Disclaimer:  I own nothing.  I just borrowed them for awhile for introductions.    

                        Family Connections

      Looking out over the yard as she hung the laundry Tohru was struck with a sense of excitement.  Something was going to happen, soon. Not just anything but something that would change her life forever.  She could feel it.

      "Tohru-chan," sang Shigure.  "How long until dinner?  I'm hungry."

      "Stupid dog!  Don't bother Tohru,  can't you see she's busy?"

      "But Yuki-kunnnn."

      Tohru smiled to herself.  No matter what happened nothing could be as wonderful as all the new friends she had received when she started to live here.  Turning she smiled at Yuki and Shigure.  Her eyes automatically drifted up to the roof where she could just see a shock of bright orange hair.  Laughter made her turn to see Momiji and Haru coming out of the forest.  Life was almost perfect.  Except for the curse.

                  Chapter One

      Ukyou smiled as she hugged Kagome.  Tears were in both girls eyes but neither one was going to give in.  They had agreed.  Inuyasha watched from behind, not wanting to interrupt.  Three months ago when Kagome had brought Ukyou with her through the well he hadn't wanted another girl to be brought along.  But over time Ukyou had become a member of their team.  She was almost as adept as Kagome at finding the jewel shards.  Also, she could hold her own in most fights.  Added to that she could cook the most amazing meals while they were out on the road and Ukyou had made an impact on everyone.  Shippo had bawled when she announced that it was time for her to stop coming through the well and Sango had only just managed to not do the same the last time she said "Sayonara."

      "I'm going to miss you."

      "I'll miss you too, sugar.  I promise to come back and visit after I finish training our other cousin."

      Kagome just clung to Ukyou tighter.  When the pretty older girl had arrived at the shrine on one of the days that Kagome was home she hadn't thought much of it.  Until her mother's reaction to the girls name.  Then Kagome found out that the girl was her second cousin.  After greeting everyone Ukyou had asked to speak to Kagome alone.  Once in Kagome's room Ukyou had handed her the letter.

      "Read it.  Its going to change your life.  My letter changed mine."

      After the cryptic statement Kagome tour into the letter.  So much was explained.  Every few generations three female cousins would be born.  The three would be very close when they are young but slowly drift apart.  Each would have only one daughter.  She could have as many sons as she wanted but only one daughter.  The one to give birth to a girl first would be the first to die.  That had shocked Kagome.  She looked at Ukyou with compassion instantly knowing that her mother was dead.  Shaking her head Kagome went back to the letter.

       The three female second cousins would all be priestess, of a sort.  Unlike regular priestess their powers would be much stronger and could only be awakened in certain circumstances.  One would have the spiritual powers that were seen most often only they would be stronger and hold a purity that could only be matched by her cousins.  One would have the power of healing; specifically curses and illnesses of the mind though they could do light healing of the body.  The third would have the same powers of the other two only weaker.  In their specific gifts the first two would be more powerful but could not cross over.  The third cousin would be more powerful than most other priestesses but unlike anyone else could use both the battle powers of one cousin and the healing ability of the other.  She would be the eldest and would be compelled to teach the others how to use their power.

      After finishing the letter Kagome looked at Ukyou who smiled sadly at her.

      "I've already received the training that I'm supposed to give to my two cousins.  You were closer to where I received my training so I came here first.  For the next three months I am to train you.  Now if your family can't put me up here I can make arrangements to rent an apartment.  I'm sorry if this isn't what you had planned for your life but sometimes destiny takes hold of us and won't let go."

      Kagome just looked at her.  She knew that she could trust Ukyou and the comment on training her might explain why Kaede and Miroku could never seem to get her training to work.  So Kagome told Ukyou everything.  Ukyou didn't even bat an eye and simply said that she would go into the well with Kagome and teach her.  And she had.

      Walking down the steps Ukyou made herself not look back.  The three months with Kagome had been wonderful, and enlightening.  The love that Kagome and Inuyasha  shared was beautiful and strong.  They were soul mates.  Kikyou may have at one time held part of Kagome's soul but Kagome had so far surpassed the other woman that a comparison was no longer possible.  As powerful as Kikyou had been at the peak of her power was nothing compared to what Kagome could do now, and she was still growing.  Ukyou had promised to write.  She would, even though it would be hard for Kagome to get the letters with her time traveling.

      One stop and then it was off to find her other cousin, Tohru Honda.  But it was impossible to think about Tohru when all her mind wanted to do was focus on Nerima and the people there. 

