Author's Notes: And there you have it. All five chapters uploaded again. Sorry about the delay!


The Sinner

Chapter 5

Shark Bites

By the time Kagome had finally fallen asleep, the sky was already starting to light up with a new day. It must have been at least five o'clock in the morning before her nerves had started to calm down and exhaustion took over. She would have fallen asleep earlier… if that thing hadn't bumped against the boat. Kagome still had no idea what it was, but it sounded big, and had brushed against the hull once with a muffled thump before it was gone…

What if it had been a shark… or the Loch Ness Monster…?

Inuyasha hadn't been even perturbed in the slightest. He'd carried on sleeping, dead to the world. Obviously he felt no reason to fear her, or keep watch over her. But what was to stop Kagome from fetching one of the kitchen knives and slitting his throat open while he slept?

Well… Kagome's morals and squeamishness were probably the most prominent things stopping her.

He undoubtedly figured she was a wimp, too, so maybe that was why he slept like a baby.

Eventually, Kagome managed to get at least a good five hours worth of sleep and woke up as the day was pushing towards noon. She sat up with a wide yawn and a crack of joints before blearily blinking around the cabin. Inuyasha was gone, the bathroom door was ajar, and so were the green tinged glass doors at the entrance of the cabin. Outside she could see it was a lovely day outside and the chill that she'd felt last night was chased away.

Movement above her head told Kagome that Inuyasha was up on deck. What he was doing was beyond her because the boat was still stationary. He was definitely doing something up there…

Kagome decided it wasn't any of her business, and simply tried to go about her usual morning routine in such an unusual set of circumstances. Her first trip was to the bathroom, where one peek down the hidden hatch told her that those… things… were still there. Inuyasha hadn't moved them… if he even knew they were there. This was also decidedly none of Kagome's business, so she quietly put the hatch down and set about brushing her teeth.

There was only one toothbrush… wet and used… but Kagome had never had an issue with using other people's toothbrushes.

She'd rather do the job properly than with her finger… and anyway, Inuyasha had a nice set of pearly fangs, and he didn't seem to have any bad breath issues either. So Kagome happily plundered the toothbrush…

But when it came to the toothpaste, Kagome just groaned.

Didn't that guy know how to squeeze the tube? Everyone knew that you had to squeeze it from the end; otherwise you'd run out faster!

Not only that but he was one of those men who left the toilet seat up. Kagome muttered something unflattering as she set the seat back in its original position and went about cleaning the sink.

Just as she was beginning to clear the gunk out of the plughole, the pocket of her new leather coat began to vibrate. At once, Kagome stiffened and looked down at the jacket in dumfounded horror. What did she do now?

She was almost certain that Inuyasha would hear if she started talking to herself. She could almost hear him scratching his backside from the bathroom anyway – and with his superior hearing…?

Quietly, Kagome took the phone out and looked at the screen. The mobile didn't recognise the number calling… so it wasn't her mother. But what if it was Hojo? Or Hojo's grandfather? Or even the police?!

Kagome couldn't risk it.

She turned the phone off quietly and put it away, no one the wiser of her little accessory.

With nothing more to do, Kagome trailed reluctantly out of the bathroom and headed up the steps to see why Inuyasha hadn't already made headway back to the coast. She was surprised to see, when she reached the top step, that getting to the coast seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind.

He was fishing.

Kagome cleared her throat to announce her presence, even though her fairy footsteps up the stairs – or more like elephant footsteps – had probably given her away. Inuyasha didn't bother acknowledging her little cough either.

"What are you doing?" she asked pleasantly, determined to keep the feeling between them a good one. She dreaded the thought of making this guy her enemy.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" he slanted her a 'What planet are you on?' sneer.

"Oh…" She took a few steps forward. "I didn't know there were any fish to catch out here…"

"Where else will fish be if not in the sea?" he said lightly, as if quoting some kind of Doctor Seuss rhyme.

He was infuriating - shooting down all her peacekeeping attempts like that. "You know what I meant." She herself barely knew what she meant. With a sigh, Kagome sat down in the pilot's chair and gazed at the boy perched on the windshield above her. "Catch anything?"

