Strange New World

Chapter One – Hospital Fun

By Crow Skywalker

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Disclaimer – I do not own Inuyasha, or its characters. It belongs to Rumiko Takahashi, and I'm not making any money off of writing fanfiction.

Author's Notes – Ah yes, another Inuyasha fic that I've started. This idea actually came to me before Reversed Roles, I just never got around to doing much with it. It was originally going to be a Inuyasha/Kagome fic, but I've changed my mind since. It will be my first attempt at a Sess/Kag fic, and my first time writing Sesshomaru at all. Hopefully he won't be too OOC. Anyway, this chapter turned out longer than I intended, but I wasn't sure how to end it. R&R, enjoy it all the same :P

Other Notes – I'm going to leave the rating at PG-13 for now, just because I know there will be swearing later on in the fic. However, I may up the rating at any time, so be prepared for that. This fic will contain the pairings Sesshomaru/Kagome, and may or may not include Miroku/Sango, Inuyasha/Kikyo, or others, depending on how far I take the fic. If you don't like these pairings or characters, please, feel free to flame me and be an idiot. I will only laugh at you.

Summary –When Naraku and Kikyo join forces to take care of Sesshomaru and Inuyasha and Rin goes missing, Sesshomaru must search out the aid of a miko to help get the girl back.

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It was dark, the blinds pulled so that no light could emit through the windows and doors of Naraku's castle. He sat within the walls, in the middle of a room, his legs crossed and his eyes closed as if he were asleep. He was far from it though, his mind actively trying to come up with an answer to a question.

How to rid myself of that fool Inuyasha and his friends once and for all.

Naraku's brows furrowed, his eyes remaining closed. They're getting too close…soon, they will find me. And although my powers are strong, and I can easily kill them, the miko reincarnation is slowly coming into her powers. Soon, she will be powerful enough to destroy me, and I cannot let that happen.

Behind him, a dark shadow shifted, and he smirked, unmoving.

"Kikyo." He acknowledged, sniffing the air. "What can I do for you?"

Behind her, her eerie glowing soul bringers came forth, wrapping around her body. Her face could be seen from the light they gave off, although not very clearly. "Meditating, are we?" She asked, "Did I interrupt?"

"No." He answered calmly, although he was slightly annoyed with her presence.

"Hmm." Came her voice, and he could feel the floorboards shift as she moved closer. He opened one eye, staring up at her through his lashes. She stood not far away from him now, her gaze over his head as she stared at the blinded windows. "They're close, you know."

"Is that why you're here?" He asked, his lips turning up in a sarcastic smirk, "You worried about me?"

Kikyo snorted, a very unlady like thing for her to do. "Don't you wish, Onigumo?"

Naraku growled, both eyes now open as he glared at the woman in front of him. He hated that name – the name of the human side of him, the part that made him weak. "Tell me what you want and get out!" He hissed.

Kikyo raised a brow, noting that she'd hit a nerve. "Very well. I've come with a…proposition, if you want to call it that." She watched as Naraku gazed at her in question, and she smirked, "Get the miko out of the way, and I'll deal with Inuyasha for you. Then the jewel will be free for the taking, and nobody will be able to stop you."

Naraku, now with a bored look upon his face, waved his hand. "Inuyasha and his friends aren't my only concern."

"Oh?" Kikyo asked, curious.

"Even if they were out of my way, the lord of the Western Lands would still be there to stop me from taking over his land."

"Hmm," Kikyo replied thoughtfully, and a smirk crossed her face. "But you see, I have a plan that will keep both the miko and the lord of the Western Lands occupied."

She had finally caught Naraku's attention. "And what's in it for you?"

"Inuyasha, of course," Was her simple answer.

Naraku thought this over, finally standing from the spot he'd been sitting on the floor.

"He'll no longer be a bother to you," Kikyo went on to say, "And with the others occupied, you'll easily be able to kill them."

"And how do you plan on distracting them?" He asked.

