Lucky #13!

Just updated Haki, but I would feel bad not updating this story too… especially because today is technically the day to update this story.

Blechh.

I'd like to thank everyone that's been supporting me and reviewing this story and/or Haki! You guys are so wonderful! And your reviews really keep me going!

When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. – Arapaho proverb

DISCLAIMER: I am not currently in possession of the rights to Inuyasha, just as Kinky-Ho - I mean Kikyo - is not in possession of a heart.

….

The two leisurely made their way through the halls of the palace, though Kagome didn't know where they were going. Not that she minded. She was too busy taking in the beauty of their surroundings.

It wasn't made of white marble as she had expected. It was actually a surprisingly inviting space, with high vaulted ceilings and large, airy windows. The view was magnificent and Kagome marveled at the beauty of the surrounding hills. The palace and its sprawling grounds were encircled by a high wall. Beyond the wall she could see the dense forest and she even caught a glimpse of the path she would have taken to reach to palace.

Turning her attention back inside, the miko noticed the faint golden illustrations on the warm tan walls. Thin lines of gilded gold paint had been used to cover the wall in curling vines and leaves. Scattered sakura blossoms drifted between the vines as if blown by the wind. Footsteps echoed down the long hallway as humans and demons alike went about their business. Kagome couldn't help but be surprised to see the mingling of the races.

It seems that I have arrived on a strange planet. Everything looks the same, but on this planet Sesshoumaru likes humans. How very strange…

It was then that she noticed the covert looks and slight glares that she received from the narrowed eyes of some passing youkai.

Figures. I'm the only human that isn't likeable.

She nearly missed Sesshoumaru's change of course as he turned the corner. He took a right deeper into the castle and kept going until he reached a door. Stationed outside were two muscular youkai in the colors of the house. They bowed to Sesshoumaru and stepped aside, one of them reaching over and sliding the shoji open.

Kagome stepped in and admired the warm tones of the mid-size room. There were tones of forest green and deep brown. There was a large wall of shelving, covered in scrolls and book. Toward the back of the room, facing the door, was a large desk. It was rather unorganized, covered in scattered papers.

Sesshoumaru took a seat behind the desk and pointed her to a pile of cushions in the corner. She sat and they stared at each other for a moment.

"What?" she finally asked after the silence stretched out too long for her.

Up went the eyebrow.

"You are early."

She was confused for a second, not really remembering their deal. She had been through quite a bit in the past few hours and it had completely slipped her mind.

"Oh! Am I? That's good to know."

"Hn."

She was mystified. What did that even mean?

"Yeah. So you're going to train me, right?"

He looked at her like he thought she was an imbecile. But then again, he probably did.

"Did this Sesshoumaru not give you his word, miko? Though you did not complete your journey, I will keep my end of the bargain."

He pulled a rope that hung off to the right of his desk.

"A servant will be here to take you to your rooms. You will be expected to make an appearance at the evening meal."

Even as he completed his sentence, there was a knock on the shoji.

"Enter."

Another servant, this one some sort of cat youkai, stepped into the room and bowed. She had pale skin and wide, sparkling green eyes with slit pupils. Her midnight black hair framed her well-proportioned face and high cheekbones. The neko was compact in build, but still taller than Kagome, and she wore a white haori with plain black hakama. Kagome was slightly surprised to see a black tail curl over the youkai's shoulder.

"You summoned, my Lord?" Her feminine and unmistakably feline voice curled around them in a question.

"The miko will be housed in the southern wing," he said, and almost as an afterthought he added, "and she will be needing a bath."

The cat bowed and looked at the slightly offended Kagome, waiting for her to follow. Kagome stood, but she then turned to Sesshoumaru to ask, "Where is Rin? I'd like to say hi to her."

The demon lord didn't spare her a glance, his attention wholly consumed with his paperwork. "She is at her lessons. You will see her at the evening meal."

Kagome nodded and smiled. At least Rin would be some fun! She didn't know when Sesshoumaru would start their training, but that was no reason to be bored.

The miko and the youkai vacated the room. Kagome followed the feline from a distance. She could sense the demon's dislike in her aura and she really didn't want to be too close.

They walked in silence down the twisting hallways, finally reaching their apparent destination. The youkai entered the room first, Kagome trailing behind.

Oh. My. GOD.

It was beautiful. A small fire burned in the hearth and a large canopy bed waited in the corner.

Are those… silk?

She crossed the room to feel the sheets.

Oh my God, they are.

Maybe this isn't so bad…

"The wardrobe has plenty of kimono. You can choose one to put on after your bath."

The cat's voice brought Kagome back to earth and she scanned the room for the wardrobe. Spotting the large bamboo doors, she opened them and looked in curiously.

The kimono she found had to be the most beautiful garments she had ever seen. She reached in and stroked them, the luxurious silk cushioning her fingers. The miko was in heaven.

How do I choose?

Trying to be get on her good side, Kagome turned to the neko youkai and flashed a winning smile.

"I can't choose. Which one do you think I should wear?"

The youkai gave the miko a mixed look. Kagome didn't know whether she was irritated or confused herself.

Either way, the youkai approached the wardrobe. She gave the miko a quick look before turning and grabbing a deep blue kimono. She then chose a plain white nagajuban and a sparkling silver obi. She held up the kimono for Kagome's inspection.

The miko immediately liked the neko. The kimono she chose was the perfect choice. The deep blue was punctuated with small dragonflies below the waistline. The silver obi would accentuate the kimono's blue tone very well, like silver stars against the night sky.

Kagome beamed and clapped her hands together. "It's perfect!" she exclaimed, eliciting an almost-smile from the youkai servant.

What a strange miko.

The youkai nodded and motioned for Kagome to follow. They left the room and continued down the hall. The neko knocked on the shoji panel and it slid open at the noise. The pair stepped in and Kagome was immediately hit by the moisture in the air. The room contained a large pool, obviously very warm. Kagome assumed that it bubbled forth from a natural spring somewhere under the palace.

An attendant came forward and took the clothing, placing her selections on a hook. Kagome was handed a towel and some soaps. The attendant pointed to the steps down into the pool and Kagome began undressing, running to immerse herself in the pool when she was done.

The youkai servant that had accompanied her finished her conversation with the attendant and turned to leave, but Kagome stopped her.

"Wait! What's your name?"

The neko gave a small smile and nodded in deference. "My name is Asami, my Lady."

Kagome smiled right back. "Okay. Thank you for your help!"

Asami bowed before turning, her black tail trailing behind.

….

I don't like cats. Ick.

It seems Kagome's infectious. That girl can get to anybody!

I know it's short and kind of filler-y, but I wasn't going to update at all today. Better than nothing, right?

Please review! I'll love you forever.

~Siki

P.S. – I'm told that Asami means 'beautiful linen.' I thought it kind of fit, but I'm not sure if the interwebs were right. Either way, that's her name from now on! *arbitrary nod*