X-ing

Disclaimer I own neither Bleach nor Inuyasha, and all I have to say is I'm obsessed with

Ichigo and Kagome pairings.

Chapter One

Kagome supposed it only made sense she had died for someone she loved, his feelings not with standing she loved that stupid pushy orange headed man. She still didn't know what he'd gotten into but she supposed she wasn't too surprised, he was more of a trouble magnet then she was.

And that was saying something, she had after all traveled to the past and fought demons for two years before coming back to the future when the well closed after her wish. Then she had been in love with a silver haired golden eyed half-demon, she had thought she'd never get over him, but then she had met Ichigo by chance. Their meeting had been so brief, just his high school coming to hers for a kendo competition, she had only seen him for five minutes but she felt like she had been hit over the head.

She knew then she had to find him again, but it didn't seem meant to be, till she met him a year later, he had gotten a job in Tokyo while he went to school on a kendo scholarship. He wanted to be a Doctor.

That was when she found out he was a year older then her, she didn't mind Inuyasha had been at least a hundred years older then her even if he still seemed the same age.

It took six months of going out of her way to visit him on his shift, for him to tell her he had a girlfriend back home in Karakura.

Their paths had separated again- she sometimes thought she wasn't meant to be happy, after all all her moments of happiness had been stolen. Brief and fleeting.

At the same times as those thoughts hit her she also wondered if she wasn't just a piece on the board of the gods' game, after all her path seemed to cross with so many and almost any time she met them again they thanked her, and she never seemed to meet someone just once. That was something she had only noticed after falling through the well, she had traveled through more then half of Japan and yet she didn't just met a person once, they always came back.

So heart in hand she hoped she'd meet Ichigo again and have a real chance with him.

Her wish was granted three years later, she got a job as a teacher in Karakura she was only signed for the summer but she had hope, and she was right to hope, her very first night in Karakura she met him in the grocery store. While they shopped together she found out Ichigo had broken up with his girlfriend because he intended to take over his father's clinic not become a high payed doctor, and she was rather expensive.

So they went out on a date a week later. Then next months were bliss then she had to go back, a month later she was surprised when she found him on the steps of the shrine because he had transferred to the nearest hospital. The next three months after had been joyous, then something had changed one night, Ichigo missed a date, he called the next night and explained he had been called home and she didn't see him for other two weeks. She spoke to him a couple of times over the phone but he was so distant, then she met him, and he broke up with her, at first she thought he was sick; he was so pale and he had such a nasty look on his face, but then he broke her heart.

She knew she still loved him even as he walked away, ignoring her tears, but she thought that it was over. She had ignored the passage of the last three years, barely remembering she was twenty six, only marking the passage of time with the things her brother did, he was now married and his wife was pregnant... she wouldn't live to see the baby, that was a shame she was sure Tora and Souta would have lovely children.

But just a week ago she had seen Ichigo, curious about the hard look on his face she followed, tapping on the skills she had learned a long-long time ago. Following him six city blocks she was surprised, he not only was looking about alertly, she had seen him move in ways humans didn't, she was sure she would have missed it if not for the times she had seen demons move, the real trick when something was much faster then you was learning to predict movements, and she had gotten good at that.

She had seen him not once but twice move fast enough he was across a street in a blink, and no one on the sidewalks had noticed. She sped up, he was getting into a narrow side of the streets, and she found herself wondering what on earth was he doing down here? Then next thing she knew she was pinned to the wall knife to her throat, and she was choked just tight enough to stop the instinctive yelp.

Blinking she found herself staring into Ichigo's deep amber eyes. His hard glare faded into shock, "Kagome?"

His hand loosened, for half a second and then tightened as he inhaled deeply, then he let her go and hid the knife away, she remembered being stunned by the flash of silver. Because she had known whatever he had gotten caught up in was bad.

"What's wrong Ichigo?"

He had scowled and one hand had started messing up the orange hair she loved so much, his response was surprising; "Damnit! What the fucking hell were you thinking?!"

She remembered how her heart had clenched, that tone had been so angry, but at the same time she had remembered how Inuyasha would yell at her when he was scared. "I was worried, you were acting like someone dangerous was after you."

He glared down at her, hand dropping from his head. "I knew I was being followed now I know it was just you."

Kagome remembered how she had ignored that, maybe she should have listened a little better, someone had seen her with him after all. While if not then the next time. He'd put her off and gave her a meeting time at a mostly random coffee shop, she had met him there six days later.

Dressing as nicely as she could justify to herself she ended up in the named coffee shop almost twenty minutes early. Ichigo showed up fifteen minutes later, something she loved about him, he was mostly punctual and if he wasn't he could explain, and normally called.

But her heart almost stopped when she saw him stop outside with a short black haired violet eyed girl. They talked and then the girl let him come in alone, he looked about and didn't seem to have seen her. So she stood up and walked over to him intending to act like she hadn't seen anything and had just arrived.

He brought it though that strange look was back, it was a mix of pain and disgust.

It hurt a lot to see that on his face, it hadn't been there when he spoke to the other girl. Her asking what he was running from had been met with a dark look and a muttered "You'd better hope you never find out."

Then for the next half an hour he stonewalled her: nothing about what he was doing, who his friends were, not one personal word passed through his lips. She had almost been in tears, so she finally asked, "Why did you ask me here?"

The only honest thing she was sure he'd said was that, she understood now and even then he was trying to protect her, he just did it in the most hurtful way possible.

"Because I need to know you won't say anything to anyone."

She remembered the way she had choked out a promise, and then had offered that if he ever needed a bolt hole he could come to her. He nodded but walked off sneer still on his face, the girl caught up to him outside again and the two had walked off together.

She had barely been able to stop herself from breaking down there and then, but she had put it aside and had walked out, getting all the way back to her apartment before breaking down.

Kagome inhaled sharply as a spike of pain flared in her side, she pressed down hard on the stab wound. The pain was bad but she didn't mind it much, what good in her life didn't hurt in some way?

Inuyasha hurt because he had all those memories of Kikyo, Ichigo because they only seemed capable of passing by. Even Souta hurt, he treated her like his hero and she felt useless. Her mother brought regret because she hurt her so much through the years. Grandpa because she had never been ready to listen to his stories till he wasn't there to tell them. Her father because she remembered nothing but being mad the day he died that he made mommy cry.

Kagome sighed to herself, she really didn't deserve much better then this alley, trash, the rats, a cat, a few dumpsters. She didn't mind, at least Ichigo wasn't going to be caught because of her.

She closed her eyes, it seemed funny to think the coffee shop had only been yesterday. What could she have done different? Nothing. She had gone to teach her class, eaten lunch with Souta as he was off from work, gone to another class for herself, gone shopping for the baby shower, sure she had gotten three presents already but a few more wouldn't hurt. Had dinner with her mom, and then been dragged down this alley on her way home; The brown haired man who had dragged her down here had been so fast she knew right away this was because of Ichigo, so the man waving a knife in her face didn't matter much, she had known for a long time she would die to protect anyone she cared about.

And she was dying.

The knife had to have hit something vital, she was in too much pain and too weak for it not to have. But the bastard had made sure it would be slow. Slow and agonizing, she supposed she could try to cry for help but... she was so far down the alley she was sure it would be inaudible, so she stayed quiet and thought.

She had thought when she was younger she would die surround by friends, but when the well closed ripping her away from them, and Inuyasha hadn't shown up at her door- she knew she had to marry and have children or die alone. But aside from Ichigo every single man she had met left her cold, even super stars most of the world drooled over.

And Ichigo was most assuredly not interested in having children with her. She felt something hot run down her face and realized she was crying, not because she was dying and leaving the world but because she was unloveable. Her eyes opened, untouchable and unloveable. She supposed that was a touch dramatic her mother and brother loved her, grandfather loved her, and she wasn't blind enough to deny some times she turned heads. But that wasn't the love she wanted.

She closed her eyes again, the bastard's face flashing before her. The amused sadistic glee spoke for it's self, he hadn't just stabbed her because she'd seen him, but because he wanted her to suffer and probably given he had demanded to know where Ichigo was, because he wanted Ichigo to suffer.

