Thanks for all the reviews! I'm glad you guys are still reading, because this is going to make Return of the Bat sooo much easier. Remember how I said "unless it's with another OC"? Well, Kane, or my version of Kuronue, is, in his own way, an OC. Though, there won't be any huggy-mushy moments, Kai's not the mushy type and neither is he, there will be some sparks flying, course, that could be them flinging Napalm at each other... They're just alike, short tempers and stubborness included. It's sure to be fun... MUHUHUHAHAHAHA (ahem.)

OK, this is a brief stroll through Kai's feelings about saving the day. You'll see, pretty quick, that she isn't the type to dive in front of a bullet for someone (unless it's Touya). She wouldn't have a problem protecting someone she cared for, the thing is, she refuses to let anyone get that close.

I own nothing. Enjoy!

Kairi and Kurama walked through the last part of the Dark Forest. Kairi had been walking a few steps behind him. Though he probably thought that she was just unsure of which way to go, truth was, if they were attacked, he was going in first...

"After we pass the forest, there is an ancient battlefield. Most of it is swampland. I would suggest going around, considering your footwear," Kurama said, making reference to the stilettos.

"I can fix that little problem." She reached to a small, black bag that was clipped to her belt loop. It looked like one of those miniature backpack change purses/key-chain combinations. When she had it in hand, there was a small swirling of energy, and the bag turned into a full-sized backpack. She flipped up the top and reached inside. Kurama, curious now, looked in. It appeared to be empty...

She pulled out what was, without a doubt, the most conspicuous looking crystal Kurama had ever seen. It lit up the forest for a good 10 feet all around them, changing colors all the while. She held it tightly in her hand, her fingers blocking out all but a little of it's luminescent glow, and closed her eyes. The next thing Kurama knew, it looked like her body was changing color...

A few seconds later, Kurama saw what had happened. Her body hadn't changed color; she had changed clothes. She was no longer in the little denim skirt and vest she had wore while "blending in" down in town. She was now decked out in black, patent leather; a halter top, and hot-pants, both with chrome zippers up the front, and on her feet, were knee-high, boots that matched the ensemble. He noticed that the boots were still heels, but these were broad. He thought that he'd heard girls call these "chunky" heels. Whatever they were, they were better than the toothpicks she'd been walking on a few minutes before. It was also kind of hard to miss the tattoo on the left side of her midriff, and the dangling, jeweled navel ring, though he couldn't make out details of either one before the crystal's light faded.

"Might I ask what that is?"

"I don't know what it actually is. I got it from an old friend."

"You know how to use it, yet, you don't know what it is?"

"My friend is a witch. I saved her from being killed by an angry mob. Since then, we made a little arrangement," she explained as she returned the crystal and the bag to their original locations. "I travel all over the Demon World, so she sends me lists of ingredients to find while I'm out. When I swing by her neck of the woods, she trades me whatever weird little odds and ends she doesn't use."


"You have noooo idea..."

"I'm curious," Kurama said as they started walking again. "How did you manage to save her from a mob? Please, don't take offense to this, but you hardly seem like a fighter..."

"You promise you won't get freaked out?"

"Why would I?"

"Not giving an answer until you know what I'm gonna say?"

Kurama remained silent, but he did give a small smile. She'd caught him trying to avoid that. She kept reminding him of Touya...

"Look, I'm not going to be a threat to you or anyone else around here if no one tries to attack me. Now can you promise not to freak?"

"As long as I'm not put in any danger, I suppose so."

She smiled a little. He was still leaving himself a loop-hole, but she hardly had room to talk. She decided to answer him. "They were all low-classes. Most of them were farmers. I used my song. Once they were under the spell, all I had to do was slit a few throats. I didn't exactly do it for her. They thought I was in league with her. They were planning to burn me at a stake right beside of her. I didn't have much choice."

"Your song? Then I would take it that when you said you were a sea nymph, you meant a siren?"

"Yep. Now you know why I'm cautious. The sailors gave us a bad rep. Now everyone wants to kill us because they're afraid of what we could do to 'em."