For a moment, he seemed as though he was going to ignore her – but then his chin jerked in the direction behind him and Kagome followed his vague point.

Under that green plastic sheet, maybe?

Kagome went over to take a look, lifting the edge of the sheet to peek underneath. She dropped the corner in shock as she stood upright rather sharply. "That – that's huge!!"

Whipping off the rest of the sheet, Kagome tried to get a measure of the huge water creature. Five feet long at least – that was almost as tall as she was! And what on earth was it? It looked like a wilder, yet duller skinned version of a trout… but with teeth…

"What is it?" Kagome asked, staring in aghast wonder.

"Shark."

Just then, the shark flapped its tail and wiggled its gills. Kagome yelped and leapt away. "Throw it back! It's still alive!"

She heard Inuyasha sigh and drop his fishing rod to join her. "Tough bugger, isn't he…?"

He picked up what looked like one of the backup oars and made his way towards the shark. Kagome flinched and had to look away as he brought the aluminium spade end down on the creature's head.

It sounded messy… it sounded gross… and Kagome felt her stomach revolt against her when the boat tilted over a wave and a shark head came rolling past her.

"I think I'm going to be sick…" she whispered.

"You have no stomach." Inuyasha accused, admiring his handiwork.

"Oh – I have a stomach – it's working its way up my throat!" And with that, she ran to the side of the yacht and began heaving over the edge.

Inuyasha stared at the retching girl blankly. Well… throwing up at the sight of blood and guts wasn't new to him. As he seemed to recall Miroku doing the same thing after seeing someone gut a fish. Then there was that time when Sango threw up after seeing a treacherous pirate have his hand cut off by Naraku…

Maybe it was just a weak human constitution?

Eventually the girl's stomach emptied itself completely and she slumped to the deck looking pale and drained. She was even trembling slightly, probably from such a violent upheaval of her stomach contents. But her dilemma wasn't over.

"Hope you're feeling better." Inuyasha said sweetly as he slung the blood soaked oar over his shoulder.

The girl glanced at him warily. "I am… thanks… oh… dear god…" She suddenly turned quite green when she realised she was sitting beside the shark's head.

"Good." Inuyasha rotated the pole between his hands, making the scooped end twirl behind him. "Because I don't want the girl who's cooking my dinner to throw up all over it."

This earned him the most deadpan look he'd ever received in his life.

"What?" she asked in a flat monotone.

"You. Are. Making. Dinner." He bent down and lifted the body of the shark by one fin. He dangled it as if in temptation. "You know you want to-"

"Are you crazy?!" She was suddenly on her feet again. "I'm not eating that!!"

"Why not?" He looked at the dead shark as if trying to find something wrong with it. Inside, he could barely contain his mirth at the merciless teasing. "Looks ok to me."

"But it's shark!"

"And?"

"It has teeth!"

"Yes, but they're by your feet. We're not eating them."

"How can you eat something that would eat you?!"

"That shark has never eaten anyone in it's life…" He set the oar down and put a thoughtful claw to the shark's belly. "Maybe we should make sure-"

"No – don't!" she screamed and he stopped obligingly. He had no desire to get shark guts all over his feet anyway.

"There's nothing else to eat." He slung the corpse down on the deck between them. It hit the boards with a wet slap. "It's gonna have to be shark. They're surprisingly tasty. Like chicken." Really tough, stringy chicken on supplemented steroid therapy perhaps…

"No way." She was shaking her head emphatically. "Just – no way am I touching that thing!"

"You'll have to if you're going to cook it."

"Why can't you cook it?!"

Because I couldn't cook to save my life! Not that she had to know that…"Because I'm the man and you're the woman! I'm the hunter and you're the gatherer – I'm the kidnapper and you're the whiner! Get it?!"

"You total chauvinist!" she cried, clutching the railing behind her as if her stomach was about to do another rebellion. "Just because you look like Ori – and just because you're his twin – doesn't mean that I have to treat you with the same respect that I treated him with!"

Inuyasha was getting pretty tired about hearing just how fabulous his brother was. The guy would probably have grown up to be another wimp – like that excuse for a man he'd shot on the cruise liner.