She exhaled, noting distantly her breathing was getting shallower. At least Ichigo was safe, and actually he probably wouldn't find out about her death till it was on the news. Of course there always was the chance he'd left Tokyo and wouldn't find out at all she doubted anyone outside of Tokyo would care, or at least it... she wouldn't be important enough to get on the news outside of the city.

The pain was growing, that or she was getting less and less able to focus on anything else.

Pressing down harder she found herself thinking sarcastically that wasn't it suppose to hurt less as you died?

Things to think on, how she got here, check, brother, check, family, check, job, death, old friends check. She felt herself start panting, almost gasping for air. She had lost enough blood her body wasn't getting enough oxygen, soon she would pass out, then die, as it was even if someone found her and called for an ambulance it probably was too late.

Ichigo, I love you so much. I wish I told you. I wish we could have worked. I wish you weren't in trouble.

Her head was spinning but she swore she had just heard something.

There were rats last she had seen.

She groaned, she didn't want to still be alive when they started eating her.

"Kagome!"

Now she was pretty sure she hadn't just imagined that. She dragged her eyes open, black sky, dark buildings... orange hair. She inhaled and smelled something other then the alley and her own blood, Ichigo. Ichigo was here.

"Oh."

Ichigo was pressing down harder on her stomach, and it really really hurt.

"Kagome hold on."

She blinked up at him torn between wondering how was he there, and wanting to tell him to go away, he wasn't supposed to be here. She was gonna die alone.

"I didn't tell," Kagome barely recognized that weak breathless voice was her.

Ichigo's eyes seemed oddly red, and not just he was gonna cry but bloody red, glowing red. Well maybe more like his amber eyes had lit up and spilt into the colors that made it what it was, because she now could see an almost yellow ring about his iris.

Ichigo was talking to her, "... I know you didn't tell. Just hold on and I'll get you some help, you'll be fine and get to go home and see Mama Sakura and see Souta and help out at the shrine again..."

He was babbling. She thought he couldn't stand her, but he sounded so upset. Probably because he had gotten her into it.

"Go away."

He stopped talking and looked at her eyes still glowing oddly.

"You weren't suppose to know," she felt her chest struggle in take in enough air for her to finish what she was saying. "I was gonna die and you weren't gonna know."

Now he was crying, bloody tears, she could see them. Okay it was watery blood, but blood. She had seen it, been covered in it too many times not to know what it was. She struggle to inhale again, but it was too late, she had lost too much blood and the effort was too much, she let the blackness take her.

She woke slowly, the first thing she noticed wasn't her body it was the loud arguing voices; a loud bossy one and Ichigo's, he was angry and stressed, she could tell. Listening she understood the bossy girl was furious because he'd brought her back. And changed her? Risking both their lives.

Oh, she was mad at him too, he should have left her to die, she had kept her promise and it seemed like they knew what had happened. Focusing she realized her body didn't hurt like she thought it would, it felt stiff and awkward almost like it wasn't her body, but not bad. Not the agony she expected.

She tried to move and was frightened when her body didn't respond, she tried to move harder, she stated to panic last time she hadn't been able to move her body she had almost died as the building burned down around her. Remembering that she realized relaxing would work better. Deep calming breaths.

That when she realized she wasn't breathing.

This time she didn't panic, the very fact she realized she wasn't breathing said whatever Ichigo had done to change her meant she didn't need to breath. What on earth had been done to her? Was this what happened to him? He woke up and realized he had changed?

It could explain a few things.

Now that she knew she had been changed she wondered into what? What moved impossibly fast, had red eyes, didn't necessarily need to breath... moved quickly. Bless you Eri. She probably would still be scratching her head if not for Eri, Eri had become obsessed with Vampires for a year, made them watch all the vampire movies she could get her hands on with her, told them about a lot of the legends.

But what was true and what was not?

She would just have to wake up and find out. But she wasn't waking... relax just focus on what your feeling she told herself, you know forcing it isn't going to help. But she could feel her efforts to calm herself weren't working, something not panic... not fear, but something close began to press.

Then finally her body started to listen, she started to breath, deep heaving breaths. She ignored the voices above her, she wanted to move. Now. Things she didn't recognize filled her nostrils, something burned unpleasantly, and something else... no two things made her mouth water. She was hungry and not just a little.

Her stomach rolled as she realized one of the things she was smelling was blood, she fought to move, to cover her nose, to open her eyes. Anything.

Her eyes flew open and the first thing that met her eyes was the strange girl who she had seen with Ichigo outside the coffee shop, the girl was staring down at her from six inches away. Kagome didn't know when she decided the girl was too close but she felt like it and she pushed away, throwing herself off the bed she was on. The next thing she knew she was hitting the far wall, she felt the wall crack behind her and she realized she had torn up the bed as well.

Did she have claws?

Yes, yes she did. She stared down at her hands in fascination, they looked a lot like Inuyasha's or Sesshomaru's. Suddenly she realized her ears were ringing, Ichigo was yelling at the girl who was yelling back. She had woken too early... whatever that meant and Ichigo was pissed the girl had scared her.

She had been scared?

She was pretty sure that hadn't been what she had been feeling, okay maybe a little, but the need to be away from the girl who didn't seem to like her had been more... important?

She suddenly realized, or at least had a guess as to why Ichigo had to leave; it wasn't just because he had vampire enemies, or because he wasn't allowed. It was because he hadn't been safe to be around. She wasn't safe to be around. She didn't know what she might do next.

She couldn't go see her family.

She felt something run down her face and touching it she realized it was blood, Ichigo really had cried blood over her. Then shoes entered the edge of her vision and before she realized it she had inhaled and was hissing at the girl.

"Shut up."

To her surprise her mouth closed and she had stopped hissing. Did that mean she had to obey older vampires? Or was it some power?

"Rukia you don't have to be so harsh!"

"You shut up too, you were the one who started yelling." Ichigo went silent despite his angry face, so it was probably you have to listen to older vampires.

The girl, Rukia turned back to her a neutral look on her face for all the yelling she had heard earlier. "Kagome, I'm sure you're confused and frightened, but you need to relax, now drink this."

The dark haired girl shoved a cup full of thick red blood at her, there was a straw. But Kagome didn't use it, the moment she saw the blood her instincts took over and she drank it straight. The cup was empty in seconds Kagome went to close her mouth and cut her own lip with her fangs, feeling the wound drip blood down her chin she wiped at it and sucked her finger clean.

She felt more balanced, she had been staving and she had noticed being hungry but the depth of the hunger surprised her, she had never ever felt so hungry. That made her realize that strange emptiness she had felt gnawing the edge of her mind was the hunger, not just the feeling in her stomach like she was used to. She would need to learn to keep an eye on how hungry she was, she was afraid of what would have happened had that been a person. This was at least a litter sized cup. Taking a deep breath she tasted the room, Ichigo smelled upset, the girl was calm, but annoyed?

And she smelled more blood. Then she realized for all she felt better she still was very hungry.

The violet eyed girl seemed to realize it, "Do you want more?"

Kagome tried to open her mouth to answer but realized she hadn't been told she could talk, so she nodded. Rukia left, not running but quickly. Ichigo walked over and leaned on the bed watching her, she noticed even if she couldn't smell it he felt guilty. The slight slump to his shoulders and the dark brown of his eyes told her that much.

Now she wanted to talk. She didn't mind, she had hoped he wouldn't find out she had died because she didn't want him to feel bad. Now he did anyway, and judging from how she could smell stuff he knew who had stabbed her too.

She licked her lips as the smell of blood got stronger, that was when she realized her lip wasn't bleeding any more. Touching it she found no sign of the little wound. Super healing was true, which would be nice if there was some Vampire war going on, even if it was just one clan or whatever against another. She could heal like Inuyasha, some weak little human she'd be now!

Not that she could show off to him... Rukia was back and holding out a new big cup, she grabbed it and rather then just pouring it back like she had the last one she sipped, but the moment the rich blood hit her tongue self control disappeared and the next thing she realized was the cup was empty and one of her teeth had cut the edge of the cup.

She pouted, controlling herself would take some time.

Rukia spoke up, "You can talk now."

Kagome looked and realized it was a general enough comment both her and Ichigo could talk. Ichigo was staying silent, but the half glare spoke volumes.

"Why do I have to listen to you?"

