AN: I would like to thank all the fans who have stuck with me. I also want to thank my wonderful beta reader Icewings who has put up with my long intervals of no new chapters.

CH: 8 Plans for the Future

Kagome, Sesshoumaru, and Inuyasha came upon many different youkai training In the dojo. Kagome also saw Kamui standing over near the side. When he saw her enter he approached her. "Follow me." He told Kagome and started to walk further down the hall. Kagome shrugged and gave Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha apologetic glances before following the dark haired kami.

Kagome walked silently next to Kamui. If he wanted to say something he would. They came to an open area in the back of the castle. "This is where we'll train." Kagome gave him a questioning look, but held her tongue. "Would you rather we train in the same room as the youkai and have them be subjected to our full power in such an enclosed area?" Kamui stated.

'Kamui thinking of others that aren't kami? And Eiri complaining about them? Has the entire world flipped and no one told me?' Kagome wondered. She nodded and walked over to the center of the clearing. Kamui took a place about seven feet in front of her.

Kagome bowed to him and was actually surprised when Kamui gave her the same respect. With that they both sprang into action. Kamui lunged in at Kagome, who in turn leaped into the air. They were both building up their energies and the earth around them seemed to react to this. The ground shook and cracks began to split the earth beneath them.

Kamui had spent the entire night before contemplating Ryuuichi's last wishes and decided if only for his dead brother's memory he would try to forget the past and see Kagome as just another person without prejudice. Though she hadn't been training with the kami, it was obvious that she still fought outside of their lands. She was matching him blow for blow. Each clash of their swords caused rocks and other debris to go flying.

Kagome finally saw an opening as Kamui dropped his left arm a little too low and she slammed her right fist into his cheek. Kamui went flying to the ground. She went after him, slamming her foot down, where he'd been lying only a half second ago, and brought up her guard just in time against another attack.

They continued fighting, one or the other getting a blow in at times, neither getting the upper hand.


"I wonder what all that was about." Inuyasha said after Kagome had left with Kamui.

Sesshoumaru ignore his brother's question, but he too was wondering why they had left. 'If he dares harm her...' Sesshoumaru hated the feeling of helplessness he seemed to keep having. He was no match for a kami. He had been taught that he should be the protector of his mate and children, but what happened when his mate to be was probably more powerful than him? He did swear though that he would do anything in his power to avenge Kagome if Kamui hurt her.

"And here I thought the Lord of the West would have been too high and mighty to even help the kami." Sesshoumaru refused to reply to the remark when he recognized the voice. Inuyasha , however, held nothing against causing a scene.

"What are you doing here, wimpy wolf? I thought they only wanted the strongest youkai." Inuyasha said haughtily.

"Yeah that's why I'm here. They want the strongest youkai, not some pathetic hanyou." Kouga responded.

"Kono yarou!" Inuyasha yelled and was about to attack Kouga, but was pulled back as Sesshoumaru grabbed his haori.

"We are here to train, not to entertain pointless battles with others." Sesshoumaru stated before walking away. It was obvious to Inuyasha that he was supposed to follow.

"Guess you always have your older brother to babysit you." Kouga taunted.

"Feh, you're not worth fighting." Inuyasha said and then followed after Sesshoumaru. He was sure that if he did fight Kouga that Sesshoumaru would make him pay for making him look bad. With a battle only a little over a day away, even Inuyasha knew he couldn't risk being injured. No matter how badly he wanted to kill the stupid ookami youkai.

When Inuyasha reached the area Sesshoumaru was in he noticed his brother had already drawn his weapon and he began to tense. Instead of drawing his stronger sword Toukijin, Sesshoumaru had drawn Tenseiga. Tenseiga was a healing sword and unable to kill. Inuyasha knew that meant Sesshoumaru wouldn't have to hold anything back for fear of actually killing him.

As soon as Inuyasha had drawn and transformed Tetsusaiga, Sesshoumaru lunged in and attacked. Inuyasha was barely able to block and when he did Sesshoumaru merely twisted around and kicked him into the far wall.

The other youkai in the room had stopped their own training and began to watch the two siblings battle. "I bet 300 gold pieces that Sesshoumaru- sama wins this battle." A snake youkai stated.

"Who is foolish enough to take that bet? There is no way the great Sesshoumaru would lose to a hanyou." A dragon youkai said.

"I don't know. Inuyasha now holds the Tetsusaiga created from the fang of the previous Lord of the Western Lands Inutaisho. He may have a betting chance." A kitsune informed.

