A/N: I've been asked a few times why I started the re-write instead of just finishing the story, well one of the main reasons is to get my mind back into the story. By re-writing, editing, and changing certain things, I can get my brain back where I need it to be to finish the story. I've found that over the years my style has changed and it's just really hard for me to go back, so by doing this, I feel that I can get to where I need to be.

Chapter 3

Kagome rubbed her eyes as she woke, she moved to sit up, only to fall back down as the feeling of nausea took her. Resting her cold hand against her forehead she opened her eyes and looked up at the night sky. She felt something soft brush against her legs, tickling her. She closed her eyes and attempted to pull herself up again, this time she was successful. She jumped as she realised that she was resting on something soft, white and fluffy, it seemed familiar, but she could not remember where she had seen it before.

"You are awake." a cool voice said from beside her.

She jumped as she recognised the voice. 'Sesshoumaru!?' she turned to see the Demon lord sat by the tree beside her. He was leaning against the tree, his arm resting on his raised knee. As she took in the sight of him, her memories from earlier came back to her. Her going for a walk, Kikyo attacking her and him saving her.

She shifted her position to allow her to see him better, wincing as pain shot through her legs. She looked down at her legs, her socks and shoes had been removed and her wounds had been dressed with silk cloths. Had Sesshoumaru done this? She bit her lip as she debated with herself about asking him, as a way of distraction her eyes scanned the rest of the camp, she took in the sight of his sleeping companions before glancing back at him, her blue eyes locked with his Amber.

"Thank you, for saving me." she flushed with embarrassment and looked down, it was then she realised just what she was sitting on. It was his pelt. She let out a small 'eek' with the realisation. She was sitting on his pelt. He had placed her to sleep on his pelt? He, Sesshoumaru, had no only helped her, but had also looked after her and had allowed her to rest her human body on one of his possessions. She couldn't believe it. She shot him a quick glance and jumped as she noticed his eyes were still on her.

"T-Thank you," she reached for the pelt and ran her fingers through it's softness. Something in the action helped her to relax, they pelt, it seemed, was soothing. "For saving me," she added in explanation. "thank you."

He continued to stare at her, his amber eyes boring into her as though he was studying her. His eyes seemed to be asking her questions and assessing her all at the same time. She felt herself blush under his gaze, her fingers continued to play with the pelt while she thought of something to say, something to break the silence. Anything to stop his staring, lest it awaken something in her, even if his gaze held no heat to it, she could not control her own body's reactions to him.

"Why did you not call for Inuyasha?" he asked suddenly, snapping her from her thoughts.

Her head snapped up to him, confusion etched on her face. 'Is he talking about when I was running from Kikyo?' she pondered. He must have been, there was no other events that she could think of. She let out a sigh and reached up to push her hair behind her ears. "I did not want Inuyasha to have to fight her." she eventually said. "He loves her too much for that."

She was surprised by her reaction to her own words. She would have thought that her admission would have brought her pain, anger, or perhaps depression, but instead it only made her sad. Sad and worried for her friend. Sesshoumaru, who continued to observe her, noticed her reactions and found them interesting. He had assumed that her brother and her were in love, yet she did not give out any indication of anger at the idea of Inuyasha loving the clay woman.

He watched as the woman before him reached down and stroked his pelt. She seemed to be enjoying it, he noticed.

"Why are you not angered by Inuyasha's claims on the clay woman?" he quipped, breaking her from her attentions to his pelt. "I was led to assume he was courting you."

Kagome spluttered at his words and scrambled for a way to respond to them. "Well, um.. you see," her cheeks reddened as she blushed. She would rather not have this discussion with him, she would rather not say anything that could reveal her growing crush.

"I loved him once," she said eventually. "I will always love him, but, it's..." she unnecessarily pushed some hair behind her ear. "He's my friend, I'll always love him, he's my brother... I just want him to be happy." her eyes went bright. "Even if he's happy with Kikyo, I wish him the best."

Sesshoumaru remained still for some time, as though processing her words. His amber eyes were oddly warm. He nodded and turned his gaze to the night sky.

Kagome watched him. Watched the way his hair and sleeves swayed gently with the cool breeze, he was a beautiful sight, bathed in the silver moonlight. As she watched him, she frowned as she noticed something. His hand. She blinked and tilted her head, her eyes narrowing as she caught it. A tremble. His hand was trembling. Why? Had something happened to him? Her mind flashed to when he had saved her. Had he been hurt? Had Kikyo hurt him?

She pulled herself up from the ground, causing his eyes to shift to her. She lifted the pelt and dusted it off. She then stepped to him and, ignoring his warning growl, gently placed it over his shoulders. She smiled lightly at his incredulous expression- well as incredulous as he could look. She bent down and reached for his hand, which his instantly snatched away.

"What are you doing?" he growled, his eyes flashing dangerously.

She ignored the way his growl sent a delicious chill down her spine- she would revisit that feeling later- her blue eyes pleaded with him. "Please," her voice was quiet, but she knew he could hear her. "You saved me today, you came when you did not have to, I want to help you... please.."

He frowned at her. His eyes scanned her face as though searching for something. Perhaps he was trying to find falsehoods in her words? She held her breath under his scrutiny, she wanted to plea to help him again, but it felt wrong to say anything. Eventually he nodded and allowed her to take his hand.

She held his hand with one hand and the other lifted his sleeve, allowing her to see his wrist. There were fingermarks burned into the flesh. That didn't surprise her, she remembered Kikyo using magic against him. What surprised her was the colour of the wound, blue and purple and black and the energy emitting from it was dark, not holy magic. Her eyes ran over the wound, confusion etching her features. How could Kikyo have done this? This was wrong, she felt repulsion at the wound, it was setting her powers protective instincts.

It needed to be gone.

She closed her eyes to prevent herself from looking at the wound. As her eyes slid closed she felt something pulse in her chest. Her head moved of it's own accord, she leaned down to and her lips brushed against the wound. Their hairs on the back of her neck rose as static pulsed against her lips. White and blue. Pure, crackling energy that started from a warmth in her chest and flowed upwards, pouring out from her lips.