Rukia and Ichigo both looked surprised that that was her first question. Why she didn't know, unless they were expecting her to have gone into denial about what she now was. Well to be fair they didn't know her history with the unbelievable and impossible so...

"Because I turned you, Ichigo got you started but he didn't trust himself to finish it. Now as to why in general, no one knows, all younger vampires have to listen to one older then them of the same bloodline, but as you get older you can learn to disobey. But it takes many many years. I just started to be able to in the last thirty."

Kagome nodded, "So how old are you?"

Rukia again blinked, Kagome inhaled and tasted the confusion in the air, and now something sour... guilt? Sorrow? She inhaled again, it was bittersweet so she was guessing sorrow.

"Two hundred and... thirty three? No forty three."

Kagome nodded. She found herself wondering what she should do next, she couldn't go home obviously, so what should she do as a vampire? What do you do for hundreds and hundreds of years? That was something she had wondered while around demons, what on earth did Sesshomaru do other then hunt down enemies?

"Who turned you?"

Rukia blinked and seemed even more surprised, Kagome was a touch surprised herself that hadn't been what she meant she wanted to ask about the number of Vampires but this was a start.

"My brother."

Kagome nodded and then when Rukia didn't go on she asked; "Where is he?"

"Working at Sakura Biosciences..."

Kagome felt her eyes widen, that was a very important medical company... She looked at the cup she had accidentally crumpled, that explained the blood. It was a donation for their blood bank, but she now was guessing half the donations vanished or were used in an off the record way. That said... How long had vampires been around? She didn't remember meeting any in the past, but they seemed to look mostly normal... but the amount of blood needed... wouldn't the deaths have been noticed?

"How old are vampires?"

Rukia looked uncomfortable, "The oldest I know of is close to a thousand."

Kagome felt something in her relax, she knew she had a good intuition but when she got that feeling... It reminded her of the feeling she got hunting down the jewel shard after she shot the demon crow, a mix of guilt and a general sense of responsibility. She didn't want to feel that feeling ever again.

"What myths are true?"

Rukia snorted and then smiled, "We have red eyes when we are feeling strong emotions, we cry blood, we need blood to survive, we can go in sunlight we just need more blood to do so, it's like the sunlight makes us burn through blood faster. You can die of sun exposer but it's most like starvation, you've used all the blood in your body and then die, kinda burning while you die. Mostly for that to happen some other Vampires have to have with held food for two, three days and then leave you out all day. We can't eat human food, we just spit it back up. We're strong and fast, you turn someone by biting them, bleeding them mostly dry and then giving them your blood back. Not just a bite, oh and we heal really fast, a sword or a wooden stake through the heart can kill you..."

She paused thinking, "Oh and don't get beheaded that kills you too, other wise you can survive most anything."

Kagome found herself smirking, she would be highly surprised if being beheaded didn't kill a vampire, that killed almost anything even ninety nine precent of demons. Vampires were old, almost invincible, and... right.

"What's..." Kagome broke off, how to phrase this? "What are Vampires doing?"

Rukia looked sad and Ichigo was back to looking angry even if he was glaring at the ceiling.

"We're at war, me, my brother, Ichigo, the man who turned my brother and many others are... pro human. The other side, the man who killed you for example think they are better then humans and should rule them publicly, declaring them sheep and cattle for all intents and purposes. We think we can just go on living in the shadows not bothering them for more then a pint or two in their life times.. but we are losing because we aren't willing to turn every low down scum bag who is willing to make a few bucks."

Rukia broke off and clenched her jaw, and Kagome got the feeling Rukia knew a few who thought they should rule, her rant was a touch too personal for her not to. And Kagome could understand if she knew someone for a hundred years and then had to fight them she'd be upset too.

"Anyway things came to a head three and a half years ago..."

Kagome noted that was just a few months before Ichigo was probably turned.

"The old ones like the man who turned my brother and who allows us such a peaceful existence, they've seen a good many wars, they know how many lives can be lost, and then world war two happened, never had so many died from one war. They started to worry one day a war would break out and kill most of the viable population, rending a good many Vampires homeless and likely to starve, so the serious idea of taking over started rolling around. My brother's boss Katsumi vetoed it, and he was listened to, the older ones all listened to him very seriously, but... Then a Vampire calling himself Aizen came forward by killing vampires who supported Katsumi, old ones. He then made a call for all Vampires who were tried of sulking in the shadows, obeying men 'so old they didn't care anymore'. We were taken by surprise that so many joined..."

Rukia drifted, something sad on her face, shaking herself out of it she went on; "That first meeting was a slaughter, many died and a lot of the formal Vampire government died, and the rest scattered. We got a new house thanks to my brother's connections, Katsumi lives in a secret set of rooms in the main office building, and small fights have continued for the last few years."

The silence seemed to press, Kagome knew there were a lot of things left out. "How did you get turned Ichigo?"

He looked directly at her for the first time since Rukia started explaining. "I was on my way to our date that night, when I heard a fight down the alley: I went to investigate and found Renji almost mortally wounded, you know I was pretty good in a fight and as a med student I thought I could help. I didn't see the man who had hurt Renji so I knelt down to help and was surprised when Renji pushed me out of the way of another strike. I was furious this man was attacking Renji not that I knew him at the time, so I got lucky and grabbed a leg chair and smashed it over the guy's head. He heard me coming and turned, but I caught him in the eyes. He was blind but it didn't stop him from almost killing me, first he threw me into the wall, I think my back broke and several ribs not to mention a concussion, so totally stunned I couldn't stop him from stabbing me. He licked the wound a lot and Renji couldn't get up enough to help me, so I was half way to bleeding out, the guy could see again and then Rukia showed up with a sword."

Ichigo paused as if remembering his surprise and confusion at the sight. "She chased him off and came to me and realized I was dying, when Renji said I had tried to help him she offered to turn me. I..." He broke off what he was gonna say again, and the smell of sorrow and regret got stronger. "I agreed."

Kagome glanced at Rukia and realized even if her face was neutral, she felt guilty... She wondered why.

"So who's Renji to you?"

Rukia grinned, "A hot headed fool I've known since childhood. I was not the blood sister of my brother, he married my sister, she had left me behind after our parents died, and felt guilty about it. So she told him about me, she died two years before he found me in childbirth, their son didn't survive either. But Byakuya found me and took me in. After he was turned, he turned me so he wouldn't be alone and so he could keep looking out for me. He also turned Renji for me, Renji was our servant he hadn't wanted to leave me when I was taken in so Byakuya gave him a job. So it was only natural he change with us. He's my Brother's bodyguard at the moment, Byakuya is the current head of the board of directors in the company, really he's a front for Katsumi."

Kagome nodded and realized she was still curled up in a ball against the wall, she stood startling the other two. Both twitched but relaxed when they saw what she was doing. Frowning down at her clothes she saw they were her torn and blood stained clothes from the attack. She looked up at Rukia, "What am I going to do? I assume I can't just go home, and I doubt I would be safe around children for some time, what can I do?"

Rukia frowned, "We'll keep you here till you have some control over yourself and your speed and strength. You can call to quit your job and we'll look at getting you one in the company, be it as an aid or a secretary. You can give me your address and I'll pick up your things, you can go make a call from there." Rukia pointed out the door into the hall where she could see a phone.

Kagome nodded and was about to thank her when Rukia added a clause. "But only if you think you can use it without breaking it."

She frowned, unsure if she could, "I'll buy you a new one if I break it."

Rukia nodded, "As long as you understand."

Kagome nodded and concentrating forced herself to walk at a painfully slow pace, a human pace. No wonder Inuyasha always complained about them being slow. The time it took her to reach the phone seemed ridiculous but she knew she needed to have a complete grasp of her speed before she could even think of going out side the house. Looking about the hall she noted that she was probably underground, the halls were decorated with a traditional hand but she could tell it had been westernized.

Now hold it gently, gently, gently. She grasped the phone carefully, like she would a butterfly, or a bird, or even a flower. Gentle. She told herself when it cracked a little as she lifted it to her ear, then slowly she dialed home, she would tell her mother she was on another adventure, her mother would understand.

It rang once then twice and her mother picked up, "Higurashi Shrine."

"Mama."

