Disclaimer: I don't own any characters from Inuyasha, it's the sole property of Goddess Romiko Takahashi, and I cannot take credit for her genius.

Kagome is a college student unaware of the mortal peril she is in. He's a bitter silver – haired Adonis with a checkered past and a vow to protect humans. So when the two meet, it's a given that fireworks follow…

R&R please!!

A/N: A big thanks to my wonderful beta, Rowdyjaner. You are the best! Any mistakes are still all mine!

Her Protector

Chapter 1 - Distraction

Thwack

Thwack

Two bullets slammed into the concrete wall in rapid succession inches away from Sesshomaru's face. 'That was close…too damn close for comfort!'

Even in the utter darkness, the Inuyoukai's long silver tresses gleamed like strands of moonlight spun into being, his teal markings not only proclaiming his youkai heritage but telegraphing his agitated state of mind to the hidden assailant. Without conscious thought, he retracted his huge, volatile aura causing his markings to once again turn into the harmless tattoos that they normally looked like rather than the flashing neon signals that his troubled emotions had turned them into. Once his aura and to an extent, his emotions, were under some semblance of control, he turned his attention to the miserable excuse for an youkai who was shooting at him. Without moving an inch from his position near the open car door, Sesshoumaru again scanned the gloomy parking lot, hoping to catch sight of his elusive mark who had moved like a shadow within the shadows. The flickering single tubelight not helping his cause, he sniffed rapidly, pinpointing the location of the mark, delighted that it was the same boar Youkai whom he was hunting. With a calm, detached expression, he pointed his gun with inhuman speed towards the shadowy corner concealing his target and let fly a bullet.

The resounding thud and hoarse cry told the youkai lord that the bullet had met its mark, the copper smell of blood that bloomed in the stale air of the lot additionally confirming the success. Scanning the surroundings with his senses for other hidden threats, he strode off to attend to his adversary. The youkai was dead, the hollow point bullet having blown off half of his head.

Rubbing a tired hand across his face, now that the danger was past, Sesshoumaru walked back towards the car. His voice betraying none of his emotions, he called out to the hidden man. "It's alright, Mr. Otani. You can come out now."

He watched dispassionately as Kaigaishii Otani, owner of the largest electronics brand in Japan and the target of several death threats, crawled out from under the backseat of the car. Scenting the petrified man's overwhelming fear, the youkai's golden eyes briefly glowed with amusement. 'Whoever named him Kaigaishii sure must have had a good laugh.'

"Relax, Mr. Otani. The threat to your life has been eliminated by this Sesshoumaru."

Flipping his phone open, the youkai lord called the police. Within seconds, the entire parking lot was filled with cops as they took control of the situation. His job and responsibility over, with Mr. Otani safe in the hands of the cops and his regular bodyguards, Sesshoumaru finally dropped his guard and walked back towards his car.

"Well done, Mr. Taisho."

At the sound of the thin, reedy voice, Sesshoumaru showed the first sign of emotion that evening on his usually stoic face. A slight flicker of surprise and annoyance flashed across his face and, just as quickly, was quelled as he turned to face his boss.

He nodded at her and quietly said, "Kaede, thank you."

Stopping him from leaving, Kaede raised her hand imperiously, "Wait! What do you think you are doing here?"

A raised eyebrow was his eloquent reply to her high-handedness. They both knew that Sesshomaru was hardly an ordinary employee and that her control over him was tenous at best and illusionary in reality. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, in the manner that he wanted. It was an obvious fact, one he had clearly made understood in their first dealings, that it was only as a favour that he worked for her. He was the great Sesshomaru Taisho, Lord of the Western Lands, ex-chairmember of the Great Alliance, ex-head of the Inuyoukai packs, and as such answerable to no one. Least of all an old, one-eyed human.

Still, he respected the old woman, who had helped him in some rather difficult times, enough to grace her with a verbal reply. "Doing the job that you hired me for! Protecting his life from his youkai attacker! Solving another case! Take your pick!"

Exasperation clearly writ on her lined face, she shook her head. "Oh Sesshoumaru! This was not your case. Why did you not let Takimaru handle this?"

