Cats and Dogs
Chapter 10: Recover and Destroy

To say that Sango took the news well about her brother would be a complete understatement. Not only was she heartbroken beyond return, she also would not look in Inuyasha's direction, her anger also coursing through her veins alongside her heartbreak.

To all of their amazement, Sesshomaru had offered in his usual nonchalant manner to revive the boy with tenseiga. Sango had perked up at the thought, but Riquo quickly shot down the idea, stating that the boy's memories of destroying his village members would torment him the rest of  his life and inevitably destroy him. Sango would not look at Riquo after that either. It was then that Inuyasha reluctantly pulled Sesshomaru off to the side to tell him that there was nothing left of the boy to revive. After that Sesshomaru nodded and took his leave with out another word towards any of them.

Kagome regained consciousness less than an hour later, and cried out happily to learn that Inuyasha had defeated Naraku but mourned with Sango for the loss of her brother.

Kagome leaned against Kouga's breastplate rubbing her temples, "What about the jewel shards? Did you find those?"

Inuyasha shook his head, "No, I can smell them but I don't want to risk overlooking one so we decided to wait until you woke up so you could get them all."

Kagome nodded and with the help of Kouga managed to get to her feet, "Kouga and I will go retrieve the jewels from the castle, you guys stay here and rest up."

Miroku stood in protest, "Kagome you really shouldn't be-"

Kagome waved her hand in dismissal, "Miroku, I am not weak and I am not badly wounded. I think picking up a few shards with Kouga's help won't kill me."

Miroku nodded in content though he would have preferred that they all go. Kouga lifted Kagome into his arms and was about to take off towards the wreckage of Naraku's castle when Sango spoke up.

"What about your shards, Kouga," Sango said glaring at the wolf demon.

None of them spoke, just looked at each other confused. It was understood that Kouga's shards would have to be surrendered when the time came for the Shikon Jewel to be completed, but none of them had fully realized that that time was here, nor did they know how to confront the issue.

Kagome cleared her throat in annoyance at the slayer, "Not yet Sango. But soon."

Sango hissed angrily, "What's the matter? Afraid of being defenseless and weak, Kouga!" She spat his name with such malice that Miroku visibly flinched at her tone.

"Enough damnit!" Inuyasha interjected into the fight that was boiling, "All of you cut the temperamental bullshit. Naraku is dead, there is no reason to be bitter-"

"OH! Of course not for you Inuyasha!" Sango exploded, "You get what you've been after for years! The sacred jewel is on the brink of being complete and then you can make your wish and live happily ever after! What about the rest of us, huh?! I lost my entire village over that damn jewel! You murdered my brother, you get your jewel, everything is wonderful for you!"

Inuyasha staggered back from Sango's verbal assault, speechless. All eyes were on the seething Sango, the jewel forgotten as well as everything else.

Riquo made the mistake of walking up behind Sango and placing a hand on the slayer's shoulder, "Look, Sango-"

She got no further. Sango instantly whirled around, Hiraikotsu in her grips, slamming the giant boomerang into Riquo's side. Boomerang met bone with a painful crack, knocking the panther hanyou off her feet and falling into Miroku for the second time that night.

"Sango no!" Kagome shouted.

Inuyasha was moving instantly, but a movement out of the corner of his eye made him falter and stop short of the slayer as a transformed Kilala planted herself between a battle-ready Sango and the fallen Riquo. Sango also faltered in her second attack as the fire cat snarled at her mistress.

"Kilala, what..."

Kilala growled low, in a surreal communicative tone.

Sango stuttered in confusion, "Kilala, I...I don't understand."

Kilala whined again. Sango's eyes averted back to Riquo as the hanyou, with the help of Miroku, raised herself onto her elbows. Riquo winced, panting to catch the breath that was knocked out of her from the giant boomerang.

"She...she's trying talk to you..." Riquo stammered in pain, "she said...that...she-she has an a cat...and...and as an protect her kin..."

"What?" Sango spat.

Riquo gasped for air, holding her wounded side, "Do you always make an attack...on those who are already down?"

True...all of them were weak and weary from the battle with Naraku, and it was a little rash for Sango to attack one of her own, especially when they were down.

Sango hissed angrily, ignoring the injured hanyou's comment, "Tell me what this means!" she shouted gesturing to the fire cat who still had not backed down from her stance.

Riquo took a steady breath, "Kilala, is one of the eldest cat demons still living, with many years still to come before her. Cats, demon, hanyou or domestic are all kin to each other. In the days when the first demon cat leaders ruled, Kilala was there. She witnessed the leaders make a pact, a promise to all cats if you will. Every cat, regardless of its stance or nature, has an obligation to protect their own kin."

Riquo met Sango's fearful gaze full-on, "I know Kilala has been your companion for a long time, but cats will even disobey their masters for their own kin."

Kilala, still facing Sango, growled an affirmative. Sango shakily relaxed her stance, dropping her weapon to the ground.

Kagome wrestled herself out of Kouga's grasp and ran over to Riquo, "Riquo, tell Kilala to back off! This isn't necessary, Sango wouldn't willingly try to hurt us!"

Riquo and Miroku gave Kagome a questioning glance, wondering if she'd seen Sango knock Riquo to the ground or not. Nevertheless Riquo growled low in her chest, which caused the angry fire cat to relax her stance as well.

Sango dropped to her knees, despair washing over her like dirty water and began to weep. Inuyasha finally felt free to move over to Riquo without getting injured by the slayer. In passing Kilala, the fire cat brushed past Inuyasha's leg and stalked to the hysterical demon slayer and nuzzled her mistress's cheek.

Sango looked up into the red feline eyes that stared at her, "I-I understand Kilala. Please forgive me, for attacking one of your...kin."

Inuyasha knelt next to his battered lover, "Riquo..."

Riquo waved him off, placing a hand on his, "I'm ok, Inuyasha. Walking may be an issue, but I'll be fine," Riquo jerked her head towards the crying slayer.

Inuyasha sighed, "Sango-"

Sango raised a hand, silencing him. Kilala lowered herself, allowing her mistress to get on, with Hiraikotsu strapped to her back. Everyone stared, not really knowing what was happening. Sango's eyes swept over her friends, Inuyasha, whom she trusted with her life, had done her and her brother a favor, and she now realized that.

The slayer's eyes fell on Kouga, and she hoped he was the one to make Kagome happy, because she above everyone else knew Kagome deserved to be made happy.

When Sango's eyes met Kagome's tear-streaked face she too began to cry again. This had been her best friend and her companion for years. She confided all her deepest secrets and desires to this girl from the future.

Sango wept when her eyes met Miroku's and she forced herself to look away. Despite her angry attempts to steer the monk's lust away from her, she loved him. She didn't know if she could have ever had him, but she did love him.

When the slayer's eyes met the panther hanyou's eyes, she gathered all the strength that remained in her body and simply whispered, "Forgive me."

