Golden Gaze

By: Goijh

Author's note: I cut this chapter into two parts. That way I could get it out sooner, and wouldn't be nearly as long. I have a few suggestions on what the changes in the past should do to affect the future. For now they are just going to be subtle, but they should start showing up. Much larger ones will come near the end of the story. But if anyone has any suggestions, based on what they've read so far, just let me know. I'll include them as well as I can. Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty

They had known that she was probably going to say it.
They had known it was coming.
After all, what more would you expect from a mother in grief. A mother who had finally realized just how close to home a fatal injury for her daughter was.
But still, expecting it, and hearing the words, is an entirely different matter all together. That was why Kagome and Inuyasha could only sit there at first, paralyzed, deaf, and dumb.
"Did you hear me Kagome?" Her mother demanded. Her voice was shaky again. Tears were brimming in her eyes and her shoulders were beginning to shake. Even she knew how impossible her demand was.
"Mom..." Kagome said softly, leaning forth to cover the older woman's hand with her own. "You know I can't do that."
Mrs. Higurashi began crying again.
Inuyasha's ears folded back. He hated it when women cried. He couldn't just sit there watch this, listen to it.
Neither Kagome nor her mom noticed when the hanyou stood up, but they noticed when he spoke.
Inuyasha went to stand behind Kagome, his presence dominating the room as his expression became the embodiment of confidence. He stood self- assured. Anything he was about to say he meant, nothing would deter him from it.
"Mrs. Higurashi, Kagome has to come back to my time. It's her responsibility to collect the shards of the Shikon Jewel." Both women looked up at him and he continued. "If she doesn't then the shards will continue to fall into the hands of demons and humans of ill intent, causing death, harm, and destruction. Until Naraku gathers them all up and does kami knows what with them." By this time Inuyasha's expression was grim and pained, but his voice was loud.
"Besides, "He finished in a softer tone, placing a clawed hand gently on Kagome's head. "I will always protect your daughter. I will make sure nothing happens to her. Not in my time, and not in hers."
Kagome tilted her head back to smile gratefully at him. They both knew that the moment her mother had started crying she had caved. But the spoken assurance would help to chase away the anxiety and fears that might have remained.
Mrs. Higurashi sniffled a few more times. Her eyes searched Inuyasha's face for any sign of dishonesty; any hint that his words might not be completely true.
She found none.
No one doubted that she wouldn't.
Inuyasha may not have been one for talking, but his words, his promises, were always held onto. As a hanyou, his honor had been all that he had really had for dignity in his life. He would be damned if he would lose that.
Mrs. Higurashi bowed her head.
"Thank you Inuyasha." She murmured as she stood to her feet, straightening her slightly rumpled clothes. "I know that you will always keep my Kagome safe." She smiled as she wiped away the last of her tears. Her eyes were red and puffy and her cheeks stained, but somehow she managed to look strong and composed.
"Just keep yourself safe too, Inuyasha, okay?" She said as stepped around Kagome and embraced him.
Inuyasha was tense for a moment. But slowly he relaxed, one arm even returning the hug. "I'll try, Mrs. Higurashi," He promised.

