Let Sleeping Foxes Lie


"What about your... other half?"

"Oh, him," he said casually, as if it were entirely unimportant. "We made a... a deal, if you will. I don't think he completely realized what he was getting into."

"But... I mean... where is he now?"

"I'm not entirely sure. I had to overpower him pretty completely in order to retain control for long enough to do what I need. You can probably guess how thorough I am. I figured it would not leave him unscathed when he came out again... assuming he came out at all."

I gulped. "So... does that mean... he could be...?"

He waved a handed carelessly. "Dead, yes, but not in the traditional sense, obviously."


I woke up in a cold sweat. I wasn't entirely sure what I had been dreaming, but whatever it was, it wasn't pleasant. Groaning slightly, I sat up and put a hand to my forehead. Haven't had any nightmares for a long time now. But... I frowned, wracking my memory for what I had dreamed while under the effects of that Ku-something potion. That wasn't exactly pleasant, either. But I almost never get nightmares. What could be bothering me so much? I mentally reached into my imagination, searching for something to grasp, even the tiniest fragments of the dream. I only came up with vague emotions, but it was enough to rule out the subject of most of my few nightmares. Well, my 9th grade English teacher wasn't there, so that's not it. What was really weird, though, was that I didn't recall consciously knowing I was dreaming. Usually, I would figure it out within the first few minutes of the dream, regardless of how real it seemed. But this...it didn't even seem real. I felt like it was real, except it shouldn't be. But it was. But it couldn't be. But it was anyway. But...

I groaned again and shook my head. Now I'm just not making sense. I absently glanced at my alarm clock (which I never bothered to set, as I would turn it off in my sleep anyway) and blinked a couple times at the glowing green numbers. 10:56. Then I shrieked.

"Oh my god! School!"

I shot out of bed and rapidly changed my clothes. As I was comically hopping out of my room on one bare foot, trying to get my sock on the other foot, I almost ran into Kurama.

I glared at him as best I could in my position. "Hmw hmwh hm mwmh mm hwm?" I blinked, then took the sock out of my mouth. I was about to repeat myself coherently when I realized a little too late that the hand I had used had previously been keeping me upright from its station on the door frame. So I said, quite clearly due to the lack of sock, "Gah!" and fell over backwards.

"It's Sunday," said Kurama.

I looked up at him, completely unembarrassed, before collapsing on my back, arms spread-eagle, much like I had a little after waking up from the first bizarre nightmare. Then I blinked. That's right. The dream. I sat up again, the pain in my posterior forgotten.

"Hello? Aya?" I blinked for the millionth time as I realized a crouching Kurama was waving a hand in front of my face.

"Huh?" I said intelligently.

"You were looking thoughtful. Are you okay?"

I nodded, not entirely sure if that was an insult or not, and we both stood. "Yeah, just a little half-asleep," I lied. "I'm awake now, though. Da," I added cheerfully, "breakfast time now!" Kurama wisely stepped aside and I half-ran down the stairs, stopping at the bottom as something occurred to me. I turned my head to call back up the steps, "Ne, Kitsune-san, where is everyone?"

"Out," was the ever-informative reply.

I snorted and continued into the kitchen. What to eat...? Oh! I know! "Toast!" I yelled out loud. I skipped over to the pantry, got out two pieces of wheat bread, skipped over to the toaster, and preformed the complicated ritual of placing the bread in the slots and pushing down the lever. I suddenly remembered something, and, not wanting to just sit there, ran back over to the bottom of the stairs. "Hey, Kurama!" I yelled up them oh-so-politely.

I heard a door slip open and Kurama came into view. "What?"

"What do you put in a toaster?"

"Bread."

"Wrong! It's-" I stopped, then glared. "You messed it up!"

"Messed what up?"

"You were supposed to say 'toast'!"

"Why would you do that if it's already toasted?"

"Shut up!" He smirked down at me, letting me know that he knew exactly what I had been intending and was deliberately being annoying, and I turned on my heel and marched back to the kitchen. As soon as I reached the sacred toaster, my pout disappeared and I knelt in front of it "Okay," I said to myself, "I will not jump and shriek when the toast pops up. I am expecting it. It will not be a surprise of any kind and will therefor not startle me. I will not jump and shriek." I continued muttering, concentrating on the knowledge that the toast would, in fact, eventually pop up.

It popped up.

I jumped and shrieked.

This was just not my day.


It was now evening, and as I lounged on the couch in the living room, all I could think about was how utterly bored I was.

It was all I could talk about, too. "I'm bored!" I whined loudly for the millionth time.

"Aya?" came Kurama's voice from an armchair, where he was trying to read. Keyword: trying.

"Yeah?"

"Shut up," he ordered calmly, causing me to snicker. I had just found something to do: annoy Kurama.

"Hey, Kitsune?"

"What?"

"Were you and Kuronue, like, you know..." I trailed off.

His eye twitched. "No."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Really really?"

"Yes."

"Really really re-"

"Aya, shut up." I snickered again. There was a silence.

"Kurama?"

"What?"

