I actually wrote all of this before I went to camp to CIT, but I didn't want to post it until I got about half of my next chapter written, so here it is now. I'm sorry this took so long to come out.

Chapter 20

Gakusetsu (Theory)

By Auroras-flame

Inuyasha stopped the story at an awkward place. Kagome tilted her head in confusion, "What's wrong?"

Inuyasha looked up at her, 'I think you should read the contract now," he said, "By this point, everyone had. Some stuff happens next that you wouldn't understand unless you knew," he motioned with his head toward the contract, "Go ahead. Read it."

Kagome stared down at the contract. Now that she learned so much about it, it almost seemed more mythical than article. She unrolled it slowly, and read it carefully, even rereading the parts she already knew.

O.o

I curse ye, Inuyasha. I curse ye with the counts of the deaths of myself and my departed Kikyo, who loved you and then died because of your foolishness. Ye could not save her when she needed someone the most. Ye have betrayed and indirectly murdered the only one who will ever love ye so greatly. For this, I curse ye again.

On the latter charge, I curse ye with the inability to lay hand on any maiden. Kikyo's soul would be unsettled if ye were to ever believe there was another who could replace her. If ye should ever even brush a maiden, ye shall turn into the demon that destroyed so many and risk the lives of those ye cherish, including the one who dared believe she could be my sister's substitute. May she die by your hand if ye were ever to disrespect Kikyo's memory.

The Yamaibara Kikyo enchanted in thy mother's garden will never die. If they are removed or perish, my sister's enchantment will occur and three more will sprout where there are none. The Yamaibara will grow, and they will suck the life out of this very mountain which is stained with both mine and Kikyo's blood. If they are not disturbed, the Yamaibara will continue to grow over the span of twenty years. At twenty years, they will cover the whole mountain, and when that happens, ye will die. Even if ye are far, far away, you will die, Inuyasha, without escape. My first curse is thus.

I offer ye redemption, though. If, by chance, ye fear death and wish to escape its clutches, my conditions follow, but be warned: ye were the one Kikyo loved, and I know that a love as superior as hers shall never be surpassed. She died because of ye, remember that always. My conditions: find ye a maiden and do to her what ye could not do for Kikyo, for maiden will be eternally grateful for the justices that you have done and reward ye with immunity from my curse. This must be done before twenty years at least, for a dead man has no ways of impressing a maiden.

Thus is my challenge. Ye shall know the curse is gone when my mark on your arm has disappeared. Even if my curse is gone, I will never forgive ye for not saving Kikyo, ye can only try to rid yourself of this, my persistent curse.

O.o

Kagome looked up from the contract, unsure of what to say. She ended up saying, "That's sort of mean…"

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow, "Yeah, that's kind of really mean."

"But," Kagome put down the piece of paper, "I'm not sure I understand what role I play in this still… I mean, I know I'm the "maiden" but what exactly do I do?"

Inuyasha shrugged, "You do nothing. Just don't touch me and let me save you whenever you get yourself in danger, and this thing will just go away."

Kagome gave him a confused look, "…Save me?"

Inuyasha nodded and gave her a look like she was an idiot, "Yeah, save you. That's what the contract says. Once you thank me for rescuing you, my curse goes away."

Kagome furrowed her eyebrows together and glanced at the paper, "I didn't think it meant save me, I thought Kaede was talking about love."

Inuyasha grabbed the contract away from her, "Are you stupid? Look, it says here that I'm supposed to do what I couldn't do while Kikyo was alive, I couldn't save her!" his voice became insistent, "I loved her! I love her…" Inuyasha was getting more and more emotional when he spoke more of the curse and Kikyo.

Kagome winced when she realized this. The last thing that she wanted was to wound him further than he already was. Regardless of that, she mentioned quietly, "But Kaede didn't think so, did she? She even said that you didn't love Kikyo like she loved you, am I right?"

Inuyasha cringed and hung his head. He regained his enthusiasm again quickly and he rolled back his sleeve and strongly insisted, "No, look." He revealed to Kagome three long scratches on his wrist, "These were the scratches that Kaede inflicted upon me right before she died. There were four of them at first, but that day when you thanked me for saving you and everyone else from Kouga, one of them disappeared. It has to be saving you, it has to be."

