Well...it's taken forever, and I've been hashing and rehashing this chapter until I finally decided enough! And here it is!! I have a tentative outline as to where this is all going...and I am guessing maybe 7 chapters more or so...

Sorry about the seven or so months between updating. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just having a bit o' trouble writing lately. Please don't be angry!!

Props go out as always to my peeps Nimblnymph, ZabJade and all the others who keep me going!!

"Okay, when I knock on the door and draw her out, that's when you strike, okay?" Yaone whispered to her partner.

"I hardly consider sneaking into a creepy lab 'striking' but okay, I get it." Dokugakuji muttered. They were standing in the hallway near their apartments in Houtou Castle. Kougaiji had ordered them to search the premises for any trace of Lady Koushu's plans for Ty. They had started with their own apartments and those of her attendants. They were not expecting to find anything, and they didn't.

They spent hours combing the castle's extensive library for a hint or a clue of anything that alluded to the concubine's motives. The commons area of the castle, the bailey, stables, and attics, all revealed nothing. Yaone and Dokugakuji had returned to their apartments to change out of dusty bedraggled clothes, take a breather and to narrow their search to places that they haven't looked.

In Yaone's quarters, they spread a map of the castle across a table. They placed a smoke bomb over each place they had searched. It was the only thing she had in abundance that they could use to trace their steps. She supposed they could have used her grenades, but if one of those went off, Doku and herself wouldn't be around to tell Kougaiji of their progress. With the smoke bombs, all they would be doing is tearing up while they reported to him.

When they had indicated all the different parts of the castle that they had searched, they looked at the two areas that remained bare; the throne room and Dr. Nii's lab. Dokugakuji and Yaone looked at each other and saw apprehension in the other's eyes. This wasn't going to be a walk in the park.

Which is why they now found themselves out in the hallway of the castle near their rooms facing the direction where the infamous areas were. "Are you sure we'll find something in Nii's lab?" Dokugakuji asked. His look seemed doubtful, but determined.

Yaone nodded, "Logically, it seems the best place to look. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner."

"Well, let's go get this over with then." Doku rolled his shoulders and neck. He took a few steps down the hall and turned back to Yaone, who had trailed behind him. "You sure you want to be the one to distract Hwan?"

"Yes, I can engage her in some sort of chemistry question. I'll think of something." She chewed her lip in thought. She'd be fine if it was indeed Hwan that answered her summons. If it was Dr. Nii himself, she wasn't sure what she'd do then. The man made her skin crawl and she'd seen the looks he'd sometimes send her way and it was because of those looks Yaone made sure she was never alone with the guy.

Dokugakuji noticed her sudden apprehension and chucked her gently under the chin. "Hey, don't sweat it. We'll get in there, see if there's any information regarding Ty and get the hell out before they know what's goin on." He grinned mischievously and for a second Yaone saw a bit of Gojyo in the gesture. She found herself grinning back.

"You're absolutely right, Doku, but you seem to have accepted the situation rather quickly" She quipped.

"Come on, Yaone," Doku groaned, "use that beautiful head of yours for a second. Remember when they were fighting each other…Kou and Ty?"

She nodded, "Yes," She replied slowly. How could she forget that day? The girl had done everything including almost sacrificing herself in order to take down Lord Kougaiji. "What about it?"

"Well, were you watching them at all? The answer should have been obvious." Doku asked. He was kind of puzzled over how almost haughty Yaone was being. How could she not have seen what he did that day? She was usually the one to catch all of this 'aura' business, while Doku focused more on the physical battles. But watching Ty fight Kou was like watching a ten year old take on an adult. Her form was distracting and full of openings. It made him want to teach her how to defend herself better. Because of that distraction, he had noticed the differences, or rather the similarities, in the two combatants that day.

"Of course I was watching, Doku, I saw her blow Lord Kougaiji away with an enormous qi blast." She responded uncertainly.

