A Cross of Blades by Striking Falcon

Exploring their Quarters

Disclaimer: Yeah, I don't own it. Oh, and I'm really sorry about being away for so long. I've had the flu (or the croop if you ask my mother) and haven't been able to get near the computer for the past couple of days. Anyway, here's the newest update, one of the firsts since felling better.

Chapter Eleven: Exploring their Quarters

Last time:

"Sesshoumaru, I'm serious," Kagome said as she floundered on the unstable ledge. "I'm going to fall!"

"No, you won't," Sesshoumaru told her, his eyes closed and his hands clasped behind his head. "You're holding on perfectly fine from what I can s-" He opened his eyes to stare at her and found nothing, her fingertips gone from the edge and the eyes that had glared at him so angrily had disappeared. He jumped up and into the hole without a second thought, completely unaware of the earthen colored piece of metal that slid back into place at his descent.


Black shrouded them and Sesshoumaru found that even he couldn't see in this ever pressing darkness. He struggled against it, his pupils dilated until only a thin rim of gold remained until he finally gave up, closed his eyes and called for Kagome as he continued to fall. Her response was shaky and soft, nothing like the screaming hysterics he was expecting.

"Are you alright?" he called next. A little laugh was his answer and her complaint of it being too dark to see.

"Can you see anything?" she asked.

"No, I can't."

"Sucks to be you then," she muttered before an 'oomph!' and a padded thump. Sesshoumaru opened his mouth to answer when the sound of cloth sliding against metal came before rows upon rows of blinding light blinded him. He shielded his eyes and regretted it when he landed on his front on a sort of spring pad. He fell from the pad to a giant slide that stretched several feet below them. "Are you ok?" Kagome asked from ahead of him. "You landed pretty hard back there."

"I'm fine," Sesshoumaru told her as he attempted to peer over the side of the slide. Kagome shifted herself so she wouldn't slide on her foot and glanced up at him, an expectant look on her face until she huffed and folded her arms across her chest. "I'm fine too Cap. Thanks for asking."

"I am aware of that," was Sesshoumaru's answer as they continued their downward descent. He ignored her irritation and glanced below them one last time, once again seeing nothing but darkness, before turning back to Kagome as she struggled to keep the remainders of her skirt from flying up.

"Don't look!" she cried out suddenly as she tugged on the tattered green fabric. "Gah, I just knew skirts were bad business!"

"Would you stop worrying about something so asinine," Sesshoumaru grumbled. "After all, there are more important things to worry about."

"Yeah? Like what!" Kagome demanded.

"For one, where we are. For two, where we're going."

"Oh, I can answer that," Kagome said confidently. Sesshoumaru quirked a disbelieving brow. "You can?"

"Sure. We're here and we're going down there." She pointed over the edge of the slide and grinned back at him. "So relax."

"Humans," Sesshoumaru grumbled as they continued their descent. After what felt like hours of sliding they soon came what felt like a leveling off when Kagome looked ahead of them and gasped. "Hey, is that a loop?"

Sesshoumaru looked forward and mentally groaned at the enormous loop that made up the next part of their path. He and Kagome began their way up the loop without another word, with Kagome completing the circle and continuing down the slide unscathed. Sesshoumaru managed to reach the middle and, whether it was due to not having enough speed or his weight, fell from the middle of the loop to land on his stomach directly in front of Kagome. She waved, one hand still fisted at the helm of her skirt before asking him how he was. He brushed her off and was launched from the slide into the empty abyss once again. Kagome's yelp of surprise let him know that she too suffered the same fate.

Sesshoumaru again landed hard, this time on his back hard enough to rip the air from his lungs. He gasped for air and lay motionless on the landing pad beneath him for a few moments and it was only when some air finally made it to the dark blood flowing through his system did something heavy land on top of him and cause it all to leave him once again.

Sesshoumaru groaned, his eyes squeezed shut due to the glaringly bright lights and brushed a few strands of hair out of his face. He opened his eyes when the object on top of him moved and actually had the decency to blush when he found himself staring directly at Kagome's jade green backside. He quickly averted his eyes to the broad silver cross embroidered on the back of her jacket. He waited for her to find her senses for a few moments before losing his patience and giving a 'gentle' tug on her ponytail.

"OWW! What the-" She turned and a blush immediately rose on her cheeks. "Oh wow," she muttered as she moved a hand to brace herself. "I wondered who's legs these were."

"Yes, I'm sure you did," Sesshoumaru growled slightly before bucking his hips. "Care to get off?"

"Am I heavy great youkai?" Kagome joked before climbing off him and taking a seat beside him. "Sorry about that by the way," she said as he sat up and dusted himself off. "If it's any comfort, Miroku would have loved that."

