada-san... this isn't really..."

"An audition? But of course it is! Now please follow through with each task given to you to your fullest!" clasping his hands before him he waited for the show to start.

He had an assistant bring out a bow and arrows for the girl to wow the rest of the judges, when she was asked to up the ante a bit, she wowed even him by performing her last shot blindfolded. He was still trying to figure out how she did it, but perhaps when she asked that someone move the target to a safe distance away from everyone, she had listened to their movement.

With how Mogami-kun had reacted to the reaction test, and how Kotonami-san had actually bluffed her way through it, Mori thought it best to save if for last. One did save the best for last and he was interested in seeing how she would react.

So after handing her a different play script to an older drama that was before her time, they waited patiently for her thoughts and feelings on said script.

"And, Higurashi-san, what are your thoughts and feelings on the script?"

They all watched how she fiddled with the closed script as she thought about her answer. "I know that it's from a time before my own, so I may be a little biased in my answer, but I did find it interesting. I do think it's noble how the main character decided to keep their problems to themselves instead of wanting to involve others. But I also feel that if they had been honest with themselves, then they should have known that half the problems wouldn't have been present if they had been willing to ask others for help.

I also feel it would have deepened their relations with the people closest to them, as well as made them far more complex and human for readers and the audience. While some of the problems were handled well on their own, certain ones were problems that should have involved others in solving them. Then again, the times were different so perhaps certain problems were expected to be handled in different ways."

"And if this pertained in today's age?" the head of the modeling section asked.

"Then I stand by with my earlier reply." she replied with a bow of her head.

Matsushima spoke up, asking one last question before they moved onto the final part of the audition. "Higurashi-san, you said if they had involved others for certain problems, it would make them more complex, more human. Can you explain why you find that important?"

"Of course." she nodded her head as she stopped her fidgeting. "A script is the basics, or building blocks to any drama. But I found in this one, the main characters were far too flat and unrealistic. Such characters won't be well accepted by viewers and they would lose interest in the characters rather easily. Viewers like to associate with the characters that are entertaining to them. Of course not everyone can be pleased, but characters as a whole should be human regardless."

There were murmurs of agreement among the others, and as for Mori, it was something he had been wanting to hear for a long time. While it was always nice to hear compliments and praise for scripts that LME produced, it was nice and refreshing to get actual critique. It also showed that this girl was a thinker and how to relate with others.

"Alright, for your last task, think of it as improv. Simply react as you would if this were a real life situation." Mori, feeling confident about this one, leaned forward and got himself comfortable as he watched how a cell phone was handed off to Kagome.

Confused, Kagome accepted the cell phone, and with a quick scan of those before her, flipped it open and pressed it to her ear. She blinked at the prolonged silence, and despite how she felt like an idiot, she was going to call out if there actually was someone on the other line. The words that flowed into her ears shocked her into freezing.

"I'm sorry, can you ever forgive me?"

She floundered about with wide eyes, unsure of what it was she was forgiving this person for. Just as she was about to reply, it was what he said that felt herself shutdown.

"I was such and idiot, an asshole really for all the things I did to us... to you. I shouldn't have left you every time she called. My actions hurt you, my-!"

She snapped the cell phone shut and dropped it on the floor and left it at that. It was exhausting to hear those words, regardless if they weren't exactly the same or from him, but she had heard it all for too often to want to deal with them ever again.

"...Higurashi-san?"

"Unacceptable."

"I don't understand."

Turning her gaze to the one that spoke up. "It is unacceptable to ask for forgiveness after such... actions. Not only would I not give it, but I would not be in such a relationship where I was constantly hurt to begin with. Such a man, unable to stay loyal or be honest, should rot in the darkest pit of hell. Alone."

At the silence of her declaration, she blinked once before bowing and leaving the stage.

Everyone turned to the man that had set up the surprise audition, all mentally groaning at the look he wore, like that of a kicked puppy. Obviously, not the reaction he had been expecting... or hoping for. But it appeared that the President wasn't the only one shocked at the reaction, but so was Sawara-san.

Takenori was stunned at the lack of reaction Kagome had. She was in high school, high school girls were far more innocent, if not a little naïve, so they easily forgave their boyfriends for such things. But Kagome, she hadn't reacted violently at all like Mogami-kun, no. She simply ended the conversation before it happened and dropped the cell phone like a rock. It showed that something happened in the last few years that her family and his own had little to no contact.

Looks like he would have to call his sister to figure out what could happened to his niece.

Kagome sat in one of the chairs outside of the stage. She picked up a slightly outdated magazine and began leafing through the pages, trying her hardest to push back painful memories of a certain figure. It was actually quite a while later when they all came pouring out. She could feel their gazes, but she ignored them.

"Higurashi-san."

Placing the magazine back where she found it, she dusted her skirt off and stood to face the President. "Takarada-san, I see you weren't pleased with how I did the last task."

"I...yes."

"I see." she smoothed her hands down her skirt a few times before speaking up once again. "Will you tell me why you did all this?"

He stared down at her, eyes once again sharp and expression unreadable. "I will when you answer me why you handled the last task as you did."

Taking in his stance and masked expression before finally conceding to his... request. "I reacted the way I did because I would not accept an apology if I really were in such a situation."

"Why is that?"

"A persona can only forgive another so often. Especially when it involves such matters." she blinked at his furrowed brows.

"Such matters?"

"The heart. The relationship the man spoke of was an unhealthy one. Having a girlfriend and then someone on the side is really deplorable. To willing forgive him for his actions and then wanting to get back into that relationship? I would have to be some sort of idiot."

Mori took the girl in, seeing the steady expression and posture. She wasn't showing much of an emotion, which was exactly the opposite of what he wanted. It was much like Mogami-kun and Kotonami-san. Higurashi-san showed a lot of potential, but lacked that certain something.

"Before I leave, can we now discuss how I am to continue tutoring Aoki-san with her archery lessons?"

The sudden question broke him out of his thoughts. "Yes. If you would follow me, we'll go to a place where we can discuss this."

Kagome furrowed her brows as she followed the written directions of where she was to go. It was not the normal location of where she would go to prepare in tutoring Aoki-san, and not only that, there appeared to be a combination as well. Was she getting a locker? It would be nice to have a secure place to put her belongings while she tutored Aoki-san. And while she trusted the people that worked for LME, it was also nice to have that extra security.

Nibbling down on her lower lip, she followed the guiding system that she was directed to. She came upon an unsuspecting hallway, which led to an unsuspecting door where an unsuspecting locker laid behind. Shrugging her shoulders and thinking nothing of it, she followed the lockers until she came upon her assigned locker. Tucking the slip of paper into her skirt pocket, after memorising the combination, she opened her new locker.

A pained cry could be heard throughout the entire LME building, it's echo sure to haunt them for many a night, startling and shocking all employes.

"MY EYES!"

The more braver of those that were closest to the origin of the cry inched their way to the innocent looking door. Though those that recognized it backed away warily, already sure of what was to emerge from the depths of the locker room. Cries and whimpers from within along with the sound of scuffing and fumbling about caused more to approach the door to see the cause of the disturbance.

The growing crowd drew the attention of a few prominent members of LME, whether they be famous or shocking in their membership, to approach and witness the reason so many had stopped in their working.

"What's going on?"

A workers jumped at the sudden question, turning startled eyes away from the door only to blink at who else had been drawn been the strange cry.

"Ah, Tsuruga-san. We're not sure, actually. We heard a cry and came to investigate… but…" the man that answered shrugged his shoulders.

A few turned when more gathered, two specific young women to be exact followed by Sawara-san and the President. The girls looked highly confused, if not for Kanae still uneasy at being seen in her uniform, while the President seemed to have a pleased smirk. As for Sawara… he was mentally praying to any and all for the strength he was going to need.

The door suddenly burst open, a young woman stumbling out backwards as she pressed her hands to her face. Squeaks and scuffing as her shoes skidded across the floor when she tried to regain her balance while also bumping into people, all the while muttering under her breath.

"My eyes… my eyes… they burn!" she finally allowed herself to fall to her knees, face still hidden away behind her hands.

"Higurashi-san?" at the Presidents low timber blanketed the entire area, the girl stiffened as a whimpered.

All blinked and waited with baited breath as the figure still hunched in on herself to react. They didn't have to wait long, but many were shocked at her speed. From her spot on the floor, she shot up to the President, clutching onto him like a life line.

"My eyes… are scared for life! Blindness, I'm sure of it! The horror… the horror…" she began to shiver and to mutter under her breath once again.

The President chuckled, easily and carefully prying her hands off of him, using the chance to have her directed back into the locker room. "Mogami-kun, Kotonami-kun, please escort Higurashi-kun into the locker room."

Both shared a look before leading the frightened girl back towards the locker room, not expecting her to put up a fight.

"No! Please no, anything but that!" her pleas went unanswered.

At first she dug her heels into the floor, pushing against their tugging. When that didn't work, she spun about to reach out to anyone that could help her, but didn't.

"No… not the… PINK!" her last cry was muffled as the door closed behind them.

But the message was heard, loud and clear. Many prayed for the young woman and the curse she would now carry with her for the rest of her life. After a few moments, they began to return to their work stations, while that last four to show up remained.

Ren felt his eyes widen as the meaning of everything finally settled in his mind. He turned to take in Sawara-san and Takarada-san, one looking smug while the other was muttering prayers. It finally explained a few things that happened yesterday, before and after bumping into the high school girl.

"You put Higurashi-san in the Love Me section." it wasn't a question, but a statement. Ren finally relaxed, though his mind was running quite a few hundred miles a minute.

"Mmm, she was already hired by LME." Mori's reply was light, despite the situation.

"Based on her reaction, this was not something she was prepared for, or knew of for that matter." Rens comment drew the President's attention, sharp eyes were on him as if trying to assess him.

"No, she wasn't told of the details. Just that I would like to hire her on officially." the President drew himself to his full height.

Ren figured this was most likely the reason why he wore a rather elaborate King's outfit. To make Kagome's joining of LME… official.

A quivering female voice drew their attention back towards the locker room door. "I feel so…" they watched Kagome search for a word as she emerged clutching at the Love Me section uniform she now wore. "...pink."

Ren knew, that was not the word she wanted to say, but it was one way to describe her current situation. Kyoko and Kanae followed out after her, both looking odd as they each took a side and welcomed Kagome as the newest Love Me member.

"Thank you, please treat me kindly." Kagome bowed two her fellow members of the Love Me section.

It looked like the Love Me section gained it's third member, but Ren had to wonder why Kagome was in it as she offered a weak smile to Kyoko. While the three of them bowed their departure, the President told them to inform Kagome of her new duties and show her LME so she could get more familiar.

Laughter and antics echoed down the hallway towards them, drawing the mens attention to the three girls. Kanae seemed to be in the middle of rebuffing Kyoko's attentions who was also sobbing on Kagome's shoulder who in turn was trying to calm Kyoko down as well as smooth Kanae's ruffled feathers. Things looked like they were going to get... interesting.

Chapter Text

The world was in a state of chaos, but for someone from the outside looking in, they would never had guessed as such. In fact it was history in the making, a moment that transcended time into all directions. If they went on based on the blue skies with large, fluffy, white clouds, gently warm breeze, it truly was a picture perfect day. However it was as far from that, with everything on the line.

A small group that fought for something so large, vast and diverse, that they knew they had to win. It was all or nothing, with life on the line, even their own included. They were willing to lay their lives on the line.

Kagome panted as she clutched her injured shoulder, she was sure it was dislocated. A hindrance to an archer, but she wasn't about to give up. Not with the end so near! The others were as injured as she was, if not more so, but they were still fighting. Pulling an arrow despite the searing the pain that bloomed from her injured shoulder, Kagome knocked the arrow against her bow. Gritting her teeth, she pulled back and let the arrow fly.