Doku shook his head, "Yeah, but did you notice their auras? Their looks of determination? Hell, even their height is similar."

Yaone found herself smiling, "I know you're trying to convince me, but even that's spreading your theory a little thin." She found herself considering Doku's words though. She thought back to the day that Ty had foolishly faced off against Kougaiji. Slowly she realized that she'd misjudged their auras. "I'd thought Lord Kougaiji's aura seemed unnaturally strong; especially when facing such a weaker opponent than himself." She said in a tone bordering on wonder.

Doku smiled, pleased now that the apothecary finally seemed to get it. "Nope, that was Ty's aura blending with Kou's. They're that similar." He told her as they started walking down the hallway in the direction of the lab.

Yaone noticed none of the changing scenery; her mind was busy coming to the full realization of Doku's words. "If she is only a half sister to Lord Kougaiji, how can they have almost identical auras? Lirin's aura is distinctly different than theirs."

Dokugakuji shrugged, "Fuck if I know. I couldn't believe it either when I finally put it all together. Then I had the fun task of trying to tell them apart. That is why I fully accept her to be Gyumaoh's offspring—and sibling to Kou."

Yaone nodded thoughtfully, "Indeed—it must be so." They were just about to the lab and so she increased her pace. "Just remember what to do," She added under her breath. She approached the door and stared at it. Nervously she wiped suddenly damp palms on her tunic before she reached up and knocked three times fast on the door.

She glanced out of the corner of her eye to where Doku stood, concealed in the shadow of a support beam along the far wall. Yaone maintained a neutral smile on her face to greet whoever answered the door. Inwardly she was praying fervently that it would be Hwan. Yaone could handle the female scientist, just not her boss.

When the door opened it was neither Hwan or Nii, just his weird old lackey that had wires trailing down from the ceiling to connect to the back of his head. Yaone struggled to maintain her smile.

"What do you want?" Old Man Wang asked, all the while looking her up and down.

"Well—um—I was wondering if Dr. Hwan is in?" Yaone kept her voice light and mildly curious.

The old man leered more. "No, she ain't in and neither is Nii. It's just you and me, sweets." He grinned lecherously.

Yaone's smile slipped a notch or two. Crap! What were they going to do now? They needed in that lab! She straightened her spine. It was time for a change of plans. "I guess it is." She brought her smile back even though she wanted to run screaming for the refuge of her rooms. "But I suppose I shouldn't trouble you, with you being terribly busy." Yaone turned to leave, knowing what the creep's reaction would be.

He put a hand on her arm, "Not so fast, dearie. Why don't you step into my office and you can tell me what's bothering you." His voice sounded sincere, and she could almost believe him to be speaking the truth if it wasn't the casual, almost proprietary way he was stroking her arm, getting closer to her breast with each pass. She felt bile rise in the back of her throat, but yet her resolve settled her. If it got her in the lab, she'd think of something to protect her. She just prayed to the gods that Doku would come to her rescue if it all went to hell.

Inside the lab it was chaos incarnate. Papers and scrolls lay scattered like the autumn leaves across every flat surface including the floor. There were graphs and chart print outs lying in crumpled masses like discarded wrapping paper in forgotten corners and cabinets. Computers hummed and printers spewed out miles of more paper hard copy. She even spied the Seiten scripture encased in a pressurized glass box. There were test tube racks with tubes leaning like drunken sailors in and out of their arms, Bunsen burners were sporadic throughout the room and thankfully weren't on due to the extreme fire hazard that the space presented. All of these things rubbed shoulder to shoulder with full ashtrays, empty and full beverage containers and the room smelled of stale coffee and cloying cigarette smoke.

Yaone barely suppressed a shudder. How could anyone work in this mess? It was dark and noisy and she felt claustrophobic in here and that wasn't even accounting for the creepy vibe she got from the weird little man in here with her. He made her ten times as uneasy as a messy workspace. To calm the fluttering in her stomach she thought of her own lab. It was bright, airy, clean, and most importantly—organized. She kept her spaces ready to go at a moment's notice if Kougaiji needed something done.

