A/N: Ah, I must admit that I was a little more than stuck as to what would happen from this chapter on, but I was watching Shrek 2 the other night, and that in conjunction with the musical score from Shrek that I downloaded off iTunes inspired me into figuring out what I wanted to do. Hmm, I think some credit needs to be given to my English Lit. class as well. You see, it's so damn boring that I'm forced to come up with ways to entertain myself for the grand total of two hours and forty minutes that I'm required to spend sitting there pretending to listen to the lecture. Sometimes, I draw, but lately I've been outlining True Love's First Kiss! Yay progress!
Anywho, just to let you know, this chapter and chapter six are looking to be about the same lengths as all my previous chapters, but chapter seven looks like it's gonna be a doozy… (It's all one scene! I don't know where to end it!!) But that may have something to do with the fact that the "outline" is actually all the preliminary dialogue for the scene. Well, I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. –Oh! Pre-warning: from here on out I'll be deviating more and more from the Shrek movie plotline. I'd always planned on doing so (it wouldn't b e very fun if I stuck to the original word for word, now would it? You'd know exactly what was gonna happen before it does!), but I thought I'd give you guys heads up. Why? I dunno, I felt like it.
Lastly, a heaping helping of thanks to all my reviewers: Munesanzun, priestessmykala, KagomeByAnotherName, Killer of Kikyo, and alana124pyro! You guys make my day!
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Inuyasha or the plotline from Shrek.
True Love's First Kiss
The scene opens with our three protagonists finishing up the last of their grilled fish; fish courtesy of Inuyasha (Shippo wasn't as good of a fisher as he had claimed) and grilling courtesy of Kagome. By this point in time, the sun had sunk low into the horizon and almost disappeared.
"Yawn… Inuyasha, where are we going to be sleeping for the night?" Kagome asked as she rubbed her eyes, trying to stay awake.
The half-demon shrugged. "Here's as good as any place, I suppose."
"Here?" Kagome scanned the area for some sort of shelter only to find trees, trees, and, well, more trees. (Seriously, what did you expect?) "Um, you wouldn't happen to have a tent or something, would you, Inuyasha?"
"No," Inuyasha looked at Kagome curiously, "why?"
"Where are we supposed to sleep?"
"On the ground," Inuyasha answered simply, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.
"Oh." Kagome became slightly disheartened as she scanned the area again, this time searching for the softest spot of ground available. Eventually she decided on a soft-looking tuft of grass at the base of a nearby tree and curled up into as comfortable of a position as possible. She was quickly joined by Shippo, who snuggled his way into the young girl's arms with a sleepy smile.
Inuyasha, satisfied with the arrangement, leapt onto the lowest branch of the same tree, about six feet above Kagome and Shippo. He wasted no time in making himself comfortable and was about to fall asleep when his acute hearing noted that was Kagome shivering. "Oi, wench, you cold or something'?"
Kagome, who had been about to drift unto an uneasy slumber, was jolted awake by Inuyasha's question. "N-no," she shivered, "I'm j-just fine. D-don't worry 'bout me." Kagome attempted to rearrange herself into a warmer position.
"Feh," Inuyasha scoffed, "if you're cold just say so, you stupid girl."
"Hey!" Kagome's trembling voice protested, "I'm not—"
"Here." The girl's feeble argument was interrupted when Inuyasha removed his red haori and tossed it down to her. "That should help. Now go to sleep," Inuyasha ordered without glancing down.
A small smile graced the girl's features. "Thanks," she whispered just loud enough for Inuyasha to hear.
"Keh." Inuyasha waited until she relaxed and her breathing became steady and even before shifting his gaze to the sleeping girl's face. She looks so peaceful… Inuyasha's thoughts trailed off into dangerous territory before he shook his head. "What am I thinking? She's just some stupid girl I have to bring to Naraku to get my forest back…" he quietly scolded himself.
"Mhmm…" Kagome stirred in her sleep, catching Inuyasha's attention, and mumbled, "Mom… Grandpa… Sota…" A lone tear trailed down her cheek.
"…Isn't she?" The half-demon gazed at his charge in concern a long time before finally falling asleep himself.
Back at Naraku's castle around the same time our heroes had fallen asleep, a young woman could be found sneaking from the castle's kitchens down into the dungeons. She paused at the bottom of the stairs, clutching a bundle of something, and scanned the nearby cells before calling out tentatively, "Miroku?"
