Disclaimer:  I don't own or claim to own anyone from Inuyasha even though there are a few people in here that are mine.

AN:  I'm soooo sorry that this took so long, I'm having issues getting my brain into writing mode for some reason.  But I thank all of you for your support and patience and I hope you enjoy this NOTHING BUT SESS/KAG CHAPTER!!!!!!!!  =P

Reviewer Responses are at the bottom.

Also, I'm going to start a mailing list for when I update, so if you want to be on it please leave your email address in a review.  If you are a signed in reviewer I can just get your email from your bio page if it's on there, but tell me if you want to be on it!!

And just so you know:  'These are someone's thoughts.'      This is a flashback.  Notice no quotation marks.  Okay?   

*Bishonen no Hime stares stupidly at her computer screen as she rereads an email she just got*  OMG!!!!!  Everyone!!  This fic was nominated for a Fanfiction Awards Contest!   *laughs giddily for five minutes straight* I can't believe it!  I just keep sitting here thinking, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, over and over.  It's been entered in the 'Best Alternate Universe' category.  I went and looked at the other stories I'm up against, and I'm just happy I was nominated!  This story is up against some of the best stories on ff.net, not to mention some of my favorites!  But if you like this story, please go and vote for it (or any of the others) at: 

Thanks Minna-san!!

Chapter 7

"You… look lonely."

Sesshoumaru felt himself stiffen reflexively.  Anger, jealousy, loneliness; the day that painting had been made had been a swirl of those emotions as they bled indistinguishably into one another.  On the breaks that they had gotten, his father and stepmother would go on and on about how proud they were of Inuyasha for behaving so well, and finding all manners of things to bribe him with.  Sesshoumaru had gone over to the opposite side of the room and worked on his studies.  That had been what he had always done; he had poured himself into all of his studies, from geography, to languages to swordsmanship, anything to keep from having to watch their happy little family together.

Countless people had seen the portrait; and many had commented on his appearance in the picture; but only this girl…  With such casually said words, this girl dredged up memories that he had buried deep within himself long ago.  Over the years he had hardened his heart to the words of others and buried his feelings to keep them from getting the better of him.  But with three words this girl has dug up emotions he had not felt in years, and it bothered him.

"I had too many things to keep me occupied for me to have been lonely."  He solemnly lied as he walked away from the doorway and stepped further into the room.

"I see." She said simply.  Kagome watched him out of the corner of her eye as he stepped slowly but deliberately toward her.  Was he angry with her?  Had she said the wrong thing?  Yesterday's events were still fresh in her mind and Kagome was not ready for another bout.  'Was it only yesterday?' she thought as she swallowed heavily and she turned her gaze back to the painting.  "Then you must have been bored."

"Perhaps."  His voice was much closer this time but Kagome didn't look up from the painting.  He was in-between her and the door and coming closer with each moment.  If he was going to confront her about the whole ransom thing then she was in trouble; she hadn't even had time to think it over.  What was she going to do?  From what he had said it seemed that he was leaving the decision up to her.  Or at least the decision of whether or not she would cooperate was up to her.  Kagome frowned; she could speak for herself but she had no say in what Keade did.  'Wait.  What happened to Keade?' Kagome's breath logged in her throat as she recollected what Sesshoumaru had said to her yesterday: "I could offer you your maid's life in exchange for your silence.  Or easier yet, I could kill you both and dump the bodies in the ocean."  "Or I could kill the old woman and give you to my men to toy with.  What do you think about those options Lady?"  He…he wouldn't have really, would he?  "We are murders.  You said so yourself.  I could slip a blade across your throat while you sleep, or while you're conscious, it matters not, and feel absolutely no remorse."  His deep voice echoed resoundingly throughout her mind as it recalled his exact words.  Deciding to take the initiative, Kagome rounded on him suddenly to demand to know where Keade was.

Sesshoumaru had been no more than three feet from her when she whirled around on her heels to face him.  Her delicate features almost scrunched together in a look of pure determination.  He had taken his time in getting to her; casually studying various paintings as he slowly walked by them.  He had seen her glancing at him from the corner of her eye; he had also seen the nervous clenching of her hands that even she probably hadn't been aware of.  Both of which led him to believe that she knew he was walking towards her.  And judging by the way her impossibly blue eyes had widened just now, she hadn't realized how close he had gotten.

