Chapter four: Stretching his wings...

Disclaimer: Oh so very tempting to just cut and paste my old disclaimers....sigh. Don't own him. Want to. Own a toy Tetsuiga. Will use on those who don't review.

The five clustered around the doorframe, all trying to get in at once. Sango wriggled through first and rushed toward the curled up monk. But the sight of the next phase in his transformation stopped her in her tracks.

The fingers on his newly acquired limbs were stretching. They were what had caused the hideous shifting sounds moments before. But it seemed that now they were almost complete in their transition.

Five sets of claws glittered from fingers much too long and thick to properly be recognized as fingers anymore. They spread at grotesque angles from the 'palm' of the arm, like spider limbs. In between each finger and from the index 'finger' to Miroku's shoulder blade tough leathery skin was growing. Mousy brown and veined, the membrane filled the spaces like sailcloth being pulled up a mast. This too made a sound, a rustling sort of ripping noise, that was almost too painful to hear, much less experience.

When all was said and done, stretched to their fullest, they spanned from one end of the room to the other. Each wing was at least as tall as Miroku himself and reminded Kagome of parasailing chutes. Miroku uncurled from his fetal position on the floor. He winced at seeing the wings, reaching up to touch them.

He rose to his feet. Without realizing it, as he stood, the wings folded neatly onto his back. The 'hands' closed, gathering the billowing folds of membrane and locking in place. The wings reached barely higher than his long ears.

He was every inch a Bat Yokai. Kagome's initial thought was that of a gloomy castle in Transylvinia and an image of Miroku proclaiming in a melo-dramatic accent, "I vant to suck your bluuuuud!" she tried to hastily push the thought out of her mind, but it had also brought up another interesting point.

Did bat youkai drink blood?

Miroku realized with a start that his wings had moved with him. He sat down.

The wings unfolded.

He stood up again, hastier than before.

They folded.

Sit. Stretch.

Stand. Fold.

He tried moving them of his own accord now, fascinated. He was completely ignoring the others in the room, he was too transfixed with his new 'toys'. (AN: ah, Men....)

He flexed them, relaxed them, tried moving each finger individually, moved the hand and not the arm, and was generally just having a good ol' time when...

"A-Hem" interrupted the ever-impatient Inuyasha. "Can we get back to the shard already? Or are we gonna just watch the bouzo play with himself?" Kagome shot him a Glare. He ignored it.

"Perhaps the young priestess could try and sense where the shard is in his body? Then we could attempt to...ahem, remove it?" Mushin suggested, hereto unnoticed in the corner. Then, seeing Inuyasha's gleeful expression, Miroku added to his master's statement,

"Without doing damage to my person, if you don't mind."

Inuyasha feh'd. Kagome laced her fingers together and concentrated hard at Miroku.

The tingle was present all right, pounding in her temples. It seemed to center...

She stepped forward, taking Miroku's cursed hand in her own. She cautiously peeled back the cloth and beads.

"Kagome!" Miroku started, trying to jerk his hand back. But he shouldn't have worried.

In his palm was a hole, for sure, but no wind came from it. Kagome held up his arm and looked down it. It was almost as if...someone had hollowed out his arm. She stared hard into the darkness, then announced, "I know where it is!"

"Finally." Inuyasha muttered. He started to draw his sword. "This shouldn't take long..."

"Inuyasha! It's at the base of his arm! You'd have to remove the whole thing!"

Inuyasha blinked. "And this...is a problem?" the sword came farther out of it's sheath.

Miroku clutched his threatened limb. "Wait a moment Inuyasha! You're not...?!"

Kagome intervened.

"Inuyasha! If you remove his arm, what happens when the wind tunnel comes back?"

Inuyasha, to Miroku's great relief, let Tetsuiga slide back into the sheath harmlessly.

Kagome continued, not quite sure Inuyasha was convinced.

"Then instead of a cursed arm, he'd have a cursed stump! He couldn't aim a stump! And you couldn't wrap up it up with cloth and a rosary! It would be completely unchecked!"

Inuyasha grumped. "Guess we don't want that then." He relaxed about a millimeter. "So what are we gonna do?"

AN: I'm ending this here 'cause I'm lazy and I need to go to bed. But my stupid brain wouldn't let me sleep until I upload this chappie.