The True Holder of Shikon

Disclaimer - I do not own Inuyasha.

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1 - Unspoken Bond

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The fire died down as she watched the night sky. She only wanted the watch because she couldn't sleep anyway. She heard the light snoring of her companions. She had known them for about two months already and she couldn't really believe how close they were. Miroku looked ready to roll into the fire, Kagome was turned on her side, holding Shippou in her arms, and Inuyasha was hanging half-on and half-off the tree branch he had chosen. Sango sighed and let her dark brown eyes rest back on the stars. Their hunt for the jewel shards was getting more and more dangerous. Kirara, Sango's neko youkai friend, mewed in her sleep next to the taiji-ya's leg. Hopefully their hunt would end soon and Naraku would be laid to rest.

"I hate this..." The Shikon Jewel, the bane of so many people's dreams and happiness, had to be purified before any more destruction could happen. "This life..." It was so horrible that such a small thing such as the jewel could cause so much unhappiness.

"Sango?" She turned and found herself staring into a pair of amber orbs. "What's up?"

"Nothing, Inuyasha. You should go back to sleep. We've got a long way to go tomorrow, right?"

"I'll survive." He frowned at her as he sat down next to her. "You should get some sleep, too."

"I couldn't if I tried."

"Why?"

"Well, it's nothing for you to worry about."

"I don't care. Out with it." She bit her lip.

"It has to do with the Shikon." She looked back to the stars, her face set in a thoughtful look. "There is more to that jewel than the origin."

"What do you mean?" Inuyasha asked, blinking. He suddenly became very interested. She let out a sigh, obviously thinking of how to explain it.

"Remember Midoriko?" At his nod, she frowned. "Well, Kikyou has a reincarnation, correct? It is our Kagome. Midoriko doesn't have a reincarnation because her soul was forced out inside the Shikon Jewel, right?" He nodded again. She shook her head, which confused him. "In its own way, the Shikon is a reincarnation. When someone loses their soul, it lives on until it is one day reborn. When the jewel broke, the battle inside of it became more difficult. Somehow, I believe that Midoriko's part of the jewel, her soul, was released. Therefore, it left the souls of the dead demons inside the Shikon by themselves. I believe that the light affected some part of someone. I don't know how else to explain it but I think Midoriko has chosen her successor, or the person who now holds her powers. Do you see what I mean?" He thought a moment then nodded. "But her powers were dormant for so long that even if she passed them down through someone, that person would need to awaken them by coming into contact with the full Shikon Jewel." She sighed.

"How did you figure all of this out?" That was the hard part. It all made sense and fit together like a puzzle. But how did she know?

"I don't know. I was just thinking about it and it seemed to fit. But, I also believe that we have another mission other than to collect the shards."

"And what would that be?"

"We need to find the person that Midoriko picked to be her successor. Kagome doesn't have the power to purify the whole entire thing. She is still just learning and would need to expand her grasp of power before even touching the complete jewel." She paused. "Anyone who can sense things like that can certainly tell that even though it isn't straining her in general, it is straining her power. Just like her Sacred Arrow."

"But she doesn't get tired..."

"That doesn't mean a thing. Kagome grew up, not knowing about her true powers. The power inside of her lay dormant for about fifteen years. I don't need to tell you what happens to someone who hasn't used their power in a long time." He shook his head. "Kagome would most likely sacrifice or forfeit her power if she tries to purify the Shikon Jewel when it is complete. They say that it is purified by someone who's soul is pure but it sucks away at her power unknowingly. How many shards has she purified in my presence so far, Inuyasha? Quite a few. I can tell her power is being drained."

"Doesn't she need to know that?" He asked softly, concerned for the young girl.

"No." Sango drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. "I believe she already knows. That was probably why she suggested to Kaede that she be taught to control her powers. It wasn't control that she wanted. She wanted to expand her powers. Kaede knew what she talking about. To control means to grow." He was silent. How could Sango know all of this? Well, besides being a taiji-ya for so long. "I would find that the person we are looking for is someone who wants to find the jewel and purify it but not for selfish gain."

"Who would that be, though?" She shrugged.

"All we can do is wait and see. But looking for someone who doesn't even know they have the power is quite a waste of time. You can't sense powers if they are dormant for a long while." He nodded. Who could it be?

"Is that all you know?"

"No, it isn't. I know that if you use the jewel to become a full-blooded youkai, the jewel will be tainted by selfish gain and the need to be strong. In turn, you will become tainted and may not stay the same but become a blood-thirsty youkai who kills for pleasure and cares for nothing else."

"That was why Kikyou wanted me to use it to become human..."