"I don't want your respect – I want your culinary skills and obedience." He raised his chin. "Besides – if you don't do as I say, I'll dump you in the ocean – right here, right now."

The girl gaped at him, but did and said nothing more.

She wasn't accommodating his request either. He took one rather threatening step towards her –

"Alright!" She waved her hands to keep him at bay. "I'll cook the damn fish… though I should probably warn you that I've never cooked shark before and I don't know what setting the oven will need."

The oven had settings? Apparently, she was already more advanced in shark cooking than Inuyasha was…

"Good."

The matter was settled.


It was still another two days worth of travelling time till they reached the coast, but Inuyasha was in no hurry. He didn't plan on going all the way to the coast anyhow. The first ship that came along would be the lucky new taxi for the princess downstairs. Going all the way to the coast himself in a vessel which was registered as stolen would be a pretty risky and rather stupid move. Someone else would have to do it – persuaded at gunpoint if necessary.

Inuyasha scratched an itch behind his ear and stretched his stiffening muscles. He went back to sunning himself on the dome shaped bow with his back against the coaming, listening to the occasional thuds, crashes and mild curses that drifted up from below deck.

His eyes popped open when a particularly loud crash jolted him out of his pleasant reverie. Inuyasha titled his head and looked behind him, blinking slowly at the black smoke that was now funnelling out of the back of the boat.

He smirked to himself. "Need any help?" he called.

"Back! Off!" was the rather flustered comeback.

Inuyasha's smirk widened as he shrugged and went back to his relaxing position against the windshield.


Is that… edible?

Inuyasha warily eyed the plate that Kagome set down before him, watching some unidentifiable brown liquid slosh around the chunk of shark meat. At least, he hoped it was shark meat. He didn't put it past the girl to have actually cooked a lump of quartz for him.

Kagome sat down with a huff beside him and they both paused as they locked glares.

"I hate you." Inuyasha told her.

"Eat your dinner." she snapped irritably, pushing a stray bang behind her ear as she set about trying to get her knife through the meat.

Inuyasha returned his attention to his 'meal' and began picking at it with his fork. The slab of meat slid around on his plate and he couldn't help but wrinkle his nose.

"Oh, for heaven's sake!" Kagome exploded. "Don't eat it if you can't stand it!"

Just to spite her, Inuyasha sent her a wayward glare before finally pulling off a stringy morsel and holding it before him on his fork. He popped it into his mouth and chewed as he stared off into space. Kagome was watching him intensely. "Well…?"

Inuyasha shrugged. "It's not the worst I've had the pleasure of eating…" After all, he'd been eating meals stolen off prison ships for the last few months… but his comment made her relax.

And that was no fun.

So he added, "It's not the best either."

"How unfortunate you didn't kidnap Delia Smith or Martha Stewart." Kagome commented dryly, but she didn't seem too keen on eating the meal she'd cooked either. "I don't like shark." she finally declared.

"Too bad. We're going to eat it tomorrow as well."

"No, we won't." she said bluntly. "I threw it away."

"What, in the bin?" Inuyasha peered over to the kitchen to see if there was a whopping great shark tail poking out of said disposal unit.

"No, overboard." She jerked her head towards an open porthole above the small kitchen sink.

Inuyasha scoffed, setting down his knife and fork with a clang. "You couldn't lift the damn fish up enough to throw it out – you should have just put it in the freezer!"

"Your 'freezer' – and I used that term loosely – is the size of a shoebox! I cannot fit a five-foot shark in a shoebox! And I cannot eat this crap anyway, so I chopped it up into fish food and threw it out the window!" She slammed down her cutlery and folded her arms.

"That's a waste!" Inuyasha argued.

"Not for the cannibalistic sharks it's not!"

"Well, if that's your attitude, I won't bother catching dinner for you tomorrow." Inuyasha mirrored her pose by folding his arms.

"Good – because aren't you supposed to be getting me home tomorrow?" she pointed out. "You have yet to even start the engine today!"

"I can't travel on an empty stomach!" He slammed his palm down on the table – rather primitively, Kagome felt.

"And you can't expect a hostage to satisfy all your needs!" she barked back.