Like a shooting star, it flew across the sky lighting the area with its brilliance and incinerating hordes of Naraku's army. It was quickly followed by another glorious arrow that managed to pass Naraku's defenses and stricking the devil himself.

Managing to escape the majority of purifying arrow, Naraku sneered in the direction of where the Miko stood. He would admit to himself, of all the players, he had underestimated the priestess the most. No more, it was time to take her out once and for all.

"Enough games priestess, it's time to end this." Naraku smirked as he watched her quiver as she watched with panicked eyes how the entire of his army crashed down on her friends.

Kagome watched as her friends began to buckle beneath the onslaught, while she stood there with a clear shoot to Naraku. But it meant he also had a clear shot to her as well. Licking her lips, her grip tightened on her bow as she quickly pulled another arrow and drew back on the bow string. Naraku was also preparing an attack of his own and the two met head on, blinding the entire field with their power clash. Both their attacks using the power of their halves of the Shikon in their hold.

Their powers clashed, light against dark, good against evil, positive against negative. Like the poles of magnets, both halves of the Shikon became whole once again. Their attack against each other with their power battled for dominance. It was a power struggle in all forms as old as time itself.

The power continued to increase, Kagome's own natural purifying abilities were boosted and turned the surrounding demons to ash. The others were blinded but the light, turning towards the source, they had to shield their eyes. All their senses were stunted, muffled, and abused. The sound of static filled their ears, the light blinding them through closed lids, skin heated to a point where they thought they were freezing, the air smelt burnt and overly purified and the taste of blood filled their mouths.

When the light slowly died, and their senses returned to normal, they looked around them but couldn't find any sign that a battle had just taken place. No ash of purified demons, no blood, in fact even their own wounds were healed. What was also missing from the was Kagome and Naraku.

Frantic eyes searched around for their missing friend, but all signs and traces of their friend were erased.

Sango was the first to break the silence, running forward to the spot her friend once stood. "Kagome! Kagome!"

She continued to call the mikos name until she collapsed and began to cry. She beat the lush grass beneath her fist, tears of frustration and hurt. Miroku was at her side instantly, trying to comfort her in any way possible.

"Sango, I'm sure she's fine. Perhaps with the Shikon and Naraku gone, she was sent back home." he wrapped an around her shoulders and pulled her towards him, rubbing soothing circles against her back.

Inuyasha had fallen to his knees, Tessaiga dropped from his loose hold. "Please... no..."

It didn't happen like the had hoped or thought of. They were supposed to have defeated Naraku, get rid of the Shikon and Kagome was to stay with them. His ear twitched when he remembered Miroku's words.

"Wait, guys, why don't we try the well!" Inuyasha's words took a while to filter through everyone's head.

Sango sniffled a few times as she blinked as she contemplated Inuyasha's words, hope filling her and the others. Turning to Miroku who offered her a small smile, he nodded his head. It was a delicate situation, with all of it weighing on whether or not Inuyasha's ability to continue to use the well was still in his favour.

Delicately rubbing her nose and wiping her tears, she accepted Miroku's help onto her feet and smiled at Kirara's tiny mew. "Yes, let us try. Are you coming, Shippo?"

The kit in question jumped, after quickly drying his tears he booked it towards the couple only to launch himself at Miroku. Within minutes the group were hastily making their way towards the magical well that allowed Inuyasha and Kagome to travel through time. Sango and Miroku had decided to wait with Kaede with Shippo while Inuyasha went for the well.

Their hope of hearing that Kagome was indeed back home safe and sound.

Inuyasha ran to the well, heart pounding at such a tempo that he felt light headed. The moment he saw the well, he vaulted at it. The moment he fell past the well's opening, the magic from deep within came to life allowing him to travel through time. He barely landed on the dirt bottom of the dry well in the future, he went straight for the door and the house beyond it.

He skimmed across the pavement towards a familiar window. Jumping, he quickly threw the window open and entered the bedroom. Kagome's scent assaulted him, but there was no sign of the girl herself. Leaving the room, he stormed down the stairs to where he heard the sounds of Kagome's family.

The happy breakfast scene became silent when Inuyasha slid into the kitchen, panting frantically as he clutched at the door frame.

"Oh, Inuyasha!" Nodoka set her teacup down as she began to stand up. "Is everything alright? I knew I should have packed those extra items in the first aid kit for Kagome..."

Inuyasha felt his brows furrow, it didn't make any sense. If Kagome wasn't in the past... she should have been here. "You mean, Kagome isn't here?"

All members of the family stopped their actions all confused with Inuyasha's sudden question. Nodoka furrowed her own brow, and worry began to grow in the pit of her stomach. "...no. No she's not, she's in the past... with you. Isn't she?"

Inuyasha swallowed the lump that formed in his throat, licking his lips he let his head drop and shook his head. "Something... something happened."

The world around her didn't make any sense, it was a swirling mess of blacks and purples. There was nothing solid, as far as she could tell, but that didn't explain how she was standing. Or why she was wearing traditional miko garb.

Wrapping her arms tightly around herself, she felt herself shiver at the many troubling thoughts that ran rampant through her mind. She was alone, in a world that didn't make sense, she didn't know where she was, and she didn't know how to get back home or to the past.

"..."

Her brows furrowed when she heard the sounds of people talking, however it sounded far away and the echoes barely managed to reach her.

"Hello? Is anyone here?" her voice echoed around her until it disappeared completely. "Hello?"

Spinning around, she searched the... place she was in, there was no sign of the people talking, and the origin of the voices seemed to be coming from everywhere. They were also so quiet and distant to actually pinpoint them.

"...umon, Gentle Priestess!"

"What-!" Kagome lurched as she felt herself being forcefully ripped from the world she was in, it was a rather nauseating sensation.

A blinding white light caused her to throw her hands up to protect her eyes, and her head throbbed as her senses were suddenly overwhelmed.

"The Gentle Priestess is a rare card, but she is rather useless. However... she does make a good sacrifice."

Kagome blinked her eyes she finally adjusted to the light, but then she stiffened when the words registered through to her. Turning around, she didn't take notice of her surroundings. That is... until she noticed a rather... sick looking giant insect.

Letting out a scream, she jumped back from the creature. That was not the welcome back home she had been hoping for. As she kept an eye on the overgrown critter, whispers of a few people off to the side about the strange actions of a card. All in all... she was totally lost. When the bug turned to look at her, she panicked and reacted.

"Seems your Gentle Priestess doesn't like your comments or your monsters."

At the voice, Kagome blinked. Wait. She was this Gentle Priestess? What the heck was going on? She was still huddled in her spot, and though she was pushing herself away from where the bug once stood, she wasn't going anywhere. This was all too much, honestly.

"Gentle Priestess... knock that Yugi's Dark Magician down!"

Blinking at the snarling command, Kagome turned to the boy that stood atop a raised platform and took him in. He looked like a spoiled brat with some real ego issues. Standing up, she dusted her hakama's off and crossed her arms with a huff.

"I said take him down!" the boy screamed at her.

Like she was about to allow that brat to tell her what to do. Looking across from her, she furrowed her brows at what she saw. A tall man in purple stood across from her holding a green staff, his teal eyes flashed when they turned to her and she shivered. This was no where near home!

Leaning to the side, she spied another boy on a different raised platform. She was thrown out of the loop at his hair... and the odd duality she was picking up from him. Great... another weird situation she got herself in. And she didn't even know how.

A hand slapping against a hard solid surface from behind drew Kagome's attention. "You really are a useless card, no matter how rare you are. I use my Fushi No Tori to attack your life points directly and regain every life point you lose!"

Raising a brow, Kagome came to a few realizations. One, she had not said a word yet in her defense which was odd enough for her case. Two, she apparently appeared during the middle of some sort of... whatever that involved opponents. And lastly, she was not a happy camper.

Sharp eyes followed the blazing bird as it flew across towards the boy with the strange hair. Well, she couldn't allow that! Calling forth her powers, she felt a bow form in her hands and an arrow flew and struck the bird down.

"You dumb Priestess! You aren't supposed to attack my cards, you are one of mine!"

Oh that was it! Tossing her bow down, she turn on the boy behind her, and realizing she was actually taller than him, leaned down to get eye to eye with him. "You know what, you're nothing but a spoiled brat! All you do is whine, complain and shout orders like your the king of the hill. Well here's some news for you, you ain't!"

"Can duel cards do that?" a girl whispered to her friends next to her, drawing Kagome's attention.

"That's it, I've had it with this Priestess card!" the boy drew Kagome's attention and she watched in confusion as he pulled a card that was hidden from her view and tossed it away.

The card was quickly carried away from the wind, tumbling and turning and Kagome watched in utter confusion. The others were also watching in shock as it flew and the boy across from her easily managed to snatch it out of the air. She raised a brow as he brought it down, he shot the boy behind her a smirk and placed the card down.

The odd sensation she felt as she was ripped from that swirling world ran through her again and Kagome suddenly felt herself now staring at the boy that had thrown the card. Stumbling when her center of gravity adjusted at the sudden switch, she groaned. "I think I'm going to be sick..."

A large hand suddenly gripped her her arm and helped keep her steady. Pressing a hand to her brow, she turned to the one helping her keep steady, she let out a squeak at the piercing teal gaze that was locked on her. Shaking her head, she faced forward.

"Impossible! The Gentle Priestess is mine!" the boy screamed, causing Kagome's brow to tick. She hated when people claimed her as if she were their property.

"I believe not. I play Gentle Priestess in defense mode and end my turn."

Kagome was beyond confused, but she thought it best to continue with whatever was happening, despite it not pleasing her at all, to figure out whatever was going on. She didn't pay attention to the words that were said, just instinctively followed whatever it was the Yugi boy said when it was concerning 'Gentle Priestess'.

She blocked attacks, revealed traps, and attacked various creatures. The battle ended quickly, with those on the sides cheering for Yugi. Blinking she turned to the one called Dark Magician, still on edge whenever he turned to her. Though the gaze didn't last long, thankfully for her, her world shifted and she was now standing on the sidelines.

"What on earth is going on~?" Kagome cried out as she tightly gripped her hair. First she was in the past battling against Naraku and then she was in a strange world only to be forcefully pulled into that strange battle.

She was mussing her hair trying to figure out the sequence of events. She started at point B went to D and then went through the square root of 23 only to end up at A! It just didn't make any sense! Still so deep in her thoughts try to figure out where how things had worked out the way they had, she let out a scream when a heavy hand fell on her shoulder.

Jumping away, she swung her hands out to keep the one that surprised her at bay. "Stay back! I know karate!"

With eyes clenched shut, she continued to swing her arms about wildly. When a person chuckled, she stopped her actions and opened her eyes. Lowering a leg she hadn't known she had raised to lash out with, her arms quickly followed. There before her, was the odd boy.

His black hair was styled up in spikes, but she noticed when the light hit it, it showed a deep red sheen. His bangs however were were blond. She had to wonder if it was his natural hair color...s. His eyes were also a strange coloring, they were oddly dark and bright at the same time. And far deeper than she thought possible.

"Um... hi?" Kagome gave a short quick wave, still at a loss who this person was.

"Hello." his gaze was not one she felt comfortable under.

Licking her lips, her eyes darted to the group of people that had cheered him on. Looking back towards the Yugi boy... "Right... I'm gonna go now. Bye!"

Spinning about she started walking, only to squeak when she ran into a wall. Stumbling back, she whimpered when she realized that the wall she had walked into was in fact that man dressed in a weird purple wizard suit. Offering a somewhat forced smile, she moved to step around him only to stop short when he blocked her path. Going the other way, she scowled when he blocked that path as well.