Had Sesshoumaru not had such exemplary self control, he would have jumped at the feeling of her soft lips against his burning flesh. What was she doing? He went to pull his arm away, only to pause as he felt it. The energy. This magic was different, he could sense it. His eyes widened fractionally. This was pure magic, not just the powers of a priestess, this was different, older, more powerful. He remained frozen in place, unable to pull away. She was healing him.

As the power began to fade, Kagome kept her lips on his wrist, dazed she rubbed her fingers against the hand she was holding. Her eyes snapped open as she realised what she was doing. As though she had been electrocuted she jumped back with a gasp. "I'm sorry!" she raised a hand defensively. "I-I don't know what happened, I-"she froze as he grasped her raised hand.

He pulled her up to stand, and supported her as she wobbled on her legs. When she was stable he leaned down so that their faces were close and their eyes level. "Thank you." his cool voice had a warmth to it, a warmth that sent a shiver through her body. He then released her.

She jumped back. A flush heating her cheeks as she absorbed what had happened. He had thanked her. She didn't think that she had ever heard him thank anyone. "You're welcome."

As his eyes remained on her, she looked around the camp to avoid his gaze. She still felt it, but she was no longer locked into it.

"Fate..." she saw Jaken twitch in his sleep. Something about the way his leg twitched reminded her of a dog, or Buyo when he dreamed. He clutched at the staff he was hugging. "Fate worse than death..." he drooled into the grass and kicked again. She smiled and a giggle escaped her lips.

Sesshoumaru, who had not moved from his spot, watched her. A perfect eyebrow raised at her giggle. He watched as she turned her gaze to Ah-Uh, her eyes widening and she shifted uncomfortably at as he looked at her, let out a huff, then placed his head back down on the grass. Amusement ghosted his face at her fear of the beast.

He watched as her eyes fell on Rin. She seemed thoughtful for a few moments before a wonderful smile spread over her face. He could smell the faint trickle of confusion from her, but she seemed happy to be looking at the sleeping child. He smirked, she could guess about it all she wanted, it was of no consequence to him. He chose to ignore the part of him that liked her reaction to the girl.

Kagome tilted her head towards Sesshoumaru and did her best to avoid the eyes that she could feel on her. She instead chose to look at the pelt on his shoulder, she missed it's warmth. She heard Rin let out a sound and her mind returned to the girl. She slid her eyes down towards the girl who was scooting closer to the dragon in her sleep.

'She must really care for him.' she chanced a glance up and instantly flinched away as their eyes locked- he was still staring at her. She shivered, not just from the cold, and looked back at the sleeping girl. 'He must care for her too, otherwise he wouldn't look after her.' she frowned. 'A father daughter thing, perhaps?'

Kagome, while looking in the direction of Rin, was not actually looking at her. She continued to stare in the direction, her eyes stung and her vision blurred, then a vision flashed before her eyes.

Sesshoumaru was sitting by a tree, the sun shining down and lighting his silver hair. A soft smile warming his face as he looked out to a flower field. Playing in the field were a group of five children chasing after each other. Their leader, and tallest, Rin laughing as she chased the smaller children. The small children, all little clones of Sesshoumaru, shrieked happily as they laughed. Sesshoumary let out a chuckle of his own, before wrapping his arms around the person sitting in his lap. His mate, Kagome.

Kagome jumped and blinked her stinging eyes. She suddenly froze as she realised just what she had been fantasising about. She shook her head rapidly as she tried to rid her mind of the images. She had been fantasising Sesshoumaru. Not just fantasising about Sesshoumaru. She had been fantasising about Sesshoumaru and her. Sesshoumaru and her, having children.

She frowned at the memory of her vision, her fantasy. Sesshoumaru wouldn't be with someone plain like her. Yes, he would make a good father, was already a good father to Rin, from what she could see. If this new caring side of him was anything to go by, he would make a good Mate as well, but that was not for her. No, Sesshoumaru would end up with a beautiful demoness, not her.

She frowned and let out a shaky breath as a cold feeling gripped her. It was the same feeling that used to take her when she thought of Inuyasha. Only this time, the feeling seemed to strike her harsher than it ever had with Inuyasha. The realisation was both terrifying and incredible to her.

Sesshoumaru, who had been watching the flurry of emotions cross her face, spoke. "What is the matter?"

Kagome jumped at the sound of his voice and turned to him. She opened her mouth to reply to him, only to freeze. She had no idea how to respond to him, he had obviously been watching her for some time, if the curious expression on his face was something to go by. She wondered how long that he had been watching her. Her stomach pulsed uncomfortably, had he seen or sensed anything when she had been fantasising?

Oh gods, what had he seen?

She shivered and rubbed at her cold nose. The temperature had suddenly dropped and she was not sure if the weather was entirely to blame. She felt the hairs on her arms raise as goosebumps formed. She rubbed her nose again and sucked in a breath as the urge to sneeze took her. She twitched her nose and attempted to hold it back- it would be embarrassing for her to be sneezing in front of him. Eventually though, she was unable to hold it back and she let out a small series of sneezes into her elbow.

While sneezing she caught sight of him walking towards her. She tried to hold it back- he probably hated seeing filthy humans being disgusting like this. Her body did not agree with her and she continued to sneeze. She jumped out of her fit as she felt something heavy drop onto her shoulders.

"S-Ses," she sucked in her breath as she regained her composure. "Sesshoumaru?" her voice shook, now that she had finished sneezing, her body registered the cold. She glanced to her sides to see his pelt draped over her shoulders.

He said nothing, though a frown was shown on his face. He moved to the tree behind her and sat down against it. He felt his eyes on her and raised a delicate brow. "Yes?"

She jumped. Her brain was still trying to process what had happened. He had given her his warm pelt to warm her up. He had cared for her. The idea shook her, even though he had helped her with Kikyo. That could be explained, perhaps he was trying to get at Inuyasha? But this? No this was a kindness that she couldn't explain.

As she remembered Inuyasha, she clutched at the pelt warming her. "I don't know how I'm going to explain this to Inuyasha." she said, more to herself than in response to his question. She shook her head and scooted back into the tree beside him. She leaned back against the trunk and got comfortable.

He raised a brow at her action. He could tell that Inuyasha was not the only thing on her mind, but he ignored her lie, it was her business, not his. He tilted his head to her and watched as she wrapped the pelt around her and snuggled into it's warmth. Something about her action pleased him- which was curious, why would it?

