Time Traveler Katsumi

Let's Get This Party Started!

Toran stood in a canyon, waiting for her fellow panther-demons to return. Shunran, Karan, and Shuran all came into view. They had a girl clad in a strange and skimpy white and green kimono with them.

"We've got it, Nee-san." Karan said, handing Toran Kagome's bottle of Shikon jewel shards.

"My Shikon jewel shards! Give them back!" Kagome cried as she struggled uselessly to get out of Shuran's grip.

"Who's the girl?" Toran asked.

"Seems like it's Inuyasha's wench." Karan said.

"Inuyasha? The younger son of the dog?" Toran asked.

"Yup! He's alive! Were we ever shocked!" Shunran said.

"She seemed like good bait, so we brought her along." Karan said.

"Hey, you! Just what do you want with Inuyasha!?" Kagome demanded.

"He's gonna die." Shunran said, glancing back at Kagome.

"!" Kagome gasped.

"What about you, Nee-san?" Karan asked.

"I don't need bait for him. He's sure to come." Toran said, referring to Sesshoumaru.

'Who are these people? Just what are they scheming?' Kagome wondered worriedly.

"Kagome!" Kouga yelled.

"Huh!? Kouga-kun!" Kagome yelled in surprise and relief when she looked up and saw Koga with Ginta and Hakkaku standing on the top of the canyon walls.

"I'll save you in a minute." Koga said confidently.

"Hey, Wolf boy! We never invited you here." Karan shouted up at him, breathing a huge stream of fire up at them. They disappeared from sight with Kagome.

"You're not getting away!" Kouga yelled, leaping after them. A band of lesser cat demons jumped out, attacking him. "Why you…!" Kouga said as he kicked and punched them all out of his way. They landed on the ground and ran away. "Wait up!" Kouga yelled, chasing them. Inuyasha showed up, leaping down into the canyon and passing Kouga. "Hey, you mutt…!" Kouga yelled.

"I don't need your help!" Inuyasha yelled.

"Who said anything about saving you? The one I'm saving is kagome!" Kouga yelled. They both came to as sudden stop when a wall appeared in front of them, It looked like a dead-end.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha called.

"Where are you!?" Kouga yelled. They couldn't see or smell any sign of where she was.

"What's wrong Kouga?" Ginta yelled.

"Where are the cats?" Hakkaku yelled.

"Not only their presence, even their scent is gone!" Kouga said.

"I can't pick up any scent at all, no cats… not even Kagome." Inuyasha said.

"Yeah… the scent stopped here. Just like with Naraku's kekkai barrier." Kouga said.

"Kekkai?" Inuyasha said in realization. He drew Tessaiga.

"Hey! What are you gonna do?" Kouga asked. Inuyasha ignored him and concentrated as Tessaiga's blade turned red.

"What now?" Katsumi asked when they came to dead-end.

"Both the trail and her scent stop here." Jaken said. Sesshoumaru was gazing at the dirt wall blocking their path with a critical stare. Katsumi could see the wheels turning in his head.

"This wall is weird though… not only should we still be able to at least smell them, but where the walls of the canyon meet it, it almost forms perfect right-angles… it's unnatural.

"It's a kekkai." Sesshoumaru said. 'I'm certain I could break the kekkai by force, but that might attract unwanted attention…'

"How astute! As expected of Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken gloated.

"Hmm… That's not very hospitable of them. They're the ones who invited us here, so the least they could do is leave the door open for us, or something." Katsumi said as she reached out to touch the barrier. Her hand went right through it. "…Oh, nevermind… I guess they did." Jaken and Sesshoumaru were both staring at her. "… What…?" Katsumi asked, not getting what was so fascinating.

"How did you do that!?" Jaken shouted.

"… Do what?" Katsumi asked, tilting her head in confusion.

"Put your hand through! You shouldn't be able to do that! The hole point of using a kekkai barrier is to keep things out!" Jaken yelled. Katsumi shrugged.

"I don't know… It's not like I did it on purpose." Katsumi said.

"Hmph, you just get stranger by the day." Jaken huffed.