"Oh come on, just let me by!" letting out a huff with a stomp of her foot, she stared the man down. "Look, it was nice being here, had a blast and... what not, but now I just want to go home!"

"But you are home." the voice, though sounding much deeper that it possibly could, came from the oddly hair crazed boy behind her.

Turning towards him, her expression one of confusion. "No I'm not. I'm... I have no idea where I currently am, but this is not my home."

The boy raised a brow before pulling a card out and showing it to her. "This is your card."

Watching the boy, and shooting the oddly dressed man beside her a wary eye, Kagome leaned closer to look at the card. Her brows furrowed at the picture and what was written. It said 'Gentle Priestess' and had a picture that looked a lot like her. Beneath it there was a description stating that the priestess though gentle of heart, was more powerful than she looked.

"Um... no it's not. That looks like some sort of... gaming card. I'm not into games myself." standing up her full height, she plastered on a smile and offered a wave. "Like I said, while this was all interesting, I gotta go. Bye-bye!"

"I meant this is you. You are the spirit of this card. And how can you not know of Duel Monsters?" he tucked the card back in with the others, his tone sounding more than confused.

"Duel Monsters? I think my brother mentioned something or other like that a while back... or was that about pokemen pets?" Kagome raised a hand and tapped a finger against her bottom lip.

Yugi was confused. He was sure this young woman was in fact the spirit of the Gentle Priestess card, but she was talking about things most spirit cards shouldn't have and knowledge of.

"Look, if I'm some spirit card, then will your friends be able to see me?" her sudden question drew his attention.

"Well... no, they won't. Why do you ask?" his brows furrowed at her sudden sly smirk that had her blue eyes twinkling.

"Oh, no reason! Hi! My name's Kagome, Yugi-kun here was just explaining somethings about his duel to me!" the young woman, now identified as Kagome, called to his friends as they were making their way towards him with a friendly greeting.

Yugi was shocked to see his friends falter in their steps but returned the greeting just as warmly. "Oh, I'm Tea, and this is Joey and Tristan. It's a pleasure to me you. But I have to ask, are you cosplaying the Gentle Priestess?"

He continued to watch the shocking interaction between Kagome and his friends. "Actually no. I live on a shrine in Tokyo."

"I see, so you're here to watch the duels then?" Tea asked with a tilt of her head.

"Hehe... not really. Could you tell me the today's date?" Kagome scratched the back of her head as she nervously fidgeted while all eyes were on her.

"The date?" Tristan scratched the back of his own head as he leaned to get a closer look at Kagome.

"Yeah, I'm uh... a little lost, so to speak. But I need the date first before I know where I am." she was no longer fidgeting, her expression rather serious.

"O-oh, okay." Tea answered the question, Yugi easily able to pick up her confusion and concern.

"Hmm, two months... Not good. Right, and where are we?" it was Kagome's honest expectations of an answer notified them that she had no idea where they currently were.

"Eh? You don't know where we are?" Joey stuffed his hands into his pockets as he laughed at the absurdity of the girl's predicament.

Kagome narrowed her eyes on Joey. "If I knew that, I wouldn't be asking!" she let out a huff as she crossed her arms.

"Oh... well we're on an island where there's-!"

"What?" Kagome's sudden reaction startled everyone. "I'm not near Tokyo? Why does this always happen to me?"

They all watched as she slumped, and let out a frustrated cry. When she suddenly dropped into a crouch to bury her face into her knees, they all stilled. The boys began to panic when they heard her sniffling and saw her shoulders began to shake.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! There's no need to cry!" Joey panicked as he floundered about, unsure of what to do.

"Yeah, Joey here can do some amazing tricks, so cheer up!" Tristan crouched down next to the girl, trying to lighten the mood as he rubbed soothing circles on her back.

Joey paused at Tristan's words, his panicked expression replaced with anger as he turned to his oldest friend. "Oi! I ain't no trained dog or monkey, so take that back!"

"I'm trying to calm her down!" Tristan argued back.

Tea rolled her eyes and took the free spot next to Kagome as the two friends argued on not only the best way to calm a crying girl down, but also how Joey wasn't a trained pet. "Sheesh, boys will always be boys. Listen, are you okay?"

"Not really, it's been two months! My family must think I'm missing or dead by now!" Kagome continued to cry into her knees, her words drawing everyone's attention.

"Missing or dead? Were you... kidnapped, Kagome?" Tea gingerly wrapped an arm around Kagome's shoulders, silently offering her support.

Kagome sniffled as she raised her head. "Kind of... not really... I actually don't remember."

There was a heavy silence at her words. She was kidnapped? Two months of her memory were missing? What just happened to this girl.

"We'll help you get home, Kagome. It may take a short while, but we'll help you." Tea offered a soft smile, her willingness to help those in need kicking in.

Kagome sniffled as she turned watery eyes towards the other girl. "Really? You would help me?"

Smiling, Tea nodded her head. "Of course! But like I said, it might take a little longer than you may want. We need to do some very important things first."

Returning the smile, though it was a bit watery, Kagome shook her head. "It's alright, I'm happy to accept your help. Though I do wish I could call my family to let them know I'm alright."

Yugi watched as Tea helped Kagome back up onto her feet, the girls talking softly until Tea told Joey and Tristan to cut out their arguing. There was something odd about Kagome, he was sure she was the one that had been on the field during his most recent duel, but he didn't understand how.

He didn't realize how deep into his thoughts he had been until a shocked cry from Tea startled him. Jumping to attention he started running to where the others had disappeared from his sight after they entered the woods, he was stopped when a sudden weight was dropped atop of him.

"Owww~" Yugi blinked at the feminine voice that sounded from above him.

The person rolled over, and he was grateful it was also off of him, that allowed him to turn to view who it was that had fallen atop of him. He was shocked to see Kagome pushing herself into a sitting position as she rubbed the back of her head.

He pushed himself till he was on his haunches as he stared in disbelief. He had watched her walk away with Tea and the others, so how did she suddenly appear back here?

"Kagome? Kagome where are you?" Tristan's calls startled the two to turn towards the woods at the worried calls.

She turned to face him, his own expression most likely mirrored her own. Of utter confusion. A sudden glow from his pocket drew both their attention. Yugi reached in and pulled out the sudden glowing item. It was one of his cards, the Gentle Priestess.

"That card again?" Kagome dropped her head at the sight of the card. "Is that some sort of leash or something?"

Yugi watched with wide eyes as she poked the card only sparks to erupt. The card warmed up and Kagome herself began to glow. Looking up to Kagome, he was put off at at the upset pout she was wearing as she glared at the card in his hand. He was sure if it were possible, he would set the card up in flames with her mere gaze.

He quickly tucked the card back into his pocket, though Kagome's eyes followed his actions. His friends came upon them like that, shocked to see Kagome sitting there instead of back in the woods.

"Kagome? But how...?" Joey kept looking between the two that were sitting on the ground.

Tristan raised a brow at the look Kagome was wearing, which was none too pleased in all honesty. Yugi on the other hand looked sheepish and appeared to try and calm Kagome down. "Well, are you two coming or what?"

"Yeah, yeah." Kagome stood up dusting the red hakama's off. Looking down, her lips pursed as she took in the boys oddly changed appearance. It was subtle, but it was there. The blond steaks of hair that had been spike upwards with the rest of his own hair was now with the rest of his bangs. The sharp gleam in his eyes was gone, in it's place was something of youthful innocence. Not only that... but was he shorter now? How as such a thing even possible?

"Come on, need a hand up?" she offered him a hand, she was sure to ask her questions about all of this, but that could be dealt with later.

Really, just what was Duel Monster and how was she now tied to it? And more importantly, what happened during the two missing months, Naraku and the Shikon? There were far too many questions and not enough answers.

Chapter Text

The first to check if it was clear, were Merry and Pippin poking their heads out from under their hiding place. Legolas and Aragorn cautiously also ducked out into the open, checking the skies for any more of the black feathered spies. Calling to the others, they all relaxed and breathed a small fraction easier. Though the idea that they were being hunted, followed and spied upon did not settle well with any of them.

For a while, they were all silent, listening with sharp ears for any sort of disturbance. When the sounds of nature began to return, did they finally deem is safe. They were gathering their supplies and sticking closer to each other when what sounded like a thunderstorm mixed with a heavy rock slide beat the air and shook their very bones.

Preparing for some sort of sudden attack, when a figure in a heavy fur trimmed cloak appeared out of nowhere. The tumbled a few times against the rocky surface as well as managing to spin about to face the direction of where they appeared from. Sadly, the cloak had a hood which was up and also trimmed in fur hiding the identity of the person crouched on the ground away from them.

The dark gray of the cloak cause the person to seemingly melt into the stone, if it weren't for the black of their boot peeking out and the dark stained bow in black gloved hands that broke the grays. The tip of an arrow gleamed in the sunlight that broke through the heavy clouds, but it was not pointed towards them. In fact it was pointed away and above them.

They learned quickly what it was the person was waiting for when what appeared to be a massive stone giant appeared out of nowhere like the person had a short moment ago. It was unlike anything they had ever seen or heard of. The head reminded them of a hound, with stone ram horns curling into dangerous points next to a mouth full of demonic looking teeth. It's shoulders and chest were wide, random areas were covered in stony growths. Long powerful legs and large powerful arms that ended in a strange appendages that were a mix of paw and hand and all claw.

It breath heavily, snarling growls as it stared down the person, whom didn't even flinch. And then the moment the arrow flew across the space between them, the beast shot forward with much more speed then they thought possible. When the beast tackled the person to the ground harshly, they didn't even hear so much as a cry, a grunt, but nothing more. But the person was quick, using their body as a weapon in a way that was strange and foreign to them all.

The beast stumbled back from a sudden and surprise attack, using its clawed hands to dig into the stone to hurl sharp projectiles towards the person, which included a certain Hobbit that had stumbled away from the group in the chaos. The person dove towards them, curling their figure around the dark haired halfling and used their own body to shield him from the flying stones.

Most however, shattered upon crashing into a shimmering wall of light. The beast let out a roar as it began beating against the wall, the figure letting out a soft and near silent huff. They gently and carefully let got of the started Hobbit before launching themselves at the beast straight on. While they no longer wielded a bow, they continued to take on the beast head on.

What happened next stunned them all, yet again, a long whip like attack struck the beast. It was the fact that the whip seemed to be made out of the same light as the wall of light earlier. The person used the whip to flip themselves over the beasts head and land on its shoulders. The whip of light wrapped around the beasts neck, gripping the other end of the whip and began to choke the beast.

They pushed with their legs, causing the whip to tighten around around the beasts neck. It choked out snarls and growls, clawing at the light wrapped around its neck in an attempt to loosen the hold. It's other hand however, was reaching towards the lone Hobbit. What sounded like laughter echoed around them, followed by strange words that they had no way of understanding. The person atop the beast pushed against its back, pulling their arms all the more until finally the light cut through the beasts skin. It let out a deafening roar as it began to turn to ash.

The person dropped to the ground the moment it no longer had something solid to stand upon, though they managed to land gracefully on solid ground, causing a certain dwarf to think they were an elf. The 'elf' in question turned to the dwarf, staring from beneath the hood, before they continued on to where their fallen bow was.

All watched as they shouldered their weapon and turn to leave as if they had never been there. They stopped however when they noticed the Hobbit they had protected, it wasn't until then that they noticed he was holding his arm. His bloody arm. The figure shifted and began to approach the Hobbit, causing the others to shift and prepare themselves.

They knelt down before their injured friend, slowly reaching for the injured arm. When they were refused the arm, they lowered their hands. A few moments of silence, the figure raised their hands and pushed back their hood, shocking everyone. The entire time, the person was... a woman!

She opened her mouth as hers were pulling something from beneath her cloak, it was her words however that confused Frodo. While her tone was soft and quiet, they held strength. The only problem was that he didn't understand her!

