**Summary: After a brief encounter with a demon, Kagome is seriously wounded. Afraid of losing her, Inuyasha makes a decision that may change the future of the Shikon No Tama protector.**

Disclaimer: First things first; I do not own anything of the great show "Inuyasha". It belongs entirely to the incredibly creative, highly imaginative, Rumiko Takahashi.
Second, this is my first attempt at "Inuyasha" fan fiction, so go easy on me. The only versions of the show I've seen are the US dubs. Meaning, the voice I hear of our little foul mouth hanyou is Richard Cox. That also means, the terminology and use of Japanese language will be toned down completely. I don't want to insult anyone by using the words/phrases/expressions incorrectly. Also, I don't want to make an A** of myself.
Third and final, I don't intend for this story to be long, so if some chapters come out short, sorry. Again, go easy on me. Whew. Anyway, enjoy and please review.
Kagome paced the grassy green meadow and stared intensely at the book before her. She sighed in complete exhaustion. She had read the problem several times over and it still did not make any sense to her. It was as if it were in a different language.

'Three numbers are such that the second is 6 less than 3 times the first and the third is 2 more than 2/3 the first. The sum of the three numbers is 150. Find the largest of the three numbers.'

"Argh," she screamed in frustration. "'…the third is 2 more than 2/3 the first.' What the hell is that suppose to mean?!"

She tossed the book to the side.

"I give up," she collapsed onto the ground and gazed up at the sky. "I'm never going to pass this test. I'm going to fail. I hate math!"

She continued to gaze up at the blue sky. It was painted with hundreds of white clouds. There were so many different shapes and sizes. She couldn't help but let her mind drift away into her imagination. She envisioned herself riding atop the gentle cloud, gazing down at the world below her. She smiled thinking of how she could leave it all behind. Let her worries stay on the ground below her; no shard hunting; no tests…

"Ugh," she shook her head out of her thoughts. "Daydreaming isn't going to get me very far."

She sat up, "I need to get back to studying."

She reached for her book, but couldn't find it. She looked around and saw only the green around her.

"What the?" She stood up. "Where did-"

"I don't know why you even bother with this nonsense," a voice called above her. "We should be looking for more fragments of the sacred jewel, not resting."

She turned her attention towards the sound of the familiar voice. She placed her hands on her hips as she looked up at the boy a few feet above her. He was dressed in a red kimono, with powerful prayer beads around his neck. His ears stood out among his features. They were that of a dog's. They poked themselves out from the top of head, through his silky white hair.

He was sitting on a branch, letting one leg dangle as he flipped through the pages of her hardback book. He furrowed his eyebrows at the words and numbers that were contained within the pages.

"Give me back my book" she held out her hand.

"What is so important about this?" He looked at the book from different angles.

"I need it for school," she told him. "Now hand it over."

"Let's get going," he closed the book. "I want to look for more jewel shards."

"I told you," she grew irritated. "I have a test coming up and I need time to study for it. Can't you at least understand that?"

He scoffed, "You've had enough time."

"I'll tell you when I've had enough time," the sound of her voice began to increase. "Now give me back my book."

"Nothin doin," he held the book to his chest and leaned back into the tree.

"Fine," she placed her hands on her hips. "Sit."

He could feel the proverbial force pull him towards the ground several feet below him. As strong as he was, he could not overpower it. He could not remain on the branch. His body hit the solid ground with a fierce 'thud', making him completely immobile. It would be a few seconds before he would realize that she had taken the book from his numb arms.

He wearily stood up; his body still sore from the impact.

"You get out of line again, Inuyasha?" Someone teased from behind.

He could feel his insides flare up at the sound of the voice.

"Back off Shippou," he warned with a growl.

The young fox demon, with two feet like a fox, had a face of a young child. His bushy tail was a golden brown. He danced around the hot headed Inuyasha, and away from him. He knew how quickly he would feel the strong hands of the hanyou when he was angry. Still, nothing delighted him more than to see him in pain after Kagome's incantation.

The white-haired, half demon scanned the area for the young girl who made him fall from the tree. He was going to give her a verbal tongue lashing, but she was nowhere to be found. He grumbled to himself. It didn't matter. All he had to do was pick up her scent. That would lead him right to her.

"Why don't you leave her alone?" Shippou watched the hanyou's eyes. "She said she'd tell you when she's ready."

"She's had enough time to look at those stupid books of hers," he snapped at the little demon. "Besides, when she's here, she's here to find shards."

"Just give her some time," another voice responded. "After all, she's here more than she is home."

