Eternal Flame by Dianachi

Chapter 1

" Come on InuYasha! Stop being such a poor loser!" Kagome said irritably. Inuyasha huffed.

" I am not a poor loser! I'm just....thinking," Inuyasha told her gruffly and continued to stare at the trees with a sour look on his face.

`Puh-lease like that's really mature` Kagome thought to herself as she continued walking. `The jewel shard is really close now and Inuyasha still hasn't brightened up`

Sango stopped in her tracks causing Miroku to bump into her and "accidentally" place his hand on her bottom. The smack that followed could of been heard for miles around.

" Miroku, stop joking around! This is serious, I sense a demon up ahead," Sango told the rest of the group, her hand on her Hiraikotsu Inuyasha sniffed the air.

" I'd know that scent anywhere," Inuyasha said as his hand fell on the sheathed Tetsusaiga. Before he could inform the group who it was, a bolt of lighting came down from the darkening.

" It's Sesshomaru!" Kagome exclaimed as Sesshomaru appeared out of the clouds, riding on Ah-Un's back alone. Inuyasha growled.

" What do you want, Sesshomaru?" InuYasha asked as he unsheathed Tetsusaiga and held it in front on him. Sesshomaru elegantly floated down and touched Earth.

"You wish to know my purpose? I come for the neesan." Sesshomaru said in a bored, passive tone. Inuyasha looked at him and laughed.

" We don't have your precious Rin. Go look for her somewhere else."

" Do not embarrass yourself by jumping to conclusions. The girl I speak of is the priestess in your company." Kagome gasped. `Why would Sesshomaru be looking for me?` She shivered recalling their last encounter when he had used Tokijin to try to kill her and almost succeeded.

" I require her to perform a service for me. " Sesshomaru said apathetically. His eyes remained focused on Inuyasha even though Miroku, Sango and Kagome were gaping at him.

" Me? I thought you hated humans except for that human girl Rin. Why do you need me?" Kagome asked and began to walk towards Sesshomaru, seemingly to get his attention.

" Stay back Kagome! I don't know what he's up to but I know it's not good." Inuyasha said and Kagome stopped, "Now, Sesshomaru why DO you need Kagome? I thought you were too strong to need help."

" Do not assume Inuyasha. I do not "need" help from this niryuu. Merely, it would be easier." Sesshomaru said and his impatience was beginning to become clear.

" No way will I let her go with a bastard like you!" Inuyasha yelled as he charged at Sesshomaru, swinging the Tetsusaiga dangerously. Sesshomaru easily dodged every swing and landed several yards away from Inuyasha.

" I do not wish to kill you today. However, if that is what you want, I will heed your request." InuYasha growled angrily and started running towards him, but Kagome wanted to know why this demon lord required her assistance.

" Inuyasha sit boy!" Kagome yelled and Inuyasha plummeted to the ground in mid-swing.

" Kagome, why do you do this?" Inuyasha groaned from his position. Kagome ignored him and turned towards Sesshomaru.

" You better not ignore me this time! Why do you need me?" Sesshomaru stared at her, his face almost angelic.

`Dealing with humans and half-breeds is such a hassle. I might of done better not to ask at all`

"This Sesshomaru must obtain a shard of the sacred jewel and I was told you, niryuu, have the ability to sense them."

" So what? Why would she help you?" Inuyasha said as he popped up from the ground," And even if she would, you will be dead before she can!"

" Inuyasha! Sit!" Kagome yelled again, ignoring the angry groan from Inuyasha, she raised an arrow to Sesshomaru," Why do you need a sacred jewel shard?"

" Not your business, niryuu. " Sesshomaru said coolly. Miroku and Sango looked at each other.

" Don't do it Kagome! He will only use the shards for bad intentions." Miroku called to her.

" You said before you had no interest in the shards, why have you changed your mind?" Kagome asked.

" I will defeat Naraku. To do that, i need both my arms," Sesshomaru said.

`Will she never stop asking questions?`

" Oh and you need a shard so the arm will stay on your body?" Kagome stated more then asked, the pieces starting to fall into place. `So he wants to defeat Naraku and he needs a shard of the jewel to permanently connect an arm to his body. `

" You stay away from Naraku! I will be the one to take him down not you," Inuyasha told him then grinned," Besides, if you got a new arm, I'd just cut it off again. "

" Is that so, little brother?" Sesshomaru said with a tinge of amusement in his voice. Kagome cut off Inuyasha from answering.

" Sesshomaru why don't you eat dinner with us and we can discuss my helping you then?" Kagome asked making everyone except Sesshomaru gasp.

" Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled angrily at her, making her cringe. Miroku appeared by her side.

" Do you think that is wise Kagome? Sesshomaru is out to kill Inuyasha and probably us too. Why take the risk?" Miroku whispered into her ear.

" Maybe we can make allies with him," Kagome whispered back.

" There is no need to speculate. I do not eat human food nor do I wish to remain in your company. " Sesshomaru said strictly. His arm folded inside his kimono he stared at them with eyes as the same color as his brothers yet completely different. ` Inuyasha's eyes are warm and show his feeling and Sesshomaru's are cold and emotionless.` Kagome thought to herself.

" I know you do not want to be in the company of humans and your brother but that is the only way that I can decide whether or not to help you." Kagome said carefully, trying not to get on this powerful demon's nerves. Inuyasha looked at her.

" Where do you get off inviting my enemies for dinner?" Inuyasha asked her coldly. Though they didn't say anything, Miroku and Sango were thinking the same exact thing.

" He has not tried to kill us this time, Inuyasha, and he hasn't tried to steal Tetsusaiga! I just thought it was a kind gesture," Kagome said defensively. Inuyasha snorted.

" As soon as he gets the chance, he'll kill us. Besides under no circumstances are you helping him! Don't you remember WE are trying to collect the sacred jewel shards as well?" Inuyasha asked with his usual bluntness.

`I am the Demon Lord of the Western Lands, I am not customarily ignored.` Sesshomaru thought to himself as he watched the group bicker amongst themselves on the issue of him staying for dinner which he had no intention of doing anyway.

" Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!" Sesshomaru heard Kagome yell and watched totally not amused as Inuyasha plummeted to the ground again and again. `He is so weak he takes orders from a niryuu.`

"So, what do you say Sesshomaru?" Kagome asked him again, a little flustered. Sesshomaru stared down at her.

" I already have given my answer and I do not often repeat myself." Sesshomaru said and turned away from her, beginning to walk away.

" Wait! You said you needed my help! I will not help you if you do not come to dinner!" Kagome said and then clamped her hand over her mouth, she forgot who she was speaking to.

" You threaten me, neesan?" Sesshomaru said as he stopped and turned slowly back around.

" Look out Kagome! " Miroku and Sango yelled as they charged forward prepared to defend Kagome against Sesshomaru's attacks which were bound to happen. Kagome took out a purified arrow and aimed it for Sesshomaru, she was so nervous her hand was shaking.

" I'll hit you! I won't miss! Don't try anything!" Kagome said in a shaking voice. `I can't even hold my bow, let alone shoot` Sesshomaru watched her with mild distaste and chuckled when the other two humans appeared, weapons drawn.

" Do you niryuus think you can take me? I will kill all of you," Sesshomaru said as he raised his hand, prepared to use his whip to destroy them all. A voice from above him made him stop.

" Die Sesshomaru!" Sesshomaru immediately dodged and looked back to find Inuyasha face first in the dirt.

" In the dirt, just how you belong," Sesshomaru remarked. He was growing quite weary of these people. ` They honestly think they can kill me when they are merely humans and half breeds. How irritating.`

" What'd you say?" Inuyasha yelled as he came after him again. This time Sesshomaru grabbed his wrist and let poison slowly melt away the flesh. Inuyasha yelled in pain.

" Inuyasha!" Kagome screamed and her shaking hands steadied as she shot an arrow toward Sesshomaru. He ducked and the arrow went into a tree.

" All of you are too slow. Niryuu, do you still refuse to heed my request?" Sesshomaru asked looking at Kagome. She returned his look.

" If you hurt him, I will never heed your request. Let him go and then we can talk," Kagome said uncertainly.

" Your answer does not satisfy me," Sesshomaru said as he turned back to the task at hand.

"Hiraikotsu!" Kagome heard Sango yell and looked up as the boomerang headed for Sesshomaru. He flew up, avoided the weapon but also let Inuyasha's wrist go. Kagome ran over to Inuyasha and knelt beside him.

" Inuyasha are you ok?" Kagome asked.

" This is nothing. That bastard is going to pay," Inuyasha said angrily but made no move to get up.

" I believe I will now accept your offer," Sesshomaru said smugly. `Well if I can't threaten her into going with me, I will have to humiliate myself by sharing dinner with these fools. How tiring.`

" You bastard," Inuyasha growled but as he looked into Kagome's eyes he could tell without a doubt that Sesshomaru was indeed having dinner with them. Miroku and Sango groaned out loud. Inuyasha cursed under his breath and Kagome smiled.

