Notes: Don't ask why I did this. I'm not even sure WHAT it is.
Summary: An unlikely game of hide-and-seek teaches Kagura a lesson about respecting her elder.
An InuYasha Something Or Other by
Nate Grey (XMAN0123-at-aol-dot-com)
Kagura was in one of her foul moods as she soared deeper into the forest. It was all Naraku's fault, as usual. He just chose the worst times to develop a sense of humor. Despite that, he was never funny at all, and always assumed that her not laughing was because she didn't get the joke. For someone so intelligent, she thought her master could be incredibly foolish.
"Kagura," he'd said earlier, "go and bring Kanna to me. I have something to give her."
She had replied with her usual malice, "Can't you just summon her here?"
"Of course," Naraku replied smoothly, "but I have no desire to. Besides, I asked you."
"I don't recall you asking me anything," she'd spat.
He had smiled. "I asked you before." He'd lifted his hand, drawing her heart out of thin air. "Don't make me order you this time. It would not be…pleasant for you."
Needless to say, she had gone out to find Kanna at that point.
In spite of her best efforts, there was a side of Kagura that was quite fond of Kanna. Yet, at the same time, there was another that easily found her to be very annoying. She thought perhaps it was something specifically of Naraku's design, in order to make Kagura love and/or hate Kanna at any given moment.
Kanna was no real help, as she often said or did things to infuriate her sister. For one thing, she NEVER came when she was called, not even if Naraku himself summoned her. As such, it was useless to call her name when searching for her, or to expect any sort of reply. Still, there was nothing else to do. Kanna was a void, and so she had no scent or energy signature to follow. Why Naraku didn't make her wear a bell was beyond Kagura (but then, he generally sent HER to fetch Kanna).
Kagura had discovered that the best way to find Kanna was to wait until night fell. Despite her being a void, Kanna sometimes gave off an ethereal glow at night, either because of something she intentionally did, or because of her mirror, which she was never without. Kagura suspected it was from all the souls she regularly collected.
At any rate, only so many creatures gave off that kind of light, and nearly all of them were soul devourers, in one way or another.
Kanna knew very well that Kagura was searching for her. She did not even need her mirror to know that.
All the same, she watched with unchanging eyes as Kagura gradually came closer to that night's hiding place, gliding and twirling along on one of her enlarged feathers.
There was a loud, droning buzz at Kanna's ear, and one of Naraku's Saimyoushou landed on the edge of her mirror, as if trying to peer into it.
"Hello, little buggy. Has otousan sent you to spy on me?" She tapped the mirror with a small, pale finger, coaxing the insect onto the enchanted glass. "Or have you come to watch Kagura with me?"
Apparently dissatisfied with the viewpoint, the insect flew up to perch lightly on her shoulder.
Instantly, she was surrounded by an entire swarm of them, apparently attracting them with her acceptance of the one. That was hardly their fault; Naraku only rarely gave them praise, and they could not help but be attracted to their fellow offspring.
In truth, Kanna did not mind the insects at all. She thought of them as tiny but effective helpers. While Shinidamachuu, like Kikyo's, would have been more appropriate for her soul collecting, Naraku wanted nothing around that reminded him of the miko his former self had desired. Which Kanna thought odd, especially since she, too, collected souls, and had been by Naraku's side longer than any of his other offspring.
Kanna returned her gaze to the mirror, where Kagura was closing in now. "Fly, little buggies," she whispered, watching as the insects removed themselves from her presence with haste. She suspected that they feared Kagura, as the wind sorceress was likely to strike them down without thinking when in one of her moods. Naraku never berated her for it, as it required almost no effort for him to make more.
Minutes later, Kagura marched into the clearing. She paused, her gaze traveling around before she finally thought to look up. If she was surprised to see Kanna staring down at her from a high tree branch, she did not show it.
"Were you looking for me, imouto?" Kanna asked.
Kagura glared at her. "You know very well that I was."
"Yes," Kanna agreed, but did not appear to be at all concerned.
Barely holding in the growl that rushed to her lips, Kagura motioned slightly with her fan, summoning winds to raise herself to Kanna's perch. "Are you coming or not?" she demanded.
Kanna merely looked at her.
Kagura sighed in frustration. "I'm sorry if I was rude," she said at length.
Kanna said nothing.
"Did you hear-"
"Yes," said Kanna, but she had gone back to studying her mirror.
Kagura frowned. "Then do you accept my apology?"
There was a long pause.
"Well, do you?"
"Did you mean it?" Kanna asked.
Kagura hesitated. "Yes, I did."
"Then I accept your apology."
Kagura seemed relieved. "So now will you-"
Kagura's crimson eyes bulged in anger. "I am losing my patience with you, Kanna."
"What good will that do?" Kanna asked. "If you dared to strike me, you would only find your attack reflected back at you. Not to mention what otousan would do to you."
Kagura bit her lip. "That…creature is NOT my-"
"Without him, we would not exist. You would do well to remember that."
"I would rather not exist at all than to do so as a slave!" Kagura cried.
"Do you mean that?" Kanna asked, studying her sister carefully.
Kagura backed away the slightest bit. "What…?" There was something in Kanna's gaze at that moment that frightened her. The girl had never looked more like Naraku's offspring.
"Do you mean that?" Kanna repeated, holding up her mirror to reveal Naraku's frowning face. "He has given me permission to separate your soul from your body at any time, if you so desired it of me."
Kagura swallowed noisily. "You would do it, wouldn't you?"
"If you wished it of me, imouto. Or if he commanded me to. But rest assured that he would have to command me first."
"Why?" Kagura asked softly.
"I suppose I have grown accustomed to your presence." Kanna lowered her mirror to her lap. "I do believe that I would miss you…if you were gone. As much as a void could miss anyone, that is."
Kagura held out her hand. "Kanna, please come back with me now. It wouldn't be wise to make him wait any longer than we already have."
Kanna didn't move. "Do we get to ride on one of your feathers?"
"Come along and we'll see," Kagura replied, smiling faintly. Conveying emotion in any way was beyond her sister, but Kagura sensed something in the question that made her far less angry with Kanna than she had been.
Kanna stood up and took her sister's hand far too easily, especially considering they almost never touched each other. The girl rarely took even one hand away from her mirror; it was that much a part of her entire existence.
"Why…do you never come when I call you, Kanna?" Kagura asked as they slowly descended to the ground on phantom winds. "Why don't you answer me?"
"I don't know. I am compelled to answer no one but otousan." Kanna paused. "But every minute you spend searching for me is another minute you don't have to spend in his presence. Perhaps that is why wander, imouto: to make you happy, to make you feel free."
"In as much as a void could do those things for someone else, related or otherwise," Kagura replied with a smirk.
Kanna nodded. "Of course."
"I am beginning to think that you are not such a perfect void anymore, Kanna," Kagura said as she drew a feather from her hair and enlarged it with a gust of wind. "But I think, perhaps, that you would make an excellent little sister."
Perhaps because she was not a perfect void, Kanna recognized the complement for what it was. But she was void enough that the thought of smiling never occurred to her.
Saimyoushou: Naraku's bugs. I've also seen them referred to as hell bees, hell's insects, wasps, and most commonly, poisonous insects. They look like wasps to me. I tend to think of wasps as being more vicious than bees (from personal experience…), and since these things can take down an overgrown Shikon-possessed bear cub, they are obviously very dangerous (and not just to Miroku, either).
Shinidamachuu: Kikyo's soul collectors
No idea how Kanna would address Naraku. I'm assuming otousan (she is his "offspring"), Naraku-san, or Naraku-sama. I'm guessing she generally refers to him as otousan…but never to his face.