"Well then dear, what's on your mind?" He asked. Calmly, he swept his hand across a seat of a chair, spilling the stack of reports and papers that was on it to the floor. He indicated that she should sit there. He flopped himself in a heap into a worn leather desk chair that looked like it was moldering.

Yaone resisted the urge to pick up the papers and snoop through them with the guise of trying to sort them. This guy may look like a fool, but Dr. Nii must keep him around for a reason. She wouldn't underestimate him. "Um, not much I'm afraid. I had just wanted to ask Dr. Hwan a question." She calmly folded herself into the offered seat as she told the blatant lie.

"Ohhhhhh…." He drew the sound out and raised his eyebrows. "What about?"

Yaone managed to look bored and glance around, still hoping to catch sight of something that would answer some questions. "Oh, nothing too important, it's just a female problem." She waved a dismissive hand.

The man's eyebrows rose even further, "Really? I never knew you two to be close." He added warily. A hint of suspicion entered his eyes.

"Well, she is a doctor, isn't she?" Yaone tried to blush and look a bit shy, "My own healing abilities have their limitations sometimes." She kept her lashes lowered and snuck a glance at him.

The suspicion had almost left his eyes and he looked almost disgusted. "Well she's not here, but I can get Dr. Nii here to help you out." He smiled and hit a button before she could protest. "Dr. Nii to the lab please, Dr. Nii you're needed in the lab." He released the button and looked at her. "There, he should be here in just a moment."

Yaone's smile was lost. Shit. Now what was she going to do?

Swearing profusely under his breath, Kougaiji strode from the 'throne room' angrily. The nerve of that conniving bitch! If his mother, Ty, and Lirin weren't under that whore's thumb, he could take control of Houtou Castle as was his right. He didn't desire the power as much as the opportunity it would provide to help his people. Right now they had all been thrown into chaos as her and that quack of a scientist plotted and schemed to their own devices. And all he could do was her bidding and watch as people he cared about suffered? He was damned if that was going to happen. The only thing was that he didn't know her motives for Ty. He knew it involved the resurrection project in some form or another, but until he knew for certain, he didn't want Ty anywhere near the vicinity of Houtou Castle. He would fabricate any length of bullshit reports to stall Koushu and her plans no matter the cost to himself.

Servants and commoner youkai scurried out of his way as he strode down the hallways of the castle. He needed to regroup with Yaone and Dokugakuji in order to figure out how best to proceed. He wondered how their search through the castle for any traces of proof—

His mental tirade was interrupted as a paging system blared out over head, "Dr. Nii to the lab please, Dr. Nii you're needed in the lab" Kougaiji growled at the mention of the scientist's name. What was that bastard needed in the lab for, to retrieve a clean pair of bunny slippers? That man was shady and Kougaiji didn't trust him as far as he could throw him; especially after that little incident involving a bit of mind control with Kougaiji as his star lab rat. The youkai prince curled his hands into fists as he continued to stride down the hallways, weaving around the people in the way and saying nothing to those who wordlessly bowed to him. Usually he would have stopped a few times to converse with the commoners that were his to protect, but today his temper had left him in a stoic and curt mood. He was filled with an impatience that was unfamiliar to him. He wanted to know what was going on, and he wanted to know now. More importantly he wanted to get Ty away from Sanzo, not just because he found himself growing attached to her and wanted to get to know her more, but because Sanzo was just as shrewd as Kougaiji was. He would try and use Ty against him, and Kougaiji didn't want to be put in that position. By just the other night's confession, Ty didn't care for Sanzo any more than he did, so getting her to leave him wouldn't be a big deal. The only monkey wrench in the whole works was Gojyo.

Ty had feelings for the long haired brother of Dokugakuji, and would not be easily separated from him. This presented a problem for him and his people. How could he protect her, if she stubbornly remained with his enemies?