Suuichi ran down the nearly deserted side walk, his breath heavy from exertion. Moments after he had received Hiei's telepathic warning he had been out the door and on his way, knowing that the jaganashi sure as hell wasn't going to wait.
He had to get there before Hiei made himself known.
He had to be the first one to see Kagome.
Not because his kitsune counterpart was pouting and throwing a tantrum that could rival a two year old's in the back of his mind, or because both aspects of him didn't like the idea of coming in second, but because he and the others, the rest of the Spirit Detective team, had attacked Kagome that afternoon.
They had wounded the hanyou, Hiei had chased after her with a katana, and they had destroyed the well house. No doubt she thought that they were out for her blood. And even if she didn't, Kurama knew for his glimpses into the past that the hanyou was way to protective.
He would doubtlessly see them as a threat.
And how did Inuyasha deal with threats?
He killed them.
Knowing that this time the enemy had attacked on Kagome's side of the well, Inuyasha would definitely come back with the miko. And Hiei had said, "They." That meant that both of them were here. With his dog like senses, the half demon would smell Hiei as soon as he arrived. He would most likely realize by that hint alone that the koorime was one of his attackers.
He would try to kill him.
And Hiei, being Hiei, wouldn't stand for that. He would retaliate.
It would become an all out demon fight on sacred shrine grounds in the middle of Tokyo. The tabloids would have a field day, the media would burst blood vessels trying to rationalize it, and property would get destroyed.
Not to mention the consequences they would face when Reikai found out about it.
Suuichi shook his head as he rounded a corner, the action making him slightly dizzy since he was still running. Sometimes he wished that he socialized with more level headed people, people who thought things out before they took action.
People like him.
Youko snickered in the back of his head, taking a break from whining and pouting.
'You still have me.' The silver fox preened.
Kurama rolled his eyes.
'Don't remind me.'
Only five minutes away. Five minutes. Hiei was already there, but the war cries were inaudible as of yet.
A good sign?
Or had they already killed each other?
Suuichi stepped onto the street that housed the Sunset Shrine. No media, no lights, no damage.
Looking good so far.
He quickened his pace as he approached. Just a little farther.
"Umph!"
Suddenly there was a flash and Kurama collided with a body that he could have sworn was not there a moment ago. A familiar aura resonated around him and he groaned as he sat up, rubbing his back.
'Goddammit! What does he want now?' he thought as he opened his eyes. Youko let out a bark of agreement.
Blue hair flooded his sight for a moment until the ferry girl lifted her head. Her violet eyes were closed and a goofy grin stretched across her face. Shakily she stood to her feet, clutching her oar in one hand and massaging her bottom with the other.
"Oops! Now that was kind of clumsy of me now wasn't it?" Botan giggled as she reached out a hand to help up that frustrated Suuichi.
The scarlet haired young man paid no heed to the extended limb, his eyes instead trained on the shrine just 30 or so yards away. He had been so close. He stood and tried not to look aggravated. It wasn't the ferry girl's fault. It was Koenma's.
Well it wasn't either of their faults really. Neither one knew that he was on his way to see the miko he was infatuated with. The one that could travel through time and was on close buddy-buddy terms with the hanyou they were hunting.
Yeah that one.
"It's alright Botan. I suppose I should've been a bit more careful."
Botan smiled brightly, oblivious to the fact that he hadn't accepted her proffered hand. "Well, Koenma wants everyone. I already gathered Yusuke and Kuwabara. I just got Hiei a moment ago. He was at that shrine over there. Funny that you two were so close like that." Botan rambled as she adjusted her oar so that she could sit and float on it. "Were you meeting him there? He said that you would be on your way, if not there already. So I dropped him off at Koenma's office and just popped back here to get you, and well, here you are."
Kurama gazed longingly over Death's shoulder for a moment, a light had flickered on in the main house of the shrine. If he stared long enough he bet that he could make out the silhouette of a certain miko.
"Well let's go. Koenma says that its urgent. It has to do with that hanyou you guys fought. The one that Spirit world can't account for. Koenma thinks that he's found something; it has to do with the legend of the Shikon no Tama."
Suuichi's attention was immediately captivated.
Was the Reikai prince getting close to the truth?
How much did he know?
Botan opened the portal and beckoned for the fox to step through. Kurama did so automatically, the ferry girl right behind him.
Seconds later he was in the office he had grown to know so well. Yusuke was arguing with a pajama clad Kuwabara about some local gang fight and Hiei was leaning against a wall off in the shadows. Koenma was staring expectantly at the newest arrivals, a large and ancient looking file in his hands.
The expression on his face was smug.
"Detectives, I have a new mission for you."

