Disclaimer: I do not own Princess Mononoke or any of the other characters that might make an appearance in this story.

Hello again! I'm HakushoRurouni and I've finally got another chapter for Premonitions! Anywayz, thanks to those of you who have reviewed so far, and here's chapter three!

Ch.3- Strangers?

Later that day after a quick breakfast, Ashitaka and San opted to take a walk through the forest to pass the time. Well, everything was going fine until about forty minutes later when they heard the loud talking of another human being. There had not been another human in the forest (with the exception of Ashitaka and San), ever since the incident with the Forest Spirit. They had, so far, left the forest in peace.

"Humans! In the forest! Ashitaka you said that you had specifically told them to stay out of the forest except for extreme emergencies!" San hissed angrily.

"I did San, that was the first thing I told them when I went to talk to Eboshi after the incident. I'm sure she would stick to her word." He argued calmly.

"Well…damn!" San cursed, not able to think of anything to counter with. "I guess they live."

"Thank you." Ashitaka whispered as he kissed her forehead.

"If it weren't for you…"

"If it weren't for me, you would still be at war with Eboshi." He said in a matter of fact voice.

"I wouldn't mind that." She replied. Ashitaka looked at her and then asked,

"Would you?" That made San shut up. "Let's just go and see who it is first." Said Ashitaka pulling her towards the voices.

As they delved deeper and deeper into the forest, Toki noticed that it was getting harder to keep Koroku from taking off back toward Iron Town.

"Toki, sweetness, could we please go back now?" he asked desperately. "Ashitaka told us to stay out of the forest so we don't anger the gods."

"You idiot, Ashitaka did tell us to steer clear of the forest, but you're missing the most crucial part," she shot back angrily, "he also said, and I put emphasis on also, that we could come into the forest if we needed to, to find he and San if it was an emergency. And trust me, this is an emergency." Finished Toki.

Koroku still hated his situation, but he kept his mouth shut.

After ten minutes of silent searching, Koroku couldn't stand it anymore, and said, rather loudly to Toki, "But we probably won't even find any trace of Ashitaka, Toki. We're not exactly experienced trackers you know."

"Lady Eboshi said that if we went in deep enough that we wouldn't have to find them, they'd find us." Retorted Toki.

"And she was right." Said Ashitaka through the clump of bushes he had been hiding behind.

Koroku screamed in fright at his sudden appearance and hid behind Toki.

San emerged next, rolling her eyes with a snarl on her face, obviously displeased at the idea of talking to an idiot.

Finally, seeming to finally realize who was talking, Koroku peered out from behind his wife and said,

"Ashitaka, don't do that to me," he said in a pleading voice, "I can't handle stuff like that like I used to."

Toki's response was not one of surprised shock, but of labored elation. "Well, hello to you too Ashitaka, and I see San is well as well."

San nodded curtly and said sharply, "Why are you in the forest human?"

Toki looked not offended, but tired as though it labored her to speak, however she spoke firmly, "With all due respect San, I'd rather you call us by our names then by 'human'."

San looked slightly taken aback, but then recovered, "Why should I?" she asked dangerously as though daring Toki to speak again.

"Because we don't mean any harm and I think we should try to start over, even though I know that it will take a while to completely trust any human, other than Ashitaka. I want to be the first to offer my friendship to you San, because honestly, I'm sick of everyone living in fear of an impending attack from the forest we know isn't going to happen."

She held out her hand for San to shake it. San stared at it for a minute, then slowly and hesitantly, she gently grasped Toki's hand and they shook.

Ashitaka was smiling through the whole thing. Finally someone was starting to make progress other than him.

Toki now turned to Ashitaka, "Ashitaka, Lady Eboshi has sent us here with an urgent message." She spoke once again, in an exhausted voice.

It was only now that Ashitaka noticed how round she was beginning to get, and finally, he put two and two together as realization struck him.

"Toki, you're pregnant!" he said with concern, "You know that you shouldn't be out here!"

Toki however was not one to be mislead from her goal. She ignored Ashitaka's statement and said, "Ashitaka, San, Lady Eboshi says that both of you must come to Iron Town immediately."

"Why? What's happened?" Ashitaka asked.

"She wouldn't tell me specifics, just that it was extremely urgent." Replied Toki. "We do have a vague idea as to why though. Last night at around midnight, four riders arrived at Iron Town requesting to talk to Lady Eboshi at once." She paused and then continued, "The men on guard duty asked them why they needed to see her and they said that their reasons were strictly confidential."

She looked over towards a still cowering Koroku and shook her head. She pressed on nonetheless.

"Well, naturally we thought they were lying, so we didn't let them in. The ruckus had woken Lady Eboshi by then and she came out to see what was going on. Well as soon as she heard them speak of "confidential" stuff, she told us to let them in."

Toki paused again, at this point so as to allow Ashitaka and San the chance to digest the information. When they nodded at her, she continued,

"Well after we let them in, she led them right to her quarters and started conversing with them. When she was done, she called for me and told me to go and find you two. So naturally I grabbed Koroku here and headed out."

Ashitaka looked at San. "Fine." She said after a minute's staring contest and her curiosity had gotten the better of her, "But only to see what these strangers want."

As they set off following Toki and Koroku, Ashitaka saw Toki begin to stagger as they made their way back through the woods. Worried he whistled for Yakkul. A moment of silence, and then a great Red Elk emerged from the trees.

"Toki, Yakkul is going to carry you back the rest of the way alright?" She tried to argue, but Ashitaka, Koroku, and surprisingly San, were all concerned about her well being.

"Fine, fine. I'll ride him, but this is the last time." She said indignantly climbing onto the elk's back.

An hour later, they could see the newly built city of Iron Town looming over them in the distance. It no longer spouted smoke into the sky, nor did the walls guarding it look threatening, it looked almost peaceful.

"It looks…different." Said San in slight surprise.

"Yes, ever since the Forest Spirit incident, and due to the fact that you and your brothers would kill anyone who entered the forest without your authorization, Lady Eboshi ordered it so that we could make out living another way." Said Toki simply.

"What do you guys do now to make a living?" asked Ashitaka.

"Well, mostly we've been weaving and growing some of our own crops to take to market so, we still have a pretty good income." Was the reply he received.

A/N: Well, there's chapter three for you all. It's not really a good place to leave off but the next chapter will be better. Anyways, thanks for reading and if you would be so kind, please leave a review! Laterz!