Her hand moved to something behind her, hidden where she kept her arrows. Pulling it out, Naraku's eyes followed the object as she unrolled it, showing it to be a scroll of some sort. "This, my dear Naraku, is a powerful spell that only mikos such as myself can use. This," Her gaze turned to him, and there was a hint of a smirk, "Is what we'll use to get what we both want. You, power – I, Inuyasha."

Naraku held out a hand, wanting to inspect the scroll she was carrying. She made no move to hand it over, her eyes warily studying his outstretched hand. After a moment he finally asked, "Well?"

"You expect me to hand over a powerful spell such as this?" The miko scoffed with a shake of her head, "Sorry, but even if I did hand it over, you wouldn't be able to touch it. This scroll is so pure that only powerful mikos may touch it – if you dared to even lay a finger on it, your finger would disintegrate upon the smallest touch."

"I see." Naraku's arm fell back to his side, and he turned away from the annoying undead priestess. "Tell me more about this plan of yours."

Her smile darkened, her soul bringers moving off of her and floating across the room before disappearing through the walls, gone to collect more souls for her. "As you know, Sesshomaru has a young child under his care. This scroll," He heard her shift it, the paper making a soft crumple noise as she folded it back together, "Will open a portal to another dimension, a different time, perhaps."

"What does this have to do with the hanyou and his bitch?" Naraku growled impatiently.

Kikyo narrowed her eyes at the Inuyasha comment, but continued, "If the girl was to go through the portal this spell makes, then there is little chance of return. The only way to bring her back would be to get a strong miko to re-do the spell and open the portal again."

"So you expect Sesshomaru to hunt down the miko girl?" Naraku snorted with a shake of his head, "How do you know the lord of the Western Lands cares that greatly over the young girl – so much that he'd turn to his enemies to get their help?"

"Sesshomaru hates humans, everyone knows that – but he lets the human girl follow him. He must care for her to some extent, and even if he doesn't, she's still his responsibility because she's on his land. He will not let anything happen to her." Her smirk widened, "Besides, I believe the old youkai lord has gone soft on humans."

"So while Sesshomaru hunts down the girl, you plan on distracting Inuyasha? He will not let the girl leave his sight for very long."

"If I call to Inuyasha, he will come." Was Kikyo's answer, "He never fails to leave her behind when I'm around. He's too caught up in the past and emotions long dead."

Naraku chuckled, his cold voice echoing in the next to empty room. "You trained him well, Kikyo." The laughing stopped, but his cruel smile stayed, "So where does this scroll lead to, anyway?" He asked.

Kikyo's eyes narrowed at the man in front of her. Oh, how she hated this man – but she was willing to work with him to get what she wanted. Then, when he was no longer of any use to her, she would use the Shikon no Tama against him. She would destroy him yet! And then she would return to the land of the dead with her beloved Inuyasha.

"I do not know," She answered truthfully, raising her head slightly to look him in the eyes. Her own gray eyes narrowed slightly in the dark, "It will not be known until the spell is cast."

Naraku studied her for a moment, trying to determine whether or not she was telling the truth. Finally he asked, "When can you do it?"

Kikyo's lips twitched into a dark smile, "As soon as you wish."

"Fine. Do it." He ordered simply, turning away from her as he looked towards the blinds covering the castle windows.

Unrolling the scroll once more, Kikyo glanced at it before looking up at the man standing before her with his back turned to her. This will be your downfall, Naraku. You've already fallen into my trap. So quick to trust me, after everything I've done to you. She almost laughed. I am going to destroy you once and for all – if Inuyasha and the lord of the Western Lands don't destroy you first!

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Kagome hummed a simple tune as she made her way down the plain white hall, pausing only momentarily to look out a window as she passed it. Outside, the sun was shining brilliantly, and she could tell by the way people below wore short sleeved shirts and shorts that it was another warm summer day.

"It's beautiful out," Kagome sighed, leaning against the window. Propping her elbows up on the ledge, she lay her head in the palm of her hands as she stared out at the people longingly.

