Disclaimer: I make no money from this story and own none of the Inuyasha characters. Nor do I own the fandom.

I only own my little plot line.

Oniyorizaazuma and Misorakotsu belong to the talented Xx-Filipino-Fury-Xx.


Chapter Twenty Six:


"Don't take it too personal." Kagome rested a hand on her boyfriend's shoulder. "Oni is just trying to look after her the best he can."

"Yeah I know," Bankotsu huffed. "Still wish he'd let me help."

"I'm sure he will eventually." She hugged him and melted against him as his strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer to him. "Give it time."

"That's a luxury we don't have." He sighed and then closed his eyes and rested his cheek against the top of her head, feeling his temper ebb. The little vixen always knew how to soothe him. One of the many qualities he adored about the woman in his arms.

"Hold me. I don't want this to end yet." Kagome's whispered plea tugged a smile from his lips.

"I've missed these moments," Bankotsu confessed low enough only his miko would hear. He took in her strawberry scent and smiled as the tension eased from his shoulders.

"Me too." She pressed her face against his chest, hiding a grin as she hugged him tighter. He hasn't closed me out again, so we're making progress.

Things had gotten tense, even between them, since Misora first appeared. But, Bankotsu was finally opening up to her about his past and the relationship with his sister. Which was far different from the sibling relations she'd she'd shared with Souta.

She sighed, missing her brother as how busy they had always been ran through her mind. In her time people took for granted moments like these. Too busy with work or focused on their careers. She didn't envy that one bit.

Over the years of traveling with Inuyasha and the others, Kagome had learned to enjoy living from one moment to the next, never knowing for certain what lay ahead from day to day. It offered a sense of freedom the people in her time rarely found.

Right now she was with the man she loved, wrapped in his tender embrace and it was all that mattered to her. She felt safe, secure, and more importantly she felt loved.

Bankotsu's hand stroked up and down her back and she sighed in content, relishing the moment of closeness.

Moments like these were scarce, due to always traveling, so when the opportunity for them to have a brief moment alone, with the worries of the world locked away, arose she made the best of them.

"You two look rather cozy." Miroku teased, as he walked over to them.

Reluctantly the lovers stepped away from each other, aware their tender moment had come to an end.

"What took you two so long?" Bankotsu sent him a fierce glare.

"Hey, it's not so easy finding animals to hunt lately." Miroku raised his free hand in surrender.

"Like usual you had Sango carry the kill." Kagome snorted and went to help her friend.

"What kind of man makes his woman carry the kill?" Bankotsu scowled and then walked over to relieve Sango of the large deer.

"Thanks." She wiped the sweat from her forehead.

"Let's go freshen up while the guys handle dinner," Kagome took her friend by the arm and leading her away.

"Sure," Sango agreed with a grateful smile as Shippo and Kirara followed them, passing by Misora and Oni busy training in the field.

"Enough," Oni announced, "Time to rest."

"But, I'm just getting the hang of it." A slight breeze toyed with Misora's hair, most of which had already escaped from her hair tie.

"Good, it'll keep it fresh in your mind for our next session." He put his sword away and motioned for her to do the same.

Misora pouted and then did as instructed, secretly grateful for the reprieve. Despite her eagerness to learn more, the lack of sleep the last couple nights was taking a toll. She swayed as she tried to move towards him.

Oni draped his strong arm around her waist, allowing her to lean against his side as he led her back over to the others.

He admired her desire to learn how to fight and to defend herself, but she needed to rest. Especially since the group would no doubt head out again right after lunch.

"Take it easy." He helped her sit by the small fire.

Oni sat beside her and pulled her against his side, inwardly smiling as she snuggled against his side and draped her arm over him. Within minutes she slid to lay down and her eyes fluttered closed.

Miroku stirred the pot of rice, meat and vegetables, while Bankotsu finished cutting up the deer meat and laid it out to dry in the sun.

"We won't be able to dry it completely before heading out again, but it'll suffice." Bankotsu walked over to the river and washed his hands free of the blood, then cleaned his knife and put it away. He returned to the group.

"When Kagome and Sango get back from bathing we will eat and then head out again." Bankotsu sat Indian style by the fire and polished Banryu. "We should cover as much area as we can over the next couple days."

Oni nodded his agreement as he adjust Misora's head to rest on his leg for a pillow. She looked so vulnerable in her sleep. A fierce desire to always protect her swelled inside him.

His brows furrowed. Something undefinable about Misa called to him in ways he'd never experienced before. Though unsettling at first, he found himself drawn to that quality more by each passing moment.

He removed the tie from her hair. He liked it better down, especially while she slept. He ran his fingers through her silky hair in an unconscious attempt to soothe himself.

