A few clues and an inauspicious visitor...
It took them less than half an hour to ransack the white chamber. Inuyasha still had no idea where the doors were or where the light was coming from - they hadn't found any lamps or torches - but Kagome had figured out how to open the metal box that they'd been using as a mirror, and was poking through neat little stacks of what was probably clothes. Inuyasha had yanked the coverings off the walls, and pulled the tops off of half the little beetle-sculptures, finding one full of round blue pebbles with no scent, and other full of a flesh-colored powder that made him sneeze.
"No newspapers," Kagome complained, "no books..."
"No way out," Inuyasha snarled, flinging another of the little bottles against the floor. Inuyasha smirked, expecting it to shatter, but it gave only an unsatisfying bounce before landing on the bed. "This isn't helping!"
"I can't even tell if these belong to a girl or a man," Kagome flipped out a length of white cloth stretching it experimentally. "I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a shirt, though."
"You might as well put it on," he told her. "You must be cold in that thing."
Kagome's brow crinkled and she looked down at herself.
Wait... /Inuyasha blinked down at the girl. /She didn't notice?
Kagome's clothes hung from her shoulders by loose white straps that reminded him a bit of the floppy dress that he'd seen her sleep in once, but that one had been a lot longer. And thicker.
And when he'd said that she must have been cold in that thing, he hadn't been guessing.
Kagome snapped her arms over her chest as if clutching at a wound. "/Pervert!/" she hissed. "I'm not dressed! Why didn't you say something?"
"What? You're blaming me for this? I only-"
The word echoed against the inside of his skull, and Inuyasha braced himself for a dive into the floor.
Stupid bitch, as if it's my fault that she doesn't keep track of her own--
Inuyasha pried open one eye.
Kagome's mouth was gaping in unconcealed horror.
Inuyasha's eyebrows shot up. It couldn't be...
Kagome began to inch away.
"/Say it again,/" he demanded in a loud whisper, eyes locked on hers.
"Inuyasha..." she cringed back as a helpless smirk peeled his lips back from his fangs.
"Say it again!" Inuyasha cried with unholy glee as he clamped his hands down on her waist. She let out a high-pitched sound as he spun her around the small room. "Hell, say it all you fucking want, Kagome!"
"Put me down!"
Inuyasha's mind raced. No more sits! No more telling him to be nice to Shippo, no more stopping him from beating Kouga to a pulp, and no more running off through that well when there were jewel shards to be found. She couldn't leave him, ever.
"This almost makes up for my claws being gone," he exhaled, plopping her down on the mattress.
"You're scaring me, Inuyasha."
"Good!" he shot back.
"Doesn't it bother you that you lost the beads and don't know why?" she asked, pulling a shirt on over the flimsy nightgown. "I know I didn't take them off you."
"Yeah, fat chance of that," he snapped.
Kagome pushed out her chin, "Just because I can't sit you doesn't mean you don't have to listen to me!"
"I don't see why I should," he answered. "All you ever say is-"
"Wait a minute..." Kagome's eyes went just a bit bigger as she focused on something on the far wall.
"I wasn't finished talking, bitch!" he snapped as she picked something off of one of the shelves, turning it over in her hand.
"A coin?" he asked. "What could a coin tell us about anything?"
"Look," Kagome held it out to him.
It looked a lot like a coin from Kagome's time, thin, with grooves along the edge, and tiny, precise markings. Inuyasha frowned, they didn't look like they were in kanji or katakana or any of the other scrawlings in Kagome's books, so there was no way to tell-
He sucked in a breath.
He could read it. He had no idea how, but he could read the tiny ticks.
"Five-hundred and thirty-sixth year of the Tai-Oni," he recited, an uneasy feeling snaking down his spine. "Ten credits." He turned the coin over in his hand to see what was stamped on the other side.
The uneasy feeling built into a full-fledged shiver as he took in the stylized spider staring back at him.
Neither one of them had to say it.
All of this had something to do with that evil bastard, and they had to get out of there to find out what.
Kagome finally got up and dug through the clothes drawer again, leaving Inuyasha to glare at the metal disk, and dug out what she hoped was a pair of pants.
The shirt fit okay. In fact, it fit more than okay, she realized as she slid her hands back through the stretchy sleeves so that she could unstrap the nightdress without getting naked. She raised her arms experimentally.
"Hm..." Unlike the little slip of a nightgown, nothing bounced or showed through. No wonder she hadn't found anything like a bra in with the clothes.
Okay, so it wasn't much, but it was one thing that she wouldn't have to worry abou-
"What are you doing?"
"Gah!" Kagome's head snapped over her shoulder to where Inuyasha was watching her quizzically. "SIT!"
He only smirked.
"Oooh..." she faced the wall, not wanting to let him see her seethe. So much for being preoccupied with Naraku's emblem on the one-dollar bill. "Turn around," she said. "I'm going to change clothes."
"You're acting worse than Miroku!" Kagome fumed, eyes casting back toward the cabinet.
...and caught on a glint.
"Hang on," Kagome murmured, reaching into the bottom drawer, and pulled out an arc of smooth black metal, not quite cylindrical, and maybe half again the length of her hand. She seemed to have forgotten that she was mad at him as her as she turned it under her gaze as Inuyasha watched. It bend smoothly into two halves, though he couldn't discern anything like a hinge. "What's this?" she asked, holding it up.
Inuyasha snorted. "Stupid girl! How am I supposed to-"
"Give it here," he snatched it from her.
He stifled a chuckle. What was she going to do about it /now? /He pulled the strange object straight again. Something...
Yes. On the right.
"I think it's an arm band," he said, letting its two halves slide open. He pulled back the sleeve on his right arm and let it settle against the skin. With his free hand, he eased it shut. There was a firm, tiny click as it settled, leaving no seam to the eye.
"Does it fit?" asked Kagome.
"Yeah..." he murmured, eyes still on the smooth black gauntlet. It felt like it fit... As a matter of fact, it felt-
From one of the walls came a pounding sound.
Kagome looked up. Inuyasha took a step forward, tentatively laying one palm flat against the smooth surface.
It came again. Inuyasha drew his hand back.
A fist on the wall. It had to be...
Kagome's voice was low as she slid quickly into the clothes she'd found, "What do you think it-"
"Oh for fuck's sake, it's me!" came a muffled voice. "Guys, let me in!"
"Who..." Kagome stood up, and then louder. "Who is it?"
"It's Noi! Let me in!"
"Keh!" Inuyasha snarled, "how are we supposed to do that? There aren't even any doors."
Inuyasha's skin prickled at a soft sound like knives on parchment. He barely registered taking half a step in front of Kagome as two stretches of white wall sank away into an pair of arches, and behind one of them-
"Finally!" the speaker took two quick steps, "She sent me as soon as we realized something was-" he paused, eyes finding the chaos on the floor, the thinly restrained malice in Inuyasha's face,"...wrong," he finished.
"Who the fuck are you?!" Inuyasha demanded. The man's arms seemed to droop from his shoulders, a pair of slate-gray eyes going still beneath rusty bangs.
"Something tells me I'm a bit late."