Disclaimer: (See first chapter)


One Jewel, Two Souls


Recap:

Inuyasha stepped forward, his amberish eyes narrowed. "Babba!" he said when he was next to the elderly miko. "There's something wrong with your tale. Naraku and Karasu are youkai!"

When Ren looked over at the kitsune and imiko for answers, Youko said, "The hanyou speaks the truth. I personally fought with Karasu and he was a full blooded youkai.

Hiei leaned against the smooth surface of the cave's mouth, his arms crossed over his chest. "And I'm sure that this Onigumo and Bakudan were human, correct. No matter how weak and evil they were, there's no way they could be Naraku or Karasu."

Ren slowly nodded in agreement. Onigumo and Bakudan were surly completely human, because if they were not, her sisters would have purified them instead of aiding them. She blinked when the monk placed his hand on her shoulder and offered her a kind smile and said,

"Shall we go inside?"

Shippou wrapped his small arms around the large trunk of the demonic tree and gave a sharp tug. The tree retaliated, glowing bright red and sending a current of electricity through the kit's small body. The force of the attack caused Shippou to be blown away and slide across the ground a few feet. He slowly rolled over and punched the ground. "It's no use." he bemoaned. "Everytime I pull, I get shocked." Shippou glared at the large three jutting out of the well. "Unless the well is unblocked, Kagome and Kaori can't return to the world." Falling backwards, Shippou began to whine, "Youko-sama no baka! Hiei no baka. I'm never speaking to them again!"

"Did you say Youko and Hiei?" a dark voice rumbled from behind the kitsune child.

The red fox froze and sat up slowly. Gingerly, he turned his head and his turquoise eyes widened to their fullest extent when he spotted several three-eyed grey wolves snarling at him. He tilted his head up and spotted the leader, a large orange-furred demon with bulging yellow eyes. Drool leaked out of its mouth as he took a step closer to the kit.

"Where are Youko and Hiei!?"

Shippou opened his mouth and screamed as loudly as he could.


Ren lead them inside the damp, dark cave, stopping only when the sunlight that filtered through the mouth could no longer light up. She turned to the imiko and asked if he would light a fire for extra light. Hiei glared at the old woman before raising his hand and lighting a small flame in the palm of his hand. They walked deeper into the cavern, the moss and grass growing taller and greener than it was near the front. Miroku noticed something up ahead and held his his hand up for the others to stop.

"Ren-sama," he said, pointing his staff at the two patches of dirt on the ground. Patches where the grass refused to grow regardless of the other greenery around them. "What is this? Why will no grass or even moss grow in these two spots."

The elderly priestess walked around the monk to see what he was talking about. Her eye widened when she saw just what he was pointing at. It was the spot where Onigumo and Bakudan once laid. How can there be no grass growing in the spot where two humans rested. She watched the houshi kneel down to examine the spot where Onigumo laid and was surprised at how quickly he retreated. Ren's eyes widened when Miroku said that the grass-less spot harbored Jyaki. When he went over to Bakudan's resting place, he covered his face with his sleeve and rose back to his feet. The Jyaki has been there for decades! But how?

Miroku rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Could it be that the one who left the evil, that not even moss would grow on, here actually be human?

Youko chuckled under his breath at the monk's question. "Bouzu no baka," he degraded Miroku with a look, "No mere human can give off such a vile scent like this. It was clearly a youkai." He turned his gaze back to the spot where the human Bakudan laid. For some odd reason, the body-shaped patched smelled similar to Karasu.

The monk glanced over at the kitsune and glared at him coolly. His lips tilted up into a sly smirk as he approached Youko, "Then tell me, oh wise King of Thieves, how can human like Onigumo and Bakudan possess such jyaki as would a youkai?" He arched one of his black brows as he patiently waited for the fox to answer him.

Opening his mouth to reply, Youko's large silver ears twitched. A shrill cry echoed from outside of the cave. The spirit kitsune rushed out to see what made the sound and his eyes bled red at what he found. It was Shippou being chased by a pack of dark grey-colored wolves.