"I'm sorry Miss, but I don't understand you." Frodo hissed when he squeezed his arm a little too tight.

The woman blinked her eyes and stopped her speech, tilting her head to the side slightly. "English?"

Frodo blinked at the odd word, what was English? "I'm sorry Miss, but I really don't..."

"I was asking how your badly injured your arm is." she began to finish retrieving her hands from beneath her cloak, revealing a small container. Twisting her hands to open the container, Frodo blinked at the paste that was inside.

"What's that?" he leaned forward, though his eyes darted up to where Aragorn as he began to approach the woman from behind.

"It is a salve, it helps clean and heal wounds." she raised a hand and removed one of her gloves with teeth before quickly doing the same to the other hand. "Please show me your wound so I may treat it."

A sword was pressed gently under her chin, and with some pressure, forced her to face the one that held the sword.

"I kindly suggest that you please step back."

The woman blinked as she raised a brow, gripping the blade with her free hand and removed the swords edge away from her neck. "It is not poison and I mean no harm."

"You will have to forgive if I cannot believe that." his eyes darted down to the hand that still held the blade, eyes widening when he noticed a a small trail of blood roll down her wrist. "My lady-!"

"To help prove my innocence of crimes I have yet to commit." she pulled her hand away and laved the small amount of salve she had already gathered on her other hand across the cut in her palm. "As I said, it is a salve to aid in healing. Will you allow me to tend to your... friends wound now?"

Aragorn slowly retracted his blade, still shocked that she would have done such a thing to prove herself innocent and not harmful to Frodo or towards the Ring. He would however keep a close eye on her hands as she dealt with Frodo's wound.

"Your arm please." her voice was quiet and calm.

Frodo glanced at Aragorn, only removing his hand and presenting his arm when Aragorn gave a nod of his head. Slowly removing his hand and presenting his injured arm to her, his brows furrowed at the sound of displeasure the woman made.

"I'm sorry you were injured. It wasn't my intent to bring harm to anyone." her words still calm and quiet.

"What was that you fought? I've never seen anything like it before." Frodo asked as he watched her hands clean his wound and wrap it.

"I'm not quite sure. I never asked." she narrowed her eyes as she observed her work. Apparently she deemed it worthy for she started to pack her supplies back to where she retrieved them. "Keep an eye on that, and change the bandage regularly. It should be fine in a few days."

"Thank you..." Frodo furrowed his brows when he realized he didn't know her name.

"Kagome, my name is Kagome." she offered a smile as she stood up. "I'll be taking my leave-!"

"If you forgive me my dear, but I need to know, how was it you were able to defeat that creature?" a deep voice smoky with age drew everyone's attention.

Kagome blinked at the sudden question. "Which part do you mean?"

The old man chuckled as he leaned against his long staff. "You'll have to forgive me, but I mean all that you did."

"Well, where I am from, we can train our bodies to be a weapon on it's own by using specific moves." Kagome blinked, her brows furrowed as she tried to figure out whether or not if she should explain about her miko abilities to these strangers.

The old man nodded his head as he ran his fingers through his beard as he hummed. "And that light?"

"That... that is an ability I wield. It can be offensive, defensive or benign. I will it to what I need." she really hoped that would please their curiosity.

"I see, and what exactly happened to the creature you defeated?" the old man's eyes were suddenly sharp and pinning her to the spot she stood upon.

"...it was... destroyed." her lips pursed slightly when she realized that they were not pleased with that.

"I saw that much, but I don't understand how." he leaned a little more against his staff.

One of her brows rose at his confession. Did that mean they didn't have any priestesses here? Or were the priestesses here something else entirely? Canting her head to the side, she swept her eyes over the entire group that were now gathered back together. It didn't pass her how they positioned themselves around the one she had just treated, protecting him.

"I am a priestess. Where I am from, we are as much warriors and protectors as any soldier, if not more so." her words seemed to either shock and stun them, or throw them completely out of the loop.

As the silence continued, she looked off to the side with her eyes, before she really took her surroundings in for the first time. It looked like any mountain range she had been on before, but it was the group before her that had her confused. Three of them were human, but the nine were beings she had never crossed paths with before.

"My lady, you said you are a priestess? I was not aware a priestess was capable of such abilities." the man that had held his sword against her neck was the one that drew her attention back to the group.

"I did say that. I also said that where I am from that a priestess is as much a warrior and protector as any soldier or..." she raised a brow as she took them in, realizing that the two younger human males looked like... " knights? I am unsure of your stations, so you'll have to forgive me."

When another silence settled between them, Kagome let out a sigh and figured it was time to move on and figure out how to get back home from wherever she currently was. Because based on their looks, which were far more European than she was used to seeing in Feudal Japan, she was not anywhere near Japan.

"Well then, I guess this is were we part ways. I wish you all the best in your endeavors." she bowed to indicate her departure.

"Wait, please!" a sudden cry, from the one she had treated, Kagome stopped walking. Turning her face away it screwed up in slight aggravation. Couldn't these men just let her go already?

Taking in a deep breath she turned to face the one that called out to her. "Yes?"

"You said something about priestesses are different where you're from." the male furrowed his brows and fidgeted on his spot. "Where exactly are you from?"

Frodo was confused when her expression suddenly became distant and she offered them a rather forlorn smile. "I'm afraid, very far away from here."

"It can't be too far. Perhaps we can-!" his words were halted when one of the men placed their hands atop his shoulder.

"Frodo." he shook his head, slightly causing his darker hair to fall into his face.

Chuckling, Kagome offered a much more warmer smile. "You have a noble heart, don't ever forget that. But I do not think any journey across this land or boat across the waters will help be get back home. Besides, you're already on a very important journey of your own. No need for distractions."

The old man narrowed his eyes slightly, obviously contemplating her words. All of them. "Is your home so far away?"

"I'm afraid it is." Kagome smiled in response as she tucked her gloves under her belt so she wouldn't have to continue holding them.

"How are you so sure?" he stood up straighter showing his impressive height, which was made all the more daunting due to his hat.

Breathing in deeply, Kagome figured to toss caution to the wind. "The feel of this... world is so much younger than my own." she couldn't help but smirk at their reactions to her answer.

"Worlds?" Frodo blinked wide eyes as he took the woman in. She stood tall, strong. Everything about was foreign yes, but he had merely thought it was because she -was- an elf or from a distant corner of Middle Earth. But from a different world?

"Yes. Shocking isn't it? I know I was when I realized it, now I just have to figure out how to get back home. But usually that involves knowing the magic that brought me here... and I don't." her brows were furrowed as she picked a random spot on the ground to glare at.

"You also mentioned that we were on a journey." Gandalf felt there was more to this woman than she let on, more than the fact that she apparently came from a distant world.

She nodded her head. "As a priestess, I can sense things... things of power." her eyes fell to Frodo, her face no longer holding smiles. "That is a heavy burden you bare. Very heavy."

"You sense it?" Aragorn was instantly on alert, if she could sense it without it being in her sight, then she was a risk to it and Frodo.

"Whatever your friend is carrying? Then yes." she raised a brow at the tense postures at her words. The other quickly followed when they all took a step forward to place themselves between her and the one that carried the item. Rolling her eyes, she waved a hand as if to clear the air of something distasteful. "Oh please. Like I would want whatever that is. My instincts are telling me to destroy it, but I don't even want to touch it to be able to do such a thing."

The Hobbits relaxed, something inside them easing at her words and deeming them truthful. The others slowly followed when she continued to stand there.

"Would... would you care to, join us, Miss Kagome?"

All eyes fell to Frodo. Most shocked and confused, but as for Kagome herself, a smile slowly grew. "If that is your wish, then I would love to. Life had been getting boring for me as of late."

"But what about... that thing?" one of the other smaller males waved his arm to indicate where she had been fighting that creature.

"Oh that? I call that Monday." she smirked as she approached the group. If they were willing to take her on a quest that meant taking down an evil after Frodo's burden, than she was all for it.

Chapter Text

Oh, was she ever in big trouble. She hadn't moved an inch for the longest time, and her body began to tremble in the strained hold she kept over herself. There was so much about her current situation that was wrong, that she wasn't quiet sure where to look for the brighter side of it. Or if there was in fact a brighter side.

Her shoulder gave another painful spasm, she bit her lip and warm blood slowly trickled down her arm. As she went to grip and pull out the arrow imbedded in her shoulder, she froze when it shifted. Blue eyes wide as they stared at the closed eye across from here, one that was taller than herself. Dark red scales that looked warmer due to the light that fractured off of the gold that flooded the entire cavern she was in.

It didn't take a genius to know that a dragon was resting beneath all that gold. But she wouldn't mind knowing why she was in said cavern. Or how she got there to begin with, and perhaps a way back. Preferably sooner rather than later.

Another shifting caused the entire gold to shift, which meant her current spot as well. She let out a squeak when she tumbled painfully backwards and ended up sliding down the never ending gold down till she landed painfully against one of the massive giant black pillars that supported the cavern's roof.

Her landing caused the arrow to snap and dig deeper into her flesh, this time she was unable to hold back her pained cry. It echoed around her, and she quickly slapped a hand to her mouth as she stared wide eyed at the immensely large dragon. It's head was no longer buried, and her eyes couldn't help but follow the line of shifting gold to the tail that ended curled around yet another pillar.

When what at first sounded like a deep rumbling growl, she quickly returned her gaze to the head only to freeze at the now open eye that stared directly at her. Bright reds mixed with golds gazed at her unwaveringly from that single eye until the head shifted so it was raised and stared down at her.

Snapping her eyes shut, Kagome did what came normally to one in such a situation. Babble like an idiot.

"I'm not here. I'm not here. This is a dream, just a dream." her brows furrowed. "Wait. This is a nightmare! I'm not here! Wake up! Wake up, wake up, wake up!"

"Thief! Come to steal my gold, have you?" the voice was deep, choppy and rumbling that sent her shaking to run up and down her spine.

"No!" she frantically shook her head, at the moment unsure if she was denying this dragon's accusations or the fact that she was in fact in her current position. "You can keep it! I just really, really want to go home!"

She whimpered when hot and steamy breath washed over her, her instinct was to push herself tighter against the pillar but the arrow still in her shoulder prevented that. When the dragon spoke again, she jumped onto unbalance legs at how close his voice sounded.

"Home? Have you come from Laketown perhaps?"

Her brows furrowed at the unfamiliar name. "No. Not... Laketown..."

The air currents were quickly changing, from what she could hear, the dragon took a deep inhale. "No, not Laketown. You lack the putrid scent of rotting fish and sickness. But there is something else I scent..."

Kagome opened her eyes at his amused tone, not that she wanted too, but because such a tone was usually never good. She gulped when she saw him completely, her heart most likely skipped a few beats at his sheer size. Oh, was she ever screwed.

Licking her lips, her eyes trailed down the entire length of the dragon before her. His rather fearsome claws included. "You scent something else..."

"Power."

Despite her best judgment, she looked him in the eye. "Power?"

If a dragon could smile, she witness it happen and would very much like to erase it from her memory. "Yes. Power. Blood is very telling, and yours sings of power."

Her uninjured arm rose so she could grip the arrow still in her shoulder. "There are many forms of power... I hardly think myself as powerful..."

"Do not think to lie to me, little one. A mouse with power... is still but a mouse." he chuckled.

"And you are an expert on power?" she slowly, and rather painfully, began to twist the arrow out of her shoulder.

"I am Smaug! I am fire and death. And you, little mouse, trespass." he lowered his head, baring rows of sharp teeth.

"I am sorry, it was not my intention to trespass." she grunted and clenched her teeth together when she finally ripped the arrow free. Bringing the broken arrow in front of her, she frowned. It wasn't much, and most likely wouldn't do anything, but it was better than nothing.

