Guess what everybody?!? I'M AN OTAKU! Hee hee hee! And that means, that if you're reading this, you are too! Lol! Otaku means an obsessed anime fan, and boy is it correct! Okay. ^^;; On with the anime-ish stuff! ^-^ lol.

Hi everyone! It's time for another Inu-Yasha fanfic! YAY!!! ^o^ This will be SOOOOO great! I can't wait! I just got a positively brilliant idea, and now I'm going to type it! ^-^ he he he! Anyway, please read and review, I hope you like it! I'll try to make the first chapter long so you can get an idea of where this is going. ^-^ Well, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I wish I owned the manga and the anime! ::pout:: Heck! I wish I owned HIM! *hearts in eyes* But do I? Nooooooo! I wasn't smart enough to come up with Inu-Yasha. ^___________^ I wish I did though! (And I also wish he were real) *tongue hangs out of mouth* Well, on with the show! Or… in this case, story. Eh heh.

A Demon Without Fangs

Ch.1

It was a beautifully sunny day, having rained all night and the day before. It was a perfect day to go and visit the shrine, and that was exactly what all of the Hishokama Orphanage was doing later that day. Kagome; awake all night and deathly scared of the storm and the sound of the wind as it beat ferociously against the thin wall of the wooden building; slept peacefully well into mid-afternoon since she had been awake and huddled in the corner of the room with only a thin yellow blanket until the storm had passed. She deserved a good rest after all of the new changes in her life. She wasn't born an orphan, she did used to have a mother, a father, and even a grandfather she could still remember. It was her baby brother that she had the hardest time with, trying to remember the image of his tiny pudgy face that had still been a tint of red since he was only a newborn. He father was even harder to remember though. He had died when she was two, and since then had only seen one picture of him. It seemed to her as if he died then anyway. He was always out on business, and came home when she was well asleep and left before the sun had even risen above the horizon.

At least her brother was still alive. At least SHE was still alive. Her brother had been adopted almost immediately after the so-called "accident." She wasn't even sure of what had happened. But she did know that her mother and father had died immediately, and her grandfather shortly after from heart failure. Now her brother was gone too. Everyone always seemed to want the babies. She knew that. The people that worked here even admitted it. It wasn't that she was lonely; she had a lot of friends, but 'friends' never really seemed like it was quite enough. She needed a family. She needed to be loved.

And she was only five years old. Her life had changed in such a short amount of time. She didn't know that it was about to change even more though, starting with that very day. It seemed ordinary enough, but boy was she in for a surprise!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

"Kagome-chan, wake up," a quiet yet persistent voice urged.

Kagome turned over in her sleep, her eyes seemingly glued shut.

"Oh, it's no use. She won't wake up if we pried her eyes open," another little girl stated, ready to give up.

"But she'll miss lunch! And she already missed breakfast. Do you think she's sick?"

"Ooh! I can get Kaede-sama for her!" A little boy volunteered, only too happy to oblige.

"She's not sick," the fist girl stated again, tucking an extra strand of hair behind her ear that came loose from her headband when she shook her head. "Just lazy."

"Come ON Kagome-chan, wake up!" Now the second girl started to shake her. "You don't want to miss the field trip, do you? It's not often we get to go places."

Kagome mumbled something uncomprehendable in her sleep, and just rolled over.

"Ugh! What if WE don't get to go because she's asleep! That's not fair!"

Now the three girls practically jumped on her, pulling her hair and shaking her as a wonderfully not-so-nice wake up call.

"Ugh! I'm up, I'm up," mumbled the little girl, eyes still closed as she tried to swat them away with her hand. They finally jumped off her little mattress and looked at her expectantly. She didn't budge.

"KA-GO-ME!" All three whined in unison.

Finally she opened one eyelid. She knew they'd pester her until she was up and standing on her feet so she sat up, yawned, and stretched. "Alright, alright; happy now? Sheesh." 'Some friends you are,' she grumbled to herself.

She got out of bed but didn't bother to get dressed yet. She'd eat and then get out of her pajamas. She was still half-asleep as it was.

"Yay!" The four cheered in unison.

"We get to go to a shrine today!" The girl with short hair stated as if to make peace with her grumpy raven-haired friend. Kagome didn't answer. She was too tired to talk, let alone think.

"It'll be a lot of fun!" Another added.

They walked out of the large room that was shared with all of the other kids her age and into an extremely big cafeteria where they ate every day. They sat at one of the benches as others busily chatted with friends and peers and waited impatiently for lunch. Kagome laid her head down onto the table, hoping as much as praying for a few more winks of sleep. Like that would ever happen!

"I know!" The little boy said triumphantly, as if he came up with the most wonderful plan in the whole world. "After lunch, before we go to the shrine, we can all play house!"

"Hojo…" Kagome said in a warning tone. Sure the kid was nice, but he seemed to get on her nerves more and more over the past few days. At least he was friendly though. It was obvious to everyone in the whole orphanage that he had a secret crush on her, of all people. Then again, it couldn't be called a secret if everyone knew about it.

He continued as if she hadn't said anything, completely unfazed. "You can be the mommy, and I'll be the daddy! Sound good?"

She sweat-dropped, along with her three friends and the others that were around and close enough to hear. Her friends leaned closer, awaiting her answer, and eager for her to accept.

"Sorry Hojo, but I don't think we'll have time. I still have to get dressed after lunch, and we'll be leaving on the bus too soon." She held her breath, hoping she didn't hurt his feelings. Her friends sighed and leaned back in their seats.

"Oh. Okay then. Maybe after?"

He just didn't know when to give up. "Sure. Maybe after."

He leaned back on the bench, a huge grin on his face. She sat up when lunch was passed to each of them and couldn't help but to give a little smile back. He wasn't THAT bad. Just…Hojo.

