On The Road Again

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{Later that night}

Rin was trying to start the campfire while Katsumi went hunting and foraging for food. Unfortunately, the wood was a little damp, so it wasn't holding a flame very well. Sesshoumaru was lounging against a tree in his usual fashion, with one knee bent and his arm resting on it. His eyes were closed, and he looked rather peaceful—the complete opposite of how his retainer was feeling.

'I don't know why Sesshoumaru-sama allowed the humans to follow us. We even had to stop so they could rest! Now the child can't even light a fire...' Jaken was getting irritated just watching. "Step aside, human! This Jaken-sama shall show you how it's done," Jaken said, acting self-important as he marched up to the fire. "Watch and be amazed, human!" the imp said as he held his staff in front of him. "Nintoujou!" Flames shot out of the staff and lit the fire.

"Wow! Amazing, Jaken-sama!" Rin said, clapping.

"Hmph! Of course, I am the humble servant of the Sesshoumaru-sama, after all," Jaken said haughtily.

"Your kimono is on fire, oh humble servant," Katsumi said as she reappeared, carrying a wild boar. She had transformed back into her youkai form while she was in the woods, now that night had fallen, and her three days were up. The wound on her arm was almost healed now, thanks to her youkai super healing.

"You—!?" Jaken exclaimed, finally recognizing Katsumi now that she looked the same as the last time they met.

"Oh, no, Jaken-sama! You really are on fire!' Rin yelled. "Water, where's the water!?"

"Aaaah!" Jaken yelled as he ran around flailing his arms.

"Stop, you'll only make it worse!" Katsumi yelled as she tackled the imp. Katsumi hugged Jaken and rolled around on the ground until the flames went out. "Phew! That was close, we almost had frog legs for dinner," Katsumi joked. Jaken didn't think it was very funny.

"Listen here, you filthy hanyou...!" Jaken shouted.

"Wow, Katsumi-nee! How did you put out the fire without any water?" Rin asked curiously. Katsumi smiled at Rin, happy to have an alternative to listening to a grumpy toad rant at her. Katsumi pulled the hog over and began prepping it, getting it ready to roast by seasoning it with some herbs she had found.

"It's really very simple, Rin. If you don't have anything wet to put a fire out with, like water, then you can smother it out. All you have to do is cover the fire with something so it can't 'breathe.' If the fire's source of oxygen is gone, the fire will go out. If it's a situation where a person is on fire, like Jaken, they can 'stop, drop, and roll,' like I had to force him to do. Rolling around like that smothers the flames, but it's actually safer if you wrap the other person in a blanket or something before tackling them. We wouldn't want you to get burned too," Katsumi explained.

"But what if there is no blanket?" Rin asked. Katsumi set up the hog so that it was now roasting over the fire.

"Well, you can smother the fire using dirt, in fact, I'll show you how to do that later with this one when we don't need it anymore. I'll teach you how to stop, drop and roll too," Katsumi said. "I think it's actually kind of fun when you're not on fire."

Sesshoumaru watched as Katsumi and Rin interacted with each other. While he had overheard them when they were together before, they had usually been out of sight in an attempt to respect his personal space, so this was the first time he had actually seen them together like that. The two girls had obviously formed a deep bond, and Katsumi seemed to have good maternal instincts from the way she protected those around her, and how patient she was in teaching Rin.

"What? You mean you don't even know that much?" Jaken said mockingly, taking his earlier blunder out on Rin.

"But Rin has never been on fire before, and I always made sure I had water before starting a fire. There wasn't any water close by this time," Rin said.

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