Okay, this is my first story on ff.net. A few things before the story begins, though. I do not own Inuyasha (the show or the person). About my OC...it gets a little complicated. He's an amalgam of the coolest character in every anime show I watch. His personality and a lot of other things I made up, but if he does something and you think "Oh! That reminds me of so-and-so from such-and-such anime!" you'll probably be right. While he has roots in various characters, he is most definitely original, so he is my OC. All rights are reserved to their respective authors. Please don't sue. Rated PG-13 for violence and some language. No citrus content (I stink at writing it) but this is definitely an Inu/Kag with some Mir/San. Don't worry, my OC won't try to steal Kagome away, he's much too honorable for THAT.

Chapter One: The Other Swordsman

Kagome hopped out of the Bone Eaters' well in modern-day time. Inuyasha arrived a few seconds later, grumbling as usual.

"Kagome, why do we have to stay so long in here? I heard rumors of a group of icicle demons that have a shard with them..." But Kagome was not to be dissuaded that easily.

"Inuyasha, you know as well as I do why we're here. We need to get more supplies! I'm out of bandages, disinfectant, and aspirin already..." She cast him an exasperated look. "And besides, if we don't go shopping, that'll mean no more ramen..."

He stopped, shocked. "No more ramen?!"

"Yes, no more ramen. Come on! We have to get to the city before everything closes!" She grabbed his hand and yanked him along with him.

They hailed a cab and arrived in Tokyo a few minutes later. Kagome paid the driver and came out.

"Inuyasha...it's late already. If we dawdle any more, all the shops will close and we won't be able to get anything until tomorrow! I know you don't like coming here, but you'll just have to deal with it."

"Why did I even come with you anyway?" he growled.

"Because, I don't know what sort of stuff you eat besides ramen and I need you to tell me!"

"You could have asked..." He mumbled some more as Kagome pulled him into the shops.

Two hours later, they were wandering among the alleys of the city. Inuyasha was loaded down with packages, but Kagome kept glancing nervously to either side.

"Inuyasha...We should leave really soon," she whispered.

"Why? I thought you were having so much fun buying all this stuff that we'll never use anyway."

"Because!" Kagome hissed. "All sorts of dangerous people hang out around here after dark and I don't want to get mugged!"

Inuyasha uncomfortably shifted his burden. "You're afraid of being mugged? When I'm here to protect you? I can take out a tribe of bear youkai, a guy with a dagger is no problem."

As if to contradict him, Kagome was suddenly pulled into a dark passageway off the main alley. Inuyasha instantly dropped all the packages and leaped after her. Inside, a grizzled-looking man was holding Kagome against the wall, a switchblade in his hand.

"So, little girly," he chuckled in a raspy voice. "You got any cash on you?" Frightened, she shook her head. She'd spent most of her money shopping.

His smile vanished. "So, holding out on me, huh? I don't like girlies that lie..." At that moment, Inuyasha soared from the shadows; and in one fluid movement hurled the man away and clutched Kagome to him. The man came back, holding his knife up. Inuyasha whipped out Tetsusaiga and held it to the man's throat.

"Easy there, boy." He dropped the knife and held his hands up. "I don't want any trouble."

"Well then, you shouldn't have started any trouble," Inuyasha snarled as he advanced, pressing the man to the wall of the alley.

To everyone's astonishment, the man began to chuckle again. "You know, with that big sword, you remind me of this other guy..."

Inuyasha was puzzled, but got over it quickly. "I'm holding you to the wall with a sword at your neck, and all you can think about is some guy?"

The man smiled. "You're not the killing type. I can see it in your eyes. But this other guy, I'd expect him to kill me in a heartbeat."

Inuyasha withdrew his sword. "All right, I'll bite. Who is this mysterious 'other guy'?"

"I don't know his real name. Around here, he goes by..." The man leaned close. "Kyoten." The man glanced fearfully down the alleyway, as if he expected this Kyoten to appear right there. "He uses a sword like you do, but it's even bigger and nastier looking. He's an assassin. Some say..." He took another nervous look down the passage. "Some say he's never failed a contract. Some say he's never gotten hurt."

"And where do we find this mysterious Kyoten?" Inuyasha asked in a mock-polite tone.

"I don't know, man..." Growling, Inuyasha pulled out Tetsusaiga again and held the blade against the man's throat.

"You said I wasn't the killing type, and maybe you're right." Inuyasha's voice dropped to a whisper, so Kagome couldn't hear. "But you don't need your eyes...or your ears...to live."

. "Okay! Okay! I'll tell you. Between jobs, he hangs out at the Seventh Heaven bar about three blocks from here. He only ever appears at night though. Now lemme go!" Inuyasha released him and watched as he scampered away into the darkness. He turned to Kagome.

"So...what do you think? Should we find him? He sounds impressive enough."

"I don't know, Inuyasha. He might be dangerous." Kagome looked down the alley at the still fleeing man. "If people are that scared of him..."

"Feh. When was the last time a human could beat me? I can take on this 'Kyoten' any day of the week. So don't worry about that." Kagome's face still held reservations. "Come on! You dragged me around town shopping, now let's do something for me. Where is this bar anyway?"

"Umm...I'm not sure, but we could ask. But if we don't find it, we're going straight home, ok?"

Inuyasha laughed. "Oh, big bad Kagome is afraid of a widdle man and his sword!"