"Oh, really? Why do you think I kidnapped a pretty girl then?"

In a flash, Kagome had snatched up her fork and was stabbing it towards his hand – if Inuyasha hadn't pulled it back so fast, he would have found himself pinned to the table. "Bitch!" he exclaimed as the metal prongs of the fork bounced off the hard plastic table. It indented the surface slightly.

"I'm not scared of you – so don't you dare make suggestions or innuendos like that… even if you did say I was pretty, you should keep comments like that to yourself!" Kagome's temper had flared to dangerous heights… but so had Inuyasha's.

Civilians who talked back were dangerous. For some reason, he wasn't instilling the fear as well as before.

Grabbing the girl's neck in one hand and snatching the fork out of her fingers with the other, Inuyasha pushed her down against the seat. He straddled her waist and pushed the fork against her throat… Kagome could do little more than yelp her surprise, protest and struggle fruitlessly against his hold.

"Do not mistake me for that prissy little boyfriend of yours!" Inuyasha hissed, pressing the fork harder and watching the fear seep back into her eyes. "I may look like him, but don't you dare think that I am capable of being as soft as that little land lover was! Look how far it got him! There are only two ways to survive in this world – you either make the rules or you obey them! So if you don't start respecting the law I lay down, then one of us is going to be very sorry."

The fork's pressure against her throat was beginning to verge on painful. Kagome closed her eyes and nodded quickly, sorry she had ever started to take for granted that Inuyasha was anything like the boy she used to know. It was simply because he looked like Ori… she almost felt that she could be forthright and bold with him.

But she was wrong. Very wrong.

Inuyasha was not a person to be pushed.

"I'm sorry…" she whispered hoarsely, even though she didn't mean it in the slightest. She averted her eyes… partly to add to the apologetic look, but mostly because she couldn't bear to look at him. If she did, she would only see Ori threatening her.

"Good. Now perhaps you'll start obeying the rules and stop telling me what not to say. If you can do that one simple task then maybe I can keep my promise to return you safely to your home." Inuyasha released her roughly and all but stepped over her to exit the small seating area. "Glad we've reached an understanding."

If that's what you want to call it… Kagome tried not to let her resentment and contempt show on her face until he was well out of sight.

Kagome remained on the uncomfortable little sofa, listening to his footsteps on the upper deck. A few more moments after that and she heard the engine roar into life, feeling its vibrations all around her. Then they were moving…

This was probably a better time than ever to contact her mother.

Still feeling a little bitter and crestfallen, Kagome pushed herself up off the sofa and padded over to the small bathroom, mindful of the lurching yacht. Once in the bathroom, she bolted the door and sat down on the toilet, taking out her precious phone as she did so.

At once she had dialled her mother's number and sat anxiously, a finger plugged in her one ear to block out the engine as she listened to the dial tone with the other.

"Kagome?" her mother's wonderfully soft (if not slightly panicked and breathless) voice answered.

Hearing the stain in her mother's tone, Kagome quickly tried to tell her the current plan to bring her home. "Mama, you won't believe this-!"

"Kagome, listen to me," Her mother didn't even seem to have registered what she'd said. "I'm with the police – because after we last spoke, I contacted them and I told them that you had been captured by Ori's twin. They know his name – it's Inuyasha, isn't it?"

"Yes…" Kagome frowned slightly.

"The police want to talk to you – they keep saying that you need to bring him in-"

"When I'm the one who's been kidnapped?" Kagome hissed. "Don't they want to bring me in first?"

"Yes, but for some reason they think it's urgent that Inuyasha be on land." Her mother sounded clueless on the matter.

"So they can arrest him?"

"No… they said they want to protect him."

This had floored Kagome completely. In fact, she slipped straight off the toilet seat to crumple on the floor. "What…?"

"I have no idea… they didn't explain it – oh… the constable wants to talk to you."

Before Kagome could even utter the simplest of goodbyes, a new voice was on the phone.

"Now, Kagome, it's very important that you listen to me." Everyone was saying that… as if Kagome would get distracted and start painting her nails. But the man sounded pleasant. He had a deep gentle kind of voice, a voice she tried to match with a face. She reckoned he had a beard… "You need to tell us where you are."

