Disclaimer: I don't own or claim to own anyone from Inuyasha. There are a few original characters in here that are mine.
AN: Yes, I know that I have other stories that I'm working on, but this idea struck me and I needed to write it. I don't know who the pairing will be. It's either IY/K or Sess/K. I'll figure that out later. And I unfortunately had to give everyone last names or different last names 'cause I don't think there were any Higurashis in England, but all first names were kept the same. The rating if for some cussing and innuendo.
Kagome Daniels excitedly leaned over the railing of the violently rocking ship as it rushed along the rough ocean waves. She turned her face seaward as the breeze picked at the few wisps of dark hair that had escaped from its tight braid. The salty spray for the water felt cool, and refreshing against her warm skin. She had never been out to sea before but had taken to the constant rocking quite easily. And after a few but torturous hours of being cramped up in the cabin with her governess, Kagome had sought the freedom and fresh air of the deck. Having gone aft, so as to be out of the way of the working crew, Kagome looked over the landscape of endless blue that melded almost indistinguishably into the sapphire sky that was dappled lightly with white, fluffy clouds. A slightly stronger breeze swept across cold waters, pulling at the long midnight blue hem and sleeves of her warm dress. The dark hued dress was a shade lighter than her bright eyes, setting them off perfectly.
She leaned over the railing a little farther until her heeled boots barely grazed the deck, peering into the sparkling water, looking for some sign of a fish maybe. Honestly, she was hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the giants, the whales, so she could tell her friend back home when she wrote him. 'Friend probably isn't the best word to describe Hojo.' Hojo wasn't his real name obviously; Kagome had given him that nickname when she had met him as a child. His real name was Howard Osbourn Jr.; but his mother had always called him Howard Jr. But anyway, the H-O came from Howard and J coming from Junior and the O had come from Osbourn. Hojo was a nice guy really, a little naïve and dense maybe, but still really sweet. As well as being quite amiable, Hojo was Kagome's main suitor and her main prospect for marriage. Well, at least the one her father was pushing her towards. But Kagome didn't mind, it could be much worse. She had often heard tales about of women being married to men they had never even met before the wedding day. So it wouldn't be thought usual if her family tried forcing her to marry some nasty old miser with spotted skin and nasty wooden teeth. Kagome shivered at the disgusting thought.
"Hmm, I wonder what he's up to?" She mused aloud as she thought about their last meeting.
Kagome sat demurely on a wooden bench that had been intelligently placed under a large oak tree in the center of the park near her family's home. The tree was located half way down a gently rolling hill with a great view of the lake that lay nestled in valley below it. The day was warm with a barely a breeze to disturb the waters or the emerald leaves above her head. Hojo was standing slightly behind her, leaning casually against the rough bark of the ancient tree, every chocolate colored hair in place and not a wrinkle in his impeccable clothing. He was always dressed nicely. 'I swear his mother dresses him.' She had thought on occasion with a small smile. On this particular trip to the park they had both been oddly quiet, despite the fact that this would be their last time seeing each other for a long time. After her mother had passed away giving birth to her younger brother, Sota, Kagome had taken to spending most hours of the days with her aunt, who taught her all of the 'womanly arts', as it were. When her father had been left an estate from a distant relative, he and Sota had moved there to 'put everything in order' as he had said. But Kagome had stayed there with her aunt until she had learned everything she possibly could. Her father and brother would come back to London occasionally but never for very long, they seemed to enjoy he country life more. But now there was nothing keeping her in London, away from her family so Kagome was getting the first ship out to Norway to be with them for a couple of months. Kagome sighed; she hadn't seen Sota for at least a year.
Her eyes had been looking toward the lake, but not focusing, as she was lost in her own thoughts. She was suddenly startled out of her thoughts when a very serious face abruptly appeared before her vision. Hojo was unnervingly staring at her with uncharacteristic solemnity. Kagome blinked. And blinked again. He was kneeling on the grass in front of her; her right hand grasped delicately in between his two larger ones, as if her had would break if handled to roughly.
"W-what's wrong?" she had asked, startled.
"Miss Kagome. I've been thinking about this for some time and being as your going away for a time I would like to ask you something." He started gently. Kagome rolled her eyes.
"Oh drop the 'Miss', Hojo. We've know each other for years, there is no need…"
"I intend to ask your father's permission for your hand in marriage."
"for formali..." Kagome' eyes widened. "I-I'm sorry, could you say that again?"
"Upon your return to London, would you marry me Kagome?"
Kagome had known that he would ask some day but NOW????? 'But, what more could I ask for?' she thought as she looked into his warm brown eyes. He was more than a prestigious match for her. And they were friends; many marriages were based on less then that. Yet why did her heart scream in protest against her reason? If she turned him down when would another prospect this good some along in her life? Would she be forced to marry some crazy old coot in some deserted part of the world? Sorry heart, this match goes to the brain.