"Kou!" A man's voice called out behind the prince, bringing him out of his musings. He looked up to see Doku.

"Yes?" Kougaiji responded. What was Doku doing near Nii's lab?

"It's Yaone; I think she's going to need your help." Doku looked over his shoulder towards the entrance to the lab. "She's in there." He jerked a chin in the general direction. "She went in with Old Man Wang, she hasn't come out, and just now there was a…"

"…a page." Kougaiji finished for him. Shit! If Yaone was stuck in there with Nii, there was no telling how to get her out, short of pulling rank. "Doku, let's go. We have to get her outa there."

"Uh, okay." Doku fell into step behind Kou as he walked up to the door of the lab to knock loudly on it. They were kept waiting several minutes until Dr. Nii opened the door.

"Good afternoon, my prince, is there something you need?" He asked with insincere politeness.

"Is Yaone in there?" Kougaiji asked curtly.

Nii's eyes widened, "Why, my lord, such a rude tone! Have I displeased you in some way?"

'Every time you breathe,' Kou thought darkly. To Nii he answered, "No, I just need to speak with her."

Suddenly there was a yelp and thud behind Nii. Kougaiji felt worry spike his blood pressure. "Yaone! You in there?" He called loudly around Nii.

He heard a muffled, "Yes, my lord."

Nii took a step closer to Kougaiji. "You see, your apothocary came here seeking my help. Apparently she needs some medical attention. Are you really sure you want to disturb her?"

Kougaiji flashed a look to Doku for confirmation. The taller warrior gave a subtle shake of his head to indicate that Yaone did not need any help from Dr. Nii.

"That may be, however I require her presence in my quarters at once. She's in my service." Kougaiji hated the fact that the bastard was making him pull rank and break out the fancy lingo. Any other normal person would have gotten Yaone for him by now.

"Service, eh?" Nii's look turned into a leer. "I didn't know she served in that capacity."

Kougaiji's eyes narrowed. This jackass was trying to get under his skin. He refused to give Nii the pleasure. "She knows what her duties are, and that's all that matters. Now please get her for me." He responded levelly.

"Of course, my lord." Dr. Nii responded stiffly.

Shortly after, Yaone came stumbling out of the dark lab. Her cheeks were blazing with color and she held her tunic close to her to hide herself. "Kougaiji!" She looked relieved to see him.

"Yaone. I didn't know you were felling ill. Next time please tell me." He admonished for Nii's benefit.

Yaone's eyes were gleaming and she was fighting a smile. "Yes, of course. Now, you wanted to see me?"

Kougaiji turned on his heel to walk to his area of the castle. "Yeah, come on."

They were halfway back to his quarters when she added in an excited whisper. "I think I got it."

Kou turned to look at her. "Good to know." He smiled at her, perhaps this might be able to answer some of his questions. He would ask her how she came by the info later.

The open-air market was sunny and full of people. Ty followed Hakkai as he deftly maneuvered through the early morning masses. She had decided to accompany the dark haired youkai as he made his normal supply errands. Unable to sleep, she had left Gojyo in a tousled bed, and Sanzo was feeding his pet monkey. It was either sit in a corner of the restaurant by herself, or help Hakkai with shopping. The shopping won hands down; besides, she had some purchases of her own to make.

They didn't say much to each other, Hakkai noticed. He didn't know how to breach her defenses. He understood her need to be with someone right now, there were too many unknowns in her life. And with the animosity between her and Sanzo, Hakkai was an excellent buffer. So he didn't begrudge her choice. Actually, it was pleasant to have willing company. Gojyo was surly and full of sarcastic remarks about Hakkai's haggling, and Goku wanted him to buy anything that looked good, which to the younger man was everything edible. Ty was a silent shadow behind him, discreetly picking items of her own. She didn't haggle; just paid the asking price and mainly picked up staple type items and snack foods. She didn't seem to notice the faintly spiced air, or the hum of hagglers and shop keepers as they did their business.