Shippou ran as fast as his tiny legs could take him. Tears streamed from his eyes as the wolves closed in on him, spittle flying out of their open muzzles. The small redheaded fox failed to notice a hidden rock in his path and he tripped, tumbling to the ground. Fear overcame him when he turned around and saw the wolves lunge at him with their sharp teeth snapping. Shippou opened his mouth once more and screamed, "Tasukete!"

Youko pulled a seed out of the base of his head, filling it with his youki so quickly that it exploded into his signature weapon instantly. His eyes were a sea of red as he carved up the first wolf that attacked the little kitsune he'd come to see as his own. Blood splattered everywhere, turning the once vibrant green field crimson.

"Sankon Tessou!" Inuyasha yelled when he saw that Shippou was being attacked. His claws glowed a bright yellow with his demonic powers and he ripped apart the next wolf that lunged at the child. No harm would come to Shippou! Kaori and Kagome would skin everyone alive if anything happened to the kit.

Hiei felt the Jagan Eye pulse angrily and both of his hands were aflamed with bright yellow-orange flames. "Jaou Ensatsu Rengoku Shou!" The flames shot out of his palms and struck the last wolf that was chasing the small fox child. Kaori cared for the young kitsune as well as his partner-in-crime. And Hiei would be lying if he said that he had not developed a soft spot for Shippou.

Inuyasha, since his attack required him to be closer to his opponent than the others, ran over and scooped Shippou up into his arms, pressing him tightly against his chest. The hanyou winced at the pull of his stomach and fell to his knees. He managed a weak smirk as he gazed down at the little fox, "You okay, Shippou?"

Shippou looked up at his saviour and noticed the pained expression on the Inu's face. The heady scent of blood filled his nostrils as something thick and wet seeped into his clothing. Lifting the hand that was pressed firmly against Inuyasha's chest, the kit saw that his pale flesh was dark with a crimson liquid not his own. "Inuyasha!" he screeched. "Your wound has reopened!"

The large orange youkai that had been chasing after Shippou loomed over the hanyou, his eyes narrowing at Inuyasha's silvery-white hair. Was this Youko Kurama? He pointed his big, black nose into the air and took in the scent of the being in front of him. This was not the kitsune he seeked, it was a dirty hanyou. The youkai growled, his fangs gleaming in the sunlight, "You're just a half-breed mutt!"

"Just who the hell are you?" Inuyasha snarled as he leaned forward to cover Shippou with his body and to protect his bleeding wound from the demon's large, sharp claws. He narrowed his eyes when the monster in front of him lifted one large hand, the curved black claws glinting.

"I am the Guardian of Hell, Royakan!" the youkai bellowed, his large bulging eyes locked on the form of the hanyou desperately trying to save the fox tyke. Royakan decided that he would let the half-breed and kit live for now as another scent drifted up to his nose. To his immediate left, he spotted two youkai glaring at him with murderous eyes. He cracked a smile, rows of fangs glistening with saliva. "You two! You must be Youko and Hiei!"

With the aid of the kind houshi, Ren made her way out of the dark cave. Her single brown eye widened as she saw the large, orange-furred demon towering over Youko and Hiei. Her gasp echoed across the land, "Is that Royakan; the youkai the guards the forest?"

Royakan slapped a large hand against his puffed out chest as he glared at the two demons. "I am reborn!" he bellowed loudly, spittle flying from his mouth. "Youko! Hiei! I come to kill you and everyone around you!" A small lump rose up in his throat as his furry cheeks puffed out. When he opened his huge mouth, dozens of wolves spewed out.

Youko smirked as he lashed out with his Rose Whip. Royakan had absolutely no idea just how pissed off the kitsune was. The orange demon dared to attack a child he deemed as his own. The spirit fox killed off several of the dark grey wolves in one fell swoop and blood coated the green grass crimson. Youko glanced over at his partner-in-crime to see how he was fairing, only to see that Hiei was standing with his arms crossed and eyes closed, a bored expression on his pale face. The kitsune was about to say something when he noticed the soft violet glow from beneath the white band of cloth the imiko wore.


Karasu leaned against the wide trunk of the tree he was standing on as he lifted a small pink sliver in the air. He watched as the sunlight made the shard sparkle with the colors of the rainbow. "Beautiful..." He wondered just how something so beautiful can make even the most timid youkai full of crazed power. The bomb master shifted his violet eyes down at his partner, who was letting handfuls of the pink shards fall back into the open palm of his other hand. "It was a brilliant idea to embed a Shikon Shard into Royakan, Naraku."

