Usagi's family is killed and she ends up staying with the Higurashi family, but weird things keep happening, this strange guy with silver hair and golden eyes kidnaps her and demands she give him the Shikon no Tama. But what is it?

Rating: M Genre(s): Romance, Adventure Series: Sailor Moon/Inuyasha Character(s): Usagi Tsukino, Inuyasha Author(s): Pokahydee Last Updated: 10/15/2011 Published: 06/14/2003 Type: Chaptered Chapters: 21 Status: Incomplete
  • Word Count: 6033

Chapter 19 – Departure and Farewell

It had been a full day already and Usagi still hadn't woken up. Inuyasha had remained next to her sleeping form like a sentinel the entire time and had only eaten when Kagome's mother brought food up.

He thought he had an understanding of the strange memories, but they didn't explain the strange visions he'd had of Usagi or Selenity, whatever her name was, with him dressed as a miko. She had also looked a bit older in those visions, closer to his age of 18. She hadn't been as easy to smile in his visions either, whereas in the memories unlocked on the moon she had almost never been without a smile. It was as if there was a great burden on her shoulders in his visions. He didn't know what to make of them... were they more memories? Or some sort of strange vision that delved into his inner desire that had so recently awakened?

That couldn't be it, though... He hadn't felt anything for her besides impatient before then. She and the other human needed to find the shards of the Shikon no Tama before Naraku and Kikyo. Maybe he'd felt a little connected with her before the moon, but that was because she was an orphan by violence too. He certainly hadn't liked her or loved her before their strange encounter on an alien world. Wait a minute... love? Certainly not! She was just a weak human! Well... except she wasn't weak... and she wasn't exactly human either, was she?

Inuyasha pushed the thought from his head and resumed his silent guard of the young blond human. That little kid, what was his name, Souta? Inuyasha didn't really care what the brat's name was, but the shrimp glared daggers that made Inuyasha want to jam his face harshly into the ground. Inuyasha could smell distrust and affection from the boy from the kid. Apparently, the little brat didn't like him around Usagi, not that Inuyasha cared. He would protect Usagi no matter what, that kid seemed to think he was going to kill her in her sleep. If had taken the kid's mother to get him to leave the room.

All of the people involved in making the barrier had been exhausted from the pull on their spiritual powers, but only Usagi remained unconscious. He had a feeling it had to do with the weird ghost they'd met and that power from the moon fueled the barrier to keep it intact. Everyone who was in fighting form was out clearing the streets of Tokyo from the weak youkai who had been inside of the barrier when it was created. Thankfully, they were all small-fries so even the humans weren't having problems clearing them out. That also meant that they hadn't found any more Shikon shards so they would have to leave the barrier to collect them.

Ever since the barrier had gone up, humans had been flocking to the city to take refuge from the rampaging youkai that were quickly spreading across the country. The human 'warriors' with their metals weapons that tore holes with small balls of metal were also scoring the countryside and helping those humans who were stranded to safety. There was no shortage of casualties according to that weird flickering box that he could hear from the downstairs family room. They were counting deaths in the thousands now all across the country. It also seemed several towns had a priest or priestess with enough power to create barriers, but none of them compared to the one encasing Tokyo. It encompassed the whole city and youkai seemed reluctant to approach for fear of being purified or maybe because the powers extended outward from it so for nearly a mile around the barrier, no youkai approached.

It didn't matter that a full mile surrounding the barrier was safe; the city was bulging at the seams with all the refugees being brought in. Most of the sports stadiums and many of the government buildings and schools were being used to house them. There were also tent cities in all of the parks where the people stuck close together for protection against the few remaining hostile youkai inside. The mile directly inside the barrier didn't seem to have the same gradient of power as the outsides so some youkai purified them trying to force their way out. They had no way of knowing that the purity radiated outward for a mile in all directions.

The angry miko from the Hikawa Shrine kept trying to chase Inuyasha out of Usagi's room claiming she was enough to protect the blond girl. He had to physically remove her from the room once when he voice rose in anger and Usagi began to cringe and fidget in her sleep. She had tried several times since to bully him away from her 'princess', sometimes accompanied by those sailor girls, but the threat that Inuyasha would physically remove her from the room again kept a small level of civility to her character. Not that Inuyasha cared about being civil, he had no problem being rude and didn't give a damn what anyone thought of him.

