Disclaimer: I don't own, didn't create, but I sure do love it.Chapter 1
The hot morning sun shown down on the four mis-matched walkers. As the seldom traveled path crested the latest hill, the tall figure dressed in red snarled "This is stupid!"
"Is there a problem, Inuyasha?" asked the young monk, Miroku, walking next to the demon exterminator, Sango.
"I don't like this, we're moving too slow! Is Kirara well enough to carry anyone yet?" he replied shortly.
"No, not yet." Sango answered, as she soothed and stroked the two-tail cat she carried in her arms. "She will need at least another full day to recover from her injuries.
"Feh," he snorted, "I'm going ahead to check out those woods." With that he dropped the large, yellow back pack to the ground and leapt down the hill to the edge of the dark forest and disappeared into the trees.
"Hey!" Exclaimed the oddly dressed young girl, "Don't just drop it like…that." She sighed to herself, "Oh, well. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, he hates waiting, and walking has always been far too slow for him." As she spoke she bent over, picked up the pack and settled it comfortably onto her slender shoulders.
"Lady Kagome!" The monk protested, "that's far too heavy for you. Allow me to take that burden from you. A beautiful, young lady such as yourself should never bear such as that."
"Stop it, Miroku," she laughed as she started back down the trail. "It's my pack to begin with and I'm just grateful Inuyasha carried it as long as he did. At least we managed to lighten it quite a bit over the last few days. I certainly don't begrudge him a chance to stretch out and run free."
With that, the small group continued on down to the forest waiting ahead for them.
"Kagome," chirped Shippo, "can we stop and have something to eat?"
"Not yet, dear. Let's wait a bit longer."
"Okay," grumbled the little kitsune, "but I hope we have some chocolate, too."
Kagome just laughed, "I don't know who has the worse sweet tooth, you or Inuyasha?"
As they traveled along the forest path, it really wasn't big enough to be called a road, Kagome's right foot began to throb and ache with every step. Finally, as they entered an open glade in the forest, Kagome spoke up.
"Sorry, guys. I think we should stop here for a break."
"What's wrong?" "Are you alright, Lady Kagome?" asked Sango and Miroku in unison.
"Nothing, I just think I've got a blister, that's all. I'll start lunch and then take a look at it."
With that, she shrugged off her large pack and began rummaging around inside. Handing Miroku a plastic pail, she sent him off to the nearby stream to get some fresh water.
"Here, Sango, could you please slice up this loaf of bread, I think I'll make some sandwiches for lunch."
"Sandwiches?" Asked the taijiya, "What are 'sandwiches'?"
"Hmm, let's see…I guess you could describe them as two slices of bread, about this thick," she said, holding her thumb and forefinger about half an inch apart, "with all sorts of things in between." She laughed softly, as she said "Today, I think it'll be…smoked sausage, cheese, and …ta da! Sliced cucumbers!"
Sango just shook her head as Kagome drew out a small knife and began quickly slicing the different items into very thin pieces.
"Where did you learn to use a dagger that well, Kagome? I don't think I've ever seen you use a dagger at all, to say nothing of so well!"
"What?" Kagome asked with a very confused look on her face. "What are you talking about?"
"The dagger," she said, pointing at the small blade that Kagome had not stopped using as she talked to her friend. "Seriously Kagome, I've been using edged weapons since I could walk, and I can't use a dagger that well."
"She's right, you know," said the young monk as he set the bucket of water down next to Kagome. "Your skill is truly exceptional. Who was your weapons master?"
"Weapons master?" She repeated blankly. "Uh…umm…well, my mom I guess… I mean, she's the one who taught me how to cook. I mean, come on guys, it's just, umm, cooking, you know," she said with a faint blush appearing as her friends regarded her with amazement and amusement.
"Just cooking, she says," said Sango with a sidelong glance at Miroku.
"Just …cooking," he replied, trying to keep a large grin from appearing on his face. "I've known a lot of cooks, but I have never seen any of them slice food so quickly and evenly." With the monk's words, Kagome's blush deepened until she finally shook her head and said "Alright, enough teasing the cook, lets just finish making lunch." As she bent back over her work of preparing sandwiches for everyone, she missed the look of curiosity and amusement exchanged between the monk and the taijiya.