"And why should I forgive a mouse? Perhaps I should simply end you where you cower, taste and take your power for my own."

Oh boy. Her eyes darted all over the place to look for a way out, but all she saw was gold that went on forever in the never ending cavern. "Perhaps out of the goodness of your heart?"

It was a pathetic try, but she had too.

The dragon reared it's head back, letting out a roaring laugh that shook the entire of the cavern. The lighter of of gold shock and rolled down the piles causing a rather light chiming to echo around them. "You, little mouse, amuse me."

Her lips twitched. Great, she was a comedian minutes before her death. "Well, since I seem to amuse you, could your perhaps answer a few of my questions?"

Smaug rolled his shoulders, looking much like a cat getting comfortable, as he hummed and stared down at her. "Perhaps, but nothing comes without it's price."

Licking her lips, Kagome finally thought to hell with it. She was more than likely about to die a painful death of being roasted alive, eaten alive or skewered by his claws. Looks like Kikyo finally won.

"Alright... Why do dragons crave gold? I mean, it's gold. It's nothing but metal. It can't keep you warm, you can't eat it, it doesn't offer companionship. At least not directly..." she shrugged her uninjured shoulder. It never made sense to her, she could still recall all the stories her father used to tell her about dragons hording gold from fairy tales when he was still alive, and questioning him 'why' like any other innocent child.

"Because others crave it, if you have what others crave, then you have power. The beauty and temptation of gold is not to be underestimated." he hissed the last bit of his answer, his tail sliding across the gold adding to the effect.

"Right. Pretty gold..." she could hardly believe that was it. Because it was shiny and pretty and because others wanted it? Well, the same could be said for the Shikon...

"Do dragons crave anything else other than gold?" her hold on the broken arrow shaft slipped easily between her fingers thanks to the fact that her blood now coated both.

The action he pulled next could be considered a raised brow. "You are a curious mouse."

"Well, since I am more than likely to die, I'd like to have my curiosity sated before I go." her answer was rather blasé considering her situation.

"Hmm. We crave power, in all it's forms. One more question mouse, and then no more." his eyes narrowed his eyes on her, not in anger, but more like a predator that was eying its prey.

"You are powerful, that much I can tell. But exactly how powerful are you? I only ask because in the land I come from, dragons can take on the form of man. It was their way of showing their absolute power." her mind was running hundreds miles a minute. If he could do such, she still had a chance of surviving this and figuring out a way home and return the favor Kikyo was so gracious to bestow upon her.

"And why would I wish to take on such a weak form?" it was hard to tell if he was curious or insulted at the idea.

"I don't know. The ability to hide oneself from their prey and enemy without them knowing? I never asked how it was considered powerful. The more powerful the dragon, the more human they looked... I guess it also allowed them to enjoy the pleasures that their natural form didn't allow them too." she had always wondered about that, it couldn't have been about being less of a target. They were powerful enough to flatten entire villages of the Feudal Era, so it had to be something about enjoying the human form that their natural ones could experience.

If she ever got back home, she was going to ask Sesshoumaru. Hopefully she survived that and live happily with whatever answer he deemed to give her. Even if it meant none and letting her live.

Slumping a little under the constant throb in her should, she let out a startled cry when the gold beneath her feet shifted and she took another tumble. Getting back on her feet prove a problem, the gold was constantly shifting. Shifting the arrow into her other hand, she raised her uninjured arm to press against her shoulder only to freeze when she felt a claw run down her spine lightly.

The sound of her shirt ripping and cool air touching her now exposed back had her blood run cold. A warm, and large hand brushed her shirt to expose her injury. She furrowed her brows and clenched her eyes shut. She had been expecting something that wasn't a hand. Claws, teeth... her death by flames yes, a hand... not so much. She had assumed that wherever she was, the dragons here were far different than the ones of Japan.

When pressure was applied to her wound, she hissed and spun about to lash out to the... person. Only, that didn't happen. Letting out another squeak, she wrapped her arms around herself to hold her shirt and took a step back only to land on her rump.

"Okay... this weird dream has gone on long enough! I'm ready to wake up now!" she clenched her eyes shut as blood rushed to her cheeks.

She let out a whimper at the deep chuckled that echoed around her. The sound of gold tinkling and shifting alerted her to the... being was moving. Throwing an arm behind her, she caught herself when she flinched back from the unsuspecting contact against her cheek.

"So, I caught myself a rather innocent mouse." his voice was far smoother, and oddly sounding of British accent.

Warmth bathed her entire front, as if she were under the noon sun. But the gold shifting underneath her told she was still in fact in that endless cavern with a... naked dragon. Her lips pursed when his fingers curiously poked and prodded.

Another amused chuckled echoed around her ears. "Perhaps the dragons of your home were correct, this form does offer much."

"That's nice, can you go back to your other form then? I'd rather die with as much dignity intact." her brows furrowed when the gold shifted again, and she leaned away from a sudden crowding of her personal space.

"Die? I told you dragons crave power in all it's forms. A mouse with power if can offer should be treasured. Even if it is a mouse."

Her eyes snapped open at his words, truly taking in his new appearance. His face was long, straight and came down to a narrowed chin. Pointed ears peaked out from beneath long hair, hair she thought was black at first but the fractured light off of the gold showed it to be a deep red. His eyes were the same, only looking slightly more cat like, and she could say that his cheekbones looked rather sharp.

But none of it made him unattractive, not that she found his as such of course! He was a dragon after all that intended to kill her, at least she thought he did. Then again, she could say the same thing about Naraku and Sesshoumaru.

"Does this form not appeal you, little mouse?" his voice sounded far too amused, and a little sadistic, for her tastes.

"If I say no, will you go back to being a dragon?" she pulled herself away from him, hoping to gain some breathing room. It was rather pointless as he followed after her.

"Perhaps. Do you not find this form appealing?" his moved his hand, gripping her knee and stopped her from continuing to escape.

"...yes. Now please go back to being a dragon." her leg twitched at the feel of claws scrapping the back of her knee.

Taking a quick peek, though being safe to avoid glancing at a certain area, she noticed while he was definitely human looking, certain areas seemed to shimmer with a scale like effect. As she tried to push herself as far back as possible, she noticed the same with his facial features.

"Why, little mouse, does this form... upset you so?" his lips curled as he drew closer.

Looking off to the side, she swallowed the lump in her throat. "You're rather... naked and exposed right now." her answer was barely a whisper, a sign of how uncomfortable she really was.

"I would still be if I were a dragon." he was suddenly in her face, sharp eyes watching her movements.

Kagome fell to her elbow, hissing lightly when it agitated her wound. "Yes, well, you were a dragon then."

He watched her, until he moved to nuzzled to side of her head. His breath was warmer than what she expected, his skin far smoother and softer as well. "I am still a dragon now, little mouse. Regardless of which form I take."

She shook and shivered, wondering if she was going to die of embarrassment soon or hopefully wake up. Her hopes were riding on the latter, all or nothing on the latter really. "Well, yes, but still-!"

"Hush now, little mouse. Let me discover what treasures you hold." his voice came out as a purring rumble, sounding much more like when he first spoke.

A soft cry of protested left her lips when her shirt was quickly torn from her hold and tossed away, leaving Kagome feeling for more exposed than she would have liked. The action also caused her to fall to her injured shoulder. Letting out a hiss, she arched to relieve the sudden pain that bloomed from her shoulder. The move allowed an arm to slip around her waist and rest against the small of her back.

Gently, not something she would have suspected of a dragon, he lifted her and turned her so she faced away from him. The straps of her bra fell away from her shoulders, most likely cut with his claws. She fumbled about to keep it on until it followed the same fate of her shirt, torn and tossed away. Hunching in on herself, she ignored the amused chuckles behind her as her hair was swept over her shoulder.

She continued to pray in her mind that she wake up soon, or die, either one really. Or that the earth open up and swallow her, anything to get out of this embarrassing situation.

When his large hands moved, one gripping her injured arm while the other settled against her stomach, she turned towards him to question him. Instead she blinked when he looked up at her as he leaned down and pressed his lips to her wound. Not moments later, a heat she had never known seared her flesh. Biting down on her cry, her eyes clenched shut and she bowed her head. It didn't stop the tears that escaped and rolled down her cheeks.

After what felt like hours to her, he finally pulled back. "Such a brave little mouse."

She wanted to do nothing more than scratch his eyes out and claw at her still burning flesh, instead she decided to distract herself. "Kagome... my name is Kagome."

"An odd name for a little mouse." he chuckled as his tongue laved against her now healed wound, a rumbling purr echoing around them.

"It means bird." she gritted her teeth when his nose rub the length of her neck and she felt her blood smear from his chin.

"So a little bird are you? All the better." he drew her tight against his form, his hands beginning to wander. "Your blood is very... intoxicating."

"So I've been told." she squirmed at the warm sweeps his hands and touches caused. She really hoped he wasn't planning on what she thought he was planning. Freezing, her hopes were shot to hell when she felt that he indeed was more than ready to do what he more than likely planned on doing.

It was scalding, pressed against her lower back, and felt... larger than life. Clawed hands distracted her as they did away with the rest of her clothing till she was bare. Her continued squirming garnered a hiss from the being behind her, his hand suddenly cupping her most private and sacred of places drew out a surprised gasp as she threw her head back onto his shoulder.

"It would seem, this form does please you. My little bird." lips pulled back allowing her to feel sharp teeth press against her neck.

The moment his fingers began to move, Kagome bolted up awake. Her hands clenched her sleeping bag as she panted for breath while her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the forest around her. Shippo cried out as he flew a short distant until he rested more or less at the foot of the sleeping bag.

At the sudden disturbance, the others quickly woke up themselves, ready to take on whatever enemy disturbed their small camp.

"Kagome, everything alright?" Shippo had scrambled to pat his tiny hands against her cheeks, worried at her pale complexion.

Her eyes blankly took him in, not really sure she was seeing him or the woods instead of the endless gold filled cavern. Had it all really been a dream? Her shoulder still burned in pain... Hands shook as they moved her sleeping shirt to get to where she had been shot in her dream.

"Kagome-chan?" Shippo asked again, his own hands clenching onto his shirt in worry.

"My... my shoulder... it hurts." her whimpers drew everyone's attention until Sango stood up.

"Here, let me." rough and callused hands eased the shirt from shaking ones and pushed the back of the shirt up. "Which shoulder?"

Inhaling the cool and crisp night air, she managed to calm herself to answer. "Left. My left shoulder."

Sango's hand gently swept across both shoulder until stopping at the left one. "You're bleeding! Shippo, get me some water and a towel please!"

The whole camp was now awake, Miroku stirring the fire back to life which Kagome stared at with unseeing eyes. Inuyasha was doing a quick patrol of the area to make sure nothing had managed to sneak in, Shippo was helping Sango in cleaning her back.

"Well, you're not bleeding, but that doesn't explain the blood. Although..." Kagome could hear the frown in her friend's voice.

"Yes? What is it?" twisting to see what her friends were, she let out a huff when she was doing nothing more than giving herself whiplash.

"Did you always have this scar there? It looks like a burn mark... but I've never seen one like it before..." Sango trailed off as she wiped the last bit of blood away.

"Wha... what does it look like?" her hand rose up to pat where the mark supposedly was.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say it looked like... a kiss." Sango furrowed her brows as she continued to take in the mark.

"O-oh that one! I got it when I was a kid! A little accident, nothing more!" Kagome hastily pulled her shirt back in place. "Well, I might have scratched myself, sorry for the worries guys. Bad dreams and old pains caused me to panic. Let's get back to sleep."