Kagome glanced at him and blushed when she found him staring at her. She smiled sheepishly and looked out at the night sky. The memory of when she had kissed his hand, had kissed his wound, flashed before her eyes. What had happened there? Why had her instincts taken over, causing her to kiss him? She snuggled deeper into the pelt, it smelled of him- not that she was smelling it. Perhaps she should ask Kaede about her powers the next time she was there?

"L-Lord Sesshoumaru!" a voice cried, snapping her from her thoughts. She herd groaning and she turned her head to look for it's source. She heard Sesshoumaru pull himself to stand and step away from her. She followed him with her eyes, which widened as she caught the sight of Rin tossing in her sleep.

She pulled herself up as he knelt beside the girl. She carried his pelt as she moved to stand beside him. She watched with sad eyes as the girl cried out in her sleep. Her arms flailed wildly as though she were fighting an invisible enemy. She glanced beside her, and caught Sesshoumaru frown. Something in her chest hurt at the sight of his frown. Something in his expression hurting her deeply. When the girl let out another cry of 'Lord Sesshoumaru', she knelt down to hold the girl. Rin tensed as she was moved, but did not struggle to when she was moved into Kagome's lap.

"Help me," Pain flashed across the girl's face, prompting Kagome to gently stroke the girl's forehead. "Lord Sesshoumaru! The wolves, the wolves are..." she trailed off as the soothing of Kagome's fingers began to work.

Kagome tilted her head to Sesshoumaru and gasped as she caught sight of him. He was clutching at his sword. His body rigid and poised as though ready to fight at any moment. Rin said cried out about wolves again and Kagome watched his clawed hand tense around the hilt of his sword. Keeping her eyes on him, she hushed the girl in her lap. She stroked the girls hair and continued to soothe her. As the girl's body relaxed and her crying slowed, Sesshoumaru began to relax. He eyed Rin before letting out a sound and sheathing his sword.

Kagome briefly looked back down at the sleeping girl, her eyes softening at the sight of the girl resting peacefully. She then returned her eyes to the demon beside her. What had happened to Rin? Why was she so afraid of wolves? Was it just the nightmares of a child- the way that Sesshoumaru had reacted though went against the idea that it was simply a nightmare. Something had happened. She wondered if Sesshoumaru would be open to discuss it with her.

"Sesshoumaru?" she spoke softly. She continued to stroke Rin's head, so as not to wake her. The demon's eyes locked with her, he did not say anything to her, but something in his eyes flashed, letting her know that he was listening. "Why is, erm, that is..." she took a breath and tried not to flinch away from his intense gaze. "Why is Rin afraid of wolves?"

Sesshoumaru's eyes flashed and his fist clenched. A shadow took his face and he looked away from her. "It was after Inuyasha used the Tetsusaiga against me." he frowned and looked out to the forest surrounding them. What he was looking at, Kagome was unable to tell.

"The Tenseiga had transported me to a forest not far from a human village." his eyes slid down to the sleeping child. "A girl found me, Rin," his eyes softened. "she gave me food, I do not eat human food, I told her as such. She did not listen and returned the following night." his lips thinned and the shadow on his face seemed to darken. The weather, or his aura, causing the area to become icy. "She was covered with bruising and missing a tooth..."

Kagome's eyes widened. What had happened to Rin? Why would she be covered in bruising? She tightened her grip on the girl momentarily, protectiveness flaring within her. She looked over to the man beside her, he was angry. She didn't blame him, she understood and sympathised with him. She felt a pang when she looked at him, she wanted help him feel better. She wanted to protect Rin. She wanted to protect him.

He was silent for some time before he continued. "I asked her where she received the wounds. Instead of an answer, she smiled at me." he closed his eyes briefly before shaking his head with an inaudible sigh. "I left not long after, and when I returned... I caught the scent of human blood in the air, the scent of her blood.." his lips, if possible, seemed to tighten further. "and the scent of wolves."

Kagome's mouth dropped in a gasp. She shifted so the Rin was resting higher in her lap. She itched to clutch the girl to her and not let go, the timing of Sesshoumaru's story connecting the dots within her mind. She flinched as Sesshoumaru let out a growl.

"I found her," he closed his eyes briefly, more emotion flashing in his face than she had ever seen before. He continued, his voice gravelly. "She had been killed, mauled by wolves. I felt the Tenseiga pulse... it wanted me to save her, and I, listened." he turned to look at Kagome, his amber eyes glittering. "I tested the sword, killed the soul collectors, she was saved, and has been with me since."

Kagome eased the girl from her lap and put Rin back in her original spot next to the resting dragon. She rubbed at her cheeks, wet from the small tears escaping her eyes. Sesshoumaru had saved Rin. Rin had tried to reach out to the Demon lord and, he in turn had saved her life. A life that Koga and his tribe had killed. Someone in her life that she cared about, had murdered the girl. Guilt and bile churned in her stomach.

She turned to Sesshoumaru and rubbed at her wet eyes again. She wanted to say something, to apologise for Koga, even though she was not the one who had done anything. A flicker of rage nagged at the back of her mind, Koga was going to get it, the next time she saw him. Then again, if it had not happened, would Sesshoumaru have taken Rin? Would they be in their current situation? Would he care for her in the way that he did? She shook her head as her eyes watered again, now that she had seen them, she did not want to think about Sesshouaru without the little girl.

Sesshoumaru's nose twitched, in a way that was similar, but less obvious than Inuyasha's. As he inhaled, his head shot to hers. His eyes widened fractionally and his brows rising in shock. "Why do you cry?" he asked, his voice soft.

She sniffed and rubbed at her eyes again. She looked up at him, the wetness in her eyes causing her blue eyes to glitter like gems in the moonlight. A small smile formed on her lips, it was weak but there all the same. "I'm sad." she began, she played with her hair, something to do with her fingers. "I'm sad about Rin, she did not deserve any of that to happen to her, she doesn't deserve to continue to have nightmares... I'm, I'm sad because I think that a dear friend of mine may have been the one to cause this distress."

The meaning of her words was not lost on Sesshoumaru. He let out a growl which startled her, but he did not care. She knew, was friends, with the one who had murdered Rin. While that was not her fault, the universe liked to work in strange ways, uncontrollable ways... that being said, it did not stop him from sending her a glare. He watched at she shied away from him at his glare, he felt a fraction of something in his chest at her expression, but his glare did not falter.

