This is a sequel to One Month for Romance. It is complete in 27 chapters. It has a few plot twists that will shock you. I'm posting it here with the permission of the author. I found it at http://www.geocities.com/inuyashakarma . Enjoy. Tim Seltzer
Disclaimer: Corisu Li: Ok, I have gotten enough pleas for a sequel... I know that I left a lot of questions unanswered in the last story, but hey...more motivation to keep reading. Don't worry, though. By the time this fic is through, I will address the key questions: 1) Who's going to rule the Northern Lands? 2) What's going to happen with Sesshie? 3) When will they meet Ayako's reincarnation? and 4) Was Miroku's dream real? Actually, #4 should be answered by the title and summary..hehe. Oh, well, without further ado, the sequel to One Month for Romance! (If you haven't read it, I suggest you do or you won't know what's going on.) It takes place one month after the closing of the first part.
Twisting her head to look into his face, she grinned as the first rays of sunlight illuminated the right side of his face. She brushed a soft kiss over his temple and slid from his embrace and out of the tree. Landing with a soft thump, she opened her bag (which was very light, for she hadn't been home in a month now), and withdrew everything that she would need for a long soak in the hotspring. Moving carefully, so as not to wake anyone else, she left the campsite. As she departed, she heard Inuyasha mutter her name softly in his sleep. She grinned, then resumed her walk.
Unknown to her, Inuyasha cracked one eye open and watched her depart.
When she reached her destination (very quickly due to her hanyou abilities), Kagome allowed herself to slide into the water, feeling it soothe her limbs and begin to clean her skin. She sighed as she leaned back. The past month had been very stressful. Their endeavor to collect all of the Shikon no Kakera had increased, and it was taking its toll on everyone. It was worth it, however, to lift her hand to her chest and feel the nearly completed jewel hanging there. There were, at most, four to six shards to go.
Kagome sunk even deeper into the water, but popped back up with a slight hiss as the hot water met the healing bruise that rested on the soft flesh between her neck and shoulder. She frowned. Her youkai blood was having no accelerated healing power on the wound, but she was aware of the reason. Her blood knew that the wound had to heal with a scar, or she wouldn't be properly marked.
Kagome smiled at the memory. 'Marked...' Her mind replayed the events of that night, about three weeks ago.
Inuyasha had led her away from the others, promising to catch up to them by daybreak. Kagome was seriously wondering what this was all about, but she relaxed as Inuyasha turned his piercing golden gaze on her and spoke.
"Kagome. I am aware that you love me, and I love you as well. I wish to cement our relationship so that no one can ever tear us apart."
Kagome stared. It was unusual to hear Inuyasha address her with no trace of shame at speaking his mind. "You mean..."
"Hai. But not just the physical act. I can mark you as my mate so that no other youkai would dare try to claim you. This mark will also tie us in to each other's minds, so that we will be able to sense the other's emotions. We would even be able to tell if one of us is in danger. Mind-talk isn't uncommon, either."
"It means that I can speak to you without using my voice, so that you will be the only one who hears."
Kagome nodded to show that she understood. Looking into his eyes, she realized that he really needed an answer before he allowed himself to settle down and recognize their love. "Inuyasha. Did you ever think that I would object to being your mate? I will have you, and no one else."
Inuyasha watched her face for any sign of amusement or trickery, but he caught none. "Kagome..." he whispered, and she came forward, her lips searching for his and finding them, locking the pair into a burning kiss. Kagome fisted her hands in Inuyasha's hair as he clutched her closer. Then, quite abruptly, he pulled away.
"This may hurt. Hold on to me."
Kagome did as requested and gripped him tightly as he lowered his head to her neck area. Choosing the spot just between her neck and shoulder, he lowered his mouth and began to suck on the area until blood rushed to the surface and reddened it. Then, before it could recede, he drove his fangs into her, causing a pained shriek to tear out of Kagome's mouth. As the blood ran from her wound, he used his tongue to catch every bit of it, finally moving his mouth to the mark itself. As he flicked his tongue over it, a sound started in Kagome's throat. She began to softly purr at his touch.
When Inuyasha was satisfied with the mark, he pulled his face up to meet hers. Kagome's hand was fumbling at his chest, as if to remove his haori. She finally succeeded and it fell to the ground, exposing his bare chest. Then, to his surprise, she began to pull at the bindings of his hakama. He could tell that her body was trembling with want, and he could smell her desire flowing from her skin.
