Time Traveler Katsumi

An Unexpected Visitor

"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Rin cried, hitting the ground at a running pace the moment Ah-Un landed. "Katsumi-nee! What happened to Katsumi-nee!? Is she all right!?"

Sesshoumaru clenched his fists, taking a brief moment to collect himself before turning to face Rin. He could not let his rage blind him. He would deal with Naraku later. At the moment he had much more pressing matters to deal with.

"Katsumi-nee… Please, wake up…!" Rin sobbed as she dropped to her knees beside her adopted older sister. "Please don't… don't die… Please, don't leave Rin…!"

Sesshoumaru glanced down at his crying ward, unsure of what he should say or do to calm her down. Katsumi had always been the one who comforted and cheered Rin up whenever something was wrong.

Fortunately, Inu-tachi arrived on the scene, and for once, Sesshoumaru was not entirely loathed to see them.

"Oh… Oh, my God…!" Kagome gasped, stunned and horrified. It looked like a huge bomb had gone off, and at the epicenter of mass destruction, at Sesshoumaru's feet, her friend was lying in the dirt, completely still. "K-Katsumi… -chan…?" Kagome asked numbly, praying her eyes were deceiving her.

"Katsumi-san… is she…?" Miroku asked hesitantly, almost dreading the answer. Sango hung her head. She had to look away. She may not have known Katsumi that well, but watching Rin cry over Katsumi's prone body was heart breaking.

"No way… i-it's a lie, right…? K-Katsumi can't… Katsumiiii!" Shippo cried, joining Rin's mournful wails with his own.

"Sesshoumaru… Katsumi—" Inuyasha began, but Sesshoumaru had had enough.

"Katsumi is not dead!" Sesshoumaru snapped, losing his patience. What was wrong with Inuyasha and his friends? Were these fools really in that much of a hurry to kill Katsumi off?

"Eh?" Shippo and Rin asked in almost perfect unison, staring up the daiyoukai as if he held the answers to all of their hopes and prayers… Which, in a way, I suppose he did.

"She's not?" Kagome asked hopefully, too relieved at the moment to process the amazing fact that Sesshoumaru had just displayed an uncharacteristic show of emotion.

"It appears she has already healed herself, apart from the wound on her back. You will finish the job, Miko." Sesshoumaru commanded coolly. He knew from past experience, watching both Kagome and Katsumi treat others, that the medicine and healing techniques of their world were often far more advanced and effective than those of the current era. Right now, Kagome was Katsumi's best hope for curing whatever might be wrong with that troublesome wound.

"Why, you—!!" Inuyasha growled, only to be cut off when Miroku and Sango both clapped a hand over his big mouth to silence him. He was obviously ticked that Sesshoumaru would try to order Kagome around like that, and while the monk and demon-slayer didn't care much for his tone either, they didn't want Inuyasha starting an unnecessary fight. Right now they needed to help Katsumi. Their sibling rivalry could wait.

Kagome just stared at Sesshoumaru for a moment, slightly taken aback that he would ever even consider requesting help from a human like her, but she nodded in understanding. She didn't like being ordered around, but she knew that right now they both shared the same goal.

"Of course. I'll do whatever I can." She replied determinedly. She would have done so even if he hadn't asked. Katsumi was her friend. Kagome tightened her grip on the straps of her over-stuffed backpack and began to take a step closer towards Katsumi, when a ring of shimmering green energy suddenly formed a few feet away from Rin and Katsumi, pulsing with power. Even the air around it felt charged, and soon became filled with small, swirling orbs of light that danced and hovered about like living fireflies. Sesshoumaru couldn't help but notice that this strange new energy shared an uncanny resemblance to Katsumi's own youki, though it was much cleaner and purer than any youki he had ever felt before. Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha drew their swords as they all prepared themselves for the worst, not knowing what to expect.

And then, he appeared…

From within that glowing circle of vibrant and pure energy emerged a being whose power and beauty were enough to rival those of the great Sesshoumaru-sama's. His flawless porcelain skin was so fair, that it seemed white as snow, highlighting the delicate and graceful curves of his pointed ears. His fiery, long and luscious locks danced like flames in the wind. He was clothed in rich robes of emerald green, and upon his head rested a crown of spiny twigs and ruby berries, which secured the princely circlet upon his brow. He was unlike anything any of them had ever encountered before… He was Faerie.

With one decisive sweep of his eyes, the lordly creature took in every last detail of the scene before him. He furrowed his brow, frowning slightly, as he let his eyes linger a moment longer on the injured and unconscious Katsumi, before turning to address the motley assembly of humans and youkai of varying degrees that had gathered protectively around her body and the small human child still clinging to it.

[[Lower your weapons. I come in peace.]] A strong, majestic voice filled with dignified authority echoed in their minds.

The Inu-tachi glanced around with considerable confusion, wondering where the voice was coming from, but Sesshoumaru kept his steely gaze focused on the mysterious being before them, remembering Boukuseno's account of his meeting with a pure-blooded faerie.