"I take it she hasn't slept well?" Bankotsu asked quietly, curiosity clear in his blue eyes.

"She wakes from dreams she will not discuss."

Oni's jaw tightened. Deep inside it bothered him that she wouldn't' discuss what continually woke her from her slumber. Not that he needed exact details… Her words the other day and her actions each night since told him enough.

"No doubt my screw up the other day unburied unwanted memories for her." Bankotsu sighed as guilt settled heavy in his stomach.

"Perhaps," Oni acknowledged, "though I sense there is more to it." He wondered why she refused to open to him about it?

He could push her until she broke down and told him. He'd done so with many other women in the past, but Misa was different… Confiding in him needed to be her choice. That had never been the case with other women. Why was she so different?

Bankotsu sat there staring from his slumbering sister to the man beside her. Misa obviously went through more than she's telling us. He scowled. I wish she'd just get over it and at least talk to me. Damnit! I'm her brother… She never kept things secret from me before. His hand holding the purple cloth balled into a fist. I hate this shit!

"You're brooding." Kagome's amused tone pulled him out of his head, as did the way her fingers worked to ease the tension from his shoulders. "What's wrong?"

He pulled her over his shoulder to land in his lap with a grin. "Maybe I just don't like you being away so long." He scowled at her. "What took so long?"

She giggled. "Sorry. We really needed some girl time."

"Sorry I asked." He rolled his eyes not in the mood to be caught up on the current gossip and let her go, smacking her on the ass before she went to serve up the food. She shot him an annoyed glare, tugging a smirk from his lips.

"Thanks." Oni accepted two bowls and set them aside, then gently shook Misora's shoulders. "Misa, time to eat."

Her eyes fluttered open and she sat up, rubbing the sleepy sand from her eyes, then blinked a few times and smiled. "Thanks for letting me doze."

He nodded and passed her a bowl. "You need to keep up your strength."

"You're right." She grinned touched by his concern for her well being, then kissed his jaw and accepted her food. "Thanks." She hungrily tucked into the stew with rice and ate her fill.

Oni smiled and ate in silence beside her, noticing how she'd positioned herself so their knees brushed against one another when she shifted.

"We should head out once the food is gone and the dishes are washed and packed." Bankotsu devoured his food and went for seconds, eating next to his girlfriend.

Sango, Miroku, Kirara, and Shippo ate on the other side of the fire. They nodded their agreements and finished off the food.

Misora and Kagome carried the dishes over to the river and cleaned them together.

"Are you okay, Misa?"

"Why do you ask?"

"You look… tired."

"I'm fine, but thanks for asking."

"Your brother and I worry about you." Kagome stared at her with a compassionate gaze. "You have no idea how often he beats himself up over leaving you behind. And again for how he handled the training."

Misora blinked. "I appreciate your concern, but it will take time to work things out between Bankotsu and me." She smiled. "I can see how much you care about him. Thanks for that."

"He's a good man." Kagome smiled and placed a hand on Misora's shoulder. "Try to remember that. Okay?"

"Bankotsu has always had a good heart," Misora acknowledged softly. "Even though he tried not to show it." She rose to her knees and carried the dishes back to the camp.

Sango and Miroku dried and then packed the dishes.

"Kags, I want you up front with me." Bankotsu turned to Miroku and Sango. "You two should ride Kirara and scout from above."

They nodded and Kirara transformed so they could climb on. Shippo hopped onto Kagome's shoulder.

"I'm ready."

Kagome, Bankotsu, Oni, and Misora walked off side-by-side. Both men eyed their surroundings, while Kagome focused on trying to locate any trace of the jewel shards.

Misora remained silent, tempted to slip her hand in Oni's, needing to feel the warmth of his hand closed around hers. She bit her lip and tightened her hand in a fist to keep from reaching for his. The ways he reassured her were unexpected and comforting, but despite how kind he'd been to her, she feared dropping her guard too much.

I want to trust him, my heart tells me to… but, can I? And if I do tell him exactly what happened, will he see me as weak for it? Should I risk it? She nervously pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and lightly sucked on it.

As if tuned in to her emotional turmoil, Oni reached over and held her hand. Misora's heart sped and a slow smile spread across her lips as a tentative peacefulness spread through her body.

Kagome slid her hand into Bankotsu's and gave it a soft squeeze, before she returned her focus to searching for the shards. Okay Midoriko, we're on our way. I just hope we can handle whatever happens next…


A/N: Sorry It's been so long between updates. Life kicked in hard and fast. Anyway, enjoy the chapter and don't be afraid to share what you think. Remember feedback is the joy of all authors and our greatest motivation. Merry Christmas everyone! :)