His ears twitched toward the girl as the sound of rustling fabric started again. There were times in the last few days that she had thrashed in her sleep as if trapped in nightmares where Inuyasha was on edge. She would calm down after several minutes, though, sometimes muttering names he didn't recognize. The one he heard most often was 'Shingo', though who that was beyond Inuyasha.

Most of the times when that name came out it was close to her calling for her parents so he had an idea that 'Shingo' had been her brother and not an old boyfriend. Inuyasha blushed at the thought, what did he care if she had an old boyfriend? He huffed in irritation at the thought; it had nothing to do with him! He was only here to get her to find the jewel shards, and then he'd get rid of her!

For some reason, that thought brought him no comfort as his thoughts strayed. 'I want to feel her hair again...' He thought idly as he moved closer to the bed and made to cup her face. He caught himself and growled low in his throat. This weakling wouldn't win! He forced his hand away and leaned against the bed with his back to her, glaring across the room toward the door in annoyance.

He heard a soft exhale of breath and deft fingers rubbed his right ear gentle, drawing a content growl from the back of his throat. He leaned his head into the petite hand to give her better access and closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling. He heard a soft giggle close to his ear and his eyes opened back up while he reached up and gently caught the hand, stilling the motion as an unpleased growl sounded. He refused to let himself enjoy what this girl did to him! Even if it did feel good! 'Damnit, stop thinking like that, baka!' Inuyasha roared at the subconscious voice.

"Good morning, Inuyasha." He heard the blond girl say as he released her hand so she could sit up.

"Keh! It's practically dinner, baka." He said with his arms crossed over his chest still not looking at her. "You've been sleeping for four days, onna."

"Eh?" She cried in surprise. "Four days? What about everyone else? Are they safe? Did it work? I'm going to be so behind with school!"

"You're noisy..." Inuyasha grumbled as he covered his ears and glared at the door. "All your pathetic friends are fine. The barrier worked and all of these 'skool' things are closed." He explained so he could get her shrill voice out of his ears.

"Really? I'm glad." She said as she let out a relieved sigh. He felt her deposition herself on the bed and glanced to the left as she slid down to the floor and sat next to him. He noticed a slight pink color staining her cheeks and instinctually raised his hand and pressed it to her forehead like his mother used to do. At the same time, he put his other hand to his to see if she felt warm. Flushed cheeks could be a sign of fever. If anything, the pink stain deepened even though she felt no warmer than he did.

"No fever..." He said quietly with a perplexed look.

"Thank you, Inuyasha." Usagi said as she hugged her knees and smiled at him. "You're a good person."

"Keh! Shuttup 'human'." Inuyasha sneered as he spoke indignantly. "You don't know what you're talking about. You're just a shard detector, you and that other human."

"Hai hai, Inuyasha." She said dismissively as she rose to her feet. "Let's go eat, I'm starving!" As if to offer proof, a loud groan came from Usagi's stomach and she laughed sheepishly as she rubbed the back of her head. She stood up and after one step felt a wave of dizziness overwhelm her senses. She watched in slow motion as she felt toward the floor, but instead of landing on the carpet, she landed on something warm and soft.

"You're a klutz." Inuyasha's voice breathed into her and Usagi looked up with her cheeks stained crimson in embarrassment. She was lying on top of Inuyasha with his arms wrapped casually around her waist. She did notice, however, the faint pink to his cheeks he tried to play off. "Haven't you learned how to walk yet?"

"So mean..." Usagi said as tears began to fill her ocean blue orbs. The scent of salt pricked Inuyasha's nose and he stiffened, his ears lying back against his head.

"Stop crying, baka!" He cried defensively as he raised a clawed hand to wipe the moisture from her eye before it fell. "I didn't mean it, Usagi..." He mumbled barely loud enough for Usagi to hear.

"Arigato, Inuyasha." Usagi said just as quietly. She still lay on top of him, their faces merely inches apart with his clawed hand cupping her cheek.

