Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and unfortunately never will…

A/N: I came up with this idea while writing my story "Golden Fire" (which you should read/review, it's not half bad if I do say so myself). I had an extremely hard time keeping Kagome and Sesshoumaru apart and into their own separate romantic relationships. I'm a rabid Inuyasha/Kagome fan, but since I just did one of those, I decided to change it up a bit. Anyway, this little note is actually for this:

WARNING: This is an R-rated fic, which is partly cautionary. The beginning has a considerable amount of angst (hence the title…), but will later include strong sexual innuendo. Not lemons, but perhaps a bit limey. You have been warned.

Dedicated to my best friend, Kelly – she completely deserves it.

The Broken Miko

Chapter 1: The Dungeon of the Oni Lord

The dripping of water into stagnant pools echoed down the empty hall. The slime on the walls thickened as new algae grew at alarming rates and no movement could be made without it smearing onto one's kimono. It was the sort of place he detested and he been trapped here for five cycles of the moon.

He sat down in the corner that he had dubbed the least disgusting and studied his surroundings for the thousandth time. Despite all appearances, the walls were not just stone and muck. They possessed a quality that did not allow youkais to use their inherent powers. If they didn't, he would have already transformed into his true form and eaten every guard on his way out of the hellhole.

Sesshoumaru licked his lips and ran his tongue along his sharp fangs at the thought of raw meat. The prison guards had been feeding him quite inferior food. Rice being the main ingredient. They were demon too, so he knew they gave him this food just to torture him.

He looked disdainfully at the half-eaten contents of the rough-hewn bowl next to him. It was cooked and it was not meat. Sighing inwardly, he picked it up and hesitantly raised it to his lips, which curled in distaste. Quickly, he downed the remaining rations, trying not to smell the aroma of human sustenance. Of course his sense of smell was the only ability that had not been affected by the enchanted fortifications.

The door at the other end of the hall clanged open, allowing a blast of relatively fresh air down the corridor and through the bars of Sesshoumaru's cell. He breathed in greedily, as if he had been held underwater for the past hour. He paused and wrinkled his nose slightly when the unwashed stench of the guard flooded his senses. The Western Lord was positive that his captor had assigned his nasally sensitive prisoner a boar youkai on purpose.

"Done yet?" barked the pig as he neared the door. His unkempt armor plates grated against each other, signaling they needed to be divested of their rust. The Western Lord almost flinched at the irritating noise combined with the disgusting lack of care his sentry had for his own belongings. The only object that appeared clean was the plain, circular pendant hanging around his neck. The small glyph on it was not something even Sesshoumaru could recognize.

Sesshoumaru glared at him, narrowing his golden eyes. Not moving from his spot, he pushed the bowl across the floor until it pinged against the iron bars. "It was sufficient," he lied. Damned if they would know how much he hated the stuff.

The boar youkai snorted and used the blunt end of his spear to pull the bowl out from between the bars. Sesshoumaru growled lightly, knowing that the sentry had been instructed to not place his hands inside the cell since that would be his last act of life. Not that it would provide much more than a meal for the lord. Wisely enough, the keys to his cell were kept in a different place than on the sentry's belt.

The guard bent down and picked up the bowl slowly, keeping his eyes trained on his prisoner. Snickering, he thought of how much the demon lord had changed in appearance since they brought him into this deepest part of the dungeon. The slime and muck of the walls had resisted all of Sesshoumaru's efforts and clung fast to his silk kimono. His silver hair was mussed and dirty as well. All in all, the boar was pleased to see that the youkai beyond the bars possessed none of his previous good looks. Maybe that would stop the court's females from peering into the small window at the other end of the hall, trying to catch a glimpse of the once impeccable Western Lord.

Sesshoumaru himself had noticed the women gawking at his pale, lean figure and had come to detest them. If they were not going to assist him in escaping, must they giggle so much? He tossed his hair over his shoulder. Not that he would want any assistance from a bunch of females, or anyone for that matter.

