Unexpected Circumstances by iloveprettysilverhair


Hello readers! This is my very first fanfic, so please go easy on me. I'm in the middle of making revisions, so if you've read through it already nothing vital has changed.



The country sides of feudal Japan were all feeling the effects of the summer heat. Even the shadows cast by the trees were of little reprieve for the inhabitants of the forest. The waters of a nearby stream were the only refuge for the group of travelers that consisted of two demons, three humans, and one half-demon.

For once everyone was silent, for even talking was an obstacle of the heat. There were no remarks of perverseness, no foul mouth comebacks, and no idle chatter. Even Inuyasha had been uncharacteristically quiet. His lack of speech was more than likely due more to the fact that their common enemy had been eluding them the past few battles, and less to do than the heat. So, because of this, no one had expected the sudden outburst from said half-demon, that made everyone jump back in surprise.

"Four days have passed and not a sign of Naraku!" yelled Inuyasha as he threw his arms in the air.

The group rolled their eyes at his lack in demeanor. They were all very much aware that Naraku had yet to make him self known, but no one saw the reasoning in pitching a fit about it.

"Give it a rest will ya? There's no sense in getting all worked up about it, I'm sure we'll find him soon," Kagome said in an effort to placate Inuyasha. Although she was usually pretty patient with the half-demon, the summer sun was wearing thin her fortitude.

Inuyasha crossed his arms over his chest and leaned up against a nearby tree. "Feh! If it was up to you, you'd be back home taking a bath, only this time, you might really need it," he barked.

Kagome pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. "Inuyasha... SIT!"

The all familiar sound of a crater making half-demon filled the otherwise silent day. The others shook their heads at the poor guy who always tended to stick a foot in his mouth, but went back to their own musings all too soon.

"Boy, she must have been mad this time, look at the size of that crater," laughed Shippou as his little fox tail wagged happily.

A low growl could be heard from the whole in the ground before a pair of fuzzy white ears emerged followed closely by the enraged face of Inuyasha. "Gah! What'd ya do that for!" he yelled.

Kagome looked at him then turned her head and stuck her nose in the air. "Inuyasha, you're one to talk, if it wasn't for me, you probably wouldn't even know what a bath is, you'd probably just be off somewhere licking yourself!" Kagome retorted hotly.

Inuyasha growled and cursed under his breath. The others giggled to themselves at the exchange.

"Hum, they're at it again," said Miroku wistfully. The constant bickering of their friends was something that had become second nature within the group. It was usually all in good fun, but there were times when the arguments became too much to bear. Fortunately, this time it was only providing some much needed entertainment to keep their minds off of the heat. "They fight so often, it's almost weirder when they don't," Miroku sighed.

"Geeze, why can't you just relax and stick your feet in the water like everyone else, Inuyasha? We're just and anxious to find Naraku but you don't see us complaining," Sango said.

"Now, now Sango dear, if this is what makes Inuyasha feel better then let him, by all means, complain. I'm sure that will help us find Naraku faster," Miroku said with a teasing lilt.

"You wanna come over hear and say that to my face, Monk?!" Inuyasha threatened from his hole in the ground.

"Oh Inuyasha would you just calm down already," said Kagome. "Don't go starting any fights, it's too hot to get all worked up. Don't make me say IT again"

With flattened ears and a new found appreciation for a dirt free mouth, Inuyasha swallowed his original retort. "Feh!" was all he said as his only choice of words to end the argument; he was going to get the last word in.

"Inuyasha you idiot, you're going to end up kissing the ground again no matter how hard you try," Shippou said in effort to bait him.

Deep in his throat Inuyasha let out a threatening growl in Shippou's direction, who immediately withdrew behind Kirara in hopes of protection. He peeped up from behind the fire cat and stuck his little tongue out at Inuyasha which earned him a scowl in return.

While slowly shaking her head and smiling softly, Kagome became lost in her own thoughts as the heat once again brought silence upon their group.