Naraku laughed cruelly, the white fur of his baboon cloak shaking gently with the force. "Indeed it was."

-0-0-0

"Hijin Kessou!" Inuyasha used the blood that covered his hands, using his youki to harden the fluid into crescent shaped blades. The bloody blades easily sliced through four of the wolves that tried to corner him and Shippou. He cringed in pain when his wound pulled at the corners, threatening to spread open even further. The hanyou dropped to his knees as he panted for his breath from the crippling pain coursing through his body. Shippou, who had moved to Inuyasha's shoulder, called out his name worriedly and pleaded for him to stop before he makes his injury even worse. "Damn..." the halfling cursed. "My vision's getting blurry."

Miroku cursed under his breath when he saw Inuyasha down on his knees clutching his stomach. He ran over to the hanyou quickly and grabbed the light purple rosary around his right arm. When the beads were no longer sealing off the cursed void, the Kazaana's winds quickly sucked in the remaining wolves that circled Inuyasha. He glanced over at his other companions and saw that the kitsune was still fighting off the grey wolves while the imiko looked to be sleeping?! "Just what is Hiei-san doing?" he growled as he closed his right hand and ran to pick up his staff. The monk then ran over to where Royakan was spewing wolves and threw the golden rod at the youkai, striking him between the eyes. Taking advantage of the distraction, Miroku opened the Void again in effort to dispose of the demon.

Royakan whined as he struggled against the violent sucking winds. He dug his sharp, black claws into the ground and tried to regain his footing. When he felt himself still sliding closer and closer to the Kazaana, Royakan panicked. The youkai released the ground for a brief second to ball his hands into a tight ball and slamming it into the ground, causing large pieces of stone and earth to be sucked into the void.

The houshi winced in pain as the sharp stones went into his Kazaana. He quickly closed off the void and the rock and earth collapsed back to the ground. He growled in annoyance when the dust cleared to reveal that Royakan had gotten away. "He's gone." Miroku said with narrowed eyes as he turned to face Youko and Hiei.


A small chuckle left Karasu as he crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back against the tree with his left leg bent at an angle in front of him. "So, it seems that they're quite protective over the small kit." His violet eyes gleamed mischievously before his rubbed his fingers along the edge of his silver mouth bit. His mind was playing all the possibilities that he could do to the little kitsune child to ensnare his prize.

Naraku 'tsked' and lifted his hand in front of the taller, dark youkai. It was a warning for Karasu to halt his train of thoughts. "We are not after the kit. We want Youko and Hiei." He sighed in annoyance when his partner arched a fine brow at him. "And the hanyou, apparently." Naraku would never understand why Karasu had a thing for killing things he deemed beautiful.

Karasu nodded at his partner before reaching into the small pile of sparkling gems and plucked two of them. "We should make Royakan even stronger." He tossed the shards into the air and caught them on their descent down. "I'll go this time."

The cloaked demon said nothing as Karasu hopped off the branch he was sitting on. He sat there for a few more minutes, thinking about where those delectable-looking young women that were accompanying the group he sought to exterminate had gone to. Naraku leaned deeper into the shadows and they seemed to consume him until only his glowing red eyes were visible. "They'll turn up soon." he whispered into the darkness as he closed his eyes.


Ren walked over to the fallen hanyou, Shippou following close behind since he was the one who went to get her. She carefully stepped over the dead carcasses of the fallen wolves. When she finally reached Inuyasha, the strong scent of blood caused her to cover her nose with the sleeve of her haori. Her single eye landed on the small pool of crimson liquid that was slowly leaking out of the halfling. Ren knelt down on her knees and touched Inuyasha's shoulder. "I am not going to ask if ye are alright. The strong smell of blood is a clear sign that ye are not."

Inuyasha groaned as he struggled to his feet, placing his hand over the newly re-opened wound in his stomach. Pain streaked down his spine at the movement and he panted in pain. Kami, he wished Kaori was here with her special healing concoctions to take away this crippling pain. "I'm fine." Inuyasha lied, "Where's Royakan?"

"Gone." she said. "He escaped."