As the door shut once again, leaving him without the stink of his guard, the Western Lord considered his predicament. He still did not know how he had been knocked unconscious on the field of battle, but that wasn't the part that troubled him. He was still alive. Why? He had no family that would pay for his ransom, nor did he have lands he would give up to secure his freedom. He would rather die than lose honor in such a way.

Perhaps if he knew the identity of his captor, he would know why he was alive. He had gone to the call of the Lord of the Southern Lands and helped defend the weakening lizard youkai's borders, but he had not gone out of his way to know who the attacker was. After all, the rebel was supposed to be dead by the end of the skirmish.

He glanced around once again. It would appear that he had been wrong.

A noise from the opposite side of the hall door pulled Sesshoumaru from his thoughts, but it stopped as quickly as it had begun.

He leaned back onto the wall and folded his remaining arm across his lap. 'Damn that brother of mine', he thought with uncharacteristic bitterness. 'What is a dog with only three legs? Crippled of course.'

He sighed, lifting his hand to pass over his brow and resuming his usual eerie calm. This was not the time to get angry. That pig demon's eyes begged for an excuse to kill his royal charge. Considering that he did not even have youkai speed in this cell, Sesshoumaru was not sure that he could dodge any arrow shot by the boar. He growled softly, trying to keep it silent. 'Was this how humans lived every day? No wonder they were useless and pathetic', he mused.

An image of a small black-haired girl came unbidden to his mind. Rin. The twelve-year-old girl had become inextricable from his life over the past four years. Occasionally, he dared to think that the small child had actually contributed to his contentment in life. He would often push this thought aside, only to return to it later, turning it over in his mind.

During his interminable stay in the dungeon, he had come to the conclusion that Rin did not make him soft hearted, as he once believed. She had become a counter-balance to the bloodshed in his life. On top of all this, Rin had become polite and intelligent under his tutelage. She was an acceptable human ward.

He frowned. Unlike that wench belonging to his brother. That was a girl who needed considerable instruction in proper manners and dress. That obscene kimono she wore. Sesshoumaru closed his eyes, trying to erase the image of the irritating human girl.

The door at the end of the hall swung open once again and Sesshoumaru vaguely wondered why the boar had returned before he noticed that the creature walking towards him was not the sentry. The figure was robed in a black cloak that fell to the floor, out of which peeked the tips of the boots the person wore as they sauntered up to the cell door.

The hood was flipped back in a fluid motion and Sesshoumaru, still seated on the floor, widened his eyes slightly. It was a female. Perhaps one of the courtesans had gathered enough courage to attempt to help him.

He settled back against the wall once again, acknowledging in his mind that the attempt would fail. Any moment now and the door would open to reveal three or four guards ready to drag her back to the lord of the castle for punishment.

It would serve no purpose to expect an escape.

Dark eyes peered at him through the gloom of the dungeon. "Aren't you happy to see me?" the woman questioned with a voice that must once have held a lot of joy, but was now dead.

"Who are you?" countered Sesshoumaru, ignoring her question. He took in her appearance, as if it would provide a clue. Her black hair was streaked with red, the same color that rimmed her average brown eyes. Most noticeably, two crimson colored ears poked out of her hair on top of her head. She was a hanyou, clearly, but who was she?

The girl blinked. "You really don't recognize me, do you?"

Sesshoumaru arched an eyebrow and with a small sigh of annoyance, heaved himself to his feet and walked over to the bars. "Should I? I do not associate with half-breeds like yourself." He noticed that she remained a few feet out his reach, just like the guards.

Actual emotion flashed through her eyes and Sesshoumaru recognized it as anger. It had been awhile since anyone had dared to be visibly angry with him, and it amused him to see it. "You're a real jackass, you know that?" She huffed a bit and blew a few bangs out of her dark eyes.

