Eternal Snow

Chapter 1

Will you notice?

It was a long day… Actually it was always a long day around those parts. For the people living there it felt as if work would never end. Well, there was an exception for a few people, but they were of the royal family so it was to be expected.

Sango sighed as she quickly looked around the palace corridors. They were empty. Quickly sneaking around the corners, she remained alert as she fled down the hallway. Not taking the time to notice the open doors around her. She didn't think anyone would care if they saw her.

Actually, knowing her predicament, they would be trying to help her… Or, at least, she hoped they would.

"Sango!"

Said girl jumped and spun around immediately, darting her eyes around to pin her intruder. There wasn't anyone behind her from what she could tell… But there was someone she was missing due to his shortness. "Shippou," she sighed, relieved that she had only been caught by the royal family's cousin.

"Where are you going?" The young kit's emerald eyes beamed at her as he swayed from side to side, enjoying the swinging of his new kimono-like outfit.

Sango knelt down to accommodate to his size and shushed him quickly, "Have you seen Miroku around?"

"No, why?"

"If you see him later, you never saw me, alright?" She winked and patted Shippou's head as he continued to stare.

He eyed her curiously, but then spoke up again with a sly smirk on his face. "What's in it for me?"

The brown eyed servant girl groaned. She had had a feeling it would come to this. "How about a toy?"

"I don't use them."

"A game?"

"Umm… no."

Another sigh sounded, she was trying to avoid this. "… Food?"

Shippou's interest was peaked. "What kind of food?"

"Pocky." The kit's face automatically grew bright as he nodded his head vigorously to approve. She smiled back at him. "Okay then, I'll make sure to pick up a box on the way back." She paused and thought something over before adding, "And I'll make sure to snag another one if you don't annoy Inuyasha today." She didn't feel like breaking up their fights today.

Shippou's face drooped slightly. It was definitely fun to pick on the hanyou, but would he rather have his fun? Or would he choose the sweet taste of pocky?

Was it really a question? The kit sighed and muttered, "Fine… But don't forget my pocky," he looked a bit disappointed because of the loss, but not too much from the gain.

"Good," Sango nodded at him and he left on his way, forgetting that he'd ever seen her.

Sango smiled at the kit's retreating back and continued on her way down the corridor, just a bit less rushed this time. It was hard to get a break around the palace. Though, it was even harder to get out of the castle grounds.

Sure, waiting on her mistress, the queen, wasn't that hard of a task for her. Queen Izayoi was a very agreeable person and preferred to take care of herself. Still there were some tasks that she couldn't accomplish alone, which was what Sango was around for.

Compared to the jobs of the other servants, her job had to be the easiest of all. One of the hardest jobs around there would've been the job to wait on the second prince, Inuyasha. Which was the exact job that one of her companions had the joy of taking on, she had laughed when he told her.

Even though her job wasn't exactly hard, she couldn't help but want a break. She had been stuck inside the castle walls for a very, very long time. It had been so long that she couldn't even remember when the last time she had stepped outside was.

She hadn't been deprived the right. It was just the fact that other people feared for her if she left the palace, even for a walk. There were no real dangers outside the castle. The idea of there being no walls surrounding the castle grounds wasn't the problem either. It was nature's obstacle that stood in the way.

The snow.

It had been snowing outside for decades without any sign of ceasing. The older servants couldn't even remember when the snow first started to fall. They still couldn't recall a time when it had stopped either. And with every year that passed by, it seemed as if the snow fell harder as the winds grew colder

It had been dubbed the 'Eternal Snow' around the area. And no one could really argue with that name.

She paced down the hall and turned another corner, remembering which turns to take to make it to the exit near the snow covered garden. When she finally saw the white snow falling through the open door, a small joy rose in her mind. A bright smile broke out on her face, she was almost there.

"Where are you going Sango?"

The hazel-eyed girl groaned as she halted in her path, she would've panicked, but she knew that voice all too well to be afraid. She shifted her eyes to the side to lay sights on the man with short, tied, black hair. He flashed an innocent smile as he leaned against a pillar beside the exit.

The exit she was just about to run through.

She sighed inwardly as she folded her arms and stared at her 'friend'. "Nowhere, Miroku," she answered as she tore her gaze off the heavily falling snow. "Why are you here anyway? Aren't you supposed to be with Inuyasha?"

Miroku shrugged, "He's with his mother right now, so I'm off duty." He noticed the disappointed look on her face that she was clearly trying to hide and he turned to the exit and smiled. "It's a bit cold to be going for a walk, isn't it?"

"Who said I was going?" she groaned and turned to walk away, but was halted by a hand on her shoulder.

"I was going to take a walk myself." He started and Sango turned to look at him. "Wanna come with me?" He smiled what he hoped was his most charming smile. Sango just stared at him. She had gotten so used to the routine.