Her hand met her forehead with a sound clap. "I don't know where I am." she said in an even tone.

"Every vessel has a navigational system at the helm that displays the exact coordinates of longitude and latitude, wherever you happen to be in the world-"

"But that's up on deck and he said that if he saw me again today, he was going to drive a fork through my neck." Kagome told him curtly.

"Ah… best stay out of his way then."

"Thank you." Kagome sighed loudly.

"Is it true that your kidnapper is in actual fact Inuyasha, the twin of the boy you used to know?"

"Yes, pretty much." Kagome ran her hand anxiously through her hair.

"Our sources indicate that he is originally from China, and has spent most of his life at sea."

"I think so." That's what everyone else was saying.

"So are you aware that Inuyasha may actually know his parents?"

Kagome blinked. "His parents…? I don't… no, I don't think he does. Some guy told me that he was from an orphanage too…"

"I see…" There was a deep sigh from the other end. "And is there no way you can escape?"

"Unless I swim for it… which I don't think I'll try because there happen to be sharks around here… I just ate one."

"I see…"

Kagome quickly went on. "But he says he's bringing me back home."

"Good. And is there any way you can tell us where to intercept him? We need to bring him in."

"I told you – I have no idea where I am, other than the East China Sea, and two, maybe three days away from the coast! But for all I know, we could be going to Europe!" Kagome gasped, exasperated. "And how come you're more interested in finding him rather than me?!"

"Kagome, it is in our interests to return you safely, but if there is any way for you to lead Inuyasha to us, then we would be most grateful. It's for his protection." the officer told her quietly.

"Why are you trying to protect him?" Kagome frowned. "He's a criminal – aren't you supposed to put people like him in prison?"

"These are orders from higher up, Kagome." was the blunt response. "I only have the instructions that Inuyasha needs to be protected from his brother."

"His brother is dead – there's not a lot a dead boy can-"

"Not that brother. His older brother. Sesshomaru."

Kagome let her head fall back against the toilet, quietly amazed at how well Ori had turned out with such a screwy family behind him. "An older brother… who wants to hurt Inuyasha, I suppose?"

"I believe so. In any case, Inuyasha needs to be kept away from Sesshomaru… we also believe that your friend was, in actual fact, killed by this older brother."

Kagome's heart stopped. Her chest squeezed painfully. "What…?"

"Sesshomaru seems to be systematically hunting down the two brothers and his target is now-"

"No!" Kagome interrupted him. "Are you telling me that Ori was murdered? By his brother?!"

"We know this must be hard for you-"

"Break it to me softly, why don't you?!" Kagome had to remember to keep her voice down. She had no idea just how keen Inuyasha's ears were, even over the engine.

"Sesshomaru is a pirate, just like Inuyasha. I personally don't know just why Sesshomaru intends to kill Inuyasha, but that is all I have been told. The order has been issued that Inuyasha must be protected. We've been trying to follow him for many years now."

Kagome couldn't respond. She felt too devastated… too numb.

"Kagome, I'm going to ask you to do something for me."

"Yeah… what?" she asked wearily.

"I'm going to call you tonight, probably about nine o'clock – so make sure your phone is on silent mode. When I do, I want you to simply accept the call and then go about your business the same as usual. We'll record everything we hear, so try and engage Inuyasha in conversation about his brother – the older one."

Kagome rolled her eyes heavenward and let them flutter close. "Sure… I can do that." And when Inuyasha discovers the police are recording his conversations, you will probably find my body floating down the river outside your station…

Right then, Kagome decided that she didn't particularly want to talk to the ever so nice police officer. She just wanted to sit on the floor beside the bog and mope. "I think I hear him coming back, I'll have to go."

"Wait, Kagome-"

Kagome didn't wait. She hung up instantly and put her head in her hands, trying to sort out the chaos in her head.

Many things confused her… but the one thing that confused her most was why the police seemed so intent to protect Inuyasha. And just what on earth drove a brother to kill his younger siblings? That was insane

But in this new, messed up world that Kagome was temporarily a part of, twisted scenarios and people were becoming the norm.