Inuyasha growled low in his throat and lifted his head from the floor, drawing her face toward his at the same time. Usagi's eyes slid closed instinctively and just as she felt his lips brush against hers, the door slammed open, startling the couple on the floor. Usagi felt her lifted and pulled roughly against a solid wall of muscle, Inuyasha's arms wrapped protectively around her waist. She could hear a warning growl in the back of his throat as she was pressed into the soft fabric of his haori.

"I suppose we can come back later." Miroku's amused voice sounded from the doorway. "You two looked rather busy." Usagi peeked over her shoulder and blushed at the suggestive smile on the monk's face.

"Wh- What are you talking about?" Inuyasha demanded as his face turned crimson as well and the two jumped apart and refused to look at each other. Usagi noticed that the hanyou had somehow managed to draw Tetsusaiga in the confusing moment. He reluctantly sheathed the sword with a flash of gold and a soft click as it locked into the sheath.

Inuyasha and Usagi rose to their feet with as much dignity as they could muster, in this case it wasn't much, and followed the grinning monk from the room. They were still both pointedly ignoring the gaze of the other. Usagi was watching the floor, gripping her elbow with her hand, her cheeks still stained red. Inuyasha was pretending to examine the family photos that lined the walls. It seemed Usagi was in most of them, except the ones that had young children in them. He did notice a few photos of a young blond girl, a baby with brown hair and a young couple behind them. The woman had long, wavy blue hair while the man had dark hair and glasses. They must have been Usagi's family; the little girl wore her hair in the same ridiculous style as Usagi. He also noticed that Usagi wore her hair in different styles in all the photos with the Higurashi's; apparently it was a painful reminder of her family. When he had first met her, she hadn't worn her hair in such a goofy style, nor did she in the strange visions he'd had before going to the moon. He still didn't understand the significance of those strange visions...

"I hope Higurashi mama cooked." Usagi said as the three walked down the stairs. "I'm starving!" Miroku laughed quietly. It was a well-known fact the petit girl could pack it away! And so she WOULD be starved after having slept for four days!

"Of course, Usagi-sama." Miroku said as he glanced back at the young miko with a twinkle in his eye. "Higurashi-san has been cooking up a storm all week with all the guests."

The three walked into the kitchen and Usagi plopped down at the table. Sango was at the stove, helping Mrs. Higurashi by stirring a rather large pot sitting on the burner. She looked a bit uncomfortable as sauce seemed to be bubbling over the top rim of the pot.

"Umm... Higurashi-san..." Sango said nervously as she took a step back from the pot, wooden spoon still in hand. It was apparent the girl wasn't used to cooking. An extremely tall girl with her brown hair tied in a high ponytail came and gently took the spoon from Sango's hand and headed to take care of the pot.

"All you need to do is turn the heat to low and stir it occasionally now while it simmers, Sango-san." The girl explained as she motioned for Sango to come back up to the stove. The kitchen was bustling full of people, mostly women and girls her own age, but it appeared Kagome had put Kouga to work as well. He looked highly harassed and appeared to be wearing a pink apron with lace running down the sides.

"Mou Kagome... do I really have to wear this stupid this?" The wolf demon growled in annoyance as he plucked at the material.

"Baka, you have to wear an apron if you insist on getting under our feet while we cook." Kagome said as her eye twitched slightly. It appeared the wolf hadn't left her side for days or else she wouldn't have been so annoyed. Usagi knew the signs well, their classmate Hojo was the only one that could get under Kagome's skin like that with his persistent pursuit of Kagome. Usagi remembered how thankful Kagome had been when Hojo chose a different school than her. Kagome had specifically told the tousle-haired boy she was going to a fifteen school so she could get away from his. He wasn't a bad guy, just a bit clueless when it came to rejection and a bit of a health nut.

