Disclaimer: Nope, me no own Inuyasha. You no sue.
AN: Originally this was supposed to be a one-shot taking place before Inuyasha went to Totosai about strengthening the Testusaiga to lock away his demon blood, but a couple of my reviewers (thanks guys!) wanted a continuation, and I got a few ideas. So, here it is, the second (and final) chapter!
The gang woke early the next morning. Inuyasha was nowhere to be found. Sango's eyes narrowed dangerously. "If he's run off on Kagome again, I'll wring his neck!" she hissed.
"Now, Sango, let's not jump to conclusions." Miroku soothed, moving closer to the demon slayer. "He may have just gone for a walk." His hand reached out, but –
"Try it and you are one dead monk."
"My apologies. My hand seems to have a mind of its own today."
Sango was about to threaten his life once again when Kagome woke up. She yawned and stretched, glancing up at the tree where Inuyasha had been the night before. Sango expected the miko to get angry, but Kagome merely nodded to herself and began packing her stuff.
"Kagome," Miroku asked hesitantly, "do you know where Inuyasha is?"
She nodded. "He went to go see Totosai." she said. 'He's been planning it ever since-" she broke off and indicated the three-day-old bruise with a wave of her hand. Sudden understanding flashed through the other two. They knew Inuyasha's demon blood had been coming out much more often, and Testusaiga was supposed to keep his demon side at bay. If something was wrong with the sword, Totosai would be able to tell him.
Kagome stood up and grabbed her bow and quiver. "There's a river not too far from here." she said. "I'm gonna go get some fish for breakfast."
"Be careful, Kagome." Shippou warned. "Kouga is still out there."
Kagome laughed softly. "I'm not afraid of Kouga." she said simply. "Besides, why do you think I'm bringing this?" She held up her bow. Sango nodded approvingly. Before Miroku or Shippou could object, Kagome turned and headed for the river.
She had known Inuyasha was going to see Totosai this morning; if not today then tomorrow. He had shown her the river so she could get their food, and had warned her not to let their path stray too far from its banks. It would make it easier for him to track them down later.
She sighed as she crouched over the river, waiting for a decent-sized fish to come swimming by. Yet another thing Inuyasha's taught me to do, she thought, fish. I wonder what else he wants to teach me.
"What are you doing here boy?"
Inuyasha rolled his eyes at Totosai's usual curtness. Under normal circumstances, he would have bobbed the old swordsmith upside the head for that, but he was too shaken up to bother. Not after what he had done to Kagome; never mind that she had forgiven him for it. It could never happen again.
He handed Tetsusaiga to Totosai. "Check that over for me." he said. "I want to make sure nothing's wrong with it."
"Before I do, how about telling me why you want me to look it over." Totosai shot back, setting the sword on the ground in front of him. Inuyasha sighed and sat down cross-legged in front of him.
"My demon side keeps coming out." he said softly. "It shouldn't be happening. That sword should be keeping it locked up."
Totosai's eyes narrowed. "You've hurt one of your comrades, haven't you?"
Inuyasha nodded stiffly, but the swordsmith didn't push the issue past that. He picked up the sword and unsheathed it, studying it with a master's eye. After a few moments, he shook his head and handed it back to him.
"There is nothing wrong with the sword, pup." he said. "Your demon blood is maturing. Until it stops, you will have a harder time than normal controlling it, but with the Tetsusaiga, you will never fully transform."
Inuyasha took the sword and thought about that one for a moment. "How long does this last?" he asked finally.
Totosai shrugged. "A few weeks, no more. You probably only have a week left from what you've been telling me." Inuyasha nodded. So I just have to keep my cool for another week. That's gonna be impossible with our arguments, but she'll understand when I explain it to her.
"Thanks, old fart."
"You're welcome, immature pup." Totosai looked up at Inuyasha. "Before you go, how about telling this old fart what new attacks Tetsusaiga has? I can tell you've added some more to them."
Inuyasha paused for a moment. Kagome would be safe with the others, and he had someone watching her just in case. "All right, but I can't take too long."
A dark shadow fell over Kagome. In a flash she had dived for the bank, grabbed her bow, and rolled to her feet, aiming her fully armed weapon at the shadow. "Kouga." she spat. "What are you doing here?"
"I've come to claim what is mine." he sneered. He leapt across the river and Kagome fired her arrow. It clipped Kouga's shoulder but didn't slow him down. She cursed and began backing up, nocking another arrow as she went. Before he could get too close, she fired again.
From his scream she figured she hit him good, but she didn't wait around to see the damage. She might have been safer going back to the camp, but only one person came to mind now, and he wasn't at the camp. She turned and fled upriver, trying to put as much distance between herself and Kouga as she could.
From the shadows another watched, keeping his aura hidden from the others. Now he understood why Inuyasha wanted him to watch over the miko.
She's stronger than when we last met. he thought. Let's see just how strong she's gotten.
Kagome could tell Kouga was gaining on her. With a determined grunt, she spun around, aimed, and fired another arrow. This one hit him square in the chest, and still he came.
Her eyes widened as Kouga knocked her to the ground, straddling her and pinning her shoulders beneath his hands. He leaned down to kiss her.
Kagome's hands shot up, latching on to his shoulders, and she pumped every last bit of purifying energy she had into the wolf youkai. Kouga began to scream, but he would not let go.
Her strength was being drained rather quickly. She didn't know how much longer she could hold out.
Right before she lost consciousness, she saw a flash of green light.
Inuyasha raced down the riverbank. A few minutes into talking with Totosai and he could sense Kagome's presence coming closer. A few seconds later and both of them felt the surge of purifying power. Without a word of explanation, though none was needed, the hanyou was gone.
He came across an odd scene. Kagome was lying on the ground, passed out cold, Kouga's charred and headless remains were lying a few feet away, and standing over the prone miko, protecting her with his very presence, was none other than Sesshoumaru. The taiyoukai took a step back and Inuyasha immediately went to Kagome's side. He looked up at his half-brother. "She wasn't seriously hurt?"
"No." Sesshoumaru responded in his usual monotone. "The miko is stronger than I would have thought. I wasn't needed until the very end."
Inuyasha nodded. "She's getting stronger every day." He picked her up and held her close to him. "Thanks, Sesshoumaru." The taiyoukai merely nodded and was gone, heading back to Rin and Jaken. Inuyasha brought Kagome back to camp. Despite having to answer a lot of questions, he finally got them to back off long enough for him to set Kagome down. He then leaned back against a tree and waited.
"Who was that? Someone helped me out at the very end."
Inuyasha smirked. "Did you think I'd leave you with no protection?"
Kagome smiled. "No. But I'd like to know who you got to help us out."
There was a surprised silence. "Well, I guess I owe him a thank-you when we see him next." she murmured. "Did Totosai help you out any?"
Inuyasha explained what Totosai had told him. "If we can stay out of fights for the next week, I don't think anything bad will happen." he said. He leaned forward and brushed her hair back from her face. Her eyes were closed but she smiled at him.
"I think we can do that." she said, her voice getting faint. "But I'll miss teasing you."
Inuyasha smiled at that. I'm gonna miss it too, Kagome.
Finished! Tell me what you think! Good/bad/sucks, I don't care, but no flaming!