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A Debt to Be Paid by Rinku

Chapter One: I'm in Debt? (EDITED)

A Debt to Be Paid

-By ForgottenHero

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Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha and am making no profit, what-so-ever, from this fanfiction. Any InuYasha related items are respectfully owned by Rumiko Takahashi and her producers.

WARNING: Sexual Situations [Lemons, limes etc...], Violence/Gore and strong Language.

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My Corner:

Hey guys and welcome to my first InuYasha fanfiction! My name is ForgottenHero (or just Rinku). It is a pleasure to meet you. I am a simple weirdo with a passion for writing and drawing (whenever I can manage to muster the patience >.>).

My deviantart: http://forgottenhero-rinku.deviantart.com

Don't forget to Read, Rate, & Review!

EDITED: FEB 16, 2016.

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Chapter One: I'm In Debt?

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Boom.

A massive sword crashed into the ground, barely missing a lime-green blur that dodged the attack. A string of curses were spat by a hanyou, his gold eyes sparkling furiously. He'd miss the fucker again! Spitefully he glared at his still alive rival; he was an unexpectedly difficult target. The bastard was fast! With a deep growl, the boy slung the impressive weapon with ease and pointed its tip at his watching opponent. The silver ears atop of his head twitched with visible agitation.

"Bastard! Why don't you fucking die?!" InuYasha snapped accusingly like the demon was being unfair in a game of tag.

A once tranquil forest clearing was now filled with potholes caused from the tense battle it hosted. The ground was uneven and broken while numerous trees that had once stood now lay about in splinters. A neko youkai and inu hanyou stood in the midst of the mayhem; the sole causes for the immense damage. They had been at this fight for over an hour now and only one of them was making any head way.

The frustrated haf-breed growled. He hated cats. InuYasha watched, his brow ticking angrily as the nefarious feline peered back at him, unperturbed, his long tail swishing coyly in the air. A strikingly handsome male of over six feet tall adorned in luxurious silks and brilliant armor, it was evident this youkai was not an average demon. This guy was a high ranking demon so he was incredibly strong and well trained in fighting with that fancy sword of his.

His opponent scoffed. "The real question, hanyou, is when are you going to give up?" The cat demon quipped a snide sneer on his handsome face.

InuYasha's left eye twitched. This bastard was a typical high-ranking full blood. Obviously graced with a strong bloodline, never having to struggle for much - the fact he spat the term hanyou with such a look of disgust grated InuYasha's nerves ruthlessly. A long history of being scorned for his blood status didn't help. His upper lip curling into a snarl, InuYasha swung Tetsusaiga in front of him, quickly summoning energy into the blade as he lunged forward.

"Only in your dreams, baka! Your ass is mine!" 

The cat demon mirrored him and with a loud clang that boomed like thunder their blades collided. InuYasha grunted on impact. Solid resistance made his arm shake, making him try to lean into Tetsusaiga. A mountain met his earnest attempt; the cat was a lot stronger than he seemed. InuYasha mentally seethed. As if this fucking cat was going to beat him! Suddenly as if in response to his inner frustration, the neko parried Tetsusaiga to the left and leapt over the hanyou, almost invisible in his speed.

"InuYasha! His sword! The magic!" A priest on the sidelines shouted in alarm.

InuYasha cursed. He had forgotten the sword could dish out attacks like Tetsusaiga! The neko warrior raised his slender sword, the blade flashing bright green as it charged up with his youki. A glowing green blur crashed down into the soil before him. Immediately, an ominous groan rumbled like a shock wave through the clearing.

"Zaghoshiwa!" The cat yelled, a smirk curling on his lips.

Five streaks of neon-acidic green raced underneath the earth, unable to be seen by the half-breed. Feeling the ground tremble beneath his bare feet, InuYasha felt a sense of dread.

Knowing he had no time to escape, InuYasha muttered, “Shit.” 

The world exploded; bright green light erupted from the ground beneath him and blinded all within its vicinity. The hanyou’s screams and the sound of trees being torn from their roots mixed with the rumbling booms. InuYasha felt himself flung away like trash, soaring through the air and leaving a trail of blood that seemed to mark his travel. With a crash he collided with an unsuspecting tree. The tree groaned and split off in the middle, falling over with the unmoving hanyou among its remains.

His comrades watched, pale and concerned, as the rubble moved. A shaking claw digging through the debris, InuYasha emerged, his bloodied face fierce with fury and scuffed.

"Stupid f-fucking… cat…” He hissed, making a move to stand.

Before the hanyou managed to crawl up, his eyes rolled back and he fainted. The toll of his injuries and the battle finally won against his impressive stamina. With a loud thump, the boy went still as he lay on the ground, his companions on the sideline gaping in shock. A pair of sapphire eyes widened. A human girl suddenly stumbled forward from the silent group.

"InuYasha!" She screamed, stepping forward shakily.

Two human companions watched the miko dash from their ranks towards their fallen comrade. A taijya and priest by trade, the couple immediately tried to stop their friend. They saw the cat demon was still watching from the sidelines; a dangerous, amused glint to his pale green eyes. As if sensing their concern, the miko shot forward, stumbling and gaining speed. Their hands shot out and met air to their frustration - she was surprisingly nimble.

"Kagome-sama! Stop!" Miroku yelled.

“Kagome-chan!” Sango screamed beside him.

Higurashi Kagome disregarded her friends. She had only one thing on her mind; she had to get to InuYasha. Quickly making her way to his side, she knelt beside him, her cerulean gaze swiftly assessing him and his injuries. A trembling hand flittered over his still form. With quick, precise touches, she noted he had a set of broken ribs and some internal bleeding. The girl set into motion. Her mind blanking, she quickly tore open his hoari, exposing his sunken chest and gaping wounds. Her small face bearing an expression of determination and desperation, she tore the bottom part of her shirt in one pull. She didn't care that it left her entire midriff was bare.

