~Chapter Two~

Seekers of the Sacred Jewel

OoO

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nada. So sue me.

Calliope & Clio: sharpen scythes

Jen: No! So don't sue me! You wouldn't get anything even if you did!

Summary: Basically, it's the plot of Inuyasha with everything switched around and turned upside down. Kagome is the hanyou, who is sealed by the priest Sesshoumaru and released by his reincarnation, Inuyasha. It will follow canon for a little while, but it should branch off soon.

Pairings: Inuyasha/Kagome, plus some Sesshoumaru/Kagome (like the canon Inuyasha/Kikyou). I will probably try to work in a little one-sided Ayame/Inuyasha and Kouga/Ayame, if only for comic relief.

Author's Note: Contrary to popular opinion, I am, in fact, alive. Sorry to keep you all waiting for so long! (To NinjaDancer: Okay! I updated! Don't hurt me!)

Thanks to Janzo the Ashbringer for pointing out a glaring error.

OoO

By morning, the little village had become a hub of activity. It seemed like all of the villagers had gotten together to rebuild the houses that the centipede-thing had destroyed. Inuyasha felt vaguely sorry for indirectly causing all of this, but he had bigger problems on his hands.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I HAVE TO PROTECT THIS THING?"

Jaken was unfazed by his outburst, and simply continued rubbing some sort of nasty-smelling greenish stuff onto his wounds. "Simmer down, Inuyasha, or the salve will smear."

Inuyasha grumbled, but sat back down again. The smelly stuff- he wasn't sure if he even wanted to know what was in it- was stinging like hell, but Jaken had promised that it would speed up the healing process. Inuyasha was really missing the local pharmacy right about then.

"The jewel flew from inside your body. It is, therefore, your burden." Jaken continued, oblivious to Inuyasha's death-glare. "Many will try to steal it, like Mistress Centipede last night. And it won't just be demons." He stood, crossing to the other side of the tiny hut. "The jewel can amplify human talents as well." He picked up what looked like a wad of cloth. It turned out to be cloth bandages. Inuyasha couldn't help but wonder if they were even sanitary.

"Anyone with evil in their heart will be drawn to the jewel. Ye must be on your guard, Inuyasha." Jaken finished wrapping the bandage.

Inuyasha fingered it gingerly. "So it's a magnet for evil. Great, just effing great. Most of my teachers think I'm the spawn of the devil, so why do I feel repulsed by the dumb thing?"

Jaken whacked his staff about half an inch to the left of Inuyasha, nearly cracking the floor. "Be not so impertinent. Ye must have a pure soul, if you are who I believe you to be."

"And that is…?" Inuyasha was getting sick of archaic grammar. Really sick.

"The jewel was burned with the body of my dead brother Sesshoumaru. For it to be inside your body with ye none the wiser, ye must be his reincarnation. I had suspected from the beginning, but it was that that proved it."

Inuyasha definitely did not like the sound of that. He also didn't like the stead thumping coming from the other side of the room, and in his male brain, concrete annoyance was more pressing than the abstract.

"What are you still hanging around for, anyway?" He growled at the tail-tapping neko.

Kagome glanced up, her slitted eyes almost meeting his own. "What else? I'm waiting for you to give me the jewel. It's not like you can use it. You don't even like it! So, I'll just wait here until you plan on being less selfish."

Inuyasha glared at her back. "What do you need with power, anyway? You seem pretty strong to me."

She gave an exaggerated sigh, turning around again. "Isn't it just like a boy, making assumptions like that!"

"For all of her strengths, Kagome is only a half-demon. For over fifty years, she's wanted to steal it to become a full-blood." Jaken cut in.

"Sure, old man. Like you know anything about me."

Jaken raised a bushy eyebrow. "Do ye really not remember me, Kagome? Fifty years can change a man, and I have grown old from the boy you once knew. Still, your nose has been boasted of on many occasions. Has it withered away to nothing?"

Kagome wrinkled her nose, dilating it rapidly. An odd look crossed her face. "Jaken…? Sess- The bastard's- shadow of a baby brother?"

Jaken nodded sagely, "It is I."

Kagome snorted loudly. "I guess He must really be an old geezer by now, if you're this old."

"Nay, Kagome, do ye not remember that, either? You killed him even as he killed you."

An expression of pure shock hit her face, but she quickly masked it with one of disdain. "Perfect. That saves me the trouble of killing him now." She daintily raised a clawed hand, "And killing an old man would hardly be sporting, anyhow."

"Save your talk, Kagome. As I said before, Inuyasha is clearly the reincarnation of my dead brother."

Inuyasha felt that the conversation was spiraling out of control, and that this would be a good time to assert himself. "Hey, not for nothing old man, but couldn't this just be some freaky coincidence about the jewel? Like, somehow I swallowed it as a baby and it got embedded into my insides or something? 'Cause it looks like the sort of thing that my grandpa would have lying around the house."