"No, it's not any comfort," Sesshoumaru grunted as he glanced above them. There was a roof above them instead of empty air, with no sign of the slide that brought them here from the surface. "Well, that's not exactly surprising," Sesshoumaru mumbled before he and Kagome turned to look behind them.

"Hey, but that is," Kagome said as she pointed toward a large metal door at the other end of the room. Small screens was embedded in the wall on either side of it, with the words 'Asankahlo Cramdan Ahdnyhla' inscribed above the door in large stamped letters. "What do you think that is?" Kagome asked as Sesshoumaru studied the scribe.

"I don't know," he told her. He paced in front of the metal door a few moments, his thoughts his own while Kagome looked on.

"Is it Latin?" Kagome offered.

Sesshoumaru shook his head.

"What about Greek?" She frowned when he shook his head again and turned toward the writing. 'Asankahlo Cramdan Ahdnyhla,' she whispered to herself while Sesshoumaru continued to pace. 'What does it's kinda familiar.' Kagome glared up at the foreign words intently, repeating the single phrase over and over again inside her mind.

'Asankahlo Cramdan Ahdnyhla...Asankahlo Cramdan Ahdnyhla...I know this, now what is it...Amergency...Emergency!' "Emergency!" Kagome exclaimed suddenly, startling Sesshoumaru as he walked past her and the door for the fifth time.

"Excuse me?" he said as she wobbled in front of the door in a sad attempt at a happy dance. "What was that?"

"The first word is Emergency!" she told him with a happy grin. "It's Emergency Shel...Shelter Entrance!"

"And just how do you know that?" Sesshoumaru asked as she hobbled toward the little screen on the right hand side of the door. "And if you can read it, then perhaps you know what language it is."

"Oh yeah, I can do that," Kagome told him as she read a little plaque beside the screen. "Its Al Bhed and I can read it because my parents taught it to me."

"You're parents taught you Al Bhed?" he commented while Kagome limped past him. "What are you doing?"

"The one on the right says Human, so I'll stand over here. You stand over there and let's do this."

"Do what?" Sesshoumarua asked. "What are we doing? What are you doing?"

"Oh, I do need to explain don't I?" Kagome blushed when he nodded. "Yeah, I have a tendency to just run off at the mou-"

"Explain," Sesshoumaru interrupted before turning to the screen in front of him. "And be quick about it."

"Well excuse me," Kagome huffed. She crossed her arms in a huff and nearly toppled over, a tiny squeak escaping her lips as she grasped the wall to hold steady. She glared in his direction and sighed. "Like I said, my parents taught me Al Bhed. They're archeologists and they taught me the language before they taught me English. I don't know where we are, but I do know the language. That's good for something isn't it?"

"I suppose so," Sesshoumaru nodded. "But what are we doing now?"

"Like I said, yours is the youkai side and mine is the human side. The screens aren't screens, they're scanners." Kagome held up her right hand and wiggled her index finger. "You're supposed to prick your finger and put your hand on the scanner so it can analyze your blood."

"And how do you know that?" Sesshoumaru asked. Kagome tapped on another plaque beside her screen. "Says so right here Cap. What, you don't believe me?"

"Not particularly."

"Well fine then," Kagome huffed. "We can just sit out here and wait for...well, whatever. Or, we could try it my way and see what happens. Whatever you want to do you know."

Sesshoumaru growled in frustration, somehow able to see the common sense in her plan before nodding in agreement. "We prick our fingers and place our hands on the scanners right?"

"That's right," Kagome nodded as she reached toward her boot. She unsheathed a small dagger and pricked her finger, a hiss and a slight wince coming from her direction before she returned it to it's proper place in her sock and glanced at Sesshoumaru. He nodded and on the count of three they placed their hands on the scanner. Nothing happened for the first few minutes, then a blue laser lit up underneath their hands. A tiny beep went off somewhere inside the room and the scanner light died, leaving Sesshoumaru and Kagome to stare at each other in confusion.

"What now?" Sesshoumaru asked as Kagome limped toward him. "What happened?"

"Well, now the door opens," Kagome guessed, then shrugged. "I ...think." She jumped when hidden gears lurched to life and she and Sesshoumaru watched as the heavy metal door finally split down the middle and opened, the heavy groans and creaks of gears and pulleys long neglected echoing throughout the room. The doors finally creaked open completely and a thick cloud of dust rolled free from the room beyond. They peered inside, their foreheads nearly touching as they warily gazed into the dark room.

"Well," Kagome finally said after a long, deafening silence. "Let's go."