It was a nail-biting, gut-wrenching wait until the designated contact time. Kagome's mother had done little more than pace around the police station and accept the cups of tea that the officers occasionally handed to her.

But now, Mrs Higurashi anxiously chewed her lip as the clock ticked past nine o'clock and the ring tone of her daughter's phone rung out. She was perched on a seat beside the police constable in a small soundproof booth complete with recording equipment and two young police girls who operated the equipment. These girls were both so similar in their movements and even in the tone of their voices that Mrs Higurashi was almost willing to bet they were twins – though probably not of the identical kind.

At last, the ringing ended.

"She's accepted the call, sir." One of the girl's said in a monotone.

"Good work, Kochou." The constable looked to the second girl. "Start recording, Asuka."

"Yes, sir."

They all waited with baited breath, listening intently to the muffled sounds coming from the speakers of the recording equipment. There was a faint droning sound in the background, but just above that, the sound of shrill screaming could be heard.

"Oh… this is worrying…" Mrs Higurashi pressed her hands to her face. "I hope he's not doing anything terrible to her…!"

The constable leant forward towards the girls. "Kochou, see if you can trace the call exactly. I want her precise position wherever she is." he told her quietly.

"Yes, sir."

"He's probably torturing her… that fiend of a pirate…" Kagome's mother dropped her head into her hands.


It was just mindless torture. Kagome didn't know how much more she could handle.

Her hand started creeping towards the remote control….

"Don't you dare change the channel." Inuyasha pointed at her without tearing his gaze from the television set. "I'm enjoying this."

"How much enjoyment can one person possibly get from watching dinosaurs chomp on people?" Kagome retorted. "If I have to sit and watch another Jurassic Park movie, I swear I will-"

"Will what?" Inuyasha interrupted. "Do you remember our talk from earlier?"

Kagome was acutely aware of the mobile in her jacket. "You mean when you threatened to jam a fork in my throat if I ever contradicted you again?"

"Yes."

"…yes, I remember…"

"Good. Now take your hand away from the remote."

Kagome sighed loudly and let her hand fall back into her lap.

There was a phone in her pocket, and on the other end of the line were the police who were recording everything that she said to Inuyasha and everything Inuyasha said to her. Now if only she could get him talking… but he seemed way too busy watching dinosaur movies to bother with small talk and chit chat.

"So… uh… how far are we from the coast now?" She tried to get the ball rolling politely.

All she got was a shrug.

"Two days? One and a half?" she pressed. All she got was a glare. "Three?"

When he still didn't respond, she sighed again and shifted on the seat. It was time to bring out the big guns… metaphorically speaking, of course. "So… who is Sesshomaru?"

"New rule: Those who ask too many questions find themselves sleeping with the sharks." Inuyasha responded dryly.

Kagome pouted slightly. "I only wanted a little conversation…"

"Oh, just a little conversation about someone called Sesshomaru – he ranks right up there with other popular topics such as the weather and the latest films." Inuyasha glared directly at her, and the intensity made Kagome wish she could just turn into a puddle of water and slip overboard so he'd never be able to look at her directly again. "And how the fuck, may I ask, do you know about Sesshomaru?"

Kagome swallowed hard, her mind racing for the answers she'd prepared earlier. "That pirate that I was talking to before… what was his name… Miroku? Well, he told me about Sesshomaru… that he was a pirate, too."

"And what else do you know about Sesshomaru?"

Wasn't she supposed to be asking that question? "That… he's your brother…"

"Half brother."

The conversation lulled for a moment or two, and Kagome wondered if it was safe to push the subject further. "By… the same mother…?"

"Father." Inuyasha answered flatly, his attention fixed on the television screen.

"I see." Kagome nodded slowly. "And… do you see him very often? I mean, you're both in the same profession…"

"I doubt it." Inuyasha told her curtly. "He's our rival. I've never laid eyes on him before but I've been told he's bad news."

"So, you've never met him?" This was beyond milking him for information on behalf of the cops… this was her genuine interest to find out more about Ori's background.

"Never. He haunts the coast of Japan…" Inuyasha smirked. "If you're lucky, we may run across him in our travels."