Miroku walked over to the two youkai with the intent of asking why the imiko did not help against their fight with Royakan. "Youko-san. Hiei-san."

Hiei, having picked up in the houshi's thoughts, snapped his eyes opened and glared at the monk. He stepped forward and crossed his arms over his chest. "Before you start: no, I was not hibernating. I was using my Jagan Eye to search out the one who ere controlling Royakan." He felt the Dragon shift restlessly on his arm and he clenched his fist to restrain it.

Youko placed his hand on Hiei's shoulder when he sensed the spike in the apparition's youki. "What Hiei means is do not insinuate that he is sleeping when his eyes are closed." He glanced down at his partner-in-crime, sharing a small metal conversation. "We've found out that Naraku and Karasu are nearby."

The houshi's dark eyes widened. How could he forget that the forbidden one was also a telepathe? Miroku instantly felt regret as he bowed his head in shame. "I see. Sumimasen, Hiei-san." he apologized to the imiko.

"Royakan was being controlled by them," Hiei said, completely ignoring the priest as the Jagan Eye flashed once more before closing. "And they have shards of the Shikon no Tama; a lot of them."

"No wonder such a gentle youkai like Royakan has become a spiteful, evil one." Ren muttered as she brought a withered hand up to her chin. She blinked when the hanyou sudden began to walk away. "Inuyasha?!"

Inuyasha used Tessaiga to he continued to walk away, holding his bleeding stomach with his free arm. "We have to find them." He winced in pain, nearly doubling over at the agony racing through his body. The Inuyasha fell to his knees, finally giving into the crippling pain as he stretched out his hand holding Tessaiga. "Chikuso!" he cursed. "If it wasn't for them...Kaori would still be here!" His vision began to blur before he collapsed to the ground, blood pooling around him.

Shippou cried out the halfling's name as he scampered over to his fallen body. "Inuyasha!" he shouted as he shook his shoulder gently. "Wake up, Inuyasha! Wake up!"

Ren turned away from the young kitsune and the Inu to look at Miroku with her single brown eye. "Houshi-dono, Royakan may come again. And Inuyasha is in no condition to be fighting." She turned to address the two full-blooded youkai and said in a voice that left no room for argument. "We should return to the village."

Youko and Hiei nodded. The imiko moved to gather Inuyasha over his shoulder, being careful to not irritate his wound even further. The silver kitsune walked over to Shippou and knelt down, opening his arms for him. Shippou, although still upset with Youko, readily jumped into his welcoming embrace.


Kagome leaned against the fence next to her sister in deep though. The Higurashi twins were currently in Physical Education and while the other girls were happily playing volleyball, the coach asked for the twins to rest up since they've been 'ill.' Sighing wistfully, Kagome turned sad ashen blue eyes over at her sister, "Ne, Kao-nee, it's been three whole days. Why haven't they come for us?"

Kaori shook her head sadly as she drew in a deep breath. She noticed how the air in their time was not as pure and clean as the air in the Sengoku Jidai. It tasted like exhaust and other intoxicating gases while the air in the past was sweet and tasted like the forest. "I don't know, Kag-imouto... I'm starting to get worried." The elder sister smiled slightly when Kagome reached over and grabbed her hand, squeezing.

Yuka and Eri suddenly appeared in front of the Higurashi sisters. Their eyes were twinkling with giddiness as faint blushes covered their faces and giggles left their mouths. They jumped up and down with glee as they said, "Kagome! Kaori! Houjou-kun and Kyouta-kun from class B wants to talk to you!" The two squealed in excitement and clapped their hands.

Ayumi, who finally was allowed to enjoy free time, rushed over and clasped her hands together. Her big, doe brown eyes wide with happiness for her two friends. "You guys are so lucky!"

Kagome looked over at her sister with a puzzled look, wondering what they should do. She nodded when Kaori gestured over to the two young men waiting by the equipment building. Stilling holding onto her twin's hand, they slowly made their way over to Houjou and Kyouta. When the two boys spotted the twins, smiles lit up on their faces. Kagome and Kaori both waved weakly at the same time before closing the gap between them.

Houjou was the first to speak as he rubbed the back of his head, a blush tinting his cheeks. "Higurashi, how've you been feeling?"