"If my father says yes then so do I." He smiled brilliantly at her and brought her hand up to his lips for a caste kiss.
"I promise to make you very happy, Kagome." He swore to her as he rose to stand and brought her up with him. And she believed him.
"Miss Kagome!!!" Called a voice from behind her that had almost gone shrill with fright. "Please get down from there this minute!!"
Kagome lowered herself fully onto her feet and primly turned toward the voice's owner. An elderly woman walked as swiftly as her old short legs could manage towards her. Her long white hair was tied tightly at the base of her neck, pulling it all away from her face, giving the aged countenance a very sever and serious look. Her plain, yet attractive muslin colored dress bore the wrinkles of a secretly taken nap that had been ill removed. She came up to her charge with a huff and attempted almost vainly to catch her breath. Kagome kindly patted her on the shoulder, waiting for Lady Kaede to catch her second wind.
"Miss Kagome please don't ever scare me like that again." She said half chastising and half worried as she placed a wrinkled hand over her rapidly beating heart.
"Your aunt entrusted your safety to me. If something were to happen to you…"
"I'm very sorry Lady Kaede. It won't happen again." Kagome said with practiced humility lacing her voice. 'The woman is always wrong.' She could almost quote her aunt. The elder woman smiled warmly at her.
"Oh Dear, I didn't mean to chastise you. You just scared me, that's all." She said kindly.
"Are you Ladies enjoying the fresh air?" rumbled a deep voice from about mid-deck.
Both Kaede and Kagome turned their attention to the approaching captain of the ship. He was a tall, wide man, well over six feet, with short sun-bleached blonde hair and dark tanned skin. He was currently wearing a snug fitting, white shirt that showed his off his well-muscled arms and chest. With dark gray, worn breeches and tall black boots. He smiled roughishly at Kagome as he reached them. 'And here stands the personification of why young women need escorts.' Kagome thought dismally as he bowed lavishly before them. Kagome seriously doubt that the captain would take a woman against her will, but any dimwitted girl could be easily persuaded. Kagome, however, was not dimwitted.
"Yes, Captain Bowles, we are." Kaede answered him with trained indifference; but his smile never faltered.
"I'm glad to hear it. If these winds keep up it will shorten our trip substantially." He answered looking up toward the full sails above their heads.
"I'm sure it will." Kaede said back, trusting his knowledge of the ship and seas. Bowles looked like he was about to say something back but was interrupted by someone else.
"Captain!!" The lookout called from the top of the main mast.
"What?" he called back, suspicion layering his voice. He shouldn't being seeing anything worth mentioning. 'Unless…'
"Ships. Two of 'em, hard to port!"
Everyone on deck looked to the left, Kagome only saw small dots on the horizon, but to Bowles' and the crew's trained eyes it looked perfectly clear. Only one thing made that shape, or moved like that. The Captain suddenly turned toward the women.
"You Ladies had better get below deck. This could become ugly." He stated firmly and grimly.
Despite the fact that women were not supposed to be obviously curious of something, Kagome still asked,
"What is it?"
Kaede glared at her discreetly. Captain Bowles just looked surprised before answering.
"The port had been full of rumors that pirates had taken to sailing the northern seas and attacking the ships that sailed them. But I doubt its anything." He said, attempting to be reassuring. But he failed miserably.
"Come then Miss Kagome." Kaede said in an authoritive voice that didn't allow for arguments. Kagome followed obediently, purposefully ignoring the smile Bowles gave her. 'Ew. He just creeps me out.' She thought as she stepped cautiously down the narrow steps into the dank bowels of the ship. She and Kaede shared a small, cramped room that smelled of rotting wood and seawater. At least there weren't any rats; not that she'd seen anyways. 'God I hope not.' She half-prayed at the thought. The rocking of the ship seemed substantially worsened when sitting inside. Kagome didn't notice however because she was still thinking about what the captain had said. Pirates? Were pirates going to attack them? They weren't a merchants ship; they weren't carrying anything of great value. 'At least as far as I know. Well, he hadn't thought to inform us of the pirate rumors, so who knows what's in the holds.' Kagome sighed; this was probably going to be a long trip. 'But what if the pirates attack? Will they kill the crew?' Her breath caught. 'What about Kaede and I? Would they kill women? Or would they…'
"Its not worth worrying about, Miss Kagome." Kaede said calmly, concentrating on the knitting in her lap. 'When did she take that out?' "We can't do anything." Kagome couldn't help but fume at her words.
"How can you set there and be so calm?!?!? What if pirates do attack us? What would they do to us?" She demanded angrily.
