The Moment We've All Been Waiting For

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After a few minutes, the fire was blasted away by a huge wave of youki. Sesshomaru must have gotten tired of waiting for them to die down on their own.

"Ah!" Katsumi said in surprise as she turned away and shielded her face.

The flames hadn't been blown onto her, but the gust of wind that hit her was really hot. Katsumi lowered her arms and turned to see Sesshoumaru staring at her. He glanced at the direction Inuyasha and the others had escaped in, but he made no room to follow them. Katsumi breathed a sigh of relief for her friends, but she wasn't sure where she stood on Sesshoumaru's hit list now...

"I'm the doghouse now, aren't I, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Katsumi said. Her hands were clasped behind her back, and she looked like a child that knew they were about to be scolded. She was hoping that maybe the modern phrase would distract Sesshoumaru long enough for him to forget he was in a bad mood. It worked.

"... What?" Sesshoumaru asked.

"Uh... it's just a saying from where I'm from. It means I'm in trouble... it's based on the idea of being punished like a dog who is forced to stay in a doghouse, a shelter used by a dog, away from people," Katsumi explained. Sesshoumaru stared at her for a moment. He could sense her apprehension, worry, and relief. Technically, Katsumi had kept her word, and she hadn't interfered with the actual fight. He decided he would allow her impertinence, just this once.

"What is that package you're holding?" Sesshoumaru asked. Katsumi sighed in relief again.

'Thank goodness,' she thought. "Kagome gave it to me. She said it was from my mom," Katsumi explained.

"Hnn," Sesshoumaru hummed. "Why did she not simply bring it to you in person?" Katsumi started walking back to his side as she answered.

"Because this came from my mother who's in the future. Unlike me, Kagome is able to travel between the worlds. She's also become friends with Kagome's mother," Katsumi explained. She pet Ah-Un's heads. "Thanks for waiting for us so patiently." Ah-Un rubbed its heads against her hands, and she scratched behind their ears for them.

"Sesshoumaru-sama!" they heard Jaken call out as he ran up to them. Katsumi raised an eyebrow at the imp.

"Where's Rin?" Katsumi asked. Jaken froze.

Katsumi, Sesshoumaru, and even Ah-un stared at him expectantly, as if to say, 'Well? Explain yourself.' Jaken sweat-dropped. He had left Rin behind after getting fed up with watching her.

"W-W-Well... you were gone so long, I got worried—Not that I think anyone could defeat you, Sesshoumaru-sama—Ah! I see you're still as strong as ever, Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken babbled. They all knew that translated to 'I selfishly left Rin behind—please don't kill me!' Ah-Un snorted in disbelief. Katsumi pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed in exasperation and irritation at the imp. Sesshoumaru internally seconded that emotion.

"Can I hit him?" Katsumi asked. Ah-Un snorted in agreement.

"..." Sesshoumaru continued to stare at the imp. He was considering that himself. Jaken flinched when he realized just how much trouble he was in.

"Ah!... Um... After going through all that effort to track them down... Why did you not pursue them?" Jaken asked, panicking. He hoped his question would distract Sesshoumaru and redirect the daiyoukai's anger towards Inuyasha... or something...

"..." Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi almost face-palmed. It had obviously worked... again. Well, she could tell something had been troubling him since Inuyasha had left. She had a feeling it had to do with that strange pulse of demonic energy they had felt radiating from Inuyasha. She had been unnerved by it as well.

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