"Why don't you try it too Jaken?" Katsumi said, pushing Jaken into the barrier with her foot, but when the imp came into contact with the kekkai, energy crackled and he received a shock.

"Gyaaah!" Jaken cried in pain. Katsumi immediately released him.

"Oops! Sorry, Jaken, my bad." Katsumi said, apologizing. She hadn't expected the kekkai to push back like that.

"Come to think of it, I'm not affected by sealing O-fuda either… maybe I'm just immune to certain types of kekkai?" Katsumi said.

'How convenient…' Sesshoumaru thought. 'But it doesn't do me any good if she is the only one who can get inside… or does it?' "Katsumi." Sesshoumaru said, making sure he had her undivided attention.

"Yes, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Katsumi said.

"It is possible this kekkai is being held in place by either a person repeatedly chanting a spell, or a talisman. Go in there and remove whatever is causing the barrier." Sesshoumaru ordered. Katsumi raised an eyebrow at him.

"You want me to go into enemy territory, alone, without knowing whether or not their entire army could be just on the other side waiting for us?" Katsumi asked, raising an eyebrow. Sesshoumaru just stared at her. "Alright, fine. I'll be your red-shirt for you." Katsumi said, drawing her sword and stepping cautiously through the barrier.

"… What's a 'reddu-shirtto?" Jaken asked.

"…" Sesshoumaru said. He knew it was probably some kind of cultural reference from Katsumi's homeland, but he hadn't heard her use that particular idiom before.

{The other side of the barrier}

Katsumi was relieved to see that there was not an entire army waiting for her, but two panther-demons, one white and one black, were on guard. They had been playing a game of shogi, but their heads immediately whipped around to stare at Katsumi when she came through.

"Um… hi…?" Katsumi said. They didn't look like they were the ones erecting the kekkai. 'Maybe I can get them to tell me who or what is…' Katsumi thought. They hissed at Katsumi and pounced. Katsumi flipped her blade around and struck them with the back of the blade, knocking the wind out of both of them as they fell backwards. Katsumi sheathed her sword since she wanted them alive for questioning. The white one charged at her again, but she held her arm out at parallel to the ground and pivoted on her feet, effectively clotheslining him. The white cat fell to the ground, out cold. The black one seemed to have recovered to, because he tackled her, but Katsumi used his momentum against him, and she let him push her onto her back. Katsumi grabbed his wrists and held him as she rolled back, placed her foot on his stomach, and kicked hard. The black cat flew back and landed harshly on the ground, but he hadn't been knocked out like his friend. Katsumi drew her sword and held it to his throat. "Ne, would you mind telling me how I can get rid of that pesky kekkai?" Katsumi asked, giving the frightened panther-demon a brilliant, closed-eyed shit-eating grin.

Jaken was impatiently pacing back and forth in front of the kekkai while he and Sesshoumaru waited for Katsumi to take down the kekkai.

"What's taking her so long!?" Jaken grumbled impatiently. "It's already been at least three minutes. How hard could it possibly be?"

"…" Sesshoumaru said. Because of the barrier, they had no idea what was going on since they couldn't see, hear, or smell Katsumi once she passed through it. For all they knew, she could be dead. Sesshoumaru decided he was done waiting. He drew Tokijin, prepared to break through by force, when the kekkai suddenly glowed and then dispersed with a gust of wind. There was Katsumi, standing before them, perfectly unharmed. Beside her were two beat-up unconscious panther-demons.

"Sorry for the wait! That talisman was hidden better than I thought it would be." Katsumi said.

"Hmph, I can't believe it took you so long when there were only two of them!" Jaken huffed.

"Well, I wanted them alive so I could ask them where the talisman was. Good thing too, because it was attached to the bottom of a rock in that pile over there." Katsumi said, pointing to a huge pile of miscellaneous rocks.

"…" Sesshoumaru said when he saw the ridiculously out of place pile of rocks. It was so stupid, he didn't know whether to be annoyed or impressed.

"They told me the size, shape, and color, so I was able to find it faster. Then I dosed them with my Dokugeshi, so they'll be out cold for at least a day." Katsumi said.