Now eighteen years old, Kagome Higurashi was finally finished school. She'd been happy to finally get out of high school – she'd thought she'd never pass after all the time she'd missed! But studying had done her well, and she'd managed to pass her final exams with pretty decent marks. She no longer had to worry about school, the time that she was missing due to her travels to the Feudal Era, and she no longer had to listen to her grandfather make up silly sicknesses to explain why she was never home. She now felt like a heavy load had been taken off her shoulders.

So why was she stuck inside on this beautiful summer's day? It had been her mother's idea, really, to get a part time job, something to do over the holidays other than helping her friends hunt down jewel shards. Besides that, her mother told her that soon she would need a job anyway, for extra money when she went to collage in the fall.

Kagome had been reluctant at first – she'd promised Inuyasha that she'd be spending a few months with him without interruptions such as school, and he was bound to be very mad when she went back on that promise. But she'd finally gave in, since her mother did put up a good argument, and she'd volunteered at the local hospital. She now worked there three days a week, giving patients their medication, checking up on them, or just talking to them and keeping them company.

Checking her watch, Kagome almost groaned aloud when she read what time it was. It was only 3:47 in the afternoon, and she didn't get off until 5:00. She still had over an hour to kill before she could finally go home!

Pushing away from the window, she brushed off her hospital clothes that she'd been given to wear, which all the volunteer nurses wore, and she started off down the hall. There had to be something she could do to kill time.

"Hey! Kagome! How much longer until your shift is over?" Rang a female voice from somewhere behind her, and Kagome turned her head to look over her shoulder. Standing in the doorway of a room, holding a cart full of pills and other things, was a girl with light brown hair tied up in a messy bun. She was short, about a foot shorter than Kagome, and had amazing green eyes.

Kagome smiled. "Hitomi, aren't you supposed to be delivering those pills to patients who need them?" She asked her friend.

The girl, Hitomi, rolled her eyes before she started towards the taller girl, the cart's wheels squeaking slightly in the empty halls. "I just finished." She informed Kagome with a grin, "So are you going to answer my question or not?"

Kagome shrugged, starting to walk off in the direction she'd started in. The other girl followed her, keeping up the pace and wheeling the cart as she walked beside her. "An hour or so. You?"

Hitomi wrinkled her nose. "I'm on until 8 tonight."

Kagome patted the girl on the shoulder sympathetically, letting a small laugh escape her lips. "Poor girl."

The other girl sighed in defeat. "I know. I hate working late…you'd think they'd change my hours. It's ridiculous, really – there's nothing here for me to do! I'm just going to sit around and wait until some nurse or doctor comes and tells me to go home!"

"Maybe you could fake sick and they'll let you go home early?" Kagome offered.

Hitomi shook her head, wheeling the cart to the side of a room where she left it. "I did that last week. I think they're starting to catch on."

Kagome laughed. "Hitomi, I'm surprised you haven't lost your job already."

Kagome had met the other girl the day she had started working in the hospital. Finding herself lost once again, she had almost wheeled her cart into the smaller girl's. Quickly apologizing for her clumsiness, Kagome had been surprised to hear feminine laughter, and had glanced up with surprised eyes as she saw the girl hold out a hand, introducing herself. Kagome had taken her hand and the offered friendship, and they'd immediately become good friends.

Hitomi grinned and elbowed Kagome in the side playfully. "Hey, I'm not that bad!" She suddenly stilled, her eyes going wide as she stared down the hall, her smile turning into a full fledged grin. "Hey Kagome," She said in a sing song voice, "Look who it is!"

Kagome glanced up with a startled look, wondering what her friend could be talking about. It was then that she noticed a familiar face making their way towards her. Hojo, her old friend from school, was walking towards the two girls with a smile on his face and his hand giving them a slight wave.

"Hojo!" Kagome brightened, blushing slightly as she saw Hitomi grinning at her from the corner of her eye, "Why're you here? Don't you have classes?"

Hojo had always been interested in medicine, even before Kagome had met him. He'd once told her that once he finished school, he planned on going to university to become a doctor. As far as Kagome knew, he'd done just that, starting as early as he could. He was already a few weeks into his schedule, and Kagome half wondered how he could manage to do so well and work at the same time. He, too, had started volunteer work at the hospital, although long before Kagome had started, knowing that once he got out of university, it would look great on a resume.