'Hm, I don't know how much more of this we all can take. Naraku's such a coward, it's a wonder how we even know what he looks like, he hardly ever shows himself. I only hope that during his absence he isn't growing any stronger, we're pretty strong ourselves, but even we have our limitations.'

She looked once more at her friends before lying back down in the cool grass. Although the jewel shards were their top priority, it was always nice to get a little break and just enjoy the day. Kagome closed her eyes and enjoyed the breeze playing across her skin while the others fell into a peaceful silence.


"Lord Sesshoumaru, Lord Sesshoumaru!" yelled a toothy grinned girl. "Rin is hungry, may I please find some food?"

Sesshoumaru looked down to his young ward from his scan of the surrounding area. He watched impassively as Rin rocked back and forth on her heels awaiting his answer patiently. She did not have to wait long. "Do as you wish Rin but do not be long. We will be leaving shortly."

With a clawed hand, the demon lord ran his long tapered fingers through his silvery-white hair and flipped it over his shoulder. He watched as Rin ran off behind a few bushes in search of a snack, but his thoughts were not on the young girl.

'Damn that bastard Naraku. How has he managed yet again to hide his vile stench from This Sesshoumaru? I grow tired of all these overly confident half-breeds.'

Not unlike Inuyasha and his friends, the full demon lord had also failed to find any trace of Naraku, let alone any of his incarnations. Needless to say he was growing rather impatient; the demon lord always got what he wanted when he wanted it, but with Naraku in hiding, he had no better luck than the rest.

"Merely a set-back," Sesshoumaru thought aloud.

"What was that milord?" asked Jaken, the toad servant who was standing faithfully by Sesshoumaru's side.

A soft growl came from the depths of the demon lord's chest as he swiftly kicked the toad in the backside. With a yelp the toad demon massaged his aching rear and then began to bow profusely. Naraku was definitely a touchy subject to his Lord Sesshoumaru and there was no doubt that that was where his lord's thoughts were. He was always so cranky when it came to that half-demon filth.

Naraku successfully managed to bruise the dog lord's ego not once, but twice since he first encountered him. When he first met Naraku he had struck a deal with the white baboon clad being. Naraku had given him a human arm infused with a jewel shard in order to wield Tessaiga, Inuyasha's sword. Sesshoumaru did not hesitate to agree to the deal to kill Inuyasha in return for the arm; he was eager to seek revenge on his younger half-brother who had so tactlessly taken his left arm. After Sesshoumaru failed to maintain control of Tessaiga, the arm that was given to him threatened to burn his entire body. That was when he had taken on a vendetta towards the vile half-breed, Naraku. He only added to this vendetta when Naraku had kidnapped his ward, Rin, and used her as a distraction to aid in his own cowardly escape.

"Forgive this lowly Jaken, master. I did not mean to upset you!" cried Jaken during his posturing.

"Hn. Go and find Rin, we are leaving now," said the stoic lord with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

Without any hesitation Jaken ran in the direction of the young girl as he was ordered to do. Not five minutes later did the servant return with the human child in tow. She gave her lord a toothy grin as he watched the two run towards him.

The child was an enigma to the Western Lord. He found himself constantly reenacting the day he brought the girl back to life in his head to determine his actions. Any other human would have been left to die that day he saved her, but it was that smile he remembered that tipped the scale and made him go back to her. This child showed no fear of the demon lord; in fact, she seemed only content to be around him. Sesshoumaru's outlook of humans did not change, even after she joined his small entourage. They were still greedy, pigheaded, and filthy in his eyes. But this girl, Rin, had captured his interest, and for that, he was confused.

The only other human to ever cross his path that he gave remembrance to other than Rin was the young priestess that traveled with his foul-mouthed half-brother. She had survived his poison in his father's tomb when he unsuccessfully tried to kill her, and had lived through his blast from the stolen Tessaiga before he was once again relieved of it. She dared to talk back to him on both occasions, berating him for his actions; something no one has ever lived through.