Inuyasha didn't even bother to turn around. He knew the voice belonged to a young man; an amorous monk, by the name of Miroku. He was tall and slender, dressed in purple and black. His hair was black with a small pony tail. With him he carried a golden staff. His physical appearance made him look to be around the same age as Inuyasha, then again there were some moments when he showed the maturity of an elderly wise man.

"Still," the hanyou argued. "She shouldn't wander off like that."

"Who's fault is that?" Shippou added. "If you would have left her alone than she wouldn't have to go off somewhere by herself."

"She's tough ," the monk stood next to him. "I'm sure she'll be all right."

Inuyasha sneered , "Yeah right. Kagome take care of herself? Don't make me laugh."

"Kagome's brave," the young fox snapped in her defense. "You shut up!"

"I seem to remember I was the one who saved her from the last eight demons," he crossed his arms.

"Yes," Miroku nodded his head in agreement. "But I also recall the number of times she's saved your life."

"So," he turned his back to the monk. "She just got lucky."

"Sure she did," he winked at a smiling Shippou.

Inuyasha's ears twitched and his nose cringed at the air. Something wasn't right. The air wasn't right. Along its gentle waves it carried an odor of evil and danger. It also came from the same direction the young girl's scent.

Kagome," he said in a slight whisper and followed the trail of her aroma.
"I swear that boy," she griped as she stared down at the book in her lap.

After having to take the book from his arms, she walked away from him to find a place where she could be alone with her studies. She knew it wouldn't be long before he would find her. Still, if she could get a few minutes alone with her books, she knew it would help. She needed all the time she could get.

Her trips back to feudal Japan were becoming more frequent, which left less and less time for her school work. She was so far behind her classmates. And her make up work was piling up. Even when she returned home, she would find herself still out of school just to finish up on her make up work. She was never given the chance to look at her books with Inuyasha around.

"Why does he have to be so bossy?" She complained aloud to herself.

She took another look at her math book. She tried to read the problem again, but found herself growing frustrated once more. She couldn't concentrate properly. She was bugged with too many thoughts. Most of which had to do with a certain silver haired hanyou.

"Ah!" She stood up and screamed. "I'm sick of it!"

She began to pace and ramble complaints, "He's so selfish! Why can't he get it through his head that I need to study! And how exactly do I find the largest number?"

"Who does he think he is? 2/3 of the first?"

Kagome continued to ramble on, not realizing her words were mixing her thoughts together.

"I have this test to deal with! The sum of him and I are 150! He's 2/3 of the first! And I can't find the largest place for me to get away from him for a while! Why does he have to act like that? Now he's gonna be mad cause I had to sit him 6 less than three times the third! What the hell am I saying?!"

Suddenly a rush of cold swept across her body, causing her stop pacing. Her eyes didn't move. Her breath seized as she listened to her surroundings, but no sound emitted. It was as if life itself had stopped.

Then she heard it. It was a low, deep rumble. The sound resembled the noise of thunder, but there were no clouds in the sky. It had been clear all day. Then it hit her. Her eyes widened at the realization of sound. It was a growl.

Her eyes slowly moved in the direction where the sound resonated from. She could feel her body tremble as she gazed up at the creature that stood just a few feet from her. It was well over ten feet tall, with razor like claws and teeth that looked like it could rip a very large animal to shreds…and a very small girl.

Her lip quivered as she tried to speak, "Inu-Inu.."

'Run,' the voice in her head ordered. 'Now!'

The thought continued to echo in her ears. She could hear the voice, so loud and clear. The rhythm of the short syllables flowed all through her body. She tried to heed it's command but found herself standing in the same spot just gazing up at the hideous creature that towered over her. She couldn't run. She couldn't scream. She found it difficult to breathe. Her fear disabled all her motor functions.

However, what felt like an eternity, was only a few seconds it took for the feeling to return to her legs. And just in time as well, when the monsters mighty hand took one big swing at her; it's claw nearly twice the size of her body; her small, delicate body, she leaped out of the beast's reach. She could feel the wind push past her, through her hair, rustling her clothes. It's strength caused her to lose her balance and fall to the ground. If her body wasn't numb in terror, she might have felt the pain of the impact. But it was her fear, the same that held her position, that made her move again as the large demon made another attempt at her life.

Kagome rolled out of its way as its large fist pounded onto the ground where she once laid. She could feel the earth beneath her tremor from the touch of the fist. The movement of the ground made it difficult for her to stand once more. It took a few seconds for the earth to stop moving. But it was in the short time, when she glanced over at the beast and saw something moving quickly through the trees over its massive shoulders. It was quick, but she recognized its red and white features.