After lunch, Kaede found her and helped the little girl change and pick out a matching outfit. She giggled at the girl's lazy attempt to dress herself, but the giggle sounded more like a rough rasping noise deep in the old lady's throat.

"Ye sure did sleep in there, girly," she said, pulling Kagome's arm through the armhole in the white shirt. "Did ye have any bad dreams?'

Kagome shook her head. "No. I just couldn't fall asleep." She blushed, not wanting to admit that she had been frightened.

"Aye." Kaede nodded with understanding. "I see."

After Kagome had her orphanage uniform on and the little red bow was tied, she slipped on her brown shoes and followed her mentor out to the buses, energy renewed. She had been right, there hadn't been any time for her to play house, but on the bus, since she was feeling guilty for being such a grouch that morning, she let Hojo sit by her. She hadn't seen him so happy in her entire life.

When they arrived at the shrine, Kaede stood up before anyone could even get out of their seats.

"I want ye all to listen up!" She yelled over all of the hubbub. Everyone quieted immediately. "Ye are to stay in pairs or groups of three. Do not wander around by yourselves and certainly do not touch things that are not meant to be touched. Understood?"

Everyone nodded their little heads. She waited for the bobbing to cease and then said, "Alright. I hope ye all enjoy yourselves. We will meet here if anyone gets lost, understood?" Again with the nods. "Okay. Come along then. Let us be on our way."

Everyone lurched out of their seats, moving to the exit of the bus as fast as their little legs and feet would carry them. When Kagome stood up Hojo stopped her.

"Do you want to be my partner Kagome?" He looked nervous, while fiddling with his hands and avoiding eye contact.

Kagome looked to find her friends and saw that they all had sly looks on their faces as they giggled, looking in her very direction. They made a point to hold hands above the seats in the bus, showing that they were already a group of three. "Oh, all right," she agreed reluctantly, thinking to herself, 'I'm too young for boys. This doesn't make sense.'

His head snapped up in her direction and he jumped for joy. "Really? Cool! Let's go!" He took her hand, much to her dismay, and practically dragged her off of the bus and to the shrine, her mumbling under her breath all the while.

At first, things were pretty boring with Hojo chattering the whole time, but after a while certain sights started to interest her and she began to enjoy the boy's company. She thought she's die from the amount of stairs they had to climb, but after that, she really got a look around her and took in all of the scenery, finding it calm and peaceful. She smiled, turning her face toward the sun, her eyes closed against the blinding light. For the first time in many years, she felt as if things might actually be okay. That in the end, she might eventually find the happiness she had lost almost a year ago.

Letting out a long sigh, she turned and looked at Hojo. He just stared at her with an awed expression across his face. She tilted her head to the side and gave another small smile, and he gulped, then turned to look away. She gave a confused look but shrugged it off. Sometimes he just acted strangely around her, and this was one of those times.

"K-Kagome," he stuttered, breaking the silence.

"Hm?" She was looking up at an extremely large tree that had captured her attention. She took a few steps toward it. She had never seen anything like it, nor a tree so wide around.

As she reached out to touch its bark she heard footsteps walk away from her. She didn't turn to see what made Hojo leave, she was mesmerized by the tree for some odd reason. What was it that captured her attention? There was a rustling in the bushes and then the footsteps came back. This time she drew her hand away from the tree and turned questioningly in her friend's direction.

"Here," he said softly, turning bright red while staring at his feet. He held out a little yellow flower in her direction. She stared at it stupidly. "I-It's for you," he mumbled, hoping she'd take it before anyone saw.

'A dandelion?' she asked herself. 'He's giving me a dandelion?' Numbly she accepted the gift. "Uh…thanks," she said, not really knowing how to react. 'It's just a weed,' she thought to herself, but was pleased with the flower none-the-less. She stuck it behind her ear and smiled, making him blush even harder when he peeked up at her.

"Well, if you like that so much, they're giving away some charms and stuff. I'll go and get you some!" He sounded eager to please her, and quickly dashed off.

"Hojo, wait!" She yelled after the boy. He either didn't hear, or he didn't listen. 'I don't WANT any charms,' she thought in dismay. 'It's not like they work anyway.' She sighed, shaking her head. 'This is stupid. At least they're free. It isn't like he has any money anyway.'

She turned and slowly walked to a little bench that she saw and sat under the cool shade from the house that was occupied by the people owning the shrine. She had always wondered what it would be like to live there, but she knew she wouldn't believe that the seals and charms would work anyway. Commotion out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. There was an old man that looked a lot like her deceased grandfather, with a bunch of little kids jumping up and down around him.

"That's right kiddies," he said in a weak wavering voice. "These are very special indeed. It's the Shikon No Tama."

It was then that she saw a jewel in his hand. It was a pale pink color, but the ones behind it were also white, light blue, and lavender. She shook her head. 'What people believe these days.'

"That's right children. It's the jewel of four souls."

She stood, not wanting to hear the lunatic any more, and started walking toward a little brown…shack almost, but it looked nice. The wooden doors were closed, but she wanted to see what was inside anyway. Hojo wouldn't be back for a while, and she was already bored stiff. Something interesting HAD to be there if it wasn't open to the public.

Curiosity getting the best of her, she walked over to it and slid the door open, then slipped inside before anyone would notice. It was dark. Too dark. And something about it gave her the creeps. It was musty, and definitely not used often at all. The whole place was covered in cobwebs and dust. She sneezed as if seconding that observation.

"Hello…" she called, seeing if anyone or anything was in the room. "Anyone here?" She took a careful step forward, completely on guard. "Hellllloooo???" She called, more brave this time.

No one answered. Not a sound was heard. She descended the steps cautiously and relaxed when she only found a well at the bottom.