Muttering under her breath to try and keep herself collected enough to help the hanyou, she bundled the torn cotton and pressed it to his wounds to try and stop the bleeding. The red liquid instantly seeped through the fabric. Her hands twitched as she felt InuYasha’s warm blood soak her palm. Kagome then began to panic. He was losing blood fast. If he went into shock, there was no coming back - she didn't have access to a hospital in feudal Japan.

Kagome shook him, desperation entering her determined stare.

"InuYasha don’t go to sleep - you have to stay with me. Do you hear me? Talk to me, InuYasha!” She half-pleaded, half-ordered; her voice shook despite her efforts to remain calm.

His yellow-gold eyes remained unseeing as his head rolled side to side. Kagome felt denial swell in her. She shook him harder, panic overriding common sense as she desperately tried to waken the boy. InuYasha rolled limply. Kagome stilled. Her face paling, she gazed down at the hanyou, her hands shaking as they continued to fist in his bloodied hoari. This could not be happening. Not like this. Her knuckles whitened as she clenched onto his shirt, her jaw trembling as she fought the scream or sob she wanted to let loose.

'InuYasha... please wake up... You can't be... you couldn't be...'

A slight shuffle behind her made her freeze. Mutely, Kagome looked behind her shoulder. The cat demon stood but a few feet from her kneeling form, his green eyes regarding them with evident mirth. His expression was deceitfully friendly that it alarmed the miko more. She watched him tilt his head to the side as if he was thinking. Kagome's mind raced. They had been travelling back to Edo, intending to make a pit stop to replenish their necessities and stamina when the neko had appeared in the midst of the path they were following. He'd demanded as all demons that badgered them did; to relinquish their jewel shards to him. While InuYasha had put up a good fight, the rest of the inu tachi could not keep up with dangerous demon or his youki. Only the hanyou had stood a chance against this opponent.

Now he was knocked out from the ring.

Watching the interesting mixture of fear and anger flitter across the human girl’s attractive face, the neko youkai’s attention fixed on the small vial of the glowing pink shard that hung around her neck. A feral, greedy smile curled on his lips, transforming his otherwise beautiful features into something sinister and hideous. The girl visibly tensed.

"Now, now, little miko don't cry, I'm here now.” He purred, his tone gentle and eerie.

Her sapphire gaze spitting venom at him, she raised a glowing pink hand, her reiki crackling at her finger tips weakly. She had used too much reiki earlier when searching for Naraku and creating protective barrier enchantments for the village they had virlier. Kagome mentally berated herself. If only she was better trained as a miko. While she had a vast amount of energy, it tired and fatigued her body after using it. Her physical stamina did not match the well of power within her; her body still untrained to handle the vast energy. InuYasha’s shallow breaths snapped her back to reality. The girl scrutinized the watching neko youkai warily. 

Huddling in front of InuYasha’s incapacitated form protectively, she hissed, “Stay away from me!”

The neko’s nose twitched. His eyes half-lidding as he loomed over her, he licked his lips slowly, regarding the disgusted girl with evident sadism.

“Give me the shikon no kakera and I may let you live after I’ve had my fun with you, miko.” He murmured so only she could hear his twisted offer.

Kagome stiffened and curled her upper lip into an impressive snarl for a human girl.

"Screw off you creepy cat, you aren’t getting them!” She yelled up at him, her sapphire gaze simmering defiantly.

The neko frowned. He didn’t like how loud this human was. Although she smelt delicious and looked to be a tasty treat, he would have to cut out her tongue before any fun was to be had with the little hellion. His pale lime-colored orbs becoming icy, he stepped towards the watching the girl, his youki flaring back to life. He raised a hand into the air and with a snap of his fingers, his sword pulled itself from the ground and flew into his waiting hand. His hand clamped down immediately on the hilt. Calmly, he pointed the sword at the girl, watching with satisfaction as her luminous sky-shaded orbs widened in fear as the tip almost grazed her small nose.

"Your mouth and attitude will be the end of you, you little bitch. Hand over the shikon no kakera, miko, before you start to become less attractive to me." He ordered coolly.

Kagome gave the demon a look that would kill if possible. Her mouth stayed firmly shut, her gaze daring him to attack her. The neko youkai growled. Ignorant little wench. She was too much trouble to put up with, even for what could be an amusing rutting. He could live without sticking his dick in this spitfire. Decision made, the demon sneered at the girl.

“Wrong answer." He snarled and lunged at her.

Kagome sensed the attack and immediately summoned as much energy as she could. Her eyes squinting as she raised both hands in front of her, her fingers splaying, a small pink sphere erected around her and InuYasha. Her hands and body shook from the strain of trying to summon her powers. The cat barely stopped himself from running into the purification shield. His lime green eyes lining with red, he hissed viciously at the panting priestess through the pink-like glass.

“Little bitch!” He growled as he raised his sword to break the quickly weakening barrier.

“Oi! Over here!” A woman yelled behind him.

The cat froze. Seeing a human shadow cast over him, he looked over his shoulder. The other human woman from the odd group sailed towards him, a massive boomerang held over her head, a katana in the other, a fire neko youkai roaring at her side. The demon glared at the approaching attackers with evident irritation. He was growing tired of the group’s pathetic attempts of protecting each other. Did they not know it was their attachment to each other that weakened them? Growling, the neko raised his sword in front of him swiftly, his hand pressed against the blade as the other held the hilt just in time to block the slayer’s boomerang. The youkai-bone-made weapon met his slender blade’s side, his youki taking more of the brunt of her attack than the actual sword.