Taking out her small camp stove, she started it and placed the pot of water on the burner to prepare tea. As the water came to a boil, she mixed some fruit juice from a can of powdered juice mix, and poured it into a small cup that she handed to Shippo. Carefully slicing one of the sandwiches into quarters, she passed it over as well and said, "Here you go Shippo. If you finish everything on your plate, I might just find a piece of chocolate for dessert."
"Chocolate!" Squeaked Shippo, "Oh, boy" and he started to stuff his mouth full of sandwich.
"Slow down, Shippo, don't eat so fast or you'll make yourself sick," Kagome said as she reached over to cover his mouth to stop him from cramming another piece of his sandwich into his mouth.
"Here you go, Sango, Miroku; I hope that you like them." She said as she handed each of them a plate with two sandwiches and a cup of fruit juice. Standing up, Kagome reached into her pack, pulled out her first aid kit and went over to a nearby log and sat down to begin treating her sore foot.
"Lady Kagome, perhaps I could help you with that injury?" asked the young monk with a mischievous grin.
"I don't think so, Miroku. You just sit…"
"Eeek!" cried Kagome as something hit the ground right behind her. Jumping up, she spun around and looked down at Inuyasha's flattened form.
"Damn it, wench, what did I do!" barked the prone dog demon.
"Oh, dear Inuyasha! I didn't realize, I mean, I thought that …" Bending down to help him, she said "Really, I'm so sorry! I was just telling Miroku to si.., I mean that he should just…" Covering her bright red face with her hands, she mumbled "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" as she sat back down on the log and bent over, hiding her face as she covered the blister with ointment and a Band-Aid.
Looking confused, Inuyasha came into the clearing slowly and sat down on the log next to the young girl.
"Uh... it's okay, it's not like it hurt me or anything. It's just… well, usually I know it's coming and this time I was surprised, okay?" Said the young hanyou sitting next to her.
"I'm sorry," Kagome repeated softly, with her face still hidden as she put her sock and shoe back on.
"Kagome?" asked the little kitsune. "What's the big deal? You've 'sit' dog-boy lot's of times before." He looked back and forth between Inuyasha and Kagome, confused by their responses.
As she looked up at the others, they saw the tracks of tears running down her face, the sight of this stunned them all into silence. Taking a deep breath, she said "Just because I can do it, that doesn't mean I should do it." Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she smiled shakily and said "Especially by accident. So, I'm sorry Inuyasha, it was undeserved and unintentional, and I hope that you can forgive me."
Looking stunned, the hanyou stuttered "Uh, um, well um. Okay. I mean, it's not like I haven't deserved it before and had you let me off. Really, Kagome," he said jumping to his feet, "it's okay."
Kagome smiled at him and said "Thank you. Would you like some lunch? I made sandwiches for everyone, if you would like some."
"I'd say yes, if I were you," piped up Shippo. "They're really good and I think she's got some chocolate left for dessert, if you're good." By this time he was practically quivering with excitement.
While Inuyasha sniffed carefully at his sandwiches, Kagome used the hot water to make tea for the adults before she began eating her own lunch.
After lunch was finished, Kagome handed the plates and cups to Shippo and asked Miroku to take him down to the stream to rinse them off. She pulled out one of her last few bars of chocolate and set it aside as she began repacking everything she had used for lunch.
"Inuyasha, how long before we get back to Kaede's village?" Kagome asked as she put the now clean cups and plates into her backpack.
"Eh? I don't know, two or three days. Why?"
"Because I think I have enough food for only three or four meals, that's all."
"Keh," he grunted. "Maybe something will turn up."
Rolling her eyes at his casual attitude, Kagome picked up her pack and started to swing it up onto her back.
"Eeek!" She exclaimed as Inuyasha snatched the large pack from her grasp and slung it over his own shoulder.
"Come on, Kagome. Let's go."
Picking up Shippo and cradling him in her arms, she followed after Inuyasha deeper into the forest.
After the companions disappeared, a soft, evil laughter filled the clearing. "How very interesting. Heh, heh, heh. Sit. How…appropriate.