Kagome sucked in a breath, regretting her decision to tell him about her friendship with Koga. She glanced back at Rin, then at Sesshoumaru again before continuing. "I'm also happy, you look after Rin, you care for her." she sniffed and blinked her watery eyes. "There are a lot of demons, humans too, who would have just shoved her away, left her to die." a bright blush took her cheeks. "I think it's really sweet of you."

She shimmied closer to the demon lord, and chose to ignore his glower, the heat in his expression had decreased anyway. As she lowered her head she felt a tickle of hesitation, would he think her an idiot for what she was about to do. Deciding to ignore her inner worrier, she bowed her head respectfully. "Thank you, for trusting me enough to tell me about Rin."

He looked down at her in astonishment. His brows raised high. The expression on his face caused him to receive a smile when Kagome lifted her head. He watched as she shivered and felt behind her for the pelt. She grasped it and pulled it to her, wrapping it around herself. He watched as she shivered and found himself displeased at the sight that she made. She looked exhausted, her hair was an utter mess from the attack and her face displayed her tiredness. Her eyes were red and puffy and her face was pale, paler than him, a sickly pale.

"Sleep." he said simply.

She jumped at the sound of his voice, she hadn't been expecting him to say something to her, and he was... telling her to sleep? She wondered why he would say that to her, was he concerned for her health? She shook her head, no, that was unlikely. He had most likely had had enough of talking with her and wanted her to leave him alone. Just like Inuyasha. She was overcome with a sadness, though she was not entirely sure why.

"You look tired." he elaborated. "Sleep."

She felt herself relax at his words and smiled sleepily at him. For all of his problems, the man did care. She would be forever grateful that she had been able to see the soft side of him, she knew that he did not show this side to himself to many others, and she found herself surprised that she was among those.

She nodded at him in response to his words, and crawled over to the sleeping girl. She smiled sheepishly at the dragon who opened it's eyes at her, but did nothing. She draped the pelt over the girl and herself. Snuggling into it's warmth and hugging Rin she closed her eyes. Her lips curled as the small child cuddled her in her sleep, not unlike Shippo. She found sleep easily.

Sesshoumaru rose and walked to the tree where he sat down and positioned himself against the trunk. He watched the sleeping girls for some time, an unreadable expression on his face, before his amber eyes slid up to the midnight sky.

X

Kagome scrunched her face at the feeling of light on her face. She covered her face with her hands and rubbed at her eyes. Colours flashed in her vision as she pulled her hands away. She blinked rapidly as she opened her eyes and was met with the sight of the bright sky above her. How long had she been asleep? From the sight of the sun it looked as though it was late into the morning. She snuggled back into the pelt, she wondered if she could sneak a few more minutes.

"Lord Sesshoumaru, look!" a girl's voice squealed. "She's awake, look!"

Well there went her chances of having a longer nap. With a small groan, she rolled over to see Sesshoumaru leaning against a tree, beside him was Rin, the little girl pointing to her with a bright grin on her lips. The smile making her look more adorable than she usually did. Kagome returned the girl's smile and pushed her frizzy hair out of her face.

"Don't bother Lord Sesshoumaru with such matters Rin!" a voice from behind her squawked, causing her to jump.

She turned her head to see Jaken, who was tending to Ah-Un. His eyes locked with hers and his face twisted into a glare. Oddly enough she was reminded of Inuyasha, his expression was vicious. At the thought of Inuyasha she jumped, her stomach rising to her throat in panic. She had to get back, the others would be worried about her, and Inuyasha... Inuyasha would be furious.

She quickly pulled herself to stand and, being mindful of the pelt draped around her, she pulled it from her and moved it into her arms. She gave it a quick check for dirt, and when she was satisfied that it was clean, she stepped to Sesshoumaru who tilted his head to look up at her. She gave him a grateful smile and held the fur out to him.

"Thank you," she said. "thanks for saving me, for letting me use this," when he took the pelt she stepped back and resisted the urge to shiver, the pelt had been warm. "I need to go now, Inuyasha, and my other friends are probably worried." She turned her attention to Rin and offered the girl a wave. "Bye Rin!"

Rin smiled and waved. She opened her mouth to say something, then paused. She frowned in confusion. "What's your name?" when Kagome told her her name, Rin grinned and waved excitedly. "Goodbye Lady Kagome!"

As she moved to leave, she caught sight of Jaken who was glaring at her. She briefly wondered if this was what awaited her back at the camp, in the form of Inuyasha. Most likely. She offered the glaring demon a smile and waved. "Goodbye Jaken."

As she started to walk away she heard he grumble something. Something that sounded suspiciously like 'stupid bitch'. She froze, her fists clenching. How dare he. She spun around, eyes blazing, ready to give him a piece of her mind, then a rock hit said demon in the head. She blinked, confused, before her confusion turned into amusement as he green demon wobbled, dizzy from the rock. She covered her mouth to stop herself from laughing, her action was not copied by Rin who threw her head back in laughter.

Kagome turned to look for Sesshoumaru- who she assumed was the one that had thrown the rock- only to jump as she found him standing beside her. He was fast! "I didn't see you there!" she stammered as he looked down at her. He said nothing to her, instead he turned and brushed past her as and began walking in the direction that she had been heading. She watched as his silver hair swayed gently with each step. He was so graceful, so beautiful.

"Wait Lord Sesshoumaru!" Rin and Jaken yelled in union. The pair chased after the demon, followed by the dragon, Ah-Un. Jaken's staff waving wildly, almost hitting Kagome as he charged past her.

"Please don't leave me Mi'Lord!" Flailing wildly, Jaken charged forwards. His shrill squawking piercing Kagome's ear- she took a brief moment to feel for Sesshoumaru, the man had to put up with it every day. His shriek became louder, begore suddenly coming to a halt as the green demon collided with the back of Sesshoumaru's leg.

As Jaken collapsed to the ground and begged for forgiveness, Sesshoumaru turned, his amber eyes landing on Kagome. "I shall accompany you to your camp." he said simply. His eye slid down to the grovelling demon. "Silence Jaken." the annoyance in his voice was evident and Jaken instantly went silent.