Miroku stood immediately, knowing what was about to happen, "Sango no!"

Without so much as a word or a second glance, Sango turned her head away from them as Kilala launched herself into the air away from her friends and the life she had once led.

"SANGO!!" She winced hearing the desperate monk shout her name. Tears leaked from her eyes, but the wind dried her tears before they traveled further down her cheeks. Sango straightened her spine and squared her shoulders. She had betrayed her friends, again. Sango would not allow herself to hurt them again so she decided to distance herself as much as possible.

She patted Kilala's neck, "Kilala, take me home."




       The next few moments after Sango had disappeared from sight went by in a tearful blur. After gawking for several moments at Sango's retreating form, Kagome without a word turned to the direction of the castle debris and went to collect the rest of the jewel shards alone. Miroku kept trying to chase after Sango with Inuyasha keeping him back and the two arguing back and forth. Kouga had stayed with Riquo, performing a kind of physical therapy and helping her to walk and breathe properly. He also confirmed that she had indeed broken three ribs on her bruised and swollen side.

Miroku and Inuyasha stopped arguing when Kagome came back into view, her hands cupped together in front of her and something long draped over her arm. She walked past Inuyasha and Miroku over to where Riquo and Kouga were hobbling towards her. Inuyasha and Miroku followed and soon all four of them were gathered around Kagome.

In her hands was the sacred jewel that Naraku had possessed as well as the few pieces that she herself possessed. Miroku gasped at what lay across her arm. It was Kohaku's chain scythe. Miroku placed a hand on the scythe and glanced at Kagome, "Lady Kagome-"

Kagome simply nodded and Miroku took the chain scythe off her arm. Kagome took a deep breath, her hands shaking with the shards in them. She glanced around at all of her companions, except one, she thought sadly.

"So," she said, "should we complete this right here and now?" Kagome looked around at each of them, knowing how apprehensive they were about this jewel shard, which had caused them so much pain with their search for it.

Miroku nodded, "Yes, yes I think we should," and took out the three jewel shards he'd kept in his robes for so long and surrendered them to Kagome's cupped hands.

Kouga signaled for Inuyasha to support Riquo's weight and help her stand as he'd been doing, and bent down to pluck the two shards out of both of his legs. This made Inuyasha speechless, and Kouga nodded at him in understanding.

Inuyasha cleared his throat nervously, "Is that all of them?"

Kagome closed her eyes, lifting her head and expanding her senses as far as they would go. She smirked, so Naraku had actually done them a favor and just wanted to get rid of them to get the remaining jewel shards that they had with them.

Kagome opened her eyes again, "Yes, yes this is all of them," only to close them and began to pray out loud. The four of them could only stare as Kagome prayed for everything she held close to her, for the purity of the jewel and its uses. A strong, lavender light began to shine from her cupped hands while she prayed.

Inuyasha hugged Riquo close to him, his lips against her forehead. Whatever happened in these next few moments was going to change them forever, hopefully for the best.

The light from Kagome's hands receded back to where the now completed sacred jewel lay in one of her palms. They gawked at the jewel, whole and pure, genuinely pure. Kagome smiled and held out her palm to Inuyasha, who reared back, taking a few steps away from the jewel.

Kagome arched an eyebrow, as did everyone else, "Inuyasha, what you have worked so hard for is finally complete. I have only been here to finish my part of the deal. Now you can do with it what you wish."

Three pairs of eyes averted to Inuyasha now. Inuyasha shook his head, "No."

Kagome cocked her head to the side, "No?"

Inuyasha shook his head again, "No. I am not Naraku. Any wish made with that jewel will have a consequence, whether the wish is pure or impure. All I want is for it to be destroyed."

Riquo smiled, winking at Kagome and hugged Inuyasha closer to her. Kagome smiled as well and nodded, "Very well, Inuyasha. If that is what you want."

Inuyasha nodded, " do you destroy it?"

Kagome smiled again and winked at Riquo, "That's where our little sorceress comes in."

Riquo's face fell, "Sorceress?? Oh no, no Kagome you must have me confused with someone else! I hardly know enough magic to do much of anything! I mean-"

She was interrupted as Kagome walked up and placed a hand over her mouth, "Riquo, you know. It's all in your mind, just dig it out."

With that she pushed the jewel into Riquo's hand. Inuyasha unhooked her other arm from around his waist and held her upright by her waist so she had use of both her hands.

"You put your bracelet back together. You can do this Riquo. You can do anything," Riquo closed her eyes as Inuyasha whispered in her ear.

She cupped her hands around the jewel, shaking at the power she knew she had in her palms but resisted what the demon side of her clearly wanted.

Riquo drew in a shaky breath, thinking back to a time of learning...when her mother went over an entire book of spells that were now locked deep inside the back of her mind.

She could picture it now, her and her mother sitting underneath a grass canopy on the beach shore, the wind playing with her and her mother's hair. The fresh smell of the sea water tickling the young hanyou's nose and the sounds of the beach causing her little panther ears to swivel to and fro.

It was a beautiful day out, the sun was shining and gently baking the little hanyou's skin even under the grass canopy. Her mother sat behind her, reciting with her the spells on the old pages of the worn book and making her daughter perform some of the gentler spells.

Riquo saw every page that turned, as her mind sped up the scene all the spells came back to her now renewed memory. Then she saw her late mother close the fragile book and clap her hands for her hanyou daughter. The little Riquo got up and danced around her mother and then danced in the shallow crystal water that circled her home island.

The image of her much younger self began to black out as Riquo came back to where she was in Inuyasha's arms in front of her new friends next to the debris of Naraku's castle.

Riquo gasped as she came back to, "I know the spell. I know all of them now," she whispered.

Kagome smiled confidently, "I knew you could do it, Riquo."

Riquo smiled but lacked the confidence that Kagome had in hers, "But...from the previous battle and getting hit with Sango's weapon, I'm too weak to perform a spell like this. This spell is very powerful and in my condition I cannot perform the spell until I'm fully healed."

Inuyasha gently squeezed her hips, "We don't have to do it here. We'll go back to Kaede's village, recover and then perform the spell."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea, Inuyasha," Kouga said looking around with a glare, "you yourself have seen how ferociously demons fight for only a shard of that jewel. If we travel with it, then they'll be attacking us in the thousands."

Riquo shook her head, "We have no choice, I need to recover before performing this spell. We all need time to rest," Riquo took a weary glance at Miroku. He'd been on his feet in an impatient manner the whole time, clutching the chain and scythe to his body like a lifeline.

"Miroku, can you summon Hachi for us again? Surely he will sense Naraku's presence is no longer here and won't be afraid to come this far."

Miroku relaxed a little, though he looked dejected and simply nodded and took out his whistle, glancing at Inuyasha, Riquo and Kouga momentarily to see that they covered their ears again while he blew into the whistle.