[[I am Gean Cánach of the Daoine Maithe. Tell me… what has happened to my granddaughter's wings?]] The powerful faerie demanded calmly, not even bothering to hide the righteous fury smoldering in his hazel eyes.

"… Granddaughter? The hell are you talkin' about!?" Inuyasha demanded back, furrowing his brow in confusion and annoyance. What the hell was this guy supposed to be, anyway…? He certainly didn't smell like any kind of Youkai he had ever met before, and there was no freakin' way this guy was human!

Sesshoumaru and Gean Cánach simply stared at Inuyasha with relatively similar looks of aloof disdain, clearly unimpressed.

"Uh, Inuyasha… I believe Gean Cánach-sama was referring to Katsumi-san." Miroku said, sweat-dropping. As strange and mysterious as the powerful being before them might be, it wasn't that difficult a connection to make just from observing their shared eye color and the similarities between their energies and auras.

"What? But—than that mean's this guy is Katsumi's grandpa!?" Inuyasha exclaimed. How did he know about Katsumi when she wasn't even supposed to be born yet!? What was he doing here? What was with that freaky energy of his? And most importantly, how was he able to talk in all their heads at once like this—Goshinki's mind reading was one thing, but this was just insane! All of these thoughts kept swirling around inside the confused hanyou's mind until they became such a tangled mess that even he could no longer decipher the Gordian knot of questions wriggling around inside his brain.

Consider Inuyasha's mind blown.

[[Try not to hurt yourself, now.]] Gean told him, sweat-dropping. This strange dog-boy wasn't very bright, was he? He almost pitied Inuyasha… Almost. [[Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted… What happened to this child, Katsumi's, wings?]] He asked, addressing the others once again. Inuyasha glanced around, wondering why it was suddenly so quiet, but then he realized after seeing the thoughtful expressions on their others' faces, that Gean must have said something to everyone again… everyone except for him…

"Oi, don't just ignore me! Why am I the only one being left out!?" Inuyasha barked indignantly, vein mark throbbing on his forehead. Gean glanced at the hanyou, frowning slightly in annoyance.

[[Listen, you feckless fool. I chose to ignore your previous discourtesy, because I had assumed, based on your emotions and actions taken to protect my granddaughter, that you lot are friends and allies of hers… However, any further thoughtless displays of disrespect towards me will not be tolerated.]] He stated coldly, broadcasting this warning to the whole group, so he wouldn't have to repeat himself again. [[Now, to answer your question… 'dog-boy'… I did not ask you simply because I doubted you would have anything useful to contribute to this conversation.]] Gean added, deciding to invent a name for Inuyasha rather than trying to sift through that mess he called a mind for the insolent pup's proper name.

'This guy…!!' Inuyasha thought, clenching his teeth as he flattened his ears and let out a low growl of frustration, seriously ticked and annoyed. 'He's definitely Katsumi's ojii-san! He even came up with that same annoying nickname!!'

Gean Cánach just smirked slyly at the fuming pup, amused by what he had just heard bubble to surface of his hot head. It would seem his granddaughter took after him in at least one respect.

—∞—|—∞—

{One long explanation of all known facts pertaining to the situation later…}

[[Let me make sure I have this correct… This Naraku villain suddenly developed an interest in my granddaughter for reasons unknown, so he used a clever ruse to separate Katsumi from anyone strong enough to interfere with whatever he had planned for her—which appears to have involved torture—and after hearing her blood-curdling scream, there was a powerful but rather brief explosion of raw energy… And then you finally reached her, only to find her lying here, scarred and unconscious…?]] Gean asked them, raising an eyebrow. Their story had a lot of holes in it. He might think they were all trying to pull a fast one over on him if he couldn't read all of their thoughts and emotions… Well, there was one mind he couldn't quite get a read on… Gean Cánach glanced surreptitiously at the daiyoukai. He was a sharp one, that Sesshoumaru. Somehow, Sesshoumaru had managed to successfully create a shield within his mind to protect his most private thoughts from prying eyes, and yet, at the same time, the daiyoukai was still able to receive whatever telepathic messages Gean broadcasted to him... How curious…

"Yes, Gean Cánach-sama." Kagome replied somberly, nodding in confirmation. "Unfortunately, that's all we know… but maybe Katsumi will be able to tell us what happened when she wakes up."

[[That, I sincerely doubt.]] Gean replied frankly, deciding not to sugar coat it. The evidence spoke for itself. He had seen the aftermath of when a faerie's wings were forcibly removed like this before. Whether it was some built in natural defense mechanism or just the side-effect of the energy in the wings becoming too unstable once separated from their source... there could be no doubt that this explosion had indeed been the result of Katsumi's wings being ripped away from her. [[From what you have just told me, it appears this Naraku fecker somehow managed to rip out her wings. Having their wings ripped out is one of the worst things that can ever happen to a faerie. The pain and trauma caused by it is said to be so indescribably excruciating, that is beyond the comprehension of anyone who has never experienced it for themselves… the closest comparison would probably be for one to imagine being burned alive while having their spinal cord ripped out… but only after the intensity has been multiplied by ten.]] He explained, frowning, as the ember of fury rekindled in his vibrant hazel eyes. [[Most faeries cannot withstand the pain and die. It is generally only those who posses an incredibly strong will and sense of self that stand any chance of surviving such an intense trauma, and fewer still whom are ever lucky enough to make a full recovery… most are crippled for life, in some way or another…]] An act of such cruelty was unforgivable...!

