Chapter 2: Truth, Assumption, and … Action!

Kagome Sighed once more as she watched the cold demon lord left, hiding his sent and aura as he went. She turned suppressing her own aura a bit and head in the way she came. Mussed about her meeting with Sesshoumaru as an oddity in its self; She noted that she did not receive a harsh statement or that many questions from him as he seemed really like he did not want to be there. She found it even odder that he did not try to kill her for just being there.

'I wonder what it is like to travel with him,' she thought silently to her self. 'Not that I would try, but it seems that he wonders around with a young girl, a young human girl, a toad demon, and a beast like dragon. For a self proclaimed human hater the group seems … odd.'

Ducking a low hanging branch she continued, 'Inu Yasha hardly talks about him, except on how he is a cold bastard, who hate every thing except himself. I wonder if there is more to the story on what went on between the two. I mean there should be more than a hatred for being the cause of your father's death, even after 200 years or so you can get over that. I can see more being there, so what is it that drove them apart?'

As she thought about it, she did not realize that she was in the clearing that held the well, and one annoyed hanyou that was staring at her in a very comic way. Should she turn her head in a split second before he addressed her, she would have seen Inu Yasha with one leg in the well in a position that looked as if he was fight himself on going through the well to go get her, as if he was going reluctantly in a gruff mood. Which is the reason he straiten himself before yelling, in a pissed off manner, "Oy, wench, where were you?"

This surprisingly brought Kagome out of her thoughts, and at first she was surprised to hear Inu Yasha. When she returned to her senses a second later she rounded on him fast by saying, "I happened to run into Kikyo and her Soul- collectors, and said hello, because you weren't here to greet me as usual."

If Inu Yasha was afraid he did not show it when he responded in a tone to match Kagome's frustrated one, "Why do you need someone to greet you, wench, when you're perfectly able to defend yourself or call for help? And what did Kikyo say?"

"I HAVE NO IDEA," her angered peaked. He wanted her. He always wanted Her; she was perfect, she was everything he wanted, she was submissive and sweet in a distance sort of way. SHE WAS DEAD AND WAS GOING TO STAY DEAD. Calming her tone before she really did him in, she added, "And my name is Kagome, Inu Yasha, not Wench!"

"If you do not like it, you can leave," responded Inuyasha as he turned in the direction she just came in an attempt to locate the dead Miko by sent. If he was looking at Kagome he would have noticed the look of death that she was giving him.

"Inu Yasha …."She said it in a sickly sweet voice that should have warned him about what was to come next, if he was listening. To her luck, he wasn't.

"Huh!"

"SIT, SIT, And SIT. You need a lesson in manners." Taking in a gulp of air she put everything in to the next word she said, "SIT!"

Needless to say, Sesshoumaru felt dually entertained by this show of events, not that his half brother didn't deserved such treatment from the Miko. He watched further how the sourly angered Miko turned heal and continued to the village ahead. How the disgruntled half bread pulled him self out of an unseemly human-like hole, and sat down for a bit before heading towards what was left of the dead Miko. He was dually entertained, and the once again traced after the Miko.

After measuring her aura he assumed she suppressed it after he left the clearing to avoid unwanted detours from her traveling to the village. He also noticed that her waist length hair was the same black/ blue coloring as his young wards. Along with that her pale skin and brown eyes, they could pass for sisters, maybe even mother and daughter.

As he followed her, he pondered about her ability with the bow. Her choice in weapon was sufficient enough to pass in battle on a long-range term, but a close-range term could prove difficult for a young Miko. She has already proved to have some knowledge of his ward with her comment earlier in the clearing. His concern now was she educated, it was rare to find Miko's with an education as men usually received one, but it was not unheard of to see one who was educated.

From deep in the forest, he paused to hear a cry of anguish from the half breed. He assumed that the rodent found the clearing he was in earlier, and was distraught to lose his love once more. He really could not help the smirk that crossed his features at the brats' loss, she was a corpse.

His mask back in place, he took in a closer look of his surroundings he noticed fewer tree's and more brush in the immediate vicinity and knew he was coming to the edge of the forest. He figured his presence would go unnoticed should he stay clear of the village, but he would loss his close proximity to the Miko, who he was, for a lack of a better word, stalking. Fighting his distaste for what he was doing, he assessed that he can watch and listen to the Miko's dealings within the village by staying hidden among the tree's using his heightened senses. Looking up, he also figured that the tree branches would do a better job in hiding his presence from human eyes higher up in the foliage. He watched as Miko stopped on the edge of the forest and sighed, letting go of all her frustration and anger in the process. Taking his new station, he watched as the Miko walked into the village with a smile.