Jaken looked bemusedly over at Inuyasha. "Nay, Inuyasha, there is no doubt in my mind. Even without the jewel, you appear to have inherited his psychic power. And even without his power, you look extraordinarily like him. The shape of your cheekbones, the exact amber shade of your eyes, and the unnatural-looking silver hair… You are even glaring at me with the exact expression I knew so well as a boy."

Inuyasha was glaring at him. He didn't like be analyzed like that! Especially by some creepy old guy who he knew next-to-nothing about. He searched his repertoire for a comeback, but only hit on one.

"My hair looks unnatural because it is unnatural. I dye it." So there, old man. "I was planning on redoing it again tomorrow- look; you can see that my roots are black."

Jaken raised an eyebrow, and before Inuyasha knew what he was doing, he had roughly pulled a strand of hair straight from the roots.

"OW! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT… for…?"

Inuyasha looked at the lock that the smirking Jaken held out to him. It was silver, alright, from the ends- split, not that he cared- to where he had torn them from the roots. In the flickering light of the room, the hairs glistened: not with his familiar dye-job dullness, but with a natural sheen. Something very odd was going on here.

For once in his life, Inuyasha found himself comeback-free.

OoO

"It is your duty to protect the jewel, Inuyasha. You released it once more into the world, and so it is you who will keep it until it may again leave."

Inuyasha fingered it gingerly, toying with its odd necklace. He refused point-blank to wear it, so he was reduced to carrying it around everywhere.

"I've gotta protect this jewel…? This little pink Hitomi-reject? No effing way, gramps. This is nuts." he muttered; making his way through, and hopefully out of, the village.

Several villagers were watching him and muttering. He managed to catch a few scattered phrases- "Really? He thinks so?" "Sesshoumaru-sama!" "Reincarnation…!" - that did nothing to alleviate his bad mood. He glared at their looks of near-worship, and said nothing in greeting.

Elsewhere, in an equally bad but more emotionally taxing mood, Kagome sat. The elsewhere in question was a branch about halfway up the Goshinboku, and she was lost in thought.

"Dead…" she murmured to herself, staring at nothing, "I wouldn't think it possible… Not him. He always seemed so untouchable."

"HEY, KITTY! IF YOU'RE DONE MOPING, THE OLD GUY SENT ME WITH LUNCH!"

Kagome almost fell off her branch, "Don't sneak up on me like that!" She jumped down, landed lightly on her feet, and brushed herself off. She glowered at Inuyasha, "And I was not moping!" She grabbed the basket that Inuyasha had been holding, and defiantly took a bite of some kind of fish-and rice…something. "And my name isn't kitty! It's Kagome!" she added as an afterthought.

"Keh. Suuure you weren't." Inuyasha didn't particularly care, so he let the matter slide. Let the kitty mope, it wasn't his problem. On the other hand, he didn't like the shifty look she was giving him.

"Why do you hate me?"

"Wha-?" Kagome looked up from her rice, swallowing.

"Why do you hate me? I'm the one who let you off of that tree, remember? You should be thanking my ass for setting you free, not glaring at me when you think I'm not looking."

"Who says I wanted to be set free?" she shot back, but her heart wasn't in her words.

"Look. I know there was bad blood between you and this Sesshoumaru guy, alright? But read my lips: that wasn't me. I don't care how much you hated the guy, because I'm not him! I'm Inuyasha!"

"Are you stupid or what? I don't care who you are! In order to get the Sacred Jewel, I have to be merciless!" she snapped, her tough guise returning full-force.

"I see." Inuyasha deadpanned, "Sorry, but that ain't gonna be any time soon. And if you try and take it, all I have to do is say "down-""

CRASH!

"Oops, sorry! I didn't mean it that time!"

"Damn you." Kagome groaned; her teeth clenched.

Later that night, Inuyasha tossed and turned as he tried to sleep. "Two days." he murmured, "It's been two days since I feel through that creepy well. Somebody's bound to have called the cops by now… Or am I just hallucinating? Am I really at home, this very minute, babbling nonsense about catgirls and girly jewels?"

"Nah." he rolled over, pulling his blanket up to his eyes, "Even I'm not crazy enough to think up something like this."

And with that comforting thought, he finally managed to drift off into sleep.

Outside the hut, Kagome hissed threateningly at a flock of crows that had gathered, attracted by the presence of the jewel. "It's mine, you pesky bunch of vermin. Shoo!"

The birds obeyed, cawing mockingly back at her.

Kagome flexed her claws in irritation, "Damn it… Not even a crow will take me seriously anymore… I need to get back up to my old strength!"

OoO

Inuyasha had been thinking, a fairly unusual pastime for him. By the time he woke up, he had a plan formulated in his mind, so obvious that he was kicking himself mentally for not noticing it earlier. The well! He had fallen down the well to get here; jumping back in it ought to take him home. Or to some other random time period. Still, it couldn't hurt to try.