Inuyasha moved her hands away and instead, focused on removing her kimono. When she stood before him, unclothed, his blood began to scream at him to take her, so loudly that he could have sworn that he actually heard it in his ears. He needed to be sure, however.
He moved to her and peered into the silver pools that were her eyes. He said nothing, but Kagome heard the question loud and clear. Staring defiantly back at him, she nodded her consent.
Inuyasha pulled her into a kiss once more, slowly lowering the two of them to the grass. In seconds, they were oblivious to everything save for themselves and their love.
Kagome sighed at the memory, and then heard, quite clearly: 'Feh. And you call Miroku a hentai.'
Kagome's eyes snapped open. Inuyasha was Mind-talking! Scanning the trees, she finally spotted him sitting on a low branch very close by.
'Inuyasha! What did I say about probing my mind without asking?!?!' Kagome thought, scowling.
Inuyasha laughed. 'I didn't have to probe. I saw the memory as soon as I tried to talk to you.'
Kagome sighed, irritated. 'How long will it take for this damn mark to heal, anyway?'
Inuyasha looked at her. 'Damn, you impatient wench! How can you be so hateful of something like that?'
'You know I don't mean THAT, Inuyasha. I just meant that it's annoying not to be able to put my shoulder in the water!'
'Well, next time I take you, I'll make sure you can't put any part of you in the water,' Inuyasha snickered.
"OSUWARI!" She yelled the command out loud. She'd found out that it didn't have as strong an effect if she said it in Mind-talk.
Inuyasha's body snapped the tree branch as he was jerked downward, earning himself a few splinters in uncomfortable places and a mouthful of dirt. 'Keep that up and we'll never have pups,' Inuyasha grumbled.
'Pups?' Kagome thought, carefully shielding her mind from Inuyasha. 'He wants pups? Why didn't he ever talk to me about it?'
She didn't have time to ask him, however, as a panther youkai dropped from the heavens and into the water.
Inuyasha jerked his head up at the sound of Kagome's screech. There was a youkai in the water with her! Even though Kagome could handle herself, he didn't want Kagome to stand up, giving the youkai a full view of HIS property... With a wild snarl, he vaulted across the stream, picked up the youkai by the neck as he flew by, and slammed him into a tree.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't reach down your throat, grab your stomach, and turn you inside out," he growled, tightening his hold.
The youkai squeaked, "I bring an urgent message from the Northern Lands to Lord Inuyasha and Lady Kagome!"
Kagome had risen from the water during the confusion and wrapped a towel around herself. "Why do you address us like that?" she asked.
"You rule my lands, Lady Kagome."
Inuyasha stared on in shock. "What did you say?"
"My Lord and My Lady have defeated the Taiyoukai Inazuma, ne?"
Both hanyous nodded.
"Well then, Your Highnesses now control his territory!"
Kagome's mouth dropped open. 'Inuyasha, does he mean that we're like Taiyoukai now?'
Inuyasha dropped the panther and turned to face her. 'Looks like it. Or maybe this is some kind of trick?' He looked down at the panther youkai, who had his head lowered in what seemed to be reverence. "Oi, you!" Inuyasha said aloud. "What's your name?"
"I am called Ninsei, my Lord," said the panther, rising only to bow so deeply that his nose nearly touched the dirt. He looked just like a normal panther, a deep ebony color. The only difference was that his joints functioned just like a human's, allowing him to walk upright. Also, his hands resembled Inuyasha's, except they were covered in the black fur. He was dressed in a blue haori and hakama, and held a solid gold staff with a six-pointed star at the tip.
"Why did you come here from so far away just to tell us this?" Kagome asked. She was behind a rock, getting dressed. Recently, she had abandoned trying to fight in kimonos, and instead brought a lot of normal clothing from her world. Well, what used to be her world. Now, she put on a pair of army-style baggy jeans with a white tank top. Stepping out of her 'dressing room', she awaited the answer.
Ninsei turned to her. "My Lady, without a leader, the Northern Lands exist in a state of nothing more than war after war. Everything is corrupted, and everyone seems to think that they have the right to the vacated throne." Here he lowered his eyes and allowed one hand to clench slowly into a fist. "I think that they are all fools. Inazuma gained power that way, and he was a very worthless leader. Sure, he had strength, but he had no respect for his followers. He slaughtered my brother, Okuo, just because he cut him off when he was speaking."
