I do not own Inuyasha, just in case you were wondering.

Chapter 1

Alexandra used her wrist to push back the tendrils of brown hair falling in her face as she sat back on her knees. She had been digging in the garden all afternoon and the sun had really been beating down. She was tempted to rest for a bit but she knew winter would come too soon. She turned to look back at her modest hut. There were repairs to do as well. She sighed.

How her life had changed! She thought how amused her friends and family would be if they could see her now, living like this. Alexandra smiled to herself and went back to work. It wasn't a bad life but certainly not one she would've chosen for herself.

She'd grown up in a small town in Canada so country-life wasn't something that was new to her but she had always set her sights on traveling and seeing the world. And until a year ago fate had always seemed on her side.

As a kid she learned languages easily. She had been completely bilingual in French and English by the time she was seven. In high school she developed a strong interest in eastern culture and learned Japanese. She continued in university when she went to study teaching. She was so successful at it her professor had recommended her to a large Japanese company. They were looking for someone to improve their executives' English and help them with the finer points of Western culture. The position was for a year. Alexandra had leapt at the chance.

The job had been fantastic. She enjoyed teaching and her students were enthusiastic. The company had set her up in company apartments. She'd met some great people and was making a lot of friends. In fact living in Japan was everything she'd thought it would be. It was like everything she'd ever wished for was coming true.

Things got even better! After six months her boss called her in for a meeting and had offered her the job on a permanent basis. She couldn't believe her luck. Alexandra had called her family and discussed it. Her family as always was great and encouraged her to follow her heart, but there was never any doubt in her mind that she would accept. She knew her life would change forever but never in her wildest dreams would she have guessed how.

To celebrate, on her day off she booked herself on site seeing tour. A friend was supposed to come with her but had to cancel at the last minute so she ended up going by herself.

Late in the afternoon they were touring a large museum full of ancient artifacts when everything around them started to shake. The guide had urged everyone to stay calm but the floor buckled and heaved. Pieces of the ceiling started to fall. Pandemonium broke out, people screaming and scrambling everywhere.

Alexandra knew it would be impossible to make it outside. She saw a large heavy box covered in carvings. She thought it looked tough enough to protect her from the debris raining down on her.

With great difficulty she made her way over to it and climbed inside. As the lid closed all the noise, light and movement were instantly sealed off. Although she wasn't claustrophobic, Alexandra immediately wondered whether it had been a good idea after all. Maybe she wouldn't have enough air or she could get trapped. She decided to climb out and take her chances.

To her relief the lid opened easily. A totally unexpected sight greeted her eyes. Instead of a museum in the midst of an earthquake there was a simple rustic room. She closed and opened the lid again but the room remained. She climbed out of the box, found the door and walked outside. The building appeared to be a small old fashioned shrine in the middle of a forest.

What had happened to her? Was this a dream? Was she dead? She could hear the sounds of the forest around her and feel the sun on her face. She went back inside and tried the box again but nothing changed. She went back outside and sat down. She didn't know where to go or what to do. She came to the conclusion that even though things might seem real, they couldn't be. She must have gotten hit on the head and be in a coma. After all she reasoned no one knew what went on in the mind of a person in a coma. It was the most logical explanation she could come up with.

She wasn't sure how long she'd sat there when she heard someone coming through the trees towards the little shrine. It was an elderly Buddhist monk. He was quite surprised to see her there.

After they'd introduced themselves to one another, Alexandra decided to tell him exactly who she was and how she came to be there. To her amazement, the monk believed her. He said that the box was a magic one. Things would appear in it though no one ever knew from where they came. Though he'd never heard of a person coming through the Heavenly Chest as it was called it was his opinion that Buddha sent her it because she was needed here.

To her great surprise she found out that she had been transported back five hundred years in time and there was no way for her to get back to her own time.

He had arranged for her to live with an elderly woman who lived alone. Her husband and sons had been killed in different battles over the years and she was ailing. Alexandra had to agree with the monk she had been needed. The old woman had taught her quite a bit but then she had died. Alexandra had stayed on preferring a solitary life to living in the village a day walk away.

Who knew? Maybe one of these days she'd wake up and find herself back in the real world! Until then she still had to eat. She stood up dusting the dirt off her hands looking at her handiwork. All that was needed was a good rain. She looked up at the sky and could see clouds building in the west in the late afternoon sky. She walked back to her house satisfied with a job well done.

Alexandra woke that night from a fitful sleep. The dark hut was momentarily lit by flashes of lightening followed by the crashing of thunder. The wind raged outside. Strangely though she felt as if none of that had wakened her. It had been the sound of someone crying.