"No one has lived long enough to tell me so," he responded dryly, returning to his previous thoughts of fresh food. She would do in a pinch, although he usually didn't consume youkai with the power of speech.

"Well perhaps they should do so more often," she stated.

Sesshoumaru carefully suppressed his appetite. The hanyou would probably disagree with him anyway. "I tire of this game. Tell me who you are and what you want, or leave." He brushed a hand through his hair, inwardly grimacing as it became stuck in a mass of gelatinous scum.

Her expression deadened once again. "I'm exactly who you think I am. A half-breed."

There was a pregnant pause as Sesshoumaru studied her again and sniffed the air. There was something familiar about her scent, but the half-demon blood seemed to cover it. Finally, he broke the silence. "That does not answer my question adequately. And you have yet to tell me what you want."

She stepped closer and ran her clawed hands over the hinges of the bars. "You can't break the door can you?"

Sesshoumaru pushed down his growing impatience. Must she always answer a question with another? "No. The walls are enchanted and my demon strength has been temporarily taken away." He eyed her for a moment. "As a half-breed, you would have even less success. The walls affect you as well."

The girl gave him a cold glare. "You'd be right, if I only had demonic powers." She retreated a few feet. "Now, I'll make you a deal, Sesshoumaru."

"And what would that be, half-breed?" His eyes swept over her form for the third time. She didn't look like she could break down the door, but perhaps she was immune to the walls' power because of her tainted blood.

"I'll let you out and you have to accompany me on my mission. A mission that concerns you, by the way," she added quickly as she watched Sesshoumaru's eyes narrow. As an afterthought, she said, "And you can't continue calling me 'half-breed'."

He gritted his teeth. "Very well, wench."

The girl shook her head. "No name-calling at all. I have a name you know."

Sesshoumaru leveled his gaze at her. He half-expected her to begin wagging her finger at him. "In that case, it would be prudent to tell me your name."

She was unabashed at her mistake. "Promise me that you'll come with me first. To help me in my quest and not harm me."

"Will Tokijin and Tensaiga be returned to this Sesshoumaru? Along with my armor? And the chance to kill the lord who has imprisoned me for so long?" He clenched his fist at the thought of his keeper, accidentally allowing his claws to pierce his palm. His nose twitched at the smell of blood, as did the mysterious girl's.

The hanyou hesitated. "Very well. It will make this much more difficult, but I think we can manage."

Sesshoumaru pressed his lips into a small line for a moment. "Then I agree to your terms. Although you still have not responded to my other request."

She knew what he meant, but kept her eyes on the hinges of the iron door. The demon lord watched as she lifted her hands to the crux of the bars and furrowed her brow in concentration. A pink light streamed from her hands and she quickly moved, so that it would touch all three hinges. The glow died and the door fell from its frame into her waiting arms. She let it rest on the ground, careful to avoid making too much noise.

Sesshoumaru, meanwhile, had been allowing his thoughts to click into place as he solved the puzzle the girl had presented to him. How had he not realized it earlier? He had just been thinking of her vexing habits a few moments before her arrival. "You are my brother's we-…" he stopped and corrected himself, forcing out some small semblance respect for the girl who had just released him. "Companion," he finished.

The girl nodded solemnly as a cloud seemed to pass over her expression. "My name is Kagome," she finally said stoically.

"I know," he answered, a bit harshly. He might not have cared, but he couldn't easily ignore his idiot brother yelling that name during their battles.

As he crossed the threshold of his cell, his baser instincts were telling him to pounce upon her and destroy this girl that had so insulted him, but he restrained himself. Hanyou or not, he had made a promise and honor forbade him to break it.

Kagome just nodded once again and gestured for him to follow her, which he did with a slight frown creasing the edges of his mouth. If she intended for him to accompany her, she had better not expect him to act like a lap dog.

