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Setting Off

"MEIKA!" Shippo screamed. "WAKE UP!"
He continued to shake her while the others look on.
Tears come from Shippo's eyes as he tries desperately to wake Meika-san up. One of the tears drop on Meika's forehead, and her emblem glowed.
"Huh?" Shippo blinks.
Meika wakes up. "What happened to me?" she asked, sitting up.
Shippo looks at her with tears in his eyes and a smile on a face. "Meika!' He hugs her.
"Don't you DARE do that shit again," Inu Yasha said.
Meika looks at the rest of the group in confusion.
"What happened to me?" she asked.
Kagome sat down next to Meika. "You don't remember?" she asked.
"No, not really," Meika replied, shaking her head.
"We were listening to Myoga-san about the Kibou no Tama, and you blacked out."
"The---Kibou no Tama?"
Kagome nods her head.
"Oh," Meika said as she looks down.
That dream I had....was any of it for real? she thought. She close her eyes as the dream flashed before her. It SEEMED real. I mean, Reishin-san was there. But---we were in another world. On top of that, onni-san had angel wings. I there any goodness left in him?
As Meika thought, Inu Yasha walked over to Meika. "Where the hell were you?" he demanded.
"If I told you, you'll never believe me," Meika replied quietly.
"Try me." Inu Yasha folds his arms across and smirks.
Meika sighs. "Forget it. Let's go," she said.
"Huh?" Everybody looks at each other.
Meika turns to Kagome. "Are you looking for the Shikon no Tama shards?"
"Yes," Kagome replied, displaying a look of surprise on her face. "But--how do you--?"
Meika close her eyes and giggle softly. "I forgot to tell you something. I can read your mind."
KagomeÕs eyes widen. "Amazing," she said, putting her right index finger on her face as if she was thinking.
"Not only that," Meika added, "but I heard Inu Yasha asking you if there's a shard around, and you found one. In my forehead, I must add."
Meika lower her eyes to the ground. "Besides," she said, closing her eyes, "I want to know more about the Kibou no Tama."
"Why DO you want to know more about it?" Miroku asked.
"Because it's in my body."
"Where in your body?" Sango asked.
Meika opens her eyes and looks up at Sango and, with a sad expression, place her hand on her heart.
"In--in---in your HEART?!?!" Inu Yasha cried out. Meika nods.
"Whoa...." Inu Yasha's eyes widen as he takes in more about the fox hanyou.
"How did it get in your heart?" Miroku asks. Sango nods in agreement, pondering herself.
"I--I don't know," Meika said. "All I know is, it's been with me since I was little, when I was runnning from----" Meika stop and look down at the ground.
"Rnning from who?"Inu Yasha asked. Meika didn' replied.
Inu Yasha, pissed off from her silence, repeated his question. "Who were you running from?"
Still no reply.
Inu Yasha grabs Meika on the shoulders. "Tll us!"he demanded. "Tll us, who were you running away from?!?!"
"Leave me alone! Meika snaps with tears in her eyes. Inu Yasha release her shoulders, surprised.
"I don't want to talk about it, okay!" Meika drops to her knees and sobs uncontrollably. Inu Yasha looks at her with a confused look.
"Now look what you did to her," Shippo cried out. "You made her upset."
Shippo kneels down to Meika and hugs her.
"How could you be so insensitive, Inu Yasha?" Kagome shouts.
"Me, insensitive!" Inu Yasha barks back.
"You know you shouldn't pry into other people's business!"
"I wasn't prying!"
"Then what do you call it?"
While Kagome and Inu Yasha argued, Shippo calms Meika down.
"It's all right," he said, wiping a tear from her eye, "Inu Yasha didn't mean to upset you."
"I know," she replied, wiping her tears away with her sleeve. "It's just that...well, just THINKING about my past haunts me."
Miroku walks over to the duo and kneels down on his right knee, his right arm resting on the knee. "What makes you say that?" he asked.
Meika looks at Miroku. "When I was little, my mother died. A demon killed her, and unfornutely, I watched the entire thing."
Kagome and Inu Yasha stop arguing when they heard Meika recalling the dreadful event of her life.
"I'm sorry," Miroku said, lifting his right hand in a prayer.
"It's okay," Meika replied softly.
"I feel better now, Shippo," she said, smiling. "Thank you for soothing me."
Shippo was taken in by her smile.
She looks so innocent when she smiles, he thought, smiling back. Well, at least sheÕs happy now.
Meika stands up and look at Inu Yasha and Kagome. "May I com with you on your journey?"
Inu Yasha and Kagome look at each other, then back at Meika.
"If it's all right with you," Inu Yasha said, shrugging his shoulders.
Meika jumps up and down gleefully, and hugs Inu Yasha.
"Oh, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU so much!" she cried happily.
Inu Yasha blushes, and Kagome looks on in surprise. Meika, realizing that she's hugging Inu Yasha, released him, blushing a bright pink.
"I promise you won't regret this," Meika said, nodding.
"Yea!" Shippo cheered. He ran to Meika and jumps into her arms. Meika hugs him.
"Do you think it is wise for Meika to join us?" Sango asked, coming up to Inu Yasha and Kagome.
"Why not?" Kagome replied. "The bigger, the better."
"Besides," Inu Yasha added, "she has a Shikon no Tama shard in her forehead. If we let her go, chances are someone else might get it. I'm not going to take that chance."
Kagome looks at Inu Yasha. "Inu Yasha," she said softly, "I didnÕt know you care about her."
"WHAT?!?!" Inu Yasha blushes bright red.
"Yes," Miroku remarks. "Come to think of it, you DID blush when she hugged you."
"Don't forget, she IS a hanyou," Sango points out. "A fox one at that."
Inu Yasha could't argue with that; he knew damn well that the others was aware of it.
"Inu Yasha!" Shippo cried out.
Relieved of a distraction, Inu Yasha turn to Shippo, who was still in MeikaÕs arms.
"Let's head out for another jewel shard!"
"Well," Inu Yasha said, turning to the others, "you heard the kid. Let's go."
Shippo blushes slightly. "I'm NOT A KID!" he cried out.
Meika giggled. "Don't worry, Shippo. You're not a kid. You're grown-up in my eyes."
Shippo look up at Meika. "Re-really?" he asked. Meika nodded.
Shippo grins. "I'm no kid, she said."
"The key word is SHE," Inu Yasha remarked. Shippo grumbles under his breath.
"Let's get going, you guys," Kagome said when she saw Shippo shooting daggers at Inu Yasha.
"All right, all right," Inu Yasha replied, folding his arms across his chest.
The group left the tree and the lake, Inu Yasha and Miroku leading the way. Sango, Kagome, Kirara, and the two foxes followed them. Meika stops and look back at the lake.
"Goodbye, okka-san," she whispered. A tear came from her right eye onto the earth.
"Meika!" Shippo shouted out.
"Coming!" she shouted back, wiping her eye and running to the group.

Back at the lake, a shadow appears in the tree, on the branch where Meika was. His eyes glowed yellow as he watched Meika, and he took his sword out.
"One day, Meika," the shadow growled, slicing the air with it, "we WILL be together again. You cannot escape your fate. You can run, but you can't hide. I vow, I will find you, and kill you."
The shadow chuckled evilly and vanished.

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