Hello again. I really must stop starting fics before I finish others, but what can one do when one's muse hit's her upside the head?
Mostly AU. Almost entirely AU, in fact. So it goes.

Original Characters: Tsuma: The father of Kagome, Kikyo, and Manna Yatsuri: The mother of Kagome, Kikyo, and Manna ((Note: Other original characters, should I add any, are added at the beginning of each chapter))

This Rose of Velvet

Prologue: You and I

A cloaked figure walked quickly and silently down the darkened street, the streetlights only beginning to turn on. It was Yatsuri Karimono. Her black hair was tied harshly back, the rest invisible underneath the hood of her cloak; the length couldn't be specified. Her blue eyes, characteristically colored like ice, were focused solely on the task ahead. Her brows knitted in concentration, and her ears were alert, as always. On her back, underneath the cloak, was a slight bulk, hinting at not very inconspicuously hidden weaponry.

As she came into view of a popular, exclusive club, her pace quickened almost imperceptibly. Ignoring the door, she jumped from the ground to the bottom of the escape ladder. Why they chose a rundown apartment building for their playground, she'll never know. When in a group, stupidity seemed to overrule them.

She stepped lightly on the roof, her breathing as regular as if she had just walked to the refrigerator and back to the TV. No sweat belied that the climb had taken any sort of toll on her body. She walked to the center right of the building, having already scouted out the roofing, and, of course, finding a skylight. They never seemed to get smarter; the law of evolution should be offended. Crouching on the edge, she watched them, massing, weaving in and out of each other. Bright lights flashed and danced, tricking the eyes of those who were not regulars to the everlasting party. A band was on a round, rotating stage in the very center of the room.

Youkai. Along the sides of the wall, balconies lined the walls up to about nine or ten stories. More of them chatted on those, laughing, hanging over the edge, courageous in the face of their almost-immortality. Their youth. Fangs gleamed.

Quickly, with much practice, Yatsuri scanned the room for her target. She whipped off her cloak in another soundless motion. She wore close fitting gray leggings, and a tank top of the same color. She had black leather boots almost to her knees. A bow hung at her side, arrows on her back. She grabbed a dagger from her boot, and stabbed a pane of window. The sound, which had been muffled up until that point, blasted into her face, momentarily surprising her and causing her to jerk her head back. The sound of glass shattering hadn't been, as she had presumed, heard in the ruckus. A few angry yelps came from the unfortunate youkai that had been standing under the window, but they probably thought a comrade had hit them over the head with a beer bottle. Immediately, a fight broke out. Although this held the rapt attention of those who knew the fighters, everyone else was accustomed to the sight and ignored it, only moving when the flurry of kicks and punches got to close to their champagne glasses.

Nobody noticed the tip of the arrow that was pointed at the host of the party, the most famous demon in New Tokyo. Nobody noticed the miasma trail the arrow left behind as it sped towards its target.

The shocked stillness when the weapon struck was to be expected, of course.

Yatsuri left before they regained their senses and swarmed the roof.

Later, Yatsuri walked calmly into the tavern, sort of disappointed that her appearance didn't cause at least one table to fall silent. Swallowing her childish emotion, she sat at the bar and slapped her palm on the surface to call the attention of the bartender. After he served her some delicate liquor with a pretty umbrella in it, she let her cloak fall back. Her hair, still tied in a slightly mussed ponytail, tumbled to her waist.

Tsuma was gazing with a trance-like amazement at the woman that had sat beside him. Her very presence commanded attention. Her skin was a beautiful pale porcelain, her hair so dark it swallowed the light. Look at me, he thought, look at a beautiful woman and suddenly I'm a poet. He smiled wryly to himself and sipped from his mug.

The man next to her turned to her. Yatsuri tensed reflexively from the sudden motion, but forced herself to calm down. He was anything but bad- looking; he was incredibly handsome, with light brown hair. His hair was cut just above the ear, parted in the middle. It moved whenever he did, swaying gracefully. His bright green eyes had laughter in them, and smiled with all the charm in the world at her.

"Hi. My name is Higurashi Tsuma, but I hope we can get to the point where you may call me Tsuma-chan."

Yatsuri carefully set down her glass. She did not permit herself to indulge in romantic flings, especially so close in time to a job, but...

She nodded in acknowledgement of his speaking. "Karimono Yatsuri," she offered, relishing the delight that jumped into his eyes. They didn't seem to have much in common.

But their thoughts echoed the other's. We are meant for each other, you and I.

END OF PROLOGUE! Just be happy that I posted the first chapter as well, or you'd be incredibly unhappy. I hope, anyway. Next chapter jumps a generation and goes to the three sisters. Kagome and Kikyo, twins, and Manna, the eldest. Newest arrival: Fori, the stepmother. Yes, Yatsuri is dead, sorry. Had to, or else the rest of the story would cease to be! I really like her character, maybe I'll use it in another fic. You don't have to review if you don't want to; no pressure. But I like constructive criticism, lay it on me, baby! Flame like hell, but please not over insipid things like spelling something wrong or getting the respective names of the parents wrong. Maybe I felt like changing it, even if I don't know what they are... Happy reading!