Riquo winced at the noise. She was leaning heavily against Inuyasha since he had used his own hands to cover his ears.

Once Miroku put the flute away, the three demons relaxed and Inuyasha wrapped his arms around Riquo's waist to support her once again. Riquo gave Kagome the sacred jewel back and smiled.

"I'd rather not be holding on to that while we travel. It's power makes me a little nervous."

Kagome nodded, "I understand-"

Kagome was interrupted as Miroku cleared his throat gently, "If I may say, I will not be-"


All of them whirled around to see the transformed Hachi crest over the treetops and land himself next to the stunned group.

Inuyasha did a double-take, "How the hell did you get here so fast?"

Hachi, still transformed, puffed with pride, "I was already on my way the moment I felt Naraku's aura disappear. I knew my master would be in need of my services once the battle was over."

Miroku chuckled lightly and patted is friend on the head, "Hachi, I am impressed."


Inuyasha raised an eyebrow as a little speck came bounding off the back of Hachi. Myouga landed on top of Riquo's head and hopped up and down in front of Inuyasha's face, "Master Inuyasha! Master Inuyasha! You did it! You defeated Naraku! I am so proud of you Master Inuyasha, indeed I am!"

Riquo giggled and gently picked up the tiny flea in between her two claws and held him in the palm of her hand, "Let me guess Myouga, you're here with Hachi because you no longer are afraid of Naraku's presence either, right?"

Myouga stood as tall as his little flea body would allow, "I have no problem admitting that yes that is indeed correct."

Riquo snickered and leaned back to whisper to Inuyasha, "Return of the cowards, ne?" and earned a chuckle from her lover.

Kagome broke up the light conversation by stretching and reminding everyone that they needed to rest and destroy the jewel as soon as possible. They all nodded in agreement and climbed on top of Hachi's back with more difficulty then they imagined, especially since Inuyasha almost dropped Riquo when he grabbed a ticklish spot and she spastically convulsed in a fit of giggles.

Once boarded onto Hachi's back, Kagome noticed Miroku standing next to Hachi's head. He was quietly talking to Hachi, the giant beast nodding sadly.

"Miroku?" Kagome asked gently.

Miroku glanced at her sadly, and patted Hachi before speaking with her, "I'm sorry Kagome, but I will not be joining  you and the others back to Kaede's village," Miroku squared his shoulder's and continued, "I'm going to go find Sango, and bring her back to us."

Inuyasha scoffed at the monk, "Are you crazy! Did you not see what she--oof!"

Inuyasha was cut off from an elbow to the gut by Riquo and a vicious glare from Kagome. Riquo rolled her eyes and nodded at the monk, "You know where she went then?"

Miroku nodded.

Riquo jerked her head forward, "Then give her our love, and bring her back to us Miroku."

Miroku nodded and took several steps back as Hachi levitated off the ground. He waved goodbye to them, nervous and sad about being departed from his friends.

Kagome cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, "Good luck, Miroku!"

Miroku nodded and then turned his back once his friends had disappeared over the horizon and retreated into the forest to find their rogue slayer.