"I'm okay." Kagome replied, scratching her left cheek.

Kaori looked Kyouta in the eyes, watching him squirm under her gaze. Sighing, she closed her eyes and said, "You wanted to talk to me, Kyouta-kun?"

The black-haired boy rubbed the back of his neck and smiled sheepishly. Kami, she was so pretty! "Uhm..." Kyouta wanted to smack himself. Here he was standing in front of the girl of his dreams and he was making a fool of himself. "Higurashi-chan," he said more firmly. "Will you go to the movies with me this Saturday?"

"Saturday?" the twins echoed? Kaori glanced over at Kagome and Houjou to see that he had also asked her out on a date.

"Yeah." the boys said together with faint smiles on their faces. "It would be a nice change from studying." Worried looks entered their eyes as they asked in quiet voices, "Unless you have other plans?"

The Higurashi twins looked at one other, pleading with their eyes for one of them to come up with something. Kaori sighed as she excused themselves and pulled Kagome around the corner of the equipment building. She lifted her hand to hide her mouth as she whispered, "Hiei and Youko, or even Inuyasha might come for us by then."

Kagome groaned as she glanced over at the two boys waiting in confusion before back at her sister. "Then what do we do?" she whispered back. "We stood them up once already."

"Go," the voices of their friends startled the twins, "You stood them up once."

The twins jumped and turned around to glare at their friends for scaring them like that. "How'd you know about that anyway?!" they demanded.

Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi rose to their feet, went and bowed to Houjou and Kyouta, and drug the Higurashi sisters back over to the fence. Once they twins were surrounded by the three girls, Kaori and Kagome took in the serious looks in their friends' eyes. But they still felt a bit peeved that they were eavesdropping on them, so the sisters glared right back at them before saying,

"What?"

Eri frowned at the slight hiss in the girls' voices and gave them a blank look while speaking in a stern tone, "You have someone else that you like." The way she said the question made it sound more like a statement.

The Higurashi sisters took a sharp intake of breath as blood pooled in their cheeks. Vivid images of the Sengoku Jidai flashed through their minds. Ren; the sweet old woman that treated them like her granddaughters. Sweet little Shippou; the adorable kitsune child they took in. Miroku; the lecherous priest that was becoming like a brother. Inuyasha; the charming hanyou that Kaori may or may not have a crush on. And finally, their minds lingered on Youko and Hiei; the two youkai they freed from the Goshinboku. Quickly, the identical girls shook their heads from side to side, erasing the vision from their heads. "What gave you that idea?!"

Ayumi reached out and placed her hands on Kagome's shoulders. The long, black-haired girl always felt more connected with the younger twin. Kagome was her first friend before she found out that she had a twin sister. "Kagome-chan, you and Kaori have been sighing more."

Yuka, who's closer to Kaori that she is with Kagome simply because she met the older sister first, reached out for the elder twin's hand and took hold of it. Her dark - almost black- blue eyes were sincere as she said, "You have this look on your face and it's not the look of one who's worried about school either, Kaori."

Kagome looked over at her twin and they shared a look of nervousness. Their two closest friends could always read them like a book when something was bothering them. A flashback of Youko holding her so closely to his body appeared before her eyes and Kagome's blushed deepened. When Kaori saw her sister's blush darken, she knew that Kagome was thinking about the embrace the kitsune gave her. But the elder twin also remembered the snug embrace Hiei gave her, how warm he felt. Never before has a man touched them like that. It left uncertainty in their hearts that they have not found out what it was.

Eri, who met the girls at the same time during their first year of junior high and was close to both of them, pointed her finger at the while placing the other hand on her hip. She narrowed her chocolate eyes at the twins as a frown twisted her lips down. "I bet it's unrequited love!"

That snapped the Higurashi twins out of their daze. Fire blazed in their ashen blue eyes as they roared at Eri, "Are you kidding me?!" they growled, throwing their balled fists to their sides to make themselves look taller as they rose to their tiptoes. "Who'd like such selfish and rude guys like that!"

The girls recoiled back from the angry twins, their arms coming up to protect them from Kagome and Kaori's rage. When the Higurashi sisters were both mad about something, they were a force to be reckoned with it. Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi especially tried to avoid making Kaori mad when she had just finished with Kendo and still had her shinai in her hands. But now that Kagome has taken an interest in Kyudo, they have to be wary of her too. Quickly, the girls flew back over to Houjou and Kyouta, hiding behind them slightly.

