In the room, Miroku was once again all business. "Jumping countries will have deterred Naraku for the moment, but we must stay on our toes. We have to locate the princess and fast."

"That's very easy to say," I felt braver saying these words than I had any right to, "but honestly, how do you go about finding a mythical princess? Is she listed?"

That was the first time I saw an actual frown on Miroku's face. Certainly he'd looked - disgruntled at the brick's sudden entrance in my apartment, and the message it held, but the look that he wore now was nothing short of anger. "The prophesy says that she will be known to us, and she will bear the mark of Atlantis on her very soul."

"Ah, ah, ah, 'Roku. The prophesy says she will be known to you. It said nothing about us." Yellow eyes were filled with mischief as this new piece of information was let loose. For his part, Miroku looked defeated.

"Yes, she'll be known to me."

Kagome's puzzled face must have mirrored my own, "How are you supposed to pick up on her? By scent?"

Inuyasha howled with laughter, nearly falling off the edge of the mattress he was perched on, "No, no, not at all, 'Roku, tell 'em why you're gonna find the princess."

It was time for him to blush, an all together too charming expression for a face that beautiful. Fingers wove together tightly in his lap, speaking ever so slightly of his discomfort with the subject, knuckles turning the faintest shade of white. He cleared his throat and seemed to grasp for some semblance of control over his expression. "Erm – uh, I am, that is to say, I was, I mean -"

"-We're reincarnated members of the last court of Atlantis." said Inuyasha, looking for all the world as if he'd simply said something as normal as a comment on the weather.

Kagome's eyes widened tremendously, no doubt at the sudden revelation that her boy toy was funny farm material. "Reincarnated?"

His eyes met hers evenly, "More like Sailor Moon reincarnated than Hindu reincarnated. Some 25,000 years ago, me and Miroku lived on Atlantis, court officials for the princess we're supposed to find."

I think it was that point in the conversation my brain pan cracked, "And you know this how...?"

His answer was so matter of fact that I'd have almost believed him if it weren't so ridiculous, "I've seen it in my dreams for as long as I can remember, 'Roku too. In fact, we recognized each other when we first met."

"And you expect to remember the princess in the same way? You know what she looks like?" Kagome's voice held too much acceptance. She sounded as if she bought this load of crap. Me personally, I was wondering why the hell I let them drag me around the world.

"Aw, no, I have no memory of her, I mean, I was a bodyguard, her protector, but Miroku knew her much better than I did."

All eyes in the room swung to him, and he heaved a gusty sigh. "We were engaged."

"He's on a never-ending quest to save his girlfriend!" Inuyasha was crowing in joy from the bed, obviously enjoying this part of the oddysey of theirs. "It's too priceless."

"So you know what she looks like." Stated Kagome, still sounding too sure of their mental state.

Miroku winced, "No, I can't seem to remember her face, her touch, her scent, all of that I do remember, too clearly," His expression melted into one of sad remembrance, and even I could see, that crazy or no, Miroku's heart belonged completely to this dream woman. "The prophesy just states that I will know her for what she is, and together, we will bring back the golden age of Atlantis upon the Earth."

I couldn't stop the words from tumbling past my defenses quick enough, "You know, that sounds decidedly like Nazi propaganda."

"It's the opposite in fact," he said, this time not looking all that irritated, and more than a little relieved. "take Wicca for example."


He nodded once, "Wicca, the modern name for ancient practices. It's an Earth-centric faith, with the God and Goddess as its deities. Tied strongly with nature and the seasonal cycles of the Earth, at it's very core is the one mandate of Atlantis, 'Harm none'. In fact, in my own studies of the faith, I find it startlingly similar to the faith of Atlantis. Its against Antediluvian beliefs to strike or attack others."

Kagome's head quirked ever so slightly to the side in interest, "Wicca – like witches and that kind of stuff?"