Ninsei paused to gather his thoughts. "I think My Lord Inuyasha and My Lady Kagome would make fine leaders, much better than that vermin, and restore order to the lands."
Kagome and Inuyasha shared stunned looks. After all, it wasn't every day that you were called to rule a huge kingdom. 'Want to hear what he has to say?' both thought at the same time. Nodding in unison, they turned once more to face Ninsei.
"Follow us. You can finish your story at our camp," Inuyasha said, heading off in the direction of the others. Ninsei followed close behind him, but only after he had gathered up all of Kagome's bath things to carry for her. He insisted that she shouldn't have to do such a menial task.
The others were all awake by the time they arrived. Sango was cooking ramen over a fire while Shippou chased Kirara around wildly. Miroku was leaning against a tree, watching. At the sight of Kagome, the kitsune squealed her name and threw himself into her arms. Hugging the child, she watched as Inuyasha introduced Ninsei to the others. They seemed rather wary of him, but when Ninsei explained his reason for coming, they understood his plight.
Sango frowned as she stirred the ramen. "I've heard of a region that went unruled for a long time, once. It was said that a huge war broke out and turned it into a wasteland."
Ninsei nodded. "This, I have heard as well, Sango-sama. I fear that the same is in store for us."
Everyone fell silent, brooding. Finally Kagome spoke, but only to Inuyasha. 'It would be a nice change, you know. We could have a permanent place to live.'
'Do you know how many challenges Taiyoukai get? There would be no end to the fighting. Not that I object to the fighting, but you'd be in constant danger!'
'You keep forgetting that I can take care of myself!'
'I'm not forgetting, but you ARE female, and you ARE my mate, and I refuse to let you get into trouble!'
Kagome blinked. 'Well, can we at least try it out?'
'What do you mean by 'try it out'?'
'We could try ruling and quit if we don't like it.'
'Stupid bitch! Of course you can't do that! The only way for a Taiyoukai to step down is to get defeated in a battle!'
'Well, we could stage a defeat or something!'
'Kagome, use your damn head! Who in the hell could we trust to rule a cardinal direction?'
'See? It'd be stupid for us to try! I say we just wait here and see who takes over. If he isn't horrible enough to start a war, we let him rule.'
'But we beat Inazuma, and he was a Taiyoukai! We should be able to beat anybody who opposes us!'
'We had help, Kagome!'
'I know, but we're still a strong team! Please, Inuyasha?'
'Feh. Ok, we'll follow this Ninsei to the territories. I'm not agreeing to anything, but we'll just see how things work out.'
Kagome grinned, and everyone else noticed. Sango smiled and said, "Is there something that you'd like to share with those of us who can't Mind-talk?"
Kagome blushed a little, but she knew that her friends didn't mind the secret conversations that much. "We'll go with you, Ninsei-san, to see what sort of state the territories are in. We'll make a decision then."
Ninsei jumped from his seat and grabbed Kagome's hand. "Lady Kagome, a thousand thanks for your kindness and selflessness!" He placed a kiss on her hand and Inuyasha made a rumbling noise in his throat. Only Kagome picked up the sound, and it sent a firm grasping sensation across her mark. It felt as if someone was trying to guide her somewhere that she didn't want to go. Snatching her hand back almost involuntarily, she turned to glare at Inuyasha.
"What?" Inuyasha looked to be surpressing a laugh. Apparently, there was something that he had failed to tell her about youkai mating...
"That pinchy thing. That hurt!"
"Oh, THAT..." Inuyasha smirked. "I can cause a bit of discomfort whenever you're doing something I don't like. Call it my own form of subduing."
"Osuwari, baka." As Inuyasha had his second helping of dirt for breakfast, Kagome turned to everyone else. "Is everyone all right with our little side- track?" Her friends nodded, then Ninsei's eyes locked on Miroku.
"A houshi, are you?" he asked, looking closely at him.
Miroku leaned away from the panther's stare before answering. "Hai."
"Ah! Then I have a message for you! It was given to me by a traveler who met me on my way here. He wished for me to tell you, "It was not a dream. What I said was true, and now your time is even less." I'm sorry, but I haven't a clue of what he meant."
Everyone looked confused... that is, everyone but Miroku. He had told no one of the dream he'd had a month ago, the dream about-
"Ninsei-san, what did this person look like?" Miroku demanded, leaning forward to meet the panther youkai's eyes.