The two boys exchanged similar questioning looks before turning to the three girls hiding behind them. "Who're they talking about?"

Before Eri, Yuka, or even Ayumi could answer, Kagome and Kaori matched over to the young men. Their greyish-blue eyes were bright with a certain flame as they pointed their fingers into Houjou and Kyouta's faces. They sternly said the names of the boys who were crushing on them and said, "We'll go to the movies with you."

Filled to the brim with excitement, the boys from class B could not stop themselves from leaping into the air with joy. "Really? Yatta!"


Kagome and her sister, Kaori, shared similar pouts of anger as they gazed hatefully down at the Dry Well. They huffed and blew their long bangs out of their faces before childishly sticking their tongues out at the well. Why should they allow those rotten youkai manipulate them? The more they looked at the Dry Well, the more the girls seemed to relax as they thought of the beautiful land that was the Sengoku Jidai. Soon, their anger faded and their glare softened until it disappeared from their faces completely.

Kaori looked over at her younger sister and nodded when Kagome pointed at the well. They grabbed hands and jumped inside, hoping the feel the magic that would transport them five hundred years into the past. But nothing happened as their feet touched solid ground. "It didn't work." they sighed.

"I hope Inuyasha is okay." Kaori whispered as she tightened her grip on Kagome's hand, her eyes shimmering with sadness.

Kagome gave her sister a reassuring smile as she squeezed Kaori's hand back. "Youko and Hiei won't let anything happen to him." She thought about her sentence. Youko did not care all that much for the hanyou and Hiei was in competition with Inuyasha for her sister's affection. In a soft voice, Kagome added, "Probably..."


Upon the vast midnight-blue sky of the Sengoku Jidai, countless stars danced and twinkled around the bright waxing crescent moon. Everything was peaceful as the singing of the nighttime creature echoed throughout the land. Owls chirping their cries, the crickets whistling their tunes, and the cicadas sang out their mating calls. But, this peacefulness was soon shattered when a loud banging sound of something solid striking wood. The sound was coming from the single wooden hut atop of a massive hill.

Inside the hut was Inuyasha, his hands tied behind his back, but his legs were free. "Dammit it all!" He cursed as his used his feet to kick the door that was covered in holy sutras. "Open! Open! Open up!" He yelled at the top of his head, disturbing the meditating imiko resting in the opposite corner.

Hiei growled as he opened his eyes, but Youko was the first to speak, "Hanyou, stop your useless struggling. The hut is covered with sacred sutras to keep youkai out." He blinked in confusion when Shippou snapped his fingers and jumped off of his lap, where he was resting.

Inuyasha kicked at the door once more as he turned to glare at the silver kitsune. "I understand that! But why the hell are we sealed in then!" He bared his fangs and began to yell in an even louder voice as he kicked fiercely at the wooden door. "Open. The. Damned. Door!"

"Please stop and rest, Inuyasha." a familiar voice called out, "Your wound hasn't healed yet."

Both the inuhanyou and imiko's eyes widened at the sound of the voice as they uttered out the name of the owner. "K-Kaori?!"

A fluffy blond tail popped into place on 'Kaori's' backside and wiggled a few times as she knelt in front of the halfling. 'She' giggled a few times as she batted her eyelashes and clasped her hands together. "Would you like me to sleep with you?" 'Kaori' said in sweet voice.

Before anyone could react, Hiei jumped from her corner, forgoing his sword since he knew who was really acting as Kaori, and balled his hand in a tight fist. His fist made contact with the kitsune tyke's skull with a sharp crack, causing Shippou to shift back into his original form. While Hiei has never struck the kit before since his partner-in-crime and he was somewhat attached to him, but, when the imiko saw Shippou take on Kaori's form the anger that consumed him was too great. "Shippou..." he breathed out, trying cool his ire. "Refrain from even transforming into that guise ever again."