"All this for a well?" She asked out loud, laughing shakily at herself. "Must sure be special." She turned to leave, wondering why a well of all things had captured her attention. What was so spiffy about a well?!? Then she sensed it; something not quite right. Maybe sense wasn't the correct word at the moment, but she could feel the air around her change. Something was… wrong. That's the only thing she could think of. She froze, afraid of what she would come face to face with if she turned around. Then it grabbed her in an iron cold grip, the pressure on her arms and waist not loosening. It was then that she was pulled from behind, into the dark deep well. She screamed, ready to crash to the earth's surface. But she didn't.

Blue light. Blue light was all around her. She landed safely, softly, on the ground. Or as safely as could be with something wrapped around her, not willing to let her go.

"Ahhhhh…" the voice almost whispered in her ear. "Soooo wooonderrrrfullll." Feminine. The voice was definitely feminine. But it sounded…different; strange. "Finally, the jewel willlllllll be mine. I willlllll have it, as shooouuuuld be. Power, so strong. Alllll this from a weeeeaaaaaak huuuuuman chiiiiiiiild."

Kagome gasped. 'What's going on? Who…what is this…this thing?' She twisted in it's grasp, trying to get a better view. What she saw startled her so much that she almost cried out in horror. "Who are you? What do you want?" She shouted, horror taking over her fear. It looked like some kind of insect, a centipede. But it had a human head, and instead of tons of legs, she had arms replacing them on her humanoid part.

"Yyyyou, yooouuuungliiiiiiing," the thing stated, licking her cheek.

"Eek! Get off me!" She yelled, squirming in it's grasp, wanting to be as far away from the human insect and she dubbed it. "Let… me…GO!!!" She shouted at last, pushing it away with her open palm. A dazzling white light flared, and she stared when she noticed that it came from her hand. The centipede flew back, a few of her arms ripped from her body and still clutched at the girl, and then fell to the ground. Kagome gulped, not knowing what happened, but knowing she had to get out of the well, and fast.

"Someone!" She shouted, hoping they'd hear. "Please! Someone! Anyone! Help me!" She kept an eye on the centipede, making sure it wouldn't get up any time soon. When she saw a finger move she frantically tried to climb the well, but to no avail. Her scream grew louder, with more pleading behind it. "Kaede! Hojo! Someone!" Her throat was starting to hurt, but she wouldn't let up. She turned and stared at the centipede. It twitched, and then she started to raise her head, dazed. Kagome pressed herself along the well's edge. "HHHHHHHEEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!"

*****meanwhile…*****

Inu-Yasha watching in horror as all the demons charged after his father. He had to help, he needed to and wanted to, but he knew he was too young to inflict any real damage on a full-grown demon. Instead, he gritted his teeth and followed his father's path of retreat, hiding in the brush and leaping behind trees. He wouldn't let anyone hurt his father! He couldn't! He'd never forgive himself.

"Dad!" He yelled when a wolf demon clamped onto the back of his father's neck. Luckily for him, none of them heard. His father howled, then growled in anger. He came to a clearing, forcing Inu-Yasha not to get any closer lest they see or smell him as well. Inu-Yasha growled, banging his fist against a tree. Why did his father do such a thing? Was he trying to get himself killed?

'He knows,' Inu-Yasha thought to himself. 'He knows I followed him and he doesn't was me to get hurt. Damn it!' It was the first time he actually thought that with vulgar language, but at that point he heard enough of it to know what it all meant and to not care. His dad was in trouble, and he couldn't do anything about it!

There must have been about twenty-five wolf demons surrounding his father. They were tiny compared to his father's true form, but with his father wounded, and not able to use the Tetsusaiga, he knew his father might not be able to pull through this alive. He also knew that his father was the kind of guy that would sacrifice himself to save his son, and that angered Inu-Yasha to no end.

He watched as his father backed up, coming to an old well. He may be surrounded, but with the well there at least he didn't have to watch his back. Inu-Yasha held onto that thought, the only thought that comforted him in a time like this. It was then that he felt it, a weird presence that he had never felt before. No, there were two of them. How could he not notice this before? And then he heard it, boy did he hear it!

"HHHHHHHEEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!" It was a girl's voice, screaming in terror beyond belief. Inu-Yasha winced, covering his two white ears with his human hands, trying to drown out the noise. It was earth shattering! He didn't think he'd EVER be able to hear after that. He was surprised to hear a low growl afterwards, finding that he actually wasn't deaf. What his father did next surprised him more than it should have.

*****Back to Kagome*****

Mistress Centipede shook her head as if to clear it, then she glared accusingly at the girl before her. Kagome stared into those merciless eyes, tears forming in her own. She turned, trying to scramble up the edge of the well, only to find herself slipping and landing back on the ground. She looked over her left shoulder, keeping an eye on her while reaching up for a handhold, a vine, anything! She had to get out of there! Her life depended on it!

The centipede attacked. She winced, ready for the pain she knew would come, tears streaming down her face. Then she felt a strong yet gentle tug, and she was flying through the air, landing on something VERY soft and VERY furry. It was warm, and it smelled wild, like the trees around her and the ground beneath her feet. She found that she liked that smell. She felt safe. Whatever it was, it helped her, hadn't it? It must be nice! She opened her eyes only to see… white.

After sitting up and looking around to see who had helped her, she was startled to find herself on a very large…dog? It had red eyes, but when it looked at her, there seemed to be a certain gentleness behind them. She gulped, hoping the dogie was friendly. Then she glanced around, noticing not only that she was out of the well, but that she and whomever or whatever the dog thing was…were surrounded. By wolves. The most ferocious wolves she had ever seen in her life! She clutched the fur as she sat, straddling the dog-demon's back, closing her eyes and wishing that it was all over.

The dog-demon, seeing this, growled at the wolf demons threateningly. He pulled out a blade that seemed to have come from no where, and slashed at the demons. Ten were gone in one arc. Kagome could only stare, amazed. 'What's going on?' She asked, but didn't dare say anything out loud. 'Where am I? Who or what are these things?'