Kagome examined his wrist from the distance and nodded her head, "I suppose you're right, but I sort of have to wonder…"

"What's there to wonder about?!" it was getting clearer and clearer that Inuyasha didn't like Kagome's meddling. Kagome knew this, but she continued to ponder away anyway, "It just doesn't make sense. I admit that I have never known Kaede personally, but from what I have heard of her… doesn't she sound more like the type that would resent you for saving another girl when you couldn't save Kikyo?"

Inuyasha remained silent. Kagome took this as a yes and continued, "It seems to me, that she felt that no one could surpass her sister, whether it be as a priestess or as one who loves. I think that Kaede's challenge… well, it sounds like it is more of a cruel game… by the way she phrases things, "her conditions". It all sounds very shady…"

"What are you getting at?" Inuyasha interrupted.

"I think she believed that no one could love you more than Kikyo did, and anyone in love with Kikyo was incapable of loving another," Kagome shrugged, "Therefore, she tried to make her conditions of redemption impossible."

Inuyasha sat back and sneered, "Interesting theory but…" he held up his wrist again, "one of the scratches are gone so I think I am right."

Kagome sighed, "You could easily be. I don't know much about this curse or this story, I admit that. But all I'm saying is, it sounds fishy and I have to wonder if there is another part to this curse that isn't written down…"

"That's ridiculous, why wouldn't all of the curse be written down?" Inuyasha shot down her idea.

"You said only one scratch disappeared? Where is the mention of that in this contract?" Kagome pointed out. Inuyasha shut up quickly and scowled.

She went on, "It's possible I'm wrong, I know that, but what if saving me isn't the best thing you could be doing… what if it wasn't in turn saving you, but counting down, one by one to something a lot worse…?" Inuyasha stared at her, she could see worry and insecurity in his eyes. She didn't want him like that, but she had to add in anyway, "Kikyo died because you tried to save her. If I were Kaede, I would think the most divine punishment for you in the world would be to work away your time saving girls until you finally feel you think you have worked it off and something terrible happens like you kill the girl or you yourself die."

Inuyasha continued to look intently at her. Finally he snapped back his head and let out a laugh, "How scary; when the hell do you think up this stuff? Saving you has gotten me one scratch less, so I think I'll stay with my theory… Oh!" He turned back to her, "Speaking of which, I could show you right now, if you thanked me for last night when I saved you from falling off that cliff!"

Kagome gave him a worried look, "Inuyasha…"

"Just do it, you'll see."

Kagome lowered her head, "Are you really sure… Have my words not reached you at all…?"

"Please, Kagome. You are thankful, aren't you?" Inuyasha asked seriously.

Kagome nodded, "I am… but…"

"Just say it Kagome, please," he looked nearly desperate right then.

Kagome finally ceded, "Inuyasha, thank you for saving my life last night."

Sure enough, right before her eyes, the scar left by one of the scratches paled into skin color, disappearing from sight.

Inuyasha grinned broadly, "Yes!" he cheered, looking more relieved than happy. Kagome stared at his arm. She couldn't help but think that just one scar disappearing at a time was ominous, but… she looked straight at Inuyasha's face… he looked so happy, and she had really disturbed him enough for one day. She gave him a reassuring smile, "You're right Inuyasha. I'm sure nothing bad will happen after those two go away. I'm sorry for saying such horrible things." She didn't believe in a word she said, but it seemed to comfort Inuyasha a little.

He smiled back, slightly cocky, "Yeah! Once this is over, I'll be curse free and you can go home, and everyone will be fine. Yeah."

Kagome nodded. If Inuyasha wanted to believe that, she had no business in trying to change his mind. Anyway, since when did she have any good gut instincts about anything? She was abducted by a wolf she had assured everyone was a great guy, only to find him with his foot on Inuyasha's throat; and she was also led to the castle, fully believing she would just be picking Yamaibara when in fact…

Kagome stopped herself and finally came to a realization, "Ah! I get it now!"

Inuyasha gave her a look, "Get what?"

"I get why you got so angry at my father for picking the Yamaibara! If three grow for every one picked, he sped up the date for when you die…!" Kagome hit her fist on her palm, "I get it, that'd tick me off too, but…" she turned to look at Inuyasha, "… did you really have to threaten to kill him?"