She pulled open the heavy wooden door and glided through with her cloak whispering against the flagstone floor. Sesshoumaru paused in the doorway and looked to either side of the small, dimly light chamber. Two guards, including the boar sentry, had been slaughtered. For a moment, he marveled at Kagome's obvious skill, but quickly erased the thought. "You killed these men."

It was a statement, not a question, but Kagome took it as one anyway. "Yes. I couldn't exactly flirt my way past them, could I?" she commented dryly, keeping her back to him.

Before he passed through the small antechamber, he considered the bodies of the dead youkai once again. Their spears had not been used and their eyes held a look of complete astonishment. These men had been killed unaware of their predator. Even Sesshoumaru knew the meaning of 'killed in cold blood' and this scene exemplified that. They had not the slightest chance to defend themselves. He stole a glance at the miko, who stood waiting for him at the opposite side of the tiny room.

"Are you coming?" she inquired as she opened the next wooden door. "Once we're past this room, we might have to fight a bit to get out. I only killed the guards I met on my way. More may come."

Sesshoumaru crossed to her and pushed the door closed silently. "Tell me where we are. I do not like to enter into battle without knowledge of my surroundings."

"Wise choice," Kagome responded as she removed her hands from the handle and tucked them into her sleeves. "You're in a small dungeon built specifically for youkai prisoners of war. We're about two miles from the castle of the lord who put you here, so reinforcements cannot easily be called. I destroyed the beacon though, so if anyone is aware of our presence, it will take them awhile to get new soldiers out here."

Her eyes glittered as she looked at the sullied demon lord before her. 'He still looks completely unfazed by the events taking place around him', she thought. 'Still an ice prince. What a shame.' She shook her head, burying the impulse to smile sympathetically at him.

Sesshoumaru watched the brief play of emotion across her face, but refocused onto the task at hand. "I believe you are mistaken. Why would a lord keep his most dangerous captives away from his castle?"

Kagome arched a red and black eyebrow at him. "Because if they broke out, the castle would be the first place to go and wreak havoc. Why make it easier for them to get there?"

"It is a coward's excuse. A proper guard should be able to respond quickly enough to contain any danger," he retorted. 'Except if the prisoner was this Sesshoumaru,' he silently commented.

The girl shrugged. "It doesn't matter. The location of the tower in relation to the castle will aid us in this instance, so let's not look a gift horse in the mouth, okay?" She finished, staring at the Western Lord.

He tried to process her strange words, but came up with nothing and decided that it was not relevant. "Let us proceed then."

She reached for the door and opened it wide to reveal a spiraling staircase. Truly fresh air raced down it, causing Sesshoumaru's hair to ripple slightly in the breeze. He sniffed delicately, trying to refrain from inhaling deeply in the miko's presence. Just because he looked like a barbarian in his tattered clothing, didn't mean he had to act as one. He was still the Western Lord.

The girl had begun to trudge up the slick stairs, not bothering to lift the front of her robe to prevent her from slipping on the stone.

'Foolish child,' thought Sesshoumaru as he moved to follow her. They climbed up for what must have been twenty feet when they came to another door, this one solid iron.

Flexing her claws and crouching slightly, Kagome tossed a glance over her shoulder. "Smell anything?" she whispered, so low that he practically had to lip-read.

He breathed in through his nose and immediately drew back at the pungent scent of blood. "They are dead," he stated with his voice at its normal volume.

"Good," she hissed, glaring at the iron door for a second before pushing it open. If Sesshoumaru was shocked at her fierce manner, he didn't say anything as he once again followed her through the doorway.

A similar scene to that of the antechamber lay before them. Three guards had been taken by surprise and killed in an instant. Claw marks across their throats ensured against them calling for assistance. Even the Western Lord had to admit that his new companion was a decent assassin. The question was, how would she perform in real combat?

He noticed just in time that Kagome had paused in the hallway, and stopped gracefully before hitting her from behind.