Her mother exhaled and something creaked in the background, likely the counter in the gift shop. "Kagome, you never got home last night where were you?"

"How did you know?"

"I called because you left your coat last night, you didn't pick up."

"Oh. Sorry for worrying you, and I'm sorry for making it worse. You won't see me for a long time, I got caught up in something again."

Her mother stopped breathing and then asked slowly, "Like with Inuyasha?"

She smiled sadly, her poor mother, probably thought correctly someone was around she didn't want to hear the whole story. "Yes, exactly like that. I don't know if I can come home again though."

Her mother inhaled sharply and then exhaled slowly, "As long as you're careful my dear."

"I'll try, give Souta my love and give Tora the baby presents they're on my bed... mom can you pack up all my clothes, someone will be by to pick them up."

Her mother made a shuffling sound, "Yes my dear, what about your apartment?"

"I'll take care of it, just pack my clothes mom... Thank you and I'm sorry."

"It's okay baby, just be safe."

"I will mama."

Kagome hung up, for a moment she stared at the phone, this was so unreal, she was once again caught up in something far bigger then she. How could this happen to her twice? She set the phone down, and turned intending to ask for a shower, but she jolted when she found Rukia standing only six inches away from her. Her hand lifted and was curved into claws before she had thought about it, Rukia caught her hand seemingly effortlessly, but Kagome could feel the surprise the girl felt at her reaction or strength she didn't know which.

"Pay attention and listen for the sound of shifting clothes, that is the most sound we make without being hurt."

Kagome nodded, she had the hearing of a demon, she needed to use it.

Rukia frowned at her, "What did you mean like Inuyasha?"

Ichigo answered despite his own frown, "He's her old boyfriend."

Kagome smiled and shrugged, "What was I gonna tell her? Inuyasha and I ran away, I was only fifteen, we traveled around the country for several months only making stops back at home for money and food."

"And what was I gonna tell you, I traveled to the past? Get real chick not happening." She shook her head, "Can I get a shower?"

Rukia looked at her again. "You can borrow a shirt of Ichigo's and a pair of pants, I'll get your clothes... when do think she have'll finished packing up?"

Kagome thought about it. "Give her two... no three hours and then go. She'll have it done."

Rukia nodded and walked off heading down the hall, Kagome watched her go, and after hearing a door open and shut she looked back to Ichigo; he was scowling down at the floor looking absolutely miserable.

"Ichigo why was that vampire after you?" Kagome blinked, that wasn't what she meant to ask.

He looked up, slightly surprised, but his gloom still clung to him. "I apparently am one of the strongest Vampires born. I'm still young, technically considered a newborn but I'm reasonable good at throwing off orders, Rukia still can boss me around but Byakuya and Renji can't nor can most of the others. I think I still listen to Rukia because I trust her. But anyway the guy who attacked you; brown hair, normal sort of face, brown eyes, kinda tall. Yeah, don't know his name but first he was the guy attacking Renji, second the next time I met him I cut his arm off. Almost killed him, but anyway he kinda has been hunting me as a vendetta. I know he's pretty old and high in the enemy pecking order but no clue who he is."

She nodded, revenge that fitted with what she had seen and guessed, that man had tried to kill her to get revenge... and it seemed to have worked. Ichigo felt really bad and wouldn't even hold eye contact with her.

He at the moment was staring past her, down the hall.

Her heart moved her to speak, "Ichigo I don't blame you, it's not your fault."

Ichigo looked up at her eyes flaring red-yellow, "What the hell do you mean it's not my fault?! He was looking for me and saw you with me, that's the only reason he went after you!"

"Ichigo it's not the first time someone's came after me to hurt someone else, get over it. I don't blame you so you shouldn't blame you. You want to make it up to me come closer then a few feet and stop acting like I'm the plague."

Ichigo reared back, looking at her a mix of confused surprise, and hurt. Then he blinked processing what she had just said. "Who? Who came after you?"

She decided less was more, "Inuyasha had enemies, and the guy who did is long dead. My life isn't as normal as you'd like to paint it. I know this may surprise you, but I don't care you turned me, and I don't care there is a war to fight. I can handle all of it."

He snorted, falling back on his old habit of thinking she was exaggerating. She knew she'd show him at some point, of course fighting vampires she probably need to get some all wood arrows. Then she'd show him. Rukia cleared her throat tactfully. Kagome barely stopped a hiss, taking a moment to make sure she had mastered her voice she said politely: "Thank you. Now where's the bathroom?"

Rukia pointed and now that she was looking for it she thought she could smell soap. Walking down the hall she heard the sound of the door closing behind her. She got the feeling Rukia wanted to make sure she didn't over hear this part. She would have dashed back but she knew they would be listening for the sound of a shower. She reached the door that smelled most strongly of soap, opening it she went in and found a huge shower, there was also a claw footed tub. Impressed in spite of herself she put her clothes on a counter, and stifled a shriek; when looking up she saw in the mirror her own eyes were red. It was startling, so used to her own blue eyes to see the red-violet startled her. Recovering she stripped and threw her own blood stained and torn clothes away, stepping into the shower she didn't wait for it to get hot, washing the dried blood off and making sure the scent of everything else was gone she grabbed a large towel and slipped out, important body parts covered, the shower still running. She wrapped her hair up and crept down the hall where she could hear Ichigo arguing with Rukia.

"... I don't want her here!"

Kagome felt her heart sink, when was she going to learn eavesdropping only upset her?

"Why not?! She was all you talked about!"

"She's gonna slow us down! You know how Byakuya will react! You also know how close it came last time!"

Kagome let her eyes drift closed, that was how it was going to be. She locked up the feelings of hurt and walked calmly and silently back to her shower, purposely not listening for more. She hadn't lost too much of her muscle from her travels, she'd finish her shower, then she'd asked about a training room. She clearly needed to get a feel for her full speed and how to control it, then she'd worry about a weapon. She also would work on sneaking, she hadn't been caught this time but she knew she would need practice to be demon like.

Dropping her towels she climbed back in, she wouldn't slow anyone down.

Blinking she realized silent tears had started slipping out. Sighing she wasn't too surprised, for a moment she'd let herself be weak.

Rukia

She stared, and then stared some more. Then swore, "You damned liar, you just don't her trained, you don't want her even in control enough leave the house do you!"

Ichigo slumped, and then fell back on the bed, he stared at the ceiling his eyes red, and with what looked like tears gathering in his eyes, "Rukia... she was fucking dead. Dead in my arms, died there. And the last thing she said to me was I wasn't suppose to know. Now she's practically telling me she could walk out and start fighting. You and I both know the moment she goes out and that guy and his whole side find out we changed her, she'll have one big ass target on her back."

He ran a hand over his face and choked out, "I can't lose her, not her too."

Rukia saw the blood escaping the cover of his hand even if her nose could tell her he was crying. "Ichigo you saw her, she didn't break the phone. Do you know how rare that is? To have a newborn with enough control to do that? You didn't even have that much control."

He groaned, "God I know. I know."

Rukia closed her eyes, she knew how much Ichigo loved Kagome, she remembered how crushed he'd been when he realized what the scent of fresh pumping blood would do to him. She remembered how hard he had fought for control hoping he could see Kagome again, but then how horrified he'd been to realize she was his blood mate. So he had broken it off with her, leaving her to listen as he reminisced over the girl, now this. If he were smart he'd trick the girl in to agreeing she couldn't leave until she could beat him in a fight. That would mean it would take someone like the man who killed her in the first place to get her, anything less would be easy.

"Ichigo, you're lucky she isn't upset, if she was she'd probably mention it to brother you didn't ask and you'd be in a lot of trouble. Seize your second chance, she's here, you don't have to lie to her..." She sighed.

She and Ichigo would be in trouble for not calling ahead to let him know there was a new family member anyway. She sighed, she got the feeling this Kagome girl and Ichigo were two peas in a pod, she wasn't looking forward to having her world turned upside down again, but... if it made Ichigo, really happy, it might be worth it. She had almost regretted turning him when she found out he'd only said yes in hopes of seeing Kagome again.

But she couldn't fault him, if anything she had to applaud his control in walking away after smelling her blood with his new senses, it was hard for old ones to turn away their blood mates, but he did it at only a few weeks old. She knew she and Renji were the exception, she was pretty sure they were blood mates, they just hadn't done anything about it. Renji had found her in her brother's arms when he was turning her, Renji immediately asked to follow, she and he had woken together, and he had fed from her and she from him, but it was never said.