"Wait a moment," Sesshoumaru told her as he reached out for her wrist. "We have no idea what's beyond that dust cloud."

"Don't tell me your afraid?" Kagome teased and winced when a vicious growl was her answer. She turned back to look at him but found Sesshoumaru's gaze firmly fixed on the room ahead of them as the last of the dust disappeared and a bright light could be seen shining in the center of the room. "See, it's nothing," Kagome said as she shook herself free and stormed toward the doorway. Her good foot barely crossed the threshold before both her wrists were grabbed from behind and she was shoved against the nearby doorframe.

"Ow, what the-" She 'eeped!' and gasped in shock when Sesshoumaru's crimson gaze bore down on her, his claws digging into the fragile flesh on her arm and his knee firmly pinned against the doorframe between her legs. She realized that her feet no longer touched the ground and with her hands above her head and the youkai's weight firmly against her she hardly had room to protest the situation.

"You have a serious problem with listening," Sesshoumaru growled down at her, his slightly longer fangs protruding from between his lips. "I said to wait a moment."

"What are you all pissy for?" Kagome complained and gasped when his knee jerked her higher. "It's just a room! What could be in there that could hurt us?"

"I don't know and that's why I want you to wait. You are injured and are hardly capable of defending yourself, no less being of any help should there be something waiting in there with less than benevolent intentions."

"So you're protecting me?" Kagome quipped sarcastically. "Yeah right. Since when? Come off it Sesshoumaru."

"It would not be the first time now would it?" Sesshoumaru calmly replied. He inhaled deeply, a slight cough escaping him when he inhaled a bit of dust, and returned her to the terra firma beneath her. "Now," he began to her startled gaze. "You're to stay behind me at all times. If not, then you will be carried. Understood?" He quirked a brow at her nod and continued into the room, his senses fully tuned into the unfamiliar space as Kagome hobbled along behind him. She gripped her train case tightly, her senses just as tuned into the rooms as her companion's even if hers were inferior.

Kagome's eyes lit on the small circle of light and she stepped in the middle of it while Sesshoumaru investigated the rest of the room. The floor jerked the moment he stepped into the circle, and they found themselves moving as Kagome stood up and brushed the dust from her jacket. "Well," she said as they continued upward toward the source of the light. "That was new."

"Quite," was Sesshoumaru's answer before looking over the edge of the platform. He turned when Kagome gasped and found her pale face and round green eyes staring back at him.

"Don't do that!" she prompted in a panic.

"Don't do what?"

"Lean over the edge like that! You might fall off!"

"I'm not afraid of falling off," Sesshoumaru told her. Kagome nervously chewed on her lip and shrugged. "Well I'm afraid. Don't do that...please?"

"If you insist." Sesshoumaru stepped back from the ledge, more for Kagome's sake than his own. They fell into a comfortable silence, the both of them determined to stay focused for what ever waited on the other side of the light as their 'elevator' continued on. Kagome glanced down at the tile beneath them and frowned at the words circling the outer rim of the platform. She followed the words, mouthing them to herself as she stayed a safe distance away from the edge and read the phrase.

"I think," she said after a few seconds. "I think I know where we are."

"You do?" Sesshoumaru said quickly. "How?"

"It's the words on the platform," Kagome said and gestured to the phrase surrounding them. "' Du updyeh cusadrehk, cusadrehk uv axiym jymia sicd pa mucd. Dric ec dra pymyhla uv axiejymahd aqlryhka.' To obtain something, something of equal value must be lost. Thus is the balance of equivalent exchange. It's the first law of alchemy."


Kagome frowned at his dubious look and huffed. "OK, how far back are you in world history?"

"Woman," Sesshoumaru commented with a dry stare. "I'm youkai. We are world history."

"Good," Kagome snapped angrily. "Then you'll know what I'm talking about. A hundred or so years ago, the world was divided into two groups, or religions. One was Yevon, and they believed in GFs and that machines were evil and shouldn't be used. The other was Al Bhed, and they believed the opposite, that machina where just machina and that anything man-made could be taken apart."

"Machina?" Sesshoumaru repeated. "That's a machine, correct?" 'Machina,' he repeated to himself. 'Why is that word so familiar...'

"Right," Kagome nodded. "Well anyway, at the time there was another set, a branch off of the Al Bhed that believed in alchemy. My parents said that a lot of their ruins were found on the Centra continents but I never thought we would fall into one."

"You fell into one," Sesshoumaru corrected and earned a scowl in return.

"Oh yeah?" Kagome countered angrily. "Well I wouldn't have fell if a certain someone hadn't let me fall."

"That is old hat," Sesshoumaru decided with a mental smirk at her exasperation. "However, this is not. Do continue."

