As per usual, I don't own any of these characters. Please enjoy this parody responsibly, and in moderation.

Chapter 1: Kagome, the shard hunter

All was peaceful in the quiet clearing where Kagome and friends made camp. Kagome was making use of the downtime to catch up on her homework. Shippo lay curled next to her, enjoying her warmth and the occasional touch of her hand. Sango was preparing dinner, which consisted of 2 healthy hares. Miroku was helping her, which consisted of pinching her rear, saying outlandishly unromantic things, and generally being a bother. Kagome tuned their squabbling out, knowing that their petty and highly unconvincing argument would serve as a good enough excuse for them to stay behind and not interfere in the action to come.

A shadow fell across Kagome's book. She looked up, already knowing who to expect due to the dog ears she had seen on the shadow's head.

"Kagome, the local village has been complaining about a demon that's been terrorizing them. They say it's small, but it does so much damage that it's likely it has a jewel shard or two. I need you to come with me to check it out. I'm sure that even though it's small, it will turn out to be more powerful than I expect and will probably cause one of us to get injured, because I sure as hell don't plan to ask Sango or Miroku to come along and help. I'm way too macho for that." Kagome blinked at his sudden talkativeness. Inuyasha was already striding away when she put down her book and picked up her quiver and bow.

'Even though I'm not very good at shooting arrows, I'm going to bring these along so I can fire a few in an attempt to prove myself as Kikyo's reincarnation and as a powerful woman in this series,' Kagome thought to herself as she jogged to catch up with Inuyasha. Even though she was glad that he needed her to detect jewel shards, she couldn't help but feel the sting when she realized that was really all he needed of her. 'Every time I think I might have a chance with him, Kikyo shows up to lure him off in the forest, put him in a trance, and try to take him to hell with her. Then I show up, see them in a mildly compromising position, and run home to angst for several days. Despite the occasions that he actually appears to have any emotion for me, I'm not going to say anything to him regarding the state of our relationship and instead convince myself that I'm totally useless to him, save for being a jewel detector.'

Her depressing train of thought was abruptly cut off by Inuyasha's hand on her shoulder and the distinctive sound of a plot device crashing through the forest.

"I think we've found what we are looking for," murmured Inuyasha. He looked at Kagome for confirmation. Thought it hurt her to say it, she nodded and added,

"It could be one very large shard, or even multiple shards. It seems quite powerful. Are you sure that we can handle this on our own?" Inuyasha snorted.

"All I need from you is to tell me where the shards are. I think I can handle one little demon." Then he was bounding away into the forest, following the sound and scent of the demon. Kagome hurried after him, stung by his words but prepared for battle.

After a few minutes, Kagome emerged into a large clearing and came upon Inuyasha, who had already attracted the demon's attention in a manner that had evidently angered it. It looked like a giant lizard, its shoulder as tall as Inuyasha. She scrutinized it for a moment before shouting to Inuyasha, "There are two shards in the right shoulder and one in the left!" He nodded without turning to acknowledge her and attacked. After watching Inuyasha leap and strike with all the grace of an angry feline, Kagome drew an arrow and looked for a vulnerable point on the demon. She decided the eye would be a good weak point, but when she tried to narrow her focus and infuse the arrow with some of her miko energy, she found her vision blurry and her fingers clumsy. She took a deep breath and shook her head and then tried again. This time a wave of nausea washed over her, possibly due to her continued unvoiced inner struggle concerning Inuyasha. Sick and gasping, Kagome let the arrow drop and fell to her knees, fighting to keep down the bile rising in her throat. She didn't realize that, as she did this, the demon, which had turned out to be a bigger challenge than Inuyasha expected, had broken away from him and was lumbering towards her.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha screamed futilely, knowing that he would defeat the plot device only after it had injured her in some dangerous but curable way. He picked himself up out of the hole the demon had backed him into and took off towards Kagome. She, meanwhile, was oblivious until the last instant, when she looked up at the demon helplessly as it struck her, raking its claws across her back. She crumpled to the ground, bleeding and unconscious.

At seeing Kagome collapse, Inuyasha saw red and hacked off the demon's reptilian head with one blow, not needing to continue the battle now that Kagome was properly injured and he could set about caring for her, which is what the readers were eagerly awaiting. He immediately plunged his hands into the demon's shoulders, ripping out the jewel shards and stuffing them into his sleeves unceremoniously. He then ran to Kagome's still form, growling at the painful mess of her back. Hearing her shallow, uneven breaths made him nervous, if possible more nervous than he would be if she were just a friend and shard detector. Inuyasha ignored that feeling and the implications it had and instead gently scooped up Kagome, minding her injuries, and raced back to camp.