Together Again

Chapter 8

"And he did?" She asked, flabbergasted, "just said, 'yes, you flesh devouring demon! So-and-so didn't come pray today so they need a good scare.'" Seshomaru gave a flicker of a smile and tilted his head to the side, satiny, ethereal silver hair tumbling down his chest armor, "not exactly but close enough."

Kagome rolled her eyes and turned to her brother and taking in his confused and cautious posture.

"Don't stress Go-chan!" She cried cheerfully, "This is surrogate brother numero uno! Sess-chan-dono-sama-kun!" The mighty Taiyoukai gave a cough and nodded his head to Gohan respectfully. "This Sessomaru is pleased to make your acquaintance." He said smoothly. Gohan shakily nodded back, the ki rolling of this 'Taiyoukai' was seriously freaking him out.

"Hai…" He muttered weakly. His sister turned back to Seshomaru and proceeded to give him a bone crushing hug. Feeling his spine crack, Seshomaru held back a wince and gave her a little squeeze back. "So what about Rin-chan?" The girl asked brightly.

"She is looking after the castle with Jaken," he replied shortly and reached behind him to grab his tail. Pulling it around to his front he revealed a rather dazed kit. "Shippou!" Kagome cried and tore the demon child off Seshomaru's tail and hugging him closely. "Okaa…" He muttered and clung to her. "Okaa, why'd you leave me with Dog Breath? He's always so mean to me!"

Looking into teary green eyes, Kagome apologized and gave him a peck on the forehead. Shippou snuggled in her arms. With her apology accepted, Kagome called Gohan over. "Go-chan, this is your nephew, Shippou! Shippou, this is your uncle, Go-chan!" Gohan hadn't thought it possible to smile too much, until now, too bright, too fake. He was reasonably startled when his twin thrust the kit into his arms with a "Make friends!" before leaving them and tugging Seshomaru away by the arm. Pulling him just a few feet away, she whispered, "what are you doing here?" Her question was met with a shake of Seshomaru's silvery head.

Taking that as a 'later', she breathed heavily and let his arm go. Kagome returned to her brother and son and took Shippou from Gohan's rigid arms. "Okaa, Okaa! Go-chan was talking about a tournament and said you were going to join! Can I join too, Okaa?" His pleading eyes were hard to bear but Kagome put her foot down, instantly reverting to mother mode. "Absolutely not! It's way too tough for you, these are people who train for years just to get a shot at it-"

"Goten's entering the children's division." Gohan interjected, succumbing to his nephew's puppy eyes. Kagome turned to him, surprised. "Children's Division?" She asked. "When did they come up with that?" Her brother rubbed his hair, goofy smile spreading over his face. "I don't know really, I only know about it since Goten is joining it. You know mom would never let him join the adult division." Kagome laughed, "No way, a runt like him would get clobbered, no matter how much he looks like Dad! Ah, that's right!" She smacked herself on the forehead lightly. "Where is Dad anyway? I haven't seen him yet."

The smile slid off Gohan's face as a serious frown took its place. "We need to talk about that." He made a move to enter the house but the glance he made toward Seshomaru and Shippou were a sign for them to wait outside. "Kitsune," Seshomaru said sharply as Shippou made to follow his mother, reaching out and grabbing by the tail to hold him upside down. Shippou screeched but a glare from the Taiyoukai quieted him and he watched Kagome enter the house.

Sitting down at the table, Kagome waited for Gohan to sit. He didn't. "A lot has happened since your last visit, Sis," He said quietly. Turning away, he continued, "there are a lot of details that I don't know how to explain but…Dad died." Kagome felt a small twinge in her heart.

"You couldn't bring him back with the Dragonballs, could you." She mumbled eyes down cast. Looking to her replied, "No, we couldn't." A pregnant pause followed. "But he's coming back."

Brown eyes shot up to meet his own black ones, questing him and asking him to explain. "Dad talked to us through a friend, he's been allowed by King Yama to return to fight in the tournament. Just one day, but he's coming back." Kagome nodded, heart twisting as it was unsure as to which emotion should come first: Grief for her father's death, or relief for his one-day sojourn back to the living. "Hai, thank you for telling me Gohan," a weak smile tugged at her lips and unshed tears were forced to remain still in her eyes. "It's not an easy subject to explain, I'm sure." The look in his eyes told her that she had missed a lot in the last couple of years, and she regretted it. A shrill screech from outside caught them both unaware.

"Kyaaaa! Who are you?!"

Jumping from her seat, Kagome ran out the door after her brother. The sight that met them was awkward to say the least. Chichi, brown bag of groceries fit to burst clutched in one arms with her fist raised threateningly at Seshomaru, brow twitching irately at her loud exclamation that no doubt rang in his ears as he stood towering over her.