She turned and let out a half-developed gasp when she realized how close he had been. Her eyes traveled up from his chest to his pale, aggravated face and she immediately countered it with one of her own. "We need to let the other prisoners out." The sudden softness of her voice conflicted with the hard gleam in her eyes.

Sesshoumaru lifted his head and glanced down the length of the corridor at the door that surely was an exit. Perpendicular to it, the hall branched off and he could hear the shuffling of several youkai prisoners. He wrinkled his nose slightly. Did no one in this place bathe?

Kagome chuckled softly at her comrade's obvious discomfort, earning her a growl and a flex of the poison claw in her direction. She dismissed it. He had promised not to kill her, and she knew he would be bound by honor to uphold that.

"Why do you want to free the other youkai?" he questioned after the long pause. His breath tickled her cheeks and nose as he looked down at her.

The miko stepped back, suddenly aware of their proximity to each other but refusing to blush. "I believe they have suffered here enough is all. This lord is cruel to his prisoners and I want it to stop, for these guys at least."

Sesshoumaru's thoughts flickered back to the food and lodgings of the past five months and grimly nodded his assent.

She glared at him for a moment before sprinting away down the hall. "I would have done it with or without your approval, Sesshoumaru. You're going to have to get used to that."

He gritted his teeth against her insolence. 'Exactly how long does this girl intend to keep me bound to my oath?' he wondered.

A few cries of joy came to his ears and the Western Lord slowly padded his way down to the cells for less dangerous youkai than himself. When he turned the corner, he was surprised to see that there were only six cells, three facing their mirrors along a short hall. He frowned, momentarily insulted that he had been imprisoned in such a rudimentary building.

Kagome stood in the middle of the corridor with her hands fading from a soft pink to her normal flesh color. Four demons were now stretching and grinning as they stepped out of their cells. Some definitely looked the worse for wear. Kagome herself was frowning in concentration, but the expression vanished as one of the prisoners embraced her as he passed. The miko looked down to see a young demon with feathered wings protruding from his back.

He pulled away and looked up at her with violently green eyes. Kagome was troubled to see that the child was no older than ten. "Thank you, my Lady. Kami himself must have sent you."

Her eyes darkened as she pried his arms off of her waist. "Get out of here, kid," she muttered. "As a word of advice, don't go around hugging strange demons. Or hanyous for that matter."

The boy stepped away as if he had touched a live wire, hurt evident in his eyes. Kagome just glared at him and crossed her arms. After a few moments pause, the child slipped away behind the other three former inmates, sparing a fearful glance for the intimidating inuyoukai near the exit.

Sesshoumaru furrowed his brow. In less than ten minutes, this hanyou had confused him more than he would have liked. The wench he remembered was distinctly more sunny than the half-demon standing before him. Combined with the fact that she had obviously given up half her humanity and no longer seemed to travel with his idiot brother, and he had a mystery on his hands. Sesshoumaru did not like mysteries.

Kagome tossed her hair over her shoulder. "Let's go and get your stuff and then you can clean up a bit. You reek of bad rice."

That certainly could not be ignored, so the Western Lord quickly moved and blocked her from brushing by. "I will not be talked to in that way," he growled, with a deadly spike of anger in his voice. "The only reason you are not dead is because this Sesshoumaru promised it to be so."

The miko glared at him for a moment and then hung her head, causing Sesshoumaru's eyebrow to arch in surprise. The girl was acting as if she were three different people. One minute angry, the next cold and distant like himself, and now weak, like the human she had once been. It took all of his strength not to shatter his composure and sigh in frustration, but it was getting harder as he sensed the flickering emotions of Kagome's mind.

He finally settled on a compromise. "This Sesshoumaru has never asked for anything of a hanyou or human," he began, silently adding 'or demon'. "But I request that you show your true nature if you plan to accompany me in our journey. None of this ridiculous emotional turbulence." His cold heart fought against every word he uttered, but the Western Lord knew in order not to kill each other, they would both have to adjust a bit. The thought irked him, but he finally decided it was acceptable trade for his freedom.

