AN: The timeframe for this fic is early on in the Inuyasha series sometime before Shippou and the rest joined the Shikon shard hunting team and will most likely go off on a completely different tangent from the Inuyasha series. Excuse the shortness as it seems most first chapters of series that I write tend to start off brief.

I'm not sure how this'll go since it's my first active attempt at suspense or action so I would appreciate any feedback, good or bad, as to what you think so far. That being said, I hope you enjoy this.



CHAPTER 1: Capture in Moonlight










"Are you certain?"

The Great Lord of the Western Lands stared down imperiously at the old scryer, her pale wrinkled hands resting on the fallen stones before her as her wizened gaze calmly met his own. This old youkai who had shared ties with his departed father since centuries past, before he'd even been born into this world, had always been reliable for her readings, her ability to tell what needed to be known from the pattern of fallen stones, and his father had always trusted them implicitly. But still, even knowing her accuracy, he had a difficult time accepting what she'd told him.

"Do you doubt me?" Wrinkled lips curled in a smile. "Well, it doesn't matter if you do for it does not change the truth. I could cast the stones a dozen more times for the question you posed but the answer will remain unchanged."

"I see." He looked down at the stones impassively, any thoughts he was thinking kept to himself.

"Is there no one you have in mind?" she asked of the silent youkai lord.

With a flash of golden eyes, he left the room without another word, leaving a wizened gaze staring after him, twinkling in amusement.


"Inuyasha! Sit!"

The sound of flesh thudding on wooden floorboards filled the room as Kagome stormed out of Kaede's hut, leaving the flattened hanyou behind. By the time Inuyasha finally pulled his face from the floor, Kagome was long gone. He glared at the hut's entrance as the other occupant of the hut sighed.

"Don't you think you should go after her?" Kaede asked, eyeing the hanyou blandly. "What you said was harsher than she deserved."

"It was the truth!" Inuyasha yelled angrily as he sat up and glared at the old woman. "Aside for detecting Shikon shards, that bitch is completely useless!"

Kaede sighed heavily. "Do you really think so?"

"Of course," he snorted, crossing his arms. "All she does is get kidnapped and causes even more problems. She's a useless human miko!"

She looked at him in disapproval. "That 'useless human miko' saved your life."


A brow arched. "Did you forget so soon your battle with that youkai Yura of the hair?"

"What about it?"

"If Kagome had not used whatever mysterious power she possesses to detect her weak point, you would either be dead or much more badly injured than you were."

"Hmph," he grunted. "I didn't need her help. I would have found a way to beat her." He tilted up a defiant chin. "Eventually."

"Is that what you truly believe?"

He glared back at her stubbornly. "I'm not going to fucking apologize!"

Kaede shook her head sadly at him but, in her infinite wisdom, deemed it best to leave the matter alone for a bit. Despite the short acquaintance between the two, the fights between the hanyou and the young girl were frequent but eventually seemed to work themselves out in the end. They just needed a little time apart to settle down, she was certain, and then things would be back to normal. Well, as normal as things could be between a hanyou and a reincarnated human miko. But, with the heavy and oppressive atmosphere that was created in the small confines of the hut by the presence of an irritated hanyou, she hoped it would be soon.


Concealed, the youkai watched and waited, sensing the unmistakable presence of the Shikon shards on the human girl who was rushing away from the village and beating down the rampant desire to have this over and done with quickly. Until the moment was right to strike, patience had to be used until the girl was farther away from the village to attack so that any possible cries for help that she might voice would go unheard. It would be best to avoid any unnecessary attention and having the nearby villagers come to a distressed damsel's aid was an annoyance better left for someone else to deal with.

Patience, patience, and soon the Shikon shards would have a new owner.


"That jerk!"

A fuming Kagome stormed away from the village and towards the old Bone Eater's well, intending to go home and away for the irritating hanyou that always seemed to belittle her. But, as her temper faded with every step she took, she suddenly stopped and sighed, feeling a little guilty. She felt that what he said had some truth to after all. She was only human and, despite the fact that she was supposedly a reincarnation of a long- dead and powerful miko, she didn't really possess any spectacular abilities. Sure, she could detect the presence of Shikon fragments but that was about it. More often than not, Inuyasha was the one that had to come and rescue her. She really did owe her well being to him.

Especially for the most recent time he had ended up rescuing her.

She sighed again, recalling how she'd been kidnapped by a youkai that had wanted to take the Shikon shards she was carrying, the incident that was the cause of their recent argument. Of course, it hadn't been any more fun for her than it had been for Inuyasha. He was so obsessed with collecting the shards that she supposed, given his hot temper and childish way of behaving, that she could understand how he was so aggravated over having to go through the trouble of a useless fight that hadn't even gotten them another piece of the Shikon no Tama. Even though he had saved her because she carried the shards, she still owed him for her life.