Despite the looks everyone was giving her, she climbed back into her sleeping back. Snuggling deep in it's warmth and holding a still worried Shippo, Kagome willed herself to sleep. It took a while, but the others followed her lead, tucking themselves back into their own blankets to get sleep.

She shivered when the wind picked up over head... she was sure she heard a voice through the boughs of the tree.

"You can not hide from... my little bird."

Chapter Text

Kagome hummed as she took in the single room apartment for rent that she was considering. It was small, but then again it was big enough for what she needed until everything was finally settled. But it would need a lot or work. A dehumidifier, the walls completely redone as well as the floor. Not only that, some of the darker stains looked more like mold, but none of this would really hurt she had deep pockets.

Surprising for someone that nearly failed Jr. High and got into a rather average High school.

"I'll need someone to come in to check for mold, and I would love to be able to redo the place. I do have to ask something though. The kitchen and bathroom..." she trailed off not knowing how she wanted to phrase her question.

"Oh don't worry dear, you'll have access to those. Chip in for food and pay for your own toiletries and I'm sure we won't have any problems." the old woman smiled to which Kagome couldn't help but return. "But please keep the redecorating tasteful."

"You have nothing to worry about, Mrs. Hudson. Of that I promise you." Kagome quickly pulled out a buzzing cell phone and checked her latest message with a raised brow. Reading the text, she let out a sigh before returning her attention to the woman. "I'll pay for the first six months in advance, as well for all costs of redoing the room. I'm afraid word is calling me away, may we finalize this a little later?"

The old woman smiled as she led them both back upstairs. "I see no problem with that. It'll be nice to have another woman in the house, those boys can be so tiring."

Kagome blinked at the comment, not that she didn't understand how female companionship wasn't nice to have, but more about the two 'boys' she spoke about.

"Well, before you go, here's the keys you'll need and then we can work the rest out when you return." Mrs. Hudson pulled a few keys off her key ring, the jingling of the many keys sounding louder in the empty stairwell.

"Thank you, Mrs. Hudson. Have a pleasant day and until later then." accepting the offered keys, Kagome slipped them into her purse.

Fishing her phone out of her coat pocket, she signaled a taxi as she pressed the redial button. It didn't take long for either. She pressed the cell to her shoulder to quickly give the cabbie the address, before returning to her call.

"You called a few minutes ago May?" her tone was curious, if not slightly worried. The girl wouldn't have called unless she absolutely had too.

"One of your regulars keeps asking for you. Saying he won't work with anyone else but you."

A brow rose at the frustrated tone of the girl's voice. "Which client?"

"Mr. Stark."

Kagome rolled her eyes, that man could be nothing but a pain in the neck when he wanted to be. It was the reason why she hadn't mentioned to him that she was moving to London for a while to open another office. Well, his girlfriend knew, but she trusted Pepper to keep it for as long as possible. Then again, the man could track her with all his high tech toys of his.

"All his measurements are already on file, along with preferred materials. If he gives you any more trouble, go ahead and call Pepper Potts." with a sigh, Kagome ended the call after wishing the girl she left in charge of her New York office farewell.

Rubbing her temples, she let out another sigh before turning to watch the London streets pass her by. The ride itself wasn't that long, but it allowed her time to reminisce about her life after the well. Of all the things she had become after her time spent in the well, designing and selling clothing had not been what she had expected.

But it didn't remind her of the past, although it was the inspiration for her more traditional pieces, and it was something she chose without being influenced by the past. Well, that was a lie. After patching her own clothing, bag and human skin, designing fashion and sowing it was easy.

She had started off small, doing simple commission for family and friends until more people wanted her designs and a designers took her under their wing. After everything, her mentor gave her a little space where she could open a boutique and sell her clothing. And then somehow, things took off for her from there. Fame, money and recognition, she gained them and soon enough, she opened a office in New York.

Her designs became the talk of the town. Clothing that had a flare of the past, for all events purposes, and being inspired from various cultures. So the past did have an influence, but she used every era in all her designs as inspiration.

It was in New York she met the infamous Tony Stark through Pepper Potts. Her simple life of a designer and seamstress went right out the window with that man. But she could honestly say she enjoyed the spice he brought into her life. It would have been very bland, but he still needed to learn he didn't get everything.

"We're here."

Shaken out of her thoughts, she offered the man a grateful smile as she paid. "Thank you, have a pleasant day."

Exiting the cab, she observed the building. It was nice, located in a rather populated area of London, a hot spot for tourists without it being too crowded. All in all, it was perfect.

"Ah, Miss. Higurashi. Right on time, we'll have one last tour of the building and then we can discuss the details." a tall sandy haired woman offered her hand in greeting that Kagome accepted.

"Yes, lets." taking one last look at the old brick building, another step into the future, she was brimming with excitement.

Four months had passed since she first moved to London, and her life had been just as exciting as when she was in New York. Instead of Tony Stark, she had Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. A good pair that equaled each other out if she ever saw one.

Living under the same roof with a consulting detective proved to be interesting, and that was putting it mildly.

"Oh, let me Mrs. Hudson." Kagome took the tray from the older woman, though she knew that her landlady was more than capable.

"You're such a dear. Could you please bring these up to them as well? I'm afraid I need to do some errands." Mrs. Hudson placed some envelopes on the tray.

"Not at all. Word of warning, the wind is a might nippy out there." Kagome called over her shoulder as she began climbing the stairs, smiling when she heard Mrs. Hudson thanked her.

"John, Sherlock? Tea's ready." she called out through the door, her hands rather full at the moment to actually open it.

Pursing her lips, she could here a person pacing about in the living room. Either Sherlock needed a case, or was working on one. That's how quickly she learned of their routine. It was either that, or get blown over with the fast pace Sherlock lived in.

Rearing back and out of her thoughts, Kagome smiled at John's appearance when he allowed her entrance. "Good day John, Sherlock."

Blinking and pausing at the pictures that littered the wall above the fire place, she learned that Sherlock was indeed on a case. Shaking her head, she made her way into the kitchen to place the tray on the table there, glad to see it wasn't overflowing with Sherlock's experiments. She returned to the living room, happy to hand John the post. Mentally, she snickered at how she was now using British terms.

"Here you are, today's post. I see Sherlock is busy with a new case. Is it any interesting?" she shared a sly smirk with the doctor as the both turned to a stumped Sherlock.

"Thank you. And for us normal people, yes it is rather interesting. An invisible burglar that didn't steal anything. And this all happened on the top floor." John answered as he sorted through the mail.

Her brows shot up before she smirked. "Let me guess, nothing was caught on camera."

"Right-o. Nor did our burglar take anything." John smiled at the furrowing of Kagome's brows, obviously confused and trying to figure out the puzzle presented her.

"If nothing was taken. That only means something was left behind, or murdered. But that would also be considered something left behind as well." she muttered to herself as she tapped her lower lip.

"Right you are, the burglar left something behind. Care to have a look?" John knew she was interested, her curiosity had been piqued when she first met them.

Pursing her lips, Kagome chanced a look at Sherlock who was still deep in thought. "I won't get into any sort of trouble, will I?"

"Of course not. Come on then, this way." he nodded his head back towards the living room, already knowing she would follow.

Kagome hummed as she followed, her eyes flying up to the pictures that were tacked up onto the wall. Pictures of yellow spray paint, one on a white wall and the other across a painted portrait. "What's it supposed to mean?"

"Sherlock is trying to figure that out. Pretty sure it's some type of code." John absently went through the post, scowling lightly at seeing nothing but bills.

"So the numbers fifteen and one are a code? Interesting code." Kagome hummed under breath until she was suddenly spun about to face Sherlock.

"What did you just say?" he demanded of her, his grip tightening a slight amount.

After composing herself, Kagome tried to ease herself out of his hold. "The graffiti, it's in Chinese. A dialect used in Hongzhou actually."

"Are you sure?" he continued to hold her in his surprisingly strong grip.

Raising a brow, Kagome paused her efforts to free herself as she stared the taller man in the eye. "I may be Japanese, but I do have family in China and Hong Kong. The one on the wall is the character for fifteen and the one on the painting is for one."

John rolled his own eyes at the scene before him, Sherlock seemed to get rather... passionate when it came to cases. Although that didn't excuse him to get rough with Kagome. "Sherlock, let her go. I actually think you're bruising her."

Sherlock dropped his gaze from the pictures on the wall before him to his hands still wrapped around the upper arms of Kagome. Pulling back, he composed himself and offered her his apologies. "I apologize, it was not my intent to harm you."

"No harm done." Kagome threw him a smile before straightening the sleeves of her dress. "Well, good luck boys, but I do have to get to work. I'd love to hear what you've gathered tonight."

Sherlock watched her leave their flat with a raised brow. "I may have need of your services later." he turned questioning eyes to John when he suddenly chocked on a sip of tea.

"I'll be glad to assist you should you have trouble with any new Chinese graffiti. Good day boys." she simply shook her head, already more than used to how he phrased things, chuckling when she heard John's scolding him for his continued way of phrasing things to sound inappropriate.

Chapter Text

It wasn't every day that Kagome got to use her skills in the present, but there were certain times that called for them. Now was one of them. Ducking under a wild swing, she swept her leg under the grown man that had crashed into her and her friends while they had been enjoying time at the mall. It wasn't every day her class went on a trip, so she had been rather pissed off when a group of grown men violently interrupted that.

She brought her elbow down on the man's stomach, knocking the air out of him. Three down, one left to go.

"Get out of the way, little girl, before you get hurt." the man's voice fit with his appearance. Gruff, deep and lacking of any personality.

"Right, says the man whose team was taken down by said girl. Kinda pathetic, especially since you were after a little boy? And you call yourselves men." she sneered at the man.

Antagonizing the opponent was a gutsy move, but it could give her the upper hand. As long as she kept her cool while the other let their anger control them... it could end in her favor. With how the man began clenching hands and gritting his teeth.

There was just one more button to push. "Did I hit a soft spot?"

The man lunged at her which she easily side stepped and brought her elbow down on his back. When he stayed down for longer than she expected, she cautiously stepped away before turning to the large potted plant. Peeking around it, she smiled down at the reason that drew the men to crash into her and her friends.

"Hey there, you doing okay?" her voice was soft to ease the obvious tension the boy was in.

Said boy jumped at her question and whipped his head about to stare at her with wide dark amethyst eyes. He blinked a few times before quickly looking around the plant to stare at the men that were still down for the count.

"Kagome-chan! I never knew you could do that!" a voice drew their attention.

Kagome's three closest friends, plus Hojo, rushed to their sides. They were quickly assessing them for injuries, to which Kagome chuckled at how flustered the boy became. When the men began to shift and groan, Kagome and her friends surrounded the boy and drew him away from the men.

"That's a lot of man power for one boy. Got a name kid?" Kagome threw her arms around his shoulders and pulled him into her side.

The boy warily looked up at her, narrowing his eyes. "Kaiba. Mokuba Kaiba."

"Well, Mokuba-kun, you're not hurt are you?" he shook his head, to which she smiled. "Good. Are you alone? Shouldn't you be in school?"

His eyes narrowed at her questions. "Why should I tell you? You are a stranger."

A laugh escaped her before was able to hold it back to nothing more than giggles. "Smart. I have a brother, he's about your age. I naturally care."

"And worry." Eri piped up.

Yuka scoffed. "And apparently defensive. Where did you learn to do that?"

Kagome chuckled nervously under her breath. "Ah... remember Inuyasha? Well, him and some others back in Jr. High."

Hojo furrowed his brows. "Why would he teach you that? You were sick, it could have worsened your condition!"

"He was worried!" Kagome's tone rose a pitch too high for her liking, but Inuyasha was still her friend despite all past transgressions.

"About what?" Hojo still carried a torch for her apparently, if how he was suddenly clutching onto her hands.

