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A Single Strand - Chapter 9 - Meetings in a Different Light

"Inu Yasha!" a little voice called.

The hanyou's ear flicked at the sound of the voice. No one of concern, he thought. Inu Yasha licked absently at the small amount of spit that had begun to trickle down his jaw. He rolled over, bringing Kagome with him. Kagome mumbled something.

"Inu Yasha!" the kit yelled again.

Finally, Inu Yasha groaned, sitting up groggily. "What is it?" he mumbled.

Shippou heard him any way, even through the glass windowpane. "Something's wrong."

"Something?"

"Yeah, I can feel it. The birds aren't singing."

Inu Yasha thought momentarily, focusing, before sitting bolt upright, golden eyes wide. "Sesshomaru," he muttered. That was a great wake up call.

……………

Inu Yasha stumbled down the stairs, Kagome right behind him. "Inu Yasha?" she asked. He had woken her up and told her to get ready. They had both gotten dressed and they were headed down the stairs.

Inu Yasha paused. "Yes, Mate?"

"Just tell the world. What's going on this time?"

"My other half is on his way."

Inu Yasha got to the bottom of the stairs. Kagome stopped for a second. As Inu Yasha opened the front door, she followed.

Outside, everything seemed the same as the last demon encounter, only part of the house was still rubble.

Inu Yasha took a seat in the middle of the lawn. “It’ll be a while.”

“What could he want?” Kagome asked, walking up to crouch beside her hanyou.

“A fight, probably. What else could he want? I beat him before, I can beat him again.”

Kagome could tell Inu Yasha was putting up a brave front, but he was really uncertain inside. She put her hand on his shoulder. “It’ll be ok.”

Inu Yasha didn’t look at her, but he nodded. He kept staring out at the forest, waiting for any sign that his other half had arrived.

They all waited for a good half-hour before Sesshomaru appeared. He walked up calmly, a small girl following.

Inu Yasha stood, hand on the katana hilt. “You here for a rematch?”

“No. You are a catalyst. Youkaibo launches an attack upon this place. Naraku means war.”

“Thanks for the info. What makes you think I can trust you?”

“It’s all up to you. I thought you might need a little help. I’d rather help you than that company.”

“Oh, I’m honored,” Inu Yasha rolled his eyes. “Fine then. Make yourself at home.”

“Since when can you invite someone else into my house?” Sango shouted.

“Fine. You tell my other half he can’t stay!” Inu Yasha’s ears slipped back a little.

Sango looked from Inu Yasha to Sesshomaru. “Uh…no. That’s ok. My house is your house.”

“We will be fine out here. If you need our assistance, call. Sesshomaru, your older brother, or Rin, your brother’s mate.”

“Yeah, yeah. Sure. Whatever.”

Sesshomaru turned to leave. “By the way, you should expect another visitor or two later on.” Finished, Sesshomaru and Rin headed back into the forest.

“Wow. See, there was nothing to be afraid of,” Kagome muttered.

Sango stood for a moment. “I didn’t know you had a brother!”

“He’s not exactly my brother. He’s the full demon half of my DNA.”

“So we should be expecting more,” Miroku mused.

“Let me guess. The next one’s a cousin?” Sango wondered.

“I don’t think so. What’s a cousin?”

……………

"Inu Yasha. Beautiful Inu Yasha," Kikyou whispered to herself. How long had she watched him from outside the test tube, yearning for him to awaken to her touch? But it wasn't meant to be. That hated "clone" of hers, Kagome, had gotten to him first. And now the hanyou was beyond her grasp.

"Kikyou, Naraku-sama wishes to speak with you," the pale, emotionless demon reported.

Kikyou looked at the demon with disgust, although she hid it from her tone. That creature that always appeared without warning to report what Naraku wished. "He really needs to learn that I don't like the demons. He should come himself. You never know what I might do to one of your...race."

"Naraku-sama wishes to speak with you," the demon repeated, unfazed by the threat.

"I know, I know." Kikyou stood and Naraku's personal demon led her to a deeper level of the building. Naraku didn't look up as two approached.

"Kikyou, as you requested, Naraku-sama."

"Very good, Kanna. Now, leave us."

"Yes, Naraku-sama." Kanna left the room, leaving man and woman alone.

"What do you desire, Naraku?" Kikyou asked.

Naraku stared at something that was behind the thick iron bars. "Kikyou, take a look at these demons."

Kikyou ignored the order. "Those aren't demons."

"No, they aren't. Just what I'd expect from you. This is what happens when we don't have scientists of your caliber. The demon, already with a taste of the human blood, find themselves heavy with the desire to 'mate' with their awakeners. This," Naraku gestured to the creatures within the cages, "is what you get when you let that happen."

"Why should I care?" Kikyou asked, studying the hanyou. (Meant to be plural, but the Japanese don't use plural nouns...)

The two in front of her looked severely depressed and under fed. The male was easily twice as big as any human, but looked remotely human for the most part. Huge eyes looked mournfully down at her. The neighboring hanyou was a small, sliver-haired female with a dark tan and crimson hues.

"As you well know, the experimental hanyou that we intentionally created escaped. He's putting up too much resistance, even causing a couple hundred demons to escape as well to join him. One of them expected a war to happen. Will you lead an army against them?"

"Yes, if that is what you want."

"Good. I will reward you later. For now, I will leave you to prepare how you wish," Naraku walked up the flight of stairs.

"Inu Yasha. Beautiful Inu Yasha. I will kill you, Inu Yasha," Kikyou whispered to herself. The thought brought great joy to the woman.