A few moments later, with him landing gracefully on all fours, Kagome still along for the ride, all of the wolf demons were defeated. It was then that she felt it. That strange presence again. It could only mean one thing, the centipede. She tensed, feeling it behind them, coming from the well. Could the large dog sense it too?

She turned, slowly it seemed, but it had to have been fast because the next thing she knew, Mistress centipede jumped from the depths of the well, ready to attack with heart wrenching speed.

"Look out!" She screamed, thinking it was all ready too late.

She felt all the muscles in the dog's back tense, then they were flying through the air, higher and higher, missing her few remaining arms and being squeezed to death by her worm-like body. The dog-demon attacked her with his claws as he came back down, shredding her remains. Kagome would have felt bad if the centipede hadn't been trying to kill her previously. Mistress centipede crashed into the well, shattering it to pieces, forming her own burial tomb. If Kagome had known that she wouldn't be able to go back to her own time ever again, she would have burst into tears. As it was, she was too shocked, too scared, too confused to realize what had happened, let alone how she had some to this place. Then again, maybe she wouldn't have gone back anyway. There was nothing waiting for her in her own time. No family; no house to call her own.

The large god, panting, slowly sheathed the Tetsusaiga, then looked over his shoulder at the little girl he had saved. No, she had saved him, unintentionally. If it weren't for her, if she hadn't been human, he wouldn't had been able to use the Fang. She had saved his life as much as he had saved hers.

She slid off of his back, taking that as her cue, and slumped to the ground, her legs gelatin. He turned to her and sniffed her, as if making sure she didn't have and cuts or other injuries. When he couldn't find any, he turned, a familiar scent catching his attention. Inu-Yasha finally made himself visible, coming to make sure his father wasn't seriously hurt, and wanting to see who this new human was. He had never smelled anything like her, and the clothing she was wearing was foreign to him. He approached carefully, as if making sure everything was really all right. He wondered if his dad would teach him a lesson for following when he knew it was dangerous.

He watched as his father changed forms, so he would be able to have a mouth and throat made for speech. He was tall, with pure white hair and golden slit-pupiled eyes. His hair was thick like Inu-Yasha's, and he had a red crescent-moon on his forehead. His eyes shone with mischief and a gentleness that almost laughed with humor, but he was serious. He seemed to think three times before actually saying anything, flipping the words over in his mouth and making sure he didn't sound offending, the exact opposite of his son. He walked right up to Kagome and poked her.

"You're a human, aren't you?" His voice sounded almost accusing.

Kagome blinked, startled out of her fear because of such an odd question. "Of course I am! Who are you? What are you?" She asked, not bothering to hold back her irritation from such an odd…person?

He smirked. "I am Inu-Yasha. Half Dog-demon." He sounded proud of the inheritance. Kagome raised an eyebrow and he leaned closer. "Do you even know what a demon is little girl?"

She clenched her fists and stood up, rage replacing her shock and fear. "Demons aren't real!" She shouted, placing her hands on her hips. Then she noticed his ears. His strange, white dog-ears that looked soft to the touch. Her hands itched, wanting to see what it would feel like to pet them. She couldn't resist. She reached up, and gently rubbed his feather-soft ears, loving the feel of them. He swooned, panting like a puppy she realized, and it took all of his self-control to glare at her and bat her hands away.

"Feh. You know nothing." He turned red, not believing that he actually liked the feel of her soft skin as she had rubbed his extra sensitive ears.

"Inu-Yasha," his father warned, sending him a disproving look. Inu-Yasha just crossed his arms and looked the other way, grumbling under his breath. He turned his gaze to Kagome and she was startled to see amusement hidden deep in his eyes, yet didn't quite allow it to show. "Where are you from, child?" He asked in a deep and even voice, which was comforting yet also loud.

"I-I'm from Japan," was her first answer.

"A village known as Japan? I have never heard such a thing."

"It isn't a village," she quickly corrected. "It's a country. A piece of land with a large number of people all over."

Now both of them were giving her odd looks. "Do you know in which direction this…Japan is? It couldn't be too far for you to wander all this way alone."

"Um…" She looked around and finally spotted a tree in the distance. It was a large tree. The largest tree she had ever seen in width. "Over there! That's where my orphanage is having a field trip! At the shrine! By that tree!" She looked proud of herself. Inu-Yasha and his father gave each other weird looks. They knew that a place called Japan couldn't possibly be there, but there was a little village near there. Maybe the little girl hit her head?

"We will take you there then. Until you find someone you recognize, we will not leave you."

Kagome sighed with relief, greatly comforted. She didn't have any idea where she was, how she got there, or how to get back, but she did recognize that tree. Maybe it would help.

The three of them set off to the tree and stopped once they arrived at it, both of the Dog-demons gazing at the human apprehensively. She looked around, but only saw trees, bushes, no sign of people or a shrine or even the old man giving away free charms. Tears burned in the back of her eyes as she realized something was definitely wrong. How could this be?

"But… it was here!" She persisted, looking frantically about her. "I promise!"

Inu-Yasha humphed and his father sadly shook his head. "I know of a village close by, do you think that perhaps you might live there?"

"But I don't live in a village," she whispered, not knowing how well at hearing her two companions were. They continued on their way until they came to a hill overlooking the village. People were bustling around, farming, and collecting plants and herbs. At this point, Kagome thought she had to be in some kind of nightmare. 'This isn't possible.'

"Do you live here, girl?" The boy about her age asked grumpily.

She scanned the place over, feeling tears brim in her eyes. "No," she half whispered. "I don't."

"Do you think you could get along with these humans?" The full demon asked gently. "These villages shouldn't harm you. You would be safe."