The taijya’s brows flew up in surprise. Kirara growled beside her and swept down towards the neko. Sensing the demon’s intent, the male youkai’s free hand reached out and sent a massive wave of youki at the neko. Kirara yelped as the immense wave of demonic energy sent her blazing backwards. The male cat’s youki extinguished hers and in a flash of flame, Kirara reverted back to her kitten form before crashing into a thick bush. Sango watched her youkai companion fly into the bramble. She screamed furiously and began to swipe her katana at the neko youkai, still pressing into her boomerang to try and open his defenses.

“You bastard!” She screamed as her katana banged against the youki barrier he had erected, his one hand still holding off her Hiraikotsou.

“The name is Katashi – remember it while you’re in yomi.” He replied, a chilling smile that didn't reach his eyes curling on his lips.

A flicker of color and the neko unleashed his undetectable speed. Sango grunted and screamed as she tried to block the demon’s dart-like katana, the blade only an occasional glint due to his speed. Her human body quickly becoming fatigued as she tried to keep up with the neko’s attacks, Sango yelped as the demon brought his fist down on the back of her hand, hitting her through the thick binding that made up the harness for Hiraikotsou. The boomerang fell from her grasp as the taijya stumbled back. The neko smirked. This battle was over as well; this group was just dropping like flies at this point.

Kagome hovered by InuYasha, watching Sango’s quickly losing battle. When she saw the woman’s choice weapon fall from her grasp, a sickening sense of doom fell on the miko. As if in slow motion, Sango stood there before the demon, a bemused look on her dirt streaked face. Her sword still rubbed against his but her entire side was now open for attack. Her doe-brown eyes widened in shock at seeing herself disarmed with such efficiency. Sango reluctantly looked up at the demon. What met her sight made her heart stop. Her own boomerang levitated behind Katashi. The seemingly possessed weapon started to spin in a lethal circle, hovering behind the demon, awaiting the letha order against its mistress. 

Katashi smirked. Without a word, he swept his katana to the side, using the slayer’s distraction to fully disarm her. The woman gasped as her sword went flying away to the side, the blade clanging loudly as it slid across the ground. Sango stood there, numb with shock, her hands hanging loosely at her sides. Terror filled her as she saw the neko glance at her mockingly, a slender dark brow arched superiorly.

“Enjoy yomi.” He purred as he raised his sword to point to her.

Instantly, Hiraikotsou flung itself towards the shocked slayer with a deadly precision. Sango watched her own weapon fly at her, the sound of it wooshing filling the air. She heard Miroku’s desperate yells and Kagome’s scream. But then the world went black. With a sickening crunch, the boomerang collided with the taijya. The pair flew back, the boomerang continuing on, unable to penetrate through the slayer’s youkai-made armor. Sango’s limp body rolled and scraped along the ground until she slid to a stop, the boomerang pinning her splayed body. As the dust settled, the unconscious slayer bled there, still and quiet.

A broken cry pierced the air. A flash of violet and black leapt towards the fallen woman. Miroku skidded beside Sango and quickly dropped to her side. His usually tanned face pale, he swiftly assessed his fiancée’s injuries. Her blood soaked his probing finger tips. His hand shook as he looked at his reddened flesh and back to the white, bruised face of his lover. Across the clearing, Kagome’s barrier dropped. Her energy had finally exhausted her body. Panting, her face streaked with sweat, she looked on as Miroku hovered over Sango, his stiff form shivering.

“Miroku… is she…?” She asked shakily.

Miroku tensed. Slowly, he stood up, his hand dropped his staff. The brass rings jingled as it fell to the earth. Kagome watched the monk turn towards their opponent. His hand clasping the prayer beads that kept his Kazanna at bay, the houshi gave a stony, hatred-filled glare to the smirking neko.

“You will pay for what you have done to my friends.” He stated, his voice shaking with fury.

Katashi raised a brow. Running his gaze along the glaring human male mockingly, he gave the monk a sceptical look.

“Oh? How do you intend to punish me, houshi?" He asked, his expression amused. “If you use your Kazanna, you will risk sucking up all your little friends with me. Surely you won’t take such a risk for revenge.”

Miroku paused, his grasp on the sacred beads tightening anxiously, his violet eyes flashing with indecision. What the demon said was correct. Anger, hot and intoxicating, burned inside the monk. Yet he knew it was a decision he could not make. He observed his surroundings. Kagome knelt by InuYasha, her reiki still very abundant but her body at its limits. Kirara, Sango and InuYasha were incapacitated and at this point, liabilities since they needed to now be defended. The monk glanced at his front at the small bundle quivering under the cloth. Young Shippou hid in his robes, peeking out occasionally only to duck back to temporary safety.

Miroku scowled. His hands curled into fists at his sides. His violet eyes grim, he looked at the neko who smirked knowingly. The demon knew he was right; they all did. Kagome watched the tense scene worriedly. What could she do? Miroku couldn’t use his wind tunnel and everyone else was either injured or cornered by the neko. They would all get sucked into the Kazanna and Miroku knew it too. Her little jaw clenched as she looked around the clearing and took note of the futile situation they were in. The miko shivered, her body tired and stressed. The adrenaline kicking about in her body did nothing for the spiritual exhaustion from using her reiki.

Watching Miroku and the demon still facing off with their eyes, Kagome came to a decision. A rather stupid, desperate decision.

'Might as well try it.' She mentally told herself.

Without a second thought, the miko quickly stood and darted forward, passing the surprised neko and monk as she headed for the place she had been originally attacked, thus kicking off this entire situation. When the cat demon had first striked, he had tried to grab the shards from her neck. She had already had her bow drawn, sensing the malicious energy of the demon. Thus when he had tried to snatch the vial, he had broken her willow bow in half, his claws tearing through it and the most of her shirt. Her quiver of arrows which had only had one left, one of the original reasons for them heading back to Edo, had fallen to the ground. The fervor and intensity of the battle had drawn her from her destroyed weapons. But now, they were her only option.