"I am so calm because I'm old enough to know my place and life." Kagome blushed vividly at the blatant remark about her lack of self-control. It wasn't her fault that almost every rule she was supposed to follow rubbed her very painfully the wrong way. Maybe her mother had been like that too. Kagome couldn't really remember her. They sat in silence for a long time, Kaede contently clinking her knitting needles together and Kagome tumbling troubling thoughts around her mind as she wrung her hands together. Kagome wouldn't remember later how long they had sat down there but before she knew what was happening when they heard shouting from the deck. The cries were muffled through the layers of wood that separated the women from the topside but Kagome could sometimes hear the distinct clash of metal clanging against metal.
"What's going on?" Kaede asked almost disinterestedly as she looked up from her handiwork.
"Pirates… They're fighting."
The deck of vessel was awash is blood and carnage from the violent take over of the ship. The pirate crew was busy throwing the bodies over board for fish food as their captain "spoke with" the ship's captain.
Inuyasha held the blade of his sword tightly against the man's neck. His waist length silver hair was tied about halfway down to keep it pulled back, leaving only his wild bangs to tumble over his brow. His startling gold eyes were locked on the kneeling man before him, narrowed with disgust and contempt. Men like this one really made his stomach lurch. So stuck on duty and honor. What a joke. 'Hmph.' He thought at his line of thinking. 'Just like Sesshoumaru.' He shook his silver head as if to dismiss the thought and turned his attention back to the task at hand.
"So are you going to answer me or not?" He demanded of the blond man who was currently bound at the wrists and ankles and sporting a bloodied lip and cut chest. He was bleeding pretty profusely, Inuyasha was didn't think that he would be conscious much longer. He saw the man's eyes droop slightly and pressed the blade harder against his throat in frustration.
"Well?" he half-yelled angrily. "Is there anyone else onboard?"
"Women?" He thought in confusion. He hadn't seen anyone that looked wealthy enough to have been some girl's escort. Probably wenches.
When no answer came Inuyasha looked down at the man; his eyes were closed and he was barely breathing. Inuyasha felt his eye brow twitch and felt his slightly sadistic streak take over.
"Throw him overboard." He ordered the two men standing ready behind him. He sheathed his sword as the men lifted the ex-captain of the ship by his bound arms. Inuyasha was about to walk away when he smirked evilly at them.
"But don't kill him first." They nodded and dragged the body to the side of the deck. Inuyasha turned around and walked toward his first mate who stood near the doors that led below deck. The first mate was also his closest friend since childhood, Miroku. Miroku stood at about the same height as Inuyasha but with a strikingly different personality. Miroku was a complete and total lecher; if he saw a beautiful woman his mind and hands went everywhere they shouldn't have and he usually ended up with a bruised face. But he always deserved it. He had pulled his shoulder-length black hair into a low ponytail, leaving the shorter hairs to hang in his face like bangs. He had, for some unknown reason, shined his boots to a glossy finish as if he was going to see someone who cared. He wore breeches that were the same dark black as his boots and a white, high collar shirt with long sleeves that billowed out around his arms and clasped shut around his wrists.
"Hey, Miroku!" He called out as he approach him. Miroku broke off his conversation with another crewmember and walked to meet Inuyasha half way.
"I just finished looking the ship over." He started before Inuyasha could ask. "It's barely sea worthy, and there is nothing in the cargo hold of any real value beside the provisions."
"Have them split in half and load a half on each ship. Hopefully it wont weigh us down too much." He half murmured to himself. Inuyasha then looked out at Miroku out of the corner of his eye.
"Did you look in any of the personal cabins?"
"Should I have?" he asked curiously, tilting his head to the side and managing to look remarkably like a puppy. Inuyasha sighed, closing his amber eyes and rubbing the bridge of his nose with his fingers.
"Supposedly there are women onboard." He said shortly as if totally bored by the idea.
"Women?" Miroku asked his dark eyes had widened a fraction of an inch.
"Yes, women. Probably wenches considering that there was no kind of male escort that I saw."
"I didn't see anything either. Meaning…"
"That you can probably get some. Easy." Inuyasha finished for him. Miroku was his friend but when women were involved it was very hard to tolerate him. Inuyasha sighed with exasperation as he let his hand fall to his side and shook his head.
"Well, lets go find them."
It had been silent above them for some time and Kagome was about to pull her hair out. 'What's going on?' Kagome felt herself twitch as the even and steady clicking of Kaede's knitting nettles continued relentlessly. The older woman had been stubbornly silent after asking Kagome her brief question. Kagome clenched her eyes shut and balled her hands into fists. All this was grating on her nerves horribly; she would have bet money that she looked frazzled was well. Kagome could picture herself mentally with her hair sticking out all over the place and she dress horribly wrinkled. She was never going to sail again. She open her eyes again determined to block out the annoying noise to see if she could hear anything topside. Several times she was almost sure that she had heard voices, but like before, she couldn't make out words. Kagome suddenly heard male voices coming from the narrow hallway on the other side of the door. And Kaede's needles clinked together louder; Kagome finally snapped.
