*~*The Only Way - Chapter One*~*

It was a nice, normal day.

Wait.

When was it ever normal around Inuyasha?

Okay then.

It was a nice, completely-not-normal-that-probably-would-have-made-any-one-but-Kagome-go-insane day.

That's a tad bit closer.

Inuyasha was engaged in yet another of his wonderful life-or-death battles. Miroku was hiding in some bushes with Sango, who was unconcious. His 'black hole' was useless , Naraku had sent in the bees.

Sango's boomerang had been deflected and she had not been fast enough to avoid being clipped on the temple.

Kagome was behind Inuyasha, trying with all of her might to level her bow, an arrow drawn taunt. The demon was moving to fast. Almost faster than Inuyasha, she sensed at least six jewel shards in this demon. A real mess of shards, that changed the demon into an incredibly large and powerful thing.

She cursed rather creatively as an arrow demolished a tree only a few feet behind the demon. The Hanyou was getting angrier.

"Dash it Kagome! Can't you hit ANYTHING you stupid wench!?" He shouted, his voice a lot harsher than he had intended it to be.

"I can hit YOU.." She mumbled.

"What was that?"

"DUCK!" Inuyasha just managed to dodge a claw aimed to remove his head from his shoulders. Kagome fired. The arrow connected with the demon's right claw, taking it out along with the rest of the arm. The demon screeched in pain, and uprooted a tree. He smashed it into Kagome's ribcage, causing her to become rather suddenly airborn.

"Inu Ya-ack!" She yelped, rebounding off of a boulder. She groaned, and rolled onto her back, and then stumbled to her feet. She could collapse into an unconcious heap AFTER the battle.

The enemy had Inuyasha by the throat. The half-demon was struggling fruitlessly. Kagome notched another arrow. She focused on the jewel shards. If she hit just one, it would bring the demon down to Inuyasha's level.

She let arrow fly. And missed it completely. As soon as she saw that the arrow was going to miss, she notched another and sent it after the first. The second arrow hit the demon. The first one hit Inuyasha.

He released a string of curses as the demon released him. Just before landing he managed to work the arrow out of his ribcage.

Kagome was staring at him with horrified guilt. She hadn't mean to..

Inuyasha proceeded to rip the demon apart with his claws, and then he collected the bounty. Exactly six jewel shards.

**

"I spent FIFTY YEARS with an arrow in my chest! What is wrong with you?!"

"I didn't mean to-"

"You're just like Kikiyo! Do you both just ENJOY shooting me full of arrows? Huh? I don't see any difference between you two!"

Now Kagome was on the offensive. Before she'd just let it all go owing to the fact that he needed to blow of steam. But that comment was unacceptable.

"That is ENOUGH Inuyasha! Is that all you see in me? Your dead lover? I tried to apologize for hitting you with the arrow. But I'm GLAD you brought this up! I'm SICK of being second-best to a stupid dead woman! So I'm her freakin' reincarnation, frankly I don't CARE! I'm Kagome, not Kikiyo! If that's all you can think of me as, then I AM LEAVING!" She stalked resolutely for the well.

"But Kagome-"

"SIT!!!!!!" She screeched as she dropped into the well.

Once at home, Kagome immediatly regretted her harsh words. But she was just so SICK of it. She didn't look anything like Kikiyo - so they had the same hair color! But whoop.

She stalked into her room, and was surprised to see a parcel on her bed. She opened it uncertaintly.

'Hello, Kagome-chan. We don't see much of each other! I thought that these might help you move around in the feudal era. At least you won't have to worry about your skirt blowing up! I got you a shirt to. I hope you like them, this way while you're off finding that jewel, you'll think of me.

Love,

Mom'

Kagome smiled. That was so nice of her mother! Her spirits immediatly soared. She hastened to change into a pair of blue jeans and a white tanktop with an intricate blue flower pattern on it.

An hour and a half later, Kagome was bored. She wanted to show her new outfit off to Inuyasha.

She'd left a thank you note on the counter, and a promise to spend time together when she came back from helping Inuyasha.

Another hour passed. And Kagome decided that Inuyasha really was mad at her. She cooked up a cup of Ramen as a piece offering and put it inside of a tupperware container.