Kaede, never one to refuse someone in need whether it be human, hanyou or demon, was in a little over her head when her young friends came barging into her hut battered and bruised and a little worse for wear.
For instance, and this is a mystery to them all, Kagome promptly passed out the moment she slipped off Hachi's back and onto Kouga in a crumpled mess, leading the rest of them to believe that she'd strained herself just to stay conscious enough to get the jewel in one piece and to make sure they made is safely to Kaede's. Hachi, nervous as always, was reluctant to leave his master's friends but was bid to go on his way and thanked for his help.
Kagome was placed on one of the many futons in Kaede's small hut and immediately seen to by Kaede and the hysterical Shippo.
Riquo wasn't any better. Driven by her instincts to protect those around her, she too had fought against the blackness of unconsciousness until all of them were safely inside Kaede's hut. Once Kagome had been placed on the futon, Riquo was next to collapse onto the futon next to her friend and was out before her head landed on the pillow. Even with her half-demon healing abilities, Riquo was obviously going to be out for quite some time.
Ironically enough, it was the men of the group that were better off than the women and even helped Kaede the best they could after she tended as best she could to their already healing wounds.
Inuyasha, wanting to help his injured lover heal faster, kept making trips to get water and herbs with Shippo (mostly because he felt the kitsune wouldn't be fast enough). Kouga settled himself next to Kagome's sleeping form, mixing herbs and applying them on her body along with Kaede since the old women couldn't tend to everything at once.
In the conclusion of several hours, with both Inuyasha and Kouga exhausted, Riquo and Kagome's wounds were cleaned and bandaged with a damp cloth on both of their heads and little sacks of herbs on their eyes. To the ignorant eye, it looked like the two females were being unbelievably pampered by their lovers. But of course, not one villager was allowed to come near the hut as long as Inuyasha and Kouga were in it. Even Shippo was being protective of his surrogate mother and his new hanyou friend.
Inuyasha and Kouga took turns keeping guard at the door while the other rested. When a few hours passed and the other woke, the one who had been guarding would assist Kaede in changing, cleaning, and reapplying bandages before dozing off next to their own lover. Shippo slept with Kagome in her futon, only waking when it was Kouga's turn to rest and then settled in the wolf prince's lap, both of them promptly dozing off.
This pattern went on for almost two days. On the second day after they had arrived at Kaede's, Riquo was the first of the two girls to wake.
The sun was bright outside, sneaking in through the straw curtain that was Kaede's door and drifting across Riquo's face. Even with the tea sacks on her eyes, Riquo still felt the sunlight burn through her lids and scrunched her eyes away from the brightness.
Inuyasha, who had been on guard at the door of the hut, swiveled his ears back to listen to Riquo's uneven breathing as she roused from her sleep. Immediately he was by her side, lifting off the tea sacks and wiping the cloth that was over her head across her face and neck.
"Riquo?" he whispered gently.
Riquo peeked an eye open at him and then opened the other smiling at him gently, revealing her fangs, "Hi."
Inuyasha smiled back at her, "Hi."
Riquo, energetic with her renewed strength sat up and stretched, wincing as the two-days worth of kinks popped throughout her body.
Yawning wide and scratching her head she asked, "How long was I out?"
"Two days," Inuyasha smirked as his lover's disheveled appearance.
Riquo glared at him and then went wide-eyed as her memory came back to her and she realized everything that had happened.
Immediately she whirled around to where Kagome still lay asleep on her futon, startling Kouga out of his slumber but not fazing the young kitsune in his lap.
"Has she woken up at all?" Riquo asked shakily.
Kouga shook his head and yawned, "No but she's fine, just sleeping."
Riquo nodded and remembered something else which made her go pale, "The jewel..."
"Is with me child," said Kaede from where she'd been making lunch.
Riquo blinked at the old woman, a little weary from being out so much but still aware of what was going on.
"I understand ye are to be destroying this here jewel. Thanks be to the gods if ye ask me," Kaede said crudely.
Riquo smiled, relieved at the humor that leveled out the atmosphere in the room. For once in a very long time, she felt relaxed and secure. The jewel was going to be destroyed, Naraku and Kikyo she thought to herself, was destroyed, she honestly felt like she could live life with a little more security than before. She laid her eyes on her best friend and smiled.
Finally we can catch up, share stories and laugh again, but frowned when she remembered her absent friends and hoped that Miroku was almost to Sango's deserted village. Despite the damage Sango had inflicted onto her body (which was healed anyway) Riquo did forgive the slayer and wanted her friends back as soon as possible.
Riquo raised her arms over her head and stretched her body till she couldn't move, "Well, I'm going to go bathe before I deal with the jewel."
Kouga frowned, "Don't you want to wait until Kagome wakes up before you do that?"
Riquo smiled, standing and striding over to Kagome's abandoned yellow backpack in the corner, Inuyasha hot on her heels.
"I think she'll be awake by the time I get back," she said fishing out her homemade shampoo and the container with the unscented bar of soap that she liked as well as a wash cloth. But glancing at Inuyasha next to her she grabbed another wash cloth and stood.
Inuyasha and Kouga exchanged confused glances before Inuyasha said, "How do you know that?"
Riquo turned around with all of her bathing supplies and smiled, "Trust me. You coming with me?"
Inuyasha nodded and shrugged at Kouga as Riquo bowed her thanks to Kaede.
"Of course child. Just return quickly so ye can eat and then be rid of this horrible jewel."
Riquo nodded and then with a smile at Kouga left the hut with a confused Inuyasha right behind her.
Inuyasha jogged to Riquo's side, " is it you think Kagome will be awake when we get back?"
Riquo smiled at him, shifting all of her bathing needs to one arm and entwining her claws with his as they walked through the village towards the path in the forest that lead to the hot spring.
As they walked down the main street through the village, the townspeople came out of their huts and shops shouting and applauding. Before Riquo and Inuyasha knew what was going on they were surrounded by the villagers, all of them bowing to them, hugging them and some of them squeezing through the crowd just enough to touch one of them.
"Apparently news travels fast," Riquo shouted to Inuyasha over the noise of the villagers.
Inuyasha glanced at her before quickly raising his hands and shouting, "Ok! Ok! Calm down everyone!"
Once the villagers had quieted to a bearable murmur and Inuyasha was sure he had their attention he cleared his throat, "Obviously you all have heard about Naraku's demise. Hopefully, now this village as well as the other villages in Japan can live in peace from his tyranny. Thank you for your support and gratitude," wrapping his arm around Riquo's waist he said, "now if you'll excuse us, my mate and I need to...."
Mate?! Riquo's eyes bulged as her own thoughts drowned out whatever Inuyasha was saying. He did not just say mate! I mean...I know he technically is pre-destined to be my mate....but isn't this just a little soon??
Inuyasha guided Riquo through the village as the townspeople cleared a path for their heroes. Inuyasha smirked to himself, knowing that Riquo was practically catatonic in her own thoughts.
When he reached the hot spring he released his hold on Riquo, which snapped her out of her thoughts and back to present time. She locked eyes with Inuyasha who smirked at her smugly.
Riquo arched an eyebrow, "What's gotten into you?"
Inuyasha just shrugged and turned away from her to strip himself of his clothes. Riquo blushed, forgetting that this wasn't anything she hadn't seen before, and marveled at his body.
"We've already slept together and now you're taking the time to examine my body?"
Riquo snapped out of her thoughts again and scowled at him. 'Hmphing' she turned away from him and stripped herself of her clothes and with her bathing items marched past Inuyasha stark naked into the spring.
She unscrewed the lid of her shampoo, ignoring Inuyasha as he got into the spring and crept up behind her. She gasped though when he wrapped his arms around her waist, pressing his obvious erection into the small of her back and nibbling on her neck.
"Did you really could prance by me like that and not get a reaction?" He growled.
"Mmm...cocky aren't we?"
Inuyasha chuckled, "Apparently. No thanks to you."
"Aaa...that would be your own fault for lack of control. So there," Riquo stuck her tongue out at him but gasped when Inuyasha spun her around and pressed her between the wall of the spring and his body.
Riquo snickered, "You're impossible."
"And you're a tease. Now kiss me before I lose it," Riquo grinned but shook her head no.
Inuyasha cocked an eyebrow in confusion and frustration, "I really hope you're kidding."
"Nope, maybe later but I don't want to delay in destroying the jewel. This village isn't safe from demons until it is destroyed and neither are we."
Inuyasha's ears drooped and he gave her his best pathetic puppy look, whining softly in the back of his throat. Riquo laughed and snuggled up against him, kissing him longingly on the lips.
When she pulled back she giggled again and rubbed his ears, "Don't worry, we'll get to that soon enough," Inuyasha continued whining, thinking maybe that he was increasing his chances.
Riquo rolled her eyes and sighed, "Tell you what, how about after the jewel is destroyed you and I take a trip back to my old village?"
Inuyasha cocked his head, "But I thought you were living with Kouga?"
Riquo shook her head, "I was when my mother was killed,  but the island where I was born is still there in the west and I have retrieve."
She nodded placidly, "Something I know my grandparents are withholding from me that rightfully belong to me."
"Like what?"
Riquo wiggled her body until Inuyasha got the hint to let up off her body and once free treaded over to the shampoo she had brought with her.
"Mostly things my mother left for me when she died, weapons, trinkets, and a spell book," she unscrewed the lip and scooped out a handful of the gooey liquid, setting it back on the bank and turning towards Inuyasha and motioning him to come to her.
He did so without protest, knowing his hair and body were probably rank and also he got to enjoy Riquo's touch as she massaged the orange stuff into his hair.
"I know this isn't anywhere near your scent but it will wear off soon enough."
Inuyasha softly purred when she rubbed the back of his neck, "That's ok, I don't mind smelling like you."
Riquo smiled and gathered all of Inuyasha's soapy hair together to scrub it all at once, before tipping his head back and massaging his scalp again to rinse.
"So it'll be just you and me huh?"
Inuyasha glanced at her from where he floated on the surface of the water as she rinsed his hair, "When we go to your island together, it'll be just you and me. That's what you said, right?"
Riquo cocked her head at him, smiling, "Yes, just you and me. Is that ok?"
Inuyasha nodded his assent and said no more as she finished his hair, and then grabbed the unscented bar of soap and started washing the parts of his body that were above the water.
Inuyasha smiled down at her as she rubbed her soapy hands over his chest, realizing for the first time that she was short compared to him.
He snorted at another realization, "Funny, just a few days ago I was doing this same thing in this very spring with you propped up on my thigh."
Riquo snorted in response, "A little brazen for you if you ask me. Can't picture you really doing that for a stranger."
"Well it's not like I didn't take advantage of the situation..."
Riquo stopped her actions and glared up at him, baring her fangs, "Watch it or I'll go to my village alone."
Inuyasha drew her chin up and kissed her lips softly, "Easy my kitten lover,"
Riquo snickered, growling like the kitten panthers in her tribe do.
"Raise your arms. I'm almost done with this part and then you're gona have to stand on something so I can get the rest of you."
Inuyasha sputtered at how nonchalant she was, "I can wash that myself thank you very much!" he said raising his arms in the air for her.
Riquo didn't stop what she was doing but just snorted, "Funny. When you want that you strip right in front of me and expect me to just lie back and please you. But when nothing sexual is happening I can't even touch it? Tsk tsk...what am I going to do with you Inuyasha?"
Loving the way his name sounded from her lips, Inuyasha drew her close again and whispered huskily in her ear, "Anything you want, my hanyou."
Riquo smiled at him, following him as he stepped backwards and up onto a ledge in the water. This brought the water up to his shins, giving Riquo literally an eyeful.
Riquo swallowed the lump in her throat, hoping the water and shampoo was hiding the scent of her arousal, "Umm, I think you might have to...squat down..."
Inuyasha snickered and slowly squatted down, spreading his knees so the water was a little bit below his backside.
His extremely sexy backside, Riquo thought painfully.
But, never one to be done over, Riquo donned her huskiest look in her eyes and stalked towards where Inuyasha was crouched, slipping in between his spread legs and pressing close to him, so that his erection was practically in between her breasts.
Inuyasha gasped, his eyes widening at the sudden change in tune. But Riquo wasn't about to let up, not yet. She soaped up her hands again and slid her arms around his waist and gripped his hardened rump in both her hands. Inuyasha groaned slightly, causing Riquo to hiss as her own groin throbbed in ecstasy.