"If you became human with the power of the jewel, it would not be for power or selfish gain. It would be for someone else that you do it, you see? To make yourself weaker physically is no one's choice in a wish so it would not be selfish to wish yourself human."

"I see now. Thanks, Sango."

"No, thank you for hearing me out, Inuyasha."

"Well, if you hadn't told anyone all that information, you would be under some serious stress. I can tell that you're tired. Go get some sleep. I'll take watch. We do have a long way to go tomorrow." He watched as she walked over to the fire and looked back at him, her face framed in the golden glow of the small fire, which was still dying.

"Good night." She whispered softly, laying down and pulling her blanket up over her body. Not even ten minutes later, her breathing calmed and she was asleep. Inuyasha smiled and jumped back up into his tree.

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That next morning, everyone was awake but Sango. Inuyasha growled at them whenever they tried to wake her up.

"She didn't get much sleep last night, okay? I should know because we talked."

"May I inquire what it was exactly that you spoke about?" Miroku asked. The hanyou narrowed his amber eyes.

"Keh." He crossed his arms. "It's her decision whether or not she wants you to know. Ask her when she wakes up. I suggest we get moving. Help me put her on my back, houshi." And so, they were off. Kagome watched her friend sleep on the back of the silver-haired hanyou. She knew the taiji-ya had a lot of wounds to heal. The emotional scars she had were astounding. Grasping her pack's shoulder straps tightly in her hands, she looked up at the sky. Cloudless and blue, the beautiful ocean of sky looked flawless. A lot had taken place since the last time she considered even looking into things this deep. Sango was exhausted mentally. Though it wasn't physical, it was taking its toll on her.

"Inuyasha? Can we stop for a minute?" She asked, suddenly realizing that nature called. He turned and looked at her, nodding. He kept Sango on his back, afraid of disturbing her or jolting her by putting her down. Kagome grabbed something from her bag, which she set down, and left.

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"Inuyasha, you have serious mental problems if you think I'm gonna climb that by myself!" Kagome screamed, staring at the very high, very steep cliff. Kirara took this note, thinking they forgot about her, and transformed. Kagome squealed in delight. "Thank you, Kirara." Miroku got on behind Kagome and Shippou took to the neko's head. Inuyasha started up first, taking quick measures and setting his clawed feet on the most stable-looking holds he could. He got to the top and stared at what he saw.

"What are you doin' here?"

"Relax, little brother. I am not here to fight you." Sesshoumaru's cold, glittering amber eyes took all of them in.

"What were you here for?"

"That is none of your concern."

"Sesshoumaru-sama!" A sharp, ear-piercing scream rang out from the forest. The cry stirred the taiji-ya from her slumber and she lifted her head.

"S-Sesshoumaru?" She queried, her vision still blurry. Fear stabbed at her heart when she saw the silver hair in front of her. Then she peered out from around it and noticed that the inu youkai was frozen in shock. He turned back, only to see Jaken flying towards him. He reached out and caught the toad by his throat.

"I told you to watch her, you impertinent fool."

"M-Master..."

"Save it." Inuyasha eased Sango onto her feet and she blinked. Her eyes widened and she grabbed Hiraikotsu, her large bone boomerang, from Miroku's back. He sighed with relief at having the weight of the heavy thing unloaded from him. She hurriedly strapped it on her back and ran forward. Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes and followed quickly after. An unspoken bond seemed to pass between them as they ran, Sesshoumaru keeping behind her. She slid to a stop in the clearing and her eyes widened.

"K-Kohaku!" The boy was holding Rin by the collar of her small kimono. Kagura came out behind him and took the girl from his grasp. "Kagura, give her back. Now."

"Hmm? What is this new development? The taiji-ya and Inuyasha's older brother?" Sango wasted no time in attacking. She lunged forward with a vengeance, swinging her weapon over her shoulder, breaking free the strap that held it there. Then she chased after it, drawing out her katana to deal with Kohaku, who would most likely interfere. This served as a distraction and allowed Sesshoumaru to make a quick move, catching Rin in his arm, then letting her drop lightly to the ground, he sliced at the wind sorceress with Tokijin. His grip on the sword tightened when she fell back, pulling the feather from her hair. Sango let out a cry that jolted even the youkai. He turned around to see her holding her wounded stomach. The wound was so deep... Sesshoumaru could smell it. He stared as she pulled the sickle from the boy's grasp and planted her uninjured shoulder into his gut. He fell over from the impact and Kagura grabbed him roughly, flying away. Sango saw her vision getting blurry and she looked pleadingly at Sesshoumaru.