Besides, she was at fault for breaking the jewel in the first place and felt it was her responsibility to collect the fragments but she wasn't foolish enough to believe that she could do it alone. She needed Inuyasha's fighting skills and youkai abilities to go against anyone else using the power of a Shikon shard just as he needed her to pick up the traces of more fragments. They both needed each other but, for this odd partnership to work, they needed to be on less hostile terms which meant that this latest blow-up in their relationship had to be resolved.

"Guess I'll have to be the adult here," Kagome said aloud.

For all that he'd been sealed against the tree she'd first found him at for fifty years and was older than her in terms of physical age, he acted even more immature than her little brother Souta. She didn't really think of him as evil as there were moments when he could be pleasant but he was definitely stubborn and not one to easily admit that he'd ever been wrong. It was obvious that she'd have to be the grown-up one and make the first move towards reconciliation. She consoled herself by repeating over and over in her mind that the sooner this was resolved, the sooner they could finish collecting shards and then she could go home for good and concentrate on her schoolwork the way she needed to.

Mind made up, she turned around and began to head back towards the village.


No! She was turning around!

It was obvious that she was heading back towards the village, back to unnecessary hindrances that would only further get in the way of obtaining the Shikon shards. There was no helping for it; this place would have to do. Now, while she was still alone with any would-be saviors far away in the human village.

Now was the time to strike!


She felt a prickling chill across her skin.

She stiffened warily and cautiously looked around, seeing nothing and yet somehow knowing that she wasn't alone, that something out there was watching her every action and had intentions that she was positive weren't in her best interests. She quickened her pace while trying to act as if nothing were wrong, hoping to buy a little more time until she was closer to the village so that she could make a run for it or call for help.

A whoosh, a violent rustling of leaves, and a hard thudding sound behind her had her bursting into a sudden all-out run with all the speed she could muster as a rumbling growling behind her let her know that her watcher had decided to stop just watching. She didn't bother to waste the time to look back at whatever was thudding behind her as it gave chase, closing the distance between them. She concentrated on running back as fast as her legs would carry her to the village which now seemed eons away as she opened her mouth and let out a piercing scream.



From his reclining position on the floor of Kaede's hut, Inuyasha suddenly bolted upright cocking his ears and startling the old woman tending the fire in the little hut. She looked at him in concern when she saw the intense expression on his face.

"What is it, Inuyasha?"

"I don't know." He strained his ears. "I thought I heard something."

Then he heard it again, the frightened cry of his name in the distance and he was up and running, dashing through the hut's entrance as he prayed that he'd make it there in time. He was dimly aware of the old woman as she rushed after him to the best of her abilities, no doubt with the intent to help, but she was too slow compared to him. He went as fast as he could towards the cry, hoping he'd be in time to save her.




Kagome screamed as loud as she could for as long as she could, a second cry to follow the first, while she continued to run and prayed that he heard her frantic yelling and would come. She had no doubt that he would. After all, she had the Shikon shards and knew that, whatever he may think of her, he'd rather die than see them turned over to anyone else. No, her biggest concern wasn't that he'd come to rescue her but that he made it in time to do so.

But then, when she was about to let loose with another scream, she tripped on a tree root concealed in the darkness and had a bigger concern that filled her mind as she went sprawling across the ground and the youkai that had been chasing her suddenly loomed over her prone figure. Fear was instant and clogged her throat, closing it tight, as the impressive mass of bristling dark fur and claws registered in her mind as the growling mouth filled with snapping rows of razor-sharp teeth began to descend on her.

Fear was overwhelming as it swelled within her and she finally opened her mouth to scream once more when the large body hovering over hers suddenly stiffened and let out a howling roar much louder than anything she'd ever heard. It deafened her, frightened her, as she felt something liquid and hot pouring over her eyes.

Then everything went black.



Inuyasha rushed towards the fallen figure on the ground only to stop short when he drew close and saw that the large youkai was dead with no one else in sight. He paced around the dead body in an effort to pick up enough clues that would let him piece together just what it was that had happened here. He sniffed with his keen nose and clearly picked up Kagome's scent but none of her blood that was somewhat of a relief as it increased the likelihood that she was unharmed. But it was that other scent, a very familiar one, which wafted to his nose that had him stiffening in fear and rage that boiled out in a frustrated angry cry that echoed throughout the darkness of the forest and carried beyond.



Far away, the Great Lord of the Western Lands heard the cry despite the long distance between them and ignored it for he disliked bothering with such unnecessary things. Instead, he calmly continued on his way, glancing down at the bundle he cradled in his one good arm as they traveled through the darkness of the night sky.

He'd gotten what he had come for.