Inuyasha©Rumiko Takahashi

Beta Reader: MissKatt!




Kagome fidgeted where she lay on the couch. Kogane had taken her to one of her studies, she had said, in order to have their first session. Frankly, she didn't know what to expect for she had never gone to a psychologist before and it made her nervous.

What was she going to ask her about? Talk about?

The door clicked open softly and Kagome peered at it nervously. Instead of her usual proper clothes, Kogane was wearing pajamas. Instantly Kagome relaxed and even blinked a few times.

The demoness grinned at Kagome's face, "I see you like my night clothes. I can lend you one, if you would like," she offered with a wink.

Kagome laughed and sat on the couch, "It's fine, Kogane-sama," said Kagome with a small smile. She watched as the inufemale walked inside the studio with a tray of freshly baked cookies and was tempted to follow her if only to snatch one. She was not a cookie monster, but those smelt delicious.

"Come pick one, Kagome," suggested Kogane as she sat at the corner of the desk in the room while she bit into one of the cookies, "Most of us enjoyed a little sugar during our pregnancy."

Kagome wouldn't deny the statement. She wasn't sure if this was an urge for cookies she was feeling, but if it wasn't…she didn't want to cut off her possible supply of cookies as of yet, "Thanks, Kogane."

"Very well," praised the demoness with a big smile, "I like how we are treating each other. We are, and always will be, family. Also, do not think I will not protect you. I will, and with my life. Sesshomaru is not the only over-bearing and protective inu in this house. I am his mother, after all."

Again, Kagome grinned. "Oh my…I am in big trouble, it seems." Then Kagome took a cookie and bit into it. The cookie was slightly warm and the inside was soft…it was heaven, "This is so good!"

Kogane smirked and rolled her eyes, "I'll tell Michima…I am not good with these modern devices and was never fond of cooking anyways."

Then they were silent for a few moments, both simply enjoying their cookies. "If there's some place you want to go at any time, let me know Kagome," Kogane said as she took her second cookie, "I don't know much about you, but I noticed you don't ask for things. I want you to know you can. This is not a jail…you are here for your protection only. Not that I think someone may suddenly appear and attack you, but hanyou pregnancies can be difficult sometimes."

Kagome finished her first cookie and thought about it for a long moment. Then she glanced at the older female, "Thanks, Kogane." Then she frowned a little, "I would like to see my mother…and grandfather and brother sometime, but I can't go back there. They live on a Shrine and Sesshomaru said it was dangerous for the pup…so maybe they can come visit me here sometime?"

"Sure," grinned Kogane, "Invite them over and tell me when they will be here. I'll make sure Michima makes something tasty."

Kagome rolled her eyes, "There's no need, Kogane. Michima's food is always tasty."

"Oh," said Kogane and smiled, "But maybe a dessert your family enjoys, or something?"

Kagome shrugged her shoulders. Sometimes this demoness surprised her…she could be so very nice. "Have you…heard about Sesshomaru?" she asked softly, eyes adverted.

Kogane sighed, "I spoke with Shiori," she said softly, "She told me Sesshomaru remains restrained and hasn't been called to testify. I was planning on visiting tomorrow."

Kagome thought this over and sighed, "I…I am not sure if I should go to see him or not?" she said after a minute.

Kogane eyed the miko through blank, golden eyes, "And why is that?"

Kagome frowned and tilted her head to the side. "He…he is there because he tried to save me," said Kagome softly, eyes sad with guilt, "I don't know if he is mad at me…after all it was my fault. I foolishly opened the door…I should have seen who was it first…and furthermore…Inuyasha is probably there and I don't want to see him." unconsciously her hand came to her throat.

Nothing passed Kogane's experienced eye though, Kagome's inner conflict was obvious. This was a problem. Kagome was trying her best at everything, but she didn't know what she wanted or felt, which made her confused more often than not. She needed to work out her emotions and conflicts before she even started to live again.

"I think you should go," Kogane said suddenly, startling Kagome. Their eyes met and Kogane gave her a soft smile, "Sesshomaru will be worried about you, and the pups. You are his pack now and he takes that very seriously. I'm sure he's very frustrated for being separated from you and…he may take offense if you don't go, after all…he did save you."

Kagome cringed a little at Kogane's words but nodded her head.

"And don't worry about Inuyasha, I won't let him near you," the inufemale promised, eyes glowing.

"Thanks, Kogane," whispered Kagome as she took another cookie and nibbled on it.

"How much do you know of inuyoukai, Kagome? Or, about hanyou pregnancies?" Kogane asked evenly as she started pouring hot chocolate into two cups.

Kagome's shoulders dropped, but she turned to glance at Kogane, "Not much, I must admit."

Kogane sat on one of the couches, "So, I am going to tell you some stories I've heard then," offered the female Daiyoukai with a warm smile, "Why don't I start with my own?"

Kagome's lips parted in surprise, but then her legs carried her there. Today, she felt a lot better. Today she guessed…Kogane and she…became friends.


Hion sat on a rock in front of Totosai's wooden house. The house was small, but the details in the carvings all around it were breathtaking. The old youkai had taken his time in this little masterpiece. It was amazing to realize his abilities were more than the art of a sword maker.

"Why are you so serious?" inquired the old blacksmith as he cooked dinner. He watched the young one-third youkai from a small window with a solemn gaze, "Are you still angry at your father?"

The young youkai's shoulders fell as he sighed and he stopped studying the Tetsusaiga and sheathed it, "Inuyasha," corrected Hion with a resigned voice, "and I am just in a mood. Don't mind me."

"You know, you all suffered those," said the youkai with a helpless smile, "Your father and your grandsire too. Have you heard from your grandsire?"

Hion grimaced, "Some," he accepted, "From Sesshomaru."