"Will you stop that!!" she yelled at the woman who looked up with a shocked expression. Kagome immediately cringed as the door handle turned.
Inuyasha and Miroku hand looked in each of the cabins, finding nothing. Inuyasha had started to think that the dieing man had been delusional until as he reached for the last door he heard yelling within.
"Will you stop that!!" It was a woman's voice, there was no doubt about that. And a young woman at that; 'There was no way it was any kind of woman of status. They were all brought up to be seen but not heard.'
After sharing a brief glance with Miroku, Inuyasha twisted the knob and pushed the door open.
Inside sat two women, one old bat and a younger one, the one that had yelled. He didn't pay any attention to the old one, but the young one caught his attention and he stepped inside to get a better look. She was about half a head shorter that himself, with long black hair pulled back in a tight braid, with short wisps framing her pale face and large blue eyes. Her gown looked black in the dark confines of the dimly light room. If he glanced to the side he could see Miroku practically frothing at the mouth.
"You look awfully well dressed for a wench."
Kagome had been caught by utter surprise at he sight of the two men that came into the room. The first one had white, luminescent hair and stunning gold eyes that seemed to glow in the dim light. He was taller than her, but not by too much, he was leanly built, both his dark shirt and breeches fit snuggly against his body, giving her a good idea of its shape. Kagome blushed despite her attempts at willing herself not to and decided to turn her attention to the other one. He too was attractive, in his own way, with his shorter dark hair and dark eyes. But something in his eyes worried her quite a bit; a gleam almost that made some instinct with her pop into her head. She had been pondering "the gleam" when the white haired one had spoken. Any attraction had died at that moment. Kagome felt her eyes widen and hands clench painfully, causing her nails to bite into her skin. Her up bringing be damned.
"What?!? Wench!?" she yelled angrily.
"You heard me, wench." He retorted quite agitated. He didn't really want to deal with this.
"I am not a…a Wench!!!"
"What? Are you used to being called a 'Mistress'? You're dressed like one." He watched with mild amusement as her face reddened further. "Did some decrepit lord ask for your services over seas?" Inuyasha taunted further.
Miroku stepped in between the two as if that would keep them from fighting.
"Enough both of you." He said calmly. He languidly knelt to one knee in front of Kagome and took her small hand in his and brought it to his lips.
"Please excuse my rude companion Miss." His voice was like silk where his friend's had been like silk…gliding over an iron-toothed brush. "He is always ill-tempered, but, enough of him. My name is Miroku. May I have the pleasure of knowing yours?" Kagome eyed him suspiciously for a few moments before briefly saying,
"Kagome." No last name. If she remembered anything from her aunt was that in this kind of situation, never let anyone know what family your from. And pirates had been known to ransom off the wealthy. Then kill them after they had received the money.
Inuyasha's eyebrow quirked. 'Kagome?' Hadn't he heard that name somewhere?
"Mmm, Kagome. What an exotic name! And beautiful too, to match it's wearer."
'He sure pours it on thick doesn't he?' Kagome thought, agitated. Kagome blinked suddenly as Miroku was suddenly standing to her right, her right hand still in his right and his left resting on the small of her back. Kagome practically bristled at the bold move but couldn't speak as he started to push her towards the door.
"Let's get out of this cabin and into the fresh air, hmm?" Kagome was about to protest when she suddenly felt his left hand slide down to cup her buttocks.
Inuyasha winced and looked away when he saw the girl's eyes widen and her face flush further. He didn't feel any pity for Miroku when a loud slap echoed in the confined room. When he looked back he saw the girl trembling with anger, her body still turned in its post-slapping position, her right hand reddening from the impact. Miroku's face was facing the inside of the room where he couldn't see, but the imprint of a hand was already painfully obvious. During his observations, the old bat had stood up.
"Well, as entertaining as this is, what do you to want?" she asked with just a bit of steal in her voice.
Inuyasha looked again at the girl and thought about her name. He was almost positive that he had heard it before. Whether it had been from Sesshoumaru or somewhere else. If a woman's name is mentioned in one of his conversions then it was either a tavern wench of a noblewoman. With a determined look, Inuyasha stepped forward and grabbed the girl's arm, pulling her towards the doorway.
"You two are coming with us."
AN: Well. That certainly was a lot of writing. I can't wait to continue this. I've got it worked out to be so kawaii!!! *giggles* Anyway, what did you guys think? Was everyone kept pretty much in character? Please REVIEW! I love Reviews… I love Sesshoumaru more but, REVIEWS come in second!
These are terms for others as well as myself. I've always had problems remembering which was aft or starboard or whatever.
Aft- the rear, stern
Starboard – right
Port - left