"Alright, jeez," Kagome complained. "You don't have to be so pushy. Anyway, like I said, one of the sects was into alchemy and science. They were the inventors and doctors of the time but they tended to isolate themselves away from the rest of the world. Hey Cap, you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Sesshoumaru strained his ears and finally heard what had drawn Kagome's attention. The gears operating the elevator were slowing, signaling that they would soon arrive at their intended (if unknown) destination. "We are almost there."

"Yeah, I know," Kagome said as she came to stand beside him. "What do we do once we're up there?"

"See if we can find a map, or a way out." He waited for the platform to stop before stepping off of it, the little lights embedded in the ceiling winking on the moment his boots touched the white tile beneath him, and began to make his way toward another door. This door, and the room around it, was an immaculate white with an engraving of a mammoth heart on the door's surface.

"Wow," Kagome breathed as the enormous door rolled to the side. "What do you think Cap?"

"I think I want you to stop calling me Cap," Sesshoumaru told her as they entered the pristine hallway. The corridor was just as white as the room connected to it, with various little screens and keypanels lined up against various white panels along their right hand side. The hallway curved slightly and had metal hand rails painted white along the left wall. Sesshoumaru walked ahead, his senses tuned in to what lay in front of him than behind.

"Hey, wait a sec," Kagome called from a little way behind him. Sesshoumaru turned and found her still beside the entrance door that was now closed and locked. She typed frantically on a small keypad and gestured toward a screen when Sesshoumaru finally came back for her.

"What did I say about keeping up?" Sesshoumaru asked her. Kagome gave him a flippant shrug and continued typing. "You never said anything about keeping up. You just said did you say?"

"Never mind," Sesshoumaru sighed in aggravation. "What caught your attention?"

"This." She typed in a last command and gestured to the wall in front of him. A light blue hologram lit up on the white paneling, the display a map of some kind with foreign words printed on certain sections. The map itself was circular with a tiny red dot on the southwestern side.

"I take it this is a map," Sesshoumaru commented while Kagome typed on. "What does it say?"

"It says that we're here," she pointed toward the blinking red dot. "But my screen says a lot more. There are two floors available and-wait a second."

"What?" Sesshoumaru said as Kagome turned her attention toward her screen. "What is it?"

"From what our version of the map says, that wall-" She pointed over her shoulder toward the left wall. "Isn't supposed to be there."

"Then where did it come from?" he asked.

"It's a part of the security systems," Kagome answered. "It's a failsafe that turns this floor and the floor above us into a sort of shelter. According to this, the only way to get to the floors above or below us is to shut down the red alert that activated the lock down."

"So in other words, we're trapped down here?" Sesshoumaru guessed and nodded when Kagome did. "So what about the floor above us? Can you tell what's on it?"

"You mean, is anything living on it?" Kagome asked. Sesshoumaru nodded. "Nope, there's nothing breathing but us, or that's what the infa-red says on the scanner."

"Let me see it." Kagome punched in a command and another version of the map appeared in the hologram in front of him. This version was green, with two tiny bleeps that corresponded with the red dot on the first map. "Now for the floor above us." The screen shifted again and this time there were no bleeps or flashes on the screen. "Good. Anything else?"

"Um...yeah, actually." The infa-red screens disappeared, leaving the first map and another map behind. "These are the floor plans," Kagome explained. "According to these, we have access to the third and fourth floor. We're on the fourth floor. It's the only one with the outside emergency entrance."

"I see," Sesshoumaru commented. "And contents of the floors?"

"Um...this floor has five cabins, an infirmary and a gym. The next floor has a cafeteria, library and a control room, but this map says that the control room needs a password to gain access."

"I see." Sesshoumaru thought over this new information, the proverbial wheels turning inside his head as he came to a conclusion. "We will visit the infirmary first so that your ankle can receive proper treatment, then we will explore the available floors for supplies, ways of communication with the outside world, and provisions if possible. Any problems with that?"

"Nope," Kagome shook her head. "Sounds like a good idea to me."

"Then come." Kagome stepped away from the terminal and yelped when Sesshoumaru wound his tail around her waist and picked her up. "Hey!" she protested as he studied the map. "Just what do you think you're doing?"

"It will be quicker to move around if I do all the walking," Sesshoumaru told her before pointing to the map. "Now where is the infirmary?"

"It's the one that says Ehvensyno," Kagome pointed out. "Which is right in front of us, I think."

Sesshoumaru looked and sure enough, there was a little sign in Al Bhed above what he thought was another wall panel. "Quite," he muttered solemnly . He touched a small blue screen near the door and stepped inside with Kagome floating along inside his tail.