"…" Sesshoumaru said, gritting his teeth, as he forced himself to maintain his calm, stoic façade despite the fact that his blood was boiling with rage. No wonder Katsumi had screamed like that…! Yes. He was definitely going to kill Naraku, and it was going to be excruciating…

Sesshoumaru glanced at Katsumi's grandfather when he realized the faerie was staring at him. Approval was shining in Gean Cánach's eyes along with righteous fury.

In his anger, Sesshoumaru had dropped his mental guard just long enough for Gean to catch that last sentiment. His fair lips curved into a dark smirk that matched his black mood and humor. It seemed he and the inu daiyoukai were in complete agreement with each other on the matter of Naraku's deserved fate.

"Poor Katsumi-nee…" Rin sniffed sadly, echoing the thoughts of the Inu-tachi. Even Inuyasha had winced sympathetically at Gean's brutal but accurate description of the pain their friend had endured at Naraku's hands.

Gean gave Rin a slight, sympathetic smile as he gently laid a soothing hand on her head in much the same manner Katsumi would have.

[[Fear not, little one. While this wound may indeed prove difficult for me to heal on my own, I know of a healer whose skills far surpass my own. If she agrees to heal my granddaughter, then there can be no doubt. Katsumi will recover, of that you can be certain.]] He said, winking at her. Rin couldn't help but smile at this hopeful news, and Gean reminded her of her Katsumi-nee so much in that moment, that it was almost as if Katsumi herself had said it.

"Did you hear that, Sesshoumaru-sama~!?" Rin asked excitedly, radiating innocence and hope. "Katsumi-nee's going to be alright~!"

"Really~!?" Kagome gasped even though Rin had not been talking to their group, unable to contain her own excitement and relief. Way to go, Grandpa!

Sesshoumaru, however, did not seem as quick to jump on their cheerful little bandwagon.

"And how do you plan to accomplish such a difficult task?" the daiyoukai asked coolly, certain there was something Gean Cánach still wasn't telling them. 'I am quite curious as to how you knew to come to this exact location in order to help a granddaughter whom you should not have known even existed?' Sesshoumaru thought, intentionally aiming his silent question at the faerie.

[[Hmm. Yes, well… unfortunately, the healer I have in mind rarely visits the human world, so I will have to take Katsumi to her… which means the two of us must pay a visit to the faerie world, Tír na nÓg.]] Gean explained to everyone, but then he secretly whispered a second message only Sesshoumaru could hear, [[A woman of your ilk paid me a rather unexpected visit in my homeland, claiming she could foresee the future and wished to tell me of mine… I believe you may know her as well. She called herself Tsukihime.]]


Author's note:

'Daoine Maithe' means 'the good people' in Irish, and it's one of the more traditional ways to refer to fairies. In traditional folklore and legends, most fairies are considered to be neutral, as they are equally capable of doing both 'good' and 'bad'. It generally depends on how much they like you and the individual perspective of the person being affected by them or whoever is telling the story, since fairies are known to be temperamental and have their own set of customs and morals that supposedly differs from ours in certain respects. 'Good' and 'bad' are simply terms applied by humans in an attempt to categorize their otherworldly neighbors and their curious behavior. While fairies can actually be very beneficial to humans they take a liking to, their temperamental nature makes it easy for them to feel slighted if a human does something disagreeable to them, and they can make very terrifying enemies, so that is why they are referred to as 'the good people' despite their mischievous nature. It is an attempt to stay on their good side and show respect.

Also, Fairies were said to have the ability to travel between dimensions and/or parallel planes, one of which is actually the fairy world, their main home. It was often referred to as the 'Otherworld' or 'Tír na nÓg' (The Land of Youth). Fairies could open portals to gain access to these different dimensions, and supposedly this increase in fairy energy left behind residual signs and effects such as 'fairy rings', which are typically marked by a ring of raised or discolored grass or a ring of mushrooms. It was said that if one waited and watched the ring for five days after it first appeared, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the fairy when or if it returned. Other stories warn against crossing or stepping into a fairy ring, as unsuspecting victims will sometimes find themselves being spirited away to the Otherworld and/or possibly being punished for trespassing.

And in case any of you are wondering, the word 'feck' can have the following meanings:

Feck (or fek) is a form of effeck, which is in turn the Scots form of effect. However, this Scots noun has additional significance:

1) Efficacy; force; value; return2) Amount; quantity (or a large amount/quantity)3) The greater or larger part (when used with a definite article)

From the first sense we derive feckless, meaning witless, weak or ineffective; worthless; irresponsible; indifferent; lazy. In Ireland, 'feck' can also be used as a much less offensive and more 'politically correct' form of f*ck.

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