"Shut up!" She pretend-punched him on the arm. "Let's just find this guy and leave."

A few minutes later, they stood in the entrance to Seventh Heaven bar. It really was a seedy place. A foul smell hung in the air, causing Inuyasha's nose to wrinkle up in disgust. People were shooting pool, playing cards, watching TV, boozing at the bar. A violent shouting match erupted at a nearby poker table; it seemed two people had simultaneously played an ace of spades. A scruffy-looking guy stumbled over to a woman in a red dress at the bar, and whispered something in her ear. She punched him in the jaw and walked out. Kagome didn't like the look of this place one bit. She spoke up.

"Excuse me?" Nobody paid attention to her. "Excuse me!" No reaction. She was about to try again when Inuyasha put a hand on her shoulder.

"Just standing here shouting isn't going to get us anywhere. Let's ask that guy serving drinks."

"You mean the bartender?"

"Yeah, whatever. He might know. Looks like he runs this place." Inuyasha stormed up to the bar. Kagome remained timidly by the door. The bartender glanced up at him with a bored expression.

"What'll ya have, son?"

"I'm not here for a drink. I'm here for information. I want to know something," Inuyasha growled.

The bartender shrugged. "Lotsa people wanna know something. Every day I get people comin' in here and asking me what time the bus arrives, the football scores, if there are any sales in the shops. Who do I look like, the answer man? Either buy something or leave."

Inuyasha slammed his fist down on the bar. "Look, just tell me! Who is this guy Kyoten?"

The bar went dead. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at Inuyasha. He glanced around, unsure of what this reaction meant.

The bartender stared at him, wild-eyed. "You-you're really serious, aintcha? He-he's over there." He cast a shaking finger down to the end of the bar, where a man sat, unperturbed by the break in the activity. He had a shock of red hair; a long cape covered up the rest of him. He had his back to them.

Inuyasha went over to him. "Hey! You're Kyoten, right?"

Kyoten did not stir as he responded. "People call me that." His voice was unnatural. It sounded muted, low; but at the same time, like there was incredible power hidden beneath it. Inuyasha had never heard a voice like that in his life.

"So, it isn't your real name?" Inuyasha asked, with just a hint more respect in his voice.

"No." Obviously he wasn't much of a talker. Inuyasha decided to try the indirect route. "Hey...I didn't catch your real name."

Kyoten was unimpressed. "I didn't throw it."

By now, Inuyasha was getting frustrated. "All right," he began angrily. "So what is it?" No response. "Tell me!" he almost shouted.

For the first time, he showed some reaction as he shifted in his seat. "You really want to know?" Inuyasha said nothing. "All right then. I'll tell you. But you have to do something for me first."

Silence. The bar hounds began to edge away from Kyoten, except for Inuyasha, who stood there, stubborn as ever. "What?" he snarled. "What do you want?"

Kyoten put down his drink, though he did not face them. "You have a sword. A rather nice one, if I am to judge. If you can defeat me in a sword battle..." Everyone cringed except for Inuyasha and Kagome, who were puzzled. "Then I'll let you in on my name. However. If I defeat you, you'll have to leave and never bother me again. Fair?"

"Yeah...I guess," Inuyasha muttered. "But you'll have to promise."

"Promise what?" He sounded slightly amused.

"That you won't scream too loudly when I cut you." Inuyasha drew his sword and pointed it straight at Kyoten.

The mystery man chuckled. "I like you. Let's do this." He stood up and faced them. Kagome gasped at his strange appearance. His clothes were definitely not of this time. They seemed to be elaborate, regal robes more than simple clothes. He wore ornate plates of ebony armor across his chest and back, and on his arms and legs. They were festooned with jewels and fancy patterns. He looked altogether like he had just stepped out of some throne room from the past. At his side, he wore a scabbard.

But his face...His features looked like he was twenty or so, and he looked vaguely American, yet the light behind his eyes suggested that he was more than a mere man. That there was something behind his odd façade. A terrible secret lurked just behind his eyes, but no man there had the courage to find it out.

He walked across the room, and the stunned barflies parted like the Red Sea as he went through. At the door, he paused and turned to them again.

"Oh, yeah. This'll be an exhibition match, so everyone can come watch." The crowd erupted in cheers and hustled Inuyasha and Kagome out the door. The bartender could just be seen dragging some tables out before the three of them went behind the bar, into a wide alley. A few minutes passed, and Inuyasha readied himself while the crowd set up tables and chairs for watching from. Finally they were ready. An 'arena' was designated, and they took up their fighting stances.

"This match goes until the first blood is drawn." Kyoten shouted for all to hear. He then leaned close to Inuyasha and whispered, "And make it showy. The bartender gives me free drinks if I get him customers, and this is the perfect way to do it." He stood apart from Inuyasha.

"DRAW!" barked the bartender. Inuyasha unsheathed Tetsusaiga. Kyoten pulled out his sword. It was enormous. At least four feet long, it glittered with unnatural power. It was perfectly smooth, without a chip, crack, or defect throughout. Its blade had a tongue of fire patterned on it.

"That's no ordinary sword..." Kagome mumbled just loud enough for Inuyasha to hear.

"FIGHT!!"

So, first fic ever. Review please!!! I've barely gotten started, expect at least 10-11 chappies this size before this fic is over. And if it's not too much trouble, could someone explain what the little ff.net abbreviations stand for? AU, OOC, R&R, etc. Thank you!