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He found it; oh boy did he find it. He was on his knees, shock still written on his face. His ears were ring, from what he did not know, or want to know for that matter. He tried to go to the remains; really he tried to move, if any one can move after a blow like this he wanted to meet them for he was barely able to crawl to her ashes.

Getting there, he picked up the hakama's and arrow, he could not stop from saying, "who? How? When? Why?" the last word came out as if it was a curse and bane of his existence.

The kami's had refused to let him have her fifty years ago, and still when he was about to find a way to be with her they still refused to let them be together. What did they do to deserve this harsh treatment? He wanted her back. What he wanted to know was who did this so they could pay for killing her yet again.

Pulling himself from the ground to a sitting position, he put his nose to the air hoping to find Naraku's sent. What he did find surprised him more than anything else today. He found the sent of clay and graveyard soil, Kikyo's new sent, but that was not all he found. He found the sent of jasmine and midnight thunder, Kagome, which he knew from talking to her she was here earlier, but he also smelt hill top dew and moon dust, the sent of his brother. This did not make sense, his brother never took to traveling in his forest for any reason except to fight him, so why was he here.

This troubled him because this meant that his brother moved undetected in his land. This also meant that he was more powerful then he let on about to anyone. However, this does not remove the fact that his brother was on his land against his knowledge and for no obvious reason. To say the least it irked him. Taking in the lingering sent, he determined that his love was dead for a while before either one of the living counterparts left and begs the question on what did they do after they watched Kikyo die or came in the aftermath, as the sent was to diminished to tell exactly what they did.

Looking at the arrow that was in his hand he assumed it was the killing blow and would lead to Kikyo's killer. It looked like any old arrow that would be used in hunting. Looking closer he noticed it was familiar, like a sacred arrow shot by Kagome. Pushing his own aura forward to see whose it was, he was shocked to feel the gentle calm of Kagome's aura with the bite and cold of his brothers. This was not making sense. Sesshoumaru hated two things him and humans, he would not pair up with any human for any reason unless he had no choice in the matter, or … something to hide.

Why was he the last one to know anything around here? It made sense now, he knew the old bastard was protecting a little girl (personally he thought that was odd) but to actually go and sleep with a human woman was something else entirely. Kagome was hiding her sent lately, except when she was in battle, and his brother needed a reason to come into his forest for anything and it was a sort list of reasons, maybe a good rut fit the list of good reasons. If that was the case then Kikyo must have found out looking for his self and died before she could tell him.

That wench was going to pay for sleeping with his brother, and for killing Kikyo, the woman he loved. Forget all that she has done and the jewel, he was going to kill her and watch his brother suffer like himself, then kill the old bastard for turning Kagome against him.

Breaking the arrow, he took the garments and gathered the dust that was Kikyo's remains and bundled it together. Throwing it over his shoulder, he grabbed Kikyo's bow that was hidden under the clothing and took of towards the village, deadly intent written into his face.

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Unaware of what was going on around her, Kagome sighed yet again to her self after leaving the coverage the forest provided, awkwardly she was able to get rid of all her frustration towards Inu Yasha in that one sigh. She felt worthless for not stopping to hear his cry of grief, but that woman was dead a long time ago. Though it is sad when one losses their love. Tragedy really, people are meant to fall in love and live together, when they don't it sad, but Kikyo died fifty years ago. She nothing but a shadow of her former self, she was a being cursed to remember a life she no longer had. She saw what happened as a gift to her incarnation to end her suffering. However she was not going to morn her passing because she was already dead.

She was bound to hear it from him on the fact that she was supposed to protect her incarnation from harm. Why should she protect something, or someone, who wanted her death, it was very problematic. She never had a reason to be hated, except for her existence, she had nothing to hate about her. Walking away from the forest, she decided there was nothing to it. She headed to the village looking towards Keade's hut looking for some sign of her feudal family. She wondered how they were going to great her, she knew Sango was bound to ask her how her trip home was, Miroku was going to try to get something perverted out of it, and Shippo was going to beg and plead for his treats, which she would eventually give him, after he greeted her at the door with a hug.