Kagome swallowed heavily, trying to wet her suddenly dry mouth.  How on earth did the man walk around so stealthily?  He had been standing in the doorway for God only knows how long before he had drawn her attention, and just now he was practically upon her and she had no idea.  She was reminded again of how much taller he was than her.  Kagome straitened her posture; she'd show him that his attempts at intimidation wouldn't work on her.  She'd speak to him calmly and with as much dignity as any Lady of the Royal Court could.  Sesshoumaru took a casual step forward, startling Kagome.

"Where's Keade?"  She blurted suddenly.  Sesshoumaru blinked at her and Kagome wanted to smack herself on the forehead.  'Oh yes, that was very dignified.'

"I beg your pardon?" He asked politely.  Her sudden question had been unexpected and so fast that all he had made out was something like 'werkaiday'.

"My governess, Keade.  I have not seen her since yesterday afternoon.  I would like to know what has become of her."  Kagome said as formally as she could manage.  Sesshoumaru studied her for a moment before answering her.  'She's not cowering like she was yesterday.'  Sesshoumaru felt a ghost of a smile touch his lips.

"Your governess is in the opposite side of the castle from you, to prevent any possible plotting, and is probably currently working on needle work of some kind like all old women."

"Will I be permitted to see her?"  Kagome asked courteously.  Maybe if she could talk to Keade…

"Maybe.  Even if you are permitted to do so you will always be supervised."  Sesshoumaru said condescendingly as he watched her reaction from behind half-lidded eyes.

"I see."  She said simply.  Kagome was certain that an eyebrow was twitching sporadically as she clenched her fists at her sides.  Did he have to be so arrogant, or was it a personality trait?  Kagome shivered as a sudden cool draft rustled her dress and raised goose bumps along her skin.

"All castles are so drafty…"

A thunderous BANG echoed around the narrow perimeter of the room before she could finish her sentence.  Kagome blinked and looked past Sesshoumaru at the now closed door of the room.  Sesshoumaru rubbed the bridge of his nose between his fingers and allowed himself the luxury of a disgusted sigh.  'Of all the…'

"What's wrong?"  Kagome looked at him curiously.  Sesshoumaru said nothing in response but gestured toward the door.  Kagome arched an eyebrow at him in puzzlement.

"Its just a door."  She said simply as she stepped past him warily and made her way to the door.  Kagome wrapped her fingers around the cool handle and pulled lightly; her eyebrows drew together when it didn't budge.  'Okay.  It's an old door, it just need a little harder of a pull.'  She wrapped both hands around the handle and pulled again, this time with all her upper body strength.  It still didn't budge.

"It won't open no matter how hard you pull."  Sesshoumaru drawled from his spot near the painting.  He hadn't moved, but he had turned to face the door.

"Why won't it open?"  Kagome asked worriedly, a bit of concern creeping into her voice.

"It's broken.  It can only be opened from the outside."

Kagome felt her jaw drop.  "Meaning…"

"Meaning we, you and I, cannot get out until Inuyasha comes to find you."  He said slowly, as if he thought she could only understand speech at that speed.

Kagome felt her heart begin racing as her concern bloomed into full-fledged panic.

"Q-quit joking around!" She demanded harshly.  "Surely there's just some trick to opening it right?  You know, kicking a certain stone near it or something!"

Sesshoumaru's bored gaze answered Kagome itself.  Kagome stared at him in shock; this was absolutely not happening to her!  She tumbled back a bit to lean against the solid door for support.  'No, no, no, no!'  This couldn't be happening to her!  And of all people for her to be stuck with in a room!  Kagome couldn't help but remember the incident in his study yesterday, when he had had her backed against the wall and leaning over her.  Kagome blushed at the memory; that had been the closest that she had ever been to a man, especially one as sinfully beautiful as this one.  Kagome shook her head and tried to take deep breathes to clear her thoughts, but her lungs seemed to be revolting against her brain at the moment.  A swift rustle of cloth brought Kagome back to the present moment and she quickly trained her eyes on the source of the noise.

Sesshoumaru had pulled the painting's cover back over it in one smooth motion, his hand still holding the bottom corner.  Kagome blinked at him for a moment; he wasn't holding the cover's edge, the coarse material was clasped tightly in his clenched fist.  He was staring intently at the covered canvas with narrowed eyes, as if he could burn it with will power alone.  'What's got him so upset?' she wondered inquisitively.

He hated them.  Even though both his father and stepmother were dead, he still couldn't feel anything more for them but hate.  They both had caused him nothing but trouble; his father with his poor decisions and Inuyasha's mother for just being.  But in the end, it had been his father's poor decisions that had ended his life.

