A/N: haha O_O I'm back :D *gets pelted with rotten eggs* D: sorry for the super long hiatus ; It's senior year, smack in the middle of college apps and stuff ]: I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT LOTS OF CONFUSING STUFF IN MY LAST CHAPTER!

Disclaimer: I do not and will not ever own Sesshoumaru or the gang…XD

Chapter 10: A Small Interlude

"Please don't do this…I promise I'll behave!"

A girl was crying and kneeling on the hay covered ground. She was tied to a wooden pole in some strange wood framed room. On the stone walls hung all sorts of strange devices, most noticeable are the chains and sticks. The clothing she had on was ripped and torn on the back. Her brown hair was tangled, the outline of her pigtails barely noticable. Whip marks and blood stains were visible on her back. A man stood over the cowering girl, a barbed cat-o-nine-tails in his hands. The upper half of his face was covered with a mask, his eyes hidden by shadows. Another loud whappow! was heard and the girl cried out loud in pain. Kagome gasped and tried to run toward the girl, but her legs would not move. "Please I promise I will behave," the girl sobbed out loud. Her head snapped to the side from the force of the slap delivered to her.

The man put his hand down and raised the whip he held. "You should've thought about this when you decided to do it."

He brought his hand down, and a crack of a whip was heard. Tears rolled down the girl's face. "Stop! Leave the girl alone! What did she ever do to you?" Kagome wanted to say. However, her voice betrayed her and a gurgled noise escaped her throat. The man kept whipping the young girl, who was curled up into a sobbing ball, on the floor. "Stop!"

The man either ignored her, or he didn't hear her. "Think of it this way. It'll be your fault if she gets the same treatment you get. I'll assure you she'll get the exact same treatment as you did. It'll be your penalty for disobeying me."

"Please don't hurt her! She doesn't deserve to suffer my punishment."

"That is for me to decide! …maybe if you give me something in return…but I don't see what you can offer…"

The man grinned. His yellow teeth were cracked and Kagome was sure rats were living in his mouth. She heard a gasp and quickly turned her face to look at the girl's face. Her brown eyes were wide with fear. "No…NO!" The man kept grinning and took a step toward the girl, who was struggling desperately trying to break free of her confinements. Kagome felt sick. There must be something she can do. She looked at the girl, to the man, then to the girl's wrists. The thick rope of her ties had cut into her skin and they were now bleeding freely. The man only laughed at the girl's pitiful attempts to break free.

Kagome's feet suddenly obeyed her and she ran toward the man, with the intention to push him over. She crashed into the man however and he wrapped his arms around her. "Now you, my bloody diamond, will never leave again!" The man cackled. Kagome looked around to see if the little girl was okay but she was gone. She looked back up to see the face of Naraku.. She gasped in horror and tried to break away, but he just held on tighter. "Yes…I feel the power of the Shikon no Tama in my veins…hahaha it's all thanks to you, little Kagome…"

He started to grow and change. Kagome watched fearfully as she watched the hated enemy shift and shape into some unknown shape. She kept struggling but he was squeezing her, cutting off her breath. Her world blacked out and she was sent falling into eternal darkness…

"NO!"

Brown eyes snapped wide open as she threw herself upward. Kagome winced at the sudden brightness in the room. There was a fresh vase of flowers on the far side of her room. A slowly cooling breakfast sat next to her on the ground. A bowl with water and a small cup sat near the breakfast. Kagome let out the breath she didn't know she was holding, unsure of what has happened.

In the corner of her eyes, she can see a shape shift. Kagome jerked her head toward the direction. A girl sat with her head resting on her arms which were resting on her knees. Her black hair fell past her face, so Kagome couldn't make out her face. She was wearing a simple brown outfit, signifying her status. The girl's head suddenly slid off her arms and she woke up with a sudden jerk. "I'M AWAKE!"

