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The Attack

The Pact

Chapter 1 - The Attack

 

Disclaimer: Nothing but the plot is miiinnnneeee...

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Prologue

"Speak her name, then," an elder female's gravelly voice spoke, ever firm and calm. "Speak it...and we shall consider."

Desperation drove the young daiyoukai to the brink...to the unthinkable. His mouth opened slowly, each syllable laboriously pronounced. "Higurashi Kagome...the Shikon Miko." His death sentence...his only hope.

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Chapter 1 - The Attack

A low rumble resounded from a metal bike basket, emerald eyes narrowing at a certain red-clad hanyou. Inuyasha's ears swivelled every so often, and it didn't take a genius to figure out why. Soul stealers were drifting in and out of the woods from the east...beckoning. Shippou let out a disgruntled noise as he looked back at Kagome, her face as passive as ever...but there was a certain weariness in her azure eyes that he knew well. And it pissed him off! Stupid Inuyasha didn't know a good thing when he had it! His bushy tail bristled as he glared at the idiot in front of them...and his anger got the best of him.

"Yeeeoowww!" Inuyasha cried, stumbling to a halt as Shippou ducked down into Kagome's basket with a sly, satisfied little grin on his face. He quickly schooled his features into innocence as the inu rounded on him. "The fuck was that for?!"

"What do you mean?" Shippou blinked up at him with as confounded of a look as he could muster.

"You know exactly what I mean, twerp! You threw another acorn at the back of my head!" Inuyasha growled, pointing his finger accusingly at the rapidly blinking fox.

"I did not!"

"Did, too!"

"Did not!"

"I can smell your lie!" Inuyasha yelled, tapping his nose with a deep growl reverberating in the air.

"You deserved it!"

"Why, you--!"

"Alright!" Kagome stepped in, leaning over the front of her bike to shield Shippou as Inuyasha raised a fist to hit him. He stopped immediately, Kagome sighing heavily as she righted herself and looked between the two of them, giving each a scolding look. Unknown to them both, she had caught the entire transaction. From Shippou's mounting irritation and Inuyasha's distraction, to the blow up that was currently underway. "No more fighting. Either of you." Shippou had the courtesy to look guilty and sheepish while Inuyasha huffed through his nose as he withdrew his hand. "Inuyasha...why don't you go see Kikyo? We all need a break, anyway." His ears immediately flattened to his skull, an inkling of guilt leaking onto his face.

"Do you think that's wise?" Miroku asked, he and Sango making their way to Kagome's side from the rear of the group.

"Kagome...," Sango started as her worry began to show, Kilala mewling from her perch on the taijiya's shoulder.

"Yeah," Kagome sighed out with a strained smile as she ruffled her raven bangs, revealing a sheen of sweat that had developed before wiping most of it away. "Take her a little farther away, okay? It's difficult to continue on like this when she's so near..." Inuyasha hesitated, looking off to the east before locking eyes with Kagome again.

"You sure?" He asked tentatively, a hint of concern for her leaking across his handsome features.

"Yeah...it'll be better that way," Kagome nodded with a voice full of weary encouragement, her smile softening some. He did care about Kagome...in his own way. "It's been difficult to be near to her since her second revival...our soul plays tug-of-war when we're close enough. So...the farther apart we are, the better." Her voice was soft enough that only Inuyasha and Shippou could hear the latter part. And she pointedly ignored the worried glances of one taijiya, the concerned stare of a kitsune kit, and the disapproving look of the lecherous monk.

"...Right," Inuyasha answered, ears still close to his skull, as he looked between her and the east once more. "If you guys stick together, you'll be alright." He meant to sound encouraging...but, to them, it sounded more like he was trying to reassure himself. With a nod, he was bounding off to the east...to his undead lover. Everyone was fairly quiet until Inuyasha's form disappeared into the distance.

"Well, let's set up!" Kagome started in jovially as she clicked her kickstand into place and stepped away from the bike with a clap of her hands. "If we're lucky, we can set up camp here for the night! I'll get the spit ready- I'm starving! Want to help me pick up sticks, Shippou?"

"Uh-mm! Sure!" He perked up at the idea of being able to help...but...she was acting...a little strange. A little too happy...

"Ka-," Miroku started as Kagome dropped her pack to the ground with a clatter of the pots and pans within, before she helped Shippou down from her bike.