No, that couldn't be. It must have been part of a dream. But then she heard it again - a faint sound but clear carried by the wind. She tried to talk herself out of getting up, but she couldn't shake the feeling that there was someone out there in the storm in trouble and knew she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep.

Yes, well now there'll be two people in trouble, she thought to herself slipping out of her warm bed. She lit a candle then dressed hurriedly in her warmest clothes. She left the candle burning inside in the hope; it would help her find her way back.

Then saying a silent prayer she braced herself and headed outside. The rough wind buffeted her almost knocking her off her feet. The freezing rain beat at her and she was soaked through in an instant. Lightening repeatedly lit up the countryside, followed by deafening thunder.

She almost instantly regretted coming out in the furious storm but then she heard the faint crying again. She put her shoulder into the wind and stumbled onward. She paused between the blinding lashes until she could see where to go. She slowly made her way onwards until she was exhausted. Her hands were going numb and she could hear only the roaring of the wind in her ears. She was about to give up when lightening flashed and she saw a small curled up figure at her feet. She knelt down - it was the body of a child - a young girl about five or six. She seemed to be either unconscious or asleep.

Quickly Alexandra took off her coat. Shivering uncontrollably she wrapped the child in it and scooped her up. She headed back to her cottage grateful that the wind was now at her back. Miraculously, she made it back without falling, the light from her solitary candle guiding her towards home.

Once they were inside she was amazed at how much warmer it was. She shut the door and not for the first time she was grateful that she'd taken the time to make it. She'd never been comfortable with a simple mat hanging over the door. So she'd built a door in the western fashion using scraps of leather for hinges. It was far more effective in keeping out the wind and rain.

Gently she lay the pale child down on the floor next to the fire pit. She quickly started a fire and put a pot of water on to boil. She got dry clothes and blankets putting them next to the fire to warm. Then working quickly she stripped off the child's wet things and dressed her in the warm dry ones, talking to her gently. The little girl stirred uneasily which Alexandra took as a good sign.

The water started to boil. She poured some in a wine skin, wrapped it in cloth and laid it on the girl feet. Then she made tea and left it to cool. She thought the little girl's color was starting to look better so she decided she would go and change into some dry clothes.

Suddenly there was a crash! Her door burst open and a large figure filled the doorway. It was a man in armour. He looked at the child and drew one of the two swords sheathed at his side. Instinctively she ran forward grabbing the metal fire poker as a weapon. He turned away from her strode into a corner of the room and waved his sword around. Then he turned and faced her boldly sheathing his sword.

It was then that she noticed his eyes were golden yellow, his ears were pointed and he had two scars - no stripes on each cheek. He walked forward. Alexandra watched him warily gripping the metal bar tightly in her hand. He knelt down beside the child and gently touched her face.

"Rin," he said simply.

The little girl's eyes fluttered open. She looked at him, smiled and closed them again. He stood up looking at the raging tempest through the gaping door. He turned his emotionless gaze on Alexandra.

"I will return for her," he said. Then he strode outside, disappearing into the dark and stormy night.

Alexandra stood for a moment looking after him. She went to the door and struggled to shut it. The top hinge had broken and it dug into the floor.

"Thanks for breaking the door, buddy" she muttered under her breath as she finally closed it. She leaned against it starting to shiver again. She quickly went to change before anything else unexpected happened.

She returned to the fire. The tea had cooled. She poured a cup and got the little girl to drink some. Her colour had definitely improved. Alexandra sat watching her while she finished off the tea. Then she got more blankets and lay down beside the child, keeping the iron rod next to her as a precaution. It was a while before she relaxed enough to fall sleep, vaguely wondering why she could smell wet dog.

Sesshomaru stood in the rain. Lightening flashed. He looked up - the storm would be over soon. He went back to watching the cottage.

Who was this woman? How had she found Rin in such a storm when he, Sesshomaru couldn't with his superior senses? He knew it had been luck picking up their scent leading back to the hut. There had simply been too much rain. He also knew that if Rin had spent the night out in this weather it might have been too late for even him to help her. The thought made him uneasy.

Of course, it had only made sense that he should leave Rin there for the night. She was already warm, dry and obviously well-cared for. The woman had meant to protect Rin, confronting him with that iron stick. He supposed it was instinct. But what bothered him was that even though her attempt was obviously pathetic there had been no smell of fear about her.

She was different from any human he'd ever seen - she had the most mesmerizing eyes. It was like they could look straight into him. If he closed his eyes he could still see them. Who was she? He would find out. Tomorrow he would send Jaken to fix the door.

Lightening flashed. He watched the house the rest of the night.