Usagi noticed Hino Rei on the other side of the room with a girl that had short blue hair, both covered in flower and mixing large bowls with wooden spoons. Usagi noted the dull hum that came in through the open door as of hundreds of people milling around outside. Curious, she walked to the door and peeked out. Her mouth dropped open in shock as there were INDEED hundreds of people milling around the background. Grandpa, Souta, and the two wolf demons were weaving in and out of people, ladling soup into bowls or passing out bread to the hungry crowd. The brown wolves wove in and out of the people as well with pieces of cloth with a large pocket on either side draped across their backs. The pockets were filled with a mixture of chopsticks, silverware, and napkins that people were nervously taking to eat their food.

Usagi noticed that the refugees weren't limited to just humans, there were several youkai families thrown into the mix, many with young children clinging to parent's legs or hiding behind long kimonos. Most of these were weak youkai; Usagi noticed several kitsune and tanuki families huddled close together somewhat separate from the human families. Many human mothers clutched their young children close to them as if the youkai about were going to attack.

"There's so many..." Usagi said sadly as her eyes scanned across the yard. She jumped in surprise when she felt someone close to her and spun around to find Inuyasha standing right behind her with his arms crossed over his chest.

"More come every day. The human rulers have been rationing out food and shrines all around are passing it out to refugees." Inuyasha said solemnly as he scanned the crowds. "Not all youkai want this war, there are plenty who are decent enough folk that just want to protect their families."

"How are they getting through the barrier?" Usagi asked as she looked sadly out at all the people who had fled their homes.

"They have been coming in with priests or priestesses that can create barriers and walk right through it." Inuyasha explained and Usagi nodded. "The humans decided early on that if youkai proved they were no threat, they would not be harmed. There were just too many youkai inside the barrier to kill them all."

Usagi's eyes grew sad as she watched the people mill around aimlessly. They all looked so lost; few had much in the way of belongings. What little they had consisted of a few scraps of clothing and maybe a blanket if they were lucky. There were people helping warm water for the refugees to wash with in large kettles over fires in the yard. It made Usagi's heart break to see such despair; these people had lost everything they owned. All they had was their families, but it seemed enough. As lost as they looked, they didn't look like they were giving up at all.

"We need to get rid of Naraku." Usagi said as her eyes narrowed in determination. "He's caused too much pain."

- l - l - l -

It had been two days since Usagi had woken from her near-coma after putting up the barrier. In those days, they had been preparing packs filled with food, medical supplies, and anything needed for a long journey. Most of the school were back in session at this point and filled to the brink with refugee students from the countryside. The good thing there was that there was no lack of teachers available; space seemed to be an issue, though. Many teachers were in tent set up on the sports fields of the schools and in empty office buildings. Usagi and Kagome had no intention of going back to school, though. They and their friends were going into the countryside to collect the shards of the Shikon no Tama. The longer they were out there, the more people who would suffer.

Usagi had decided two days prior that it was the best thing to do. Everyone had been thinking the same thing so it only took a few days to prepare. They were planning to leave within the hour, Shippo had insisted on coming so he could find a pair of brothers who had killed his parents weeks before. Rather than deny him from coming and chance him sneaking off on his own, Usagi and Kagome had said they would protect the young kit.

Usagi strapped her large book bag closed after having checked the contents over for a fourth time to make sure she had everything she needed. She had decided to wear her school uniform since the miko robes were bulky and only added to her klutz attacks. All she needed was to shoot a comrade with an arrow that had gotten caught on her over-large sleeve. So the best solution was to not put herself in that situation. She did fasten the fancy brooch Luna had given her to the front of her uniform in the middle of the bow, however.

Luna had come to her room the previous night insisting she be allowed to join her charge and Usagi had to protect her from Inuyasha. The dog hanyou seemed to take Luna's attempts to aid protection from the Senshi as a personal insult. His annoyance wasn't that she was a feline, just that she denied his ability to protect Usagi. She knew this because she had seen the hanyou playing with Kagome's overweight cat, Buyo the previous night. Usagi had been forced to 'sit' him when he wouldn't leave the poor animal alone. Buyo had walked away swishing his tail and looking insulted.

"You ready, Usagi-chan?" Kagome's voice sounded over the noise of people shouting below.

"Yeah, I think so." Usagi said sheepishly as she tied the top of the bag. Kagome had plopped a large, yellow bag on the pink comforter next to Usagi's. "We should go through each other's bags to make sure we didn't forget anything." She suggested thoughtfully. Usagi hadn't been camping much as a child so she wasn't confident on what to bring.