Hakkai couldn't help himself, he turned his head so he spoke over his shoulder, "Goodness, you seem to be made of money back there. You're letting the shop keepers walk all over you."

Ty looked up from the six pack of soda in her hands, "I'm not made of money." She responded neutrally.

Hakkai smiled and turned fully to her, "Well then, allow me to point out that as the leader of this assignment, Sanzo made you come with us. Perhaps, he and the Temple he represents should be the one to foot the bill to your expenditures as well?"

He watched as a gleam entered Ty's eyes and an evil smirk form on her face. "Yes, perhaps he should." She responded in the same polite, but mischievous tone that Hakkai himself had affected. It made him feel a bit better when he saw that smile on her face.

As the morning wore on, Hakkai had taught Ty the finer art of haggling and she found herself perusing several tunics from a vendor that had an extremely elegant embroidery style. As she browsed, she took in the atmosphere around her. So this was an open air market and it's patrons. Thanks to Hakkai, not only was she not getting robbed blind, but she--or rather Hakkai--was putting all of her purchases on Sanzo's card. The monk would probably shit kittens when he put together the itemized expenditure record for the Powers That Be, Hakkai's terminology, not hers. But by that time hopefully she and her treasures would be long gone out of his life.

She picked up a dove gray tunic that had teal and white embroidery along the neckline and cuffs. The neckline was V-shaped and the embroidery followed the line to make it look almost kimono-like. The garment came down to her thighs. The fabric was soft and felt like..."Is this silk?" She asked Hakkai, who was looking at a new sash.

He looked up and reached over, rubbing the fabric between two fingers, "It sure feels like it. Do you like it?" He knew the answer to that just by her gaze. He looked closer to where she had found the garment. "Looks like there are matching drawstring pants..." He picked them up to hold out in front of her.

"OOoohhh..." Ty murmured appreciatively. She reached out to run a hand cautiously down the length of one of the legs. She so wanted this outfit! But she looked at the vendor who gave her a smug smile. Oh, this wasn't going to be cheap. "How much?"

"Two hundred." Came the reply.

Ty's eyes bugged, "Two hundred?! Are you nu--" She was cut off by Hakkai.

"Allow me, please, Ty." Hakkai's smile never dimmed. "It is a beautiful outfit, but surely you'll accept fifty. This lady here has never been to an open air market before and wishes to have a good experience."

The shopkeeper's smile lost some of its luster. "Good experience, huh? Maybe she should try Red Light District for such cheap prices. One fifty." He grinned lecherously.

Hakkai laughed, "I'm sure this lady has no desire to go to such a place, she'd rather stay here in the respectable area of town. Just think of the good word she could spread of your store? Seventy-five."

My store has a good reputation; I don't need to give my products away. One twenty-five." The shopkeeper knew he was dealing with a pro.

Hakkai wasn't phased. "But look at what a beautiful model she'll be for your fine goods? That tunic set will accent every curve. Ninety."

The shopkeeper stuck a dip of chewing tobacco in his mouth and looked Ty up and down. "Yeah, so what, the girl is hot, but many hot women shop at Xiao's. One ten."

Hakkai kept that smile on his face, "Xiao is your name? Excellent! Well, that may be the case, but there must be few that are as special as this one next to me. Ninety-five."

Xiao smiled, "She must be special if you are this determined. One hundred five."

Hakkai held out his hand, "She's important enough for me to offer one hundred. Final."

Xiao laughed and took Hakkai's hand, shaking it once. "Done. One hundred. You drive a hard bargain, sir."

Hakkai handed over the tunic set to Xiao to be packaged. "To see her smile, wouldn't you?"

Ty, who had been watching the haggling, started to blush as they were both talking about her. "Hakkai, jeez, you don't have to lie to the guy." She added self-derisively.

Xiao sobered slightly, but added, "Your wife doesn't know her own strengths."