Twenty minutes later, two disgruntled SeeDs continued their journey toward the rest of the shelter. Kagome glared at the back of Sesshoumaru's head from her place inside his tail, angry beyond words as her ankle continued to throb at the abuse resulting from his 'bedside manner'.

"I don't see why you're so pissy," Kagome mumbled under her breath as Sesshoumaru walked on. "You're not the one that got her ankle re-twisted...thanks to you of course."

"That is true, but you are not the one with a bruise the size of your tiny little foot on his inner thigh now are you?" Sesshoumaru countered in just as foul a temper. "And you also aren't deaf in one ear."

"Well that's your fault," Kagome snipped. "Who told you to turn my ankle like that? It'll probably take longer to heal because of you!"

"Humans are so fragile," Sesshoumaru stated calmly. "Youkai are not nearly as weak and brittle."

"Then why are you acting all grippy about me kicking you?" Kagome pointed out. "I didn't kick anything important now did I? Nope, I sure didn't," Kagome answered before he could say anything. "So you'll still get to have little Sesshoumarus running around you someday..." Kagome grunted in dissatisfaction before adding, "I hope they worry the hell out of you too."

"I didn't know you cursed little gunner," Sesshoumaru teased as he stopped in front of the first of the five cabins. "How unladylike."

"Hey, what the-since when did you start calling me-Woah..." Kagome's mouth fell open, shock radiating from her to Sesshoumaru and back again as they stared at the room ahead of them. The word 'cabins' obviously meant bedrooms, with this one decorated in baby pinks, whites and little hints of gold. A white wrought iron bed was on the far left side of the room, with little gold knobs on the top of the posts. A white and pink quilted blanket lay across the full sized bed, with frilly lace peeking from underneath it and encircling the pillows. A small table and chair set was on the far right and with the white dresser, toy chest and vanity, the entire room looked like a little girl's paradise.

"It's," Kagome muttered as she gazed at the frilly pink canopy hanging above the bed, the pink and white fluffy carpet and the tiny rose tea set sitting on the table. "Do you think this was some kid's room?"

"Most likely," Sesshoumaru answered. "It is rather...frilly."

"And pink," Kagome added.

"And pristine."

"Fit for a princess..."

"It's horrid," they both said at once.

"Let's move on." Sesshoumaru closed the door and walked away, the slight tremor in his tail still vibrating Kagome's displeasure as they moved around the circle toward the next cabin. "You don't care for pink," he said more than asked as he raised his hand up to the blue scanner beside the next door. "That is rather...odd, for a female."

"Look, I'm not crazy about pink ok?" Kagome grumbled. "But you don't like it either."

"I do not like it because of a certain incident a few weeks before my Fire Cavern exam," Sesshoumaru replied with a glance at her from over his shoulder. "I'm sure you remember that, don't you?"

"If it makes you feel any better," Kagome said as the scanner ran over his hand. "I told Inuyasha to turn it blue instead. I just knew you'd be upset about pink hair."

"I'm sure you did," Sesshoumaru replied, then frowned at the scanner. "This one isn't working."

"Let me see it." Sesshoumaru moved his tail until she was hovering in front of the scanner and waited for her to scan her hand. "It's not opening for me either. Let's see why." She slid open a panel on the opposite end of the scanner and punched in a few commands before nodding her head. "Now I's locked."

"From the inside?"

Kagome shook her head. "From the outside. From what it says, the person that occupied this cabin is away and the security lock is in place. So this is already someone's room."

"Then we shall press on," he told her. He walked along with Kagome trailing behind and a little above him like an oddly shaped furry kite before trying the next room. This one was locked as well, but the third cabin they came to wasn't. It opened to reveal a room decorated in blues and creams. The bed was in the middle this time with a blue quilt draped across a full sized sleigh bed made of light pine. There wasn't a dresser in this one, but there were drawers in the framing of the bed. A large pine clothes closet rested beside a door on the left side of the room matched the small coffee table in front of what looked to be a fireplace on the right side of the room.

Sesshoumaru ventured further, stopping briefly at a coat rack standing on the other side of the room entrance before standing on a small navy rug in the center of the room. "Wow," Kagome breathed as she peered over her shoulder. "It's not pretty, but it does have a certain...I don't know..."

"It looks like the Balamb Hotel," Sesshoumaru said replied. "But that isn't what you were going to say was it?"

"Not exactly no," Kagome said. "But you're right. It's got that country feeling, like Balamb. What's that?" she asked as she pointed toward the fireplace.