The girl before him just lifted her head and gave him a cold look. "Very well," she said, echoing his earlier tone. Sesshoumaru nodded, seeing that she had wisely chosen the icy, calculating demeanor that matched so well to his own. At least he wouldn't have to listen to her inane prattling.

He stepped into the long thin rectangle of sunlight the partially opened door created. He gave her a questioning glare when he noticed that Kagome was not moving.

She snapped her head up, nodded once to his silent query and they walked out into the field that surrounded the small prison. The expanse of tall green grass and reeds was empty as the sun set in the distance, and Sesshoumaru immediately tensed his muscles in preparation for an attack. He could hear the now distant whoops and hollers of the freed captives and cursed them for being so loud.

"This way." Kagome pointed to the north. "I think this lord is actually just a wealthy vassal, so we shouldn't meet too much resistance." She trudged off, ignoring the small creases of a frown evident in her comrade's face.

'How is it that a vassal captured this Sesshoumaru?' he wondered. It would be foolish indeed to place the Lord of the Western Lands into such a minimally secure prison and then take his valuable possessions. Naturally, he would want them back. It was as if the vassal wished for his own death, or at least for Sesshoumaru to escape.

He observed the miko walking away, her hips swaying underneath her cloak. In an unusual spurt of curiosity, he wondered when he would be able to ask about her past. Sesshoumaru had not seen his brother's ragtag band for more than nine months prior to his capture. What had separated the previously inseparable miko and hanyou? He had always expected them to mate eventually, but the girl held no scent of Inuyasha upon her body.

Sesshoumaru shook his head slowly, oblivious to the small droplets of slimy water that slipped off the ends of his tresses. Now was the time for revenge, not contemplation into his worthless brother's love life.

Kagome tucked her hands into her sleeves and tried to ignore the lingering smell of the muck-ridden dungeon to no avail. 'Great,' she thought. 'It's seeped into my clothes.' She heard a rustle of grass and glanced up to see Sesshoumaru walking slightly in front of her, with his usual snobbish air. The sleeves of his kimono were ripped and she could see his broad shoulders and strong back. His strength and speed would definitely come in handy, she decided with a critical eye on his confident gait.

She cleared her throat, but when he didn't turn to meet her eyes, she spoke anyway. "I apologize for my erratic behavior."

Now he did stop and turn. Kagome knew that had he been a hanyou, his ears would be twitching in confusion. He responded with a deliberate tone. "There is no reason for your apologies. We have already discussed this matter."

She scowled and her ears flattened against her head. "I don't think you understand. I haven't been a hanyou for long and it's just driving me crazy. All my new demon blood fighting my human blood. It tends to make me a bit… strange at times. I'm telling you so that you won't be surprised if I slip up and actually show my more volatile side."

Sesshoumaru took note of her reddening face. "Like now, for example?" he intoned, hiding his amusement at the half-breed's suffering.

Her mouth dropped open and she averted her eyes. "Yes, I guess so."

"Well," he drawled, "this should prove to be an interesting journey." Without waiting for a response, he pivoted on his toe and walked off.

They quickly crossed the field and entered a large grove of ancient trees, which they moved through at a dizzying pace. After only fifteen minutes of silent striding, Kagome spotted the lit torches of the vassal's mansion.

Before they left the shadows, Sesshoumaru stopped and lowered himself to the ground. He faced the lights of the palace and remained silent.

Kagome was beginning to get annoyed, but carefully covered it. "What are we doing? Don't you want your stuff?"

"You took a great risk coming to the prison in daylight. I shall not make the same mistake now. We will wait for nightfall." He settled back against a tree and closed his eyes.

The hanyou frowned, looked towards the sky and found a suitable branch. Immediately, she hopped up and lay down on it, with her stomach pressed against the rough bark. Her feet were propped up behind her, allowing her knees and cloak to fall to either side of the branch. As she placed her head upon her hands, she took on the appearance of a feline instead of a canine.