Kagome and the others began walking for a place to set up for the night and to have dinner. Sesshomaru reluctantly followed, slipping way behind the group by choice. Kagome thought he had changed his mind until she saw him about 20 feet behind them, walking slowly. She sighed. `This is going to be an uncomfortable dinner`

`How dare she invite him! He tried to kill her! Why should she help him!` Inuyasha thought angrily as he sat down, waiting for his noodles to be ready.

`This might not be smart of Kagome` Miroku thought as he watched Inuyasha angrily watch the timer on his noodles.

Sitting down against a tree, away from the rest, Sesshomaru also felt the tension. `They don't want me here. I don't blame them. I don't want to be here.`

" Noodles are done!" Kagome exclaimed happily, handing Miroku, Sango, Inuyasha, Shippo, and herself a bowl even though another was filled with noodles.

`Those are my noodles! Kagome's going to pay for this` Inuyasha thought angrily to himself. Kagome added chopsticks to the sixth bowl and walked over to Sesshomaru. She stayed about 5 feet away from him and cautiously offered him the bowl.

" I don't eat human food," Sesshomaru reminded her. He could smell the aroma coming from the bowl and he had to admit, it did smell good, for human food.

" Well, I'll leave it here if you change your mind," Kagome said and walked quickly back to the others, not wanting to stay around the cold demon.

" Did you wish me to attend for a reason?" Sesshomaru asked impatiently as he watched them eat their noodles.

"Yes, I want to help you, but," Kagome added the but at the fierce looks Inuyasha was giving her," I cannot allow the jewel to fall to a demon." She finished up quickly and waited for Sesshomaru to slice her head off.

" Very well," Sesshomaru said as he gracefully got up.

" You are going?" Kagome asked in surprise. `Surely he wasn't going to leave without a fight?`

" You will not aid me so I have no reason here," Sesshomaru said as he began to walk off. Kagome sighed.

" Wait you stupid jerk! "Inuyasha called out to Sesshomaru, surprising everyone. Sesshomaru stopped briefly.

" Yes, half breed?" Sesshomaru asked coolly, turning around and narrowing his eyes at Inuyasha.

" There is no need for you to waste perfectly good noodles...." Inuyasha said embarrassedly and glared at his brother.

" I care not if you take them. I have no need for human food," Sesshomaru said his face as blank as a slate.

" I don't want the food! What happened to manners which you are supposed to know so much about?" Inuyasha asked angrily. Kagome stood there in shock. `Did Inuyasha want him to stay?`

" If you wish this Sesshomaru to eat nourishment at this present time with you, I will humor you," Sesshomaru said icily as he returned to his former position, hesitantly taking the still warm bowl of noodles and putting it in his lap.

Kagome watched in absolute shock as he raised the chopsticks to his lips and the noodles disappeared into his mouth. Chewing slowly, deliberately, he shook his head.

" I do not see what you find so favorable in these noodles," Sesshomaru lied as he set his bowl back down, making Kagome turn red.

"But.....but....." Kagome stammered and then looking at the others said," Fine. Since you ate dinner with us even though we must have been horrible company I will help you."

" Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled. Kagome sighed at him and Inuyasha snorted and jumped up to the trees.

" Very well niryuu. " Sesshomaru said, "Be ready at dawn," As soon as he said that, he walked off deep into the trees.

" Isn't this a bit sudden Kagome? He asks for our help, he comes to dinner and you agree to help him? What happened to him being our enemy?" Miroku asked skeptically.

" I know it was sudden but he wouldn't of come to us and lowered himself to eating with us unless he really needed my help. He is Inuyasha's brother and a jerk, but maybe if he gets his arm back, we can defeat Naraku." Kagome said tiredly.

"I don't agree with your decision," Sango and Miroku said, getting up and taking off to the other side of the clearing. Kagome felt like she was about to cry. ` Aren't they supposed to be my friends?` She thought to herself sadly as she slid into her sleeping bag. She didn't get a wink of sleep, she spent the entire night crying about her companions.

Sesshomaru, many yards away, smelled Kagome's tears and her sadness. He would of snorted if he wasn't so polite. ` She's so weak. Maybe she can't help me with my search.` Sesshomaru leaned against a tree and looked up in the moon. His face didn't show it but he was perplexed. `She went against her friends wishes to make me feel welcome. Why would she be so stupid to do so?` Sesshomaru sighed, it was no use wondering about it. It was what it was, he didn't care either way. Thoughts of the upcoming journey with the annoying girl clouded his head and his eyes narrowed. Why he was stooping so low to this he did not know. He closed his eyes and let himself drift off into a light sleep.

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