Golden eyes flashed. "If I had left it to Takimaru, Kaiigashi would have not been alive right now. You notice that he's nowhere in sight. He left his principal alone, thinking the lot to be safe and if not for my being in the vicinity, our client would have become our late client."

A sigh met his astute observation. "Sesshomaru, you are the best undercover bodyguard at Divine Protections. There is no doubt of that. In the past 5 years you have been a valuable asset to my company and have resolved several high-profile celebrity threat situations. I can easily say that you are the best operative that we have ever had."

"Hn! What is your point, Kaede?"

Glancing at his cold amber eyes, she knew he would not like what she had to say next. Mentally girding up her loins, she took a deep breath and continued."The point is that it has come to my notice that you are over-exerting yourself. In all these years you have hardly taken any time off, instead you push yourself case after case. And often, even solve cases that are not yours. Sesshoumaru, I think you need to…"

His cold façade grew colder as he growled at her. "Do not presume to tell this Sesshoumaru what he needs. Drop it now, Kaede."

"No! I will NOT drop this. I cannot stand aside and watch you endanger yourself or the lives of your clients." She placed her hand on his shoulder and softly said, "In the past, you would have detected the mark and taken him down before he could even think of taking a shot at the client. Today, the mark shot at you twice before you could get a fix on him. Twice!"

If possible, Sesshomaru grew even more chilly, his voice dripping icicles. "Woman! Cease troubling me. He got lucky, nothing else. I know how to protect my clients so I don't need your lectures. What I need is another case…maybe something connected to the Eyeless murders."

Kaede rolled her eyes, one of the few people who could do it and get away with it, alive. "Sesshoumaru you leave me no choice – as of today you are on leave for a week. Do not come to Divine Protection. Even if you come, I will not assign you any new cases. I will instruct all other operatives not to share details of their cases with you." Even as he opened his mouth, she continued, showing a streak of ruthlessness that was not evident at first glance. "There is no point in trying to argue. I know what I am doing and my mind is made up. You know I am right!"

Patting his arm, trying to soothe the waves of anger she felt from him, she sighed and said, "I'm sorry, Sesshoumaru, but you have to stop punishing yourself this way. It was a long time ago and you were not at fault. She…"

"Enough!!" The enraged youkai thundered, his inner rage finally manifesting itself on his face. "Don't you…" Abruptly, he turned around and strode away to the car, his roiling emotions robbing him of the ability to continue. Wrenching the car door open, he got in and slammed it close. He took a few deep breaths and rested his head against the steering wheel to clear his head and calm himself. Kaede's words had once again refreshed the wounds in his heart. 'Not my fault? Of course, it was my fault. ALL my fault….What I did was beastly…I failed her…I should have…'

He howled mournfully as memories of her crashed down on him. Memories that he had tried so hard to forget and that ripped his heart into pieces. Memories of the pain on her face when he had betrayed her trust, when he had broken his vow. Memories of her …

Shaking miserably, he fought to overcome his emotions. It wouldn't do for anyone to see him, Sesshoumaru Taisho, Lord of the Western Lands, like this. It had taken him years to build a reputation as a cold, heartless killing machine. After all, he had a name and title to live up to. He had to be strong and imposing. No one knew the tangled mess of emotions that he was inside. No one except for Kaede. And Rin!

"Rin!" He breathed her name in relief, like a drowning man who had been given a life-preserver. 'I should give her a call, she must be worried.' Now that he had a purpose, he straightened up again and called home.

"Moshi-moshi! Taisho residence, Rin speaking."

Just hearing her voice calmed him. "Rin."

He could almost hear the smile in her voice as she replied sultrily, "Hey! How's the case turning out?"

"I've wrapped it up. Another success!" Rin's silence effectively conveyed her opinion on the matter of his working so hard, and the youkai quickly cast around for a safer topic to discuss. Something that would distract her from delivering a lecture quite similar to the one he had already received. "What about your application to Tokyo University?"