Now there was a scary thought. Kagome pushed on, trying to get her mind back on her mission. "And by rival… you mean…?"

"Naraku's rival."

"Ah. Naraku. Your boss. The guy with the black hair and the creepy psycho voice." Kagome said loudly.

Inuyasha slanted her an odd look. "I smell a rat…"

Kagome jerked. "Oh, no… that's just the shark blood on my hands." She sniffed them. "See?"

Inuyasha just clicked his tongue irritably and tried to lean away from her.

Kagome began drumming her fingers on her knees. She had to keep going before her phone bill got too high. "So… what does he look like? Your brother, I mean."

"Like a drag queen."

"You mean… he's effeminate?"

"No, he's a fruitcake."

"Oh… that's helpful…"

Inuyasha gave another annoyed sigh. "What are all these questions for?"

Kagome shuffled her feet against the floor, glumly. "Because… because when Ori died-"

"Oh, not this crap again…"

"When Ori died," Kagome began again, firmly. "He told me that he'd met a pirate recently. I told him to prove it and he described him. Tall. White hair. Cold. Pretty. Pretty cold. And well… Ori always had this fascination with pirates-"

"Dweeb."

"You don't know him, so be quiet!" Kagome snapped. "And who are you to talk – you're a pirate yourself!"

"Get on with the bed time story already!" Inuyasha snapped back.

That almost made Kagome want to slap him. Almost. However, the threat of another fork in the neck was enough to keep her hands to herself. "As I was saying," she began slowly. "Ori always wanted to be a pirate – sucks that the evil twin got that wish granted instead. But I was a little suspicious of how some random pirate actually turned up to see Ori, and then a few days later the boy's house caught fire and everyone was killed."

"Are you saying a pirate killed your friend?" Inuyasha shrugged, apathetically.

"I'm saying I think your half brother killed your twin brother." Kagome watched him closely for a reaction.

She didn't even get so much as a twitch. "And now he's after me, don't you know?" Inuyasha said breezily.

"Is he now?" Kagome narrowed her eyes. "Why… why is your brother trying to pick off his siblings like that?"

He pulled a face. "You ask too many questions for your own good." he complained. "And the cutlery drawer is temptingly close."

"Damn you for stealing a western boat…" But even if he'd stolen a local boat, he probably would have simply threatened her with chopsticks instead.

"What makes you think I stole this boat." Inuyasha said, looking hurt and offended – although Kagome knew that it was all an act to mock her with. "I happened to have been given this boat as a birthday present."

"Right…" Kagome said in a slow voice, letting him know that she didn't believe a word of it. "And I suppose all the stuff you took from the people on my cruise were also complimentary birthday presents. Speaking of which – how long is it going to take to get me back to the coast?"

"Depends." He shrugged lazily. "How long does it take for you to sink to the bottom of the sea? I think it will be faster than taking you to the coast, don't you?"

Point taken. Kagome backed off a little. "Just checking…" she said, a little sullenly.

The credits began rolling on the TV screen. "Yeah, well don't. It pisses me off." Inuyasha punched the power button on the remote control and got up. "I'm going to bed." And off he mooched to the bathroom.

Kagome waited until the door was closed behind him and the muffled sound of running water started up, before reaching into her pocket and drawing the phone close to her ear. "He's gone into the bathroom!" she hissed quietly, feeling very 007-ish.

"You did good, Kagome." the officer on the other end told her. "Just make sure you don't stick your neck out too far for this, ok?"

But Kagome wasn't listening. Instead, she was concentrating more on the sound of banging cupboard doors in the bathroom. What was he doing in there…? Had he opened the hatch?

"Wait a second…" Kagome breathed into the phone and tiptoed towards the bathroom to listen at the door. All had gone very quiet.

Kagome managed to sum up the courage to call, "What are you doing in there?"

She heard an irritated groan. "Look, there's barely enough room to swing a cat, let alone spank a monkey, ok Princess? Quit checking up on me."

Kagome pulled a face as she peeled away from the door. "Well, that just set the bar for the rest of our conversations…"


AN: Hopefully there will be more chapters to come.