Now it was Hakkai's turn to blush. "Oh, she isn't my wife." He chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. Jeep mewled as his nest on Hakkai's shoulder was disturbed at the gesture.

Xiao handed him the wrapped package, "Well, betrothed then."

Hakkai laughed, "She's not my betrothed either, just a really good friend. She's with my roommate."

Xiao looked Ty up and down again, "Lucky roommate."

As Ty thanked the shopkeeper again, she turned to leave with Hakkai when out of the corner of her eye, she noticed someone. "Lane?" She whispered to herself.

"Hmm?" Hakkai asked, but when he turned to hand her the package, he noticed her slipping through the stalls. "What on earth?"

Ty followed the tall sandy haired man. Just what was Lane doing this far west? "Lane!"

The man in question jumped, and slowly turned. Sure enough, it was the cowboy. As Ty neared, she thought she saw a grimace cross his face before a smile was plastered over it. "Ty! What in the world?" He stepped forward and gave her a hug.

Perhaps it was because of what she had been through, but she shied away from his embrace. "What are you doing here, Lane?" She asked, not unkindly. She was happy to see a familiar face, but the suspicion from the guys had affected her and she wondered at his motives.

He sobered and his good ol' boy demeanor faded. "I have an aunt out here that needed some help with her farm. And since the semester is done, I came on out to help out." He shifted his weight, as he looked her up and down, "How did you get out here, Ty? Why did you skip out on the rest of your semester?"

"Oh, I dunno." She kind of chuckled. Damn. How was she going to explain this? Well, it's not like she was going to graduate on time…if ever. "I just felt the need for a change of scenery."

Lane blinked. "A change...of scenery?" He laughed, "Leave it to you to get wanderlust half a semester before the break.

Ty halfway laughed. "Uh, yeah. Something like that." It was good to see a familiar face though. One from home, not one she'd gotten accustomed to seeing in the past few weeks. And especially when this face was smiling down at her. She felt herself smile back. "I thought you were mad at me though, so why the happy face now?" She challenged softly.

Lane laughed and raked his hand through his sandy hair, causing her to think of a certain redheaded half-breed. Stubbornly she pushed his face out of her mind and focused on what Lane was saying. "Well I was mad…very much so. But then you just up and vanished and everyone had no clue as to where you got to." He drawled solemnly. "Your roommate Alana went about out of her mind. All you left was a vague note and she…we…were supposed to be okay with that?" His voice now carried an edge of anger threaded with worry. "Ty, for all accounts, you just dropped off the face of the Earth, and the last person I see you with is that strange lookin fella. What do you think I thought?" He came closer to her, cupping her chin in her hand. "I thought he had kidnapped you…"

Ty was uneasy in the face of such drama, she edged away and added flippantly, "Lane, I'm hardly a kid…how can I be napped?"

Lane was not to be put off the trail so easily, "Did he force you to go with him? Are you here against your will?"

Ty's temper pulsed once before she forced herself to relax. He was just concerned about her. "Would I be out shopping if I had been? No, now come off of it, Lane. He didn't kidnap me." She sighed and continued, "Don't you remember what I told you that night? Gojyo and the others are helping me with stuff."

Lane looked hurt, "And I can't, right?"

Ty blew out a breath, "Lane, it's a long story, and I doubt you'd believe half the stuff I'd tell you. Hell, I don't believe most of it. It doesn't need to be re-hashed, let's just accept the fact that I am with those guys for a reason."

"Well, if you're not a prisoner, you can come out to have a drink with me tonight." Lane's grin was cocky.

"Oh I can, can I?" She grinned back. His light green eyes were twinkling as they stared at each other. She thought of the kiss they had shared in her bathroom the night she had changed. She remembered the way he had bandaged her cuts on her cheek…the furrows that were now pale scars. As if reading her mind, he reached up and cupped her cheek with his hand, running his thumb across the marks.

"Looks like those healed up rather nicely." He murmured huskily.