Inuyasha rolled his eyes, "Geez, you haven't figured it out already?" He scratched the back of his head, "I wasn't really going to kill him you know. I just wanted to scare him enough so he wouldn't come back… but then he mentioned you and well…" Inuyasha shrugged, "I really couldn't pass the chance up."

Kagome nodded. Everything was making sense now. Everything, from the time she stepped into the palace was starting to make sense. She glanced at the contract. Everything was because of that curse…

Inuyasha stood up, "I'm going to tell Sango and Miroku about this," he held up his arm. He walked to the stairs and said, sort of awkwardly, "I'll see you at lunch then…?"

Kagome smiled weakly and nodded, "I'll see you at lunch."

Inuyasha left and just then Kagome remembered he was supposed to tell her the rest of the story. Oh well. Did it really matter? She would probably find it out sooner or later anyways.

O.o

Lunch time came around and Sango was feeling a little nervous. Inuyasha had shown the missing scratch to her and Miroku and they were happy until Kagome approached her just before lunch and spoke to her of her own suspicions.

Sango bowed her head and took a slurp of her soup. Did Kagome realize how uneasy she made people with those sorts of theories? Inuyasha looked troubled too, and Miroku didn't know anything about it…

Miroku…

Sango blushed. She hadn't told Kagome yet… she hadn't told anybody! Only she and Miroku knew… and Shippo….

She slowly turned her head towards Shippo to see him glaring at her as if she were something nasty. She slowly looked away. That wasn't good. Should she just announce it? Surely Miroku wouldn't care if she did… or would he?

Sango's hand was shaking now. All of this pressure was getting to her…

"Are you alright Sango?" Kagome asked, noticing her hand.

Sango squeaked and dropped her chopsticks. She quickly recovered and shook her head vigorously blush creeping up her face, "No! Nothing's wrong!"

Kagome crawled closer to her, "Are you sure…? You look all flushed…"

Sango reared away from Kagome and glanced at Shippo again. He was glaring at her and shaking his head. She glanced over at Miroku who was watching her worriedly, "Sango, are you well?"

Sango blushed more. She couldn't handle this. She was no friend of love, hardly an acquaintance. She needed to go lie down somewhere. She shook her head, "No! I don't think I am. I may have a cold, I'm going to go lie down in my room…" Sango rose from the table and strode to the door.

"A cold? That's not good, we got so close to each other this morning, I might have caught it!" Miroku exclaimed merrily.

Kagome and Inuyasha stared at Miroku in disbelief. Sango did the same. Shippo shuddered and declared, "This is so not lunch time conversation. Forget this; I'm going to my room." He got up and left, leaving Miroku to be gawked at by the three.

Sango growled and then yelled, "Why did you have to go and say that, Miroku?!!"

Kagome twisted her head around to Sango, "It's true?!!"

Miroku nodded happily, "Yes! Sango and I are now a pair!" he declared in a sing-song voice. He suddenly looked shy and put his hands up to his cheeks and murmured in a coy voice, "She was so ferocious this morning; she just jumped on me…"

Sango was burning up from embarrassment and rage, "STOP TELLING THEM THAT!!!!"

Kagome turned back to Sango again, "That's true too?!!"

Inuyasha leaned back in shock, "After all these years…"

"Yes! Please tell us that you are happy for us!" Miroku cried in a girly fashion.

Kagome grinned and nodded vigorously, "I am! I am!"

Sango marched over and grabbed Miroku by the ear and yanked very hard, "You. Come with me."

"Yes ma'am."

They both left the dining room and headed out for the entry hall. Sango let go of his ear and turned on him, frustrated and embarrassed, "Why did you do that?!"

Miroku smiled merrily and chimed, "Because we're a couple now!"

Sango flushed and became bashful, "But…" she began to fidget her fingers, "I hadn't even told Kagome yet…"

"Oh is that it…" Miroku paused in thought before perking up, "Well how about we do something else that you can tell her about?!"

Sango glared at him and hissed, "That's not funny," before storming off to the stairwell. She heard Miroku call after her, "I wasn't joking!!"

Was this relationship actually going to work…?

O.o

Inuyasha and Kagome stared at the shoji doors that Sango and Miroku just exited out of. Kagome smiled, "I'm so happy for them!"