So why was it that he could not kill her?

She harbored a deep spiritual power, that was for sure, but she was untrained and clumsy, prone to letting her emotions rule her just like any other human. What made her so special? Sesshoumaru suppressed a growl that threatened to escape his throat. She was not that special, so why was he letting her invade his thoughts so?

He was gratefully brought out of his musing by a soft tug on the leg of his pants. Rin looked up at him with curious eyes; she had been watching while he was lost in thought.

"Rin, I trust you fared well?" asked the demon lord.

"Oh yes Lord Sesshoumaru! Rin found everything she needed!" the young girl replied with her infamous toothy grin.

"Then we will be on our way," he said as he motioned his two vassals to follow him. His mood had taken a sour turn. Not only was his mind plagued by thoughts of the human wench that traveled with his brother, but he still had no leads as to where Naraku was hiding.

'Wherever Naraku is, I will find him, it's only a matter of time. He cannot evade me for long and I will have his head.' The demon lord's thoughts carried him as the small group walked in silence; well that is, until Rin decided to sing a song she made up about her Lord Sesshoumaru and friends Jaken and a large two-headed dragon named Ah-Un to pass the time.


The rag-tag group of warriors had been traveling for over two weeks only stopping to sleep in order to find any sign of Naraku. The last time they met with him, the sacred jewel was almost completely whole with only five shards missing; the one in Sango's brother Kohaku, the two shards in the wolf lord Kouga's legs, and the two that the group managed to find. The rest were unfortunately in Naraku's greedy possession.

During the last encounter with him, Kagome was able to sense the jewel and she cringed when she saw how tainted it had become; glowing such as dark red it almost appeared black. Naraku had used his new-found power of the almost completed sacred jewel to create a vicious demon called Houjinki, a half bird and half bear demon who stood upright around eight feet tall with straight, razor sharp claws so long they almost touched the ground. The claws had reeked of poison and his eyes were a piercing red, which gave the impression it was burning a hole straight through whoever he gazed upon. The demon could easily maneuver in the air, although it was enormous in size and its wings spread longer than the length of its body and produced enough wind to bend the surrounding trees.

During the battle Miroku tried to use his wind tunnel but to no avail. Naraku had sent his evil insects to hinder any such attempt to swallow up his incarnation. Sango and her hiraikotsu were able to inflict some damage to one of its wings which grounded it long enough for Inuyasha to slay it with his backlash wave, the wind scar having failed several times when he used it. It was a worthy opponent, and all of them had the wounds to prove it. Miroku had sucked up a small amount of poison from Naraku's insects but was only momentarily hindered. Sango got a nice scratch on her cheek when the demon scraped her with his claws inadvertently. Luckily, the demon had to actually be paying attention to release his poison. Kagome suffered a gash on her forehead when a rock flew at her by the force of the wind its wings created and Inuyasha ended up with cuts on his stomach and arms from the demon's claws as well. They earned another jewel shard from their winnings, but they had to admit that Naraku's demons were getting stronger, which gave them a sense of unease. This demon had been very tough, what would the next one be like?

After they tended and bandaged their wounds they returned to the task at hand. They had walked straight through the day without a single sign of a demon or a sacred jewel. They all sighed in exhaustion as night revealed its stars to all of them while they finally stopped to set up camp. It had been a very arduous couple of weeks and it was starting to take its toll on everyone.

"Feh, you guys are useless, always having to stop and take a break. If it was just me, I'd find Naraku in no time," spat Inuyasha once again breaking a relatively peaceful silence.

"We are not built the same as you Inuyasha; we are frail and need this time to recuperate. It would be wise to let us do so, so that we will be more effective in battle," Miroku sighed. They had been pushing themselves to the limit trying to keep up with Inuyasha's brutal pace. It was only thanks to Kagome's threat to 'sit' him into oblivion that Inuyasha had finally agreed to let them rest again.