Kagome giggled. The girl turned to look at her. She has grey eyes… Kagome thought. "Ah, Kagome-san you're awake. My name is Nishihana and I will be your caretaker until Juriana-san is found. It's nice to finally meet you in person, the other servants talk and I've always wanted to meet you in person to see if the rumors were true and now I'm glad I met you 'cause I get to brag to all the others that I met you and that I'm the person to take care of the Great Kagome-sama-"

Kagome laughed as the girl, Nishihana, babbled off. Nishihana seemed to notice and blushed. "Err…right…Ah! I was supposed to help you get ready!" And that's how Kagome's morning started.

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"Oi, Kyo."

"What is it Ryu?"

The blond demon stared nervously at the wind demon. "I err…um…would you…um…do you…uh…"

Kyo looked at Ryu strangely. It's not like the young captain to stumble over his words like that. Normally Ryu would say whatever it was that he had to say with no problems. However, ever since that night…

Kyo stopped and blushed. "Oh my god…Ryu please do NOT tell me you have fallen madly in love with me…my gates don't swing that way!"

"WHAT?!"

Ryu stared gap-mouthed at Kyo and flushed bright red. "That was NOT what I wanted to say! I was gonna ask if you have seen Miouri as of late. Rin-san told me the tutor hasn't left her room for days. The tutoring was placed in the hands of Jaken-sama. This is unusual, because no matter how tired she is Miouri would never leave the children's education to Sesshoumaru-sama's advisor."

Kyo opened his mouth to say something, but stopped. Come to think of it, I haven't seen the tutor either…did she disappear too? "Want to go check on her?"

"Uh…sure." Kyo then followed Ryu, wondering what has happened between the twins. He still remembered the earlier incident when Miouri yelled for her sister. I wonder…

BAM! Ryu kicked down Miouri's door. Kyo stared blankly. "What?"

"You could've knocked, you know?"

"Shut up your trap, Kyo."

The room was dark, but Kyo could see something bent over the bed. Ryu walked carefully toward it, his right hand on his sword, just in case. "Miouri?" He called out gently.

Kyo tightened his grip on his own weapon, unable to let down his guard as Ryu reached for the figure…

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Inuyasha sighed. "I want ramen."

"We've been out of ramen since last week. In fact, none of us had any ramen since last week. It's all thanks to Houshi-sama's 'talent' in exorcism that we actually get anything to eat."

"Feh."

Sango frowned. The hanyou we all came to know and love as Inuyasha still refused to believe that it was his own actions that had driven Kagome away. No one knew what happened to Shippo. They just presumed that he left to look for Kagome. The poor child…

Kikyo stayed silent. She was pissed beyond realms that her soul has yet to be completed. Despite Inuyasha's complaints, she grabbed his hand and led him away into the confines of the forest.

"Inuyasha…" She said in that soft tone of hers.

Inuyasha flattened his ears against his head. He knows what Kikyo wants, and he couldn't give it to her. It's been too damned long since…well…

Quickly he pulled Kikyo toward himself and captured her lips in a passionate kiss…

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Miouri felt someone poke her in the ribs. She moaned sleepily and sat up slowly. Apparently she wasn't very awake, for her upper body slid off the bed to join her lower half on the floor. Luckily Ryu caught her.

"Miouri!"

The tutor's eyes fluttered before she closed them. Ryu and Kyo looked at each other worriedly. It was not like the tutor to stay up way past her bedtime; Miouri was just as bad as Juriana when it came to sleep. Anything less than normal will either leave them cranky as hell or a notch above fainting. For the tutor to be in this kind of condition, something is obviously bothering her. Ryu looked at Kyo. Kyo nodded and ran off to find the next available healer.

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After breakfast Kagome wandered the gardens, seeking both Rin and Shippo. Apparently she was tagged "It" by the two rambunctious children in a game of "hide-and-go-tag." She ran around the expansive gardens, past the lilies and roses and petunias looking for the familiar checkered pattern or the red hair. Power…

She stopped running, as a grin slowly spread across her face. She was only taught to do this by Sesshoumaru the few days that she was training. She closed her eyes and gathered her powers in her mind, before she spread them like putty. Instantly, she could feel Shippo's aura and Rin's chi. She ran to their hiding spots and shouted, "FOUND YOU!"