Her face set with determination, Kagome raced towards the quiver that lay in the grass.

"Kagome-sama!" Miroku called to her, watching her vain attempt in shock.

Kagome ignored her only conscious companion. Her feet stumbling, her heart pounding, she ran to the quiver and quickly grabbed it. The lone arrow clanked around in the hollow canister. The miko yelped as something smacked her in the back, knocking her down. Falling to her stomach, Kagome stiffened when the ominous energy of the neko crashed down on her. Her entire body tensed.

“If you weren’t such a bother you would make a fun toy, little miko, but I do not have the patience to properly train you.” She heard him comment coolly above her.

Gasping when the air crackled with lethal intent, the miko rolled to her left swiftly. The long, thin blade of the demon stabbed the ground she had just been laying on, piercing it with a loud boom. The miko’s eyes widened as the blade vibrated only a few inches from her face. Shaking, she quickly focused as much energy as she could into the last arrow she had. Its pointed tip flashed weakly. Cursing under her breath, she screamed as he pulled his sword from the ground and tried to impale her again. The miko barely dodged the next stab, once again the tip slicing through the hard earth like butter. Katashi smile with sadistic amusement as the girl rolled to and fro to evade his half-hearted jabs.

She was too much fun to kill quickly. Besides, the sweat caused by her terror, the adrenaline that punctuated her delicious scent, aroused and amused him. He loved watching his victims grow increasingly terrified. It was a rush all on its own. Kagome’s eyes slanted, and with as much energy as she could muster, charged the arrow before stabbing it at the demon’s leg. Katashi blocked her attack, the tip of the arrowhead screeching as it slide across the smooth metal blade. Growling, Katashi kicked the girl’s hand. The arrow instantly flew from her grasp before disappearing into the woods behind her.

Kagome turned to meet the demon’s icy glare. Scrambling to stand up, she yelped as he kicked her in the chest, sending her flying back into the dirt. The girl cried out as she landed hard on her bottom. Her hands slicing open on the torn earth and rock, she stiffened as the cat demon stepped forward, looming over her furiously, his enchanting face no longer handsome but evil. His sword rose as he glowered down at the small priestess. His blade held high over the pale-faced girl, her wide sapphire eyes staring up at him in fear, Katashi felt a near orgasmic sense of rapture. The moment he extinguished this firey slice of mortality, he would feel that sense of satisfaction only killing brought him.

“You are a feisty bitch. Enjoy Hell, miko.” He purred, his toothy grin feral and wicked.

Seeing no possible route to escape to or any means of defence, Kagome watched the neko youkai bring his hand down. The sword aimed for her throat.

'I'm going to die.' She thought numbly.

"Kagome-sama!" She heard Miroku scream but they both knew it was much too late.

Kagome closed her eyes and waited. She would not give this bastard the satisfaction of seeing her pain or her death. Instead, she patiently waited for death to come. Just as Kagome prepared for the worst, life took a weird twist and everything turned on its head. A thunder-loud sound of metal meeting metal to pierce the air. Kagome froze. Quickly, her eyes snapped open and looked up. What met her gaze would be embedded in her mind for the rest of her life. Before her, shinning in what seemed to be an angelic light, a whitec clad person protected her from the neko’s attack.

Kagome gaped in shock. Blinking rapidly in disbelief, she regarded her random savior. She had to be hallucinating. Hearing the cat begin to growl, Kagome shakily pinched her arm. The pain that immediately sprang in her flesh made her flinch. Her gaze rounded. She was alive? This was real? She looked at her defender in awe. Snow white hair with silver highlights danced in the breeze, a tall, impressive form decked in high quality white silk and armor stood before her. Katashi’s face revealed his shock at the new rival that had appeared before him. The smug, triumphant smirk was gone, revealing a more wary look. The neko back-flipped away from his new opponent elegantly, landing a few meters. His lime green gaze reviewed the miko’s hero cautiously.

What was he doing here?

"Move out of the way priestess. You are in the way." An oddly familiar cold voice ordered her sharply.

Kagome froze. Whoever this stranger was, they definitely seemed to know her. Confused, she pushed herself from the ground and stood on trembling legs. She regarded her hero’s back, baffled.

"What? Wait, who are you?" She stammered as she nervously backed away from the stranger.

Her white clad hero ignored her question and directed his attention to the demon. He lowered his double-edge sword, his white sleeve hiding the hilt and the pale hand that held it. Cold amber eyes with golden flecks eyed the cat demon stoically. Katashi stiffened as he met the frozen glare of the ominous warrior. This was not good. He had not accounted on the group having such powerful allies. His nose twitched nervously. Glancing at the confused miko and disbelieving monk, the cat demon disappeared in a glint of green. He had to rid of this rival quickly before he killed him.

This new opponent was not a simple hanyou or mortal; he was much more dangerous.

Lunging at the demon, Katashi froze as the stranger's blade met his almost invisible attack in a fluid strike, their blades clashing once again. They stood as if rooted to their spots, their bodies stiff and defiant, their feet planted on the ground and spread shoulder-width a part, leaning towards each other as they pressed their weight into their swords trying to claim dominance. Their long hair so opposite, midnight locks versus moon-kissed tresses, fluttered in the breeze. Katashi growled as he pushed into his blade, desperate to find an opening in the demon’s guard. Those chilling gold eyes peered down at him, their depths eerily hollow and hard.

"Are you that dishonorable you would waste your time with a human who can't even fight you equally?" That deep, timbre voice demanded dryly.