Kagome watched as the green demon gaped at his Lord while Sesshoumaru his attention back to her. He inclined his head to her and started off into the forest. Rin charged after him, followed by the dragon. She glanced back at Jaken, who glowered at her then stalked after the rest of his group. He was helping her? Kagome felt her feet begin to lead her after the group.

He was helping her again..

x

The group walked in silence. Kagome smiled at the peace and looked up at the sunlight beaming down from the treetops, filtering through the leaves. She enjoyed this silence. It was so very different to the silence that she was used to when travelling with Inuyasha and the others. No, when her group was silent, it was because of a conflict. It was the uncomfortable sort of silence. This silence, was the opposite, she felt a certain sort of peace walking with this group. She liked it.

That's not to say that she did not enjoy her group. No, she loved playing with Shippo and Kirara, chatting with Miroku and Sango and sitting with Inuyasha. She also loved how loud they were, especially when laughing. But as must as she loved her group, she appreciated the peace this group offered. She knew that she would miss it.

Thinking of her group, she began to think about just how she was going to explain this to Inuyasha. He was going to be mad. She inwardly shook her head, no, he was going to be more than mad. He was going to be furious. At the sound of Rin humming, she looked back to see the girl skipping beside Jaken who was grumbling. As if feeling her eyes on him, the green demon looked up and scowled at her.

Resisting the urge to chuckle, Kagome looked away only to jump as at the sight of the dragon, Ah-Un, standing before her.

Eyeing the creature wearily, she looked past him and caught sight of Sesshoumaru who had stopped. She watched with fascination as his ear twitched slightly and he reached his clawed hand to grasp the tree beside him.

Cautiously, Kagome stepped beside him, a stick snapping under her foot as she did so. His head snapped to him and she smiled sheepishly before tilting her head and frowning as she heard what he had. It sounded like roaring and, the crashing of trees? She jumped as the sounds drew nearer to her. A shadow fell over her as Sesshoumaru stepped, almost protectively, in front of her.

Kagome felt a warmth, touch her chest at his action and she reached out to touch his back, before she hesitated and pulled her hand away. She looked past his back and her eyes widened as she caught sight of a flash of red in the trees. At least she thought that she saw red. Worry for her friend took her and her legs reacted before the rest of her did, and she charged into the woods.

Sesshoumaru made a sound and watched the charging girl. He tilted his head back to Jaken and Rin who were looking at him from behind Ah-Un. "Jaken, watch Rin." he said coolly as he began to follow Kagome.

"But Mi'Lord-" Jaken froze in his protest as he received a cold glare from the Demon Lord. He hastily nodded and called out a promise to protect Rin to Sesshoumaru's retreating back.

Kagome's heart pounded as she charged through the trees. She hoped that her friends were okay while she dodged through trees. She heard something break, a tree probably, and she clenched her hands and drove herself forward. Her eyes widened as she saw a flash of red shoot through the air past her before it collided with a tree behind her. She turned, her eyes felt like they were going to burst from their sockets as she was met with the sight of Inuyasha sliding down the tree trunk.

She let out a shaky breath as she took in the sight of him. His eyes were red, as though he had been awake for hours, and his hair and skin were covered with dirt and bruising. There were cuts on his wrists and an ugly cut on his cheek that was freely flowing with blood. His hands were white from clutching the Tetsuaiga and there was a slight tremble in his arms- he had been fighting for a long time.

"S-Stupid Bitch!" he spat out blood as he stabbed his sword into the ground and used it to pull himself up from the ground. He raised his sword and called out to his wind scar, and with a roar slammed his sword to the ground.

The world around her shook and Kagome felt the air leave her lungs. Her body, and her world seemed to move in slow motion. She tried to move, she couldn't move, her legs seemed to have lost all ability to listen to her. The yellow blaze drew closer, her eyes flinched shut at her imminent death. They snapped open again as she felt something clutch her and in a flash she was standing by a tree, away from where she had once stood. The ground flaring a blinding yellow-white, she felt the heat and blast of power before it was gone, three gashes in the ground the only evidence it had ever been there.

Kagome trembled, her whole body shaken from what had happened. But how had she survived? She felt the thing around her waist tighten and she jumped at the sound of a growl by her ear. Her hand instinctively clutched at her waist, her eyes widened at the feel of an arm. Someone had saved her? Who?

She heard the growl again and she tilted her head up to see Sesshoumaru looking at something, his teeth bared. She held back a gasp, he looked angry. Her heart pulsed as she realised that he had saved her. Had saved her from Inuyasha. She sucked in a hard breath and her head snapped to where Inuyasha stood, clutching his sword tightly and his chest heaving.

Inuyasha heaved with each breath, his arms trembled as he struggled to hold his sword. He was tired, he had been fighting for hours and that last wind scar had taken it out of him. As he inhaled he was struck with the scent of jasmine and fear. His eyes widened. Kagome. His bloodshot eyes shot to the girl in question, her wide eyes locked onto him. At the sight of her, he instantly dropped his sword, which hit the ground with a clank, and returned to it's smaller form.

"K-Kagome?" he breathed shakily. "What?" he trailed off, unsure as to what to say, it seemed as though he had not noticed his brother's presence.

Kagome went to move, only to find the arm around her tighten. She glanced up at Sesshoumaru who was still glaring at his brother, but he seemed to have relaxed somewhat. She glanced back at Inuyasha and felt worried for him. He looked as though he had been fighting for hours, but what could he have been fighting with? Worried, she opened her mouth to ask him what had happened, only to have her words drowned out by another voice.

"You stupid half-breed, you nearly killed her!" a female demon, who she did not recognise, charged into the clearing. She raised her fists at Inuyasha, a blue glow taking her claws. The blue seemed to drip, like a liquid as she drew nearer to Inuyasha.

She heard Sesshoumaru let out an audible growl and her head snapped to him. She could see him staring at the other woman. He let out another growl, which she seemed to ignore and continued stepping towards Inuyasha. "Tiana." his growl was low, a warning.

Kagome's head snapped up to him, her mouth hung open in confusion. He knew her? She heard the other demon let out a growl. Worry for her friend pulsed through her chest, she struggled in his hold and he tightened his grip on her. At the sound of her friend, her eyes snapped back to the scene before them.