"Yeah, Inuyasha. You need us 'weaklings' and you know it, so quit whining like a baby," said Shippou proudly.

Inuyasha smacked Shippou over the head, leaving a nice bump in his fist's wake. As the little fox's eyes began to water, he cried out loud and jumped into Kagome's waiting arms. "Waaa! Kagome, Inuyasha's picking on me!" the little fox cried into her shoulder.

Kagome looked up at Inuyasha with narrowed eyes. "Inuyasha..." she began.

"Heh?" he said weakly.


"Ahh!" Inuyasha screamed in pain as his body plummeted to the ground with the force of the subjugation spell rosary.

"You should learn to behave Inuyasha, and then I wouldn't have to SIT you," said Kagome.

Once again, the ground came up to greet Inuyasha, just as he was recovering from the last spell. "Why me?" he whimpered.

"Oops, sorry! That one slipped," Kagome said as she waved her hand in front of her.

They all ate their dinner in peace after that, although Inuyasha would occasionally glare and growl softly at Kagome. The finished their meal and each took their spot around the fire, determined to catch some sleep before they headed off again in the morning. With Inuyasha keeping guard up on his perch in a nearby tree, the group welcomed sleep to them. Kagome walked up to the tree Inuyasha was sitting in and looked up with pleading eyes and a small smile.

"Um, Inuyasha?" she started.

"Yeah, what is it?" he bit out.

"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry I sat you. I was just a little tense and..."

"Yeah, yeah, don't worry about it. Don't think some little subduing spell will hurt me," he gloated.

"Hm, alright then. Have a good night Inuyasha," she said as she walked back to her sleeping bag.

"Get some sleep Kagome, see you in the morning," Inuyasha offered to her retreating form. He looked to the starlit sky and listened as the breathing of his friends evened out to signify they were asleep. With his senses on constant alert, Inuyasha allowed his eyes to drift closed.


Morning came early considering everyone was still so exhausted. Sleep had been restless for all of them with visions of Naraku and his demons as well as his incarnations haunting their dreams. Regardless of their weariness, they all continued on their way searching for Naraku.

It was an uneventful day thus far, and all of them were restless. Shippou and Kagome passed the time by playing games such as "I Spy" and she challenged him to transform into different things that she made up, while Miroku, Sango, and Inuyasha talked about nothing in particular just to pass the time.

They came upon a pass late in the afternoon that had trees lining the path and gave way only to a small clearing about everyone half of a mile. Something about the pass made them quiet their conversations as well as their own thoughts. Although the pass seemed peaceful enough, Kirara quietly growled and her hair began to stand on end. The silence sent chills down Kagome's spine as she clenched her bow tighter in her grasp. Inuyasha was growing uncomfortable with the silence as well and flicked the hilt of his sword in its sheath with his thumb, prepared to take quick action.

"Do you sense it too Kirara?" asked Sango. Kirara growled her answer in return. "Inuyasha-"

"Yeah, I sense it. I can also smell his vial stench here," replied Inuyasha.

"It has to be Naraku, only he gives off such a powerful and evil demonic aura," said Miroku adding in his thoughts.

The group remained quiet for a while and halted their steps. Their eyes scanned the area to try and find anything that seemed out of place.

"I can sense a sacred jewel shard; coming from behind that group of trees," said Kagome quietly as she pointed in front of her.

Inuyasha drew his sword and held it out in front of him. The group was quick to ready themselves for battle with their foe. Miroku had his hand on the prayer beads, in case he had to call on his wind tunnel quickly and his staff was implanted in the ground next to him. Sango readied her hiraikotsu while Kirara transformed into her powerful fire cat form. Kagome raised her bow and arrow prepared to shoot at any moment and Shippou, who had hopped down from Kagome's arms, was now in his attack position, hiding behind her legs. The air was thick with tension as a stillness settled around them. The hackles on Inuyasha stood on end and he quickly filled the silence.