And no matter what happened, how did she always seem to fall for it?

With a shake of her head, she gave in. "Fine," she replied as she made her way towards the door with a tug at the scarf around her neck. "But if you freeze don't' blame me," she warned, taking notice of his clothes. He didn't look prepared to trudge through the freezing snow.

Miroku followed her out the door. "Aww! C'mon, can't we share?"

Sango laughed.

:-:-:

The wind grew harsher as they trudged through the ankle deep snow. Pure iciness bit at their faces as they continued to walk… Or at least tried to walk.

"Sango, I think we should head back inside!" Miroku shouted over the loud howling of the winds.

Sango didn't seem to notice as she continued on her way. Miroku, not being able to leave her alone, followed after her with a quiet sigh. He just couldn't pull himself away from her. He had tried before and he had failed.

The girl didn't take notice of Miroku's predicament and continued on her way. She still wanted to see the outside, going back to the castle now didn't seem like the ideal action to take at the moment. They had made it so far.

She scanned the area and frowned, all she could see was gray. The color of the gray clouds blended too well with the blur of white from the harsh snow. There was no way she could get a view of anything.

She sighed from the let down as she let the frigid wind whip her hair around her face. Her hands were too cold and unwilling to hold it back.

A sudden wind flipped around her and unwrapped the scarf around her neck, sending it flying farther away from the castle, and from her. Her brown eyes grew wide as she noticed the light purple scarf float around in the snowy air. She hadn't noticed it was coming loose.

When her mind registered that it was drifting further away, she quickly lifted her legs up high and dashed after it. Not allowing the garment to leave her sight.

"Sango!" Miroku called when he noticed her sprinting.

"Help me catch my scarf!" she called back as she trailed after it. Miroku followed, figuring the faster they caught her scarf, the sooner they could go in and warm up. He had to admit, his idea for this trip wasn't going as planned. He was hoping that Sango would get too cold for just the scarf and he would have to help her keep warm… Maybe it would work on the way back…

He sighed. That was all just wishful thinking.

Miroku quickly caught up to Sango, who had stopped to pick her scarf off the ground. Apparently, the wind had decided to stop picking on the poor knitting and took pity on the ones chasing after it.

Holding the scarf in her hand, she waited for Miroku to catch up to her. Her face looked concentrated for reasons that were beyond the hopeless boy. "San-"

"Shhh!" she hushed and stared into the distance.

Miroku frowned and followed her gaze, squinting when he saw something up ahead.

There was a figure moving far before them. It looked as if it were stumbling towards them.

"-Hold me tight--"

"As you wish Sango."

"Shh!" Sango shot him a warning and whapped his arms away as she strained to listen to the sounds up ahead.

"--Konna omoi nara-" (If I think like this)

Sango's eyes widened as she stared into the distance. "Do you hear singing?"

Miroku looked surprised at her but stopped to listen past the falling snow. "It sounds like it." A voice, a soft, soothing voice, drifted through the air as it sung a haunting tune. Haunting, but at the same time beautiful.

"Is that a person up there?"

Miroku's dark eyes squinted as he shielded his eyes from the falling snow. "… I would say so."

"Dareka wo suki ni naru kim---" (I didn't want to know what it was like)

The singing suddenly stopped as the couple's eyes grew wider as the figure approached. The person up ahead stopped as well. A dull thud followed after as the figure collapsed against the snow.

The couple froze as they stared at the sight before them. They turned to each other quickly before racing up ahead to check on the fallen person.

Sango dropped to her knees as they approached the unconscious body, ignoring the numbing in her limbs as she gasped from the sight before her. Miroku soon followed suit as they lay eyes on the person before them.

It was a girl and she didn't look a day older than 16. Raven black tresses flowed out behind and down her back. Her skin was pale and cold from the biting snow. Her lips were turning purple and from the looks of it, so were her fingers. Through all of these things, the only thing that they cared about was the fact that she was still breathing.

"Miroku…" she looked up at him and he nodded. She nodded back and turned back to the girl.

Taking her scarf, Sango wrapped the delicate fabric around the girl's neck as Miroku gently picked her off the cold snow. She wasn't that heavy from what he could tell, and she was definitely cold.

They headed back towards the castle walls, ignoring the numbing pain in their limbs as they concentrated on getting the girl to wake up.

After a few shouts and shakes, they were almost to the castle, and the girl woke up with a painful grown as she forcefully pried her eyes upon. They felt like they had been frozen shut. With a raspy voice she called out to them, quietly. "Who are you?"

Sango and Miroku glanced at each other before silently deciding that Sango would answer. "We're here to help you. We're taking you to the castle."

"The castle?" she asked, her voice grating against her throat painfully.