She thought his words over. Could she stay here? For the rest of her life? Among people she had never even met? When she heard them turn to leave her, thinking her silence was acceptance, she turned, horrified. "No!" She said loudly, forcing them to turn and look back at her. "Please, don't leave me here!" Now she was crying, torn between feelings and her mind screaming that it wasn't real, but her senses telling her otherwise. "Please," she begged, running to them but stumbling over her own feet and falling to the ground.

Inu-Yasha backed away, not liking the sight of her tears, and not knowing how to respond. His father on the other hand met her the rest of the way and knelt where she had fallen. He tenderly placed a hand on her shoulder, taking pity on the poor defenseless human. She clutched the grass in her fisted palms, crying into the ground.

"How did you get here?" He asked, wondering if that demon had kidnapped her.

"Through the…through the well," she sniffled, trying to rise while fighting back tears.

"The well?" He asked, turning to look at the broken splinters the well had left behind. "But where is your home?"

She got to her knees, huddling into herself while simply stating the truth. "I don't have a home."

*****Inu-Yasha's mother***** [AN: I'm naming her Aya]

Aya was busy cleaning her little hut, while humming to herself. Today Rikun [AN: Pronounced Ree-koon. I made it up. -_-;;] had taken Inu-Yasha out for his fifth hunting lesson, and today they were hunting deer. She had no reason to be worried. They had always come back safely every time, with plenty of food for their evening meal she would always prepare for them with praise and kisses so they would know she was proud of them. Things had been getting rough though. They had to be extra careful around humans and demons alike. She knew that very soon, things wouldn't be as they had always been. Not with Inu-Yasha out and about. She couldn't help that he was a half-breed any more than his father, Rikun, could. She had hoped that it wouldn't be that big of a deal, and that he would grow to appreciate it, but with demons always picking on him and humans deathly afraid of him, she couldn't help but feel sorry for her son.

This time they were home early though, and that never happened. Either the kill was too easy, which was never a good sign, or someone got hurt. Her guess was that someone had gotten injured. She froze mid-sweep, listening, making sure it was her husband/mate and her son. Usually they would always run indoors, Inu-Yasha prancing around her and telling her all about the kill, and how big their prize for the day was. This time their walk was slow, deliberate. Something had to be wrong. She rushed to her medicinal herbs and grabbed the basket hurriedly. Listening all the while as she started to dash to the door. Even though demons healed faster than humans, it didn't mean they couldn't die from an injury, and it certainly didn't mean they would have to suffer in the meantime.

"Aw, dad, do we hafta?" Inu-Yasha whined. "I don't wanna keep her! She'll just be in the way. She's weird too. It's like her brain isn't working or something. How can she not know where she lives? Japan, yeah right! She was lying! I don't trust her."

His father said nothing, just continued walking.

"And why do I have to carry her? You're stronger," he half stated, half pouted.

"Because I said so," Rikun stated, giving the answer all children hate to hear from their parents. "And you know perfectly well that I can't use my left arm at all. You want me to be in pain the whole while until we reach home?"

Inu-Yasha knew his father was making his wounds seem worse then they really were, but he kept his mouth shut. His dad had to have a good reason for this, even if it was something as little as to boost his strength or something. She actually wasn't that much of a burden, but he wouldn't admit that. He didn't want a human taking over his house; or his parents.

"Who's in pain?" Aya rushed out to greet them, basket of herbs in her hand and her hair slightly tousled. She noticed the number of wounds on her mate's flesh and the enormous gash down his left shoulder and gasped. "What happened?" She looked Inu-Yasha over with her eyes to make sure that he wasn't in the same shape, if not worse, and was relieved to not see a single scratch on her boy. It was then that she noticed the human girl a little younger than him, asleep on his back. She laughed at the scene, it was actually a rare scene indeed.

"We will tell you all once we're inside. For right now, let's get this little one in bed." He motioned to the girl and Aya agreed.

"We shall place her in our room," She stated, maternal instinct taking over. "Then I will clean your cuts and bandage you while you tell me your story." He agreed, and they all entered the wooden hut together.

After Kagome was gently placed among the cushions in their room, Aya, Rikun, and Inu-Yasha settled themselves by a fire as Aya cleaned her mate's wounds, tisking when she saw how deep it really was.

"Alright, you two better explain yourselves," she said almost sternly. "And it better be a good reason."

Inu-Yasha sighed and looked at his father, wanting him to start the day's tale.

"Inu-Yasha and I went out as usual for our hunt, but we went farther than we normally would have because we couldn't spot any deer. I should have been suspicious, but with the cold weather we've been having and… well, we must have been upwind when they saw us because I couldn't smell them." He let a snarl escape his lips as he remembered the ambush. Inu-Yasha took this as his cue to continue for the moment, in case his father got any angrier.

"That's when we were attacked," he said, clenching his own teeth and fists together. "I didn't smell them either. Not until it was too late. They were wolf demons, and they caught us by surprise. Dad got me out of the way and took the attack. He was good, but at the time there must have been fifty of them." His mother gasped. He let her get over the initial shock and continued. "So dad led them away from me, hoping I'd be safe, but I followed."

"Inu-Yasha," Aya warned, and he also noticed his father glaring at him.

"I had to make sure he was okay!" he defended, never being good at apologizing or admitting he was wrong. He let it go at that. "Anyway, dad got rid of half of them, but they were fast, and showed no mercy. We came to a clearing, by the old abandoned well, and that's when we heard it. Boy she's loud mom!" he complained, getting off track. "I don't think even you could stand her for very long! And she kept yelling at me. I don't like her. Besides, she lied to us."

"I'm not so sure that she lied," his father interjected, "But I do know that you had quite a few things to say to and about her as well. Especially after she fell asleep." Rikun fixed his son with a piercing gaze, then continued on with the story as his mate bandaged his arm. "Another demon was after her, a centipede. I saved her, she was trapped in the well. But in a way she saved us also. Since she was human, I could use the Tetsusaiga. After that they didn't have any hope for survival."