Riquo slid her hands up to his lower back, massaging and sliding her hands back down over his butt, kneading the muscles and earning several groans from Inuyasha. She slid her hands over his thighs, spreading the soap all over the lower half of his body, until she reached his knees. Inuyasha met her seducing gaze and almost trembled in anticipation. But of what? Didn't she say none of that right now?

Riquo just smirked and spread his knees a little further, running her hands along the inside of his thighs until she reached the junction of his legs. Locking eyes with her anxious lover again, Riquo soaped up her hands and gently cupped the soft sacs at the base. Inuyasha immediately flinched instinctively and let out a frustrated groan.

Riquo licked her lips and began massaging the base of Inuyasha's erection. Inuyasha dropped his head back, taking deep throaty breaths to sustain himself for however long he could last. Which at this rate wouldn't be very long...

Riquo grinned at the reaction she was getting and began easing her hands up gently, completely covering his erection in soap. Inuyasha peeked open an eye when he felt her remove her hands, but wasn't expecting the splash of water that soon covered and rinsed his lap from the soap. He shivered momentarily, but ignored the chill when he felt the tickle of Riquo's warm breath very close to his erection.

Inuyasha swallowed the lump in his throat, "Riquo..."


Inuyasha shut his eyes once again and balanced himself by combing his claws through Riquo's hair. He gasped, though, when Riquo took him whole into her mouth and sucked hungrily. She bobbed her head up and down steadily on his hard erection, earning herself several groans of pleasure from her hanyou.

Inuyasha arched his back in his climax, roaring loudly as he came into Riquo's mouth. She lapped up every drop of his essence without hesitation, forcing a startled whimper out of Inuyasha.

Riquo lifted her head at this and gazed into Inuyasha's glassy eyes, her lips swollen and her cheeks flushed. Inuyasha locked eyes with her but quickly dropped his head, his bangs covering his eyes.

Riquo leaned in closer to his body, "Inu...yasha?"

She heard him sniff and gasped. Immediately she was next to him on the ledge, leaning him against her and holding him.

"Inuyasha...sweetheart...what's wrong?" Riquo was nervous now. What if she had done something wrong, or hurt him?

Inuyasha trembled in her arms. " aren't...disgusted by take in my seed...without refusing me..."

Riquo cocked an eyebrow and was silent for a moment before saying, "Why would you disgust me Inuyasha? And why would I refuse you?"

Inuyasha sniffed again, "Because I'm a hanyou," he said simply.

Riquo cocked her head at him in confusion, "I-I'm a hanyou"

"I'm a hanyou dog, Riquo."

"And I'm a hanyou cat, Inuyasha. It goes both ways. Besides, we've been through this before! Cats and dogs or whatever, it's our own choice to be with each other. Who cared if we're defying demon law and facing possible banishment or death. I want to be with you Inuyasha."

Inuyasha lifted his head and met her gaze with a sweet smile, "I want to be with you too, my Riquo."

Riquo smiled and then cleared her throat, "Mate?"

Inuyasha lifted a clawed finger and gently poked her crescent tattoo. She shrugged but said nothing else on the matter. With a kiss, she slid off the ledge and retrieved her shampoo to wash herself with. Inuyasha took the jar from her, shaking his head.

"I'll do it. For you," he scooped his hand in the jar and set it aside before Riquo could protest. Riquo dunked her head in the water to wet her hair for him and with a certain gentleness she was only beginning to realize he possessed, massaged her scalp thoroughly. By the time he prompted her to dunk her hair for rinsing, she couldn't believe it was him massaging her head. Probably the best shampoo I've ever had in my entire life.

Inuyasha raked his claws through her hair until he was satisfied that all of the soap and knots were rinsed from her hair, and that it was squeaky clean, he lifted her to a standing point and retrieved the unscented bar of soap.


He looked into her eyes as he was soaping up his hands and smiled gently, "I won't take long."

Riquo just blinked at how content he was to not have sex with her yet he still wanted to please her. He advanced towards her with soapy hands but stopped right before, suppressing a laugh.

Riquo cocked her head, "What?"

"Um, you're going to have to stand on the ledge."

Riquo looked down and laughed, realizing that the water came just below her breasts and didn't leave much for Inuyasha to clean. She locked gazes with him with a sultry look in her eyes.

"Well we can do it the way you're accustomed to."

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow but smiled when he caught on to what she meant. Riquo backed up to the ledge with Inuyasha advancing her again, and straddled his thigh that was propped up against the ledge in the spring.

Inuyasha motioned for her to slide down his thigh. She did so, which brought the junction of her legs at his pelvis and the water just above it. Riquo had to admit that she liked this close proximity a lot better and tossed her hair back so that Inuyasha could begin washing her body.

He started at her collarbone, tracing every bone and cavity of her shoulders with his fingers, and massaging every area with soap at the same time. He then reached up to the back of her neck and massaged the area under her hairline and brought one hand forward to wash the side and front of her throat gently.

