Chapter 2

Her mother's uncharacteristic outburst over a tiny sore in Souta's hand startled Kagome. She watched in shock as her mother ripped off the bandage and examined the small wound then rushed to the storage building. The two teens looked at each other exchanging similar looks of shock and confusion.

"What was that about?" Souta asked.

"Don't look at me. I have no idea."

Before she could continue, her mother entered the house a glove held in her hand. Even from a distance, Kagome could see the aura of magic seeping from the glove. She watched as her mother slipped the fingerless glove onto her brother's injured hand and warned him not to take it off. "Mama, that glove has a magical aura."

"I know dear. It's just a healing spell," her mother explained, once again calm.

"Who put…"

"I did. I was trained as a miko, dear. I'm nowhere near as strong as you are, but I suppose a worried mother's magic equals yours." She moved around Souta and began putting away the teacups. "You two should get ready for the party."

Footsteps on the roof of Kaede's hut awoke Miroku, with a sly smile the monk realized that the sun was rising and Inuyasha was going to await Kagome's return. By long tradition, none of the group accompanied him on these journeys to the well, allowing the couple precious moments free of danger or company. He rolled to his side, hoping for a few more hours of sleep but the hanyou's pacing denied him that pleasure. He glared as the seemingly heavy footfalls crossed above his resting place again. Punishment was in order. It didn't take long for him to decide the punishment, though he did feel a brief pang of remorse that Kagome would also suffer in Inuyasha's penalty for annoying him. He rose, pausing to stoke the fire and place a couple logs on the red-hot coals to ward off the early morning chill, grabbed his shakujo from its resting spot next to the door before exiting the hut as Inuyasha landed in front of him.

"Oi monk, where do you think you're going?"

Miroku smiled innocently, "I have decided to accompany you to greet Kagome-sama on her return." He watched as Inuyasha's eyes narrowed but before the hanyou could give voice to the words he obviously wanted to spout, he continued. "Your pacing on the roof awakened me and..." A growl cut him off.

"The fuck you are monk. Why don't you go find Sango and have her hit you with Hiraikotsu to knock your brains back into your head."

"As tempting as spending the morning with my dear Sango, she is sleeping. It would be inconsiderate of me to awaken her merely to humor your temper. Besides, I find that I do not spend enough time together with you and Kagome-sama." Miroku bit back the grin that threatened to spread across his face as Inuyasha obviously fought the desire to do him bodily harm. "I am intrigued by her time."

"Then talk to her when we get back to the village," Inuyasha continued in the same growling voice as before.

Miroku didn't answer, he just started down the path the rings of his shakujo jingling each time the end touched the ground. "It is such a beautiful morning for a walk. Don't you agree Inuyasha?"

"Keh," the hanyou snorted coming to walk beside him.

Miroku chanced a sidelong glance at his victim, though he need not have worried. Inuyasha marched deliberately at his side, eyes front and hands thrust into the arms of his jacket. "Is something troubling you, Inuyasha?"

"You."

"Me?" Miroku feigned innocence, knowing that his presence was upsetting his friend.

"You. Going after a shard and your eyes don't crack open until the sun has burned more daylight than possible."

"Ah, but then I didn't have someone pacing across the roof of the hut I was sleeping in since the sun peeked above the horizon." He continued towards the well, ignoring the desire to shift his shoulders at the death glare he knew was being sent his way.

Soon enough the two were at the clearing where the well resided and Miroku lowered himself to sit with his back leaning against the well. "Tell me about Kagome's time while we wait." He watched as Inuyasha plopped on the ground in an almost boneless way. He easily read the frustration in the other's face and rethought his decision to stay with the pair until they had returned to the village. The frustration his friend was experiencing thinking he'd have no time alone with the miko, was enough punishment.

"What more is there to tell, monk. You've heard it all." Inuyasha groused, "Her time is filled with smelly machines. All this," he indicated the forest with a wave of a hand. "Is gone, the well is in a little shed at one corner of the shrine she lives at." He looked around and nodded, "This well is on one side of the shrine, the Goshinboku in the middle and where the temple is on the other. There are no trees but the Goshinboku and the shrine is surrounded by buildings some as higher than a tree."

Miroku smiled sadly and agreed, "It is sad that this forest is lost. But, without its loss Kagome-sama would not be who she is. You have changed my friend."

"What do you mean monk?"

"You are calmer, more thoughtful, less apt to attack or growl before thinking."

Inuyasha rose to his haunches, "What do you mean by that monk?"

"No, Inuyasha. You misunderstand me. The change is a good thing. It makes you a better warrior and a better traveling companion."

"I agree." Kagome agreed climbing from the well, "Miroku could you…" she held up the refilled backpack.

"Certainly Kagome-sama," he agreed, reaching for the backpack only to have it snatched away by Inuyasha. Both humans sighed as Miroku assisted her out of the well. "How was your trip home?"

"Oh fine but there was something I need to tell you two."

"What?" Inuyasha asked his ears twitching.

"We have to… we have to… we can't… arg I can't remember what I wanted to tell you." She rubbed at her temples trying to bring the wayward thought forward again.

"You will remember if it is important, Kagome-sama," Miroku reassured, patting her shoulder. "How was your brother's party?"

"Oh it was fun, I guess. A group of thirteen year old boys trying to figure out if they are too old to play games or not. I remember!" Kagome exclaimed, her smile growing. "Souta came home yesterday with a little sore on his right palm and Mama freaked, she even put a healing glove on it. I was actually impressed by the amount of power she put in it."

"Your mother put a charm on a glove? I believed you were the only one from your time capable of such."

"I thought so too, but apparently she can." The young miko shrugged, "I just wonder why Mama got so panicky about the little sore in Souta's palm."

"Your brother just turned thirteen?" Miroku asked his mind racing.

"Yes, his voice started cracking last night it was so funny."

'Was it possible?' Miroku wondered.

"Come on you two. Kaede has breakfast waiting." Inuyasha growled.

"Oh good I'm starving." At the two puzzled glances, "Mama wasn't awake when I left, so I haven't eaten either." She started down the path, Inuyasha at her side. "Coming Miroku?"

"You two go ahead, I think I will stay and do my morning meditations here." Miroku acknowledged Inuyasha's nod of thanks with a barely perceptible nod of his own.

After the pair left the clearing, he sat again with the well at his back and pondered all that Kagome had and had not said. He remembered the beginning of the Kazanna in his own palm, nothing more than a small sore that formed in his palm on his own thirteenth birthday. Again, he wondered, "Is it possible?"