The question remained unanswered as the white clad warrior then thrust and jabbed at the neko gracefully, pushing the growling cat demon back with a few strong, elegant thrusts of his glowing red blade. Katashi barely evaded the deadly demonic sword and instantly retreated as its tip almost lanced his gut. Retreating to a moderately safe distance, the cat eyed his natural foe, his gaze flashing.

"Are you a human lover then? You seem awfully protective of that miko behind you, inu." He drawled coolly, raising a brow at the white clade inu youkai.

Behind the her faceless savior, Kagome looked over at InuYasha and Sango worriedly. While she was grateful and all to be alive, she wanted to attend to her friends. She glanced at the sparring demons. But she didn’t have a clear path to InuYasha and Sango who were on opposite sides of each other. Suddenly, her savior stiffened visibly at the mention of his interest in saving her. Kagome frowned. For some reason, he was awfully touchy about his motives.

The cat demon that did something rash. Desperate to avoid a confrontation with the superior warrior, he dashed towards the priestess. Kagome screamed and stumbled back. He appeared before the miko out of thin air, claws extended to tear through her throat to grab the swinging necklace and its jarred contents. Then it was all over in a flash of white. Before the cat demon could comprehend what was happening, a blade sliced its way through his chest from behind. The sound of ripping flesh and the splatter of blood hitting the ground erupted in the clearing.

Kagome remained frozen to the spot. Looking up into the neko’s wide eyes, those pale irises showing his shock and pain, the miko’s cerulean orbs rounded at the cause for his halt. Standing over her with the tips of his talons almost grazing her neck, the demon who had caused so much trouble for her and her group, had her anonymous savior's blade protruding through his chest with his still beating heart lanced on the tip. The miko paled as the organ pumped and beat on the end of the blade that impaled it.

She looked back into the neko’s white face. Seeing death coming upon him, she heard the deep voice of her hero murmur behind him, "I have honored you enough with my mere presence, cat filth."

The gurgling sound of her enemy choking on his blood made Kagome wince. Then the distinctive sound of the demon falling to the ground, dead, was met with relieved silence. A tense quiet fell upon the few conscious individuals in the clearing. Kagome looked down at the demon at her feet, watching his blood fan in a growing puddle on the ground. The back of his head hid his last expression. Her knees weakening, she managed to stay standing as she stared at the slain foe in shock.

She heard something that caught her attention. Slowly, she looked to Miroku and was surprised at his appearance. He stood in absolute amazement, his mouth gaping open, his violet eyes as large as saucers.

"Miroku? What’s wrong?” She asked worriedly.

The monk mutely pointed before him. Frowning, Kagome followed his single digit and was met with a silencing sight. Her nameless hero was no longer unknown. A pair of frigid, golden eyes met her disbelieving stare coolly, a pale, pointed face deadpan. If she didn’t see the sword hanging at his side, its tip still dripping with the blood of the cat demon, Kagome would have never believed it. Her own mouth falling open, she mirroried Miroku's stunned expression.

"Se-Sesshoumaru?!" Kagome sputtered, her tone mixed with surprise and disbelief.

Silence deafened the clearing as the futuristic priestesss stared, thunderstruck, at her hero. A tall being of indescribable beauty stood before the priestess and monk. His white hoari, hakama and armor reflected the sun's rays of light, casting a heavenly glow around him as he stood like a flawless statue. Frozen gold eyes set in an impossibly perfect face regarded both she and Miroku placidly. The demon Lord of the West, Sesshoumaru, raised his head gracefully and peered at the gawking humans, his gaze hard and chilling.

"Miko." He responded stoically, his rich, timbre voice smooth and toneless.

Kagome opened her mouth only to close it. She couldn’t think of anything to say except a few curse words. Regarding the demon Lord with evident bemusement, she felt her mind whirl. She had to be dreaming. There was no way this was actually happening. Maybe she had actually died and this was some sort of weird hallucination she was having before finding out her after-life fate. Yet when the demon Lord did not disappear and reality continued to stretch on, the miko reluctantly came to the conclusion it was, in fact, real.

Slowly, she looked at Miroku. The monk just gave her a helpless shrug, his own stunned handsome face showing he thought they were either dead or in a weird illusion as well. Her large blue eyes swept back to the demon Lord. Sesshoumaru, InuYasha's older brother and enemy for however long the two had existed, stood there in all his glory. She reviewed him, amazed. She had known Sesshoumaru was strong but he had easily rid of the neko youkai they had been struggling with for over an hour. Her gaze fell on the still bloodied Toukijin at the demon Lord’s side.

'No way... as if... really? Doesn’t he hate ningen and InuYasha? Considering that’s what this group is almost entirely made up of, what the Hell is he up too?’ She wondered as she regarded the demon, her brows knitting.

The miko looked at the silent demon Lord warily. Meeting his flat stare, she licked her lips nervously, unnerved by the direct onslaught of his chilling orbs.

"Th-thank you for saving us." She began, unsure of how to proceed with the confusing event.

She watched cautiously as Sesshoumaru's sloped eyes narrowed, his flawless face remaining blank.

“I do not need your gratitude, girl." He replied, his deep voice emotionless and flat.

The youkai Lord paused to cast a disgusted, contempt-filled glare at the still form of InuYasha. "Only this Sesshoumaru is allowed to take the half-breed's life. It would be a dishonor for even this idiot to die by a cat's blade." The demon stated coldly, his frozen stare flashing with annoyance.

Kagome stiffened. The sense of gratitude that had been blossoming within her quickly retracted. Her mouth fell open as she gaped at the demon Lord. Seeing the cold, hard truth in his soulless gaze affirmed his statement. The miko’s eyes flashed furiously. Her small face pinched with anger, she glared at the demon Lord, her thankful demeanor crumbling to reveal an angry hellion.

