Last warning. This is not meant for underage readers. Illegal distilleries, grifting, and murder are themes in this oneshot. Fury/Kagome pairing. Character Deaths. Each section is 500 words.

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The Man In the Long Black Coat


Nick Fury sat at a table nursing a beer in a run down, half dead Louisiana bayou town. Out on the dance floor old people shuffled through steps they'd learned fifty years earlier, while a group of twenty-somethings flirted and spun on their own section of sawdust sprinkled concrete. The dance hall was on it's last legs, much like the town, and he wondered why she'd moved to such a piss poor place.

No one would answer any questions about her, and it was made clear that further questions would have him feeding the swamp critters, so he'd resigned himself to staying in the dilapidated motel just up the road from this establishment.

Even if she shunned company these days, surely she'd hear about the stranger asking for her. Three days had passed, three days he really didn't have free now that Coulson was gone; as soon as his leave was up he'd have to report back, Kagome or no Kagome.

He took another pull at his beer, the lukewarm liquid odd-tasting to him. It was homemade stuff, heavy on local hops. He'd seen the vines behind several houses, along with a couple of half-hidden stills. In fact, he had a few quart jars of their moonshine carefully packed in an aluminum case. Maybe it'd shut Thor up about the quality of drink available, for one night anyways.

A small, delicate-seeming hand put a shot of amber-gold liquor in front of him and he turned, meeting a pair of mild gray eyes that had haunted his sleep for years. Thinking it a dare, he tossed the liquor back, forgetting how to breathe as it seared down his throat with more paint-stripping agony than Everclear.

"Idiot. It wasn't a challenge, you were supposed to tump it in the beer. Want to dance?"

His breath caught. He'd convinced himself that her was imagining how beautiful she was but, if anything, his imagination paled against real life. But he couldn't show her that, couldn't ask her to come back to them if he trapped her with adoration. So he stared her down before speaking to her, poker-faced and cool voiced, quoting Matthew 6:22. "'The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.' I've lost my good eye, Kagome. I cannot function alone. Do I have to be lost in darkness without my heart as well?"

She took in the changes, the exhaustion and grief, the lines on his face engraved there by his job, and she gave him the only response she could. No matter how Shippou feels about him... "I gave you my heart long ago, Nick. You've yet to give it back these long years." She headed for the door, the thin worn cotton of her old-fashioned maxi dress clinging to her curves in the heat. He tossed the rest of the beer back and followed her out.

Fifteen minutes later they were on the way to the helicarrier.

~oOo~

The tall, lean-muscled male got out of the car, anger simmering as he surveyed the abandoned house. The trees he had nurtured for decades were bent over, broken and dying thanks to the last hurricane that had come through. He wandered into the overgrown yard, crickets falling silent at his passing; weeds and overgrowth giving way before him. Something fluttered at the side of the house, catching his attention. One of her old-fashioned country dresses still hung on the line there, though now it was hardly more than a rag thanks to storm and sun.

Going up on the porch, he ducked through one of the many open windows. At least the spells here kept the house sound, if not safe from wildlife. He tossed a coon and her kits out a window, chest rumbling with a growl. There was nothing, no voicemail, no note telling where she was, just two months of silence.

He headed back out to the car, the illusion around him shimmering as it changed him into an old, mostly bald priest. His clothes shifted into a black broadcloth suit; a blindingly white celluloid roman collar finishing the look. Two leaves pulled from the dead banyon, and he held a Bible and rosary...

The hunt was on.

The folks in town were happy to talk to an elderly priest about his missing great-niece. After all, her disappearance gave them something to talk about for weeks. A colored man in a long black coat hanging around the old dance hall, an overheard Bible verse, and suddenly the sweet young woman with healing hands was gone, not a word or forwarding address left with anyone.

Shippou shook his head, the very picture of suffering. "My niece... how many times did I tell her that every man's conscience is vile, depraved. You elders of the town know this, have come to understand it as you've aged and learned to understand the spiritual side of life. The yearning body is a thing of youth, and youth cannot depend on its conscience for guidance when it is instinct and desire, and not the Lord's will, that keeps it satisfied. I only pray I find her safe."

They all agreed with him, and wished him well on his search. When he got into his car, they even pressed a love offering in his hand. He blessed them solemnly, the thankful look on his face morphing into a smirk as he put the town behind him and his illusion shimmered back to his red-haired, green-eyed self.

So, Fury thought to take up with Kagome again, even after his warning. He ignored the way her voluntary exit with him put a lump in his throat... she wouldn't have left the house he'd put her in if not for Fury, so the fault lay with the human bastard. He'd warned him off fifteen years ago, now he'd show the S.H.I.E.L.D. director exactly why it was stupid to interfere with a youkai and what was his.

~oOo~

Six months later a pale man walked through a yard almost fully reclaimed by the swamp. Alligators splashed into the water, millennium-old instincts telling them a bigger predator was hunting among them. They drew back, but lounged around the periphery of the hunting ground, not adverse to a potential windfall.

Mist lingered over the water like smoke, giving an eerie air to the half-burned structure canted crazily over a patch of moss clogged water. Vines worked their way through cracks and along boards, greedily reclaiming what had been enspelled away from them so long. The whole area was silent, even the cicadas refusing to trill in the maddened, disturbed aura surrounding the place

Not a tree was left standing; all around the house they were uprooted and clawed to splinters, signs of a youkai gone mad to any who knew of them. Sesshoumaru lifted his head, catching the acrid scent of fox. The moonlight was kind to the daiyoukai, illuminating him with ethereal beauty and matching his crescent with her own, high in the sky.

As though the assassin was recognized in that singular moment, pulses of insane jyaki suddenly began battering at him, vibrating his very bones. He snarled at the challenger, and unleashed the rumbling force that was his jyaki, his cold, controlled killing intent.

No more would he put up with the fox's loss of control. He would regain his sanity or die this night. The miko was dead, it was the fox that killed her. That should have been the end of it. He didn't give a damn either way about it, and would have ignored the whole mess, but the stupid fox kept beating a dead horse.

He walked around the corner, staring down the snarling four-tailed monster who was risking their existence with his unconcealed transformation. The daiyoukai lashed out with his whip, slicing deeply; clipping a vein if the amount of blood now turning the green water brown was any indication. Crimson eyes focused on him, a snarl splattering blood around.

His icy wit claimed the next hit. "Foolish fox. There are no mistakes in life. You killed her. You are youkai, if you kill, it is for a reason." He beat at the enormous furred muzzle several more times, as Shippou snapped at him.

"I will kill you, no matter the scarcity of our kind. She was just a human. They don't live or die, they just float back and forth from that wheel they are so fond of. If you want her, catch her early next time, before she meets him. It's the only way you'll ever get to keep her." Disgusted, he turned his back on the miserable wretch and left.

Shippou whined at the sting of acid and itch of healing wounds. He flashed back to his humanoid form, abruptly sitting in the grass and keening. She's gone. She's gone with him again because I stupidly killed them both...

She's gone with the man in the long black coat.


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There are lots of stories about kitsune pretending to be monks, or tormenting monks. Move it to the South, and you'll have them mocking priests.