"Sessy!" she squealed in an excited voice completely opposite to her earlier sensual one, her attention totally diverted by his question. "I can't believe it. I got through! I never thought that I would, given the mess that my earlier transcripts are. But despite all odds, they want me to join them for this session! Isn't that great?"

Smiling slightly at the power of the Taisho name, that had the dean of the University tripping over his feet to accommodate Rin's application, he injected the required enthusiasm in his tone. "Of course! It's unfeasible that they could have ever turned down an absolute gem like you! They would have been stupid not to let you join. Anyway, we've got a celebration on our hands! Where do you want to go to?"

A slight hesitation on the other end told him that he would not like the place she was about to suggest. And he was right.

"How about Poison?"

He frowned at the strange name. "Poison?"

Her voice all but bubbled with her keenness as she enthused. "It's the hottest new club in town! Lovely DJ and a great ambience! Everyone's been talking about it!" Knowing his general disdain with clubs, she tried wheedling with him. "Please, Sesshomaru! You said that I could decide and it's been so long since I last visited a club. Please…for me?"

He grinned humorlessly, knowing that he could never say no to his vixen when she used that soft, needy tone with him. Which is why she used it so effectively to get her way. She had him wrapped around her little finger and he loved it. So, even though it would be torture for him to bear the loud music and the crush of humanity, not to mention the overwhelming bouquet of scents and smells that would pervade the place, he found himself agreeing to her request.

"Well! I did say that you could decide…so…sure!" He moved the phone away from his ear as her excited squeal nearly deafened him. "I'll meet you there in another be there in another fifteen minutes."

Snapping the phone close, Sesshoumaru smiled. Rin was his saviour. No matter how depressed, frustrated or angry he was, she had an uncanny knack for making him smile. The earlier feelings of guilt and sadness had mostly retreated to the corner of his mind where they permanently resided. The remaining few twinges would be banished with the help of a punishing case of drunkenness. Pulling away from the parking lot, Sesshoumaru prayed that Rin would not be late for he needed the balm her company gave to his scattered emotions. 'Rin, please hurry to me. I need the distraction!'

xxXxxXxxXxx

"I need the distraction."

"Kagome, honey, I would do anything for you, and you know it. But, you know it's not safe these days for young girls to be loitering around."

"Inuyasha! Come on, don't be a babyyyyy. It'll be fun. And, plus, what do I have to fear with you around me. I mean, with a powerful hanyou like you for a friend, who's gonna mess with me?"

"Keh! I'm being serious, wench"

"As am I. Ever since the Eyeless murders, mom's gone ballistic. She won't let me step out of the house. I'm dying here. Please Inuyasha, in a couple of day's we'll be back at Tokyo University. Can't we just chill out for one evening?"

"Kagome, you'll be the death of me. Okay! Against my better judgment…where are we going?"

"I thought we could go to Poison."

"Poison? You sure don't aim low do you?" When disapproving silence met his caustic words, he snorted. "Keh…See you there in twenty minutes. Bye!"

"Bye!"

Kagome Higurashi closed the phone and did a small victory dance. Today she was planning to party till she dropped. And not just party anywhere, she was going to the hottest club in town with her best friend. Almost quivering in excitement, Kagome quickly slipped into denim cargos and a figure hugging black and red halter-top with a plunging neckline. Satisfied that she was ready for a night on the town, she applied a light lip gloss and ran down the stairs.

"Kagome! Where do you think you're going?"

'Caught! That's just what I need. Kami! Why has mom become so controlling suddenly?' Mentally cursing her luck, Kagome turned around to face her mother. "Mom, I'm going out with Inuyasha."

"Inuyasha?" Satori chewed her lip thoughtfully. She knew that Inuyasha was her daughter's best friend and would protect her no matter what. Looking at the rising look of resentment on her daughter's face, Satori knew that this was one time she would have to back down. They had fought enough this past month about Kagome going out of the house alone and Satori knew that Kagome would lash out if she was kept cooped up any longer. Plus, she was going with Inuyasha. Smiling brightly she injected a teasing tone in her voice, "Oh! How sweet! Of course you can go. I wouldn't want to keep the two of you apart…"

Kagome blushed, "Mommmmm! You know there's nothing like that between us. Inuyasha and I've been friends like forever now and you still keep teasing us. For the last time, I like him a lot, he may be everything a girl wants but me and him like that…no way!"