"Mom!" Kagome started, "please, calm down-"

"Stay back kids!" Chichi growled, thrusting the groceries to the ground and picking up a fighting form, fists raised at the ready. "Go Mom!" Goten, right next to his older sister, called gleefully. "No!" Kagome shot back and looked to her mother. "Mom, this is my friend-"

"OH!" Chichi interrupted angrily. "So you're that friend who plans to drag my Kagome back home before we even get to have a proper day relaxing together, huh?" She ground her teeth viscously and very nearly stomped the ground with her foot. "I don't think so!"

"No no no no no no no NO!" Kagome cried, waving her arms in panic. "NO! This is his big brother, this Seshomaru-chan!" She through 'chan' in, hoping to ease up the tension in the air only to receive a malevolent glare from the Taiyoukai. "Ano, he's the nice one I told you about!" Gohan leaned in to whisper in her ear, 'Er, Sis…you didn't mention Seshomaru-san to mom…"

Gaping at him in horror, she rushed to her mother and dragged her back, arms hooked under Chichi's elbows. "Mom! He's the good guy here! He bashes Inuyasha into the ground weekly!" This got Chichi's attention, apparently, as she stopped her struggling and gave Seshomaru the look over. "He does, does he?" With a huff, she reached down to grab her groceries and moved to the front door. Waiting a moment she snapped, "Well? What are you all waiting for? GET INSIDE NOW!" The Son children all rushed in, Gohan muttering, "Mom's so scary" and were followed by Shippou and Seshomaru at a less hurried pace. Gold and black eyes locked for a moment, and Chichi smirked so devilishly that the Taiyoukai couldn't help but find it more difficult to swallow.

All but Seshomaru sat at the table, he having chosen to lean against the wall farthest from Chichi who rose a brow at Kagome. "So, introduce this man to your mother, Kagome." Shippou pouted in Kagome's lap, clearly insulted and quickly growing tired of going unnoticed. Kagome patted his head, enough to keep him silent for a small while.

"Mom, this is Seshomaru, Demon Lord of the Western Lands back in the Feudal Era. He's become a good friend of mine, even more like a brother than Inuyasha." Gesturing to the disgruntled kit in her lap she continued, " and this is my son, Shippou. He's a fire kitsune, just a baby still."

"I'm NOT a baby!" Shippou leapt out of her arms and onto the table. "Could a BABY do this? Fox fi-" Kagome snatched him down and muttered, "not in the house, Shippou!" Looking around, the young kitsune noticed the wooden floors, tables, chairs and counters. He flushed with embarrassment. "Gomen, Okaa!" He whispered.

Chichi and Goten introduced themselves, Chichi looking Seshomaru over with a glint in her eye and Goten smiled brightly at the prospect of a new play mate in Shippiou. Kagome couldn't help but sigh and wonder how she came to be with such an odd mix. While she couldn't figure that one out, she knew for sure that she was not liking the look her mother was giving Seshomaru.

Chichi pronounced loudly that she would start cooking an early supper and that she assumed Seshomaru and Shippou would be staying. At Kagome's assent, the kit squealed loudly and Goten dragged him off to play some ridiculous game that he'd come up with on the spot. Gohan excused himself to do his homework and Kagome took her chance.

"Seshomaru." She looked pointedly toward the door and he nodded, following her out side to the shade of a tree just before the forest.

Comfortably out of hearing distance, Kagome stopped and lowered her voice, eyes hard and shoulders stiff. "What are you doing here? It's only been 2 days-" She bit her lip in frustration. Her friend's presence ordinarily welcomed with open arms, seemed wrong and intruding in her home. Out of place.

"Your son cares for you quite a bit," was Seshomaru's response, several tense moments later. "He missed you." Kagome shook her head irately.

"I know that's not the full truth. Seshomaru, why are you here?" Golden eyes pierced her own and for a moment she couldn't breathe. He had always been like this, her relationship with him wouldn't change that and she should have been used to it by now. But now they looked passed her, gazing at Goten as he frolicked from boulder to boulder followed by a rampaging Shippou, the mountains, breaking the sky open, clouds like cotton being brushed slowly in the air, and everything else around them.

It was inordinately beautiful here, Kagome realized. Never had she stopped and just took it all in, blue and white flowers spread over the vast hill near their cozy little house, the whistle of the wind through the pine trees, or the tall grass the begun near the edge of the forest. Not even the pink cherry blossom tree they stood under at that very moment, in full blossom with soft petal cascading down on them with each gentle breeze.

"I had a bad feeling."

.T

.B

.C

A/N

Much better, right? Anyway, my writing style has become more—I personally believe so anyway—elegant so don't go "OMFG, SD IS OFF THE BEND!!!" Kay?

Thanks for the uber quick response, I actually made this chapter waiting for Kyou Kara Maou episode 77 to upload. *drools* Nothing better than a couple a dudes going to save another dude from certain death by the hand of a good gone bad guy….heh heh… *snaps back* Ah! Gomen. Notice my random usage of japanese? That's from english subtitles and japanese audio for just about everything…xD

Thank you for the info folks!