"Good idea!" Kagome said as they switched sides and began to rummage through each other's bags.

"So, how are things with Kouga-san?" Usagi asked slyly as she looked at Kagome from the corner of her eye. They hadn't had much time to talk in the last week with everything that had happened. She noticed a pink hue touching Kagome's cheeks and a shy smile appeared on her lips.

"Things are good. At least, now that he knows I'm independent and won't be pushed or forced into anything." Kagome explained matter-of-factly. "Of course there hasn't been much time to get to know each other because of the refugees." Usagi nodded her head in understanding as she finished checking Kagome's bag.

"I didn't see any deodorant in here." Usagi said as she lashed the bag closed. An embarrassed look crossed Kagome's face and she rubbed the back of her head.

"Oh yeah!" Kagome said as she headed for the door. "I'll grab your toothbrush while I'm in there!"

"Of course!" Usagi said as she slapped her forehead. She knew she'd forgotten something she'd regret leaving behind.

- l - l - l -

"We'll be back as soon as we can!" Kagome called up the stairs as she waved up to her mom, grandpa, and brother. "It'll probably be at least a few weeks!"

The group was gathered at the bottom of the steps to the Higurashi Shrine. They made quite a sight, the group of them. Two school girls with packs, bows and arrows; a monk in full robes carrying a staff; a taijiya with a giant boomerang strapped to her back and a two-tailed youkai cat on her shoulder; three wolf youkai accompanied by a small handful of brown wolves; a tiny little kitsune with a bushy tail; and Inuyasha in bright red with a battered katana at his side. Most of the refugees were aware of the significance of the departure, though they didn't know their goal, so they stood watching the group walk down the street.

Two blocks over, they were stopped by a group of four teenaged girls with two cats with them. Hino Rei motioned for Usagi to come to them and with a sigh of annoyance, she stepped forward. Inuyasha instinctively followed, eyes narrowed on the group and ears twitching at every sound. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were narrowed on the raven-haired miko.

"This is too dangerous. We need to be there to protect you." Rei said immediately as she crossed her arms over her chest. "Let all of them go get this jewel thing." Usagi sighed in exasperation.

Rei had popped into the Higurashi household whenever she was able to get away from the Hikawa Shrine the last two days, and had soundly lectured her on her place as their leader. Usagi no longer doubted what was said since she and Inuyasha had taken a trip to the moon, but she also knew where she was needed at that time.

"I can't, Hino-san. With two people able to sense them, it's necessary that I go." Usagi picked up the same argument that had been left off the day before.

"At least let us go with you for protection!" The tall pony-tailed girl named Makoto Kino argued. "That is our purpose!"

"It's too dangerous. I saw how your powers had no effect on Sesshoumaru." Usagi brought up the same point from the previous day. Usagi noticed Inuyasha stiffen at the mention of his older, half-brother.

"What if more people are attacked in the city by Sailor Iron Mouse?" Ami Mizuno questioned, her blue eyes close to pleading. "You're the only one that can heal them!" Usagi hadn't told anyone that she was Sailor Moon so when she glanced over her shoulder; she noticed the perplexed looks of her friends. No doubt they were trying to find out why these four girls had attached themselves to Usagi.

"You're going to have to think of something, then. What did you do before you found me?" Usagi asked as she turned back to the group of girls.

"We never came across anything like these people before. They won't return to normal until you do something." Minako Aino said seriously. "You really need to stay here." Usagi sighed in defeat and nodded her ascent.

"Fine... I suppose I have no choice." Usagi grumbled as her shoulders slumped.

"What the hell are you talking about, human?" Inuyasha snapped as he glared down at the blond at his side. "You have to help find the jewel shards!"

"Sorry, Inuyasha. They're right, though." Usagi said as she turned to meet the golden eyes of the tall hanyou. "If that Iron Mouse girl attacks again, whoever she goes after will be helpless. Go with them and look after Kagome, would you?"