Satori smiled mysteriously. 'I wonder how long she will deny it. He's her fate, it has been foretold, and I just wonder when SHE will finally realize it.'

"Fine! Go have fun. I…" Satori hesitated, trying to find words to describe her apprehension that something bad was going to happen, "I know that Inuyasha is capable of taking care of you but... just be careful. Ever since your dad passed away, I worry so much about you and now…" Her breath caught as she looked misty-eyed at the daughter who was almost like her friend. Her fears had just cause since it was only a short time to Kagome's birthday, when things would, finally, get some sort of resolution. 'I can't even tell you the danger you are in, my child. There is so much that I have hidden from you…so many secrets… Kami! I just hope I'm wrong about these feelings.'

Smiling brightly, Kagome fingered her necklace which had a beautiful angel pendant hanging from it. "Don't worry, Mom. I have my protector right here. Between Dad's protection pendant and Inuyasha's surly and protective nature, I'll be just fine."

Satori looked at the pendant and sighed. 'Time grows short. The truth will have to be told to her soon. If only I could avoid it, somehow!'

As Kagome walked towards the door, her mother called out, "Don't be late!" Clasping her hands in anxiety as the girl disappeared from sight, she whispered. "And be safe!"

xxXxxXxxXxx

Getting into Poison was no problem for the excited girl. With the recent spate of murders across town, dubbed by the media quite morbidly as the Eyeless murders, a large number of people had taken to staying at home after dark. So there were no serpentine queues outside, but still the place was chock-a-bloc with people. Kagome realized why this place was so popular when she stepped through the entrance. One entire wall of the club was being used as the bar, while the other side of the club was the dining area with tasteful seating space. A number of recessed alcoves, covered with thick drapes, were reserved for those anxious to dine in privacy. The center of the club consisted of a humungous dance floor which was teeming with people.

Kagome looked around with mild trepidation. 'How am I going to find Inuyasha in this crowd?'

She started walking towards the dance floor when suddenly she caught a flash of silver hair in the dimly lit bar area. As she reached the bar, she walked towards the man who was slumped against the bar with his head on the bar counter. Though his face was covered with hair, she recognized that silver mane. It could be only one person. 'I can't believe him! He started without me.'

Feeling mischievous, Kagome went up to him and pressed herself against his back. She leaned into his ear and whispered, "Hey handsome! I promised you a good time tonight. Don't you fall asleep on me."

A brief tingle was all the warning Kagome got that something was very wrong about the male in front of her, before he raised his head and turned to look at her. The person against whom she was so intimately pressed had the same molten gold eyes and the same silver hair as her friend but that's where the resemblance ended. Instead of Inuyasha's warm and sweet features, the stranger's features were cold and harsh. His glorious hair fell to his waist, compared to Inuyasha's mid back length. He had four purple markings across his face and a teal crescent on his forehead. He was also, Kagome realized, better looking than Inuyasha, though in a very stark and imposing manner. And, he was a FULL youkai.

Her mouth open in consternation, Kagome began panicking. She knew it was never a good idea to mess with youkai, especially drunk ones who were staring at her in that interested manner. 'That's not Inuyasha! It's a youkai and I…Shit! Way to throw yourself at a feral being like a hooker in heat!' She sprang away from him as if burned and made to run but his arm snaked out and drew her tight against him. She gasped and looked at him in surprise.

His eyes burned bright as Sesshoumaru's mouth curved into a slight hint of a smile. "I think you owe me a good time tonight, woman!"

TBC…

A/N: IMPORTANT: Please read before going to next chapter!

This is a Sessy / Kag pairing, but there will be other pairings between other characters. Please do not review pointing out that this is not a PURE Sess/Kag fic.

Please do not leave anonymous reviews, even if they are critical reviews, as I always like to reply to my reviewers.

And, finally, give this story a chance. I know you will like it::GRINS::

Please R&R, will appreciate!