::Part Two::

~ Thawed ~

He sensed them before he saw them – and had almost not believed they were real. The day was drawing to a close, and Sesshoumaru had watched the spirits since arriving on his border lands. They had began their rally early the previous evening, when he'd been far away from his lands – and now, he was just arriving here with his curiosity and his hope – waiting for both to be crushed – knowing that it would all somehow be false, that it would be another farfetched and wishful dream – a strange, wonderful dream that was doomed to end as it always did. He really thought that he would awaken at any moment, that he would see Rin playing nearby and Jaken would begin annoying him with something or other. But he did not, and Sesshoumaru waited and watched with the other witnesses to the spectacle in the sky.

For a century he had mourned her in his heart, ridiculed by her younger sister (who searched fruitlessly) that he did not look for her as well. . . That he let her go unavenged, even though he killed the wretch who made Leiko disappear completely from the landscape – Sesshoumaru had not even been able to catch her scent after she was hit by that witch's concoction of spells. There had been nothing, not a trace . . . And he had grown so cold after it all. . . That human witch who'd stolen his mate from him a century ago, that witch had paid dearly for such a crime – as had her kin and their village. But Leiko had remained veiled in mystery, and he had convinced himself that she had died nobly, as well as completely – and that was all he could even do to console himself of her lost soul. But there were those times when the dreams took him, and he saw her beautiful face once more, when he felt her strong yet ever gentle presence – as if she had never left his side, like she'd promised so long ago.

But dreams were all he had of her . . . and now this strange phenomenon. . . .

Then his feral golden eyes narrowed as several unsanctioned scents caught his attention. A growl escaped him, and he was gone from his watching post at top speed.

Dreaming Nearby . . .

Kagome had not meant to fall asleep – but not meaning to was never the perfect prevention system. Curled near InuYasha, who was too busy watching the gathered spirits over the village to notice her at the moment, she let her eyes slowly shut. . .

As if it had been waiting for her, the rocky walls of the closed off cave room formed around her in seconds. The woman in the ice was still encased, but not so heavily now – and the cave floor was a shallow pool of eerily lit water. As she took these things in, Kagome began to grow cold – ever so cold. . . and the ice caging the woman began to melt faster, faster, faster. . . It wouldn't be long until the ice was water, and the woman was free to go her way. The water. . . the water was rising faster than the ice was melting . . . Kagome, still shaking, climbed up on a rock that was higher than the others. . . one that she had just then noticed (oddly enough). Situated, her eyes went to the woman in the then very thin ice. She was smiling at Kagome, not threateningly or anything – but almost thankfully. And then the thin ice cracked, shattering into the water and making it splash in a thousand directions. The woman was free! As she came from the ice, her long, black tail – somehow sleek and fluffy at the same time – came out of hiding to curl and sway prettily behind her. The wielded sword was returned to it's sheath and the woman turned those cold blue eyes upon Kagome. Despite the fact that she was short, the female youkai had a very commanding presence.

"Thank you, young Miko. The co-operation on your part was very kind. Your warmth will return to you soon. I apologize for any weakness you may experience until then." The woman stated. She reached her hand out to Kagome, who studied the sharp little claws as they neared her face. The smooth, cold hand took the girl's chin gently. "We who know painful love must always do what we can to help one another." The youkai smiled again . . .

And Kagome's eyes flew open in time to see the spirits over head fly off from their post over the village into the forest nearby – heading towards the general location of their camp.

"We need to follow them now!" She cried, coming to with little trouble though fatigue weighed heavily upon her. "Quickly!"

A/N: Yeah, that was really short. Sorry! More asap! Please tell me what ya think ^.^