"Eh, most Wiccans will tell you they're witches, and yes the faith does have a fundamental belief in magic, but don't confuse them with green skinned, wart wearing, broom riding old hags. That stereotype tends to offend. Anyway, Wiccans themselves were subject to a great persecution during the Spanish Inquisition, were many were burned or drowned, for we should not suffer a witch to live."

"Similar to the hatred the Brotherhood has for Atlantis?" He had the grace to smile in response to my question, and I felt the overwhelming feeling I'd recovered from my earlier abrasive comment. He may be clinically insane, but his explanation was sounding so – rational.

"Precisely such. But anyway, to the matter at hand. We need to find the princess."

"And we do this how?"

Inuyasha's answer was short, but made no sense, "New York."

Kagome was similarly confused, "We're going to New York?"

"No," Miroku smiled broadly, "We're going to pull a New York."

Nope, doesn't make anymore sense than it did the first time.

Fortunately for the short bus population in the room, he clarified, "If we put up posters, 'Wanted girls and women of all ages, sizes and body types for modeling' women come pouring out of the woodwork. We've done it before."

I couldn't help but roll my eyes, "Nothing personal, but you're a pig."

His eyes took on the same glint I'd seen the night before in my room, "I know."

With that, I'd had enough. I excused myself from the 'briefing' and retreated to the sanity of the adjoining room. He had a way of keeping me permanently off balance. Never before had I met anyone who could postulate the most insane theories and explain them so rationally. I won't deny that he has a magnetism, and insatiable charisma that makes him impossible to ignore, even for a stick in the mud like myself.

And even though I was certain he could be locked away safely in an institution for half the things he'd told me over the last 24 hours, I still had to spend a good five minutes telling the butterflies in my stomach to knock it off. I still had to quiet my nerves after the brief smile he'd given me. Oh God, I'm such a loser.

There was a soft knock on the door, but before I could answer it, it opened on its own. A bashful face belonging to one Mr. Houshi peaked through, "Convinced of my psychosis yet?"

I couldn't help but smile, "Maybe, but I'm worried about my own right now."

His eyebrow raised in confusion and he entered the room. I felt the mattress bow to his added weight, and tried hard to not blush at the near contact between the two of us, "What psychosis?"

I clamped my mouth shut, willing myself to not spill my guts to the man I barely knew, but then again, I never listen, "You name it, I've abandoned my job, ran from my apartment, flew halfway around the world, dragging my poor cousin away from school. All of this at the word of a guy I've none for little more than twenty four hours. I think that just about pays for a ticket to the funny farm."

"I do know how you feel, and I know how crazy the whole thing sounds. Trust me, I really do." He ran a hand through his hair, "Inuyasha's story is the same as mine. As long as I can remember, I've dreamed of Atlantis. I've seen my previous life there and it scared the living day lights out of me."


"Yeah, I mean, imagine it. When I was really little, it was a fairy tale place, a vision of sugar plums, if you will, to dance in my head. But as I grew older, the familiarity of it only deepened. I knew the world, and I knew my place in it. And though events would change, the story remained the same. The rules remained the same. I never had flying dreams, I never had dreams I could breathe underwater, I dreamt of Atlantis, and Atlantis alone."

"And her." I couldn't help it, it just slipped out.

He laughed, "Yeah, I dream of her too, but she was Atlantis. She was lost when the island sank, and she must surface before it can."

I played stupid on purpose, anything to continue the conversation, "Your past incarnation was engaged to an island?"

"No, the princess was just so tied to it. The whole royal family was and the connectivity of it hummed over the land. Atlantis remains buried because she does, lost in the guise of a modern woman. That's why it's so important I find her."

"I see." I don't think I really did at the time.

He squeezed my hand as he stood to go, "Don't worry, Sango, I'm not derranged, and I'm not going to hurt you. When we find her, you'll see it, and you can go back home, good as new."

Why was it, that at that moment, home seemed too far away from him?

Oh Folks, watch out, she's on a roll, and, as a side note, completely incapable of going to sleep without posting on this. Damnit.