"Stupid bitch," Inuyasha spat, his exhaustion wearing off and his second wind kicking in. He pulled his sword up and readied it, holding it forward. His knuckles made a sound as he clenched his sword. "I'll kill you!" he raised his sword high, ready to send another wind scar.

As the demoness scowled and continued to inch closer to Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru pushed Kagome behind him and grasped the hilt of his sword. "North." his voice was icy, frightening.

"Silence West," she snapped back, she and Inuyasha circling each other. "I don't have the patience right now." her eyes flashed red.

Kagome did not need to see the way that Sesshoumaru tensed to know that they were in danger. Where before, she had tried to push past him, she now took a step back, she was not silly enough to try to step between what was happening. As she watched the scene before them she took note of what Sesshoumaru had said. He had called her North, was she royalty? If Sesshoumaru was the western lord, perhaps she was the northern one?

She jumped from her thoughts as Inuyasha let out a shout and charged at 'North'. The pair clashed, her blue claws met with the tetsuaiga, the ear piercing screech as her nails dragged the steel. Kagome flinched at the screech. She was not the only one, as both Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru also winced- though she only noticed Sesshoumaru's flinch because she was standing near to him. She frowned and looked back at the fighting just in time to see 'North' kick Inuyasha in the face with enough force to send him flying into a nearby tree.

"Kagome!" Kagome jumped at the sound of her name being squealed. She jumped as something attached itself to her neck, and she panicked, momentarily, before realising that it was only Shippo. She relaxed and turned her attention to the little demon while Inuyasha and the other demon continued to fight.

"Kagome!" Someone else called out to her and Kagome looked over to see Sango and Miroku running into the clearing. The seemed to take stock of the situation before hastily running to join Kagome behind Sesshoumaru.

Kagome reached to Shippo who had a vice grip on her shoulder. "Uh, hi guys.." her voice was uneasy. She pulled Shippo from her neck and cuddled him to her hip the way that one would carry their child. He settled into the new position easily and showed no desire to move from her.

Sesshoumaru glanced back at the newcomers but quickly lost interest and turned his attentions back to the fight. He watched, unimpressed, as Inuyashsa swung his sword at 'North', who jumped away from the sword then leaped forward, kicking him in the chest, sending the half demon flying into a tree. With a grunt, Inuyasha pulled himself from the tree. He growled, raised his sword above his head, and charged at her.

Miroku moved to Kagome's side, his eyes scanned her up and down, as though searching for any injuries. "Kagome," he caught her attention. "Are you alright?" he finished his inspection of her person and locked eyes with her. Behind him, Kirara morphed into her smaller form and nuzzled into Kagome's feet.

Kagome shifted under Miroku's gaze and opened her mouth to reply, only to be cut off as Sango cut her off. "Are you alright? Where were you- We've been so worried, you look like you've been in a fight, what happened?!" as she finished her interrogation of Kagome, she noticed the demon Lord standing by them.

She let out a gasp and grasped her Hiraikotsu. "Sesshoumaru!" she glared at his back. "What did you do to her?" she moved to stand in front of Kagome defensively.

Sesshoumaru tilted his head back to them. He stared at Sango with a bored expression for a few moments, before letting out a silent huff and turning his attention back to the fight before them. Sange's glare darkened and she raised her hiraikotsu to attack him. She heard Kagome let out a sound of protest and a hand clutched her shoulder.

"Please Sango, he saved me!" she heard the girl beg, the hand on her shoulder tightened.

At the girl's words, Sango faltered. "S-saved you?" she stammered, looking back at the girl who nodded in affirmation. She then looked back at the demon Lord who had turned his head to them again. At her questioning gaze, he offered a curt nod and turned back to watch his brother receive a kick to the head.

Sango turned to Kagome and stared at her hard, her eyes demanding to know what had happened. Kagome looked around to see Miroku eyeing her curiously, and Shippo out rightly gaped at her. She shrunk in on herself as she realised that she was going to have to explain herself. She looked around, in an attempt to find something to draw the attention away from her. There was not much, though at that moment, 'North' punched Inuyasha in the jaw. She gasped but her friends did not look at their other friend, seeing him fight was something that happened on a regular basis; Sesshoumaru saving one of them, did not.

Kagome let out a sigh as she realised that she was going to have to explain. She paused for a few moments, nibbling on her bottom lip, as she assessed the previous night. As Sango went to say something, she began. "I was sitting, taking some time to myself, you know, when Kik-" she cut herself off and reassessed whether or not it was wise to mention Kikyo. "a demon attacked me." she informed. As she said it, she found herself shying back as Miroku shot her an intense look.

Inuyasha continued to fight in the background. Kagome let out a hiss at the sound he made as a foot connected with his jaw. Face scrunching, she tried to focus on the others and not the fight. "I... was knocked unconscious, and when I woke up, I was at Sesshoumaru's camp, he had taken care of my wounds... I stayed the night." she looked at her friends pleadingly. "I'm sorry for worrying you!"

Miroku's expression softened. "I am glad that you're safe." he reached out to touch her shoulder, while Shippo and Kirara lunged at her for an embrace. He pulled his hand away from her and turned his attention to Sango who was watching the pair that was still fighting. He frowned and crossed his arms, taking a step beside the demon slayer.

Kagome looked away from the pair that were embracing her and at the fighting couple. "What is happening here? How long has this been going on for?" as she watched the female kick Inuyasha, she was oddly reminded of his fights with Koga.

Miroku folded his arms in front of him and let out an exaggerated sigh. "Inuyasha and Tiana have been fighting for…" he looked up, as though thinking about it. "Oh…. Several hours now…" he walked over to a nearby stump and sat upon it.

Kagome processed his words. He had referred to 'North' as, 'Tiana'. She frowned. Did he know her? Or had she perhaps said her the night before? Before she had the opportunity to ask, Miroku began to regale her with the events of the night before.

X Flashback X

"What the hell was that for half breed?" A voice spoke through clenched teeth; it emphasised each word with a growl.

The group looked over to see the female, Tiana, walk through the trees and into the camp. Inuyasha studied her briefly before he drew the tetsuaiga. He glared at the female across from him, his knuckles tightening around his sword's hilt. He let out a low growl. "And what have I done?" he aimed his sword at her.