However, that did not remove the fact that Inu Yasha was going to complain loudly that she was not there to help them find shards of the shikon-on- tama and defeat Naraku. She knew he would be angry with her over Kikyo's death, until he got over it, and pushed her out the door in an attempt to forget her. She could see a huge argument on this over the horizon. Probably a few 'sits' would stop him from doing to much damage if he got out of hand, hopeful not in the near future of right now.

Entering the village she could not help but smile. Some of villagers came up to her to great her or ask for advice; some even asked how she was doing. What surprised her most was one of the elderly ladies that she brought medication back for gave her a gift for helping her for so long. The gift was wrapped in brown paper and tied to protect it from the dust out side; she could not help but wonder what was in the package.

"For helping us all, even in your travels child," said the elderly lady know as Ayako. She was holding the gift out to her to take.

"Thank you Ayako- sama," Kagome said, "but I don't need anything but a smile for the help that I give."

"Spoken like at true Miko, child," chuckled the old lady. "You see many horrors and help many people it nice to receive a gift every once in a while. Talking of gifts, send you suitor, Inu Yasha, to my hut later I have more to give you for helping me live longer than my days and see my first great grand child."

"It was nothing Ayako-sama, and Inu Yasha is not my suitor he is my friend," she answered honestly, not meaning to claim something that was not hers. "I'll send him if he gets back."

"Oh he is out is, then my grandson bring it to you then. Good day lady Kagome," replied the elderly lady before she left and was replaced by another villager, who she helped. All the while she could not help but think about the old meddling with the young. They probably need something to do she guessed.

After she said hello to every one that came up to her, she continued to Keade's hut where she saw the elderly Miko outside collecting herd in her garden with Shippo. She assumed that Keade got Shippo to help with the promise of a treat. She yelled forward to the two, "hi, their! You guys need any help?"

Keade and Shippo stopped what they were doing to see Kagome enter the garden to see them. "Kagome," yelled an excited kit, who forgot what he was doing to run and greet his mom.

"Hello child. How was ye's travels?" inquired the elderly Miko as she gathered the rest of what she needed from the garden before getting up and brushing the dirt from her hakama's.

"It was refreshing to go home and see my family, and I was able to go to school and complete my studies for the year," responded the energetic girl as she hugged her adoptive son in one arm and digging for his gift from the large bag with the other. This happened to be a stuffed teddy in the shape of a small dog; it was black of course so not to set Inu Yasha off about the toy.

The elder Miko took no notice to the gift given to the kit and addressed her, "Hmm. Come, ye must be tired 'tis getting late, come child," replied Keade, heading into the hut.

Kagome followed willingly listening to what Shippo was telling her. "It had rained for three days when you left so I was bored drawing pictures a few of them of Inu Yasha. When the rain stopped Inu Yasha went to get you, and I played tricks on Miroku and Sango for a while until Inu Yasha came back and Sango left. I played some tricks on Inuyasha while he was here because he disappeared five or six times to go get you. So I started helping Keade out a bit thinking would be nice to help her out, and while I was helping her I learned a new trick" with that he bounced out of her arms and created another Shippo to run along side him. "See, mom," yelled the twin kits as they turned back to his mom.

"That's great, Shippo. You can use that to confuse your enemies in battle," commented Kagome. She learned recently that kitsune tend to try and seek approval from their parents so to appease them. Should they get to much approval from their parents they tend to get lazy and weak, but if you give them attention and a goal to reach for they become strong and fearless, so to speak. Her mother told her that should she want to be a good mother in yokia society she should give him ideas to further his abilities as a young fox demon within limits. That in mind her next statement got her son thinking.

"You know Shippo if you make more illusions of your self you can use that to confuse and attack your enemies at the same time," suggested Kagome. "It could make your illusions last longer and be more defined," with a smile she added, "just a thought."

Shippo stopped in the door way deep in thought pondering the new thoughts his mother just installed into his mind. Unknowingly, because he was still young, instincts wanted to appease his new mother by proving that he can do the task, yet he did not know how to. Instead of being disappointed Shippo's inner self and beast resolved to be stronger for his new mother, Kagome, so she can be proud of him.