"Kagome, hello!" He nodded at her with a bright smile, before looking at Hitomi, "Hey, Hitomi." His eyes once again met Kagome's, "It's Saturday, remember? I don't have any classes today."

Kagome almost smacked herself, feeling to stupid that she'd forgot that it was Saturday. Of course Hojo wouldn't have any classes today! She needed to get out of here – she was really starting to lose it!

"So," Hitomi started, noticing the sudden look that had come over her friend's face, "You finished your rounds, Hojo?"

"Just about," He told them, holding up a small cup full of pills, "I need to deliver these to Mr. Yakato before he starts to complain again that young people these days can't be counted on."

Kagome stifled a laugh, knowing what the old man was like. No matter what someone did for him, he always found something wrong with it and complained. They'd been warned by the other nurses when they'd arrived not to pay attention to anything the old coot said, just give him his pills and not argue with him when he insulted them. Kagome was glad that she didn't have to visit him today – she wasn't quite over the fact that he'd insulted her hair the last time she had to give him his pills.

"Have fun with that," Hitomi giggled, watching as Hojo entered a nearby room and disappeared behind a hospital curtain. The insulting voice of Mr. Yakato could be heard, although neither girl could hear what he was saying. Soon, Hojo reappeared before them, that same smile on his face like nothing had been said.

"What'd he say this time?" Kagome asked as they walked down the hall together.

"Nothing much out of the ordinary," Hojo replied. "Said I was late, that I was much too skinny and to be a real man I had to work out more."

Hitomi frowned, her eyes narrowing slightly as she stared down at the floor as she walked, "Yesterday he told me I was overweight, the old bastard."

"Hitomi!" Hojo scolded her lightly, "Don't insult the patients!"

Hitomi sighed, before apologizing, "I don't take insults very well, sorry."

"Miss Kunzite!" Called a voice, and the trio looked up to see a young blonde nurse walking towards them with a check board and pen in hand, "I've been looking for you everywhere! Come, we need you in room 158."

Hitomi winced, mouthing 'sorry' and 'see you later' to her two friends before following the nurse down the hall. Kagome watched her go, wondering what she was supposed to do now that her friend was gone.

"Do you get off work soon?" Hojo asked after a moment, startling Kagome. She'd almost forgotten that he was still there!

Glancing at her watch, Kagome realize she'd just killed about a half an hour. "Yeah," She nodded, "You?"

"I'm already off," He shrugged, "I was just doing some extra work. How much longer do you have?"

"A little over a half an hour," She told him.

"Great!" He suddenly grinned, "How about I wait around and treat you to supper afterwards?"

She smiled at him. What could it hurt? "Sure."

"Well, since you still have some time left, why don't we go visit some people?"

Kagome stared up at him curiously as they began to walk, "Like who?"

"Oh, you'll see," He winked at her, "I'm sure they'll like you, too."

Kagome felt herself blush slightly, wondering where Hojo was leading her. It wasn't long before they stopped outside a large door in a place that Kagome didn't remember ever being, and Hojo stood before it, giving her a warm smile before turning the doorknob. It opened soundlessly, and he allowed Kagome to enter before him.

It was a strange room, full of beds covered in white sheets. Emergency equipment stood off to the side, and the floor was covered in what looked like toys. A large window was at the end of the room, a comfortable window seat made out of flowery material, which looked strange in the white room, covering it. Outside, the sun shone in brightly, warming up the room.

"What is this place?" Kagome whispered to her old friend.

He put a finger to his lips quietly telling her to be silent as he gently grabbed her hand, leading her forward. She followed, looking at him in question, before her eyes roamed the room. Why were they being so quiet? There didn't seem to be anyone here..

The sound of faint whispers. Kagome struggled to hear them, wondering where they were coming from. Was there someone else in the room? She sure couldn't see anyone…maybe she was going crazy after all?

"Hojo?" She whispered, trying to catch his attention. However, he didn't look back at her, letting go of her hand as he took a few more steps into the room. Suddenly, all hell broke loose.