"Rikun! Your leg!" Aya's sudden outburst captured all three of their attention. "How did you walk with that! Your leg is almost ripped from its knee socket!" Inu-Yasha glanced at where his mother's attention was captured. He winced, seeing the blood and the gruesome sight before him. How could he not have noticed that?

"It's nothing I can't handle," Rikun said, brushing it off, but winced when Aya placed some disinfecting herbs on it. He was sweating a little, and by the look on his face, you could tell he had been poisoned.

"Honestly. How could you not say anything until now?" Aya was debating whether to be angry or sympathetic. "And with your trip coming up…"she let what she was about to say drift off in mid-air.

Inu-Yasha's ears perked up at the word, 'trip.' His head snapping in his father's direction. "What trip?" he asked, not wanting his father to leave.

"Oh, it's nothing. I just have to meet with all of the other Dog-demons. Something has…come up."

"What?" Inu-Yasha couldn't help but to ask.

Rikun ruffled Inu-Yasha's hair and gave a feral grin, "Pack business. Nothing much though, so don't worry."

"I wanna come!" He said, looking eager and ready to leave at that instant.

"Heh," it sounded almost exactly like Inu-Yasha's 'Feh.' That must have been where he got it from. "Sorry, but no can do. Besides, you have to take care of your mother and Kagome."

Inu-Yasha gave a small snarl when he heard Kagome's name and his father turned to him abruptly. "You better behave when you are around her or there'll be hell to pay!" he growled. "Treat her as you would your mother. If she so much has one scratch on her I'll mark ten on you, got it?" Inu-Yasha huddled into the corner, ears laid flat. He nodded. "Good. And if she is missing when I return, you will be the one to find her. And you won't come back until you do."

"Fine," Inu-Yasha growled back, then stopped from the room, going outside to sit on the branch of his favorite tree.

"Don't you think you were a little hard on him?" Aya asked gently, not one to toy with Rikun's short temper.

"No. He has to learn. He isn't bad Aya, he doesn't act like most demons."

She grinned. "That's where I come in." She had just finished his bandage and added a numbing cream so he wouldn't have to endure too much pain.

Rikun nuzzled his mate, causing her to giggle like a teenager, something she hadn't done in a long time. "Yes. But I'm afraid that what may happen, with other humans and demons, he may become worse."

Aya ran her fingers through her love's long white hair, making him look at her and only at her. "Yes, but you must trust in his. He has perfectly good reasons for acting the way he does. And you know what the village children did to him last year. He hasn't even shone himself to a human since then. You must understand that."

"I know, but that's life, and he must learn to deal with it. Besides, I think this human will be good for him. She does seem a little odd, but she seems like a nice little girl. You may be able to get more information out of her. But Inu-Yasha is right, I do not tolerate liars."

"Be still, my dear. Rest, that is what you need. I'll sit with… Kagome did you say her name was?"

"Yes."

"I will keep her company until she awakens. You lye here and rest. And don't you DARE get up and move around! Just because you can't feel the pain, doesn't mean it's not there. You will only make things worse if you walk around."

He chuckled and pulled her into his lap to nip her on the ear and give her a quick kiss before she went on her way. Aya smiled and stood, leaving her mate to contemplate what he would do with the new arising problems with all of the other demons, and what they should do about the girl.

*****back to Kagome*****

Kagome stretched, and then sat up among the cushions she had been lying on. She yawned widely and blinked her blurry vision away, then gasped and huddled against the wall. She was in a room that was completely foreign to her. It had cushions, pillows, and blankets, and a basket of flowers in the corner of the room. She noticed a small fire in the corner adjacent to it, and then saw the woman sitting at her right. She gasped again and jumped back, away from the lady.

"Don't worry dear, I'm not going to hurt you. Do you remember what happened? Do you know where you are?"

Kagome thought about it for a bit, she remembered going on the fieldtrip, but it was a little blurry. Someone hadn't adopted her in her sleep had they? Then again, maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. Wait a second…the well! And the centipede! And the two white doggies! It couldn't possibly have been a dream, could it?

"I… I'm at Inu-Yasha's house?" She guessed, looking expectantly at the pretty lady. She looked nice enough. She sure had a lot of clothes on though! And it looked so strange to her.

"Yes. I am Inu-Yasha's mother, Aya. I'm sure you met Rikun already."

"Rikun?"

"Yes, his father."

"Oh! The big white doggie! Yes, he's so soft! Just like Inu-Yasha's ears. I don't think Inu-Yasha likes me very much though." She admitted, slightly turning pink at telling him very mother the truth.

Aya laughed softly, almost in a whisper. She liked this girl, from what she could tell. It was rare that a child such as she wouldn't be frightened of a demon and a half-breed. What made her different from the rest? She definitely had clothing on that Aya had never seen before, and an innocence that enveloped the girl completely.

"You aren't scared of him then?" Aya asked, clearly interested, yet kept her voice soft and light, simply carrying on conversation.

Kagome solemnly shook her head. "No. He saved me from the mean human centipede. I don't think he's bad. And you married him, so obviously you don't either."

Aya's calm expression broke out into a serene smile that reached all the way up to her eyes. "You are right, though not many people see that. Certainly not humans."

Kagome's tiny forehead furrowed. "Why?"

"Because, we live in the Warring time, where barely anyone can be trusted. It's demon against human for the most part here."

"So demon's are real?" Kagome was awed.

Aya gave a small, almost inaudible laugh. When was the last time she had smiled like this? Laughed like this? Certainly before Inu-Yasha was born… but after? With no one accepting him? With all the attacks on both her life, her husband/mate's life, and even the life of her one and only son?!? No. It had been quite a while since anyone had lightened her spirit. If this young girl could do that in such a short time, what else could she do? Boy was she in for a big surprise!