"I didn't see that coming…" Inuyasha mumbled, "Well, at least not at this time…"

Kagome looked at him curiously, "What do you mean?"

Inuyasha explained, "Sango and Miroku have been together for a really long time. Their fathers had been close so it seemed only natural that they would be too. However, when Miroku hit puberty, he became a lecher…" Inuyasha said bluntly, "and Sango pushed him away for obvious reasons. They were just starting to get over it when…" he paused and lowered his head, "… that happened."

Kagome nodded her head, understanding.

Inuyasha went on, "Once they were kept here, my problems sort of predominated over theirs and they never really got the opportunity to bond like they used to, or at least, they felt it was inappropriate to. So they didn't. I was starting to believe that they would wait until the curse was either lifted or had killed me before actually getting together… They were both so stubborn until you came around…" Inuyasha stopped himself from saying anymore.

Kagome smiled, but then added in quickly, 'Oh! You never told me the rest of the story!"

Inuyasha looked up in thought and nodded, "You're right. Do you want to hear it now?"

"If you want to tell it now," Kagome said, making herself comfortable.

O.o

"Good bye Inuyasha," Sango bowed her head.

Inuyasha watched her sadly, "Good bye Sango."

Miroku patted him on the back, "Farewell, friend."

Inuyasha nodded, "Bye, Miroku."

Sango gave a frustrated groan, "I can't believe that this is it. Inuyasha, you can't seriously be thinking of staying here alone!" It was the final day, everyone was leaving. After today, Inuyasha would be all alone. They were standing at the front door, saying their goodbyes.

Inuyasha shrugged, "What else am I supposed to do? No one is going to stay here with me and it isn't like I'm going to be welcomed at the Western Lands, I'm banished, remember?"

Sango gave a hurt look, "I'm sorry Inuyasha. I would stay but…"

Inuyasha shook his head, "I know. You should go see Kohaku. You too, Miroku. I'll be fine."

Miroku and Sango exchanged looks. Miroku suggested, "Sango, maybe after Kohaku heals we could come back… Our parents were the ones who kept us near the Lord Inutaisho for all this while but now…" Miroku stopped, realizing that he had terrible phrasing, "… there is nothing keeping us bound to the Western Lands, I'm sure Kohaku would agree…"

Sango nodded her head enthusiastically, 'That's a good idea Miroku!" she turned to Inuyasha, 'We'll do that. We'll be back Inuyasha."

Inuyasha only cringed at the suggestion, "Please guys, don't, really." The pair's smiles disappeared.

"Don't go through all that much for me," Inuyasha said solemnly. Sango and Miroku looked like they wanted to protest so Inuyasha cut them to the chase, "I killed your parents remember? I can't accept your forgiveness over a matter like that. If you stay, it'll just make me feel bad, you know?"

Miroku and Sango understood and hung their heads.

"You should go, everyone is leaving," Inuyasha suggested. Miroku and Sango exchanged sad, worried glances.

"Wah! Wait for me!!!"

All three snapped their heads up to see one last maid running across the entry hall towards the door, clutching a bag close to her chest.

"A lagger," Miroku diagnosed simply.

When the maid made her way to the door, she noticed Inuyasha and stopped momentarily. It was understandable, anyone would pause at the sight of Inuyasha after the massacre. She lowered her head and mumbled, "Excuse me," as she brushed past him to get through the door. Inuyasha made an odd noise.

Sango looked up and stared in horror as she saw what was happening. Inuyasha had all of a sudden become very tense and was trembling. Sango could see the white of his eyes quickly phasing from white to red and then back again, flickering like candlelight. He was changing.

She spent no time gripping the wrist of the maid. Miroku had noticed too and he had already grabbed Sango's arm, "We run!"

Inuyasha wasn't chasing them yet. Perhaps he had realized it was happening and was trying to hold it back? They caught up to the main group and Sango grabbed her Hiraikotsu off a cart they were trying very hard to slowly bring down the mountain steps. She glanced over at Sesshomaru, who was part of the last party and yelled, "Sesshomaru! He's changed!"

Without looking surprised or worried, Sesshomaru unsheathed his sword and started to charge up the steps. In fact, he looked a little satisfied.

Sango flung Hiraikotsu around once to make it easier to face Miroku, "We go too."