"Understandable. I've heard many of the old fish stories myself, but I've never put much stock in what I heard from a drunken sailor."

Kairi laughed. She had been waiting to see Touya before she told any details of her past. She knew that most people would be a bit unnerved by not only what she was by her genetic make-up, but by her adventures, mentality, and former occupation as well. She might have been part angel, but a saint? Not even close...

She felt as if she could trust this boy, though. Not entirely, of course. She didn't trust anyone that well. That was a quick way to find a knife in your back; she knew from experience. But he did seem to be smart enough to use reason. He wasn't the type to get panicked and start swinging before he was given substantial evidence that there was a need to do so.

The front of the forest was in sight, but Kurama stopped abruptly, causing Kairi to nearly bump into his back. He grew deathly quiet, and Kairi quickly caught on to what was wrong.


"Too quiet," Kairi finished for him.

He looked around, trying to find the reason for the sudden silence. He caught a glance of Kairi's face as he did. Her eyes were narrowed in concentration. There wasn't the slightest hint of emotion in them now. It was almost the same look that had been there when he was approaching her earlier, only now, she wasn't bothering to feign any other expressions as a guise. She probably didn't know that he'd caught her doing so earlier, but he knew the look she'd had. She'd been sizing him up from the time he'd made his presence known. Her face had hinted that she was a foolish girl, but her eyes had been entirely empty. She had been using cold. Stoic logic.

He knew, because he was a master of the art.

There was a tiny slushing sound up ahead. It was so faint that a normal person would've missed it entirely, but two sets of eyes narrowed in that direction. Kurama was the first to take a step forward. He moved slowly and silently toward the string of seals and wards that marked the edge of the forest. Whatever was making that sound was in the swamp.

"Heeeere foxy, foxy, foxyyyy...," a strange voice called from up ahead. Unbeknownst to Kurama, Kairi's old nickname had been Foxy. Those who gave it to her later started referring to her as Vixie. The problem was, that the ones who had given her that nickname, were her enemies. She was hoping that whoever this was, was talking to the actual fox, and not the girl who was just known for being crazy like one...

"That's right Kurama, I know you're there," the voice said.

'Cool. Long as it's not my ass they're plannin' to fry...,' Kairi thought. She was just going to sit this one out. Anything came her direction, kill it. She wasn't exactly big on turning herself into a martyr. Nobody had ever protected her in this world. Unless she had given her word to do otherwise, she repaid that favor...

Kurama withdrew a single rose from his hair. Kairi recognized this trick. It was the same type of weapon one of her friends used back home. Unlike her other "friends," this one, she actually considered a true friend, not just a familiar acquaintance. He was a spirit fox, just like Baldok had said this boy once was. If she was right, this was just one of his tricks.

That's when it hit her. Kurama; spirit fox; rose whip; he was about the right age...! Ko had told her for years that Yoko Kurama had once been his rival. They fought almost identical. The only thing that separated them was experience, where, due to their ages, Yoko had an advantage. Ko had been trained in the mountains by his master, and when he came down, he had became a bandit. He'd never even heard of Yoko Kurama; not until people started calling him a "wanna be." This had sparked a flame in Ko, and he began to compete with Yoko, in all things. They weren't enemies, exactly. They were so much alike that it more resembled sibling rivalry than anything else. Ko was one of the few men who had known, and opposed, Yoko, and lived to tell about it, due in large part to the fact that Yoko found him amusing.

She started recalling all the tales she'd heard about Yoko. As she did, she started watching every move Kurama made. She took note of every step, every movement of his eyes, every breath. If he was who she thought he was...

Oh, she was going to have fun with this...

Next chappie: Kurama's in trouble again... Everyone is starting to notice how many problems I'm givin' him here lately... MUHUHUHAHA (cough,cough) Anyway, whatcha think? And if you like Kai, like I said, she's about to get dragged into Return of the Bat, my Kuronue fic. And trust me, Kuronue is going to HATE me... almost as much as Kurama does...