Remembering that her bag was still back at Kaede's hut, Kagome left the house. She hopped into the well without even a backward glance.

Kagome waited in the bottom of the well for a grand total of twenty minutes. Well, it was official. Inuyasha was very much pissed off at her.

She tucked the container under one arm and scaled the well. It was actually easier in pants.

She put the container down on the edge of the well as she reached the final leap of her ascent. Patting her hair down, Kagome waited for Inuyasha to start laughing at how long it took her to get out or something. Nothing.

No birds. No insects. Complete calm silence.

Something was very, very wrong.

She looked around feeling apprehensive now. A slight movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She saw a flash of white hair and golden eyes.

But the white hair was longer.

And the eyes were expressionless.

Kagome wasted no breath or time. She spun on her right heel and ran like the wind.

She dove right into the forest, heading for Kaede's hut. Run-run-run-DUCK-run-run-run. She moved as quickly as possible, forgoing all quieting methods. It didn't matter if he could hear her. He could smell her.

She crashed through the brush at full-speed.

A hand latched onto her shoulder, spinning her. As her speed faltered, another hand grabbed her wrist in a painful yet loose grip. The power of the gentle hold was incredible.

Kagome stared into his eyes for a moment.

"Let me go, Sesshomaru." That came out a bit less forceful than she'd origionally intended it to be. It came out as more of a terrified plea and less of a fearless order.

She lashed out, catching him full in the solar plexis with her free fist. As he gasped, she twisted free and ran for it.

Now she done made him mad.

SMART.

"INU YASH-AGH!" She shrieked. She felt someone grip her by both shoulders, and somehow flip her. In milliseconds, Kagome found herself pinned by Sesshomaru. He sat straddling her stomach. His hands kept her shoulders in a painfully tight grip.

She bucked underneath him.

"Let me go!" Again with the not-so-commanding-command. He looked at her impassivly as she pummeled him, bit him, scratched him, and kicked him. He felt her attacks gradually weakening.

He picked her up like one might a child. He needed her in one piece, and wasn't willing to risk her breaking a rib from rough contact with his shoulder. As it was, she was already pretty bruised and scratched.

She started struggling with renewed fury. His thumb nail gently pierced the skin of her cheek in a soft scratch. She gave a squeak of protest and tried to fight him.

But in seconds, the miniscule dose of poision took effect and she sank into unconciousness and her head dropped against his chest.

The last thing she saw before sinking into the blackness was Inuyasha, who having heard her scream had rushed to answer.

"Sesshomaru! PUT. HER. DOWN." He yelled.

"How about a little trade, brother? Her, for the sword." Inuyasha hesitated. He glared at Kagome in Sesshomaru's arms, he was actually holding her rather delecately. She was wearing different clothing, too. It looked a lot more comfortable and fighting-friendly than the usual outfit she came to the feudel era in.

Noting Inuyasha's hesitation, Sesshomaru almost grinned. He did in fact like the girl, he was just afraid of seperating from his beloved sword.

"I-"

"Sorry, Inuyasha. The offer has timed out. Try again later." He laughed as he leaped with demon speed, racing away from the Hanyou.

Kagome flopped listlessly in his arms as he ran, causing Inuyasha to fear for her fragile neck. The speed at which Sesshomaru was moving could easily cause her head to jerk to far to fast and kill her.

*****

Kagome awoke to the feeling of heat on her right cheek. She remembered that Sesshomaru had scratched her - obviously that was why her cheek was burning.

She opened her eyes slightly, and saw Sesshomaru leaning against a tree, in all appearances asleep. She closed her eyes again, hoping that he'd leave her alone for an hour or so, which would give her time to think of an escape plan.

Scream? Oh yeah, bring every demon in the forest down on them.

Call Inyasha? A thought, but if she hadn't been imagining that she'd seen him the first time, Sesshomaru had probably injured him.

Try to fight Sesshomaru hand-to-hand? Oh, yes. THAT would work.

Run? That was probably the only plausible plan. And just as suicidal as the rest.

"Bored yet?" Sesshomaru asked as he watched her pretend to be asleep. She opened her eyes and sat up, levelling her chocolate gaze on him after a cursorary sweep of her surroundings. They were in a small clearing just outside of Inuyasha's forest.

"What are we doing here?"