"Grrr...I'm tired of waiting! Come out and fight Naraku, quit bein' a coward!" yelled Inuyasha.

On queue, Naraku's evil laughter filled the silent pass. "Kukuku, don't you all look intimidating standing there," his deep sinister voice echoed among the trees causing everyone to look around them expectantly.

"Naraku you bastard, quit hiding!" Inuyasha cried out to the unseen form.

Slowly, Naraku appeared before them, almost seeming to materialize out of nowhere with a leer on his face. The evil half demon leisurely approached the group who were tense in their readiness to fight. Although Naraku's gate was slow he did not take such a sluggish pace with his appendages as one of his tentacles shot out and nearly missed striking Inuyasha through his chest. The fight was on. Inuyasha did not hesitate to attack and called upon his "Wind Scar" assault. Although it hit his target, Naraku merely chuckled at the poor attempt on his life.

"Inuyasha, I would have thought that by now you would know I am nearly invincible," taunted Naraku holding up the nearly completed jewel lovingly.

"Inuyasha look out!" screamed Sango suddenly.

Another one of Naraku's spidery tentacles quickly shot out from Naraku's body while Inuyasha was distracted by the jewel and stabbed Inuyasha in the leg before he could evade it, making him howl in pain. Kagome ran over to him, to ensure that he was okay and helped him to kneel. He was in pain as he crouched behind his sword swearing under his breath at his rotten timing. Kagome drew back her arrow at Naraku, and aimed for his heart. The evil half demon glanced at her from the corner of his eye while the sides of his mouth folded up ever so slightly into a snarl.

"I'm tired of you! DIE NARAKU!" screamed Kagome. She knocked her arrow back, but before she could fire her arrow, another tentacle swept out and hit her square in the stomach and throwing her back into a large neighboring tree. She lay still on the ground, knocked out by the force of the collision. The young fox demon screamed her name and scrambled to get to her to make sure she was still alive. He had tears welling up in his eyes as he bent over her to see if she was still breathing. Shippou sighed in relief when he felt her breath upon the back of his hand.

"Damn you Naraku," Inuyasha growled in nearly a scream, "you'll pay for that! Wind Scar!" his famous technique that was known to kill a hundred demons in a single sweep drove straight for Naraku and hit true, but barely scratched him. While Inuyasha was fighting face to face with Naraku, on the other side of him the demon slayer and monk were on the defensive with the tentacles shooting out all around them. As a counter-attack on Naraku, Sango used her hiraikotsu to break off an extremity holding Miroku by the neck.

"Thanks Sango... I thought I was a goner," Miroku gasped as he tried to bring air back into his lungs.

"I've had just about enough of this!" screamed Inuyasha, "Adamant Barr..."

Before Inuyasha could finish his attack, a bright sacred arrow flew passed his head straight for Naraku. The evil half demon had noticed the arrow coming for him, but was too slow to doge and it pierced his heart, making him turn to dust before their very eyes. The group all looked around and saw Kagome sitting up on the ground with her legs bent to the side of her, breathing hard having just fired the arrow. Inuyasha walked up to where Naraku had been and kicked a small wooden figurine effortlessly before stomping on it and turning it into dust as well.

"Damn, another puppet. He's close by though, watching, and probably mocking us. THIS ISN'T OVER NARAKU!" Inuyasha yelled into the trees.

Inuyasha was more disappointed than ever, all that fighting for just another one of Naraku's puppets. The monster that had made his life a living hell by tricking him and his first love, Kikyo, over fifty years ago had yet again slipped through his clutches. Inuyasha clenched his hands tightly into a fist, causing his claws to pierce his own skin, uncaring that blood was no seeping from his hand. He began to get lost in his thoughts, thinking about his vengeance for the undead woman that he swore to protect.