"Keh! I'm not letting you or the jewel shards out of my sight, baka!" Inuyasha growled as he pointed to the necklace tucked beneath Usagi's shirt. Kagome had insisted that Usagi hold onto them since they'd gone from a pale pink to a milky white at Usagi's touch. They hung in a small glass vial around her neck, tucked into the collar to hide them from view.

"I'm staying here, Inuyasha." Usagi said firmly as she made her way back to her friends. She explained to them that someone needed to stay behind in case a demon showed up who had been in hiding, or if the miko, Kikyo, showed up in the city while they were gone. She wasn't ready to reveal that she was Sailor Moon, even though Kouga and Inuyasha already knew.

"Ne, Shippo-chan?" Usagi said lightly as she looked down at the young kitsune. "I could use a strong youkai for protection. Would you be interested?" Shippo crossed his arms over his chest and gave her a suspicious look.

"Is this some kind of human trick?" He asked suspiciously. "Because I don't like being tricked."

"Not at all, Shippo-chan, I just think you're needed here more so I have a warrior to protect me." Usagi explained seriously. The young kit swelled with pride and nodded his head before jumping up onto Usagi's shoulder.

"A hanyou isn't enough to keep you safe, Usagi!" Shippo declared as he puffed out his chest in pride. "You need a real youkai for protection!"

"What the hell did you say, runt?" Inuyasha demanded as he plucked the kit off of Usagi's shoulder by the tail. Shippo cried out as large crocodile tears filled his eyes.

"Don't hold him like that!" Usagi cried as she grabbed the kit and pulled him protectively to her chest. "Inuyasha, osuwari!" This was followed by a familiar crash as Inuyasha slammed into the ground.

- l - l - l -

Several hours later found Usagi, Inuyasha, and Shippo seated at a low table in the Hikawa Shrine. There were plenty of volunteers at a shrine of its size so the five girls and two youkai were left in peace to discuss the strange Sailor Senshi they seemed to be facing. The four girls were completely stumped and somewhat disparate in mood. Sure they'd finally found the princess they'd sworn to protect, but they were no further on unraveling the secrets of their enemies.

"Aren't you stupid girls done talking yet?" Inuyasha growled from the low branches of the tree outside the sliding shoji door. "This is stupid." Usagi just sighed. She wasn't very thrilled to be left behind either, but she didn't have much choice in the matter. There was more than one force at work here.

Usagi felt like she had grown ten years in the last week. She had just been a normal girl, concerned with boys and getting her grades up, and now she was fighting youkai and being chased by people that wanted to kill her! She didn't want all of this responsibility! She adored her new friends; the four girls around her were surprisingly included in that thought. She understood Rei's incredulity and outrage at finding out Usagi was her princess; she knew she was immature and a crybaby and extremely rash, but something had changed overnight.

"We'll be done when we're done, Inuyasha." Usagi said in exasperation. He'd been asking her when they'd be leaving every three minutes for the last hour! The girls had taken to Shippo in an instant and he sat contentedly beside her with a coloring book and a lollypop hanging out of his mouth. He had also gotten first pick of Makoto-san's fresh cookies.

"I suppose there isn't much we can do right now." Rei said as she let out a sigh. They really hadn't gotten anywhere in their first Senshi meeting. The enemy was too new for them to begin to find any strategy to defeat them and the sun was starting to sink.

"Let's go home, Shippo-chan." Usagi said as she stood up. The young kit jumped into her arms and they headed outside, collecting Inuyasha on the way.

"We should know more when Haruka and Michiru come back from Europe." Minako explained as the four high school girls walked Usagi and her male friends out.

"Who are they?" Usagi asked with a slightly raised eyebrow.

"They're Uranus and Neptune. Two of the Senshi of the Outer Solar System." Ami explained matter-of-factly. It had definitely been a shock to discover that Ami Mizuno was a Sailor Senshi! Who would have thought that the smartest girl in the whole city would turn out to be a warrior? Then again, not many people would believe that Usagi was a Sailor Senshi either, even if she'd only been one for about a week. "We contacted them as soon as this started; we have no ETA on their arrival yet, though."

"Are they studying abroad?" Usagi asked idly as they all walked toward the stairs to the shrine.