"Inuyasha!" She cried.

She climbed to her feet and watched as he raised his arms high above his head. In his hands he had the already unsheathed, mighty blade that had taken the form a giant tooth; the Tetsusaiga. It was in three quick flashes when she saw the monster's legs trembled beneath it. She watched as the life from within its once terrifying red eyes flicker out like a burning candle.

She smiled as she saw her white knight come from behind the still falling beast. It was then she noticed a his face was filled with terror and panic. She couldn't understand why. He had just killed the beast. Why did he look upset?

"Kagome!" He called her name. "Look out!"

She turned to follow his gaze. Everything had happened so quick. The beast had punched the ground with his left hand, rendering her balance unstable. When she managed to finally climb to her feet, she had seen Inuyasha coming to her rescue from behind the large demon. She was too busy watching her hero destroy the demon's enormous body, that she hadn't seen its right hand was headed right for her. Its momentum was still making its swipe towards her.

She caught a small glimpse of a razor sharp claw aimed for her back. She tried to move out of its way, but it was too late. It took only a split second for the sharp blade to dig itself into her back. The force of the impact flung her several feet from the now limp hand.

Inuyasha's eyes just about fell out of his head. He dropped his mighty sword and ran towards her body, which now lay motionless. As he grew closer to her, his steps became smaller, weaker. He could feel his knees began to buckle. He could feel his insides twisting and turning. A rush of fear had fallen over him. He didn't want to look. He didn't want to see what he knew was there. He didn't want to look upon her body and see it lifeless.

He couldn't breathe, which made it difficult for him to speak. Still, he didn't want to say a word in fear that he would get no response. He didn't think he could handle it. But a strong voice inside him told him to speak; call out to her; telling him to say her name.

"Kagome," his voice choked.

When he reached her, her body was faced down in the grass, displaying the large wound on her upper back. He had seen blood before. He had shed blood of his own and of the many demons he had conquered, but nothing ever prepared him for what he saw. Her long, black hair had soaked up the thick red liquid. Her green and white school uniform skirt was now stained with a scarlet that would never fade.

He tried his voice once more, "Kagome."

It was then he noticed her small body moving up and down quickly. He knew struggle when he saw it. He had gotten lacerated many times before. His body had taken so many beatings. He knew what it meant for a body to move such as it did. She was trying to breathe. It was strenuous on the insides. The pain was almost unbearable. He knew she was fighting to hold on to her life.

He dove down and cradled her in his arms, "Kagome!"

Her face had agony written all over it. She coughed up more red ink.

Just then Shippou and Miroku had come running up. Inuyasha had moved too fast for them to keep up. Their minds couldn't quite register just what their eyes were focused on. It took a moment for their brains to catch up. Shippou was by her side immediately.

"Oh my," was all the monk could say.

"Kagome!" Shippou's eyes were filled with tears. "Kagome, get up!"

Miroku quickly reached for her bag and pulled out a thick towel. He handed it to Inuyasha to use to cover her wound.

"We've got to get her to Kaede's," he touched the side of her face, softly. He could feel her body grow cold

"I know that," he began to wrap her shivering body in his already red kimono.

As the hanyou picked her up, she let out a anguished whimper. His arms pressed up against her wound. He didn't like to see her in pain, but he had to apply pressure to it in order to stop the bleeding.

"Is Kagome going to be all right?" The little fox demon worriedly watched her take in several sharp breaths.

"The village is two days from here," Miroku looked in the direction they would be heading.

"For you," Inuyasha added, softly. "I can make it there in a day."

"I don't think that's wise," Miroku looked her over. He knew she was slipping. "If you move her too fast, too much, she might…" His voice trailed off as he noticed the little demon looking at him wide eyed.

"We don't have a choice," he looked down at the girl in his arms. "If we don't get her there sooner, we might be too late."

"Take her Inuyasha," Shippou pleaded.

Inuyasha looked down at Shippou's tear stained face, "You have to take her. Hurry. Just hurry and help her."

He nodded his head, "Be careful."

"You as well," he looked down at Kagome once more, then handed him his sword.

"Hurry," Shippou sobbed and handed him Kagome's back pack. "I don't want to lose her."

With that he gave his two companions one more look and ran in the direction of the village. He was going to get her there in time. Shippou's last words echoed in his ears, 'I don't want to lose her.'

"Me either Shippou," he held her tighter to his body.

He gazed down at her once more to see she had fallen out of consciousness. "Hang on Kagome. Don't you give up on me."