"Does that mean you'll take the bet, Hitoru?" The snake youkai asked.

"Hmmm...alright, Kirin. You have a bet." Hitoru stated.

Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru paid no attention to the bets being made. They only focused on what the other was doing. Inuyasha made swung his sword at Sesshoumaru while Sesshoumaru merely jumped up, dodging the blow. He then returned and swung at Inuyasha. Inuyasha blocked with Tetsusaiga, but left himself open to the punch Sesshoumaru threw at him making him, fly back. While Inuyasha used both hands to swing the Tetsusaiga, Sesshoumaru only used one, which allowed him a lot more flexibility.

'Damn. Why did this sword have to be so heavy?' Inuyasha thought as he pulled himself back to his feet and narrowly escaped another of Sesshoumaru's attacks.

By dinner time, since Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha had fought through lunch to the amusement of their onlookers, Inuyasha was barely able to stand and had to lean on his sword to stay upright. Sesshoumaru was breathing a bit harshly though by way he held himself he seemed hardly scratched. It was all show, of course. He kept his pain hidden and didn't let others know that not all the blood on his clothing was Inuyasha's. Inuyasha had landed a few good blows in their battle.


Kagome and Kamui lay on the ground panting not three feet away from each other. 'He's as strong as I thought he'd be.' Kagome thought. 'Of course it would be him to give me a real challenge.' She felt exhausted and though she knew she had little need for sleep, she also knew she would not be doing a lot of moving around for the rest of the day.

"It's about time for dinner." Kamui observed as the sun was slowly setting leaving them in a shadowy clearing. 'I don't know if I can get up.' Kamui thought to himself. His pride was as strong as Sesshoumaru's so there was little chance he would let anyone else see his fatigue.

"I suppose, I should get going. I doubt you will be eating." Kagome said as she stood and dusted herself off.

"Why do you insist on eating such things?" Kamui asked as he pulled himself to his feet.

"Habit, hunger suppression, some foods tastes pretty good also." Kagome answered. She then began to walk towards the door. She looked back at Kamui, but he seemed to be paying attention to the surrounding trees. Kagome sighed and walked inside leaving Kamui to his thoughts.

'It hurts to move.' Kagome thought. She walked to the dining room and smiled as she saw Sango, Miroku, Rin, and Shippou sitting there.

"Kagome!" Both the children ran over to her and hugged her legs. Kagome smiled and hugged them both.

"So you know where Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha are?" Kagome asked.

Shippou and Rin shook their heads. "I believe they may actually still be training. I heard they put on quite a show earlier today." Sango stated.

"Hai, it's said Kirin-sama made 300 gold pieces off of Hitoru-sama because Sesshoumaru-sama defeated Inuyasha." Miroku added.

"He didn't defeat me." Inuyasha's voice was heard from the doorway. Everyone in the room turned towards the hanyou as he limped inside. Sesshoumaru followed him inside looking like his normal self.

"Otousan!" The children yelled and ran over to give Sesshoumaru the same greeting they had given Kagome. He patted both of the children on the head still unused to the physical contact.

"Yes you seem to really have damaged the Western Lord." Kagome said with a laugh. Inuyasha gave a half hearted glare when everyone laughed and sat down to eat.

Everyone was a bit shocked when Sesshoumaru pulled out a chair for Kagome. They guess they should get used to it since it seemed Kagome and Sesshoumaru were courting. The group ate and made casual conversation. Everyone seemed to be avoiding the topic of the battle to come. Even the children noticed how no one was discussing anything of the future though they didn't know why.


"So you've returned." The deep voice stated from the shadowed surroundings.

"You hide yourself again hanyou." Eiri observed. "Afraid of something?"

"I fear nothing for I am on the correct side. The question is, are you going to be fighting on the correct side as well." Naraku said as he appeared before Eiri.

"I wish to clarify the terms if I were to do such a thing." Eiri hid his apprehension. He knew he should not even be there, but something deep within him compelled him to be there. He needed to find out what he could gain from this venture. Few of the kami truly believed Itami could be defeated. If he had not died in the first battle, who knew how strong he truly was? "What do I gain from betraying my people and joining Itami?" Eiri questioned.

"Kukuku...betray? You are not betraying anyone. Itami is a kami as well, as is most of his army. You will be helping your race become stronger by getting rid of the weak. As for what you have to gain personally, I thought you already knew. You want the girl. Itami can give her to you." Naraku answered. His words were entrancing to Eiri. Naraku knew Eiri was about to give in. All he needed now was a slight push. "Unless, of course, you want your people to be weak and interbreed with weaker beings. You could always just leave the girl to the youkai lord." Naraku smiled behind his baboon pelt when he saw Eiri's fists clench upon hearing his words. Now he knew the rumors of the taiyoukai of the West and the crossbreed to be true. Before he had thought it was only a rumor among the servants.