"Uh, Sesshomaru," whined Totosai and shivered, "Now that boy has always scared me. Little reactive thing he was…flinging his deadly claws this way and that."

At this the young man chuckled and turned to the old youkai with a longing look, "I think he's the best. He…is hard to get to know at first, but he's really a very honorable youkai. He will always try to do what's best."

"Could have fooled me," muttered Totosai as he went on with the food, "But I really think you should give your father a chance," softly added the demon, knowing he had very good ears.

Hion's lips flattened, "I know," he said softly and stood to join the old man at dinner. He had things to do, a mother to attend to, a father to get to know, and a job that was consuming him 24/7, but…he also knew this old fellow needed company too. There was just so much to do.


The next day Kogane took them to the Youkai Council instead of the school. Fall was here and winter was fast approaching and as such, Kogane had demanded she wear a thick jacket. At first Kagome balked a little at the idea, but after a nice breakfast she was more at ease. When she finally got out of the house, she silently thanked the demoness. It really was cold outside today.

The pregnant miko spent all her time during the ride thinking to herself, about the rightness and the wrongness of this visit. It was right because Sesshomaru had come to her, saved her from the Well and was currently caring for her and her pups. It was wrong because Sesshomaru hurt Inuyasha a few days ago and this…she felt as if she somehow approved of what he did. She didn't. She was terrified, and Inuyasha was hurting her…but perhaps he could have saved her in a less violent way? Or…perhaps she was simply too soft…or maybe it was because it was Inuyasha. They were not in the best terms at this moment, but…she did spend many years with him, loving him…and it was not something that was just going to disappear from one day to the next. No…everything was happening too quickly. She could hardly catch up with her emotions.

"Stop worrying," Kogane said gently. She was staring out of the black vehicle with a blank look, "What must happen, will happen…regardless of what you may have wanted. It is fate."

Kagome stopped thinking about her dilemma for a moment and turned curious eyes towards Kogane, "You say fate is unavoidable?" The truth was that she herself had wondered that for years. Had she been truly destined to fall down the Well? To fall in love with Inuyasha? To live the life she lived? To…to lose those pups?

One of Kogane's golden eyes locked onto Kagome's and then she shrugged one shoulder, "It is what I think." She said then sighed and stared at the miko again, eyes sad, "I know he's worried about you. He truly wanted to find you and do good to you…and it is instinct. I am sure he's not happy where he is."

Kagome's own eyes turned sad and she nodded her head, "You are right. It feels like it is what I should do."

At this the demoness frowned. Not that she thought it was bad, but she was curious, "Why?"

Kagome smiled apologetically, "I'm not sure," was the honest answer. They were not friends…they were something like family…but not. She wasn't even sure where he fit in her life…or where Kogane should fit, if she thought about it. "It seems as if we all…simply are."

Kogane smiled at the answer and gave the miko a small, respectful nod. "We are. We will be."

After that, the car stopped and Kagome's heart jumped nervously. If Kogane noticed, she didn't tell. Instead she opened the door and helped Kagome out. Then the pair walked towards the towering building silently and passed the glass doors. People turned to them in curiosity, but no one stopped them. At the contrary, a few youkai sent respectful nods Kogane's way…and thankfully ignored Kagome for the most part.

As this happened, while they traveled through the halls, Kagome realized just how influential Kogane must be. She was a Taiyoukai, and Sesshomaru's mother. That meant she had lived quite a long time. She ruled the West for a long time while Inu no Taisho lived, so she knew about politics and those things. She had to be strong too, to survive as long as she had. After all that, the demoness was now the head of a big school meant to teach and keep youkai alive in these difficult times.

Kogane was…wow.

So lost was Kagome in her musings that she didn't realize they had walked into a strange hall. The colors were right, the decorations were tasteful, but…it felt different. She couldn't help but let her aura wander a little to touch her surroundings.

"These are the holding rooms," explained Kogane evenly, "I called earlier to announce my arrival. We are close to Sesshomaru's room."

Not knowing what to say, Kagome simply nodded and followed. She crossed her arms over her chest and dimly wondered if she should take her jacket off. It was warmer here, but…she didn't want to be left behind and she knew she would slow down to take it off. So she decided to deal with it later.

"It's here," Kogane finally said as she stopped in front of a copper door. The door had a drawing of a forest carved on it, but apart from that there was no other way of identification. "I'll go first," she said suddenly and then sighed, "I am not sure about the state he is in. He wouldn't hurt you, but I don't want to surprise any of you. Inu can get protective, and when I mean protective, it is protective. I'll let him know you are here, but if he gets touchy…it is normal. I'll explain later if you wish." This she said very quickly, as if she was babbling.

It was…nerve wracking…to hear her babbling. She was the Kogane. "All right," was all Kagome dared say.

After another sigh and a knock, Kogane let herself in. Kagome moved to the wall and reclined on it. She frowned then and turned to the wall. She allowed her fingers to ghost over the wall and instantly moved them away. There was something on the wall…something magical that repelled her and most probably Sesshomaru too. It explained how these normal looking rooms could hold a Taiyoukai. She thought Sesshomaru remained here because…he just did, as was asked of him.

Then Kogane came out, and there was hell in her eyes. Kagome stiffened. "I am going to speak with a few people," she said in a deadly voice and then eyed the open door, "You may go in. He's a little upset, but I assure you, he will not hurt you." Then she started to walk away.

Unsure of what to do, but nervous all the same Kagome moved to the door. She gave the empty hall a last glance and then shut the door. She sighed in relief and turned to Sesshomaru…and froze.

Sesshomaru was sitting on the bed, back on the wall…and red, red eyes locked on her.


To be continued…


JeniNeji's Note:

Uh oh ;]