Maybe it was because they were brother and sister having been turned at the same time, that it made it feel wrong to do more, blood mates were suppose to turn other, or find each other after both had been turned by others. She and Renji were an oddity.

Of course it didn't help by today's standers she wasn't a woman, and he was barely a man, Renji had only been nineteen, and she herself but fifteen. Reaching out she touched his leg, "There is always hope Ichigo, find yours." she opened the door and left the room.

She walked down the hall to the bathroom where she could hear the shower running.

Kagome

She dressed after her tears stopped, her hair was clean and she no longer reeked of old blood, pulling on Ichigo's clothes she stopped to enjoy the feeling of being surrounded in his scent again. That had been one thing he always had laughed at when they were dating, it wouldn't matter if he was still in his scrubs that often smelled of hospitals, she would pull him into a hug and tuck her chin on his shoulder and inhale deeply just under his ear. She could always smell him, he had wondered why she always did that but she knew why, Inuyasha had been such a part of her life she had placed a large importance on smell. She knew Tora was the one for her brother by smelling her, something Souta had always found hysterical, given her history of not liking his girlfriends.

But now that her senses at least compared to Inuyasha she wasn't surprised Ichigo's scent inthralled her more then ever. Exhaling she knew it was time to face her new reality, she was about to open the door when she saw the shadow, inhaling she was able to pick out Rukia's smell.

She opened the door to find the girl watching her, she supposed if the girl was two hundred plus she should stop thinking of her as a girl, but the small size and the fact she clearly had been maybe fifteen when turned made it hard. She knew other people might have aged Rukia in their minds because of the shadows in her eyes, but she had a few shadows herself, and she had met real honest to god children with shadows. Those didn't mean much, it was how you used those experiences that counted, and she didn't know Rukia well enough to judge.

"I'm ready to start training."

Rukia raised an eyebrow, "Are you really?"

Kagome stared back at her, she had a feeling the girl would be surprised by what she was capable of. Ichigo had only seen in her in a whitest of lights, he had never been allowed to see her shadows, only her past friends. Only them. They after all knew how dark the night could be, and as it was they still had said she was the kindest soul they had known. "I am. You had better not go easy on me."

Rukia gave her another weighing glance before smiling, "Good thing I don't know how to go easy."

Rukia lead her back down the hall, past the room she had woken in, Kagome found herself wondering how big was this basement, torn between asking and waiting she was startled when Rukia stopped and threw a door wide. She found herself looking over Rukia's head into an old fashioned dojo. She looked at the fifty or more swords on the walls and found she was excited, swords had been a part of what she thought of when she thought of things that meant something to her, the idea of getting her own one had her mostly undead heart thrumming with pleasure.

Walking in she searched the walls for one that called to her, she found none. Sighing she put it aside she'd find one later, but for now she needed something to practice with. Her eyes caught on a set of ninja blades, she liked them because she liked the idea of having two blades and the small size appealed to her because she could see it being a lot easier to carry them outside the house, she could easily sling them over her back and conceal them with a sweater, or tuck them in a large tote.

Walking over she picked them up, she hefted them, the weight felt strange in her left hand, her right hand it felt almost natural but her left felt awkward. Strange. She realized even though as a child she had used her hands pretty equally, as she had gotten older she had focused on her right. She was gonna have to train hard with her left.

Twirling her right one she noticed if she so choose they interlinked becoming almost one blade, she also realized they were rather short, like Wakizashi. Not a full Samurai sword.

Hearing the rasp of a sword being drawn she whirled and found herself facing Rukia who had drawn a white sword. Rukia held her sword casually, clearly not ready to attack she knew that much from all the fights she had seen.

"Move your feet more apart."

Kagome glanced down at her feet and realized, while braced she would have a harder time moving from side to side, or just being more unpredictable. Thinking of Sesshomaru's stance she shifted.

Looking up she saw Rukia nodding to her, but she could see the caution in the other vampire's eyes. Rukia was spooked by the ease of which she had shifted, or maybe it was the fact she had shifted her swords to a sloppy guard at the sound of Rukia drawing her sword. "Attack me."

Rukia blinked and looked at her hard, "Why?"

"I want to learn quickly, I want to learn the way Inuyasha learned from his brother." Kagome had suspected for some time she was something of masochist, but this speaking without thinking it though only proved it, this was going to hurt. But she was serious, she wanted to be closer to him in this, to be the one fighting through pain, if her death was any indicator she needed to be able to handle pain, push past it like Inuyasha.

Rukia looked at her looking for something, and she saw it, launching an attack. Kagome knew on one hand she wouldn't have been able to see it before, but now that she could it was much easier to react, leaping back she swiped with one sword, Rukia stepped around it and slashed at her, she caught it on her other blade. Her grip awkward Rukia pushed hard and she could feel her wrist grinding.

Then she saw Rukia lift her foot up for a kick like Koga liked to do, stepping back the blow still connected just with she guessing about half the force it was meant to. Stumbling back she brought her swords up.

Rukia smiled and shifted her stance, holding her arm out she said, "Hold them more like this."

Kagome nodded and did her best to mimic the hold, and then shifted back into an attack stance.

Two Weeks Later

Kagome sat and sipped at her blood pack, healing up from the broken arm Rukia had dealt her. She had broken the girl's leg and won the fight with a blade to her throat, but she didn't like how much damage the girl was able to get in before the fact. She just was proud of how much more she could take, the first time Rukia had broken a bone the pain had blinded her, sent her reeling, and Rukia had won. The next and the next had not been much better, but she kept at it. She couldn't help but remember how her human friends could push passed such wounds and she knew she didn't dare do any less, and then had started to be easier, it didn't hurt less, the pain didn't burn any less bright, but she could get past it. Instincts let her take the moment of blinding pain and even if she couldn't see for the tears, she had her ears, she had her nose, and she was learning how to use them.

"Good."

Kagome nodded, she had learned more about things worked, Ichigo had broke law by not asking her if she would allow him to turn her, but she understood. She had met Byakuya and he honestly reminded of her a black haired vampire Sesshomaru, little things, but the length of his hair was one thing, he refused to trim it. Another was the way he walked, forceful, silent, and very predatory. The same for the way he looked at her, if his eyes hadn't been a dark chocolate brown she could have sworn, it was like looking into his eyes again. Renji amused it her, it was like he was a red haired, politer Inuyasha, he had this polite smile and he would bow but the moment you riled him it was like the moment Inuyasha lost his temper... with a lot less growling.

Rukia was funny, an odd mix of her at fifteen and Sango, Rukia was a lot harder then she had been but having learned she was a street child it wasn't hard to understand, but she could be so nice. And her temper, she really was a sight to see.

Ichigo and her though... hadn't spent much time together, Ichigo was busy working at Sakura Biosciences he had a very good job there, one of the doctors. But when he was home it was an odd and awkward mix of caring concern, and avoidance. But his eyes always had a reddish gleam around her, she didn't know what his meant but her eyes were the same if for different reasons.

Other things still bothered her, she had learned that for what ever reason she seemed to need more blood then any of the others, they ate a pint maybe two, Rukia only needed three because they fought, and Kagome always managed to hurt her even when she lost, and that was become less and less often. She just wished she was allowed out yet, she knew she could pass for a human, she had mastered the slow walk, she had learned to control the urge to snarl or hiss when surprised, and she always made she was full.

But she still wasn't allowed out.

For the first week she allowed it because she knew in a fight she would be pretty easy to beat, but now... she knew she was good because Rukia was tough and the few times she had practiced with Renji she had faired about the same, even if his European broad sword was a very different fighting style. She had gotten used to the idea her days were more like eighteen to twenty hour days, she only needed to sleep for four to six hours and Ichigo had told her some times as you got older the less you needed. He for one only needed two to four and Rukia was the same, her brother seemed to need two and half, no more, no less. But he was a stiff enough person it might have been habit alone, Renji was much the same, liking three hours.