About halfway down the nearest row of cells a man stirred. "Sango? Is that you?"
"Miroku!" the woman, Sango, cried and rushed to the man's cell. Kneeling down beside the cell, she set down her bundle and grasped the man's cold hands. "Oh, I've been so worried! Are you all right? Hungry?" She briefly let go of his hands, undid the bundle, and pulled out a couple rice balls and some dried meat.
"Sango, you're a life-saver." Miroku smiled weakly as he accepted the food and began to eat.
"How's your hand?" Sango inquired. "Has it healed any?
Still chewing, Miroku stretched his bloody, bandaged right hand through the cell bars for her to see.
The woman gasped, "Do you think he poisoned the spike when he injured you?" She gently grabbed his hand with hers and began undoing the bloody bandages. "I brought some salve and fresh bandages for you. I knew you wouldn't be completely healed, but I thought you'd at least have stopped bleeding." Sango bit her lower lip as she applied the healing concoction and rewrapped his wounded hand.
"I'm not sure what he could have done to cause the wound to stay open for so long," Miroku replied between bites of rice ball. "I'm starting to get the feeling he was planning for me to bleed to death down here," he stated bitterly.
"Don't say that." Sango dropped his newly bandaged hand and stared him in the eye. Tears began to well up in the woman's tired eyes. "I don't ever want to hear you say anything like that again."
"Sango, Sango!" Miroku caught her fisted hands and rubbed them soothingly. "You know I didn't mean it that way. Now," Miroku gazed at Sango in obvious concern, "what's wrong? You're not usually this sensitive."
"It's nothing." Sango turned her head away from Miroku and stared at the floor.
"It's not nothing," Miroku replied firmly. "Sango, what's wrong? You know you can tell me anything."
"It's… Kohaku." Sango sniffed, "He doesn't return to our family's quarters at night anymore and he follows that Kanna girl everywhere! But that's not the worst of it; it's like he doesn't even recognize any of us anymore! He obeys Naraku's every command without hesitation, I… I just don't know…" Sango shook her head as tears silently rolled down her cheeks.
"Shh, shh…" Miroku soothed, "It'll turn out all right in the end. You just wait." He gently brushed a kiss on her cheek. "Now, did I tell you what I over-heard? About the Shikon mirror?"
"You mentioned Naraku had found it, but you didn't say anything else."
"Yes, he found it the day was …interrogating… me." Miroku made a sour face at the memory. "He sent me out of the room before he addressed it, but the guards who were supposed to escort me down here stayed just outside the door to eavesdrop instead. First he asked the mirror who was the greatest demon lord in the land." Miroku paused as Sango gave a contemptuous snort. "To which the mirror replied was someone called 'the Inu no Taisho.'"
"Heh, serves him right."
"Yes, well Naraku wasn't very satisfied with that answer, as I'm sure you can imagine." Miroku smirked. "But the mirror informed him of way he could change that. He has to become a full demon, and to do that he has to combine the mirror's power with that of a great priestess."
"So that must have been what the tournament was for a few days ago!" Sango exclaimed.
"Yes, Naraku held a tournament between all the greatest warriors in the land and sent the winner on a quest to retrieve some girl from a dragon-guarded castle." Sango frowned, "But that's all I heard about it. I don't even know if the winner has set out yet or not."
"Knowing Naraku they probably have," Miroku stated solemnly. "Or if they haven't he's most likely killed them and found another warrior to retrieve the priestess."
"How is Naraku supposed to combine the priestess's power with the mirror's? Shouldn't the priestess have enough power to refuse?"
"We can only hope, Sango. We can only hope."
Both Miroku and Sango lapsed into a pensive silence for several minutes before they were startled from their reverie by the sound of someone shuffling down the back staircase.
"Sango!" Miroku urgently whispered. "You have to leave now! Have you had any luck finding the key?"
"No!" Sango's face scrunched in anguish. "The only one I could find is the one the dungeon's guard keeps with him at all times! Miroku, I'm so sorry!"
"Don't worry, Sango, I'll be fine," Miroku reassured. "Worry about yourself. I'll find a way to get out of here, I promise."
"Oh, Miroku…" Sango leaned forward and the two shared a brief, but passionate kiss. "I'll be back tomorrow."
"Until then, my love," Miroku whispered as Sango made her hasty retreat.