Miroku gave her a serious fixed stare and yelled, "Are you insane? That thing killed our parents and seriously wounded Kohaku and Sesshomaru! What possibly possessed you to think that we could handle it? It isn't Inuyasha anymore, it is something much too powerful and way beyond our control."

Sango looked at him with surprise and offense. She glowered, "Fine. Stay here. If there is a quick way to snap him out of this, I will find out how alone. I owe that much to Father and Kohaku." She swung the Hiraikotsu around to gain more momentum up the stairs. She could hear Miroku calling out to her, but she ignored it.

Sango arrived at the top of the steps quickly. Sesshomaru and Inuyasha were already dueling it out bare handed. Flashes of yellow and red demonic power flew every which way from the brothers. Sango raised her Boomerang Bone into the air and began swinging. She threw it full force at the pair shouting to Sesshomaru, "Duck!"

Sesshomaru narrowly dodged the flying bone and Inuyasha got only barely nicked in the arm. Sesshomaru threw her a cold, venomous glare, "You're interfering, girl."

The Boomerang Bone began to returned and Inuyasha managed to just avoid it this time. Sango caught it and scoffed at Sesshomaru's words. She didn't have a chance to retort with anything clever however, because the second she was in possession of the Hiraikotsu, Inuyasha turned his attention away from Sesshomaru and onto Sango. He began to storm towards her with his demonic speed, the same speed that had overcome both her and Miroku's father. Sango could only think to crouch down and raise up her Hiraikotsu for protection and hope it would hold.

"BIND."

Inuyasha stopped in midair and was held there in a stillness that was beyond the line of natural. Recognizing the voice, Sango turned around and murmured in a voice filled with relief, "Miroku!"

Miroku did not look so happy he stomped over and collapsed on his knees next to her. He was sweating and breathing hard. "Don't EVER DO THAT AGAIN," he panted un-forgivingly.

Sango was too relieved to protest. She hung her head and smiled, grateful just to be alive. Miroku stood up and drew out more binding charms and huffed harshly, "It's already wearing off…" Sango flung her head around to see Inuyasha was speedily regaining the ability to move his smaller ligaments.

Sango brought up Hiraikotsu, ready for the worse as Inuyasha could now move all but his torso. Sango got into a fighting position, as did Miroku.

Sesshomaru suddenly appeared behind Inuyasha, and delivered a short, sharp blow to the back of the head. Sango and Miroku released their stances as they saw Inuyasha's eyes widen in pain, and then slowly roll back into his head, paling to a normal white.

Sango lowered her weapon and Inuyasha collapsed to the ground as the charm completely wore off. Miroku took a wary step toward the corpse-like body, "…Is he… okay?"

Sesshomaru made a noise that sounded like a sigh, "It smells like he has returned to his half-breed self."

Sango took that as opportunity to run over to his body and attempt to have him regain consciousness. Miroku grasped her shoulder before she could even get within a meter of him, "Sango! He just changed!! Kaede's curse came true! Don't just go over there, keep you're distance!"

Sango clenched her teeth. He was right, that was incredibly reckless. She argued anyway, "But- earlier! I was able to touch him and nothing happened!"

Miroku ceded, "Yes, that is strange, but just in case; don't go anywhere near him." Sango had never seen Miroku so grave. She backed off, "Alright, I won't go near. Just help him, okay?"

Miroku nodded, looking a little more relieved. He went past Sango and crouched down over Inuyasha. Sesshomaru was already standing over him looking rather intrigued.

Miroku was trying to get Inuyasha to come to when Sesshomaru approached Sango, "Girl, what happened before he turned?" he inquired.

Sango didn't appreciate being called "girl" but she told him regardless, although somewhat bitterly, "A lagging maid grazed him upon passing. He began to change immediately."

Sesshomaru mentioned with a deceptively indifferent tone, "But you didn't trigger a change…"

Sango shrugged, "Perhaps the curse didn't take effect immediately?"

Sesshomaru sneered, "There is no such thing." He looked over at Inuyasha still unconscious and ordered simply, "Touch him again."

Miroku over heard and stood up, "No! You've already put her in enough danger, Sesshomaru. She would have died just now if I had not intervened. Find another girl for your sick trials."

"If he does change you can use you're binding charms again if you wish," said Sesshomaru, sounding piqued, "But I wish to know more about this curse." With that, Sango felt her wrist being ripped away from the comfort of her side and forced upon Inuyasha's face.