"It's a fireplace," Sesshoumaru told her. He frowned when she shook her head and began to struggle toward the fireplace. He raised his hand to stop her and approached the fireplace, allowing her to float along in front of him so she could reach the fireplace first. He stopped when her hands reached the fireplace and sat down in one of the two indigo recliners on either side of the coffee table while she worked.

"See?" she said after a few moments. "I told you this isn't a fireplace!"

"Well what is it?" Sesshoumaru said when he finally stood up. "Because that's what it looks like."

"It's a food processor."

"A...what?" Sesshoumaru asked as Kagome ran her fingers over the various buttons on the odd looking counter. Now that he was paying attention to it, it didn't look like a fireplace, but like a stovetop of some sort. It sat on a countertop with four glass panels with metal grates beneath them.

"I'm going to try something," Kagome told him seconds before pressing one of the small buttons. They watched as a set of lights began to blink on one side of the countertop, then gave each other a spare glance before one of the glass panels opened and an odd glass rose up on the grate beneath the panel.

"What is that?" Sesshoumaru asked as Kagome picked up the glass. Kagome held the glass up to the light and studied the liquid inside. Sesshoumaru waited patiently for whatever she searched for, then grabbed the glass when she raised it to her lips.

"What?" Kagome said when he took the glass from her. "What was that for? It's just water."

"It might not be pure to drink," he told her before he too inspected the glasses contents. "We know nothing of the filtration system here, if there is one to worry about."

"You're such a worrier," Kagome told him as she reached for the glass. "It's just water. What harm could it do?"

"It's a wonder you made it to seventeen," Sesshoumaru scolded. "Do you not know what impure water will do to your fragile little system?"

"Well you drink it then," Kagome replied. "If your so worried about me then you drink it. Your superior system should keep you from getting sick, but I don't think you will anyway."

"Fine." Sesshoumaru took a cautious sip from the glass, then another before handing the glass to Kagome. "It is safe."

"Told you," Kagome retorted seconds before downing the entire glass. Sesshoumaru shook his head in disapproval as she set it back on the grate and pressed the button again.

"You're going to get sick," Sesshoumaru told her as she downed her second glass. "Show some restraint or I will do it for you."

"Yes Papa," Kagome griped as she returned the glass to the grate. "Jeez, you forget that humans need water and-" She blushed when her stomach growled. "And food. We're not meant to go long periods of time without it."

"This I'm aware of, but what makes you think that any food here would be safe to consume?" Sesshoumaru asked as she continued to fiddle around with the food processor.

"Because these are like the ones in Esthar," Kagome told him. "My brother's studying to be a f. p. technician, and he's told me a few things about these things."


"Like the fact that the food stored in them is automatically stored in cryo freezers," Kagome replied. "Water too. Souta said that food stored in the food processors' cryogenic chambers can last for eighty or so years. But I'm checking the state of the cryo freezers now." A tiny screen on the stove like top beeped, then beeped again before Kagome clapped her hands. "Yes! That's what I thought!"

"What now?" Sesshoumaru asked.

"The cryo chambers are still operational. According to this, there's enough risyh and tasuh food here to last an army six months."

"Risyh? Tasuh? You're forgetting that I don't know the language Kagome," Sesshoumaru reminded her. "Oh," Kagome blushed. "Oh yeah. Risyh is human and tasuh is youkai. Apparently there were youkai living here too. Anyway, the food's separated by designated food processors, so all we have to do is find the processor for you and we'll be set. But the ones in the chambers only have snack-like food."

"Then it is safe to assume that the cafeteria would hold the ones capable of meals and such," Sesshoumaru guessed. Kagome nodded. 'Yeah, I would say so."

"Then this room is yours," Sesshoumaru told her as he made his way toward the door on the left side of the room. "Wh-what?" Kagome stammered as he opened the door and glanced inside. "What are you talking about?"

"It's obvious that this room is meant to house and fulfill the needs of a ...risyh?"

"That's right," Kagome nodded. 'You're a fast learner Cap."

"Stop calling me that," Sesshoumaru growled testily. "It sounds inane."

"Do you have to use such big words?" Kagome asked as she too peered inside the small half bathroom. "Awwww," she grumbled. "There's no shower here. How are we supposed to get clean?"

"I believe you are expecting too much," Sesshoumaru told her as he closed the door and left the room. "We are lucky to have what we have. I am sure that luck will not last for much longer."

"Why are you such a pessimist?" Kagome asked as they approached the last cabin. "I mean, can't you just hope that things will turn out good?"

"I'm a realist," Sesshoumaru replied before opening the door. "And the real truth is that we're incredibly lucky to have what we have. We should not complain about the things we don't have."

"Oh whatever," Kagome huffed. "I wasn't exactly complaining anyway."