Hiei watched with interest as the portal opened, revealing the ferry girl and fox. Gauging by the masked irritation that only he could decipher on Kurama's face, the fox had indeed been near the shrine if not on the steps when Botan arrived.
Hiei mentally chuckled.
He had never seen the kitsune look so frustrated, so thwarted. And better yet, probably no one else in the room could tell because he sported his usual calm and easy going façade, interrupted only by a few disarming smiles in Botan's direction, and a small arch of the brow in amusement at Kuwabara's kitten bedecked pajamas.
"Detectives, I have a new mission for you." Koenma finally said, breaking up the fight and catching everyone's attention.
"It'd better be good this time! I was in the middle of a date." Yusuke grumbled as he stepped closer so that he could actually hear.
"Hn."
Kurama said nothing. He only stared pointedly at the infant ruler of Spirit World. His eyes demanded an explanation.
Koenma regarded Suuichi very carefully. He had watched through a special monitor on his desktop as Botan fetched the last member of the Spirit Detective party. He had been near that shrine. The one with the miko and her hanyou companion.
It was just further proof that he knew something and wasn't sharing.
Had he only been going to investigate, he would have at least brought someone with him. He also would have mentioned something about his plans to either Botan or himself before going as well.
But he hadn't said anything.
And now Hiei's involvement was just further proven. Botan had tracked him already at the shrine. He had been perched in a giant tree, appearing to be sleeping when the ferry girl arrived. But with his Jagan eye and incredible speed he could have easily detected the coming presence and feigned his actions.
It would only be too easy.
After all, Hiei and Kurama were criminals. They both were notorious for deception...
Koenma suddenly felt the urge to hit his head, hard, multiple times, against the nearest sturdy structure. This was ridiculous. He had no need to be being so paranoid about all of this. It was probably nothing too serious.
But still he felt uneasy. People he thought he could trust were holding out on him. And he didn't know what they were hiding.
On top of that, every time he studied Kurama closely when the hybrid was off guard, he could almost swear that he would see gold swirling in the emerald depths of the convict's eyes.
It was unsettling.
He would just have to keep a closer eye on them....
"As you know, there's an inu hanyou on the loose that can in no way be accounted for by Spirit World. By all records and history, he should not exist. But he does."
Yusuke stifled a yawn. Kuwabara was drooling a little.
"Hurry up with it." Hiei demanded. "We don't have all night."
Koenma fixed the jaganashi with a pointed glare at his tone but continued none the less. "We also know that there seems to be a miko who's either helping him, or was kidnapped him. But when I sent you to capture the hanyou, he disappeared down a well."
Everyone, even Suuichi was looking completely bored now. So much for his rehearsed speech.
"I've been searching every archive in spirit world for anything that points to an answer, but so far I've only been able to come up with one hint. The legend of the Shikon no Tama."
Crimson and emerald eyes immediately snapped up. It would figure that those two would know what he was talking about.
"Long ago, there was a miko who protected a sacred jewel that had the power to grant any wish. She fell in love with an inu hanyou though. One day she brought him the jewel to wish on to become human, but he inflicted upon her a fatal wound and stole the Shikon Jewel instead. With the last of her strength she sealed him with a sacred arrow to a tree, never to awaken. She died shortly after and was cremated with the jewel."
Koenma paused for affect, looking pleased with himself.
"That's great toddler. But what does this have to do with what's going on right now?" Yusuke demanded.
"I agree." Kurama added, maybe a little too quickly. Was that gold in his eyes again? "After all, this is only a legend. Even if it were true, it happened hundreds of years ago and ended with the death of both the miko and the hanyou. How does that relate to our problem?"
Koenma nodded carefully. "I realize what you're saying, and understand. I thought this over as well and truthfully..." He grinned with his eyes closed and rubbed the back of his head, "This is all I can come up with."
The room was silent.
"All you could come up with?" Yusuke asked, his face red and fists clenched.
Botan shot the Spirit Detective a disapproving glance but he ignored it.
"Yes. There is no other way to explain anything that's happening unless you look at it as having some connection to this legend. At least not yet. But we're still looking into everything."
"Hn."
"So what's our mission? I wanna go home and go to bed." Kuwabara whined.
"I want you to investigate Kagome Higurashi. You said that she goes to your school?"
"Yeah, Keiko seems to be friends with her." Yusuke interrupted.
"Good. Now I want you to find out as much as you can about her. Pay careful attention for anything that would suggest contact with demons or the Shikon Jewel. I also want someone to watch the shrine at night. If the hanyou shows up, or if there's any strange activity I want to be alerted immediately."
Everyone was nodding now.
"There's a catch to everything though." Koenma added perkily. "I want this all done in partners!"
Kurama frowned. Hiei's eyes narrowed to slits. Yusuke arched a brow. Kuwabara looked confused.
"What do you mean partners? Like a stakeout deal?" Yusuke asked, his voice showing a bit of interest. Clearly he had been watching to many police films.
"Yes. You will work in partners so that one of you may stay on the trail of the hanyou or miko should anything happen, and the other can alert me."
"Alright. Sounds good. Can we leave now?"
"But I will be assigning the partners." Koenma completely ignored the Spirit Detective's plea. "Hiei, you will stick with Yusuke. Kurama, you're partnered with Kuwabara."
Even Botan was bewildered by the arrangements.
"But sir, won't it be easier if Kuwabara is with Yusuke, since they are in the same classes and live near each other anyways? And Hiei works much better with Kurama." She argued. Yusuke and Kuwabara nodded fervently.