The next morning, we find Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo well rested and fed, but still in the forest. (Just how big is this #!-ing forest anyway?!) Thus far it had been an uneventful and argument-free morning, but none of that would make for a very interesting story, now would it? It was not long before Inuyasha, who was once again in the lead, suddenly slowed to a stop.
"Inuyasha, what is it?" Kagome inquired, concerned.
Inuyasha jerked his head to east where, oddly enough, there was a large clearing in the trees. "Inuyasha senses tingling!"
Shippo sighed, tired of all these ridiculous allusions the cast-members were making, as he leapt to perch on Kagome's shoulder. "Inuyasha," the kit groaned, "this isn't—"
But we never got to hear whatever was (or, rather, wasn't) what Shippo meant. At that very moment a bolt of lightning struck not five meters in front of Inuyasha as whomever it was made their dramatic entrance.
"Ah, I see you have company, Inuyasha," a deep, stoic voice stated. "I would apologize for interrupting, but I don't care." The speaker finally began to descend into our protagonists' view. He was a tall, rather effeminate man with long silver hair and golden eyes that resembled Inuyasha's.
"Sesshomaru!" Inuyasha spat out.
"Yes, I'm touched that you remember my name, little brother, but you shouldn't interrupt when others are talking. As I was about to say, this won't take long, provided you cooperate, so you can go back to your human companion."
"What do you want, you bastard?!" On reflex, Inuyasha spread his arms in a combative stance and moved protectively in front of Kagome.
"Why, our father's sword, of course. Do you really think I'd go through the trouble of finding you just to make you miserable? Don't flatter yourself; I have much more important things to do with my time." Sesshomaru strode forward and extended his clawed hand. "The sword, if you please."
"Yeah, like I'd just give you MY sword without a fight!" Inuyasha drew the said sword and whispered to Kagome, "Get outta here and go hide somewhere, got it?"
Kagome nodded tersely and sought refuge with Shippo behind the trunk of a nearby tree.
"Very good, Inuyasha, distractions aside. Now shall we begin?" Before Inuyasha could so much as blink, the older demon had eliminated any distance that might have been between them and was holding him up by the throat.
"INUYASHA!" Kagome moved to run forward and attempt to aid Inuyasha.
"No, Kagome," Inuyasha managed to choke out, "stay back."
"Foolish girl," Sesshomaru's stone cold eyes glared at the girl, "there is nothing you could possibly do to harm me."
"HEY!" Kagome stomped her foot indignantly. "I don't like your attitude, mister!"
"Kagome, no!" Inuyasha wheezed, his free hand clawing at his brother's.
Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed. "Insolent pest." He raised his free hand and moved to flick his wrist.
Noticing the motion, Inuyasha's eyes widened. "Don't—you—DARE!" The half-demon wrenched his now-burning throat free of the demon's poisonous claws, whipped Tetsusaiga around to grasp with both his hands, and took the arm Sesshomaru had been readying his attack on Kagome with clean off.
"YOU!" Sesshomaru's eyes flashed red and he quickly backed away from the enraged half-demon.
"That's right, me!" Inuyasha mocked. "And if you ever think about harming Kagome again, I'll slice off more than just your arm!"
Kagome, who had been running toward Inuyasha, stopped dead in her tracks with an utterly shocked expression on her face.
"This is not over," Sesshomaru hissed as he began to ascend into the sky on a cloudy mist of demon something-or-another. (Yeah, I have no idea what that stuff's called; you know what I'm talking about?)
Satisfied with his brother's retreat, Inuyasha collapsed to his knees, grasping his throat and coughing.
Kagome, having regained her senses, stomped over to Inuyasha. "What the hell were you thinking?! You could've been killed!" she shouted.
"You— were in danger," he gasped, not looking up.
"Well you didn't have to be so reckless! What if Sesshomaru had dug his claws deeper into your neck?! You would have helped him rip your own throat out!"
Inuyasha's head snapped up to glare at the angry girl. "Would you just SHUT UP and let me protect you?!" He motioned to his throat. "I'm gonna go wash this out in that stream we passed." Inuyasha sheathed his sword and walked away without a backward glance.
That left Kagome, who had slumped to her knees, alone in the clearing, her face once again expressing shock, with a blush spreading across her cheeks.
Phew! That last part took a little longer than expected. Anyway, you know the drill: please review!