Zettai Yabureru Nai - Never Tear Us Apart
The sequel to Shinjite Ai No Tsuzuki
By Aoikami Sarah
The hallway seemed a hundred times longer than is should have been as Kagura and Shippou made their way down it. Shippou put his hand up to his face in a vain effort to stave off the flood of jaki coming from the furthest room.
"Chin up, Kitsune. We're almost there."
'This is weird,' Shippou thought. 'I don't get a single vibe from her that she's going to turn on me, but I just can't get that she's the enemy out of my head!' He paused for a moment. "You go first."
Kagura smiled. "Why thank you."
They turned the corner and looked into the darkened room. Something the size of two or three horses undulated in the back. Shippou produced a torch of kitsune-bi and gasped at the sight.
It was Naraku, all right. He'd recognize his face anywhere, but the tendrils coming from his bulk looked far more vegetable than youkai.
"What in the hells...?" Shippou cursed from under his hand.
"I see I should have killed you right out, Kagura," Naraku hissed and slithered. He was blocked against the wall and seemed to be making no effort to escape.
'He's going to try to get by us,' Shippou thought and clenched his fists. Just as his prediction came true and Naraku sped forward on his vine-like limbs, Kagura raised her fan. The joy painted across her face was frightening. "Fuujin no Mai!" The blades of wind sliced through the vines as well as the surrounding walls. As the room exploded and Naraku tried to hustle past his two opponents, Shippou went to all fours and transformed, growing to nearly twenty times his original size.
Yousuke sheathed the Tetsusaiga and took a deep breath. Toukijin glowed like an ember on the ground, emitting such a foul aura that the boy could hardly get near it. His contemplation of the evil sword was shattered as part of the building in front of him exploded.
"Shippou!" he cried and leapt over the roof towards the commotion.
The kitsune splintered through more of the building as it grew. Naraku was trapped between Kagura's fan and Shippou's fangs. The wind user raised her fan, creating a tornado which sucked the vine monster up into its vortex. Shippou inhaled deeply and blew a blast of spirit fire into the mix. Naraku let out a horrific scream and Kagura began to laugh.
"This is for everything you've done to me!" she screamed and tightened the tornado. She saw Yousuke draw his sword from the corner of her eye. "Come, Chibi! Join the party!"
"Yosh'!" he cheered. "Eat this! Kaze no Kizu!" Kagura and Shippou leapt back, leaving Naraku, still spinning and burning in the sword's path. The power to eliminate 100 youkai at once tore at Naraku until there was absolutely nothing left.
The earth crackled and hissed where the attack hit home. Shippou shrank back down and Yousuke made certain that there was no residue left for Naraku to regenerate from.
"It's over," Shippou sighed.
Yousuke looked around. "Where's Kagura?"
Her feather rose over their heads. She clutched a sword to her chest.
"I will take your uncle's sword, Chibi," she said calmly. "Since neither of you can so much as get near it."
Yousuke growled, but Shippou put a hand on his shoulder. "She's right. We can't just leave it lying around."
"You can't give it to HER!" he shouted in protest.
"You don't have much of a choice," Kagura grinned. "What I said back there is true, Kitsune. I will live by my vow." The feather lifted up on the breeze and Kagura disappeared into the cloudless morning sky.
Yousuke was still growling. Shippou tousled his ears. "It's ok. I trust her," he walked off a few paces and transformed back into his kitsune form. "Come on," he called down to the boy. "I'm sure someone's waiting for you."
He grinned wide and they both headed off for the Taijiya village.
For the twenty-first time since Misora and Yousuke disappeared a little over a month ago, Kagome went to the Sengoku O Togi Zoushi, said a little prayer and flipped the page. She sighed quietly at the blank, yellowed parchment. "Inuyasha," she called softly. "I'm going to work." She tucked her ceremonial hat under her arm and headed for the door. Inuyasha looked up from his spot on the couch. It was a crisp fall Sunday and the game was just starting. "Ok, I'm gonna..." he answered but didn't get the rest of his sentence out. "Kagome, something's happening!" He pointed to the open book.
A glowing light was pulsing faintly on top of the exposed page. They ran to it and watched as characters appeared before their eyes, illuminated briefly before congealing into 500-year old ink.