"That's why you helped us? So that you could kill InuYasha yourself and for your family's ridiculous honor?!" Kagome hissed, her face flushing hotly.

Sesshoumaru looked at the enraged miko impassively.

"Why else would I waste my time? I will not allow any one my right to the half-breed's life. Much less a cat." He retorted in a cool, matter-of-fact way.

Kagome sucked in her breath sharply. So he was still stuck on his hatred for InuYasha? Her nostrils flared. No way in Hell was he going to finish the cat’s attempt of killing her friend! Readying to knock some sense into the arrogant Lord before her, she was restrained by a pair of arms before she managed more than two steps towards the stony-faced demon Lord. Miroku had somehow managed to materialize behind her and caught her just in time. Coughing to gain Sesshoumaru's attention as he efficiently restrained the glaring, red-faced Kagome in his arms, he gave the demon a strained smile.

"Arigatou, Sesshoumaru-sama. We appreciate your aid and will no longer take any more of your time." The houshi said as he stared into the demon's eyes while he single-handily trapped the furious girl to his muscled body.

Sesshoumaru gave a pointed look to the monk. The bouzo instantly tensed.

"Release the priestess, monk." He ordered frostily, his gaze narrowing dangerously.

Miroku blinked in surprise. The lethal warning in the demon Lord’s gaze was undeniable. Unwilling yet forced to with the current scary glare Sesshoumaru was giving him, Miroku released Kagome. He noticed an instant calming of this demon’s youki as he did so. Confused by the daiyoukai’s reaction, the monk hovered by the small miko in case the situation became even worse. Ignorant to the odd situation between her friend and long time foe, Kagome ignored Miroku and stomped towards Sesshoumaru.

Pointing an angry finger at the daiyoukai, she ranted on, her voice thick with anger, "You do not own InuYasha or his life, Sesshoumaru. As for my gratitude, I take it back."

Sesshoumaru raised a slender brow at the approaching miko, his features otherwise blank.

Regarding her small finger and flashing sapphire gaze, he murmured icily, “Do you know whom you speak too, girl, or are you that ignorant?"

Kagome snorted like an angered bull. Giving the deadpan faced demon a glare that had made many quail before, she snapped back, "Yes and frankly, I'd prefer to not be talking to you at all."

Miroku groaned and clapped his hand on his forehead. Why? He looked up at the blue sky sadly. He had a feeling it was going to be the last time he would ever look at it. Hearing Kagome's continued yelling at the demon Lord, he winced and bemoaned his impending death. He winced and then found his only option; to pray. Pressing his hands together, he gazed up at the sky beseechingly.

'O great Buddha spare us from this demon's wrath and Kagome's naivety with danger.' He prayed morosely.

Sesshoumaru eyed the priestess who stood before him, criticizing his motives behind his saving their lives. Stepping forward, the daiyoukai found his own irritation rise when he noticed the girl stayed firmly in place, her small hands placed stubbornly on her hips with her chin held high defiantly. Ignoring the wide eyed monk, Sesshoumaru stood directly in front of Kagome, letting the girl acknowledge how little and breakable she was compared to him. Yet she continued to stand her ground firmly, her gaze simmering with stubborn defiance. She was not going to back down. 

The miko crossed her arms over her ample chest, her torn top barely hiding her cleavage, and demanded crossly, "Yes? Can I help you?"

Sesshoumaru resisted the urge to show the girl who was truly the one in control between them but refrained from doing so. Not only would it jeopardize his plan but it would make her even more unwilling to agree to his demands if he should rise to the occasion. His steely gaze slanted in irritation. However, her mere tone of defiance brought the usually impeccable impassiveness of the Lord into question. His eyes slanting dangerously, Sesshoumaru brought his head up higher and glared down at the girl from his nose, his arrogant pose a subconscious stance to him.

"You should not speak in such a manner to your betters. I will not put up with that tongue of yours and will cut if out of your mouth." He spoke down to her, his deep voice soft but deadly.

Miroku sensed the foreboding violence that was threatening to break out between the infamous demon Lord and very killable Kagome. Stepping towards Kagome, the priest clasped her small arm and pulled her firmly towards him.

"Kagome-sama, we do not have time for this. We should focus on helping InuYasha and Sango." He reasoned with the girl.

Kagome frowned. She glanced back at her friends and then at the watching Sesshoumaru. Her blue eyes slanted thoughtfully. She didn't trust Sesshoumaru and didn't want him out of her line of sight. He had always hated InuYasha and now that the hanyou was injured, she could bet her last dollar that he would take the opportunity to finish the boy off. Her stomach knotted as she stood before the silent daiyoukai, torn. She knew she had attend to her friends’ injuries but it was foolish to turn her back on a dangerous demon like Sesshoumaru.

Yet as she glanced over her shoulder for a second to look at her fallen comrades, the miko unwillingly turned on her heel. Her back stiff, her reiki flaring around her with her stress, the miko rushed to her friends’ sides. At least she would try and protect him if the demon Lord decided to strike. Kagome ignored the silently watching daiyoukai. Walking to her bag that had been thrown to the side, Kagome pulled out her medical kit and a few supplies. She swept her attention to the obviously hesitant monk who still watched the demon Lord warily.

"Miroku, bring Sango over here beside InuYasha so I can treat both of them at the same time.” She ordered the priest.

Miroku nodded and hurried over to his lover as the miko knelt by the hanyou’s side, her beautiful face set into a business-like expression. All the while, on the sidelines and ignored, Sesshoumaru watched the priestess languidly. He had come here with a purpose and she was at the center of it all. Her reiki warmed the air, her powers stressed and leaking out of her due to her emotional rollercoaster of a day. Sesshoumaru watched her kneel by his brother, surrounded by odd smelling and looking instruments. His curiosity got the better of the daiyoukai.

