A Fox By Any Other Name is A Fox the Same: Chapter Five

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or Yuyu Hakusho.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Kurama retrieves the artifact to stop Inuyasha's transformation to human, but Youko pushes through and asks for something in return. Kagome finally meets Hiei, and the group plans how to stop Naraku's resurrection. Meanwhile, Sesshoumaru plots how to stop Kagome's death in the past. Is Yusuke's group the key?

Reikai

Botan opened a portal, and Kagome and Yukina stepped through. Another portal opened behind them, and Yusuke silently creeped up behind Kagome, with Kuwabara going to Yukina.

"Eeeeeeeep!" Kagome jumped, turning to smack the perverted monk fondling her backside. "Miroku! Perverted monk!"

Kagome sweat dropped when she realized that Botan, Kuwabara, and Yukina were staring at her strangely while Yusuke twitched on the floor with a handprint on his cheek.

"Um…sorry?" she said tentatively. "Reflex."

The others looked at her like she was crazy as Yusuke finally shook off his dazedness.

"Man, you hit hard!" he complained as he cracked his neck.

"Heh, heh," Kagome laughed nervously. "Practice?" she offered as an explanation.

"Hey! Wench! You better have that death woman release me right now! How am I supposed to protect you if you go running off to my brother without me?" Inuyasha shouted from Botan's containment bubble. He floated in the sphere, with his legs and arms crossed. Kagome wanted to laugh – he looked like a petulant child.

"Sorry, Inuyasha!" she apologized. "You would only get in the way with Sesshoumaru. Besides, I trust him to protect me, and we have other things to worry about right now. Botan?" Kagome looked to the grim reaper to end her spell.

As soon as Inuyasha was released, he lunged for Botan.

"Sit, sit, sit!" Kagome said forcefully. Then she sighed.

"That really wasn't nice, Inuyasha!" she chastised. Muttered cursing and grumbling could be heard from the Inuyasha-shaped crater.

"Okay, let's get down to business!" Kagome said cheerfully to the others.

"Her mood changes are scary sometimes, Urameshi!" Kuwabara whispered to his friend. They both winced when Kagome heard and glared at them fiercely.

"Well," Botan started, attempting to divert Kagome's attention from the delinquents, "We have to find Hiei first. He'll be a great help if there's a battle tomorrow night, not to mention the fact that we have to stop his rampage in Makai. Kurama should be back…"

"Talking about me when I'm not here? Botan, shame on you," a silver kitsune said silkily as he revealed himself from the shadows.

How he blended in with the darkness dressed in all white, Kagome didn't know. But she did know that he was absolutely gorgeous. Silver hair, fuzzy ears, golden eyes, and a beautiful tail! He was a wet dream come to life. (Not that she ever had one of those. No siree! She was a pure miko. Pure, pure thoughts!)

"Um…hello?" Kagome started. "My name is Kagome." Kagome was a little confused, but she figured introducing herself to the gorgeous stranger was a start.

'See, I told you she wouldn't recognize us!' Suichi reminded Youko.

'Yes, but she's practically drooling!' the kitsune thought gleefully. And he wasn't too far off the mark.

'Pure thoughts. Pure thoughts. Pure thoughts.' Kagome chanted to herself. 'But I want to touch his ears! No! Pure thoughts. Pure thoughts!'

Oh, if only Kurama could mind read. But, we can't all be Hiei.

"Youko Kurama," the fox finally replied, charmingly. He took her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it. And the others couldn't see, so he gave into temptation and took a little lick.

Kagome gasped, Inuyasha snarled at the look in the kitsune's eyes, and Yusuke felt a tightening in his stomach that seemed suspiciously like jealousy.

"…Kurama…?" Kagome questions, dazed from the look in her dream demon's eyes.

"Cut it out, Kurama!" Yusuke shouted obnoxiously. "That's not fair, no kitsune magic!"

Kurama just smirked.

"I don't need it," he told the detective confidently.

And he was right, Kagome was under his spell without any magic involved.

"Okay, back on topic," Botan tried to take control of the group. "Do you have the artifact, Kurama?"

"Yes, of course," he replied, offended that Botan implied he couldn't retrieve something from the pitiful vaults of Reikai.

"Well…" Kagome asked, finally snapped out of her admiration for the kitsune when she realized this was Kurama's alter ego.

'Oh, I was so enjoying the drooling!' Youko remarked, mourning Kagome's return to the real world. The one where certain silver kitsunes do not walk around in Chippendale's outfits all the time. (That we know of, anyway).

"You can have it," Youko pulled the pendant from his tunic. When Kagome reached for it, he pulled his hand back.

"Ah, ah, ah," he admonished her teasingly. "For a price…"

"And what is that?" she asked crossly.

"Well, we can start with a date and end with a kiss. Or maybe more…" the fox trailed off suggestively.

Kagome gasped, Inuyasha snarled at the tone of the kitsune's voice, and Yusuke again felt a tightening in his stomach that seemed suspiciously like jealousy. And then a certain fire apparition crashed the party…

"Hiei!" Botan remarked, startled as the hybrid tore his own portal into Reikai. She didn't know he could do that…

"Hn," he replied, when he finally caught his breathe and calmed down.

It wouldn't do him any good to make Yukina suspicious of why he went on a rampage just when she was kidnapped. As far as she was concerned, it was just a coincidence. After all, they weren't even friends in her mind, merely acquaintances. Hiei had no idea that Yukina had realized some time ago that the testy hybrid was her brother. She was just waiting for him to come to her and tell her…

"Okay, gangs all here. Let's get down to business!" Koenma said as he strolled into the room. Kagome and Inuyasha blinked at the pompous toddler.

This was the boss?

Maikai

Meanwhile, at Lord Sesshoumaru's Palace…

"Jaken, I won't lose her again," Sesshoumaru told his retainer silkily. "I will find a way to prevent her death. Time has given me another chance to save my sister."

"Of course, milord!" the toad squawked in agreement with his idol.

"The spirit detectives may be the key. If they can provide enough manpower…" Sesshoumaru trailed off, thinking.

"Especially with Youko Kurama, Lord Sesshoumaru!" Jaken tried to be supportive and contribute.

'Youko Kurama?' Sesshoumaru thought to himself dangerously, remembering the fox demon that had fallen in love with Kagome before her death. The fox demon that never had a chance to tell her of his feelings before she sacrificed herself…

"He may work well into my plans," Sesshoumaru agreed. "Jaken, you are dismissed."

Sesshoumaru turned from his retainer. He had a lot of thinking to do. His brother could go to hell for all he cared, and he meant that quite literally. Kagome needed her entire soul, so Kikyo's unlife would be forfeit. But the spirit detective team could provide the extra manpower against Naraku in the past that would save Kagome's life. Now, he just had to find some way for the well to allow them passage…