"Are you alright?"  Kagome asked tentatively, unknowingly breaking into his thoughts.

Sesshoumaru, realizing how tense he was, closed his eyes and sighed lightly, he dropped his hand to his side and forced himself to relax.  'The past doesn't matter.  Only what lies ahead matters.'  They were dead; there was no point in dwelling on thoughts of them anymore.  Sesshoumaru flexed his fingers momentarily; he had allowed his emotions to show enough that the girl had noticed.  He was slipping.  Maybe he needed to spar with Inuyasha a bit to relieve stress.

Upon seeing him relax a little, Kagome decided to try and be sociable.

"How long do you think it will take Inuyasha to come looking for me?"

"That depends.  Why did he leave in the first place?"  He said coldly.  'Geez, is he always moody like this?'  Kagome wondered to herself before answering.

"I wasn't really paying attention, but I think he was arguing with the nasty thing we found in here."  The disgust was evident in her voice as she remembered that ugly little toad-like thing.  Sesshoumaru turned halfway around to look at her out of the corner of his eye.

"'Nasty thing'?"  His tone was bland, giving nothing away, but Kagome could tell it was a question.

"I don't know.  It was some nasty, almost green little old man."  Kagome said distastefully.

"Jaken."  Sesshoumaru said simply before continuing.  "If that's the case, then it could be several hours."

"H-Hours!?"  Kagome stammered ineloquently.  Sesshoumaru said nothing.  Kagome followed her earlier inclination and smacked her forehead, which earned a disdainful scoff from Sesshoumaru.  This was just the week from hell, Kagome decided.  God must be punishing her for something, she didn't know what, but there had to be a reason.

"What did I do to deserve this?"  She mumbled dejectedly as she put her face in her hands.

"Why?  Do you dislike my company?"  He said nastily.  It wasn't like he didn't have better things to do, but he wasn't moping around like someone had killed his favorite pet.

"Could you be any more of a conceited ass?!?"  Kagome demanded, suddenly angry, as she stomped past him and further into the room.  The deeper she went the more cluttered, not to mention dusty, it got and the stacks of paintings teetered dangerously in columns that rose well above her head.

"Believe me, I'm not even trying."  Sesshoumaru growled sardonically.  Why was it that this one girl could get under his skin so quickly?  Kagome whirled on him, the hem of her skirt flying.

"You have to be the most insufferable man I have ever met!" She fairly yelled at him.  Sesshoumaru crossed his arms over his chest and looked at her with an almost bored expression.

"You are sheltered aren't you?"  He asked condescendingly.  Kagome's hands clenched at her sides until her knuckles turned white, she felt her whole body shake with pure anger.

"You are such a pompous…" Kagome took a threatening step towards him but stopped when she felt her skirt not move with her.  With a small roar Kagome grabbed the fabric roughly and yanked it free of whatever it had snagged.  Only when a framed picture hit the floor next to her did Kagome look back behind her.  Her breath hitched painfully in her throat as she looked up at a tower of heavily gilded tumbled towards her.

"Move you idiot!"  Sesshoumaru yelled at her before lunging forward toward her.

Kagome mind screamed for her to run, to flee in some way, but all she could do was stare with wide eyes at the falling paintings. 

(AN: Should I end it here?  *sees the gleam off of swords, daggers and many other things she doesn't want to recognize*  Hehe, just kidding!)

Kagome gave a startled yelp when a heavy weight slammed into her side, knocking her to the floor with enough force to make her slide a small distance.  The crash that followed was deafening in the confined space of the room as the paintings crashed to the stone floor.  Kagome opened her eyes carefully, not realizing that she had closed them, and blinked a few times as her eyes burned momentarily due to the agitated dust.  She couldn't see but a small distance through all the dust that was drifting in the air, but it seemed to be dispersing quickly.  The weight that had knocked her to the floor eased off her as she coughed lightly and waved her hand in front of her face. 

"You have to be the stupidest woman I have ever met."  Rumbled an all too familiar voice; an alarmingly close voice.  Kagome looked to her side just in time to see Sesshoumaru toss some of his silky hair over his shoulder.  He was sitting on his haunches next to her, his once black pants and boots faded to a dull gray with a fine layer of dust.  'H-he knocked me out of the way…'

"You didn't even look to see what you were stuck on before you pulled."  He said heatedly, his tone lecturing.

"I was mad."  She said simply.  That's all there was to it; she had been angry and in her anger, she didn't think about things correctly.  'Why did he knock me out of the way?'  Kagome wondered as she blinked at him.  Sesshoumaru looked back at the disarrayed pile of paintings and gave a small disgusted sigh.