"Why didn't you just kill them after?" Jaken said.

"Well, they're basically just big cats, right? So, their sense of smell is probably pretty good, and I thought the scent of blood in the air might set off a few alarms. I thought the whole point of sending me through quietly was so that we could maintain the element of surprise… Isn't that just common sense, Jaken?" Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru had known Katsumi was a capable fighter, but he hadn't realized she was such a capable strategist.

"What's this…?" Katsumi asked as they walked through what looked like the streets of a village. Everything was eerily quiet and still. The moonlight was they're the only source of light. The place looked totally deserted, but they knew better than that from the strong smell of cats in the air.

"It's looks like a decent-sized town… a castle town." Jaken said. Katsumi glanced into an open doorway. There was evidence that household chores had been abandoned halfway.

"It looks like the humans that used to live here left in a hurry…" Katsumi said. She sniffed the air. 'I would've at least expected to meet some panther-demons by now…' Katsumi thought. "Is that… Inuyasha… I smell up ahead?" Katsumi wondered out loud. She could smell the others too, but it didn't smell like Kagome was with them. 'They must be here because those cats have kidnapped Kagome for some reason…' Katsumi thought.

"Hn." Sesshoumaru said as he continued, undaunted by anything.

"Ugh! What is that!? It's worse than a Katrina fridge!" Katsumi said when an incredibly strong and horrible smell suddenly wafted in their direction. It was unbearable. Katsumi held her kimono sleeve over her nose. Sesshoumaru wasn't showing any signs of discomfort, but if it was bothering her this much, it must be killing his extra-super-sensitive nose.

"What an intense smell!" Jaken said. His nose was the least sensitive of the three, but even he was feeling the effects, and they weren't even at the scent's place of origin yet. Sesshoumaru drew Tokijin, and swung the sword, sending off a blast of energy to blow away the smell that was pervading the air and its source. Sesshoumaru continued forward, followed closely by Katsumi and Jaken. As the dust started to clear, Katsumi could make out the individual faces of the inu-tachi. As she had thought, they were all present, except for Kagome. They were surrounded by panther-demons.

'So, it looks like Inuyasha ran into their little welcoming party first…' Katsumi thought.

"Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha yelled.

"What's going on, Karan?" Sesshoumaru said, ignoring Inuyasha. "I'm the one you have business with."

"So, the big brother appears. Nothing could be better with the two of you here. Hey, sons of the Inu no Taisho, we'll be waiting at the castle!" Karan said. With that parting shot, Karan and her henchmen fled the scene.

"Sesshoumaru, why're you here?" Inuyasha asked, still holding Tessaiga in front of himself, ready for a fight.

"That's my line. Get out of here, you!" Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi sighed. Things were going down hill fast between the inu-brothers.

"W-What!?" Inuyasha said.

"I won't have you getting involved in this war!" Sesshoumaru said, irritated.

"I don't need your permission!" Inuyasha yelled.

"Inuyasha, did these guys take Kagome, or something? Why isn't she with you?" Katsumi asked.

"Kagome's been kidnapped by those cats!" Inuyasha yelled angrily.

"Inuyasha, I'll look for kagome, so—" Katsumi said, trying to diffuse the situation some, but Inuyasha cut her off.

"I'm not leaving!" Inuyasha yelled.

"Fool!" Sesshoumaru said. He swung Tokijin, and a ball of energy shot at Inuyasha. He blocked it with Tessaiga, but he was still knocked back, and into a hut. The only reason Katsumi didn't freak out as much as the others, was because she could tell Sesshoumaru was going easy on Inuyasha. He was irritated right now, not homicidal. Sesshoumaru lowered Tokijin.

'I suppose it's pointless to ask, but is there a chance the two them will ever be able to meet, without pointing swords at each other?' Katsumi thought, sweat dropping.

"W-Why, you…!" Inuyasha yelled, grunting as he sat up. "Whaddya think you're doing!?"

"Silence, Inuyasha!" Sesshoumaru yelled. Katsumi's eyes widened in surprise. She had never heard Sesshoumaru actually yell at someone before. Take and angry tone, yes… but full on raise the volume of your voice and show emotion yelling… no.