"So you are called Kagome?" She asked, keeping her thoughts to herself.

"Yep!" Was the enthusiastic reply.

"And you… don't have a home?"

The little girl blinked, her stormy eyes taking a sad seriousness to them that Aya hadn't once seen until that very moment. She felt pity wrench at her heart, pulling at her as she moved closer to the girl.

"No. My daddy died a long time ago it seems. He was never really around. And my mother and father really died about a year and a half ago. I still don't know how. My grandpa died a year ago from a heart attack they called it. I didn't know that hearts could attack people." She sniffed, and wiped a tear away that had strayed down her cheek. "My baby brother was adopted before me, so I was all alone! I had no one! My friends didn't understand how I felt. It was all fun and games to them. Waking up every morning with Kaede-sama and playing house and dress-up until mid afternoon. I wanted a home! My family! I never really had one. We never spent time together, not even once! It was like I was just a shadow. A lone, weak shadow with no heart, no soul, and no one to love. No one to love me in return." She squeezed her eyes shut tight, clenching her fists. Her eyes snapped open. "But I do want them back! I do!" She sounded persistent, but she knew they would never return. "I don't even know where I am," She whispered under her breath.

Eyes watering from this sudden show of emotion of the girl's past, Aya stood and through her arms around the poor thing, knowing that Kagome couldn't possible be lying. "Hush, hush," she murmured, holding the fragile girl tightly in her arms. "You're staying with us, and that's final! You don't have to worry darling. You're safe as long as we're around."

Kagome cried silently into the woman's shoulder. "Thank you," she said, after she gained control over her voice. "Thank you."

*****later that night*****

"So she's staying here?" Rikun asked his mate, worried about the human.

"Yes," was Aya's firm reply.

"No!" Inu-Yasha shouted. "She can't! We don't even have an extra room for her, and I ain't sleepin' outside!"

Aya gave her son a level glance. "No one said you had to."

"Then where's she sleepin'?" He challenged.

"We will find out when the problem arises," his father said sternly. "What I would like to know, is what's for dinner."

Rikun's gaze flicked ever so slightly on his son, but enough so Inu-Yasha took the hint. "Alright, alright, I'll go an' hunt. But I'm not bringing food back for the wench! She has to earn her keep!"

"Inu-Yasha!" His mother said, astounded.

He hung his head, knowing that the little girl didn't deserve it, but he talked himself into not caring one way or the other. At least the brat wasn't in the room. She'd probably be balling her stupid little eyes out by now. Humans were weak that way. He never did anything like that!

Saying nothing, he exited through the door, top speed so he wouldn't hear his parents disapproval at his words. When he came back just after sunset, he had a deer and two rabbits in his hands, plenty for even Kagome. His mother was pleased, and his immobile father, proud. He could see it in their eyes as he walked through the door. He didn't say anything about his comment earlier, and didn't explain his change of mind.

After dinner was cooked, all four sat around in a circle and ate, silence hanging over them. Every so often, Inu-Yasha would glare at Kagome, who in turn would either glare back or move away uncertainly. His constant scowl was unsettling.

"Inu-Yasha," Aya said breezily, when the dinner had been consumed. "Stay here with Kagome. I have to talk with your father." With that she helped Rikun up to his feet, and helped him outside where they wouldn't be overheard.

*****outside*****

"She is different, Rikun, I can sense it," Aya was saying.

"How different?" he wanted to know, wondering if he should be on guard.

"Not a demon of any sort," His mate quickly assured, "But she definitely has powers."

"Miko powers? Like you?"

She pressed her lips together, wondering how she should phrase this. "No, not exactly. I can't be absolutely positive, but I do know that her powers are stronger than mine. I have a feeling she will be an asset to the future we hold dear."

Rikun nodded his head, thinking quickly. "We must not speak of this to her until she is older. She has been through a lot already."

She quickly agreed. "Yes, and with the Shikon jewel missing-" She was cut off.

"No; not missing," Rikun interrupted.

"What- what do you mean?"

"There was an accident. I just found out about it today. The jewel has been shattered into about ten different shards, yet they all still hold the power to strengthen any demon. I must find them, or all hell will break loose."

Aya, used to this vulgar language and pale with very wide eyes at the moment, could only nod. "Yes… yes of course. Is that what this meeting is all about? With all of the other demons?"

"Yes." His tone was grave. "I must find more out about it, to protect it, to keep it safe. But even I cannot hold onto a piece of the sacred jewel for long. It would either devour me, or turn me into something I do not wish to even think about, controlling my mind and body in a way."

Aya nodded numbly, fear and despair tugging at her.

"Do not say a word of this to Inu-Yasha," she said forcefully. "I do not even want to think about what he would do if he were to find out. Probably follow and get himself killed. No, it is best that he knows nothing."

"I understand."

*****inside with the two little playmates ^^;*****

"Stop looking at me," Inu-Yasha growled; eyebrows lowered.

"Why should I?" Kagome smart-talked back defiantly.

"Because I said so!"

She rolled her eyes and looked away, not believing what a rude creature he was. No one in the orphanage acted like that to her!

Silence fell over the room until she couldn't stand it anymore. She stood up, stomping her foot in irritation and placing her hands on her hips. "Why don't you like me?"

"Humph!" Was the dog-boy's only reply as he crossed his arms and looked away.

Kagome marched over to him and tugged at a strand of his hair, bending down to his sitting position. "Look at me when I'm talking to you!" She shouted, pursing her lips.

He gritted his teeth and glared even harder, throwing daggers at her with his piercing golden gaze. His hand clasped tightly over her wrist as he pulled his hair out of her grasp. She gasped, not knowing what to do next.

He gave a low snarl as a warning not to mess with him. "You're trying my patience." His voice sounded like lazy thunder.

Now Kagome glared. "Why do you hate me? Is it because I'm human? Is that it?"