She had spoken to Souta twice, and he asked what she was doing, she had told him training and he had been amused when she told him with swords, she wasn't surprised when he asked if he would see her soon. She had to tell him no she wasn't sure when she'd see him. He understood, she could hear it, but like he'd said, Tora wouldn't.

She sighed closing her eyes, she wanted to feel sunlight again, she wanted to see if she could handle the smell of fresh hot beating blood, she hadn't been allowed into the upper floors at all, just this huge seemingly never ending basement. She opened her eyes, Rukia had finished healing up and her own formerly broken arm was half healed, "Rukia why is it you always heal faster then me?"

Rukia smirked, "Can't guess?"

Kagome just waited knowing Rukia knew she wouldn't have asked if she could.

"Because I'm old, Master Katsumi can heal a lot of things in an instant, as long as he isn't short on blood. It's amazing to watch, the day Aizen sent his followers to attack I saw him take more then a dozen injuries in saving others that day and despite his clothes being drenched in blood you never saw the cuts for longer then a thirty seconds."

Kagome nodded, that fit... in a weird way, Vampires grew in power the older they got so it only made sense their healing abilities increased as well. Another thing to remember.

Rukia hopped to her feet in a split second of eerie grace, it still felt weird to know she wasn't just able to see it she could do that too. "I'm going out for a time, I'll be back."

Kagome nodded, as far as she could tell, not that anyone told her, Rukia was something of a spy master for the pro-human side, vanishing at random times, the way she remembered names and details... not to mention her own fighting prowess. Kagome was very sure Rukia was very important. It was just a shame that she would have to surprise Rukia by taking the time to slip out today. Rukia had left her before, for increasing periods of time, if her pattern, scattered as it was held she would be gone for three hours today.

Of course if she wasn't long she would probably be back with no one having found out.

She smiled to herself, watching Rukia leave up the stairs, one of three she was pretty sure, she even knew the code, she had woken early this morning and watched Ichigo type it in without being caught. She snickered, he really didn't know her that well some times, of course she had to admit she was mad at him at the moment, he turns her into a vampire and insists on treating her even more like glass. He hadn't admitted to her last night that he had killed two other vampires, she had asked straight out and he hadn't answered. Never mind she could smell the blood of two others and neither of them were Renji or Byakuya.

She exhaled, calming herself, what he did and said conflicted, he hated her, he wanted to hide her away, well it was too damn bad it wasn't his call. Standing she knew Rukia was long gone, rushing to her room she changed out of her blood stained clothes, and doing her hair up, put a hat and sunglasses on, and grabbing a couple hundred in cash slipped out.

Up the mysterious stairs she found herself at the back of a huge building, facing a wall, she could see trees on the other side, she was in shadow, turning around she looked up and saw a huge corporate building. Frowning she tried to understand where she was. Looking about she knew she was still in Tokyo, she had to be, the skyline was close enough to the same, it was just... she had never been near here.

Shrugging to herself, she leaped to the top of the wall and over into the park behind it. Sunlight touched her vampire skin for the first time and she was saddened to realize the soft warmth she had always loved, was gone from her. Instead, she felt sticky, awkward, the light was almost burning her, but not. It lingered on a skin and she found she hated the feeling.

Hurt, she hid herself in the shade. The others had said sunlight was not their friend, and had made it clear all of them would avoid it if they could, but she hadn't realized how much the simple joy of sunlight meant to her. Gone. She closed her eyes, this was just one more thing she would need to accept, she could help Ichigo this way and couldn't before.

She walked out into the sunlight, that was when she realized where she was, Sakura Biosciences. This was the park at the center of the grounds, built for the employees. She had just left the shadow of the main office building, the park she was in was at the center and on either side of the park stood a hospital, one for experimental medicine or technics, and the other as one of the finest new hospitals in Tokyo.

Knowing where she was she found herself tempted to run for it, but caution stopped her, Vampires worked here, they would stop an unknown vampire for sure. Keeping herself calm she walked out into the main parking lot of the public hospital and then left, tempted to call a taxi she stopped herself, she could stand a walk, the uncomfortable feeling of the sun was something she needed to become used to, she would enjoy the feeling of being among people again, and she would look for her own swords.

An Hour and Half Later

Kagome sighed, she had walked through three different popular shopping districts and she still hadn't found a shop with a sword that spoke her name. Or even Tanto. Or a bow. She sighed, this was just frustrating. And she wanted to be back in half an hour.

She would give herself ten more minutes and then she would call a cab, walking down a smaller side street she noted it was all small privately own stores, promising, inhaling she couldn't get over how changed her senses were, the air was stale, and rank, but she could smell blood rushing through all the bodies around herself, women, men, children, all unaware. She had only spotted two other vampires during her shopping trip and one was clerk.

Then her noise caught the sharp smell of iron, and in stronger concentration then blood. Following her noise she found herself standing in front of a smith's shop. The sign in the window announced he sold online too, and did custom orders. She walked in, she noted he or whoever the smith was had some very nice and pricy pieces on the walls. The small shelves had decorative daggers, western swords, Samurai swords, ninja throwing knives and stars. Things she wasn't sure she could even name. Her eyes caught on a small beautiful bracelet, one that concealed four knives looking at the disassembled one in silver verses the gold.

Grabbing the gold one, she slid it on her wrist and tested how easy would it be to try to draw one of tiny two inch blades. Very easy, and something that in an eye or the throat would be lethal. Putting the knife back she shook her arm making sure none of the blades would slide loose.

"Passed the test?"

She jumped, and looked at the speaker, the woman smiled, looking about forty she clearly was half American or something European, it showed in the shape of her eyes and her height. Graceful, but clearly muscled she knew she had found the maker. "Yes thank you, beautiful workmanship."

Looking at the price tag she was surprise to find it very reasonable... cheap even for the workmanship. And the fact it was real gold or at least covered. Then she saw that it said sale. "I'll take this and I'm looking for a light sword, or a set of two."

The woman nodded once, and then speaking in her soft steady voice said, "I think I have just what you're looking for."

Walking over two rows she lifted a glimmering gold set much like the ones she had in her bag. Longer by six inches or so, taking them in she noted the dog head at the point the hilt turned to blade, snarling fiercely. The other was identical, they linked together and clearly were well balanced. This set of blades weren't magical, or fangs, but she could see herself calling them hers.

She looked at the price tag, if she was buying the bracelet... she had her savings and her credit card, she could pay for it now that she wasn't paying rent, or for food... "I'll take them both."

The woman's smile turned secretive, like she knew far too much. "I thought you might."

Feeling her hair stand on end she inhaled, nothing but the smell of steel... that was when she realized this women not only did not have a heart beat, her feet made no sound, and no smell she wasn't a vampire she was some sort of ghost or shade. But here to help... unless the blades were cursed, looking at the blades and the bracelet again she sensed nothing, no magic, nor intent just blades.

She heard the woman laugh, looking up the woman smiled brightly, and Kagome noticed her clothes were strange, not right, similar to hers, jeans and a t-shirt but the fabric was wrong.

"You have noticed then. Don't worry I'm only here to help, I some times find things here aren't settled, things slip some times, I've sold things to the past and future, but I'm solidly there, I can't leave out the door till the person I'm supposed to have sold to has come and gone."

Kagome nodded slowly, she had no room to judge, time traveling and all. "I'll take both the swords and the bracelet."

The women nodded walking to the counter, "Good choices."

While paying Kagome realized she couldn't touch the women either, her card landed in the woman's hand but her fingers passed straight through her. Taking the blades she turned to leave but was disturbed by the parting comment, "Good luck with your fate!"

She understood but her skin was crawling and she found she feared what was coming that the gods would send her to a future to buy swords. That she needed the help. Getting home in plenty of time she hid the swords and the bracelet and showered, then took her normal place to greet Rukia.

Over the next three weeks she slipped out more and more, just in shorter trips, half an hour here and there, she was now good enough she had managed to get this weeks code from Rukia rather then Ichigo. That meant her stealth was getting better, just the other day she had surprised Renji, he and Rukia had just mentioned yesterday she was probably ready to get a job as a secretary. But she liked having this time to herself as the others worked for the war or in the buildings above. She could do what she wanted, practice her stances, read, but she had to admit some times her thoughts got to her, especially since even if Ichigo was being a bit nicer to her, they hadn't said what needed to be. That was when she started slipping off to see her mother, little talks, her mother never asked how she was so much faster or why she still didn't have a phone number or a clue of when Kagome would next drop in on her. Or why she always came a different way, car, walking, from behind or sometimes she just ran and popped up next to her mother.