"Yes, we're almost there." Sango warned her as the girl tried to look around but couldn't. Instead she stayed still, finding it painful to move her limbs just yet. They felt like they were about to fall off.

"Alright then," she answered. Her eyes started closing as Miroku walked up the steps to the palace walls. She was falling asleep.

They both noticed and panicked, screaming at the same time, "Don't fall asleep!"

:-:-:

Inuyasha stomped down the hallway as the bitterly cold winds outside howled to their heart's content. He flattened his ears against his skull as they groaned at him, taunting him that the snow would never stop. A low growl erupted deep in his throat. He didn't like the idea of being cooped up in the palace. The mere idea of him staying in one place was completely absurd. But he had been living that way all his life.

At the moment there was nothing to do… Not like there was anything to do anyway.

"Hurry!"

Inuyasha watched as one of the servant girls ran down the hallway with a pile of blankets in her hand. He blinked at her as she raced off and turned the corner… He blinked some more when a couple more servants followed but with some hot water.

What was that about?

He heard small footsteps pad down the corridor behind him. "Inuyasha?" A small voice squeaked.

Golden pools turned down to stare at the small kitsune, he seemed worried for some reason. "What, runt?" He narrowed a pinning gaze at the child.

Shippou didn't take notice to Inuyasha's annoyance. His emerald eyes widened. "Do you think she'll be alright?"

That was an eye opener. Inuyasha frowned down at his cousin. "Who's 'she'?"

"You don't know?" From the deepening of Inuyasha's frown, he figured he didn't. The kit sighed. The news had been going around the palace for a few hours. It didn't surprise him that Inuyasha would be one of the last ones to know.

He stared down at the floor as he strode down the hallway. Inuyasha reluctantly followed. Glancing up at the hanyou he started, "Sango and Miroku found a girl out in the snow…"

"A girl?"

"Yeah, a girl, stu--" Shippou stopped himself and slapped his hands over his mouth before the insult came out. He really wanted that extra box of pocky.

Inuyasha's eyes narrowed, dangerously. "What were they doing out in the snow?"

Shippou shrugged, not having a clue and not really caring if they were out in the snow or not. As long as they didn't freeze or get sick then it was fine. If they had, then he'd be worried. Right now he was thankful that they had.

As they followed down the carpeted hallways for a little longer, a squeal of delight rang through the air. The youkai gave each other a quick look before racing down the hall to see what the commotion was about.

A group of servants were crowded around the outside of Sango's room, peaking over each other's shoulders to see inside.

"She's awake!" Sango called from inside her room.

Shippou bolted ahead and scampered past ankles to enter the room to see for himself. Inuyasha kept his pace and walked up to the crowd, only to have the crowd part like the Red Sea at the sight of him. He didn't pay any attention to it. He was used to it by now.

He entered the room and leaned against the door frame, looking over the room to see Miroku fixing something at the window, Sango seated beside the bed and Shippou actually sitting on the bed, concern etched into his features. The spoken of girl was resting on the bed, covered with blankets up to her chin. A warm washcloth rested under her dark bangs, her face was flushed from fever. Her eyes still looked sleepy.

Neither one of them took heed of his entrance.

Groggily and slowly, the girl on the bed spoke up as she blinked tiredly. "… Where am I?" she asked. Inuyasha had to twitch his ears to hear. Her voice was barely above a whisper.

"Kouriya castle," Sango answered as she wrung out another hot towel to replace the one on the girl's forehead.

"Kouriya…?" The girl scrunched up her face, confused.

"Yes, have you heard of it?"

Inuyasha noticed that she looked like she was trying to think about it and was getting a headache in the process. "…No."

"That's okay," Sango consoled her when her head started pounding. She quickly sent one of the servants to fetch a cup of tea before continuing. "Where did you come from?"

"… I'm not sure…"

"Why were you walking in the snow?"

The girl looked troubled by this. "I don't remember…" she was starting to look worried from her answers.

"Do you know your name?"

The girl took a while to think about it before answering. "Yes."

"What is it?"

Inuyasha twitched his ears to hear, her voice was starting to get quieter. He had thought that would've been impossible at this point.

"Kagome."

The hanyou blinked… Kagome… Where had he heard that name before?

:-:-:

Kouriya- Ice Valley (Kouri-Ice; Ya-valley)

AN: I hope you guys liked this one! This is just the beginning of a journey where everything is unknown, because even I don't know what's going to happen. I just had the idea for the scene and decided to make it into a story. I'll have to put more thought into the plot to make it better, so bare with me.

If you can, try to guess where I got the title from. It's not that hard to figure out if you've been reading the messages in my profile or at least looked at my xanga. The series it came from, I love it to pieces!

If this chapter was a bit choppy, I apologize. I'm trying to start a new writing style for myself… I just need to find a way to make it work. -sweat-