"I see you have taken on my brother's strange sleeping habits," stated the inuyoukai on the forest floor. Inuyasha might have thought he was safe in treetops, but Sesshoumaru found the practice to be utterly exposing. The Western Lord himself never slept while away from his home.

She made a noise of indignation. "I don't plan to sleep in your vicinity anytime soon," she huffed, as if she had read his thoughts.

He kept his eyes closed and ignored her uncanny telepathic moment. "You will not survive the trip to my lands. As a hanyou, you need sleep. Especially as a half-breed that hasn't had any practice at sleep deprivation."

"You expect me to trust you?"

"Of the two of us, I feel that you are the most untrustworthy," he responded without emotion.

Kagome immediately sat up, straddling the branch and staring at him with unmistakable anger. "Me? This from the guy who has tried to kill me countless times for a stupid sword? I freed you from that prison, mister. I think I deserve a little credit, you know."

"I did not kill you. That is my show of appreciation." He opened one eye and let it fall upon her form. "I believe we agreed that you would not act so irrationally."

"We agreed that I would pick one side of my personality and stick with it. Maybe I decided to give in to the demonic side."

"No demon is irritating as you, half-breed," he commented dryly.

Kagome bristled. "I thought we agreed that there would be no name-calling."

Sesshoumaru resisted the urge to roll his now open eyes. "Then we have both broken our promises. That is the way things happen occasionally."

"Just don't get any ideas of breaking the most important one. You still have to accompany me on my mission." She brushed a few red hairs away from her eyelashes.

What was it about demons that made them so vexing? Sesshoumaru was far too much like his brother sometimes. Stubborn and arrogant, the lot of them.

Her heart twisted at the thought of Inuyasha. It was for him that she had become a hanyou and she wished fervently that he could be there to help her through the transition. But he left her, just like he always did. A wave of bitterness flowed through her. It was because of him that she felt like this. Like she was breaking apart from the inside.

Kagome never thought it was possible to feel so much pain. And this youkai had the gall to judge her for her strange behavior?

After several minutes, the passing of which the female hanyou barely noticed, Sesshoumaru voiced his decision. "I will join you on this mission of yours, for the sake of my honor."

His eyes shone with a flash of amusement and Kagome knew it was because he could sense her resentment. 'What an ass,' she thought for the hundredth time. 'He thinks I should be honored that he's living up to his promise.'

"I wish to know of my brother's whereabouts," he spoke again, surprising the hanyou. "I do not want him leaping out at me, brandishing Tetsusaiga, and complaining that I have kidnapped you."

Kagome froze for a moment and gracefully swung down out of the tree. Walking forward, she took note of the sky's deepening hues. "The sun has set. We should go now, before the night watch discovers you and the other prisoners are gone."

"You will answer the question, wench," growled Sesshoumaru as he got to his feet.

She spun around, clenching her fists and leaning forward while her ears twitched. "Look. I guarantee you that Inuyasha will not be coming after me."

Sesshoumaru allowed a small smirk to grace his features. "He chose the undead miko over you." He knew of the love triangle between his brother and the two girls. Just more torment for Inuyasha, something Sesshoumaru very much enjoyed.

Instead of getting furious, as he expected, the girl retracted her aggressive stance. "Something like that," she said passively with a blank face.

His amber eyes seemed to pierce her soul and she thought about making a break for it, just to leave his gaze. Finally, he turned away and she let out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding.

"It is time," said Sesshoumaru as he began to walk toward the mansion.

A/N: There's your first chapter. You didn't really think they'd keep those promises did you? If you think Kagome is acting a bit crazy, that's intentional. If you think she's acting a bit like Inuyasha, that's also intentional. Anyone want to guess why she's suddenly a hanyou? You get my personal praise if you get it right! Haha… Anyway, please review.