Although he didn't want to admit it, it had been getting harder and harder for him to look at Kagome and not think of Kikyo because of their still uncanny resemblance, but he still managed...for now. The similarities were just too close; he knew that Kagome was her own person away from Kikyo, but even knowing that didn't help. He had been inconspicuously keeping his distance from Kagome, but he had a feeling that she knew he was being distant.

Kikyo had not made an appearance for well over a month now and Inuyasha was taking it pretty hard; he missed her and it hurt him that she didn't bother to seek him out more often. Living off the souls of dead women had given Kikyo a prolonged life, albeit a less than honorable one. She smelled of death and graveyard soil, courtesy of the witch Urasue and her successful attempt to bring the woman back to life. The tragic love story between Inuyasha and Kikyo always made Kagome's heart cry out to them; they were, in all aspects, star-crossed lovers: a priestess and a demon.

Kagome only looked on at the half-breed for she knew what he was thinking. She had noticed that he was becoming more reluctant to look her in the eyes with every day Naraku had remained hidden. The realization that every time he looked at her he saw Kikyo hurt her to the core, but she did well to hide it. He held so much sadness in his eyes whenever their glances locked. She had realized long ago that Inuyasha would never harbor feeling for her as he did for Kikyo, but it didn't take away the pain.

Inuyasha looked over at Kagome and she gave him a small close-mouthed smile which was not returned. Instead he said and did nothing and slowly turned his head to study the ground in front of him. She let out a small sigh and became very interested in the ground in front of her as well. The others felt the tension and quickly tried to take their minds off of the encounter. Sango was the first to break the awkward silence.

"Hey, maybe we should find a place to camp for the night, it's getting dark," she suggested.

"That's a good idea, we could all use a rest and some dinner," replied Miroku in agreement.

Inuyasha only huffed at the idea, frustrated at the day's turn of events. "Do what you want; I'm going for a walk," he sulked and disappeared into the forest.

"Are you okay Kagome?" asked Shippou as he hopped up onto her shoulder.

Kagome nodded and replied, "Yeah, I'm fine, I'm kinda getting used to it." Plastering a big fake smile on her face she changed her sad tune and turned to her friends. "Everything's great! Let's get dinner started, I'm famished!"

The demon slayer and the monk exchanged knowing glances but decided to play along; at least it was better than having her be outwardly depressed. As they set off to find a clearing for them to camp Kagome became lost in her thoughts yet again.

'Inuyasha will never feel the same way for me as he does for Kikyo, I know that already. Besides, I'm the one that chose to stay with HIM; he made his feelings perfectly clear from the beginning that he was going to follow Kikyo to hell after we've destroyed Naraku.'

"Still..." she trailed off out loud with a sigh. She followed Miroku and Sango into the forest to help set up camp with only one look behind her in the direction Inuyasha had gone.


The group sat around the fire of their camp and enjoyed their undersized fish that tasted like a banquet meal since they were so hungry. Unfortunately, Kagome had run out of ramen a few days ago and none had eaten since their fish the night before. It had been over two hours and Inuyasha still had not returned although none of them were worried, they knew that he could take care of himself. He seemed to do this more often than not as of lately, especially now that Naraku had gone into hiding. They all finished their small meal and decided to get some sleep, the days events had been tiresome and it was becoming a fight to keep their eyes open. Miroku determined that he would keep watch over everyone for the night, and the rest drifted carelessly off to sleep. The warm fire danced across his face as he looked around the camp at those he was guarding. The night was long and the fire was comforting and soon the eyelids of their guardian became heavier with every minute. A few times he shook himself awake again, forcefully opening his dry, stinging eyes but it wasn't long before he gave in to sleep as well.

In the distance a set of dark eyes watched amusingly as the monk finally let his head drop to his chest as rest captured him. A quiet menacing laugh pierced the darkness as a man in a white baboon pelt dropped from his hiding place in a nearby tree.