'But this way there's less of a chance of something happening.' Koenma thought, carefully gazing at the koorime and kitsune, still off by themselves.
"No. I want the partners this way."

Youko glared at the demon at his feet.
"Don't kill me. Don't kill me. Don't kill me. I'll tell you stuff, anything! Don't kill me." It repeated over and over. The silver fox was beginning to get a migraine.
"Where can I find shards of the Shikon Jewel?" Kurama demanded for what must have been the tenth time. This time though he raised his voice and lengthened his claws.
It had the desired affect.
The small demon immediately shut up and stared at the lethal nails. Its eyes were wide and its pupils dilated. It reeked of fear.
"I don't really know." It cried. The claws lengthened, glinting dangerously. "I've only heard rumors!" It protested weakly, covering its head in a vain attempt to protect itself.
"What have you heard?" Youko demanded, his voice cold.
'What will this end?' He though mentally in exasperation. Getting even the simplest information these days was like pulling teeth. He didn't have the patience to do this!
"There's a pack in the north. They live in a den behind a waterfall. I hear that their prince has many shards of Shikon Jewel."
'A wolf hm?' Youko mused. Wolf demons were often strong. Fighting a prince should prove at least a bit entertaining.
"Tell me more about this prince." Youko urged, kneeling slightly so that he was more even with the toad like creature.
"Why me?" It whined.
Don't you love the noise that claws make as they drag against the ground? Almost similar to the sound they make as the slice through toady flesh.
"His name is Kouga. His pack was recently diminished by the wind sorceress Kagura, a spawn of Naraku. He seeks to avenge his comrades and defeat Naraku. But he has a rival in his mission, a worthless half breed named Inuyasha who travels with a taijiya, monk, kitsune, fire cat, and miko on a quest to slay Naraku as well. There's been interesting rumors that Kouga's infatuated with the priestess companion of that vile Inuyasha and the two demons fight over her. There's even a betting pool in some locations on whether Kouga and Inuyasha will kill each other over the girl first or get to Naraku. I hear – Umph!"
Youko silenced the rambling demon with a jab to the head, knocking him unconscious. When he had asked for information he had merely meant location and weakness. Not life story!
Though he had to admit that this wolf youkai, Kouga, sounded like an interesting opponent, maybe a trip north was in order. It was after all, the only lead that the fox had as of yet.
Without a word, Youko rose, and leaving the limp body of the insufferable toad behind, turned north, walking away as silently as he came.
Crimson eyes watched him go.

Uh oh. Who's watching Youko?

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