"I'ma go to Genkai's temple."

"In the dark? Alone?"

"Yup."

He sighed. "Don't."

"Why not?" I asked in an annoyingly childish voice.

"You'll get kidnapped or something."

"Like by Misako?"

"No, not by Misako..."

"So Misako's not gonna kidnap me?"

"I doubt it."

"Oh. Well, I guess that means I can go, then."

"Aya." He slowly set his book down, his expression clearly stating that he had been reading the same sentence over and over again for the past fifteen minutes, and he was at the climax, and he was never going to finish the chapter, so he would never finish the book, so he'd never know how it ended, and it would torment him for the rest of time, and he would eventually end up gouging his eyes out with a spoon, and it would be all my fault. "Why do you want to go, anyway?" he said instead.

As per usual, I said the first thing that came to mind. "The blue pineapples. They fly." And, as per usual, the first thing that came to mind made absolutely no sense. So, I chose to also say the second thing that came to mind, this one making sense. "I was just thinking I'd take Kuronue up on his offer."

I could just barely hear a hint of nervousness as he asked, "What offer?"

"Oh, you know," I said casually, waving an hand. "He said maybe he could train me to be a halfway-decent Ningenkai thief. You were there."

He put his hand over his eyes and mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "Oh, Inari..." Hand still in place, he said more loudly, "Aya, Kuronue is not going to train you to be a thief."

"Why not?"

"Because I said so."

"That's not a good enough reason."

"I don't care."

"What if you trained me instead?"

"No."

"Then I guess I'll have to get Kuronue." I smiled evilly, then stood up and strolled over to the door. "I'm going now," I sang over my shoulder. He said nothing. I looked forward again as I slowly turned the doorknob. "I'm turning the knob. The door is opening. I am stepping out the door..."

"Actually," came Kurama's voice, though it sounded oddly different.

I turned around, closing the door, as I didn't really want to go outside, anyway. "What?"

"Maybe I'll take you up on that."

I took a couple tentative steps towards him, confused. "What?" I couldn't see him, as the large, wingback chair was facing away from the door.

"The training..."

I moved so that I was standing a couple feet behind him. "Uh, Kitsune, I was kidding," I said, almost nervously. He slowly rose.

My eyes widened.

I could see him now.

He turned. "I know." Golden eyes flashed mischievously as they looked at me appraisingly. "You know," said a rather deeper voice, "I really should thank you. You've apparently annoyed Shuichi enough to let me out."

"You mean..." My brow furrowed. "I made him snap?" At his nod, my face split into a jubilant smile and I punched the air victoriously. "I did it! I finally did it! The calm, patient Minamino Shuichi has finally snapped! I am just that good! Oh, yeah!" I then caught sight of his smirk and froze, still smiling. "Oh, crap."

"Indeed," said Youko Kurama.

"Stupid Hiei," I mumbled under my breath. "Stupid manipulative little bastard... hope he's having fun..."

"Hiei?" Of course, Youko, with his superior hearing, still heard. He cocked his head slightly to one side, still smirking. "Did he warn you?"

"...No," I lied.

"You're a terrible lier."

"If I'd wanted your opinion, I'd have asked for it."

"You certainly got sour fast."

I glared, my fists clenched at my sides. "I'm a hormonal teenage girl! I'm allowed to have mood swings!" I shook my head, massaging my temple, and started for the stairs. "I... I'm going to bed," I said to no one in particular.

Youko, however, apparently had other plans, as he intercepted me. "It's only 8:30."

I stepped sideways to get around him. "That's night. Therefor I can sleep."

He moved in front of me again. "You said you were bored."

"I am. And I can amuse myself with my dreams." Another sidestep, this time in the other direction. Again, he moved in front of me, except... closer. Much closer. Too close for comfort. I stared up at him, fighting to remain calm and aloof.

He really wasn't helping with that, though. "How about you amuse me, instead?" he suggested in a low, soft voice.

Sexyfoxsexyfoxsexyfoxsexyfox aaaaaaaah damnit! "How about I don't?"

"You were perfectly content to use Shuichi as your entertainment, earlier. It would only be fair to return the favor."

"Life isn't fair. And don't stand so close to me."

"Why not?"

"You're making my neck hurt, you tall freak."

He smiled amusedly, shaking his head slowly, and backed away. "Very well."

I unconsciously let out a small sigh of relief and walked—rather quickly, I might add—upstairs and into my room, clicking the lock shut behind me. I didn't know why he had given up so easily, but hey, don't look the gift horse in the mouth, right? I retrieved my laptop from my desk and carried it over to my bed, then lay down on my stomach, opened it (the laptop, not my stomach), and turned it on.

I began to bring up the 'net and a fanfiction I had been meaning to finish reading since before I came to Japan, but stopped. Someone had just silently made his presence known just behind me and a little to one side. I turned, and even though I knew he was there, I jumped and proceeded to fall off the opposite side of the bed. Quickly recovering, I climbed back on and eyed him suspiciously. "How'd you get in here? I locked the- oh." It was the same raised eyebrow I had seen many times, but on Youko, it was many times more annoying. "Never mind. Just get out. This is kind of my room, you know."