Sango let out a scream, just from the sudden shock, and Miroku immediately yanked her out of Sesshomaru's grasp and pulled her away, guarding her front with his staff, preparing for the worst.

Sesshomaru stood over Inuyasha's body and stated, "Nothing."

Miroku lowered his staff and Sango's muscles loosened.

Sesshomaru practically spat, "No change in his blood at all."

Sango crept over to Inuyasha's body and touched his forehead lightly, and as if it were a stove, withdrew it quickly, just in case. When there was no sign of change, she laid her hand firmly over Inuyasha's crown.

"He's entirely unaffected…" stuttered Sango.

Miroku examined Inuyasha over Sango's shoulder, "It doesn't make sense."

Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed, he was silent in thought for a moment, but then turned around and walked toward the stairs. He paused at the steps and commanded, "Both of you are to stay here with him."

The pair watched Sesshomaru, unsure if they heard him correctly.

"I'm curious about this curse. I might investigate it at some point, until then, I want you two to make sure he doesn't end up killing himself and others. Do you understand?"

Miroku shook his head, "I don't think we do!"

Sango cried, "What about Kohaku?!"

"He will be treated at the Western Palace. I will send merchants here once a month to sell goods. One of them will have the condition of your brother," said Sesshomaru.

"This is way too sudden!" Miroku exclaimed.

Sesshomaru was unmoved, "I will have your things removed from the cart and brought back up to your rooms…"

Miroku walked straight up to the dog demon, "Are you even listening to me?! This is mad!"

Sesshomaru shot him a glare, "What is the difference? I could conceive her," Sesshomaru motioned towards Sango, "having a problem with this, but what exactly are you leaving monk? There is nothing for you at the Western Palace, so just do as I say."

Miroku glowered, but took a step backward. Sango was biting her fingernails, nervous and afraid.

"What… what just happened?"

The group looked over at Inuyasha, who was now sitting up and looking around worriedly, "I did it again, didn't I?"

Sango assured him, "You didn't kill anybody, don't worry."

"Inuyasha," interjected Sesshomaru, "You are to stay in this palace with the demon hunter and the monk as your retainers. If you wish, try to break your curse, but do so in this place; I don't want to scour to the land looking for you. Have your new staff fill you in on the rest." With that, Sesshomaru disappeared down the stairs, leaving Inuyasha, Sango, and Miroku to their new home; their new prison.

O.o

Inuyasha looked at Kagome expectantly.

Kagome had her head tilted and her eyes lowered. She asked slowly, "And… have you heard from Sesshomaru at all over the years?"

Inuyasha scoffed, "Not once. That was the last time I saw him. I wouldn't know if he was even alive if not for the merchants that come every month."

Kagome nodded and asked, "What have you been doing since then? Have you ever tried finding a girl to break the curse before me?"

"Well," Inuyasha said, "Since we got stranded here. Miroku and Sango would duel me frequently, first binding me, then knocking me out, in case I ever turned again. As for girls, you're the first," Inuyasha coughed, "We tried it on Sango, saving her from perils and stuff. We would chop down the dead trees on the hill and have them fall on her, and I would whack the tree away," he gave a slightly peeved grin, "Clearly, it never worked."

Kagome winced as she imagined the experience. She questioned, "But, why didn't you change when Sango touched you?"

Inuyasha shrugged, "I really don't know. We've come up with theories, but none of them seem to fit why the maid would set me off but not Sango."

Inuyasha's face froze and his ear twitched. Kagome tried to look him in the eyes, "What's wrong?"

Inuyasha gave an annoyed look, "People." He rose, "I need to go chase them off. They're too close to the castle."

"Out of curiosity, just how many people have you chased away over the years," Kagome asked, folding her arms.

Inuyasha cracked his knuckles, "Lots." His face changed once again and he stared at Kagome oddly, almost as if she had something stuck on her face.

Kagome ventured, "Now what?"

"This smell… I think it's your brother…" Inuyasha said.

Kagome's eyes widened, "What?!"

"And there's someone else… but it isn't the little girl he traveled with, or even your father… it's someone else…" Inuyasha looked concerned. He gave her a glare of accusation, "Just how many people are going to come up here to see you?"

