Kurama was heading back after checking out tomorrow's competition when he heard someone else coming down the hall. He stepped
aside, watching in surprise as a small woman in formal kimono walked slowly, drawing nearer with every step. Walking behind
her were two body-guards, eyeing him suspiciously, which was probably a good thing, since she didn't appear to be paying attention
to what she was doing at all.
At the other end of the hall, Kurama spied Toguro. The man seemed to be watching this curious woman, but with his sunglasses
hiding his eyes, Kurama couldn't be sure. She stopped about ten feet away from Toguro, one of her bodyguards eyeing Kurama
and the other Toguro.
"Taisho-sama," Toguro finally spoke, inclining his head at her.
She lifted her gaze from the floor and smiled. "Toguro-chan! I remember when you were this tall!" She held out a hand to
about waist-height and giggled when he frowned.
"Yes," he agreed with a careful nod. "What are you doing here, Taisho-sama?"
"Oh, just visiting. A dear old friend is taking part in the Tournament, so I was hoping to catch him." Her expression crumbled
a bit. "I can't find him..."
Toguro took a step forward, but stopped when both of her body guards tensed. "Who are you searching for, Taisho-sama?"
She perked hopefully. "Maybe you know where he is!" She beamed happily. "His name is... Ah... Toya."
Toya? Kurama wasn't familiar with that name... But then, he didn't know the names of a number of those participating in
the Tournament. Toguro seemed to, however, and nodded. "I will bring you to him," he said, holding out a hand. "He is a member
of the Shadow Chanellers."
For a moment, Kurama was certain he'd locked eyes with the big man, and his own eyes narrowed. Both of Taisho's bodyguards
took a step forward and spoke softly to their employer. "Taisho-sama, perhaps it isn't best. This man is a notorious monster-"
"Nonsense!" she said, waving a hand at them dismissively and walking forward to take Toguro's hand and allow him to tuck
it into the crook of his elbow. "I've know Toguro-chan since he was a child. He wouldn't hurt me," she explained to the nervous
Kurama decided to put them at ease. "Then perhaps you'd like other company as well?" he asked, smiling when Toguro frowned
at him and the woman gasped.
"Oh, my! You're so quiet!" she said, laughing a tad nervously. "I didn't even notice you..."
He bowed in apology. "Forgive me. Perhaps I should have announced myself better," he allowed, though he hadn't made any
effort to hide. She just hadn't been paying attention. Besides, this was a good chance to get information on their opponents.
"I am Kurama, from Team Urameshi," he added after a beat.
She relaxed slightly in the face of his politeness. "I'm Taisho Kagome," she replied. "It's nice to meet you, Kurama-kun."
She glanced at her nervous bodyguards. "Perhaps later, though. I really wish to see young Toya, and it's been far too long."
Young? Surely she wasn't that old. She was definitely human, and couldn't be older than eighteen at the oldest... "Ah,
I see..." He frowned faintly. "May I ask you a question, then?"
Kagome looked confused a moment before understanding dawned. "It's about my age, isn't it?" She laughed when he nodded.
"I'm five hundred and eighty. And yes, I am human," she said, then hastened to explain. "Taisho Sesshomaru adopted me as his
daughter, and expanded my lifeline to match his own, along with my sister Rin. In honor of his brother, who had been my husband."
"You're married?" Kurama asked, stunned.
"Had been, Kurama-kun," she replied somewhat sadly. "Inuyasha is... long gone. I am alone."
"Oh," Kurama breathed, ashamed to have brought the painful memories up. "I apologize for prying, Kagome-sama." He shifted,
feeling a little awkward. "Have a nice day, then," he added, bowing again. Perhaps they'd meet up again.