Friendships Last Forever

Chapter 1

Sun rises over a small village as its light shines to Kagome's eyes brightly enough to force her to wake up and open her eyes. She sits up slowly and looks around her to find that the others are still very asleep. All but one. Inuyasha is missing.

She gets up quietly, trying not to wake the others, and leaves the hut. Where can that stubborn hanyou be? Why didn't he wake her up and tell her where he went? She sighs heavily and tries to sense his youki. Nothing.

She sighs again and decides to check the nearby forest because it's just one of those places Inuyasha seemed to like to spend time in.

The forest is filled with morning sounds, birds chirping loudly, obviously each trying to sing louder than the others. Kagome smiles. This is how mornings should be, not just here, but also in the Modern Era.

Kagome grins. Her mornings in the Modern Era are filled with sounds of car horns and smell of pollution. In here the air is fresh. She considers seriously of staying here and never to return to her time.

A bear youkai runs through the forest, it's running too fast to manoeuvre perfectly, almost colliding into a tree every once in a while. It glances behind it in every couple of minutes. Such behaviour would tell anyone who might be observing that the creature is running away from something. Additional observation would reveal the pursuer being a figure clad in white.

Sesshoumaru's claws are itching to hunt and he growls. Such weakling can never escape from the likes of him.

After a short pursuit he manages to catch up with the youkai and slashes towards it with his sharp claws.

Low hiss escapes from his throat as the creature manages to evade his strike. He seems to be getting rusty. No wonder, he thinks. I haven't been able to hunt properly for weeks now.

He strikes again, this time with his always-so-useful poison claws. He scratches the creature and sprays some poison right into the youkai's blood circulation. He smirks. I have him now. Then he stops to lean against a tree to watch the creature's pointless attempt to escape, but soon it falls to the ground lifeless.

He studies his past prey dissatisfied. I can do better than this. Suddenly he raises his head as his sensitive ears hear a scream coming from a short distance.

A human female, he snorts. Why should I care what happens to such creature?

He turns to the opposite direction and walks away from the sound, but as the woman screams again, he freezes. He closes his eyes and tries to close his ears from it.

The sound doesn't go away, and with a sigh he realizes that he just can't let it happen. This is about his honour. 'Never let a woman be hurt unless she's your enemy.' Those were the words of his chichi-ue.

Sesshoumaru can still remember the lesson his chichi-ue taught him when he was a kid. His beautiful features tense as he recalls that lesson, which was pretty painful.

Cursing his father for teaching him such a sense of honour, he rushes towards the screams, when they suddenly stop. His keen nose catches a scent of blood. He's sure he recognises this blood.

Finally he reaches a clearing and sees a group of lesser youkai who have gathered around something. He frowns as he slays them with his energy whip before approaching the young woman lying on the ground.

The woman seems to be breathing, but is unconscious. He can see blood on her abdomen. Closer inspection reveals a gash right below her waist.

Sesshoumaru sighs in relief when he realizes that he got here in time. Reason for him feeling like this remains unknown to him. This young woman is just a human. He shouldn't feel this way near any such lowly creature.

He pushes these thoughts away and takes a better look on her. I've seen her before.

His golden eyes narrow as he is trying to remember this female. Her odd clothing vaguely reminds him of somebody.

Suddenly his eyes widen as he remembers where he has seen her before. This is the miko travelling with that worthless half-brother of his.

In silence he goes through his options. For a moment he's tempted by the idea of leaving her here, but he can sense more youkai around. That's out of question. He saved her once. Her life was now under his protection until she's in safe.

He could of course take this woman back to that half-breed, but he can't smell his stench anywhere. Where is that useless hanyou now that I really want to find him?

He frowns when he realizes that he has run out of options. With a sigh he does the only thing he can. Very unwillingly he takes her into his arms and heads for the village he passed some while ago.

When the priestess of a tiny village senses youki outside her hut, she rushes out to find a wounded girl outside her door. This child… Her clothes are odd, but she's a miko. What happened to her? How was she able to get in here in her condition?

She carries her inside her hut and checks her wounds. The gash below her waist doesn't seem to be too deep, so the miko cleans it and puts some ointment on it.

When the wound has been dressed the miko gets outside her hut. She can't stop thinking of one thing that doesn't seem quite right. Is there connection between this child and the youki I felt? Is it possible that a youkai brought her here? Why would such a vile creature help a human?

Finally the miko shrugs deciding that she would have to ask that from the child herself. Then she rushes to talk to the village head of this girl.

In the forest outside the village Sesshoumaru leans against the trunk of the tree he chose. Why did I feel compelled to stay? I do not understand. Could I be that this Sesshoumaru is getting softer? He shakes his head, irritated. That is not possible.

He sighs and takes a better posture on his branch. That half breed should take care of his miko better than this. As soon as he comes to get her back, I'll teach him a lesson. He grins to himself as he imagines what kind of lesson. Then he sighs again. After that I can continue chasing yet another half breed.

He growls as his youkai pride raises its head. Why would he have to care what happens to that human? He rises and decides to leave, but suddenly the memory of her screams fills his mind. That damned Inuyasha! Without his incompetence to protect this girl I would be on my way trying to locate Naraku.

With a heavy sigh he sits back down on his branch and closes his eyes. Even though he still doesn't understand why this girl's safety would be his concern, honour aside, he decides to stay anyway.

In Kaede's village Inuyasha rushes in to Kaede's hut. "I've got a good hint of a shard. Come on!"

The others begin to open their eyes. "Easy, there." Miroku yawns. "It can wait a few more minutes, right"?

Inuyasha looks around the hut, and notices an empty bed. "Hey guys? Where's Kagome?"

Sango is suddenly fully awake. "What?"

Inuyasha sniffs the bed and then the air. "I got her scent!" Suddenly his eyes widen. "Blood!" He rushes out of the hut before the others can stop him.

The others scramble to their feet and follow him with Kirara.

After a moment of silence Sango's worried voice reaches Miroku who's sitting behind her on Kirara's back. "Why would Kagome leave without telling us? That's not like her." She looks at Kirara. "Did you wake up when she left?" The nekomata shakes her head.

Inuyasha glances behind him finding that the others are following him as he runs towards a forest. Shippou holds on to his shoulder. "We have to find her, Inuyasha!"

Inuyasha turns his eyes back in the woods in front of him, ignoring the young kitsune. Kagome, where-ever you are, please be safe. Just hold on a little longer, I'm coming.