He gave me yet another smirk. "But it's not your house."

I just managed to keep from snarling as I said, "Fine, stay. I don't care. I won't be doing anything interesting, anyway." I lay back down and began to read:

Kagome didn't know what Naraku was planning, but it obviously wasn't anything that would be good news for-

Kagome didn't know what Naraku was planning, but it obviously wasn't anything that would be good news for herself and the others. Inuyasha, meanwhile, was still-

Inuyasha, meanwhile, was still hung up over Kikyo, and was almost completely-

-almost completely oblivious to everything else. At this, Kagome sighed. She would never measure up to the-

At this, Kagome sighed. She would never-

Kagome sighed. She-

I threw my hands into the air and sat up, whipping my head around to glare at a certain fox. "Will you stop that?"

He smiled, about as innocently as, well, a legendary kitsune demon thief. "Stop what?"

"Damnit!"

"What goes around comes around," he said smoothly.

"Oh, bite me," I said, then noticed his raised eyebrow. "Not literally! Jeez! You know what?" I added, "I am going to finish this chapter! Tonight!"

"Such an ambitious goal."

"It is with you in the room," I mumbled.

Of course, Youko heard. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means nya," I replied, sticking out my tongue.

"Don't stick out your tongue unless you're going to use it."

The aforementioned appendage quickly reverted into my mouth. I glared at him, then turned back around and glared instead at the words staring back at me from my laptop, without actually reading them. Well, I was sort of reading them. Ka...kagome... s... that's an 'i'... Kagome sigh...ed... she... she... she what? She... is Youko Kurama... "Gah!"

"I wasn't going to say anything," said Kagome—no, Kurama, "but you're blushing, you know."

"I am not!" I insisted rather too quickly, with the sinking feeling that I was blushing even more. "Aya never blushes."

"She is now."

"It's hot in here! I'm hot! I get hot easily! I...I'm going to turn on the fan!" I said, very loudly. I got up noisily, stomped over to the fan on my cluttered desk, turned it on, stomped back to my bed, climbed on, sat down, and glared at my laptop once more, not once looking at the kitsune I just knew was smirking at me. I could feel my eye twitching.

"Better?" inquired Youko 'sweetly'.

"Get out!" I screamed at him. He cringed slightly, shrugged, and, giving off the impression that it was completely his own idea, left. I heaved a great sigh of relief as got up and closed the door behind him. After a moment's thought, I pushed my bed in front of the door. Good luck getting in without me noticing now, I thought, snickering to myself. It was a short lived satisfaction, though.

"I see you've reorganized." I shrieked and whirled around to see... Yukina! No, it was Youko Kurama. "Isn't it a bit inconvenient, though? With the bed right in front of the door like that, I mean."

"How did you-" I started, then glanced at the now-open window. I gave a soft whimper, then closed my eyes and took a couple deep breaths. After a moment, I managed to say, "Thanks so much for opening the window. Very clever. Natural air-conditioning. Be a dear and turn off the fan for me, will you?" Two could play at this game, right?

Much to my surprise, the fan clicked off. I turned, to see none other than Hiei. "Don't waste energy," he said with his mouth, though he was clearly saying something completely different with his look.

"Ah, Hiei-san. So very nice to see you. I'd make tea, if not for the bed presently blocking my doorway. Kitsune-san is right. It is quite inconvenient, isn't it? Ha ha."

He ignored me and turned to Kurama. "There's not much more you can do without going too far."

"Who says I'm afraid to go too far?" he replied suggestively.

"Ha ha! Gosh, I'm thirsty! I'm going to get a drink of water! Ha ha! Ha!" Remembering that the door opened outward, I opened it, stepped off my bed, fell down into the hall, laughed loudly, and noisily walked downstairs.

Without thinking too much, I mechanically went to the kitchen, stuck my head in the sink, and turned the faucet on. (No need to get a glass dirty, right? It's like a drinking fountain.) After a good, long drink, during which most of the water refreshingly dripped all over my face, I turned it off, started to rise, bumped my head hard on the faucet, said "Ow," and stood up, rubbing a forming bump on my cranium. I stood there for a moment. My immediate line of thought was as follows: Guuuuuuuuuuh.

I shook my head to clear it of the tapioca pudding that had made it its new home and started up the stairs. Que sera sera.

I hesitantly turned the nob and opened the door, bracing myself... to see only Hiei? I looked at him questioningly.

"I reminded him he'd want to see Kuronue," was his answer.

I'll look the gift horse in the mouth if I damn well want to. "Why do I doubt he'd give up that easily?"

"If you must know, he said he'd save it for another time."

"Lovely. Well, thanks, Hiei-san. I trust you found it amusing?"

The corner of his mouth twitched upwards. "Very." And he was gone.

I sighed and wandered over to the window and closed it, then looked back at my room. Well, time to move the bed back... and finish that fanfiction.


A/N: What can I say? Life's been hectic.

11/25/05

Fixed a typo, yo.