He stealthily made his way to her, stopping a few feet from her and his half-brother. Covertly, his gold eyes slipped back to the priestess who fretted over the boy, mumbling beneath her breath. Watching her rub a weird medicine on his half-brother's skin, he noticed the girl's efficiency while nursing the hanyou. Her small hands were skilled and still; healer’s hands as some would say. She staunched the bleeding with a strange poultice and equally foreign bandage, quickly rotating from wound to wound on the half-breed, silently addressing each injury with precision and expertise.

All the while the miko kept her back to him. It almost seemed she was unaware of his presence. Yet the tenseness in her shoulders hinted that she was aware of his ominous youki so close to her. Kagome tried to ignore the hovering demon Lord. While he had not attempted to attack them, she was still guarded and nervous around him. For three years he had been their foe; only recently had he been an ally against Naraku. They rarely ran into the demon Lord and when they did, little more than a duel between he and InuYasha ensued or a few insults traded between the brothers before the two groups went on their separate ways.

Kagome fixed her nervous gaze on InuYasha’s pale face. Her brows knitting together worriedly, she placed a cold compress on his already fevered forehead.

"You baka, InuYasha. You always overdo it. If you’d just let us fight with you, this wouldn’t happen." She whispered to the unconscious hanyou, tears burning in her eyes as she frowned at him, torn between anger at his stubbornness and her own fear of losing him.

Sesshoumaru frowned imperceptibly at the girl's heartfelt words. An odd feeling uncurled in him as he had for the last few months. His icy orbs narrowed. He then fixed his attention elsewhere, no longer interested in watching the priestess touch the hanyou. It would not do for him to act rashly. All things would be taken care of – eventually. Noticing the priest dragging the demon slayer to the girl's side, he looked on as Kagome successfully tended to both her comrades. After over half an hour of dressing and treating their wounds, the sweat and blood drenched girl sat back a bit.

She regarded her patients shrewdly. She had done the best she could. Considering she had been trained in healing by Kaede and had a natural gift of it, she felt it was safe to assume her friends would more than likely rebound back from their wounds. The girl stretched her arms a bit, her back hurting from being hunched over their prone bodies. The miko looked over her patients’ location. They were under a large tree but needed to be able to rest. Ignoring the still watching demon Lord, she withdrew two tightly rolled sleeping beds from the enormous sack and laid them on the ground.

The miko then pinned the hovering monk with a sharp look.

"Help me move them onto these, Miroku. We'll keep them under the tree so they don't heat stroke." She ordered as she began to lift Sango and drag her unto the bedroll.

Miroku wordlessly followed her orders and lifted the much heavier hanyou onto the sleeping bag. Soon both were placed comfortably, left to heal as per their bodies’ capabilities. Kagome stiffly made her way to the other side and sought out their other wounded companion. Crumpled in a small ball of fur, Kirara lay on her side, unconscious. The miko gently lifted the small fire cat and brought her to her owner. Her sapphire eyes softened as she tucked the resting demon cat beside her friend. The miko reviewed the neko critically.

Kirara wasn't heavily injured - she had simply been knocked unconscious and her demon healing would have the little feline in perfect health in no time. Kagome felt a sense of relief wash over her as her friends’ safety was then verified. They would all heal with the right amount of care by her. Standing by their sides with a silent Miroku at her left, she glanced at the monk who nodded to her right. The miko already knew why. She looked over at their still present savior. Her full lips pulled into an annoyed frown.

He had been here the entire time she had treated her friends. Well over an hour now. If all he had wanted was to kill the demon and move on, he should have by now. Unnerved by the demon Lord’s continued presence, the miko turned to face him fully, protectively barring access to her injured companions. Miroku mirrored her, staying firmly at her side, his violet orbs warily watching the dangerous daiyoukai.

Meeting both humans wary stares, the demon Lord fixated on the only mortal that was worthy of his attention. He stared down into the large sapphire eyes of the miko, unperturbed by the simmering anger that still sparkled in them.

"You are not as useless as most humans appear to be." He commented, his deep voice dry.

Kagome felt her left brow gain a random tick. Glaring at the demon, repressing the urge to show him just how useless she was not, she scowled at him.

"And what do you mean by that?" She replied, her eyes narrowing.

Sesshoumaru stared at her stonily, his elfin features stoic.

"Humans are weak and of no use." He explained emotionlessly.

Kagome gaped at the demon Lord. Seriously? Who the Hell said that kind of crap? Especially to a person of the very race you were insulting? Obviously this guy did not know her or her lack of patience for ignorance. Stepping forward and ignoring the exasperated Miroku, Kagome glowered at the demon Lord as she leaned forward, jabbing a finger at him angrily.

"Why are you still here? Did you seriously stay here to insult me?" The miko bit out, her voice stiff.

Watching the demon Lord's face which remained as it usually was, completely blank, she added, "If you think for one minute you are going to finish InuYasha off you'll have to get through me, Sesshoumaru."

Miroku coughed. Blinking, she glanced at the monk and gave him an apologetic look.

"And Miroku of course." She added with a frown.

Sesshoumaru peered down at the miko coolly. She was the most mercurial, unstable, intriguing thing (that was the only term he could think of for the odd girl) he had ever encountered. His gaze hardened. Yet he was here for her. After months of planning, it was time to execute his grand scheme. Allowing a slight, dark look to mar his otherwise neutral expression, the demon Lord cast a slanted gaze at the red-faced miko.

"Have you no honor, miko?" He replied, his deep voice frigid.