"How can I be sure Itami will keep his end of the bargain?" Eiri asked.

"So distrustful. Surely the stories you have heard of my lord are a bit over exaggerated for history is always written by the victors."

"I fought in the last war. Itami is a monster." Eiri stated.

"You may have fought in the first war, but tell me did you face Itami? Do you know first hand that he was as much a scoundrel as your people make him out to be? Perhaps he has simple been made to seem like this because your side looked down at the battlefield and saw the bloody mess remaining and decided only a monster could have started such a war. But I'm sure none of them stopped to think that the bodies littering the ground were mostly placed there by them, not Itami." Naraku said. "But I guess you doubt him far too much. This girl must not mean as much to you as you think she does. She is better off with the youkai."

"No she isn't. Teme, you have no right to speak of things you don't know. She belongs to me. She was betrothed to me. And even if I have to make a deal with the devil she will be mine." Eiri's voice held force and conviction behind every word showing that he truly believed what it was he was saying.

"So I guess that means we have a deal." Naraku smirked though Eiri couldn't see it due to the baboon pelt.

"Hai, we have a deal. What must I do?" Eiri asked.

"Itami fears only two people can bring down his warriors. One is the girl you are so fond of, but of course she is not to be harmed, just held back. The other is Kamui. These two have defeated him before, and although he has gotten rid of the third he still fears these two. His orders are for you to assassinate Kamui." Naraku stated. 'Now kami, we will see if you truly have any backbone.'

'Assassinate Kamui...' Eiri paled. Kamui was his friend and had been so for centuries. 'But I have to, if only for Kagome and me to be together.' Eiri decided. But how could he kill Kamui? Kamui was much stronger than he was. "And how do you suggest I do this?" Eiri questioned.

"It is not for me to tell you how to do your task. Poison, a knife in the back, there are so many ways to cause a person's demise. Just be sure you complete your task or your reward may be permanently out of your reach."

"What is that supposed to imply?" Eiri wondered if Itami would do anything to Kagome if he failed. "He had better not touch her." Eiri demanded.

"Then be sure you don't fail or the only one responsible for her death will be you." Naraku said and then disappeared into the surrounding darkness. There was nothing left to say and he found that annoying the young kami was not very entertaining any longer.

Eiri was left in the dark clearing wondering what he had just done.


"Okay, I think it's time for you two to get to bed." Kagome said as she picked up Rin who was falling asleep in her chair. "What ever you and Miroku did to tire them out sure did work." She told Sango. "But then again it seems to have worked on Miroku as well." Kagome observed as Miroku caught himself from dozing off again.

"All I did was 'suggest' they jump all over houshi-sama." Sango gave away her secret with a smile and the two laughed.

"Well, I'll see you in the morning, Sango." Kagome gave her friend an awkward hug seeing as though she was carrying a small girl at the time.

Kagome turned to see Sesshoumaru holding a sleeping Shippou and waiting for her. She smiled at him and walked over to his side. They exited the room together and headed towards Kagome's chambers. "You should get some sleep tonight as well." Kagome told Sesshoumaru. She had seen his tired eyes that morning and had noticed him stifle a yawn once or twice during dinner.

"Will you be sleeping?" Sesshoumaru asked.

"Iie. Kamui did tell me though that most of the kami have planned to eat tomorrow and sleep so they will be well rested for battle the next day. I suppose I'll sleep tomorrow as well." Kagome answered.

"I do not wish to leave you awake by yourself." Sesshoumaru said. A youkai could miss a few days of sleep, but due to the training Sesshoumaru had done, his body did wish for sleep.

"I'll be fine." Kagome said and opened the door to her room. They set the children down on one side of the bed and the two children huddled together in their sleep.

As she stood up after tucking in the children, one of Sesshoumaru's arms wrapped around Kagome's waist. He pulled her back against him and placed a gentle kiss on her neck. Kagome smiled as warm feelings began to stir in her. She turned around and placed a soft kiss on his lips. "You should get to bed."

"You don't want me here?" Sesshoumaru asked, attempting to sound offended.

"You are welcome to sleep here if you wish." Kagome said as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She pulled herself closer to him needing to feel more of him. The arm around her waist tightened while he ran his finger through her hair with his other.