"I am sorry, sir, but the first question you ask, I cannot answer. For, you see, he never removed his white baboon pelt."
This statement was met with a stunned silence. The color drained from Miroku's face and he stared intently at his right hand.
Finally, Inuyasha said, "It appears that Naraku has found another body with yet another ass for us to kick."
Kagome and Sango sighed. "I knew everything was too good to be true," Kagome whispered. Sango noticed Miroku's silence and went over to him, hooking her arm around his waist.
Everyone's face darkened in concern. "What's wrong?" Sango queried, forcing his eyes to meet hers.
Miroku took a deep breath, and began to tell the others of his dream from long ago. He remembered it clearly from the night that he'd brought Sango to Kaede's after she had been exposed to poison outside Inazuma's castle. (a/n: The following is for people who need a refresher on the dream. If you remember clearly, just skip it!)
****Flashback: Dream Scene****
Miroku was once more flying across the sky on Kirara, holding Sango firmly with Shippou on his shoulder. Sango had been getting steadily worse, and as he watched her, she began to murmur in her sleep.
"Sango?" he whispered, concerned.
Her eyes suddenly snapped open and Miroku gasped. They had faded and were completely white. She opened her mouth and uttered a very clear message:
"Houshi, heir of the Curse of the Kazaana, hear me. You have three months. Just three months before your curse sucks you in...as well as all of your acquaintances. Enjoy what you have now, monk!"
Miroku looked at her in horror. Then, he heard her laugh, a laugh that sounded suspiciously like 'Kukukukuku...'
"Naraku!" he hissed. Sure enough, the form of Sango seemed to shift, and in her place sat the baboon-skin clad villain. Yelling in rage, Miroku shoved him sideways and off of Kirara.
As Naraku began to fall, he shifted once more into Sango, who looked up at Miroku, shocked, and screamed, "Houshi-sama!!!"
Miroku looked down in shock. "Sango!" he yelled, reaching his staff down as far as he could. Sango grabbed on to the other end with some effort, and Miroku drew her up, clasping her left hand firmly with his right. As Miroku sighed in relief, Sango voiced a shriek of mortal terror.
Looking down at the scene below him, Miroku too cried out in horror. The prayer beads that held his kazaana closed were vibrating wildly, and as he watched, they exploded, the pieces flying in all directions. There was no time for Sango to scream a second time before she was sucked in.
Whirling frantically, Miroku tried to redirect his hand away from Kirara and Shippou, but to no avail. They, too, were sucked into the kazaana and gone. With nothing holding him in the air anymore, Miroku began to fall, screaming loudly. As he watched the ground come nearer and nearer, he realized with a sickening jolt that he would probably never even reach the earth. He'd be pulled into the hole in his hand long before then...
****End Flashback: Dream Scene****
Everyone stared at Miroku in alarm. Sango managed to wrench her mouth open and gasp, "Three months?"
Miroku looked at her and shook his head slowly. "Two months, now." He couldn't bear himself to watch the tears brewing in Sango's eyes, nor could he bear for her to see the tears in his own, so he became very interested in a clump of trees beyond the group.
Inuyasha spoke next. "So this means that we'll have to kick his ass a little earlier than planned. Big deal!"
Kagome turned to him, a soundless snarl on her face. "How dare you be so insensitive!"
"Feh. I'm not. I just mean that sitting here won't kill him for us!"
"How can we beat him?" Shippou wailed miserably. "We beat him once, barely, and he still escaped!"
"You forget, runt, we have our own little soul-destroyer here!" Inuyasha pulled Kagome closer to his body and indicated her blade. "The Sora-Ki can make sure that he can't return, no matter what!"
The mood brightened a little. "You're right, Inuyasha!" Kagome said. Then her countenance fell once more. "But how will we find him?"
"We have almost all of the jewel. I guess he'll come after us, ne?"
"Maybe. We should still look for clues and listen for rumors, and..." Kagome trailed off as she caught a whiff of something familiar on the air. It was a odor that she hated, that made her muscles tense with pure hatred. It was a smell of dirt, clay, and ashes...
Inuyasha smelled it too, and bared his fangs. "Kikyou."
Corisu Li: And that's the first chapter! Hope it's starting to clear some things up for you! Review pleeeeeeeeeease........
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