'Inuyasha is nowhere to be found, and his friends have all fallen asleep. To think how easy it would be to kill them all and leave him alone in this world to suffer' thought Naraku. 'But where would the fun in that be? It's too easy.'

He took a couple of steps forward but stopped to turn his head slightly to the side to talk over his shoulder. A ways behind him Kagura had been hiding herself behind a tree, watching as Naraku scanned the camp of Inuyasha's compatriots.

"Kagura", he snapped.

With a small jump she answered, "Yes Naraku?"

He smirked and turned his head again towards the front before answering. "Go and find Inuyasha, tell him that I want him to be here to watch as I rip his friends from his life."

With a nod and a gust of wind, Kagura sped off to find Inuyasha. She would never admit it, but she feared Naraku and every time he said her name her skin crawled. She hated being Naraku's messenger and loathed every menial task he sent her to do, but with her heart in the palm of his hand, she had no choice but to obey.

Deep in the forest Inuyasha was sitting atop a high tree lost in his thoughts. The night sky loomed above him as stars winked in his direction as if trying to comfort him. Many nights he had sat in the same position, thinking of what it would feel like to finally have his revenge for the heartache Naraku put him and Kikyo through that led to her death fifty years ago. It was becoming a routine to daydream like this. In this routine he could control the outcome of Naraku's life. He could almost taste sweet revenge on his lips as he pictured Naraku screaming in pain brought on by him and his sword. A small smile worked its way to his mouth as he thought of this sight. It soon disappeared as his thoughts once again traveled to the undead miko.

'Damn, I can't believe he dodged me again! Don't worry Kikyo, I won't stop fighting until Naraku has paid for the pain and suffering he put you through; the pain he has put all of us through.'

His thoughts were interrupted when a strong yet calm voice filled the air.

"Inuyasha," Kagura said slowly while sauntering towards the half-breed.

"Kagura," Inuyasha said with a growl as he jumped off his tree limb and drew his sword. "What the hell do you want?!"

Waving her hands in front of her in a submissive manner she simply replied, "Don't shoot the messenger; I just came to tell you that Naraku is at your campsite, he thought you should know."

Without a second glance Inuyasha darted off towards his friends. Branches slapped him across his face as he hurried towards the camp. He felt nothing but fear, the tingle of the passing branches was nothing he couldn't handle, he had only one desire: to get to his friends in time.


Naraku quietly slipped into the camp unnoticed and slithered his way towards the sleeping group. Although his was vicious, he was not completely without pride. He would not simply kill them in their sleep; he would make sure he could watch as their eyes fogged over with horror as he stole their lives from them. Having found this new resolve he reached out and wrapped one of his snake-like tentacles around the ankle of the demon slayer. With a quick yank he drug her towards him bringing her quickly back into consciousness. Sango's eyes widened and she desperately dug her fingernails into the ground trying to stop her self from moving.

"Gaah! Miroku! Kagome! Wake up!" screamed Sango as Naraku continued to drag her away from her friends.

They all shot up with their eyes wide to the spectacle taking place before them. Miroku was almost frozen in fear as he watched Sango being forced away from him. In an instant Kirara bit down hard on the tentacle holding Sango and tore it apart releasing her, but not without expelling a miasma that rapidly surrounded their camp. Coughing and covering her mouth with her sleeve, Kagome turned in a circle to try and find the glow of the jewel shards indicating Naraku's position. Although he spoke, it was nearly impossible to pinpoint where he was through the thick purple cloud.

"Now that you are all awake this should be more interesting!" laughed Naraku manically.

Desperately trying to see anything through the miasma, Kagome drew an arrow and aimed it at the ground. She let it go and as soon as it hit, a purifying light consumed the miasma and soon it dissipated. Kagome grabbed another arrow and fired one at a tentacle going for Shippou, purifying it to dust. Naraku snarled; his miasma had been purified and now he had a wounded appendage; things were not going completely as he pictured it. Tired of the games he struck out at Kagome at a lightning fast speed.