"Attack!"

"No Kanji, you idiot! Right there!"

"Get him!"

"Take him down!"

Kagome watched, bewildered as kids suddenly jumped out of their hiding places, rushing towards Hojo with playful grins and determined looks on their faces. He caught the first one, a boy who looked about ten years old, and swung the boy so that he was hanging backwards over his shoulder, giggling loudly and kicking his feet in the air. A girl with red hair and freckles caught Hojo by the leg, clinging to him and sitting down heavily so that Hojo couldn't move. Another boy grabbed the other leg, doing what the girl had done, while an older and taller boy almost tackled Hojo to the ground.

"Kids, kids!" Hojo shouted, laughing almost as much as they were, "I brought you a visitor today!"

They suddenly stopped the attack, looking passed the teenager to Kagome, who was now standing there quietly with her hands clasped in front of her. Suddenly feeling a bit awkward, Kagome managed a small smile before adding, "Hello there."

"Ohhh! It's Hojo's girlfriend!" One of the small boys grinned.

The girl who had Hojo by the leg suddenly pouted, shooting Kagome a glare. "You can't have him! He's mine!" She hugged his leg more tightly.

"Who's your friend?" Asked the oldest boy, peering up at the new girl, who was blushing now.

Putting the boy on his shoulder down, Hojo motioned for Kagome to come forth, "This is Kagome, an old friend from school."

"Wow, you went to shchool witsh Hojo?" Asked a young boy, his speech slightly slurred, "You musht be old!"

Kagome bent down so that she was eye to eye with him, before she smiled with a small laugh, "I'm not too old."

"How old are you?" Asked the young girl, finally letting go of Hojo and grabbing his hand as she stared at the older girl.

"I'm eighteen," Kagome answered her.

"Thasht old!" The boy with the slur suddenly said.

Kagome looked back at him, still bent down so that she was his height. "And how old are you?" She asked with a motherly voice, reaching out to ruffle his hair. He grinned, swiping at her hand in response.

"I'm almosht six!" He told her proudly, his hands on his hips.

"Wow, you're pretty old yourself!" She told him with a grin.

"This is where all the kids go when they get sick," Hojo's voice told her, and she suddenly realized that he'd moved to her side while she was talking to the young boy. "I like to visit them – I try to come at least once a day," He shrugged, "It gives them something to look forward to, and it makes them happy."

Kagome stood so that she was once again her normal height, and she looked up at Hojo. "That's really nice of you," She told him and a smile appeared on her lips, "You really are going to make a great doctor someday."

He returned her smile, a faint blush crossing his cheeks. "Thanks, Kagome."

The room suddenly burst into chatter, the kids all wanting either Hojo or Kagome to come play with them. Kagome obliged, letting them grab her by the hand and lead her off to wherever they wanted. She loved kids, and she wanted to make them happy. By the time 5:00 came around, she didn't want to leave. The kids didn't want her to leave either.

"Awh, Kagome, do you have to go?" Asked one of the boys, gripping her hand tightly.

"Afraid so," She told him, and was suddenly reminded of Shippo back in the Feudal Era. She hated leaving him as well. "But I promise I'll come back soon!" She told him, earning a smile from the small boy.

"Tomorrow?" Asked the girl, who had grown out of her possessiveness over Hojo while they were there, and was now latched onto Kagome as well.

"Maybe," Kagome told her, "I have to see if I'm working tomorrow, okay? And if my shift isn't too bad, I'll come visit."

She waved to them, finally making her way towards the door. "See you soon!"

"And don't forget to play quietly," Hojo winked at them, "Wouldn't want the nurses to come in and find you all out of bed, now would you?"

"We will, Hojo!" They answered together.

"Be good!"

Hojo closed the door behind him, grinning at Kagome. "Told you they'd like you."

"That was fun, Hojo." Said Kagome, "Thanks for taking me. You know how I adore kids."

He nodded with a smile as they began to walk down the hall towards the elevator. "So, you ready to go out to supper?"

"Of course! After all that, I'm starved!" She laughed.

Hojo joined her.

To Be Continued…