"This could have been avoided if you had just looked before hand."

"I was angry!"  Kagome fumed suddenly.  "And if you hadn't been such a jerk then I wouldn't have been angry!"

"Well this jerk just saved you from becoming a bruised and bloody mass, you ungrateful woman."  Sesshoumaru mumbled evenly at her.

"You don't have to be cross about it."  Kagome mumbled under her breath as she blushed with embaressment.  'What's wrong with me?' She thought dejectedly.   'Now I'M moody.'


Inuyasha cursed extensively as he sprinted up several flights of stairs; why did it suddenly seem like the second floor was so far away?  'That stupid Jaken!  When I get my hands on him I'll…' His boots skidded noisily as he rounded a corner, almost running over Sango in the process.

"You better be there girl…" He grumbled to himself.  How could he have been so stupid as to forget the girl?  If she was gone, Sesshoumaru would impale him through the ass and hang him from one of the parapets.  'Huh?  The door is closed?'


Sesshoumaru stood and brushed the dust off his clothes with an exasperated demeanor.  What the hell was wrong with him?  He should have let her get pummeled by the stack of paintings, it would have served her right.  Sesshoumaru shook his head slightly as if to clear his thoughts.  And then, much to Kagome's surprise, Sesshoumaru offered her a hand.  She looked up at him, puzzled.

"I highly doubt you want to be sitting on the floor all day."  He said drably.

Kagome's blushed deepened as she delicately placed her hand in his larger one and he effortlessly pulled her to her feet.  The door slammed open a second later to reveal a panting Inuyasha.

AN:  I'm not particularly happy with this chapter, it gave me a really hard time.  And even though I got inspired at one point (inspiration always seems to strike in the bathroom for some odd reason O.O)  it still didn't come out quite right.  And I'm sorry it's so short.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and remember to review please!!!!!  Give me your imput! 

Reviewer Responses:

Digi_Youkai88 – Thanks so much!  I'm glad you like it!

Mala – Ah, yes, sorry about the long wait!  Hehe, this will be Sess/Kag, despite some of the fluffy moments between Inu and Kagome, I just couldn't help it.  Hopefully this chapter has set me back on track!  Thanks so much!!

Lunakytti – See! See!  *points to story above* There's the Sess/Kag!  Hehe, I didn't even think about locking them up in the room before I read your review!  Thanks so much!!!

li wei – Sorry about the cliffhanger, that's just where my brain wanted to leave it off!  Hopefully this made up for it!  Thank you so much for the review!!

Sith – SORRY!!!  I hope you like this one enough to make up for that evil cliffhanger!  Thanks!

Sapphire – Thank you so much!  For the review and the praise!  *blushes*  I'm not that good! 

Silver Dragonfly – Thanks, and yeah, I did, but it never hurts to have it twice!! = )

Anime girl – Thanks for the new gifs, their so cute!  I think, keyword, think Rin might be in this.  I'm still working it out on how I can put her in this!  Thanks again!!

Lexi – Yeah, I think I'm probably the only author on ff.net that would even dream of Sess and Inu as pirates.  I can't help it, Sess would look so hot in those clothes!!  But anyway, I'm glad you enjoy it and Thank you so much!!!

Saori – AHH!  I missed a pirate slang!!  I couldn't believe I forgot one when I read your review!  I love Hellsing but I wish all these little AlucardXIntegra ideas I keep getting would leave me alone for a while so I could write SessXKag!  Thanks so much for the review!!!

saa4 –Sorry I didn't update soon!!!  Thanks for the review!!

Jenny – Thanks so much!!

Romm – Thanks so much for the review!!  I really appreciate it!!!

shura – Thanks!!!!!

Kerbuddy – See!  Lots and lots for Sess/Kag!!!  And the next chapters will have much more, I promise!!! 

Kaimi – Thanks so much for the review!!!

diamond – I'm sorry that chapter seemed short.  Hopefully this one was better.  And I am sooo sorry about not emailing you some really good Sess/Kag fics.  I don't know where my mind was, I don't even remember getting your review!  I'm soo sorry!!

Reiko-hime – I hope you enjoyed this chapter too!!!

…… - Thanks so much!!

Kazle – Yay!  I've undated!  Thank you so much for the review!!

Meg-Chan – Because I lllllooooovvvveeeee cliffhangers!  =P  Thanks so much for the review!!

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