      It had been six months since she left the area.  When the letter from her great-great-grandmother had arrived Ukyou had known that her life would be changed.  Three months in training and three months teaching and on a quest had changed Ukyou.  Unknown to her, she was no longer cute or pretty but beautiful.  Her eyes held knowledge and her grace was that of a fighter of tremendous skill.  After what she had faced she knew that Akane, Kodachi, and even Shampoo would be nothing in comparison. 

      In Nerima she would face her personal demons and then move on with whatever her destiny was.  Either in the restaurant business or else where.

      "Ahh, Tohru-chan the meal was delicious, as always."

      "Thank you Shigure-san."

      Tohru smiled and looked around the table.  This was home and it was wonderful.  The only thing missing was females.  She loved the Sohma's and her friends at school but she missed having her mother still. 

      Kyou stood and started to take dishes into the kitchen.  When she stood up to help him he mumbled at her to sit down and rest.  Tohru could feel her checks heating but did what Kyou said.

      "To-ru, are you excited about school?"

      She turned to Momiji with a smile and nodded.  School would start in one week.  It would be good to see everyone every day again.

      Nerima.  Looking out over it Ukyou could see that nothing had really changed.  The constant property damage had made it so that people built the same way fast after the fights.  Walking up to the real estate office Ukyou knew that she was doing the right thing.  One of the times that Kagome and Ukyou had come back out of the well Ukyou had called and made arrangements for the Ucchan to be sold.  After she signed the paper work she would take the check to the bank and deposit it.  Then she would stop by to see Mrs. Saotome.  Ukyou had enough skill and power to cure Ranma of Jusenkyou but not any of the others; she wasn't close enough to them.  Later, after she trained Tohru, she might have her cousin come to Nerima to practice her skills, where else would you find so many cursed people?

      Suddenly every member of the zodiac and the cat sneezed.

      Nodoka Saotome hurried to the door.  She and Kasumi had just sat down to tea when the knock had come at the door.  Kasumi was at a crossroads.  She had just been accepted into a medical program, outside of Nerima.  With Dr. Tofu around less and less Kasumi had decided to finally take a chance and apply.  She had gotten good enough scores on the test to receive a scholarship.  But to go to medical school she would have to leave her family.  The one person that Kasumi felt comfortable with telling had been Ranma who had told her to go talk to his Mom.

      Nodoka knew that this was an incredible opportunity for Kasumi.  Yet what would happen to her family?  The school was far enough away that she would know no one and that worried the Saotome matriarch.  Once she arrived at the door she noticed that Kasumi had come with her.  Opening the door with a smile Nodoka looked at the young woman standing there.

      The first thought in her mind was how beautiful the girl looked.  Even dressed casually in the jeans and T-shirt she seemed elegant, sophisticated, and powerful.  The second was that the girl seemed familiar somehow.

      Before Nodoka could say anything Kasumi gasped.  "Ukyou-san?"

Nodoka remembered.  This girl was one of her sons fiancées.  She had disappeared about six months ago.  Ranma had been very worried.  When she had asked him about it he had commented that some kind of family matter had come up that she had to take care of.  No one had thought much of it, simply one less girl around to bother Ranma.  Now that she thought about it her son had been more down since then.

      Ukyou smiled at Nodoka and Kasumi.  The changes in the girl shocked both women.  Ukyou had always been pretty or cute but now the simple elegance of her every motion was humbling.  Both women felt over done and flashy next to the pure beauty that Ukyou seemed to unconsciously exude.  One thought ran through both women's minds.  "The other fiancées all pale in comparison."

      "Saotome-san, Kasumi-san, may I speak with you both for a moment?"

      An hour later Ukyou left.  The stunned women finished their tea.  "The chances that she just happens to be going to the area that your medical school is in is almost too good to be true."

      "Yes," Kasumi replied thoughtfully.  "When she found out, the fact that she offered to let me stay with her was even more impressive.  That her mothers family has bought her a house to live in while looking for her cousin is extremely generous."

      Nodoka nodded.  The subject neither wanted to touch on was what else Ukyou had said.  She could cure Ranma's curse.  But only his Jusenkyou curse and only his.  The explanation as to her family history and that one of her cousins might someday heal the other curse victims had been nice.  Ukyou could only heal Ranma because of the close relationship that they had.  If she hadn't loved Ranma she would never had been able to even think about curing his Jusenkyou curse, it would have been to powerful.

      Both women thought the same thing.  Six months ago she would have demanded that Ranma marry her for her to cure him.  Any of the other girls would probably still do that.  Nodoka had blatantly asked her about that.  Her answer had been humbling.

      "I love Ranma.  When you love someone you put their happiness above your own.  If he chooses someone else that he feels would make him happier than I must support his decision or else I don't really love him."

      Tomorrow Ukyou would heal Ranma and afterwards changes would take place.