Miroku rose from his seated position and walked over to a tree that was close to the scene. In his periphery, he noticed Shippo let out a frightened whimper and hid within Kagome's sleeping bag. Kirara seemed to be unaffected by the happenings on and merely went back to sleep. He also noticed Sango reach for her Hirakotsu, he reached out and stopped her with a hand on her shoulder. At her expression he shook his head.

Tiana let out a growl that was more menacing than Inuyasha's had been, causing the lump in the sleeping bag that was Shippo to begin to shake. She raised a hand to her face and pointed a delicate finger to her nose. "You threw a boulder at me you stupid Half-breed!" a small line of blood trailed down the side of her nose and along the side of her cheek. "You could have broken my nose!"

Sango tilted her head and frowned. She eyed the demoness warily before leaning over to Miroku. "Um.. wouldn't there be more of a wound? Especially if it hit her in the face?" her voice was low, to not draw the attention of the demons- not that they were paying enough attention to hear her anyway.

Miroku smirked but offered her no other response.

Inuyasha let out a huff. "Feh, well maybe you should be more careful then wench!" his lips curled nastily.

Her eyes flashed red in response to his words. She raised her fists to attack, but paused. Her eyes flashed between red and purple several times before she lowered her hand and sucked in a deep breath. Her lips curled into a serene smile that did not at all suit her face. "I want an apology." She said simply.

Inuyasha let out a huff of air, as though the very thought of doing such a thing amused him. "Like you'll fucking get one!" he called back. His grip on his sword tightened, were such a thing possible. His foot inched forward, a leaf crackling under the weight of his foot.

Tiana let out another growl and inched forward as well. She then reached up to wipe at her nose. The blood came off easily and the scratch that was once a wound had vanished- as though it had never been there. She wiped her bloodied hand against her side before cracking the knuckle, ready to strike.

Inuyasha's lips curled up into a sneer. "How about I give you another one?"

She returned the sneer with a glare. Her claws cracked again. "Bring it on, Dog Turd!" She leaped forward.

"Stupid Bitch!" he shouted as he charged at her.

X End Flashback X

Miroku closed his eyes with a sigh, his shoulders slumping. "They've been at it ever since…" he opened his eyes briefly, looking at the two fighting, before he let out another sigh and closed his eyes again.

Kagome nodded at his words, soaking in what he had said. Her eyes slid to the fight that was raging on, her eyes widened at the sight before her. Inuyasha grunted as his face pressed into the ground. He was on his stomach with his legs arched over his back and his feet resting at each side of his head- as though he were in some strange yoga position. Sitting upon his legs, holding him into the floor, was Tiana. She looked down at the half-demon below her, a self-satisfied smile rested on her face.

She heard Sango let out a sound and glanced over to see the demon slayer gaping at the scene. She also took quick notice of Shippo, Miroku and Kirara who all seemed to struggling with varying states of amusement. She heard a crunch and her head snapped back to the scene, her eyes widened fractionally as Sesshoumaru stepped towards the pair.

Sesshoumaru's shoulders seemed to drop slightly as he drew closer to the scene- a sight that Kagome found curious. "Tiana, release the fool." Despite his stiff stance, his voice sounded bored, relaxed even.

Tiana looked up at him from her spot atop Inuyasha. She pushed her bottom lip out in a pout as she crossed her arms. "Awww… but that's not fun Sesshoumaru…" When Inuasha made a sound, she tapped him with her foot.

"Now North." He snapped. He turned from her to look back at Kagome. Their eyes locked and he gave her the slightest tilt of his head. When she tilted her head and moved to say something, he turned and left. His hair swaying behind him with the slight breeze that always seemed to follow him.

Tiana tapped her foot against Inuyasha as she chose to ignore the Western Lord's orders. She grinned as he let out another grumble and struggled against her. She grinned down at him and he did his best to scowl up at her- which admittedly was not all too effective from his position on the ground. Her grin seemed to widen and she leaned down fractionally. "You going to apologise, Dog Turd?"

His struggles became more aggressive. "Feh- Just wait 'til I get free!" his actions only served to cause her to laugh and bounce on him.

"Lady Tiana," Miroku's voice cut through Tiana's laughter and Inuyasha's grumbling. The monk stepped towards the demonic pair. "I suggest that you do what Sesshouaru requested."

His words, or his voice, caused Tiana to pause in her laughter. She glanced in his direction and tilted her head as she linked eyes with him. She blinked a few times in a way that would have been quite adorable in any other situation. "Miroku?" her white fangs flashed as she grinned. She all of a sudden, leaped from her position atop Inuyasha and flung herself at the monk. Her arms winding around him as she pulled him into an embrace.

"It's good to see you too…" he smiled as he returned her embrace.

"How are you doing, darling?" she pulled back and looked down at him. Her eyes softened and she reached up to push some of his hair out of his face. He wrinkled his eyes at her, like a child annoyed at a parent.

The other members of the group stood still to their spots. Their eyes wide as they blinked with confusion as they tried to process just what was happening. With the exclusion of Inuyasha, who had slowly began the process of untangling himself, his muscles protesting with each movement. Sango, also did not seem stunned, no she instead held her hiraikostu in a death grip, her eyes flashing dangerously as she watched the embrace.

X

Sesshoumaru emerged from between the trees and stepped into the clearing where his companions awaited him. As his eyes scanned the sight before him, he could not hide the ghost of a smirk that touched his lips from what he could see.

Rin laughed with glee as she chased Jaken. In her hands was the staff of two heads. Her laughter rising as she swung it at him, the imp jumping with each blow in an attempt to dodge the staff. As Jaken ran past, his eyes locked onto Sesshoumaru.

"M-My Lord! Heeelp me!" his voice squawked as he again jumped to dodge the staff. On his next lap of the clearing, he headed towards Sesshoumaru.

Sesshoumaru smirked at his retainer, before turning to walk away from the imp. He started off into the distance. Rin called out to him and charged behind him, followed by Ah-Un, and Jaken, once he realised that he was no longer being chased.

"How was your walk with Lady Kagome, Lord Sesshoumaru?" Rin asked as she fell into step beside him. She watched him with a smile as he stared on ahead of them.

At the mention of Kagome, Jaken murmured curses under his breath. An action which he received a rock to the head for. Rubbing his wounded head, he kept his murmurings to his inner mind.