"Shippo, dear, what else can you tell me about what happened while I was away," asked Kagome. She decided to keep Inuyasha's actual number of visits to herself until she could do something about it properly. However, Shippo was talking avidly about everything he learned and did. She only half listened with a mother's ear and smile, until her son was interrupted.

"Lady Kagome, it is nice to see you return after a long absence," replied a voice from behind. She sighed, 'really he can't wait.'

"Don't even think about it, Miroku, or I'll tell Sango," she replied in kind.

Miroku's hand paused inches from its projected path as he shakily replied, "Lady Kagome, what is it you think I do to a beautiful maiden such as yourself?"

"I don't know Miroku, but your one lecherous monk," answered Kagome, and she added, for extra measure, "I'm sure Sango will be jealous of the fact you pay more attention to other women than to her."

Moving away from her perverted friend, Kagome picked up Shippo, who taken to calling the monk 'baka' at the time, and walked into the hut to help a very busy Keade prepare their evening meal. She also knew that she and the group could not leave until Sango, who, according to Shippo, left to return to her village while she was away, also returned to the village.

The young Miko put her things down in a small corner of the hut and began the things she normally did while at the elder Miko's hut. However the young Miko was preoccupied with her thoughts about the dead Miko. She was reflecting on the information provided from the memories and past of her soul held about her 'incarnation.' She knew now that she and Kikyo were two extremely different people. Kikyo was a cool, collected, and purposeful person, she gave herself completely to her duty before pleasure and prepared to do anything for it and her honor. She was proud and strove for perfection and strength. She even thought that her relationship with Inu Yasha made her weak, but she could not, for the life of her, stop, for a moment, stop loving him. Kagome realized her love for Inu Yasha was a flame to the wind compared to Kikyo's love for Inu Yasha.

Though she took it in stride, Kikyo's resurrection was a painful memory to remember for her. What happened in truth her soul was in heaven because instead of killing who she thought caused her death she sealed the person for what she thought did. In doing so she gave forgiveness as well as avoided taking the life of an innocent soul. When the witch was calling it forth it needed something to tie her soul to this plain of existence. What better to do this then another Miko who shared physical resemblance, no less, but it went wrong because the other Miko's soul felt no connection to the old Miko and moved to leave the body. However, Kikyo's soul returned to earth, ripping her out of heaven, and the witch tied a part of the young Miko's soul to the dead ones unknowingly in her death. Not knowing this the dead Miko had sought out help to either die, or return to the plain of the living. To die would be easier; to live she needed the blood of a strong demon and the rest of the soul of the Miko who she was tied to.

Kagome physically sighed at the thought that this Miko's suffering and separation from heaven allowed thoughts of murder corrupt her soul, and attack the western lord, who, by any means of measurement, is the strongest demon of this era and all the ones to follow. And the sad part was she did it for Inuyasha.

The other occupants of the hut continued their work noticing the younger Miko and her quietness among their activities. Deciding best to leave the young girl alone and go about their own work until Shippo perked up saying, "Kilala!" waking kagome from her thoughts. This sudden out burst also announced Sango's arrivals to the hut.

She walked in with her head down obviously tired from her days travels. Taking a quick look around the hut she noticed two things quickly. One Inuyasha was not there and two Kagome was.

"Kagome!" exclaimed Sango as she hurried over to her friend, who she considered a sister, and gave her a quick hug. Calming down she asked the obvious question, "When did you get back?"

"Just today, late noon," replied kagome with a smile, not catching her friends trap. "I ran into Inuyasha on the way here, he didn't say much though."

"Where is Inuyasha," she asked as she took a seat by Miroku.

Kagome felt foolish for not catching her friends trick, and she did not want to lie to her friend. She hate to lie, and tried to get people forget what they said or avoided the truth. Thinking about the incident at the clearing she had a good excuse. "I think he's still sulking in the forest. I did 'sit' him for being rude to me at the clearing," she stated and it was a partial truth. He was sulking because of Kikyo second death, and she did sit him for being rude so insinuating a it as a reason effectively avoided a lie.

Sango and the rest accepted the statement to be the case and dropped the subject thinking it would ensure another fight should Inuyasha show up. Mentally sigh in relief as she passed out soup to the others one by one with the help of Shippo. Some soup was left in the pot to stay warm for the groups missing member.

Looking at the door she could not help the stray thought of 'it's going to be a long night' before striking conversation with the others about Naraku, and what Sango learned on her way back.