"Impudent wench! You will pay for that! I will kill you and have your sacred jewel shards!" Naraku yelled his voice angry and malicious.

His tentacles slithered fast towards her and snatched her up with one of his limbs. Kagome kicked and yelled at him to let her go, but her efforts were fruitless. He strengthened his hold on her and watched as her eyes became wide in horror. He smiled as he noticed her breathing was becoming labored and his smile grew even wider as her breath had finally escaped her she was no longer conscious; alive, but unconscious. Pleased with him self and his new bait, he withdrew his remaining arms away from their individual battles and once again took on his humanoid form. He held Kagome in his arms as Inuyasha came barreling through the trees and drew his sword at Naraku.

"Let her go Naraku or I'll slice you in half!" Inuyasha yelled.

"Inuyasha", Naraku said coyly, "I've told you before that if you keep day dreaming about our undead miko that you would lose yet another person you love, don't say I didn't warn you." With that Naraku disappeared in his barrier, leaving behind an angry, worried Inuyasha, cursing himself.

"Damn it! I knew I shouldn't have left Kagome alone. I don't even want to think about what he's going to use her for!" He turned and looked at his friends with determination in his eyes. Miroku looked away in shame for it had been his fault that Kagome had been taken. If only he hadn't fallen asleep. Sango patted Miroku on the back trying to assure him. Without another delay Inuyasha sprinted off yelling behind him. "Let's get going, there's no telling where he took Kagome!"

With these words, he and the others ran off in the direction in which Naraku had left, all the while Inuyasha continued to curse himself under his breath.


The Lord of the Western lands walked almost serenely with light footsteps that were nearly inaudible. His small group had been walking aimlessly trying to find any trace of Naraku; there was a vendetta that needed to be settled. Behind him, Rin hummed a tune while she swung her legs over the side of the two-headed dragon Ah-Un. The toad servant mumbled incoherently about pathetic humans, seemingly lost in his own thoughts.

Sesshoumaru came to an abrupt halt as his senses picked up on the thing he had been looking for. Not noticing his lord had stopped, Jaken absent mindedly collided with the backside of his lord's leg. Quick to recover, Jaken began bowing over and again, begging his apologies. Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed slightly at the servant before turning his attention back to where he had been looking.

"Hm, he has let his barrier down. Interesting," Sesshoumaru thought aloud.

"Lord Sesshoumaru, are we setting up camp here? May I go pick flowers?" Rin asked innocently.

The demon lord glanced at his young ward from the corner of his eye and then looked straight ahead again before replying. "Do as you wish Rin, but stay close to Jaken and behave."

The little girl clapped her hands together and bowed slightly before running towards a nearby patch of flowers. 'What is it with her and flowers?' thought Sesshoumaru.

"Jaken," Sesshoumaru said sharply.

"Yes milord?" replied the toad.

"Take Rin and set up camp," the dog lord commanded. "Oh and Jaken..."

The toad demon hesitated to answer, knowing full well that when his name was said as such it implied nothing but pain in store for him. "Y-yes Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"If anything should happen to her while I'm gone, your life will be forfeit."

With that the stoic lord swiftly left, leaving behind a singing human girl, and an utterly terrified toad servant.

Although the demon lord always kept a cool composure and his face emotionless, his insides were burning with fury at the thought of Naraku. Too many times before had Naraku compromised Sesshoumaru's pride. Yes, that was two times too many and the evil half-breed's existence was no longer necessary. Sesshoumaru would make sure to rid himself of this burden. It did not go unmentioned that Naraku sought the death of Inuyasha. No one except for Sesshoumaru would take the life of his half-brother, not if he had anything to say about it. That right was reserved for him and him alone.

This time would be different; there will be no escaping his wrath. With all that he had, Sesshoumaru quickened his pace as he ran towards the stench of the evil half-breed. To any human eye, he looked like nothing but a streak of light as he ran.

Yes, this time would definitely be different.


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