He then soaped up her arms fully, down to her clawed fingers and palms of her hands. Riquo giggled softly at how attentive he was to detail, making sure every inch of her body was clean and unscathed.

Inuyasha then worked his way up the underside of her arms, gently soaping her smooth underarms so as not to tickle her before rinsing his hands and soaping them up again. This time, he started just below her collarbone and massaged her chest gently, working the soap onto her breasts in soft, circular motions. Riquo tipped her head back, taking in her surroundings and the feel of Inuyasha touching her so gently.

"They're so soft..." Inuyasha continued to massage her breasts but not in a hurried lust. When the tips of her breasts hardened he removed his hands from the and worked his way down under her breasts and her ribs. Once he soaped up everything down to her hips, he rinsed his hands again and slowly dropped his propped up leg, allowing Riquo to slide into the water to rinse herself.

When she was soap-less once again, Inuyasha lifted her back into position on his thigh, against his hip, and asked her to lift her hair off her back. She did so and he soaped up his hands again.

He started with her shoulder blades, bringing her body close to his and hugging her as he washed her back. He took his time in massaging his hands down her spine until he reached her black tail. It swayed slowly over the surface of the water, confirming his suspicions that demon or hanyou tails don't like water.

He gently grabbed the base of the tail, earning a gasp from Riquo, and with a gentle but firm grip, slid his soapy hands down her tail until he reached the tip,  in which he grazed his thumb over the tip of her tail. Riquo arched her back with a gasp which caused her tail to wriggle itself out of Inuyasha's grip and dunk itself in the water to get the soap off and then shook itself out to repel off the water.

Inuyasha laughed, "A mind of it's own."

When Riquo didn't say anything he slid her into the water once more before lifting her out of the water and placing her backside on the bank of the spring. Her tail laid itself out next to her arm to dry.


He winked at her and soaped up his hands again, then spread her legs apart moving himself so his shoulders were against her inner thighs. He placed one palm on her dark curls, and slowly massaged the soap into them before sliding his palm down to her slick opening. Using only the palm of his hand he massaged the soap into it.

Riquo gripped the earth with her claws, suppressing every moan that came out of her throat. She squeezed her eyes shut as he continued to massage her womanhood, knowing that any second now she might climax.

No sooner did the thought enter her mind, Inuyasha pulled his hands away and she heard him rinse his hands off and soap them up once again. Before she could catch up, he was already cleaning her legs in his meticulous grace. Without hesitation, he lifted her off the bank and back into the water, and she could feel the soap washing off her lower entrance.

She was still in a trance, a little dejected that Inuyasha didn't let her climax. But then again, he was just doing what he was told, and she told him she didn't want to take long.

It was then that she felt Inuyasha cradle her back against his stomach, using his thigh once again as a seat for her backside. He nuzzled the side of her neck, placing soft kisses up until he reached her round black ears.

"What's the matter love, was that not good for you?" he whispered in her ear.

"No, no, it was....but-"

She gasped when she felt Inuyasha slide his hand down her stomach and past the soft black curls.

"But, you thought I was going to let you leave her without getting pleasured yourself, right?"

Riquo didn't have time to respond when Inuyasha slid his middle and ring fingers into her soft folds. She gasped as he filled her to the hilt of his fingers. Once he was sure that her body wasn't protesting the intrusion, he began pumping his fingers in and out of her. Riquo arched her back, giving Inuyasha the opportunity to seize her lips with his.

He slid his tongue into her mouth as his pace sped up. Between his attention to her mouth and her womanhood, it didn't take long for Riquo's muscles to contract in orgasm.

She immediately went limp in his arms and Inuyasha let out a chuckle. He carried her out of the spring and laid her on the bank to dry. He then went and retrieved their clothes and dressed her and himself before she could protest.

She sat herself up slowly as Inuyasha came and sat next to her after dressing himself. She wasn't exhausted but was definitely....satisfied.

Inuyasha leaned over and kissed her temple, "So, are you ready to go?"

She looked at him in a daze but smiled, "Yea, I am."

Inuyasha looked away from her where the wash cloths were that she'd brought, "So...what were the point of those?"

She snorted, "To wash ourselves with."


Riquo giggled and stood, retrieving her bath items and rejoining Inuyasha to walk back to the village with Inuyasha. They entwined their claws again and took their time in walking through the forest, on a path they both knew very well. The sun was gently floating through the trees and a cool breeze sifted amongst them. Inuyasha heard Riquo sniff the air and did the same. Both of them could sense the change in temperature that was soon to come.

"Winter's coming," Riquo said, stating what both of them already knew.

Inuyasha nodded and took a deep breath when the forest broke and they reached the village. The villagers contained themselves this time, contenting themselves to simply smile and wave at their hanyou saviors.

When they reached the outside of Kaede's hut, they heard several voices talking and having light conversation. Riquo glanced coyly at Inuyasha who just frowned at her.

"I told you she'd be awake."

"Keh! That's only cause we took so damn long."

Riquo smiled and pushed aside the grass curtain into Kaede's hut. Inside, Kagome was sitting up in her futon with Kouga and Shippo on either side of her and a bowl of soup in her hands. She smiled at Riquo when she walked through the door.

"I'm glad to see you two are ok. Sorry I was out a little longer though."

Riquo laughed, putting the clean wash cloths, soap, and shampoo back into Kagome's backpack and sitting in front of her futon. Inuyasha joined her and Kaede handed both of them a bowl of soup.

"I also have fish cooking," said the old woman.

Riquo and Inuyasha nodded and began eating. Kagome smiled and picked at her food, Kouga occasionally pushing her to eat a little more to get her strength back.

Eventually, by the time Riquo and Inuyasha finished their food, Kagome had finished hers as well and the empty bowls were cast aside. Kagome reached down into her shirt and took out the sacred jewel which was now on its own necklace. Riquo flinched, despising the power it possessed and the destruction is caused.

"Kouga and I discovered a problem while you two were away," Kagome said with a sad look in her eyes.

"Like what?" Riquo wanted this jewel destroyed as fast as possible and was reluctant to prolong any delay.

Kagome locked eyes with her and Riquo's heart sank when she saw tears in her friends eyes.

Kagome sniffed, "The well might close, or it might drag me back into it and lock me in the future. We're just not sure what the jewel will do once it's destroyed."

Riquo eyed the jewel wearily. True, these possibilities had been on their minds the whole time. Riquo didn't have anything left in the future so it mattered not to her, but they weren't sure how they would continue their lives without Kagome, or what she would do if she had to live and die in the Feudal Era and never see her family again.

Riquo swallowed back the lump in her throat, "Kagome. I know you're scared about these possibilities...but-"

"But we have to destroy the jewel anyway. I know Riquo," Kagome smiled, "I never was suggesting we keep the jewel intact, I'm just worried about what may happen."