Kagome scowled at the daiyoukai. Did he really just get his panties in a knot over some very soft insults? What did honor have to do with killing your half-brother anyway? Wasn’t that a bit hypocritical for him to be talking to her about honor? Giving the demon Lord a confused look, the miko shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What does honor have to do with you hanging around here? Don’t you have something else to do than annoy me?” She demanded curtly.

Sesshoumaru sneered a tad, his gold gaze steely.

"According to Demon Law and what this Sesshoumaru hopes for the benefit of your pathetic race, you are indebted to this one thrice." He explained, his deep voice emotionless and matter-of-fact.  

Kagome gaped at the demon. He had to be joking. Looking up at the daiyoukai and seeing the stone-faced expression and the hard glint in his wintry stare, she concluded he was, in fact, not kidding. He was dead serious. Her face heating with anger, she glowered at the watching demon Lord, her own gaze narrowing.

"What happened to you just doing it for keeping InuYasha's life as your own?" She argued.

Sesshoumaru seemed to disregard her argument and continued on, his tone even and flat.

"As I said 'thrice'. I saved the monk, slayer and yourself - you owe this one for the three lives spared this day."

Kagome cursed inwardly, damning her luck. Scrutinizing the glaring demon Lord evenly, she folded her arms across her chest trying to calm her now racing heart. This was all very weird. Why the Hell did she have to pay Sesshoumaru for saving her life and her friends'? Could he not have had a momentary lapse in his cold-hearted character and just move on his way? What about good old-fashioned chivalry? The priestess returned her attention on the daiyoukai. Seeing the unrelentingly intensity in his golden gaze, her scowl deepened.

'I don’t think I'm getting let off of this one.'  She determined by the unmovable force the demon Lord presented to be.

The miko inwardly sighed. Well, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Really, what could he want from her anyway? She was a human; he hated humans. As long as he didn’t ask her to kill herself or someone else, she couldn’t really see this ending too terribly for her. Her jaw clenched, her eyebrow twitched with agitation as she exhaled loudly and cast a resigned look at the intensely watching demon.

"Fine. What do you want as your three payments?" She begrudgingly asked, her eyebrows furrowed as she gave the demon Lord a look that showed how very opposed she was to being indebted to him.

Miroku watched the scene unfold, his mind whirling with the change of events. Lecherous thoughts came to mind instantly when the mention of Kagome being 'indebted' to Sesshoumaru was heard by his disbelieving ears. Coughing to gain the futuristic girl's attention, he gave both the demon Lord and miko two very different looks. One of trepidation for the glaring demon and a warning one for the scowling priestess.

"Kagome-sama, perhaps you should place restrictions upon what Sesshoumaru-sama may ask for." He advised wisely.

Meeting the girl’s curious sapphire orbs, he tried to convey his perverted ideas to the naive girl with a few glances. Miroku noted Kagome immediately understood his silent insinuation. Her face instantly flushed red as she understood the meaningful look Miroku was giving her. Unbeknowst to her, Sesshoumaru was giving Miroku a look that promised a very painful death unto him.

'Only Miroku would think like that… It's Sesshoumaru we're talking about. Did he not just hear him insult humans just a few minutes ago? Seriously, the lecher needs to stop looking for every perverted possibility in everything.’

Kagome refocused on the demon Lord who was now making Miroku very nervous and scared as he glared at him lethally.

"Okay, here’s the rules. You can’t ask me to kill or hurt anybody.” She paused. Knowing Sesshoumaru had tried to kill her and apparently didn't even like her, she quickly added, "And you can’t ask me to hurt or kill myself."

Sesshoumaru gave a very short nod and repressed the feral smirk that almost spread on his pale lips. His elfin face empty yet his golden gaze flashing with something rather unsettling, he agreed to her terms. Kagome noted the odd change in the demon Lord’s stare and fidgeted nervously. A sense of doom was swelling within her and she didn’t like it. Unnerved, she proceeded with the unnatural, awkward scenario, forcing herself to meet his intimidating stare.

"So what do you want? Let’s start off with the first debt.” She reasoned with a frown.

"I demand to court you for the season, miko." The daiyoukai answered smoothly, his flawless face stony.

Kagome froze. Her mouth falling open, her eyes rounding, she stared at the demon Lord, stunned. Her heart raced in her chest as she waited for him to say it was a twisted joke. Even for him to sneer at her and point out how very gullible she was. But when he continued to stonily peer down at her, his gold eyes holding hers coldly, the miko felt a sickening realization hit her. He was serious. Kagome paled as the implication of her predicament became obvious. He was asking something she had never counted on. Maybe Miroku had been right.

At her side, the monk gaped like a fish out of water. His head whipping to and fro to look at first stunned, horrified miko, then to stoic, steel-eyed Sesshoumaru, the houshi could not help but feel some sort of regret at actually being right for once. His lecher instincts had strangely, horribly been correct for the first time ever. Stunned silent, the two humans regarded the expressionless demon Lord. None of the three conscious people were ready for the scream from a suddenly conscious comrade. His silver hair standing on end, InuYasha sat up slowly, his gold eyes flashing with a level of rage never seen before in the easily angered boy. His tanned face turning an interesting shade of red, the hanyou snarled.

“You dirty, creepy bastard, Sesshoumaru! There's no way over my dead body is Kagome going to be yours!" A now completely awake InuYasha screamed from his futon.

Miroku and Kagome stiffened. Closing his eyes wearily, the houshi mentally groaned. Of course InuYasha had to wake up at this exact moment! Kagome felt face drain of all color. Her eyes widening, she flinched when she heard Sesshoumaru's answering growl to InuYasha's continued shouted threats.

And that's when all Hell broke loose.

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Translations:

Domo Arigatou: Thank you [formal]

Shikon no kakera: Jewel shards

Ken: Double-edge sword

Yomi: The underworld/afterlife in the Shinto religion.

 

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