"Mother and Father..." They read aloud. The strokes were deliberate and slow. "Yousuke has found me. We're coming home... soon!" Kagome leapt into Inuyasha's arms and cried for joy.
500 years and a hundred miles away, Misora put the brush down and smiled up at her gaurdians. "Is that ok?" she asked.
"That's fine, Misora-chan," Sango replied and stroked the girl's hair. Their multitude of children looked on, some of the younger ones envious of the girl who was allowed to write in the sacred book.
Miroku jogged into the room. "They're coming!"
Nanaka got up quickly and faltered a little, still recovering from her injuries. "Take it easy, Imoto-chan," Nioumaru smiled as he helped her to her feet. "I don't think Shippou kun will mind if you're not the first one out the door."
"Nioumaru..." Nanaka blushed, but let her older brother help her.
Misora ran outside with the other children. She was easy to spot, her white hair and sailor fuku standing out in the crowd. "Aniisan!!!" she called.
Yousuke practically dove off of Shippou's shoulders and almost tackled her in his embrace. She threw her arms around his neck and let him spin her around, giggling happily. He put her down and knelt in front of her. "Mi-chan... are you all right?"
"Mm!" she nodded. "You did great, Aniisan." Misora reached up and grabbed a hold of his ears. "I wish you could keep these!"
Yousuke looked at her strangely. "What?"
"It's time..." Misora smiled sweetly and put her hand on his chest. Something started to glow under her palm. She retracted her hand and his whole body shimmered.
Shippou squinted and stepped forward. "What's happening!?"
Miroku nodded and placed a calming hand on his shoulder. "Looks like she has her mother's powers."
Yousuke's ears and claws disappeared and he stopped glowing. "Mi... Mi-chan..." He stared at her.
"It's all right. I took it back. The Shikon no Tama is whole once again and back where it belongs..." She pointed to her chest and gave him a reassuring smile. "Just like Kaasan, I'll protect it."
Astounded, but relieved, Yousuke hugged her tightly again. Shippou smiled and looked around for Nanaka who waved to him. He sighed, glad to see her up and about. It was agreed that there would be a party that night and the following morning they would all set off for the Bone Eater's well for a proper send-off.
It was very early morning on a Tuesday. Inuyasha slapped the clock radio, hard, hitting the snooze button and snuggled back against his wife.
"You're going to be late again," she whispered.
"I'm the foreman, I can be a few minutes late," he nuzzled her neck and closed his eyes. "Why are you awake? That doesn't usually get you up."
Kagome stretched and sat up. "I feel sort of antsy today." To his surprise, she climbed out of bed and started getting dressed. Inuyasha pouted, his plans to sleep in dashed and did likewise.
Mrs. Higurashi was just making tea when they came into the kitchen. "Ohayo, Mama," Kagome greeted her mother.
"My, my. You're up early!" she laughed. Kagome waved dismissively. "There's something in the air, this morning, isn't there?" Mrs. Higurashi smiled optimistically.
Kagome grinned back. "I can feel it."
"Kagome?!" Inuyasha asked, choking on his tea. When she said things like that, they always came true. An infectious smile spread across his face. 'Finally,' he thought. 'She's happy!'
The pattering sound of feet approaching the house at a full run caught their attention. Inuyasha was closest to the back door. He bounded towards it and threw it open.
Dressed in traditional period clothes, Misora and Yousuke came running into the house and into their parents' arms. After several minutes of tears and hugs, Yousuke pulled the sword from his belt.
"Otousan," he addressed his father very seriously and handed Tetsusaiga back to him. "Arigatou."
"I knew you could do it," Inuyasha whispered, grinned and patted him on the head.
"How did you get...?" Kagome started to ask about the sword, but Misora distracted her.
"Kaasan! We got pictures!"
Misora held up Yousuke's digital camera that he had in his back pack. "The battery died eventually, but we got tons of everybody!"
Inuyasha grabbed it and ran two steps at a time up the stairs to Yousuke's room. "Come on, let's check it out!" The kids cheered and followed.
"Inuyasha..." Kagome said with frustration in her voice, knowing that he was hiding something from her. Her mother held her hand.
"They're home, Kagome."
Tears came to her eyes. The Miko smiled, nodded and headed up stairs.