"S-Sesshoumaru..." She held her hand out to him before she fell forward and all went black. The youkai stood there. He knew Inuyasha would get all pissed off because he didn't protect her or even help her... He walked forward and set Rin down then picked Sango up and cradled her in his arm.

"Taiji-ya." He growled. This only made things more complicated. Something bounded into the clearing before Inuyasha and the rest of the group barged through. They stopped and stared in wide-eyed horror.

"Sango!" Kagome was about to run forward but Inuyasha caught her around the waist. Sesshoumaru's eyes flashed red for an instant as the scent of Sango's blood intoxicated him. He got dizzy and crouched down, trying to fight off the demonic urges for more bloodlust as his anger tried to get the best of him. Inuyasha understood his brother instantly, knowing he was fighting it to the best of his ability. "Inuyasha, what's going on?" Kagome's eyes never left the inu youkai as he held her best friend in his arm, his fangs glinting in the sunset's golden light. The strong urges were not easily pushed aside. Sesshoumaru's eyes continued to flash back and forth from normal to red and back again.

"Sesshoumaru..." Inuyasha could see hunger in his brother's eyes. Then the youkai began to tremble, afraid that he would harm Rin if he let this continue. He was fighting with all he had but he couldn't contain it on his own. And that was when it happened. Sango coughed and clutched his kimono in her hands, grasping desperately to any hold as she fought off her nightmares. She opened her chocolate brown eyes, gazing up at who was holding her. She felt fear stab at her again at seeing his eyes flash. She pushed it back, hoping that he was fighting it off. She bit her lip as she felt him tremble.

"Shhh... It's all right." She soothed, reaching up hesitantly to grasp his face in both of her hands. The blood was warm against his cheek but that wasn't what was holding his attention. The worry in her eyes was. "Calm down, Sesshoumaru." She removed her hands from his face and wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him and soothing him like he was some frightened little child. And it worked like a charm. The next thing he knew, his face was buried in the crook of her neck and he was breathing heavily from the strain of resisting the urges. "It's... okay..." Then, she went limp in his hold, her breathing growing slower and slower. His eyes widened and he separated himself from her, lying her down on the ground. He knew he had to wait. His clawed hand gripped Tenseiga and he drew the sword from its sheath, watching for the underworld youkai to come and take her. There. He was still amazed at the very power of the sword. He brought it down and sliced through the youkai. After a few moments of waiting, she gasped and coughed, sitting up quickly to look him in the eyes. "Y-You saved me..."

"My debt is now paid, taiji-ya." She stared at him before she realized what he was talking about. Then she bowed her head and felt tears run down her face. Kagome broke away from Inuyasha and ran to Sango. Miroku followed her. He rubbed the taiji-ya's back, trying to get rid of her hiccups. He went a little too low and Sesshoumaru felt something tighten in his chest. Then the girl looked up and over at the monk, her lower lip quivering.

"Hentai." She said softly as she gave him an unenthused slap on the cheek. He frowned.

"I do not understand."

"She misses her brother, Kohaku."

"Was it the human child with Kagura?"

"Yeah, that was him. Naraku's pet to use against her and torture her further." Inuyasha stepped beside his brother, taking in the heart-wrenching scene. Then he bent and picked the small girl, Rin, up. "She's been through so much and that evil son of a bitch is still finding ways to torment her." He looked at the child in his arms. Sesshoumaru was trying to protect this very human girl...

"Hand her to me." Inuyasha looked up then nodded and handed the unconscious girl over.

"I understand now, Sesshoumaru." The youkai looked at him then turned and bolted away.

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Sango filled her canteen and stared down into the water. It had been three days since the last encounter with Sesshoumaru and her little brother. At least the little girl, Rin, was safe. She had been trying and trying to understand what had really went on in her head when she had soothed the 'savage beast.' It was amusing to the others... but why did it work? Was it because he hadn't been held in a very long time? Probably. But why would Sesshoumaru want to be held? To her, it seemed as though he was a worse case scenario of Inuyasha. He could parade around with his cold, calm facade on and no one would think he has feelings but on the inside, he's a tormented, deprived soul. On second thought, maybe she was reading too much into it. She needed to know more about the deranged inu youkai before she could come to a solid conclusion.

"Sango, we've been waitin' fer you. Kagome cooked some ramen and she said that I couldn't eat until you got back. Let's go." She whirled around to see Inuyasha standing there.

"Sorry, I must have lost track of time." She stood up and put the top back on her canteen.

"What were you so lost in thought about, anyway?" She bit her lip.

"Oh, I was just daydreaming. It's nothing."

"The last time it was nothing, you went and told me the full story of the Shikon Jewel and Midoriko."

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Till chapter 2! Please review.