"Don't," Sango warned, tugging on his sleeve as the miko and kit bustled towards a dirt-filled area they quickly swept to make room for the spit before heading to the nearby trees to scrounge up stray limbs. Questioning violet eyes turned back to the taijiya. Said woman had her eyes set on the miko. "Not now. She's trying so hard not to show anything... This second summoning of Kikyo really seems to be taking its toll on her..."

"All the more reason to ask why she is allowing this and being so lenient with Inuyasha," he frowned as he placed a hand atop Sango's. Her focus finally came back to him, a knowing gleam in her chocolate orbs. His dark brows furrowed. "...You know why."

"...I do," Sango admitted to the monk earnestly, a desperation in her voice giving him pause. "And we can discuss that later. Away from them. Not right now...okay? She's putting on a strong front for Shippou. Don't spoil her efforts." He let out a breath, his agitation releasing with it. Guarded violets softened.

"Alright...I will stay silent until later, when we are alone and can speak freely," he agreed, giving her hand a gentle squeeze as the tension visibly unwound in her body. "But you owe me a kiss for the wait."

"A...," Sango began and sputtered, cheeks splashed with pink. "Do you want me to hurt you?!"

"Ahh, come now, Sango, it was just a joke...," Miroku tried to appeal, Kilala jumping down from Sango's shoulder with a squeak. She wanted no part of their little quarrel! Instead, while the two argued, she wandered over to Kagome and Shippou's side as they laughed about something or another. Their environment was more...serene.

"Ahh...hey, Kilala," Kagome bid, giving the neko a scratch behind the ears. She purred cheerily as she did, Kilala's twin tails swishing animatedly behind her. A resounding slap had all eyes peering back at the taijiya and monk as the latter fell to his knees, nursing a nice new bruise on his right cheek. "Hm....I don't blame you for not wanting to get caught up in that." The miko gave a soft laugh as the firecat leaned into her touch. They made Kilala so tired sometimes....

"I'll get water," Sango announced, stomping to the monstrous yellow pack on the ground.

"Alright...Kilala, can you please push some logs up to the ground we cleared for the spit?" Kagome nodded and requested her favor of the firecat. She gave a mewl that turned into a fierce growl as she transformed into her larger form. "Thanks, Kilala!" The cat was off to her given task, Shippou looking up at Kagome expectantly with an armload of sticks.

"Is there anything else I can do?" He asked eagerly, wanting to help...and get her mind off of whatever was worrying her. She had to be worried about something with the way she forced her happiness. He didn't know what it might be...but he definitely didn't want her thinking of it!

"Mm...yeah," Kagome nodded after a moment of thought. "Could you drop the sticks off and get the salted meat from my pack? I think I'll make a stew with it."

"Of course!" Shippou puffed his little chest out as he marched off. Kagome couldn't help the soft laugh that bubbled up. Her little kit was absolutely adorable! And always so ready and willing to help. He insisted on carrying all the sticks they found, himself. She smiled in earnest before picking herself up off the ground. They needed some bigger branches for slow burning- those twigs would be gone in no time. Kagome proceeded to brush the dirt off of her blue hakama and simple white kosode with blue hemming. After a couple of years, her friends had convinced her to wear more...time-oriented clothing. The hakama were comfortable, at least, and the sleeves of the kosode were fairly short and manageable. But she absolutely refused to wear traditional miko garb. Not when Inuyasha only saw Kikyo when he looked at Kagome...

She was about to turn and begin her task when a wave of powerful youki washed over her in an icy tidal wave, raising goosebumps on her flesh. Those little hairs on her arms and the back of her neck were standing on end, a shiver twisting its way down her spine. Just her luck...leaving her bow and arrows on the ground by her pack. Inwardly cursing, Kagome spun on her heels, eyebrows furrowing as her azure orbs caught sight of a handsome youkai male standing  before her. Silky white-silver hair fell around his pale face, bright yet somehow dark viridian eyes peering back at her. A cocky smirk tilted his lips, and a pair of large white ears flicked atop his head. Kagome could hear Sango and Miroku's voices, calling her name in a panic. It was only seconds...just long enough for her to turn and see him there... Pristine white and crimson flashed before her eyes, and the miko reflexively jerked her arms up in defense and shut her eyes tight. She didn't even have time to erect a barrier when she felt his grip bruising her left wrist... She expected to be pulled forward...slashed...maimed...but...as quickly as it came, those powerful fingers were gone. A whisper of cool silk fluttered against her bared arms...along with a crash of a more familiar, very agitated, youki.

"S-Sesshou...!"

 

Chapter 1 - End

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