Chapter 22: Return to the West
*(A/N: Fluffy HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm updating. I'm updating damn you! )*

~*~*~*Last time*~*~*~

"Female! How dare you-"

"Summon Lady Leiko." Kagome's voice rang clearly through the night air and even though she was stupidly tired she had fun watching faces colour at her supposed impertinence. Smiling tolerantly she lolled her head to actually look at the hawk.

"If she insists on giving you cheek tell her she's a hundred years too early to defeat the daughter of Ryuukotsusei."

~*~*~*Chapter 22*~*~*~

It was like watching the tumblers fall into place as anger turned to shock then ever so slowly to understanding then into horror and action to obey her commands. Turning to the second in command of the private group she saw to the next things that needed attending.

"Confirm that Leiko's pet has left the palace grounds and then go see the old woman Kaede, she has a lovely little spell that invokes silence on certain delicate matters such as eastern heirs rising from the dead, no matter how strong the demon it will work for at least a few days and a few days is all I need." Dismissing the troop to their tasks leaving herself seemingly open Kagome let her head loll, completely aware of the stadium that was still sitting in silence.

"What of the meaning of this!" Leiko had arrived surprisingly quickly and when Kagome managed to pry her eyes open she saw why. Leiko was wrapped in only a single poorly tied white silk sleeping yukata moon pale face red with fury.

"They need attending to," Kagome nodded toward the still sluggishly bleeding naga. "you are fully trained where I am not. See to them." Leiko hissed. Her hair rising to whip around her in an invisible wind as her youki seeped out.

"How dare you!" Kagome was listening but it didn't look like it as she once again closed her eyes and snuggled into the chair. "Not how dare I mother. Fear not we both wish for revenge from my brother and father's death; I will simply be in charge from now on. Heal them, I'm too tired." Leiko retracted her spilt youki and stepped back to watch her exhausted child. Kagome could feel her eyes searching over her relaxed form before deciding something and jumping down to do as she was bade.

"You're lucky." Leiko called to Kagome from her position crouched over Ginka. "It is not only a curse that stops the naga from being separated while both still live but that they often share several organs which are the victor's reward. You're lucky because they only shared a liver." Looking down had the flushed face of her patient. "And those grow back." When had Leiko returned to Kagome's side it didn't look as though she had done anything but both brothers were moving about slowly, inspecting their new situations.

"You will explain to me what you plan to do daughter." A few moments past and as Kagome didn't answer Leiko almost thought she had fallen asleep.

"I will do no such thing. You will know only what I wish for you to know, because although the east is now mine, I do not wish for any of the other cardinal lords to know such at this time." Leiko looked offended then eased into a smile. Her daughter knew what needed to be done and how to do it. She would quietly and efficiently do whatever she needed to see the fall of the west.

"As you wish darling, my rooms are open to you and they are heavily shielded. I'll give direction and make sure that the whispers end here."

"I've already seen to it, though when your little pigeon hawk returns you can give instruction as to the administration. Tonight I'm afraid I will need my father's den."

Once again Lady Kikyo was shrieking, it's not like Sesshomaru hadn't noticed it before but it was in the last few days since her other handmaid had gone missing that the shirking had grown in volume and consistency. Some of the human servants where beginning to joke/complain that she was starting to hit pitches only dogs could hear. Lucky him. Where had that little wench gone in order to cause him so much pain? He'd overheard the remaining girl telling one of the Kitsune guards that she had gone to take care of her sick mother, but he highly doubted that no one in their right mind would leave for a sick mortal mother in order to return to the punishment that Kikyo and her shrieking would inflict. Rin seemed to be out of sorts as well always glancing out the eastern facing windows to search the tree line. Where was that bloody woman!

Kagome didn't quite remember how she got to the huge oak doors in the belly of the palace or prying them open but now in the morning she remembered the quiet dry dark that engulfed her when the doors had closed behind her and the feel of the silky smooth stone as she slipped off her clothes, slid onto her belly and released her human form. But perhaps she remembered because she was still enjoying the feel of the stone as she flexed and wiggled into wakefulness. It was close to 60 years since she had last released her human form and that had been in a cramped wild cave that she'd had to attempt to ward while she reset her interrupted chakra flow, talk about uncomfortable.

What sounded like a tentative knock but must have had the knocker's arm swinging penetrated the thick wood. Letting out a gentle sigh that could have wiped out a small village Kagome shifted back into her human form and wrenched open the door still stark naked. The guard did a good job of feigning indifference in fact; only his crimson cheeks gave him away as he clipped out his message.

"The convoy to the west is ready for departure. Lady Leiko calls for your presence so that it may leave as scheduled." Kagome smiled, still amused at the soldier's antics.

"Tell her I'll be along shortly so she can just get herself settled on the palanquin."

"But… my lady. The palanquin is for the lady of the east!" "I know that, you know that, and so does everyone else so lets keep things as they are." Giving him a friendly pat on the shoulder Kagome closed the door on him and went to get dressed.