Her mother knew when she didn't want to know.

She had spoken to her brother twice in person, but watched him more then he probably wanted to know, she was always alert to any Vampire near by but as far as she could tell no one had noticed her yet. As much as it hurt her to say Ichigo really should have suspected something, he had noticed before she didn't like to be bored and stay in one place, another little left over from her adventures, but she hadn't been pushing to get out. That should have tipped him off. But he hadn't noticed.

Shaking her head she stood up from her bed, she needed to talk to her mother again. Her mother kept telling her to come clean, corner Ichigo, but she was too frightened he would tell her to her face what he had been telling Rukia that first day. She hated being so afraid, but what would she do if he did? How could she look hundreds of years in the face without him at her side? Even now even if they didn't talk more then small talk, even if any touching was accidental, if he refused to see her in a romantic light, what would she do without even that?

Sighing she hopped the wall into the main park, escaping was so easy now she didn't think twice. Walking across the park she left using one of the other entrances. Rather then the nearest one, she didn't want to become too much of a regular. Checking her bracelet and making sure her blades were right at hand she set off.

Reaching the shrine on foot she was half way up the stairs when she realized something was wrong. Something didn't feel right. Her heart sinking she was up the stairs in a blink, and then her nose finished telling her what she thought, blood and lots of it. Rushing in the house she found her mother in the living room, pieces was the nice bit, she knew whatever else Aizen's men had done to her mother's body she had died fast. The oldest smelling and looking pool told her that, beheaded probably. She stared at her mother's head that was sitting on the top of the TV.

Part of her felt sick, she wanted to cry, she wanted to scream, she wished she could empty her stomach, she wished she could do something other then look about the room and coldly figure that this morning. Six hours ago, Aizen had sent men to kill her mother, because he knew she was alive or to try to get to Ichigo she didn't know. The part that hurt the most wasn't her mother being in pieces or even that she had died, death was part of life, no, it was the fact her mother didn't even have a chance to fight them off. It was an assassination. Plain and simple.

Souta.

That snapped her out of it, if it was to get to her, her brother would be having lunch with his wife now because she was off her early shift. She had her bracelet and her blades from Rukia but not her others. It was almost on the way to her brother's. And with that she ran as fast as she could. Didn't stop till she was at the door entering the code she ran down the stairs as fast as possible, in her room she grabbed her second set dashing back up the stairs she was half way back up them when the door swung open, Renji stood at the top with two vampires she didn't know. He blinked down at her in shock and confusion.

"Kagome?"

She growled and stopped right next to him, "Renji you have thirty seconds to help me or get the hell out of my way. They killed my mother and I know my brother is next."

He blinked at her and the two others exchanged looks. "Look Kagome you stay here and we'll take care of it."

Anger surged, they cut her mother to bits, and Renji wanted to treat her like a weakling. "Wrong answer." She ran passed him and the guy on the left surprising them and knocking them aside, without thinking she ignored the order of stop, like hell she would stop, she wanted to return the favor. Hoping they'd follow she ran as fast as she could push herself, leaping up the three floors she then ran down the hall towards her brother's home. She could already smell the blood.

Slamming the door open and off it's hinges she surprised the four in the room, there had been a fifth, him. She knew that smell, the vampire that killed her was behind her family's murders. Souta was dead on the floor, but she didn't smell Tora. Thank god. She and the baby were alive. Blood all over the walls told her they had played with Souta; he'd had tried to fight and been tossed around like a rag doll, the broken glass, the table everything said he had fought tooth and nail. She reached into her bag and drew both her connected swords, dog blades in her right and the black in her left she charged, they scattered, the one holding Souta's arm faced her bloodlust first, he was holding Souta's she take his. The clean slice got him screaming, one of the others came at her from behind, his eyes were black, not red but black, of the four she judged him to be the oldest, the best fighter too.

She bounced off the wall having taken the boot to the chest, but the blood on his cheek and the slice across another's back was worth it. The one who's arm she had cut off was regrowing it, or so it seemed, but it seemed like it would take time he didn't have, he was bleeding out. She lunged and stabbed him through the chest, toppling him. Ducking the blade of one of the other two babies, she lashed out with her other hand and landed a deeper cut across his hip.

Evil satisfaction burned deep in her heart, they killed her brother and mother, she'd tear them apart. But she wanted the man who killed her too, he had been here and the Shrine... she needed one of the youngest to survive.

Feeling a claw skim her shoulder she spun and kicked out, catching the other baby; the one with the cut back he flew into a wall, denting it. Using her blade she finished him by mostly severing his head, leaving her with leader and the baby with the hurt hip. The master was grinning darkly, and then drew a long Tanto, curved oddly. Almost like an english sickle but not. He cut at her and she caught in one set of blades, his claws slapped at her face but she stabbed at his chest with her other hand full of her dog blades. He leaped back. The baby charged his own knife ready but she just lashed out deeply cutting his arm, and his thigh, dropping him a kick to the head, he was stunned and the leader was on her, pinning her arms. She head butted him and then brought her knee up, knocking him clear of her even if she missed her target.

Leaping quickly she missed severing his head, but the swords bit deeply into his chest, he failed to get up and she finished him. Standing there for a second she realized the kick had done a lot more damage then she had realized, ignoring how badly hurt she was, she turned to the baby licking at the blood on the floor trying to heal she knelt down and tasted the blood of the leader, it was blood and not bad. And few finger swipes later the baby was starting to heal and was starting to watch her, waiting for her to finish him.

Running her fingers through the blood and licking them quietly clean seemed to scare this little baby. Five minutes later he finally spoke scared but mostly healed. "What are you waiting for?"

"For you to ask, I want you to go back and tell Aizen;" her mind raced why had she said Aizen? Because it only made sense, no one knew who Aizen was, several claimed to be him but wouldn't it be easier for your most loyal followers to pretend to be you while you played second in command? And the blood she had just eaten was telling her the brown hair man was second in command, no name, just called the left hand, making fun of Christians she was betting. "I will be the hand that kills him."

He looked scared, "But I don't know him."

She smiled she knew how well people like this took failure, they'd kill him for her. "I don't care you tell the Left Hand and he'll get the message." The baby looked at her one more time before going to the window and leaping out of it. Him gone she slumped back and let the broken ribs heal. The aching in her arm told her she had been fighting someone much stronger then her, only her anger had let her beat him. The one of the men with Renji and Renji appeared in the door way, they took in the smeared walls, the body parts that had been her loving brother, and her sitting covered in blood on the floor no doubt looking miserable.

Renji walked in looking sympathetic he knelt next to her, "What happened Kagome?"

She sighed and thought it over, she needed to start at the beginning, "I've been sneaking out for some time, getting the codes wasn't hard, first I bought some swords for myself, then to see my mom and brother. I don't think I was ever spotted, but I guess I messed up..." she frowned that didn't seem right at all, she had been very careful.

"Kagome?"

The other vampire was hanging up and she realized he had been calling the police. That had to be it, they hadn't known she would be the one to find Souta and her mother, her body hadn't been found so Aizen or possibly more correctly the left hand had figured she had been turned or that Ichigo had hidden her away saving her life, either way he had wanted to make a scene. "That's not right at all I didn't mess up, they knew I had been turned or was still alive. They wanted to draw Ichigo out."

She laughed, and got up to look out the window. She could see an open window across the way in another apartment building, most would think nothing of it, but she could guess. Something about the fact the windows weren't suppose to open like that, they had to be taken apart for it to be that open. It had been a trap for Ichigo, her mother was suppose to be found earlier and be on the news so Ichigo would come for her brother and walk into a trap but since she had, the backup went off to report and her baby messenger wasn't needed. She would kill him, she really would. Slowly, and she'd drink every last drop of his... no she didn't want to taste him at all, something like him would be too tainted, too gross to taste.

"Kagome I understand today has been trying but we need to insure that Vampires aren't connected to this, two vampires will be here in three minutes, they will say you came to say goodbye to your brother but instead they found this. The story is you've been in protective custody because you are a witness in an investigation, the men you will testify against are behind this and so the police will be forced to hand the case over, understand?"