Sesshoumaru moved to state the contrary when the door opened, revealing an enormous room dedicated to the study of black and silver. The large rounded futon on the right side of the room was large enough for Sesshoumaru in his inu form, with an actual desk and computer on the left side of the room. The floor was covered in black and silver pillows in various fabrics and textures. Sesshoumaru pushed a section of pillows aside and found a rug woven with the same color scheme.

"Well," Kagome said as they walked into the room. "There's no question who's room this is." She received no answer, so she shrugged and drank in more of the room. There were two doors in this room, one Kagome guessed to be the closet while the other was another half bath. The walls weren't the same white as the rest of the rooms, but a mural of what must have been the outside when the facility was built. Dark forests surrounded them and above them the painted branches gave way to blue sky and clouds. "This place is nice."

"I suppose so," Sesshoumaru commented nonchalantly. "Is that one of your processors?" he asked as he approached another stove-like countertop near the desk. Kagome nodded. "Yup. This one has tasuh on it so it's definitely for you. Um, Sesshoumaru?"


"Could you put me down please? I don't feel right."

Sesshoumaru set her down gently, his concern shining in his eyes when she slumped into the desk chair. "What is it?" he asked. "What is wrong?"

"I'm just feeling a little drained, that's all." Kagome gave him a weak smile, the appearance of it weaker still by her rapidly paling face.

"You don't look right," Sesshoumaru told her. "What is wrong?"

"Gee, you're such a charmer," Kagome scolded with a half hearted laugh. "I'm fine. I'm just in a little pain, that's all."

"Your foot?" Sesshoumaru glanced down at the newly wrapped appendage and wondered if her ankle was really only sprained. He loosened the wrappings around it, snatched one of the pillows from the floor and used it to prop her foot on the desk.

"Hey, you didn't have to do that," Kagome told him. "I'll be fine."

"I'm sure you will be. However, I believe you should stay here."

"What?" Kagome exclaimed. "Why? What about-"

"There's nothing on this floor that could harm you," he interrupted. "So it is best if you stay here and rest. I will investigate the gymnasium and the rest of the next floor."

"Are you sure?" Kagome asked as he removed Junsei from it's temporary place around his waist and placed it on the desk. "I mean, you might need me to read something."

"I'm sure I'm capable of making my way around without you," Sesshoumaru told her as he approached the door. "I'm going to close this behind me, alright?"

"Yeah, sure," Kagome nodded uneasily. "If you want to." She looked up and found him smiling at her, one that was full of reassurance and confidence on her behalf. "You will be fine," he promised. Kagome found that it wasn't that she wanted to believe him; she did believe him and after a moment's silence she returned his smile and nodded before he disappeared on the other side of the cold steel.


Kagome continued fiddling around with the food processor in Sesshoumaru's room, taking bits of tape and little slips of paper she found in the desk and using it to make English/ Al Bhed translations beside the various buttons. Sesshoumaru had returned after being gone for a couple of hours, his report on the rest of the facility as good as she expected. He told her about the vast space inside the gym and the locker rooms, both equipped with a shower though Sesshoumaru wasn't sure if the water pipes were still able to function. The cafeteria was as expected, with food processors for both youkai and human consumption. The library was left for another time and the control room was locked.

She glanced back at Sesshoumaru, who was sitting at the desk attempting to link the small computer in the room to the main controls...wherever the main controls happened to be. She watched him hastily wipe his hair away from his face, only to growl as it returned to his line of sight.

"Want some help?" Kagome asked as she sat down her paper, pencils, and tape beside them. "Anything you want me to read?"

Sesshoumaru glanced at her, then at the screen before pointing toward a bright red word in the middle of the screen. "What does that say?"


"Right," Sesshoumaru nodded. "I could have guessed that."

"Well the rest of it says something different. Could you clear the screen?" She watched as he pushed what they both thought served as a Delete button and waited for the red letters to leave the screen. Another screen popped up, this one with baby blue letters on a navy blue background. "Um, ok here goes. From what it says here, the reason why you keep getting that 'Error' screen is because you don't have a password."

"A password? For what?"

"For the food processor menu programs." She laughed when he groaned and dropped his head on the table. "It's ok Cap. You didn't know. How about I help you get to the right program...whatever program that is."

"Fine," he grumbled before lifting his head up and returning his hands to the keyboard. Kagome shook her head and suggested they switch places, leaving Sesshoumaru to tell her where to go while she typed out the commands. She taught him a little of the language as they searched, and together they found that the system Sesshoumaru was struggling to reach was on a different floor, protected by passwords and encryptions that couldn't be accessed though their terminal.