X

At the edge of a cliff, overhanging a mountain, stood Naraku. His eyes trained on the forest below him. He had long since returned to his original form, something that he was grateful for, he did not enjoy taking the form of Kikyo- even if he did enjoy the chaos that he could cause in it.

As wind blew past his face he closed his eyes, a light smile touching his lips. He had not felt this relaxed in some time. He searched his memory for the last time he had felt like this and his smile widened as his mind supplied him with the answer.

X Flashback X

Fingers slid through his hair. He almost purred at the feeling of the digits sliding against his skull. He was so close to the slumber that he needed. "Hey Naraku?" he heard her voice call. He frowned, his peace disturbed. Why did she have to interrupt him? Why could she not let him sleep?

He kept his eyes closed, perhaps if she thought him to be asleep, she would not bother him further. He hoped that she received the silent message. He had had an encounter with Inuyasha earlier today and most of his body was covered in wounds. He was in quite serious need of rest. She called him again, louder this time.

He let out a growl. Of course she would not let him rest. "What?" he snapped, his eyes clenching.

He felt, more than heard her huff. "No need to be rude, poo." He felt a finger flick his nose. "I just wanted to know if I could rest my head on your chest- you're not the only one who needs sleep, you know?" he let out a sound as his head collided with the stone floor as she moved. "You can sleep on the cold, hard floor, all alone!" she kicked his side before walking away from him and to another part of her cell.

Naraku sighed, perhaps now he would be able to get some rest. That being said, perhaps he could move another room, away from her… that being said he was feeling lazy and could not really be bothered moving to another room.

The sounds of her dresses ruffling filled the room as she made herself comfortable across from him. "Good night, Lord Naraku." She said thinly as the sounds of movement ceased.

He let out a sigh and rolled onto his side, allowing him to rest his head on his arm. He laid in silence for the longest time, and as he felt his eyes rolling back behind their lids, as he felt sleep pull him. He heard a sound. His eyes shot open and he flinched at the sound of metal scraping against stone.

He closed his eyes again, when, after a few moments passed of silence. He again felt that pull, that precipice of sleep.

A metallic bang echoed through the room.

His red eyes shot open. He pulled himself to sit and turned to face her. His ruby iris' locked onto her, and his eyes narrowed dangerously. She looked back at him through glittering purple eyes- she was amused by her actions. Smart bitch.

His eyes flashed and his lip curled warningly. She let out a sound, a breath of a chuckle before hitting her the chain into the floor. As the chain hit the floor, the screech went straight to his ear. He flinched lightly as the sound resonated behind his eyes.

Why did he keep her? Why didn't he send her away? Or kill her?

"Is that bothering you?" She asked innocently. "I'm sorry." A smile tugged at her lips.

He heard the challenge in her voice. Could see it in the smirk upon her lips. He bit back a growl and he slid back down to the floor. It is there that he made the fatal mistake of closing his eyes. The second he felt that euphoric state take him, she slammed the chain back against the floor. His eyes shot open and he pulled himself up to stand. His arm changed into a tentacle, he shot the tendril forward to strike at her. With a laugh she jumped out of the way.

They continued like this for some time, with each dodge, Naraku would attempt to strike her. With each miss she would laugh and strike against the floor. After what seemed like hours, but was most likely only a few minutes, the pair stopped as his tentacle lodged itself into the wall beside her head.

She stared at the appendage beside her head with wide eyes. Then back at him. Something in the air seemed to shift and suddenly the two were laughing.

As he retracted his arm, his laughing cause him to fall, landing on his back. He clutched his stomach as he laughed. At the sound of her laughter, he felt his grow. He only stopped when he started to settle. Breathing heavily, he stared up at the ceiling. He could not remember the last time that he had laughed like that- if at all.

He jumped as he felt a hand rest against his chest. He looked up at her, she stared down at him with relaxed eyes. When had she sat beside him? He not even sense her move

"Feeling better now?" she patted his shoulder.

He tilted his head as he looked up at her. Things started to make sense, her reasons for irritating him, suddenly started to make sense. She had been trying to make him feel better, to distract him from his pain. He looked down at his injured body, then to his side where she sat beside him.

"That was you're plan all along, wasn't it?" he didn't elaborate, he knew that she would know what he meant.

Her eyes softened and she smiled down at him. She let out a breath of air as she shifted so that she was lying beside him. She snuggled into his side and rested her head in the crook of his shoulder. "I have no idea what you are talking about." She replied, and he could feel her smile widen.

Silly Wench. He felt his lips twitch. He reached up with the arm that she was resting against, and ran his fingers through her hair. He could feel her breathing even out as he continued stroking her head. She clutched him as she fell into her slumber, her breath tickled his neck. He lowered his hand to rub gently against her side while he felt his own eyes slide shut. A feeling of contentment filled him, as well as something else. He felt sleep overtake him, a smile on his face.

X End Flashback X

He let out a quiet chuckle as he thought of the memory. The time that she had spent as his prisoner was a memory that he knew he would always keep. She brought him real joy, a joy that he could not obtain from fighting Inuyasha- perhaps even acquiring shards did not compare. He knew that his time with her would always hold a place in his heart, even if their choices in life led them down different paths- if some day he never saw her again, he would always hold the memories.

He frowned at the thought of not seeing her again, he quickly squashed the thought, however, as he had other things to do. He summoned his energy, it surrounding him in an orb of purples, the light became blinding, and then he was gone. As though he had never been there.

Next thing he knew, he was standing in a 'bedroom' of one of his many hiding castle's. He energy dimmed and dispersed as he knelt down on the floor beside his futon. He let out a breath and moved to set himself onto the futon- he was tired and wanted a rest.

As he readied himself, he paused. The scar on his back burned. He winced and moved to remove his shirts. The wound pulsed and he let out a cry, falling forward onto the palms of his hands. His back hunched up and his nails clenched against the floor as he tried to grip something, anything.

His back burned, as though on fire. "O-Onigumo!" he let out a cry and he rose and clawed at his shirts. He clenched his eyes in pain. He bit his bottom lip, causing it to bleed. His claws gripped his shirts and his pulled, ripping them from his body. He hissed as cold air hit his back. He fell forward again, his breath coming out in pants as he shook in pain.

His scar swelled purple, then oozed black.