The tiny red kit whined as he held on the swelling lump that formed in the crown of his head, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. Shippou looked at the imiko and saw the serious anger in his ruby red eyes and slowly nodded. But his punishment was not over yet, for he still had the wrath of a certain Inuhanyou to deal with. With a low growl and fangs bared, Inuyasha snarled at the kit and began to kick him violently repeatedly. "Itai!" Shippou yelped. "Don't get so mad, Inuyasha!" This continued for a few minutes until Youko snapped at Inuyasha to stop and at that moment the door slid open.

Ren and Miroku looked disappointed at the hanyou for still causing so much ruckus.

"Miroku! Temee!" the hanyou gave Shippou one last kick, which earned him a sharp glare from the older fox, and growled low in his chest at the priest.

The monk shook his head before placing his hand on his forehead. "Sacred sutras are no use if you continue to make so much noise." he glanced over at the the two full-blooded demons and sighed, "Why can't you be calm like Youko-san or Hiei-san?"

Inuyasha bared his fangs at Miroku and sprung to his feet. "Lemme outta here!" he yelled, charging at the houshi.

Miroku sighed as he held his staff in front of him and used it to pressed the inuhanyou against the wall. He placed the golden rod at Inuyasha's neck and held him down until Ren had closed the door behind her. "Ren-sama," he smiled pleasantly,please reseal the door."

"Hai." Ren kneeled down and placed a sutra on it, thus resealing it. She then moved over to the hanyou, who had just been released by Miroku, and pulled an urn out of the sleeve of her haori. The old woman instructed Inuyasha to remove his hitoe and kosode and lay on his stomach. Once the silver inuhanyou did as she asked, Ren kneeled at his side and began rubbing the whitish-clear ointment on his wound.

"You're not ready yet." Miroku said after a few minutes of silence. "I know how eager you are..." he shifted his gaze over to Youko and Hiei before back to the halfling. "All of you. But, first Inuyasha's wound must heal completely."

Youko opened his eyes, gazing at the monk intently. "I know that, Bouzu." he said stiffly, a bit miffed that the priest thought he was being impatient. "We cannot underestimate Naraku or Karasu," He folded his arms over his chest as he turned his gaze over to Shippou and said in a softer voice. "That is why we sent Kagome and her sister back through the well and sealed it."

The auburn-haired kit felt his eyes go wide with shock before guilt entered the turquoise orbs. That was the reason why Youko and Hiei sent the girls back? They did not want them to get hurt by Naraku and Karasu? Shippou clenched his hands together. And he said all those awful things to the older kitsune. He called him a liar and said words of hate to Youko. Tears collected beneath his eyelids as the young kitsune tyke rushed over to Youko and jumped into his arms. "Youko-sama!" he sobbed, clinging to the silver fox's toga and wetting it with his tears. "I'm sorry, Youko-sama! Please forgive me!"

The older kitsune allowed a faint smile to spread across his lips as he placed his hand on Shippou's head, comforting the kit. He wrapped his other arm around his small body and held him close to him as he murmured. "There is nothing to forgive." Youko's normally cold and calculating eyes were warm as he patted down Shippou's hair. "You acted out of spite because I sent back the only women who acted as your guardians for my own selfish reasons."

Shippou sniffled, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of his haori. "What about Hiei-san? Will he forgive me?"

"As the Fox said; there's nothing to forgive, Kit." Hiei chimed in, his voice a bit softer than usual."

A small smile tilted at the kit's face as he looked up at the older kitsune. "Youko-sama..."

"KEH!" Inuyasha snorted, ruining the slight father/son moment that Youko and Shippou were sharing. "Miroku, you're talking like a weakling! My wounds are fin! I'm ready to fight anytime!"

The priest sighed before turning a gentle smile at Inuyasha as he rose to his feet. "Stay still and get some sleep." His anger flared when the hanyou turned his nose up at him and in an instant, Miroku was upon him. He stomped multiple times on Inuyasha's injured back, while punctuating each word with a solid stomp. "How many times must a repeat myself?! You stupid dog!"

Ren looked boredly at the duo, waving her hand up and down as she deadpanned. "Oi. His wound will reopen if you keep that up.


Yes, I know...I'm terribly late with this revamped chapter and I apologize. I ended up going to summer school and between that and this past fall quarter, I just could not find the time to write. Please forgive me and keep reading an reviewing!

Ja ne

~Kirei Ai Tenshi