"Yes," was the startling reply. Kagome blinked. No one had hated her for being human before. Then again, the only people she had ever met were all human. Not demons, not half-breeds, not anything. But his mother was a human, so he had to hate her for another reason since he obviously didn't hate his mother.

"What else?" Kagome asked, surprising him. He thought she'd cry, or blow up in his face. Not talk this out calmly and… rationally? "You don't hate your mother. She's human," she stated. "What else?"

"Because! Because you're taking my parents away from me and no one can have them but me!" It was out of his mouth before he had time to stop it. His eyes widened as he realized what he had said. Too late to take the words back now. He sullenly looked into Kagome's eyes, wondering what her reaction would be. She was surprised, then sad, a look of understanding in those eyes that he had never before seen in anyone.

"You don't have to worry," she said quietly. "No one could ever replace you. I won't steal your parents."

"You promise?" Was his gruff reply.

She gave a small, tiny smile. "I promise. You don't have to worry. You're they're son. They don't even know me." She eyes were sad, brimming with tears."

"How do I know that?"

She looked at him, seeing that he needed reassurance for something that was right in front of his nose.

"How can I trust you. You speak as if you understand. How could you?"

Kagome looked down at her lap, gently pulling her hand out of Inu-Yasha's grasp. "When I just turned five, my mother had another baby. I was sad and upset because I thought they would care about him more than me. I didn't want a little brother. I wanted my mommy and daddy all to myself too. My daddy did love him more, I could tell, but my mother loved us equally. It's just that it took a lot of work with the baby around, so I was lonely all the time. My grandpa wasn't the best source for company, believe me. I got mad at him, but we were both siblings. We both had the same parents. He deserved to be loved too. So I learned to live with it, but still couldn't help being jealous when he needed to be fed, or changed, or when he cried. I know what it feels like; being alone. I wouldn't do the same thing to you. Your parents love you too much anyway. They will always love you. I can tell."

Inu-Yasha was silent for a moment. The beginning of her story kind of reminded him of his half-brother, Sesshomaru. And she was right about what he was feeling right now. She understood perfectly.

"What happened to your parents? To your family?" He asked at last, quieter than usual, and more gently.

"They-They're dead…gone," she said at last, her tears running loose.

"D-d-don't cry!" he yelled, eyes wide as he attempted to jump away. He crept a little closer to her, not able to handle her tears. "Why are you crying? Stop crying!" For once he didn't think about what would happen if his parents came in and thought he did something to their precious human girl, he wanted her to stop because it tore him to pieces when he saw that pained expression on her face.

"I'm not crying!" She pouted, rubbing the tears out of her eyes. She never let any of the other orphans see her cry. Why was she crying in front of Inu-Yasha?

"K-Kagome," he said uneasily, reaching a trembling hand out to her uncertainly.

She flung herself into his arms, taking him completely by surprise, and weeping into his red kimono. [AN: It's not made of fire-rat fur yet, just to let you know.] His eyes widened as she clasped onto him. Tentatively her wrapped his arms around her small form, actually feeling bad for the little human. He buried his head into the crook of her neck, inhaling the sweet scent of her. She smelled good. That was the only thought running though his mind at the time.

When her crying ceased and her grip slackened, he gently pulled away a little to look into her eyes. She was asleep, and who could blame her? She had a busy and frightening day. He was sleepy himself, and oddly enough, her company was rather calming. He liked her easing scent and the feel of her soft human flesh. Her skin looked so pale, so delicate.

Droopiness taking control over him, he dazedly hefted her into his arms, finally admitting to himself that she wasn't a burden at all while being carried, and was actually extremely light. He ambled to his room with half-lidded eyes, and gently placed her on his bed of cushions and many pillows and blankets. She curled up into a ball once he let go, huddling for warmth. Placing a blanket over her form, he walked around her and laid behind her, pulling a blanket over himself for warmth as well. He didn't realize it when he huddled closer for comfort and heat. He also didn't know when he had wrapped an arm around her. She unconsciously snuggled into his arms, her back against his chest, feeling comfortable for the first time in ages.

*****back to the parents*****

When Aya and Rikun entered their hut they found an astounding sight before them. Both Inu-Yasha and Kagome were gone! Panic stricken, Aya clasped onto her husband's arm as he followed their scent with his nose. They came to a very shocking sight that neither of them had ever thought they would witness. Not only were Inu-Yasha and Kagome sharing the same bed, [AN: no nasty thoughts you perverted Miroku peeps out there!] but they were both facing the rood with Kagome curling up into Inu-Yasha's accommodating arms.

Aya gave a knowing smile, thinking of how fun it would be to watch these two grow up. Maybe Inu-Yasha had hope of getting along in this world after all, as long as she was by his side.

"I guess that solves the sleeping problem," she stated airily.

Rikun gave an understanding snigger, almost looking as if he was smirking. "I believe so. For now anyway."

They walked into their room down the hall, feeling at ease and at rest for the first time in months. They both had a feeling that this would be the start of a nice, happy family, in more ways than one.

All right everybody! I'm done with the first chapter! Yay! If you are wondering about the Shikon no Tama, you will find out possibly in the next chapter. ^____________^ If you're lucky that is! *evil grin* I'll give you a clue. There are two. Happy? You'll have to read more to find out! And don't worry, they won't stay young forever. The next chapter is the last time they'll remain five… I'm pretty sure. I just have to have something happen first. Well, please review! I hope you like this!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!! It is now officially 2003. It is 12:46, thank you very much. I spent my New Year typing on the computer, don't you love me? Actually, my mom and I just watched a movie together and My dad and sister went to a party of some friends. My mom and I didn't want to go so we stayed home. -_- I know, I know. Party poopers. But SOMEONE had to watch our new puppy while fireworks go off and everything! And if it were friends I knew… I would have gone. Well, talk to ya later! Please review!