Disclaimer:    Inuyasha characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi.  Other characters are property of Dark Star.

Rating:         PG-13: for language and just in case

Summary:    [Nar/Kag] The ningen foiled his plans again! What was it about this human girl that allowed her to infinitely ruin his plots? He would find out for himself what she was really able to do…

Genre:            Romance Drama

A/N:            I understand that a lot of people must be angry for a different update, particularly that of AIHSF, but I need time to sort out my thoughts for that story; it's just not going as planned.  I really apologize, but I'll try to finish it ASAP.

True Love

Chapter One: Let the Die Be Cast

December 2002

Thoughts ran over and over in his nimble mind.  Predictions were made, assumptions set, maneuvers perfected.  All inside the cage of his cunning genius.  He lounged languidly in a hot spring to which a garden trail had led.  In his quest for sanctity he had found this little keep, hidden away from the clutches of man and demon alike.  It was his luck that he had been troubled by the fact of not having had bathed since the day before, sometime in the late afternoon, and that he needed another bath.  The fates were being kind to him today.

Naraku did not play with fate; he manipulated it, but sometimes, it seemed, that the fates were manipulating him.  In the long run, it all came down to 'the Fates', but he was content in allowing himself to believe he could, at times, nudge the hand of fate to his favor.  And some would believe he could.  Why couldn't he?  After all, he had been the one who so easily destroyed the most powerful miko of her time and also tainted her virtue with hate and betrayal.  He had turned love to hate.  On one side of the scale, at least.

Some would think him sick-minded.  Others would think him insane.  And only one knew him to be the genius that he was.  That person happened to be himself.  Not nearly enough beings realized the potential danger he threatened to the world, the absolute destruction he could permanently inflict.  A satisfied smirk graced his features.  It matters not.  He slid further into the steaming water.  I do not desire the destruction of this puny world.  I do not desire domination.

Naraku released a staggered sigh, allowing himself to memorize the engulfing feel of water on his skin before rising and removing himself from the spring.  Again, he rehearsed his most recent plan, the flaws, the problems, the possible solutions, and of course, his route of escape should anything fail.  The thin lips he possessed formed a grim line.  The last step, his route of escape, had never been on his list of things to plan before.  It had only recently come up…after a new character in his plots had been added.  Damned girl…

He allowed himself to contemplate the strange alien girl who looked so similar to Kikyo while he re-adorned his clothing.  Although she did seem, to many, to resemble the sacred priestess, she did, indeed, have many striking features to set her apart from her un-dead incarnate.  Exotic-colored eyes shined out from a kind, gentle face.  She had black hair going halfway down her back with a natural wave.  He remembered she wore strange clothes, not native to the lands.  It would suffice to say that, she came from another world.

Roughly, he tied the sash around his dark, dark blue kimono, almost black in color.  Grumbling in displeasure, he recalled the last time the human girl, whose name escaped him at the moment, had managed to foul up his schemes, which in turn caused him to ponder routes of escape at every turn.

As his mood grew fouler, the miasma, which accompanied the mile radius area around him, grew darker and more ominous with each passing second.  The weakest of the trees were already leaning over in effort to catch fresh air, to no avail.  Slowly, their bark was eaten away, and the disintegrating logs were beginning to disappear from sight entirely.  The sound of crashing trees eventually brought Naraku back to his reality.  With a single blink the miasma was dispersed, leaving an eerily quiet forest landscape before him.

He shook his head and continued back towards the trail from which he had come.  Which servants would he need for this job?  This time, he would make sure the wench would not interfere.  He couldn't have her fouling him up all the time.

~*~*~*~*~

Picking up some bath accessories, Kagome strolled off in the direction of the nearest body of water.  She was in a semi-good mood, so now seemed as good a time as any to take a bath.  Inuyasha seemed to be in one of his over-protective moods due to Miroku's increasing advances towards her.  Kagome sighed.  So childish.

          "Lady Kagome!" Miroku called, rushing up to her, "I see you are going to bathe!  Is there anything I could assist you with?  Perhaps I should accompany you to ensure your safety?"

Her hands were taken up by his in his usual 'will-you-bear-my-child' way.  "It's okay, Miroku.  I can take care of myself," she sighed.

Oblivious, he smiled beseechingly and started dragging her towards the spring.  "Let's go, then!"

She was feeling a little lethargic right now.  Still, she could see the events about to transpire.  "Miroku…"

"I understand your eagerness to bathe.  Allow me to assist you," he replied happily, moving his hand down to an inappropriate region on her body.

Kagome froze into a rigid position.  Before she could act, Miroku was already twitching on the forest floor.

          "Don't touch her!" a red-faced Inuyasha screeched.

          "I can take care of myself, Inuyasha," she glowered, turning arrogantly on her heel.

          "Feh!  Yeah right!" he jumped into a tree.

Kagome sent a glare into the high branches off the tree before stalking heatedly away.  That Inuyasha!

~*~*~*~*~

It was very obvious to him and everyone else that the girl, the wench from another time, that she was in love with the hanyou.  Hell, she would do anything for him, and those two were the only ones oblivious of it.  Maybe it was too easy…oh well.  It didn't matter.

Ultimately, his goal was the Shikon shards.  He was sure, totally positive, there was no way the girl could misplay her role, now.  Naraku now had about five minutes to win the cooperation of Kikyo or just go with one of his minions for the job.  Fortunately, he was flexible enough to change his plans on the spot.

He draped a dark cloak over his shoulders instead of the usual baboon pelt.  Camouflage in the forest was not necessary, today.  No, he wanted to be known to dear Kikyo.  If all went as planned, she would readily accept his offer.  In fact, it seemed, there was no way she could refuse.  Naraku grinned evilly.  It was the thrill of the chase coursing through his veins, the knowledge that his plan was in motion, that everything was underway.  Now, it depended upon a few select individuals' cooperation.  He crouched down, and powerful legs propelled him from the forest floor into the tree braches.  His lean figure moved swiftly through the foliage, a wave of dark hair trailing behind him.  Let the die be cast…

A/N:                How was the beginning?  Bad?  Okay?  Good?  Note, it's only an intro, and a boring one at that, but please stick with me.  I know the idea of a Naraku/Kagome isn't too cherished or sought after right now, that Sess/Kag and Inu/Kag are both much bigger in catching interest.  Hopefully more people will start writing Nar/Kags?  Review, ne?  I like to know that some people actually read what I write.  ^.~

~*~*~Dark Star~*~*~