Riquo nodded, "Well, should we-" suddenly her eyes went wide and she stared off into nothing.

Inuyasha frowned, "Riquo?"

Kagome leaned forward and grabbed her hand in panic, "Riquo?! Riquo what's wrong?"

"My mother..." she muttered.


Riquo looked at Kagome and smiled, "My mother! Kagome! The well will let you back through!"

Kouga shook his head, "You said it yourself Riquo. The spell your mother cast on the well was lifted and now it is controlled by the sacred jewel."

Kagome smiled excitedly, "No! No, she's right!"

Riquo sat closer to Kagome on the end of the futon cross-legged while the two girls gripped each others hands. In Kagome's time, it would look like the two girls were planning a sleepover. To Kouga, Inuyasha and Shippo, they just looked too excited for their own good.

Riquo giggled, "Ok, so when we destroy the jewel-"

"The well is definitely going to close up-"

"Because the jewel will have relinquished its power of the well-"

"But you can open the well again with the spell your mother cast!"

The two girls laughed and hugged each other. Kouga and Inuyasha just shook their heads and smiled at each other, knowing better than to interfere in a "female moment."

Kaede, on the other hand, cleared her throat loudly to get the two girls attention.

"So, if Riquo can open the well again with her black magic, I recommend that ye two make haste in destroying the jewel."

Riquo nodded and turned to Kagome, "I'm going to need to hold the jewel with me, to maintain it's purity."

Kagome nodded, "Ok, I'll go bathe myself real quick and then we can destroy this jewel."

Kagome stood up and ran over to her backpack, grabbing her own shampoo, soap, a towel and a washcloth and then ran out the door. A moment later she popped her head back in the hut, "Kouga, Shippo, are you coming?"

Kouga nodded in a daze and stood with the fox kit on his shoulders. The trio walked out of the door towards the spring.

Riquo laughed, "Too much excitement for me to handle."

Inuyasha gathered her in his arms and she felt him stifle a yawn. She laughed again and suggested that they rest up until Kagome and Kouga return from the spring. Inuyasha nodded and propped himself up against the corner wall with Riquo in his arms, the two of them drifting quickly asleep to the sounds of Kaede shuffling around the hut.


Kagome and Kouga quickly walked to the spring, cutting through the woods to avoid contact with the villagers. When they reached the spring, Shippo bounded off Kouga's shoulder, practically stripped in midair and splashed into the spring.

Kagome put her bathing supplies on the bank of the spring and began to undress by taking off her shoes and socks. Kouga swallowed the lump in his throat, not knowing what to do or say. When she untied her scarf and was about to lift off her shirt Kouga cleared his throat.

Kagome looked at him and smiled before removing her shirt. Kouga cocked his head at the weird piece of cloth she had on underneath her shirt but discarded the thought when she unzipped the back of her skirt and slid it off her waist. She folded her shirt and skirt and put them a little ways from the bank in case Shippo splashed some more.

Kouga gawked at her. She had on the weird chest thingy and something skimpy that barely covered her bottom. It was when she caught his gaze and smirked that he realized what she was doing.

She's playing with me. She knows this is the first time I've ever seen her naked and I can't do anything because Shippo is here.

He was jarred out of his thoughts when Kagome slid into the spring after depositing her under garments with the rest of her clothes. She grinned coyly at him, knowing exactly what she was doing to him.

"Aren't you coming in Kouga? You can get clean in here."

"Yea Kouga! Come on in the water feels great!" Shippo said from where he floated behind Kagome. Kagome snickered and grabbed her shampoo, retreating back into the middle of the spring to wash her hair.

Kouga smirked, he wasn't about to let Kagome get away with that little act without something of his own. He reached over on each side of his ribs and unhooked his battle armor, lifting it off over his head and dropping it at his feet. Kagome faltered with her shampoo for a moment but regained composure and began massaging the shampoo through her hair.

Kouga didn't miss a beat. He squatted down and slid off his fur shin guards, trying to take his time and be annoyingly meticulous so as to grate her nerves. He caught Kagome's eye and noticed that she was slightly glaring at him.

Oh yea, can't take in what you dish out can you? Too bad.

He stood himself up straight and hooked his thumbs at the waist band of his pelt. Slowly his slid the pelt down his waist, watching as Kagome's hands stopped with her hair, but her eyes followed the pelt around his waist. When the first sign of hair began to show as the pelt slowly made its journey downward, Kouga heard Kagome gasp.

He grinned viciously, and then his eyes widened when he smelled her arousal. He knew Shippo smelled it too because the fox kit just rolled his eyes and continued floating on his back.

Kouga sped up his pace and lowered the pelt even further, revealing his rather large shaft and then lower to reveal the dark sacs beneath the base. Kagome's jaws dropped. She'd seen the anatomy of a man in her time before, especially when she was with her friends, but never up close.

Kouga smiled, dropping the pelt to the floor and kicking it to the side. Kagome also marveled at the fact that Kouga's tail was actually attached and not just a part of his pelt. Finally, he took off his head band and the band that held his hair up, letting his dark black hair fall down his back and around his face. Kagome continued to gawk at him as he stalked towards the spring, slipping into the hot water with a sigh.

"Wow Shippo! You're right! The water does feel great!"

Shippo splashed happily, "See! See! I told you it was!"

Kouga tapped his chin thoughtfully, "Yea...but I wonder if they are any monsters in this spring."

"AAaahh! Monsters?!" Shippo began splashing in panic towards the bank of the spring. Kouga laughed and grabbed the fox kit, swinging him up in the air.

"Haha, I got ya!"

"Aaaah! Kagome! Help me! Kouga's got me!"

Kagome laughed at the sight before her, watching Kouga play with Shippo in the spring. She shook her head and finished shampooing her hair, then retrieved her conditioner and did that as well. When her hair was done Kagome got her wash cloth and soap, soaped up her body and rinsed. When she put all of her bathing supplies on the bank Shippo splashed happily.

"Kagome! Now you can play with us now that you're done bathing!"

Kagome smirked and took a deep breath, disappearing under the water. Kouga could sense her coming closer but Shippo shrieked in delight. Suddenly Kouga shrieked like a girl when he felt Kagome grab something particular but Shippo just screamed when Kagome splashed out of the water with him in her arms.

Kouga regained his composure, "A little brazen are we?"

Kagome stuck out her tongue, "Go get cleaned you."

Kouga took a weary glance at her shampoo and conditioner, "Do I have to use that stuff?"

Kagome smiled, "It'll get your hair clean."

Kouga shrugged and grabbed the bottle that said "shampoo." Kagome saw him staring at the back of the bottle in concentration and wondered if he was reading it.

"Kouga, what are you doing?"

"Reading what the bottle says," he said matter-of-factly.

"You can read?"

Kouga gave her a tolerant look, "Dog-boy can read but you thought I couldn't read?"