"I got tired of carrying you. And I figured that I didn't need the bruises from when you woke up."

"You could have just used your nifty trick." She challenged. He shrugged.

"Yeah, if I didn't want you to wake up. Stupid girl, that poison can be lethal, you know. Two doses this close together will cause your body to shut down." Kagome didn't stop glaring at him.

"So what? Why do YOU care."

"Isn't it obvious? I plan to use you as a bargaining chip with Inuyasha."

"But.. why do you need me alive?" Now she really was curious. She'd figured that he would have already killed her to spite Inuyasha.

"I actually don't." He said carelessly. "However, if I'm going to use you to taunt Inuyasha, your scent has to be living. He can TELL if you're dead, you know." He said almost condescendingly.

"Oh."

"Anyways, I'm planning on killing you in front of him. It will be much more fun."

She was struck by the total strangeness of the situation. A Youkai had kidnapped her from his Hanyou brother for a sword that he couldn't even touch without feeling pain, and she was sitting in a clearing with him chatting in an almost friendly way. Anyone not capable of hearing the topic of their conversation would have thought them pals, just having an intimate chat or something.

Kagome stood. She noticed his muscles tighten slightly at the movement. He was waiting for her to try to escape. How stupid did he think she was? She wasn't dumb enough to attempt an escape with him WAITING for her to do so.

She cracked her neck and her back, rolling her shoulders akwardly.

"You're going to get arthritis." Sesshomaru observed, standing as well.

"I'm gonna be dead soon anyways."

"True." He fell silent. Kagome watched him for a while. He was just looking into the forest with a completely passive expression.

After about ten minutes of this stand off, Sesshomaru turned and levelled his gaze on her. Kagome felt like shuffling her feet, or averting her gaze, or some other act to betray her nervousness. But she didn't.

"Lets go." She just narrowed her eyes and pressed her lips together. "Now, human."

She didn't move.

"I HAVE a name." She informed him curtly.

"I don't care." Kagome almost cracked a smile.

"Fine then, FLUFFY." She challanged. She tensed slightly expecting him to get angry. No reaction. He shrugged, his gaze a bit darker and a lot more threatening.

"Move." She followed him silently as he headed towards his home. "Oh yes," She glanced up at him. "If you call me 'Fluffy' again, I will be forced to hurt you." He faced forward again. She stared at his back. His threat wasn't the friendly 'I'm gonna hurt you for pushing me into [Insert Crush's Name].', it was more like a hit man's 'I'm going to kill you for getting in my way'.

She felt fear clench her throat. But she wasn't going to let HIM know that his silly words had scared her. He said he needed her alive! Of course, just being hurt wouldn't kill her. So she just decided not to call him Fluffy again. It wasn't as though that was the only nickname she could come up with for him.

**

An hour passed in complete silence. Finally, they reached thier destination. Sesshomaru walked straight into a field, and a few feet in dissapeared.

"Hurry up already." His voice commanded. Kagome startled a little, not eager to follow him into a completely unknown place. Briefly she considered running.

"Just because you can't see me doesn't mean I can't see you." His voice floated out from behind the illusion. She sighed. Was she really THAT see-through?

Kagome followed him into the unknown place. She found a beautiful castle. It was really a work of art. But it's splendor was dulled by the fact that she was forced to be there. When she started to back away - about to attempt an escape - a hand clamped onto her wrist.

"I would not suggest that." Sesshomaru informed her. Kagome squirmed, trying to free her wrist.

"I don't actually care." She informed him defiantly. She bit her lip against crying out as his grip tightened to the point of actual pain.

Kagome brought her hand down in a vicious karate chop directly on Sesshomaru's wrist joint. He gave a tiny intake of breath, showing some surprise and pain. His grip loosened.

She kicked him on the ankle, broke free, and ran for it. In just a few seconds, Sesshomaru tackled her. Kagome didn't even have enough time to reach the edge of the illusion. He stood, jerking her up by the hair.

"That was stupid." He snarled. He released her hair, but instead gripped her shoulder tightly, his claws pressing ominously into her flesh. She winced. "Move, girl."

She obeyed resignedly. Obviously this wasn't working to well. He forced her ahead of them as they entered the castle.

'Inuyasha will come for me. Right?'

*~*End The Only Way - Chapter One*~*