Kagome turned away from the window to look at the man who had been giving her the instructions, black hair nondescript looks, the mustache was a bit much, but she had seen stupider looks, sadly it almost worked for him, the only thing that stopped him from being truly bland was he was built and the mustache. "You need to understand something, I don't care how we keep this secret but you will never dictate to me in such a loud bossy voice, I am angry and to be honest murderous. I have lost my mother and my brother, I frankly am holding my self together by a string, but crying is not what I would do should I snap, I would go and kill everyone in the way of stopping me from getting to this left hand and Aizen then I would kill them slowly. I had a friend once who lost her whole family she went to the ends of the earth to get justice and I won't do any less."

She turned back to the open window and felt the tears start, she wanted to kill them, but at the same time she did want to rant and wail, it wasn't fair. Why couldn't she have just died? Then they would have left Souta and mama alone. They would have had no reason to go after them. Why did the gods do this to her? Of course she had seen Sango ask the same thing her answer had always been the gods rarely act personally; The only person guilty was Naraku, in this case the name was Aizen but the evil was the same. Cruel, heartless and sadistic.

She would tell herself be strong like Sango but she had probably been the one to see her at her weakest, the tears, the sobs, Inuyasha had probably known but at the same time he didn't have to hug her or watch her cry. The thing that made Sango strong other then her sheer ability to take punishment was the fact she could cry, sob hopelessly and then stop. Just stop, pull it together for another week or two.

Kagome was pretty sure she couldn't hold it together that long, if she lost it she was out of the arena. She wiped her face clean and turned back to find Renji, her swords that she had set down and the bossy guy were gone. But the two men she had been told were coming were there, both stony faced and probably old, they seemed old in the way they took care to shift normally like people did and they were good with the breathing. "So what are your names since I'll need to know them for the fiction..."

The left one with a sideways glance at his friend who had a strange set of scars on his face said, "Kira Izuru and he's Shuhei Hisagi, the man who left with Renji is Tetsuzaemon Iba, I think I heard you call him bossy."

Kagome sighed, speaking out of turn again, stressed or not, she had been rude. "Thank you, Higurashi Kagome if you don't already know. He," she pointed at Souta's body, "was my brother, and my mother is dead but that hasn't been reported. We will need to find my brother's wife and hide her away, she's pregnant and I hate to think what they'd do to her and the baby."

She noted Izuru paled at the mention of the sister-in-law being pregnant. She was guessing he had seen or at least could picture what would happen. Hisagi just nodded and spoke up, "Renji is going to pick her up from work."

She nodded back, part of her feeling relieved she wasn't dead too. The rest of her was a mix of angry and sad, she was just trying to focus on the anger. Then she heard loud thudding footsteps coming down the hall, the police were coming it was show time.

10:56 p.m.

That night she was sitting in her room, she felt a bit like she was grounded because the others were talking down the hall just far enough away she couldn't make out what they were saying but at the same time she could hear the fact they were talking. Ichigo still sounded pissed, he had a bit of a shock when he saw her angry face, he had come over seeming to expect her to be in tears or weak, he probably didn't realize it but he had hit her where it hurt when he asked wasn't she upset. She was, she just also knew when she broke down she wouldn't be getting back up again. His second reaction to yell at her for sneaking out hadn't helped, she had snapped at him. She probably had hit him where it hurt too, after she had said it Rukia watched him walk away before telling her Ichigo lost his father and Yuzu, Karin had been out of town at the time and that was the only thing that had saved her.

She was sorry she had said it but she didn't know, but at the same time... She was so damn angry with him, he refused to talk to her, to tell her stuff like this. Of course she was gonna hurt him, just like he hurt her.

She realized the voices had stopped, standing and turning to face the door a second later there was a knock, she walked over and opened it, Byakuya was standing there his face it's normal bland politeness. He spoke and asking to come in and she realized both Renji and Rukia were there Ichigo wasn't. Whatever they were about to tell her, Ichigo didn't agree with.

Stepping back they followed her in, it was funny to think no one would have seen that, they moved so fast. Once inside Byakuya began to talk sternly, he sounded like Miroku when she was being a child, of course she had been careful that he was the one who saw her like that. Sango saw her cry and she had tried to show Inuyasha the best of her, that hadn't worked.

"Clearly leaving you alone for so long was a mistake, but one we will not make again, you got lucky today, since you clearly desire revenge we will step up your training, and give you a job upstairs, a secretary is what we think will work best. You having no experience in the medical field."

Kagome bit her lip but said nothing, it was true she had no record of anything but a first aid course, the fact she had probably skimmed most college level texts meant nothing except on the field of battle. She could probably study just a bit and become a paramedic very quickly. That was something for later.

"You will become my second secretary the one who answers the phone and runs files about in the office, clear?"

She choked, that was a high level job, but it also screamed hard work and no rest along with no respect. Realized they were looking at her, she said "I don't have much choice as much trouble as I got in today do I?"

As one the three nodded Byakuya and Renji left but Rukia sat down on her bed her eyes focused on the floor, but she looked thoughtful. Her first words were not expected however, "Kagome you disobeyed not one, but four orders today, and all of them were of the family bloodline. You have always nodded and moved on with every word any of us have ever said, you have never been surprised by anything we have ever told you about being a vampire, is there a reason for all of this?"

Kagome frowned, she trusted the girl a bit more then she had when Rukia first asked about Inuyasha, but she had lied once admitting it was a lie was not what she wanted to do but how could she say anything close to the truth? "Rukia... my life has not been normal since I was fifteen and met Inuyasha, as weird as things got afterwards, vampires are surprisingly easy to understand. Besides I had a friend who went through a phase where she was obsessed with vampires, the rest of us got dragged along for the ride."

Rukia looked at her thoughtfully, "Would you say under extreme circumstances you are capable of awesome and powerful things?"

Kagome didn't think about it, "Yes."

Rukia looked at her a curious look in her eye, "You've killed before haven't you?"

"Yes."

Rukia's face slowly broke into a dark smile, "I always wondered why Ichigo spoke of you like a saint, I always wondered if you were so kind, so loving why had you not found someone safer then Ichigo, someone your equal. But now I see I had it wrong, you did. You picked someone as generous as you can be in your best moments, and you picked someone as violent and ruthless as you can be."

Kagome found there was nothing to say in that, Rukia had said it all, Ichigo could be kind and sweet and thoughtful, he also had a temper and was very good at inflicting pain. He had the temperament to stand up to her in a way Inuyasha never could, he also could match her for mercy. Mercy was never something Inuyasha understood because no one had ever shown it to him, his brother, his lover, everyone in his life who should have taught him these things failed too.

Rukia stood, "Kagome you want to fix things with Ichigo, show him, tell him, explain to him in every way you can that you don't care what he's done without you, just show him he doesn't have to be alone in this any more."

With that Rukia stood and left the room quickly, the door a soft click behind her.

Kagome found herself slowly walking back to her bed to sit down, was that what was wrong between her and Ichigo? All those little white lies? All the moments she held her tongue and didn't say anything? She was mad at him for treating her like a weakling, for treating her like she was helpless, but was it all her fault for not telling him why she could hold her ground? If she had told him of some of her adventures in some edited fashion would he have continued to see her despite being a vampire? Or told her he might come back one day?

She could almost see it, her pulling him aside and saying, "Ichigo you've seen death, you've seen violet deaths, you've seen more then most your age can say, but I can tell you here and now I've seen more then you. I'd seen more then you at fifteen. At fifteen I had helped buried more then a hundred people in one day, at fifteen I had almost died so many times I couldn't count them. I had patched friends up who had taken wounds that should have killed them. I've seen a beating heart in someone's chest. I've been up to my elbows in blood trying to save a life, and I have been covered in blood because I was ending them. I have seen so many dark and deadly things I could tell you things you would never believe. I've been kidnapped and used against friends before. I have been poisoned, bitten, stabbed, shot, pretty much every conceivable, possible way of dying is something I have faced head on. So stop asking me to hide, stop telling me I am too weak, and trust me when I say I can take it."

She flopped back on the bed and promised herself tomorrow after work, after he was back she would talk to him.