"Great," Sesshoumaru complained. "How much time have we wasted trying to do this?"

"At least an hour or so," Kagome said before glancing at her watch. "Or...maybe three. My watch says it's one in the morning."

Sesshoumaru sighed, rubbed the side of his nose and nudged her out of the seat. "You get some rest. I'll keep going."

"Are you sure?" Kagome asked as she hobbled toward the collection of throw pillows on the floor. "I mean, you're not exactly fluent in the language. You sure you can handle it by yourself?"

"I believe so," he said as he began typing. He looked up when Kagome continued to watch him, his eyes narrowed slightly before softening into a slight smirk. "I'll be fine little gunner. Go," he jerked his head toward the pillows and returned his eyes to the screen. "I'll be fine."

"Alright then," Kagome relented. She watched him a second longer before hobbling toward a nearby bookshelf. She ran her fingers along the spines of the books, blue-green eyes intently studying the numerous titles before finding one that looked interesting. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," she muttered as she hobbled toward the pillows and lowered herself onto the mass. "This should be interesting."

Kagome read while Sesshoumaru continued to search the systems, her little 'ooh's and 'ah's of enchantment distracting him from his work. He found himself thinking about the past couple of days and how luck just seemed to be twisted around this tiny slip of a near woman. 'Bad things just seem to turn out good around her,' he mused as he glanced from the computer screen to her prone form for the umteenth time. 'Well, as good as it could be with a sprained ankle, filthy clothes and with no idea how to get out of here. Still, there is edible food here, and water. I'm sure there's a way to get clean as well.'

'But what is this place?' Kagome wondered, her mind far away from the book in her hands as she rested her head on one of the gilded black pillows behind her. 'Why is everything I mean, how old is this place? Who built it? Where did it come from and-'

"You think too much," her companion told her from his seat. "And you're interrupting me."

"Well it's not my fault you were sneaking around my head," Kagome retorted and 'hmnh!'ed at his denial. She grumbled something about sneaky psychics and turned onto her right side, her right hand tucked underneath the pillow beneath her head with her left curled underneath her chin. She closed her eyes and was asleep within minutes, the rest of the day and it's hardships left in the waking world as the tapping of Sesshoumaru's claws continued against the little plastic keys.

He pulled away from the desk at three in the morning, his eyes tired from staring at the screen for so long without a break. He walked up to the food processor and, after a few moments of study with Kagome's notes, managed to get a glass of water from the little piece of ancient technology. He sat down beside Kagome and reached for the book that had fallen from her hands, read the cover of it and returned it to it's place on the bookshelf.

'An interesting choice,' he thought to himself as he finished the water. He returned the glass back to the processor and watched with interest as a little chute slid open beneath the glass. The glass fell through and disappeared, the grate covering it returning to it's rightful place. He raised an impressed eyebrow and turned away, his eyes scanning over the impressive room, surprised himself at the various findings deep within...wherever they were. He decided to leave the questions for another time and moved to a group of pillows beside Kagome.

Sesshoumaru arranged the pillows around him then glanced over and into Kagome's face. She was curled in a neat little ball, her hands still in the last place she left them as a gentle sigh escaped her lips. He watched her for a few moments longer, taking a moment to study the dirty face in front of him before vowing to find the showers and rolling onto his back. His eyes closed and he drifted off with one of his arms supporting his head. His left hand fell toward Kagome's knee, an involuntary twitch on his part bringing the two together as they both slept a sleep deeper than the hole they fell through.

(End chapter)

SF: Hey, this chapter was a bit longer, don't you guys think?

(Cast nods)

Sesshou: I would like to have a question answered.

SF: Shoot.

Sesshou: Why would you have that infernal female kick me with steel toed boots on?

SF: Honestly? (Sesshou nods) I needed a laugh and that was it. I'm really sorry about that.

Sesshou: (grumbles and walks away to get some ice)

Inu-chan: Couldn't have happened to a better bastard.


SF: How many times do I have to tell you not to curse in front of the kids!

Inu-chan: Kids? What kids? (Shippou, Rin and Little Muse wave) Oh. Oh yeah.

SF: Yeah, oh yeah. Hey, can I get someone to do the soliloquy please?

Sesshou: (ice pack strapped to his leg) I'll do it.

SF: Again? Great! If you do really good on it, I'll heal your leg.

Sesshou: Fine, fine. (Grabs script) Being trapped in this place isn't as bad as we originally thought. We have enough food and supplies to last until help arrives, so I believe our only problem is making sure help knows where we are. Of course, that's not easy with Kagome's injured leg and the emergency controls. However, I believe there is someone here that can help with this...

Or, should I say something...

Chapter Twelve: ART

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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