The children had only laughed and ran away. Kagome continued the chase, unaware of eyes watching her.

Sesshoumaru had only came back from his morning patrol when he felt the miko's aura spread partially through the gardens. Though she still posed no threat, he knew that her powers can very well threaten the wellbeing of his staff. He masked his own youki and stood regally behind a tree, watching as she and the children played. His eyes softened just a tiny bit before he returned to that emotionless stare. This is not time to be reminiscing about this Sesshoumaru's past…Without another word, he stepped away from the tree and headed toward his study, where loads and loads of complaints and reports awaited him.

It was noon when she decided to give the children a bath. Calling for Nishihana, she and the healer's apprentice gathered up the children. Once the task was finished, Nishihana emptied out the waters, complaining miserably. She pushed her wet locks out of her face.

"This is the last time I'm going to let you talk me into giving the little one's a bath. They're so rowdy! How can you stand them, Kagome-sama?"

Kagome blushed. "It's just Kagome, and they're just so adorable, don't you think so?"

They went on about stuff. By the time they finished Kagome was also done with her cleansing. Nishihana emptied the waters as well as Kagome moved behind the silk screen to dress. She donned her miko's uniform (Nishihana had provided her with one) and went to the dining halls. She joined the children in eating the midday meal, which consisted of rice, some greens and a roasted…something. Kagome could not figure out what the strange something was. Deciding to be safe than sorry, she avoided poking the mysterious meat.

Jaken arrived as she was about to leave after lunch. "Lord Sesshoumaru has summoned you, miko!" he squawked.

Frowning, Kagome plodded Jaken over the head with her fist. "I have a name. It's Ka-go-me. Use it, Jaken! Now lead the way."

Jaken huffed in fury; this miko should be treating him with respect! After all, he was the loyal retainer of the esteemed Lord Sesshoumaru. Surely this was not how his retainer should be treated. Grumbling about rude priestesses, Jaken led Kagome to the study. Sesshoumaru was literally buried in a mountain of scrolls, half of which were already rerolled up in a neat corner.

"Lord Sesshoumaru, the miko has arrived." With that, Jaken left the room.

Sesshoumaru did not glance up. He only spoke. "Miko, the tutor seems to have undergone some sort of trauma. You are to educate both Rin and the kit in literature and arithmetic."

Kagome thought it over. "That's all?"

Sesshoumaru remained silent. His nerves are grating at him, the mountain of scrolls teetering ominously over him. He continued his work, leaving Kagome to her wonderings. Kagome, on her part, almost pitied the lord as he sat among the massive amount of scrolls. She walked lightly over to his desk, and grabbed half of them. He does not appear to care. Slowly, Kagome made her way with the scrolls to the mat and carefully placed the scrolls on the floor. Grabbing the top most one, she read it and nearly giggled. It was a complaint regarding the placement of a shop cart.

Minutes turned to hours as Kagome shifted through the scrolls, carefully separating the ones that she thought were important from the ones that were most utterly pointless. She picked up the pile she deemed "important," grimacing as her legs protested strongly against the sudden movement. She walked over to Sesshoumaru's desk, and placed those on top of the one scroll that remained on the work pile. Sesshoumaru glanced up at her and raised an eyebrow. Kagome blushed lightly as she stared into his eyes.

"I've take the liberty to kinda…um…sort…your work, I suppose. These are the ones that seem more important than the others…"

She quickly went back to collect the other pile of scrolls. She placed these on the desk next to the first pile.

"These are the less important ones…I hope this has helped…" When she realized that he was still staring at her, she 'eeked' and made a mad dash for the door.

Sesshoumaru watched her retreating back, a ghost of a grin appearing on his devilishly handsome features.

A/N: I hate to leave things off here, but I'm running purely on whim here. My muse withered away because I forgot to water it, and both my editors are away on vacation. So sorry for the short chapter *cries* I promise I'll make the next one longer x___x;;