"You could say that. Haruka and Michiru are pretty well-known so they go abroad periodically." Ami said with a pleasant smile. "We'll meet up after school then. We have a study group at Rei's during the week." Usagi nodded in understanding as she and Inuyasha headed down the long flight of stairs to the street.

The human girl, youkai, and hanyou walked down the sidewalk in silence. Shippo had fallen asleep in Usagi's arms and Inuyasha walked a few feet behind with his arms crossed over his chest, regarding the strange woman from behind.

He caught a distinct difference in her scent that marked her different from the humans. The four girls with her also had that same difference in scent. They really weren't human at all! He was amazed that he hadn't noticed it sooner! Now he knew why Sesshoumaru had been so perplexed by the girl. He felt his ears lay back against his head as he spotted the small scar at the base of her neck.

The thought of Sesshoumaru marking Usagi to be his mate sparked anger deep within that burned with white-hot fury. He would NOT let Sesshoumaru take what was HIS! Inuyasha started at the thought and his eyes narrowed. 'When did I start thinking of her as mine?' Inuyasha asked himself in genuine confusion. He couldn't remember how things had changed and become so confusing and complicated.

- l - l - l -

"Has Inuyasha been located?" A deep feminine voice asked the figure kneeling before her. Kikyo sat in the hard, stone chair with her elbow on the armrest and her chin resting on her hand. No emotion displayed on the features of the seated miko except exhaustion. Her fake body of bones and grave dirt was still frail, but it would last until she had the Shikon no Tama in her hand once again. The barrier that encompassed the city called Tokyo had gone up in a matter of minutes and every time she tried to draw near its edges, the souls of dead women that preserved her life were drawn out leaving her feeling weak and angry. The barrier definitely had a familiar feel to it; she knew at once that it was created by HER reincarnation.

"Yes, Kikyo-sama." Kagura said as she raised her head a fraction to look at the dead miko. "He is currently with the blond miko. He seems to be protecting her."

Kikyo's eyes narrowed in fury as a wave of jealousy rolled over her. The blond miko, Usagi was her name in this life, always took the things Kikyo wanted! She had stolen Kikyo's duty of purifying the Shikon no Tama and she had stolen Inuyasha away! Everyone always chose her over Kikyo for everything including games when they were children! Everyone had flocked to her smile and her laugh while only going to Kikyo if the blond was in a neighboring village. Kikyo had always been the stronger of the pair, but everyone chose HER!

Kagura fell forward onto the damp ground as a blistering pain ripped through her chest. She gripped the front of her kimono above where her heart should be as pain ripped through her body. She managed to glance up at Kikyo and saw her heart being clenched pitilessly in the miko's fist. There was a look of rage on Kikyo's face that Kagura had never seen before. It was unusual to see any emotion on her face, to be honest. She couldn't find her voice through the pain a merely curled into a ball on the ground, trying to will the pain away with her mind.

"Loosen your grip, Kikyo-sama. Unless you are prepared to throw away your tool." The deep voice of Naraku rumbled through the cave. Sweet relief! The pain in Kagura's chest disappeared and she sucked in glorious air as she managed to breathe again. She slowly picked herself off the ground and managed to get on her knees. All emotion had been wiped from her face as if the anger had never been.

"You will bring Inuyasha to me." Kikyo said coldly as she stared at the demon detachment void of any expression or life in her dark eyes.

"Forgive me, Kikyo-sama." Kagura said slowly a she bowed her head submissively. "How am I to penetrate the barrier of the city?"

"This will get you through the barrier." Kikyo said as she tossed a short golden staff with a serpent twined around it to the ground beside Kagura. "Kanna, you will subdue the hanyou. He is to be brought directly to me."

"Hai, Kikyo-sama." Kagura said before rising to her feet and making her unsteady way to the door. She felt as if her muscles had undergone heavy strain but there didn't seem to be any lasting damage. Kagura wondered to herself vaguely why the miko wanted a pathetic hanyou. It wasn't her place to question orders, though... yet... As soon as she found a way to get her heart... Kagura smiled to herself at the thought of freedom. The wind was supposed to be free; it didn't bend to the will of anyone. That would be the life...


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