True, when Kagome first started traveling with Inuyasha, she was amazed when he read and understood most of the books she brought with her. He could also write beautifully, which made her jealous but she never said anything.

"Can you write, too?"

"Yep," Kouga snapped open the top of the bottle and squeezed the blue goo into his hands, then discarded the bottle onto the bank. He started massaging into the top of his hair, gathering the rest as he worked it into his scalp.

Kagome laughed, realizing that Kouga would probably never cease to amaze her.

"So, the bottle said "later, rinse and repeat." Exactly how many times am I going to have to do this?"

Kagome snorted, "Depends on how dirty your hair is."

Kouga laughed, "Ok, so give me your expert and honest advice: how many times?"

Kagome giggled but before she could say anything Shippo piped in, "Well if it's your first time using something to clean your hair, probably a lot!"


Kouga laughed, "I think I'll take the kids advice, my hair isn't exactly the cleanest part of my body."

Kagome smiled and floated in the water with Shippo splashing on her stomach, occasionally tossing him up in the air and letting him splash in the water. When Kouga finally rinsed his hair for the last time she noticed that he'd washed his hair at least three times. He took her bar of soap, lathered up his body the best he could and rinsed off his body in the water.

When he was finished, he put the soap back in its place on the bank and treaded over to where Kagome was playing with Shippo. He gathered all of his hair to one shoulder, picking it up and sniffing.

"So tell me, how did I do?"

Kagome leaned in and sniffed his hair and then felt it with her hands.

"Wow, it got really clean. And it didn't cover up your scent too much."

He gave her a questioning look, "You can smell my scent?"

Kagome shrugged, "Just a little bit. Not like you or Inuyasha and Riquo can smell scents."

"Or me! Right Kagome?"

Kagome giggled, "That's right Shippo. We should probably be getting back to the village," she looked down at the jewel that hung just above her breasts, "I want to get rid of this thing as soon as possible."

Kouga nodded and took her hand, guiding her to the edge of the spring and getting out before her, giving her an enticing view of his muscular rump. Kagome pushed aside the thoughts and took the hand he offered to get out of the spring. Shippo bounded out of her arms to dry off and retrieve his clothes. Kagome and Kouga tried their best to ignore each others nudity, but Kagome saw that Kouga was still hard and he smelled her arousal.

Once dressed, Shippo bounced onto Kouga's shoulders, while he and Kagome entwined claws and fingers together to walk back to the village. They took the shortcut again and soon were walking into Kaede's hut once again. The moment they entered the door they saw that Inuyasha and Riquo were asleep, but upon their arrival the two hanyou's were immediately roused out of their slumber.

Riquo stretched, stifling a yawn, "How long were you two gone?"

Kagome put her bathing supplies into her backpack but before she could respond Inuyasha sniffed the air and snorted.

"Keh! Too long."

Kouga snorted in response, "You're one to talk, Inuyasha."

Shippo bounded off Kouga's shoulders and into Riquo's lap, "So are you going to destroy the jewel now?"

Riquo met Kagome's eyes, "I guess we can't put it off any longer."

Kagome nodded, and sat across from Riquo, taking the jewel out from her shirt.

"Should we do it here?" Kouga asked, sitting next to Kagome, "what about the villagers?"

"Ye might rouse attention if ye go anywhere else to dispose of the jewel," Kaede said, hobbling over to the circle the four of them made.

Kagome nodded and took the jewel off the necklace that was around her neck. She looked at Riquo and took a deep breath.

"Are you ready?"

Riquo nodded, "Nobody touch either of us. The jewel can only be connected to Kagome and me. And clear your minds. Don't make any kind of demand or wish in your mind. The jewel is responsive to everything in this room."

They nodded and scooted away from Kagome and Riquo. Kagome clasped both of her hands around the jewel, Riquo clasping her hands around Kagome's.

"Purity, Kagome. Concentrate on purity."

Kagome nodded and closed her eyes like Riquo. Kagome began to pray in her mind, making sure that no demands or wishes came from her prayers, only purity.

Riquo tilted her head back, thinking back to the scene with her mother on the beach, the spell book, and every page her mother went through with her. In her mind, she found the page she was looking for. This page was specific about destruction: mass and minimal. In this case, Riquo wasn't destroying a massive area or object, just the object in Kagome's hands.

Riquo sighed, shifting her weight and fully concentrating on the jewel and only the jewel. She recited the words in her mind and once she was sure she could perform the spell perfectly she said them out loud.

Kouga and Inuyasha stayed perfectly still, barely even breathing. Both were too afraid to disrupt the aura of magic that Riquo was creating and didn't want a thing to go wrong. Kaede was a little ways behind Kagome, praying. Shippo sat in a corner and watched, not wanting to be a distraction but wanting to witness what was about to happen.

Riquo opened her eyes, and like before when she repaired her bracelet, they were completely black. The designs on the arm band and bangle were glowing and vibrating, sensing the powerful spell she was about to unleash.

"Vuca nara polti ana shokina rista folip..."

Riquo took a deep breath and continued the spell, "Rola, narutez, bana, oko, gonet, lopi..."

With a final breath, Riquo brought her hands up with Kagome's in between them and shouted, "Aruyi mikto rata!"

Lavender light burst from their hands causing Inuyasha, Kouga and Shippo to shield their eyes from the bright light. Then, sparkles of lavender erupted from the two girls hands, and dissipated as they fell to the floor.

Kagome gasped, opening her eyes and staring at her hands, which were still enclosed in Riquo's. Riquo blinked and her eyes averted back to their normal green, and smiled wearily at Kagome.

"It is done."

Riquo moved her hands so Kagome could open hers for everyone to see and slumped back against the wall, panting heavily. Kagome slowly opened her hands and gasped to see that the jewel was indeed, gone.

"Riquo..." Kagome whispered.

Riquo smiled again, her eyes half-lidded and her breathing heavy, "Forgive me Kagome...I  just...need to rest a bit..."

Inuyasha was at her side instantly, catching her as she started to slide down the wall. He propped her up against his chest as he sat down in the corner once again and curled his arms around her.

Kouga stared at Kagome's hands, "It's really gone."

Shippo bounced up and down in the corner, "They did it! They really did it!"

Kagome laughed in disbelief and asked what everyone else was afraid to ask, "Now what?"

Kouga came up behind her and nuzzled her neck, "We get on with our lives."

Kagome smiled and leaned heavily against him, taxed as well. Kouga positioned himself the same as Inuyasha and let Kagome fall asleep against his chest, his arms around her protectively. Soon after Kagome was asleep, Shippo curled himself in between Kagome and Kouga, falling asleep as well.

Kouga looked up and around the hut. His eyes locked with Kaede's and she nodded at him.

"Rest easy wolf, you are safe."

Kouga nodded and laid his head against the wall of the hut, closing his eyes. I'm safe...Kagome's safe...we're all safe...

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