She stared up into his intent gaze. "Yeah." She sighed. She was drowning in those green orbs. The hand on her cheek was warm and welcoming. She didn't even realize she had taken a step until she found herself held against him. His hand was still cradling her face and his other arm was anchored securely around her waist. All she was thinking of was the sensation of feeling his hard body from shoulder to toes. All she could smell was his scent…subtle yet musky, like freshly turned loam and sod, a very earthy smell. Everything faded away except him. The town, the people, everyone, gone…except something tingled at the back of her consciousness, but she stubbornly pushed it away. She was reveling in the essence of man.

A sudden weight on her shoulder, with blunt claws dug in and mewled loudly in her ear. It made Ty jump and Lane step back from her with wide eyes. She staggered like a drunk on Saturday night before catching herself. What…was…oh…Hakuryuu. She blinked dizzily. What was he doing here?

"Ty! Thank goodness I found you!" Hakkai walked up to where the pair stood. Jeep chirped in what almost sounded like relief at the dark-haired man's approach.

"Hakkai, yeah, uh…I was on my way to meet up with you, when I got sidetracked." Ty looked confused about something and looked down at Lane's hand still on her arm.

Intense green eyes took in the sight before fixing solidly on the guy slightly behind Ty. "I didn't know you were acquainted with anyone in this town, Ty." The unsaid question was 'Do you need help?'

Ty shook herself out of Lane's grip. "I didn't think I was either, however it turns out Lane here has some family in need of help on their farm. I know him from back home, he's the president of the Rodeo Club." She responded.

Hakkai's voice lightened, but Ty noticed his brows were still furrowed. It seemed Hakkai didn't buy it. "Well then, it's a pleasant surprise for you. Shall I go on ahead and leave you two to catch up?"

Ty still felt a bit shaky from whatever had happened. She just wanted to go back to her room and lie down. "Oh, that won't be necessary, Hakkai, I need to get back to the hotel. I may as well walk with you." Ty looked once back at Lane. "Good luck in helping your family, Lane." She started to walk back towards the market.

"Ty! Wait!" Lane lunged and grabbed her in what looked to be a big hug, Hakkai carefully watched for signs of any tricks or traps from the younger man. One could never be too sure. That, and Ty wasn't acting like herself. He had noticed the glaze over her eyes and wondered at its source.

Ty wrenched herself away after a moment and with a brief glance in Lane's direction she turned and walked away towards the hotel. Hakkai wordlessly followed with Jeep riding on his shoulder.

Back at the hotel, Ty bypassed the restaurant/tavern area and went straight up to the room. It was nearing noon and her early morning was catching up with her, not to mention that vertigo when she was with Lane. What was with that? This hectic traveling and random skirmishes with both demons and Sanzo were getting to her. She needed to get more sleep.

So, she placed her packages on the chair quietly and slipped off her shoes. Noticing the lump on the bed under the covers, it looked like Gojyo was still there. Grinning, she peeled off her jeans and carefully slid into bed, running her hands up his sides.

"FUUCCCCCKKKKK!!" Gojyo yelped, shooting straight up out of the cocoon of blankets. "You're FREEZING!" He burrowed more into the comforter and away from Ty, who was laughing.

"Awwwww...you're not very nice. I'm cold, Gojyo, can't you warm me up?" She scooted closer as he shied away.

"Gorgeous, touch me with those icicle hands one more time, and you won't be sharin' my bed for a week!" Gojyo mock warned.

Ty grinned, "You wouldn't do that to little ol' me, now would you?"

"Freeze my balls off like that again and you'd be surprised what I'm capable of." Gojyo replied.

"I didn't even go near your setup, so I don't know why you're complaining. I'll just stay away from there all together then if you're so touchy." Ty replied saucily.

"Well you don't have to go that far. In fact, I think I know of a good way to warm you up." He lifted the blanket just enough to gather her close, then tucked the blankets around them again.