"That I would be taken advantage of." there was that, among other things, but she wasn't about to tell them about the past and her part in it.

She slowly eased her hands out of his grip. He was a great friend, but... nothing more, not since the Shikon. "Anyways... Mokuba-kun, do you need to call anyone?"

Mokuba let out a startled gasp before searching for the cell phone his brother gave him, patting down where his pockets. He let out a panicked whimper when his search showed his cell phone was missing. He paused when a cell phone was presented to him. Following it up, he blinked at the smiling blue eyes that looked down at him.

"Go on, take it. Looks like your need it." she offered him the cell phone again, where he took it.

Flipping it open, he quickly pressed down on the numbers dialing his brother. Although there was a chance he wouldn't take it, what with him calling from an unknown cell phone. He pursed his lips when it went straight to voice mail, proving his suspicions. He dialed his brother's number again, but when that proved just as successful, he decided a different rout.

"Kaiba Corporations, how may I help you?"

Mokuba felt his shoulders relax, finally he'd be able to get in touch with Seto! "It's me, Mokuba. Can you patch me through to my brother?"

He watched as Kagome raised a brow, most likely confused at his words. That meant she didn't know who he was, nor his brother. A quick glance to her friends, proved that they had some recognition however.

"Yes sir, right away sir. Patching through." the woman spoke quickly, most likely knowing or having heard what happened a few hours ago.

"This is Seto, and this better be good." at the deep, and rather frustrated, sound of his brother's voice, Mokuba perked up.

"Seto! It's-!" Mokuba could only smile the moment Seto realized it was him calling and interrupted his words.

"Mokuba! Where are you? You aren't harmed are you?" Seto was direct and to the point, as always, especially when it came to his safety.

"I'm at the mall and I'm fine. But... I can't say the same for the guys that came after me..." Mokuba looked down to where the men were now being taken away from mall security and police officers.

"Alright, I'm on my way, don't move."

Just like that, the call ended. Smiling down at the cell phone, Mokuba felt his heart pick up. As always, his brother was there for him. Looking up at Kagome, he watched as she spoke with her friends. She had been quick to come to his aid, obviously not knowing who he was or his connections. It was awe inspiring really, and she was pretty.

"My brother is on his way." he spoke up, drawing Kagome's attention away from her friends and onto him.

She smiled down at him. "I'm glad to hear that. Well, since your shadows have been taken care of, would it be possible to wait for your brother at the food court?"

Mokuba pursed his lips, she wasn't asking for anything too impossible. "Sure!"

Of course Kagome and her friends began to coo and compliment him, which he couldn't help but blush at. Accepting the hand that Kagome presented him with, he smiled as they made their way to the food court. Despite his protests, he was treated to a milkshake courtesy of Kagome while they waited for his brother.

Kagome chatted with him, simple questions were exchanged and answered. Nothing too personal, but it was pleasant nonetheless.

"So, what are you into Mokuba-kun?" Kagome leaned down in her arm, propping her chin into a raised hand.

"Dueling Monsters! I'm going to be like my big brother one day, he's the best!" Mokuba swung his legs as he took another sip of his milkshake.

"Dueling Monsters huh. I think my brother mentioned something about them a while ago. Although he's more into video games and soccer himself." she shrugged her shoulders, totally clueless about what Dueling Monsters actually was. "Well, I wish you the best of luck, and don't give up on your dreams and goals!"

She reached over and mussed up his hair, earning laughter from Mokuba even though he playfully pushed her hand away.

"Mokuba." all turned their attention to person that spoke up.

Mokuba whipped his head to the side, a large smile on his as he darted out of his seat. "Big brother!"

Kagome watched with an amused smile from her seat, though she did find it odd how Mokuba halted himself from throwing himself at his older brother. Recalling how the older of the two was named Seto, she could only raise a brow as he knelt down and checked for injuries. The interaction reminded her of the one Rin had with Sesshoumaru. Although the lord would never have knelt down, especially with witnesses.

"...is Kagome! She's the one that helped me, big brother." at Mokuba's excited voice, Kagome was snapped out of her musings.

Standing up, she smiled at the taller boy being polite like her mother taught her too. "It's a pleasure meeting you." she bowed.

"Thank you for what you did for my brother. I'll have to repay you for your trouble." his voice was deeper than she thought it would be, since she was sure he was around her age.

"Oh no need for that, I was glad to help." standing her full height, she waved her hands about.

The boys eyes narrowed on her, as if he didn't believe his words or angered at them. She wasn't exactly sure so she was slightly confused.

"I find that hard to believe. Or was this your plan all along, to use my brother to get to me?" he placed a hand atop Mokuba's head when the boy quietly spoke his name.

Furrowing her brows, she was totally thrown out the loop. "Um, no. Why would I want to get to you?"

She could hear her friends behind her, whispering about her carelessness about the situation. That just meant she would be demanding answers from them as soon as they got back to the hotel they were staying in.

"Do you honestly expect me to believe, that you have no idea who I am?" he scoffed down at her.

Folding her arms over her chest, Kagome herself let out a huff. "You're name is Seto Kaiba, and apparently some one important. Not that I care."

"Girl," he narrowed his eyes on her and she returned the sentiment. "if I find this to have been a scam..."

Having heard enough, Kagome raised up onto the tips of her toes and poked the arrogant boy in the chest. "Listen here, Mr. High-And-Mighty, Mokuba-kun was in trouble so I helped. I had no hopes or plans of getting anything out of it. I think it's high time to get off that high horse of yours." she gave one last, and hopefully painful poke as she scowled up at him

Turning to Mokuba, she offered a smile that was completely different to the aggravation she felt for his older brother. Crouching down to get eye to eye with him, she bid him her fare wells. "Well, guess this is where we part ways. Good luck on that dream of yours, Mokuba-kun!" she ruffled his hair once more before standing up.

Pursing her lips, she held back on the nasty words she wanted to spit in Seto's face. "Good bye."

Spinning on her heal, she walked away ignoring the shocked words her friends bombarded her with. Or the praises of bravery from Hojo along with his concerned questioning on how she was feeling. Rolling her eyes, she finally agreed to Eri's plan of checking out the clothing stores the mall had to offer.

Seto gritted his teeth, not sure if he should feel insulted or upset with her lack of acknowledgment to who he was. Or the lack of respect she had shown him, invading his personal space the way she had.

Deciding he wasted enough of his time thinking about the girl, he turned to his brother. "Are you sure you're not hurt Mokuba?"

"Un! Kagome-chan really did help me. She's really nice... and pretty." he slyly looked up at Seto, though mentally cried when he got no reaction.

"As long as you're alright, let's get go home." his brother was already on the phone, most likely calling someone to get information on the people that had come after him today.

Mokuba allowed himself to be led to where the car waited for them. As they passed a store window, he perked up when he noticed Kagome holding a blue summer dress up to herself. He didn't know why, but he had a feeling when it came to Kagome, that she would be good for his brother.

Although, her lack of knowledge in his brother and Dueling Monsters was going to have to change.

They had returned to their shared room, and Kagome was frantically looking through her belongings for her cell phone. Nibbling on her lower lip, she turned to the few shopping bags she had before tipping them over and looking through her purchases.

"Everything alright, Kagome-chan?" Eri's voice spoke up from her own bed.

"I can't find my cell phone." Kagome muttered as she moved onto the next bag, spreading her new belongings across her bed.

Ayumi blinked as she paused in finishing putting on her pajamas. "Maybe you misplaced it?"

Letting out a huff, Kagome dumped the last bag whining when that proved useless. "I hope so."

Yuka came out of the bathroom watching the scene unfold. "Didn't you get it back from Mokuba?"

Kagome paused her actions, blinking wide eyes at the mess that now laid across her bed. Mentally, she was going over her day in trying to recall if he did in fact return her cell phone. Whimpering, she dropped to her knees as she let her head drop onto her bed. "No."

The three friends shared a look, not at all surprised. Kagome was constantly forgetting she finally had a cell phone to begin with. She was always losing it in her own room, in her school bag, pretty much everywhere.

"Well... perhaps we could track him down and get it back?" Ayumi offered up hopefully as she leaned over to pat Kagome on the back.

"Right, and have that Seto jerk think I'm stalking him and his brother? Not only that, after your told me who he is, I'm more than likely going to need a year in advance to see him again." Kagome lifted her head enough to prop her chin on the edge of the mattress. "Though I doubt he would want to after the way I treated him."

Eri scoffed. "You had every right to be, with the way he questioned your reasons to helping Mokuba-kun. What a jerk!"

Yuka sighed as she dropped onto her own bed. "Though you have to admit, he is sexy!" she giggled when a pillow was thrown at her.

"How does that help Kagome with her cell phone?" Ayumi questioned, huffing as she ducked the returned pillow.

"It doesn't I guess... But you have to admit it!" she giggled as she sat up, dragging her pillow into her lap.

"Alright! He's looks hot! Now what about my cell phone?" Kagome cried out, wanting her blunder to be fixed though unsure as to how.

Yuka threw an arm in Kagome's direction. "See! Even Kagome admits it, and she thinks he's a jerk!"

"Guys~!" Kagome's whine died off when she let her head fall back into the mattress. She was no closer to getting her cell phone than when she first remembered that Mokuba didn't return it.

Mokuba stared down at the cell phone, that wasn't his. Now he felt bad. Was this considered theft? Pouting, he was sure if he mentioned this to Seto he would end up in trouble, and he would most likely think it was Kagome's idea all along. But the right thing to do was return it, and Seto was the only person he knew that would know how to track Kagome down.

Jumping off his bed, he made his way to where he knew his big brother most likely was. He bypassed his brother's room completely and went to the office that Seto was more than likely working in, even at this hour.

Knocking on the door, he called out to his brother. "Big brother?"

Peeking around the open door, he wasn't surprised to see Seto typing away at his computer. Most likely planning a way on making Duel Monsters better.

"Shouldn't you be in bed, Mokuba?" Seto raised a brow as he turned away from his laptop. His brother wasn't one to disobey the rules, so he wondered what caused him to do so now.

"Yes, but I forgot something today and wanted to ask for your help to fix it." his voice was quiet and tired.

Letting out a sigh, he motioned his brother into his office. It wasn't often Mokuba asked him for help, he more often than not wanted to prove himself capable. "What is it?"

Mokuba quickly made his way to his desk and placed something down before him. At the sight of a cell phone, one he clearly didn't recognized. "What is this?"

"...it's Kagome-chan's cell phone. I forgot to return it." Mokuba muttered under his breath, peeking up at him from under his bangs.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Seto sneered slightly. He had hoped he wouldn't have to deal with that girl again, but turns out the fates were against him. Not that he believed in that sort of thing, because then it would mean he'd have to admit to being the reincarnation of and ancient Egyptian priest.

"Go to bed Mokuba, we'll talk about this in the morning." he picked up the cell and put to the side.

Mokuba offered him a bright smile and wished him a good night, obviously thinking he was now going to track the girl down to return the cell phone to her. It wouldn't be to hard for him, but it would mean more time wasted away on something so frivolous than the work that needed to be done.

Saving his work, he began his search for the girl. One thing to look forward to, was that as soon as he returned her phone to her, she would no longer be intruding his life, time or thoughts.

Kagome let out another sigh, how could she have forgotten to ask for her phone back? Dropping her head back, she looked up at the clear blue sky. It wasn't that hard to believe actually, she still wasn't used to the idea of owning an actual cell phone.

Facing forward she shook her head, no use in crying over spilt milk. Stretching her arms, she decided to enjoy the warm sun and weather instead as she waited for the others to finish up in the store behind her. They were given the day for their own personal use, meaning they could do what they wanted within reason and not need to wear their school uniform.

"Sorry for making you wait so long, Kagome-chan!" Ayumi called out as she and the others exited the store.

