A/N:- This is in response to challenges set by littlefiction of whom I am a great fan. I should, however, clarify the following before I begin the story.
All characters will behave in an OOC manner
I do not own Inuyasha
Inu no Taisho is alive in this story
This chapter is merely a scene setter and the challenge kicks in in chapter 2
Thanks and I hope you enjoy...please R & R...reviews give me a happy.
Naraku sat cross-legged on a straw mat hidden away in his castle, to any onlooker he looked the picture of serenity; his eyes were closed and his long wavy black hair hung over his face. However, his thoughts were tumultuous and his mind raced trying to think of answers.
"Kagura, come here."
Sighing, Kagura entered the room from the darkened corridor she had been hiding in; as always she wondered how Naraku knew she was there.
As she drew close to him she noticed the fresh scratches on his naked chest and the bruising on his face; the spider mark on his back seemed especially visable today.
"What happened?" As soon as the words left her mouth Kagura regretted them, it was not wise to question Naraku so boldly; to her suprise he didn't admonish her, instead he began to explain what had happened the previous day.
Inuyasha growled as the scent of Naraku grew stronger, he glanced over his shoulder and cursed silently that the rest of the group could not travel as fast as he could.
"He's over there."
"He has shards of the jewel with him."
As one the group quickened their pace, weaving through the trees of the forest as quickly as they were able; finally they broke through into a clearing by a small stream, waiting for them, a sardonic smile on his face, was Naraku.
Inuyasha had the Tetsusaiga out of its sheath in an instant and was already in mid-swing when Naraku vanished; shocked, Inuyasha tried to stop short but his momentum kept carrying him forwards and he strarted to fall. A hand caught him before he hit the floor and pulled him upright; Inuyasha turned to thank Kagome or whoever it was who helped him only to see Naraku clutching his forearm.
Acting on instinct Inuyasha put all his strength behind his claws and slashed blindly at Naraku; Naraku was too busy trying to avoid the arrows Kagome was shooting at him to notice, the claws connected with his chest and knocked him off balance.
Naraku fell to the floor hard and struck his cheek on a rock; feeling a flush of red come to his cheeks he growled in anger, furious at himself for letting them get the better of him, if only momentarily, Naraku retreated to a safe distance ignoring the blood oozing from the scratches.
Stood on a rock on the far bank of the stream, the three lines of pain on his chest burning with shame Naraku looked back over at the group ready to launch another, better planned attack.
To his horror and embarrassment they were laughing. At him.
Filled with shame Naraku fled back to his castle to nurse his wounded pride.
Kagura felt a smile begin to form on her lips but quickly forced her face to remain neutral; it was too little too late, however, as Naraku noticed the amusement in her eyes.
"I will not have it so I am a figure of fun, mocked even by my own incarnations. I will have my revenge on Inuyasha, much worse than mere death."
Both sat in silence for quite a time, both lost in their own thoughts and seemingly unaware of the others' presence; until Naraku opened his eyes, finally having come to a decision.
"Go. Find me the thing Inuyasha prizes above all things."
Kagura left her master once again wishing she had the strength and courage to either leave or kill him; she made her way swiftly through the castle corridors until she came to the room Kanna used for sleeping.
Sure enough the eerie little girl was sat in her room looking into the mirror which was ever in her hands; she looked up at Kagura as she entered and when she spoke it was in a soft voice devoid of all emotion.
"I watched you and the Master; I have Seen the past and I know what Inuyasha prizes above all things."
Kanna turned the mirror to Kagura, as the wind soceress watched her eyes widened in amazement.
Inuyasha, barely old enough to walk was laid on his back in a field being mercilessly tickled; giggling loudly the tiny hanyou tried to get away but was kept in place by strong hands.
The one holding him was much older and taller, although the same silver hair flowed down his back; he was smiling also as he continued his assualt on the squirming Inuyasha.
"Give in?" The stranger had a deep sensual voice that was filled with amusement.
Inuyasha gave a mock growl and sunk his tiny fangs into the stranger's forearms, reacting instantly the tall demon's fur rippled and his tail unfurled wrapping the struggling pup in thick fur.
"No fair." Inuyasha whined spitting silver hairs in the face of his captor.
"I am sorry pup." The unknown demon released Inuyasha into his arms and held him in a tight embrace.
"I love you." Inuyasha snuggled against the older demon's chest.
"I love you too, little brother."
"Inuyasha has a brother." Kagura gasped.
"A half-brother, Sesshoumaru, a full youkai who still lives in the Western Lands. Son of the famous tai-youkai, Inu no Taisho – Lord of the Western Lands."
Kagura left immediately to tell Naraku, a she explained about the relationship the brothers' shared her master's eyes lit up; as soon as she had finished Naraku rose to his feet and began to glide from the room
"Come Kagura, we leave tonight for the Western Lands."