……………

The group had waited outside of the house for the other demons they had been warned about.

Three hours later, while they were in the middle of lunch, Inu Yasha stopped. “Damn it. I warned him.”

“Inu Yasha, what is it?”

“That mangy wolf. If he thinks he can come here, he has another thing coming.”

“Inu Yasha, you won’t hurt him,” Kagome ordered.

“Kagome, it was part of the deal.”

“I didn’t say the two of you could make a deal. So, it’s off. You won’t hurt him.”

“Fine. Remember, you’re mine.”

“I know. Don’t be such a baby. I have to take care of him because I woke him up. It’s just like how I have to take care of Shippou.”

“Yeah, well about that…”

“Inu Yasha!”

“I was joking.”

“Yeah, but you better behave, or you’ll be in the dog house.”

“That’s where mutts belong, isn’t it?” The voice came from the edge of the forest.

The group looked over. Kouga was practically falling over as he limped into view. Kagome rushed over to help him, Inu Yasha close behind to keep watch. Kouga slumped to the ground as the pair approached.

“Kouga, what happened?” Kagome asked, picking up on all the bruises and cuts as she knelt beside him.

“I didn’t tell them anything. They don’t like that,” Kouga replied, wincing in pain.

“Oh, Kouga. I’m sorry. Sango, you have a fist aid kit?”

“Yeah. Just a sec.” Sango left to go find the item.

“Don’t worry Kagome. I’m fine.”

Inu Yasha snorted. “That why your lying on the ground, almost dead?”

“Kagome’s safe. I wasn’t the one to tell, so Kagome got a head start. I’m fine knowing she’s doing good.”

“I just love your logic.”

“Inu Yasha, be nice.”

“Whatever you say, Mate.”

“What? Kagome…you didn’t,” Kouga looked up, hurt in his eyes.

“I did. But…it’s nothing really. I still care about you, it’s just a different way.”

Kouga lay back down. “If you’re happy, Kagome.”

“I am.”

Sango hurried up with the first aid kit. “Here. I hope there’s enough there.”

“Thanks,” Kagome smiled as she accepted the white box. “Now, hold still.”

Kagome started applying antiseptic. Kouga shut his eyes, taking a sharp intake of breath.

“Sorry. I forgot to mention it stings a little.”

“I’m fine,” Kouga replied quickly.

“Yeah, right,” Inu Yasha smirked.

“Shut up, hanyou.” Kouga tried to sit up, but fell back.

“Kouga, don’t move,” Kagome ordered gently before turning to Inu Yasha and changing her tone to harshness. “Inu Yasha, stop antagonizing him.”

“I’m not antagonizing any body.”

“Yes you are,” Sango retaliated.

“Oh, Sango. You’re still there,” Kagome looked up for a moment.

“Yes. I was just a little curious.”

“Oh, right, right. Sango, this is Kouga. Kouga, Sango. We’ve been living here for a while.”

“So I gathered,” Kouga mumbled.

“You’re a wolf demon, huh?” Sango asked, kneeling beside Kagome.

“Yeah.”

“No pack?”

“Not really, I guess.”

“Not true,” Kagome said quickly.

“It’s not?”

“It’s not. We have our own pack going. You and me and Inu Yasha and Shippou. Sango and Miroku. I think even that other demon, Sesshomaru and his mate. We’re all part of a new little pack. That way, none of us are alone in this.”

“Keh,” Inu Yasha snapped. “Whatever ‘this’ is.”

……………

After a while, Kagome got Kouga bandaged up. They moved back inside. Sango and Miroku started working on the repairs again. Once Kouga was sleeping, Kagome made Inu Yasha help as well. However, they were only working for a good hour when the third intruder arrived. Again, everyone ended up outside.

This time, they came upon the Wind Sorceress Kagura.

“What are you doing here?” Inu Yasha demanded.

“Waiting. We wish to help.”

“We?” Kagome asked.

“I think a little under a third of the company’s supply of demons have decided to join.”

“What about Naraku? I thought you work for that ass.”

“Naraku is a bastard. We all knew this, but we couldn’t act. You, however, have given us that opportunity, and we are taking it. Do you accept us as your troops or not?”

“Are you serious?”

“Perfectly.”

“Is this really war then?”

“Obviously. If it wasn’t before, it will be soon, at any rate.”

“Damn it.”

“Don’t swear at me. It was part of your brother’s plans, I think.”

“Fine then. You guys can stay around here, in the forest.” The group of demons slunk away to lurk deeper in the forest, as Inu Yasha suggested.

“Good decision,” Kagura muttered before taking off on her own as well.

“If it comes to a war…” Inu Yasha turned to Kagome. “I want you to stay out of it.”

“What? No.”

“Kagome, there’s going to be a lot of stuff you don’t need to see.”

“No one needs to see war, Inu Yasha.”

“Exactly, especially you.”

“I’m going. I can’t sit around here and wait. I don’t want to be left here, wondering if you’re going to come back or not. I couldn’t stand it.”

“But…Kagome, I can’t be distracted.”

“You won’t be. I promise.”

“If I’m trying to protect you, I will be distracted. What can you do, then?”

“Well, I did a bit of archery when I was a kid. I was into a lot of old fashioned stuff back then. I think that’s where my little demon kick started too.”

“So, if we find you a bow, you can fight with me.”

“Actually,” Miroku started. “We might have one in the basement.”

“Great,” Inu Yasha muttered somewhat sarcastically.

“Inu Yasha,” Kagome warned.

“I don’t want to see you get hurt, Kagome.”

“Aw, I love you too.”

……………

……………

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