"It's no problem. Did you get what you needed?" turning around, Kagome smiled at her friends, glad to be distracted from her less than positive thoughts.

Ayumi held up a small hand bag, showing her prize. "Yup!"

Eri and Yuka followed out after, arguing over something or other they had found in the store. Kagome threw Ayumi a questioning look only to receive a shrug of the shoulders. That either meant Ayumi had no idea what they were arguing about, or it was something typical.

"Let's go get something to eat. There's a little cafe up the road, wanna check it out?" Kagome pointed out said cafe, it was quaint and on the corner of a small shopping district.

"Oh yes, I'm starving." Yuka answered, getting pulled out of the heated discussion she was having with Eri.

Eri giggled. "You're always hungry. Where do you put all that food!"

All the girls giggled as they made their way to the cafe, enjoying the good weather and light conversation. With their chosen table out on the sidewalk, their enjoyment continued with their drinks and treats. Although it came to a halt when a car pulled up next to where they were sitting and the driver opened the back door.

Wide eyes blinked at the scene, brows raised however when two people they recognized stepped out. Kagome watched in confusion when Mokuba jumped out and ran to her, wide smile on his face as he greeted her.

"Kagome-chan!" he didn't hold back in his greeting, shocking her when he threw himself at her and tightly wrapped his arms around her waist.

"O-oh! Mokuba-kun!" she absently returned the impromptu hug, patting his head. Looking down, she continued to blink at the wild black hair that was pressed into her stomach. Was he always this friendly in his greetings.

"Mokuba, that's enough." at the deep voice that could only belong to one Seto Kaiba, everyone turned their attention to the second passenger of the car.

Now Kagome was unsure of what to do, although she hoped this was about getting her cell phone back. She blinked when the boy pulled away from her, bright smile still in place. A brow rose when she noticed the sly smirk he was throwing his older brother, already knowing he was up to something.

"Higurashi-san." at Seto calling her her family name, she blinked up at him.

"Please, call me Kagome." standing up, she smoothed her skirts as she tilted her head to the side slightly.

He nodded his head, but instead of doing such he reached into his inner jacket and pulled out a familiar cell phone. With a happy gasp, Kagome moved forward and accepted her cell phone back from the young CEO.

"Ah, thank you!" she bowed in her thanks, offering a smile when she was done.

"I'm really sorry about forgetting to return your cell phone, Kagome-chan." Mokuba's voice drew her away from Seto, though the smile was still in place.

"It's alright, Mokuba-kun. I'm always forgetting and misplacing it. I have it back so no worries." she lightly ruffled his hair once again.

"Oi! Seto, you owe me a duel!" at the angry and sudden shout, all turned towards a group that was making their way towards them, apparently fresh from school.

A scowling blond was rudely pointing his finger at Seto followed by a tall boy with dark brown hair styled in a sort of faux hawk... thing. A girl with dark brown hair cut into a bob and a short boy with the strangest hair that Kagome has ever seen. And she had seen a lot, Yura of the hair, that hair detachment from Naraku... But apparently nothing prepared her for the wildly spiked black hair that shined red in the light with blond bangs.

Kagome's eyes darted between the blond and Seto, unsure of what was going to happen or to expect.

"Like I have the time to duel with the likes of you Wheeler. Try again when you've become someone that's recognizable in the dueling community." Seto smirked down at the angry expression that was directed at him. It was one of his stress relievers, pissing Wheeler off.

"Why I 'oughta..." Joey began pushing the sleeves of his school uniform jacket

"Calm down Joey, Seto's not worth it." Tea spoke up, though her words sounded tired like she had repeated them more than enough to annoy her.

"No! This punk is going down today!" Joey ripped his book bag off his back and tossed it to the ground.

Kagome and her friends blinked, shocked at the open display of anger and dislike the boy had for Seto. Kagome herself took a few cautionary steps away from the target of that anger, she had her cell, said her thanks and sort of wanted to make a clean get away now.

"Just leave it Joey, there's no use getting worked up when it comes to Seto." Honda seemed also tired with the display, easily reached out and snagged the back of his friends jacket to keep him from doing anything drastic... or stupid.

"Come on! Let me go!" Joey complained and struggled with his friend's hold, the group of friends still not noticing Kagome and her own group that were more or less an audience.

Kagome continued to creep back to her seat, feeling things were either going to explode and make a mess, or finally dwindle down till they all went their separate ways.

Sadly, it wasn't the latter. The boy, Joey, continued to flail about in his's friends hold in his struggles to be set free while Seto watched on in amusement. A waitress came out at the wrong moment, carrying a tray filled with various drinks and treats, and the law of anything that can happen will happen. And it all landed on Kagome.

Gasps rang about the groups as Kagome stood there trying to control herself. Whoever sound counting backwards from ten helped with anger... was an idiot. Pursing her lips, Kagome closed her eyes to the mess she most likely now was.

"Everything alright, Higurashi?" at the rather amused tone from Seto, Kagome felt her brow tick.

"Perfectly, I enjoy being a hot fudge sunday!" she hissed out as her skin tingled from the hot drinks that splashed onto her arms while a lump of ice cream landed on her shoulder only to roll down her back.

"Ah Kagome-chan, that was tea and coffee that splashed you!" at Eri's words, her friends rushed her, tenderly checking her arms.

Seto turned his eyes to the bright red blotches that lined the girls arms, no doubt scalded from the hot drinks the waitress had been carrying, to the ice cream that was dripping from her black hair and ruining her sundress. At a quiet hiss, his eyes darted up to her face. Tears welled in her eyes at her friend's gentle prodding, but she bit back on them by literally biting down on her lip.

"Look at what you did Joey!" Tea yelled, smacking the cause of the accident upside the head.

"Ow! Tea~ I didn't mean too!" at Joey's cries, Seto rolled his eyes.

"Don't apologize to me, apologize to her!" Tea pointed at Higurashi who was still under her friends care as well as the shocked waitress that was trying her best to help clean the mess while avoiding the scalded arms.

With narrowed eyes, Seto watched Joey's pathetic attempt of an apology. "Listen, I'm really sorry about that."

Scoffing, it really was pathetic, he didn't have the guts to look the girl in the eyes.

"It's alright. Accidents happen." Higurashi offered a somewhat strained smile as she tried to wave it off, hissing when her friend poked at another area that was scalded.

"Are your sure you're alright, Kagome-chan?"

His eyes snapped down to Mokuba, somewhat startled at his concerned tone. Not that Mokuba being concerned was new, but the girl herself was practically a stranger.

"I'm fine Mokuba-kun. Nothing a little shower and some aloe vera won't help." she went to pat his head, but noticed the mess of ice cream on her hand and pulled back.

"My home is just down the street, you could use the shower and I'm sure we have a first aid kit at home as well. That is, if you want to?" Yugi spoke up, his tone light

"If it's not too much trouble, then I don't mind." another strained smile from Higurashi was offered towards Yugi.

For some reason, Seto seethed at the idea but quickly scoffed at himself. He barely knew the girl and he could care less about what she did.

"Ayumi, could you check my cell phone please? I would but..." she tentatively offered her cell phone to her friend, glad and grateful when it was quickly scooped up.

"No problem." Ayumi quickly flipped it open and pressed in the key code, and checked it's basic functions. The buttons weren't sticky and it was untouched by everything. She blinked when a message popped up and clicked it. Reading through it, a smile bloomed across her face. "Yatta!"

"What? Is everything working properly?" Kagome asked when the waitress finally pulled herself away and offered another apology.

"Yup, but that's not all. Souta's team won the championship game, and he scored the winning goal!" Ayumi presented Kagome the screen of her cell that depicted a smiling young boy.

Kagome leaned in closer while Eri and Yuka tried their best to finish cleaning as much as they could before following the boy back to his home so she could clean up and get her arms treated. Her day instantly became a whole lot brighter despite her still burning arms. "This is great, I'll have to get his something to congratulate him!"

Eri rolled up the last of the napkins she had and tossed it onto the table, turning a sly eye towards two young men that felt her gaze. "Well... lucky for you, you have the top two of Duel Monsters here. I'm sure you could ask nicely for an autograph from them." she shrugged her shoulders.

Seto narrowed his eyes on the girl, not at all likely the smirk she wore. "And why would I do such a thing like that?"

Yuka, following her friends lead tossed her own last napkin and leaned against Eri. "Well, through your inaction, Kagome got hurt."

Scoffing, Seto pulled himself to his full height and crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't see how this was my fault."

"You ignored his challenge to a duel and antagonized him. He got angry and ended up knocking the waitress' tray out of her hands and spilling it's contents all over Kagome." Yuka raised a brow as she mimicked his moves.

"Still fail to see how this falls onto me." his brows furrowed when her smirk grew more devious.

"I'm sure my uncle, who happens to be a layer, would love to hear how Kagome got hurt because the Seto Kaiba was an accessory in aggravated public disturbance." her words caused everyone to gasp.

"Yuka! That's enough, it's an accident so let it drop. No one's at fault here." Kagome, being careful of her arms, approached her friend.

"And an autograph wouldn't kill him. He's blowing it out of proportion, so I plan to do the same thing. Sure the news would love to hear about this~!" she sing songed.

Seto grit his teeth, usually he could care less what the press and others thought of him. But it was still a matter of principle.

"Um, if you still want to clean up, my house is this way." Yugi spoke up, drawing everyone's attention.

"Oh please!" Kagome bowed her head and jumped at the idea.

Soon enough, the entire group was at the Kame Game shop, Kagome finally in a shower while the two groups shared stories. Seto however was questioning himself into how he got suckered into following them. Especially all for a girl he wanted to cut all ties.

"It's been a while, I wonder if Kagome-chan is alright." Ayumi spoke up, interrupting everyone's conversation and thought.

Yugi offered a smile and made his way upstairs. "I'll go check on her!"

A few minutes later, a blushing Yugi came stumbling down the stairs. The sight drew everyone's attention. "Is everything alright, Yugi?"

"Uh, yeah. I guess." Yugi turned to the three girls waiting for their friend upstairs. "Uh... One of you wouldn't happen to have... ah, extra clothing for Kagome-chan, would you?" the more Yugi spoke, the brighter his blush became.

A silence settled over the entire group, Honda and Joey blushing when the implications of Yugi's words finally managed to locate their brains. Of course this triggered Tea's anger and began to scold her friends for thinking perverted thoughts. The three girls however were telling Yugi that they had nothing.

"And I'm sure the sundress is ruined. Too bad, she just got it yesterday." Yuka sighed.

"I'm sure one of us could go back to the hotel and pick something up, but that could take an hour, if not longer." Eri bit on her lower lip as she tried to think of a way to fix the situation.

Seto sighed and rolled his eyes and made his way upstairs, quickly removing his coat while on the way. He knew that there would be yelling involved, but it was the most logical way to fixing the problem and then he would finally be out of this mess. Folding his coat over his arm, he knocked on the only closed door in the entire hallway. He waited until a muffled 'yes' answered him and he walked into the bathroom.

Blinking, he was somewhat shocked at what greeted him. Higurashi sat on the tubs edge finishing wrapping her arm in bandages, she was however having problems with the use of only one hand. Ignoring her current state, he cleared his throat and approached her. Wide blue eyes startled flew up to his and she immediately blushed.

"Let me." crouching down, tied the ends of the bandage. Quickly picking up another roll, he began wrapping her other arm and tied it off as well.

He could feel her watching his every move, which was not what he had been expecting. Instead he thought she would have avoided looking at him, cowering and screaming at him to leave her alone in her current state, that he was a pervert and the such. No, she watched his movements with an unwavering sharpness that he hadn't expected from the girl.

"Here." he dropped his coat in her lap as he stood up and turned on his heel, altho