"And what will you do while I slumber?" Sesshoumaru asked.

"Sit and think." Kagome said. "I've gotten quite used to it." Kagome saw Sesshoumaru wasn't going to accept that as a good answer. She took both his hands in hers and led him to the bed. She climbed on being careful not to disturb the children and pulled him onto the bed as well. Kagome leaned against him and kissed him softly.

Sesshoumaru lost all will to argue when her lips touched his. Her hands moved to his shoulders and pushed him gently back to lie on the bed. Sesshoumaru's own arms wrapped around Kagome's waist and pulled her down with him. The kiss never broke and was slow and soft. This kiss held little passion, but for what it lacked in fire it made up for in pure emotion. Their eyes met when the kiss ended.

Sesshoumaru couldn't fight the weariness he felt now that he was actually laying on a bed. He held back a yawn, but his eyelids were closing little by little. "Just stay." He said softly as he stared into her luminescent violet eyes.

"I will, I promise." Kagome responded and kissed his cheek before lying next to him. She lay comfortably with her head on his chest and their arms wrapped around each other. 'Just think Kagome, you could be spending every night like this from now on.' She couldn't say that the idea wasn't appealing.

Sesshoumaru's breathing evened out as he fell asleep. Kagome took comfort in his warmth and listened to the sound of his heartbeat. The only thing bothering her was the fact that he was a youkai. It wasn't that she was against being with a youkai, her concern was the upcoming battle. She had overheard the rumors between the kami. None of them expected any of the youkai to survive the battle.

She had only just found Sesshoumaru and now she feared losing him. 'I'll watch his back.' Kagome decided. She wouldn't let him get hurt. They both had to survive. 'I won't lose him...I love him.' Kagome realized. She had never felt this before. Sure she loved her parents and her brothers, but this was different.

This feeling seemed to take over her entire being. It was a warm feeling in her chest and she wondered if he felt it too. 'He must.' Kagome thought when she remembered how he had said he would make her his mate and the way he held her. Everything he felt always showed in his eyes and they seemed to get warmer and to darken when they looked at her.

She didn't sleep as she knew she wouldn't, but her mind was filled with dreams. She could only think of all the possibilities her future now held. No one ever liked being alone, but she had gotten used to it. Now she had a kitsune kit, ningen child, and a future mate. Even with the looming battle, her mood at the moment couldn't darken.


Kamui walked silently down the halls. Not even the sound of his shoes on the marble flooring could be heard. He was obviously deep in thought. A few others would pass by and give a greeting, but their voices couldn't penetrate the haze that surrounded his mind. 'How could this be happening?' He wondered to himself. 'Where did our world go wrong?'

Sango was walking towards her room when she saw Kamui walking towards her. His gaze was straight ahead and incredibly intense. "Is something the matter?" Sango asked when he came up to her, but he gave no sign of having heard her. He just continued walking. 'How rude.' Sango thought. She then was startled when Kamui all of a sudden stopped in his pacing.

'What is that scent?' Kamui wondered as his thoughts were interrupted by a very earthy scent of flowers and meadows. He abruptly stopped walking and sniffed the air. He spun on his heel and saw Sango standing behind him watching him. 'That scent couldn't possibly come from a filthy ningen.' Kamui thought, but decided to make sure.

Kamui stalked towards Sango and she tensed. She looked around and saw that they were alone in the hall. 'Oh Kami, what's he doing?' Her mind screamed at her to run, do something, but she was frozen in place. She had spent her life fighting youkai and working under pressure, but for some reason her instincts failed her at the moment.

When Kamui was only a couple of inches away from her, he leaned forward and drew in her scent. The scent he had smelt earlier was indeed coming from this ningen. 'Ningens were not supposed to smell this good. Did I just think a ningen smelt good? All these problems of the upcoming battle must be disturbing me more than I thought.' Kamui abruptly pulled back and turned around. He quickly strode down the hall and away from Sango.

Sango had been holding her breath when Kamui leaned forward. She had no clue what he was doing. When he finally pulled away and walked down the hall, Sango let out the breath she had been holding. 'What was that?' Sango wondered.

Being that she had been so close she had been able to take in a bit of his scent as well. Though she was a human even she could smell the scent the earth had during a thunderstorm that clung to Kamui. The scent radiated power. Sango noticed her hands were shaking just the smallest bit and tensed her hands into fists to make the shaking stop. A few more deep breaths were taken before she felt she could continue her journey down the corridor.


Thanks everyone for reading. ^_^