"Why you…!" Inuyasha said, surprised as well. Sesshoumaru replaced Tokijin at his side, but his eyes were cast in shadow, a sign of his black mood.

"Just remember this… You lost your heart to a mortal, and ended up under a seal… You have no right to be part of this battle." Sesshoumaru said coldly.

'That's right… they mentioned something about a battle being fifty years ago, but that's also when Inuyasha was sealed by Kikyo…' Katsumi thought. 'Could Sesshoumaru have…'

"Sesshoumaru-sama! You can't be picky at a time like this!" Jaken said. Jaken sounded like a mother scolding a child who wouldn't eat his vegetables. Sesshoumaru just stepped on Jaken and kept going. Katsumi smiled apologetically at the Inu-tachi and mouthed 'good luck' before turning to follow Sesshoumaru, but she at least stepped over Jaken, instead of on the imp.

"How scary…!" Shippo said, tearing up from fright.

"He really was upset about that." Sango observed.

"Did you do something?" Miroku asked Inuyasha. Inuyasha stood up and sheathed Tessaiga as he walked back to his friends.

"How would I know!?" Inuyasha said.

After walking in silence for a few moments to let Sesshoumaru calm down a little, Katsumi worked up the nerve to risk asking Sesshoumaru why he had reacted that way.

"Sesshoumaru-sama…" Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru didn't seem to mind her speaking, so she continued. "What happened?" Katsumi asked. "You don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to, I'd just prefer to know what I'm getting myself into…" Katsumi said.

"…" Sesshoumaru said. It was a valid question. Most people would not have even followed another this far only knowing as little information as she did. Katsumi had been there when he spoke with Toran, but she didn't know the background behind the events that had led them here. "This has to do with the Great War my Chichi-ue waged many eons past." Sesshoumaru said.

'I thought Toran said something about fifty years…' Katsumi thought, but she didn't want to interrupt Sesshoumaru when he was finally opening up to her about something. She was already starting to understand why he had been so upset earlier. It was obvious Sesshoumaru had looked up to his father, and from the sound of it, this was related to him somehow.

"When my Chichi-ue was still in the Western Province, the Panther Tribe of cat-youkai attacked the West and tried to conquer all other demons, but my father stepped in. The enemy leader was a daiyoukai of the panther-demons. My father protected his territory and took to the battlefield. Naturally, it was Chichi-ue who was victorious. However, the wrath of the cats ran deep. They cursed my father and his family for all eternity and swore vengeance." Sesshoumaru said.

"… So that's why you didn't want Inuyasha involved, because he wasn't part of the original war?" Katsumi asked.

"… I did not fight in the Great War either… As I said, this was eons ago, and I was only a pup, an infant at the time." Sesshoumaru said.

"W-Wait… Sesshoumaru-sama…!" Jaken yelled as he finally caught up to them huffing and puffing. Katsumi sensed that Jaken wasn't the only one who had caught up to them.

"Looks like our welcoming committee is here, at last…" Katsumi said.

Author's note:

1) For those of you have never heard the phase 'red shirt' before, it's a reference to the original 'Star Trek' series. Almost every episode, a crewman wearing a red uniform shirt would die, just to prove how serious the problem was. when Jaken says 'reddu shirtto', he's just mispronouncing it by trying to sound it out in Japanese.

2) Katrina fridge refers to the fridges that were left loaded full of food when people evacuated New Orleans and the surrounding areas for Hurricane Katrina. Most people thought the hurricane would miss Louisiana and that they would be back in a few days, buat as we all know now, they weren't. Some fridges stayed sealed up in the sweltering heat, with no power for weeks before people were allowed back into the city. By then, the contents of the firdge had bascially become possible tools for biochemical warfare, and some people just ended up duct-taping their fridges shut and getting rid of the hole thing.

3) I don't know the real reason why Sesshoumaru didn't participate in the first war, but I get the feeling he would have fought if he were able to. I just get the impression that despite everything, he looked up to his father, at least in terms of power, and so I think that's part of the reason why Sesshoumaru is so focused on Tessaiga.

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