By Ryouga's best friend

No one spoke of last nights proceedings until the next day. Inuyasha, Kagome, Miroku, and Sango sat in a circle in front of Miko's house. Shippo was watching over his friend who had yet to wake for last night. Inuyasha was stoic, his eyes shut and his arms crossed. Kagome fidgeted nervously with her hands in her lap. Miroku sat cross-legged with a calm expression, his staff at his side. Sango had her eyes turned toward the ground, slowly petting her companion Kiara.

"So…" Miroku spoke up. "We know Naraku wants the girl."

"But why? I mean she too young to be of any use to him," Kagome said.

"Maybe it had to do with the display of power last night…" Inuyasha's eyes snapped open as the Monk spoke. "She created that storm last night, it disappeared as she fell unconscious." The girl from the future turned at that.

"But Miko said she was bad with magic, she has never been able to train herself."

"Well obviously she is more powerful than she gives herself credit for," the monk stated.

"We can't leave her here…" Sango said clenching a fist. Miroku shook his head.

"I don't believe that to be wise, Naraku's eyes are heavy on us as it stands. If we attract too much attention…"

"Your no better than the villagers…" Sango glared at the monk. "If we leave she'll be dead before tonight! Either by Naraku's hands or the villagers'." Miroku locked her gaze.

"I was only stating the fact, the best way to defeat Naraku is to keep a low profile." he replied heatedly.

"She's coming with us." a voice stopped the argument. Flames of determination burning in their eyes.

"Inuyasha…" Kagome was in awe.

"Don't get all mushy with me woman! If Naraku wants the girl she must be pretty damn important. I won't just hand her over…" With that the half demon stood and left, effectively ending all arguments. Miroku sighed but consented, it would be no use to contend Inuyasha's claim. Kagome and Sango shared a smile. The others stood and headed inside to deliver the news.

* * * * *

Meanwhile inside Shippo sat cross-legged beside the sleeping Miko. The others had tucked the exhausted girl into her futon that night after the storm had suddenly stopped. Shippo's tail twitched back and forth. "I hope your okay…Why haven't you woken up yet?" " he whispered sadly. His ears drooped as her turned his gaze to the floor. It was then when the girl in question moaned. She opened her eyes to see the same exuberant fox boy who had helped save her yesterday.

"Shippo?" she asked weakly. She gasped in surprise when he gave her a tight hug.

"Oh god I thought you got hurt last night in the fight, you just collapsed," he gushed. She couldn't help but blush slightly at the attention she was receiving. "You were glowing golden and this huge storm appeared out of nowhere, you must have created it." The blush faded and her face paled. So worried that she might have scared away her new friends she didn't notice how excited he still sounded. He released her and smiled. "It was amazing!"

"A-amazing?" That was the last word she would have expected to hear. "Your not afraid of me?"

"Of course not. It was so cool, It was almost as good as my fox magic." She reddened again at the praise, but than looked confused.


"It's another way of saying good. Kagome uses it all the time," he shrugged. "I guess it's a future thing." Miko giggled as he grinned, tail swishing. It was than Inuyasha entered the house followed by Miroku, Sango and Kagome. He turned his eyes to the pair, regarding them seriously.

"Shippo, get your stuff together now, were leaving." The two kids exchanged a glance.

"But what about-"

"You too Miko," he continued without acknowledging his interruption.

"Thank you Mr. Inuyahsa!" She gushed. The half demon turned.

"Feh, whatever. Just hurry up… and cut out the 'Mr' stuff, it's getting' on my nerves..." he grumbled as he headed outside. The others couldn't help but chuckle at the exchange.

* * * * *

At mid-morning they set off from the little hut. Miko's small bundle of belongings sat in the basket of Kagome's bike. It wasn't long when they came to the town. There was total silence as they made their way through, Miko walking inside a circle of protectors. As they arrived at the town center there was a crowd waiting. A man stepped forward to meet the group, he was the same one who led the raid the night before. He bowed. "We thank humbly for removing this burden from our village." It was hard to miss the young girl's flinch at the harsh words.

"Burden, feh. The only burdens in the world are people like you," the half demon snorted.

"Save your thanks and move aside," Sango replied curtly. "Your presence is making me sick."

The man glared the group before him. How dare a vile demon and a arrogant women insult him as such! Though he cooled as he rubbed his chest. That same demon took out nearly a third of the villagers best fighters, and the woman had broken three of his ribs. He scanned his eyes over them one last time. Both the warrior woman and the demon were glaring heatedly. The monk was regarding him with an expression mirroring his own, Ill hidden disgust. The other girl and the fox child were comforting the demon child, who was doing an excellent deception of sadness and fear. Though it was no longer his problem. He motioned for the others to stand aside. No more words were spoken as they passed.

Miko's eyes stayed trained at the ground during the confrontation. 'Burden', 'demon', she had been called worse but it still hurt every time. That the people you've known all your life hated you and cursed your existence. Was her life worth anything? To the villagers… no, it was not.

"Don't let him get to you, he's just a jerk," Kagome crouched next to her. She smiled slightly, it was easy to tell she wanted to say something harsher but held her tongue. Sango had no such problems and was muttering something about 'castration'. Inuyasha kept his thoughts quiet as he stared into the distance, Kagome's bike perched on his shoulder. Miroku looked calm as always. Shippo was smiling at her trying his hardest to get her to do the same. Miko allowed s small smile to her lips.

Was her life worth anything?…

Yes. To herself and her new friends it was. And that is all that matters.

* * * * *

In a darken room of Naraku's hidden fortress the lord of the keep sat before his spy. The giant wasp relayed from Inuyasha's arrival and the loss of his minion, a minor annoyance, to the villagers failed assassination attempt and Miko's departure with Inuyasha, a major annoyance.

"It seems things are not going as planned, but no matter. I will have what I want… this just means I'll have to make my next move sooner than expected." he casually dismissed the insect. He needed to make some contacts…

A/N- Chap. 5 done. A bit shorter than the last but it furthers the plot. It got a little angst with Miko, as usual, but that will begin to disappear as she travels.

Thanks to PuppKid for reviewing!

Now on the road what adventures will find them. Foxy Mischief? Magic? Demons? And will Naraku be involved? Continue reading 'Orphan' to find out!