Kagome shook her hands, perplexed, and fluttered frantically, "I don't know!"

Inuyasha sighed and folded his arms, "Well, do you want to come?"

Kagome cocked her head, "I can?"

"Well, I can't exactly get away with scaring them away now, can I? And there's no doubt that they are coming here to see you, why prolong it?" Inuyasha figured.

Kagome warily stood up and gave a short nod. Who on Earth could be with Souta? Maybe he picked up yet another friend when traveling to see her?

Inuyasha and Kagome went out to the entrance hall and then through the doors.

The moment the door was opened, Kagome saw Souta's head popping up from the stairs. She walked over to him with her hands on her hips, "Souta, I hope you didn't leave home again without telling our famil-"

Kagome couldn't even manage to finish her sentence when she saw Souta's companion. Her hands left her hips and rose to her mouth, "Mama!"

Ms. Higurashi ascended the steps two at a time and jumped to her daughter in an embrace before she was even at the top. "Kagome!" she exclaimed, tears in her eyes, "Kagome, my Kagome!"

O.o

Oi vey. Sorry I've been gone for so long. I needed to do some CIT camp thing and then I went to Disneyland and now I have family over so actually sitting down and writing has been difficult for me. (Not to mention that now I have to study and read all of my books for the AP classes I'm taking…) So; good news bad news moment: bad news: I see no possible way of finishing this before summer is over (I'll try, but no promises…) Good news (sort of): I'm working on a new fanfic. I'm not even going to try to publish it until I finish Yamaibara or I finish the first five chapters of it, but added in the next chapter (for a limited time) I will have the first page of Fauxbiz Love (the current name) added with the chapter. Until then, here are some replies to your reviews.

SoraKoi: Yup, I was sort of going for the : "….. What?" reaction. Your long review is mourned, but I'm happy to see any review at all, so thank you!

TrueBelle: Yup, no one saw it coming, which surprised me… Yes, Kaede in this fic is utterly psycho. Psychosis should hopefully be explained in a later chapter, (I think the one after the next one). I'm happy you enjoyed the Sango/Miroku fluff. I felt really bad for destroying it with Shippo, but they'll get their chance later.

MULAN-IFUWEREGAY: Yup, the entire Sango thing will be explained, but not until a couple chapters later. So, you really shouldn't understand the curse just yet…

Denarius: Oh no, how were you injured? (I'm sorry that I'm asking nearly a month later…) All of your predictions made me laugh. I won't tell you if you were right or not, you'll just have to wait and see… Ah, so you're a Sess/Kag fan, are you? Actually, I've noticed that the majority of fanfics I've read, the Sess/Kag ones were for some reason better written (I don't know why though…). I haven't had the opportunity to look at any of the fics yet (I've been tiresomely busy) but I plan to as soon as I'm done posting this chapter. I'll give you my opinion at the end of the next chapter. Until then, I await your next review!

Priestessmykala: Thanks, camp was… fun? (Better than I thought it would be anyway). I hope this chapter gave a little more insight on the curse for you. It isn't all of it though, as Kagome points out. I hope to hear from you again.

Black Betty: Short, sweet, to the point. Thank you for the review.

Arhazivory: I haven't seen Transformers yet (and I suppose I won't see it until it comes out in DVD…) Thank you for saying you'll be with me until the end of the story. I'll try hard to actually finish it (It's over half way!). I'm happy you enjoyed the bits with Sango and Miroku and the OUCH in the review made me laugh. Thank you for reviewing and I hope to hear from you again.

Psycho: Hello, granted you'll not even read this until you've come back from Japan. You're reviews are always funny to read. You can really tell that you make them while going through the chapter and while being half-asleep. I'm kind of worried how you're going to fair at the first day of school…. (I'm not carrying your sleeping corpse from class to class….)

Kagome1312: Out of your questions, I can only answer: yes, something will happen between them, because this is an Inu/Kag fic and will remain one. Thank you for your review and I'm sorry I couldn't answer more of those questions…

Scentless Apprentice09: Ah, a new face! Thank you for reviewing! Don't feel odd about liking Youkai Inuyasha. My best friend still manages to amaze me with her lusting for much stranger characters. Hearing things like that from someone else for a change is actually rather refreshing. I hope to hear from you again, then!