He woke early, much earlier than he normally would have, tingling with excitement. Perhaps sleep deprivation elevated his mood, but he knew that he was going home. Home… a place he hated with all of his adolescent heart, and loved with all of his maturity. So, he mostly hated it. But now, he was aching for something familiar, and the god tree didn't count.

He tiptoed out of the hut, slunk out of the village as quietly as he could, and punched the air as soon as he escaped into the forest. He was getting out of there!

About an hour later, the village was on full red alert. Jaken paced back and forth around the village center.

"It's no good, Jaken-sama! The boy is nowhere to be found!"

Jaken frowned, sighing, "That boy… I should have taken more care to warn him of those who would steal the jewel! There is no way that he could protect himself from even a rudimentary youkai, let alone a strong one. He should have been told the dangers of venturing out alone."

Kagome, standing on the roof, grimaced. Whatever that idiot had decided to do, he once again proved his lack of sense. She jumped down and started running.

Speaking of rudimentary, Inuyasha barely had time to be lost before being pounced on by a large burly man. He stuck his hairy knuckles in the teen's mouth, "Don't scream, pretty boy."

Inuyasha got one look at the crowd of thugs before a blindfold was thrust over his eyes. He felt himself hoisted over what was presumably the bandit's shoulder, and the bouncing that meant he was running. Joy.

When he finally stopped and took the blindfold off, Inuyasha found himself in a clearing. There was a smallish, dilapidated hut in the center, and several more thugs were gathered around it. Even though the rational part of his mind knew he had no chance of fighting these guys, the majority of his mind was pissed.

"Boss! I captured him, just like you ordered!" yelled the bandit that still had a hold of him. His voice irritated Inuyasha: high pitched and rough at the same time.

Another bandit peered at him, "He really has some strange clothes on. What kind of guy dresses in such flimsy stuff?" He pulled at the buttons on Inuyasha's shirt.

Inuyasha twisted and pulled himself out of the large men's grasp. "Why did I have to be wearing my school uniform? Never again, I swear." he muttered, falling to the ground with a crunch.

"Give me the Jewel." The voice was slow and monotonous, as if it barely knew how to talk.

The boss of the thugs, a fat and big man, trudged slowly towards Inuyasha. He unsheathed his sword, as two goons grabbed his arms.

"What the fu-"

"Yeah, Boss! Slice 'im in half!"

"Let me go!" Inuyasha struggled, managing to discomfort his captors, but no more than that.

"Start praying!" one of the thugs sniggered.

The boss, to Inuyasha's relief and amazement, sliced open one of the goons that was holding him.

"B-Boss!" the thug chocked, blood spurting everywhere.

"Made a mistake…" the boss mumbled, still in the same creepy monotone. He pulled his sword out, readying for another attack. He swung his sword clumsily several times, but his aim seems somewhat off: he wounded another two of his goons before they got the picture and backed off.

"Boss, where the hell are you aiming? It's him! Aren't you gonna kill this guy?" bleated one of the thugs, pushing Inuyasha forward.

"What the hell are you doing? There's obviously something wrong with your boss, even I can see that!" Inuyasha punched the goons holding him, and was satisfied to hear the crunch of a broken nose. Man, he should have tried that earlier.

"I don't care in the least if you guys get killed, but if you care, you oughtta get out of here right now!"

The boss swung his sword at them yet again, but this time they all managed to squat and dodge. The thugs ran off in separate directions, leaving Inuyasha to fend for himself.

"Why me? I know I'm no angel, but do I really deserve this?" he kvetched to himself as he ran. He almost tripped over one of the mercenaries, who had fallen. He roughly pulled the other up, not bothering to listen to the awkward thanks.

"I knew keeping the stupid thing was a bad idea!" he groaned to himself, as the eerie leader of the thugs yet again demanded that he hand it over. Rather than following the instruction, he opted for shoving the man he had helped up at his comrades, and trying desperately to find a way out. In his desperation, he barely noticed the jewel falling out of his pocket.

He braced himself. The boss, with his unnatural, almost drunk gait, swung his sword closer and closer—

WHAM!

A black-and-green blur charged into the clearing, knocking the sword clear out of the creepy boss's hands. Before he even had time to react, his head had been torn from his shoulders.

Kagome smirked and was obviously about to say something, but she was interrupted as decapitated boss stood and lunged at her. She clawed at him again, but missed—pulling off his shirt, but not hitting him.

A cloying scent filled the air, and Inuyasha's head swam. Whether it was from the reek of rotten flesh, or simply the sight of a crow's nest sticking out of the man's chest, he didn't know. He wasn't even aware that he had sat down until Kagome scoffed at him.

"What's the matter, kid? A corpse crow is nothing to be afraid of." she taunted, emphasizing her point by easily killing the bird as it tried to escape its host. Without its passenger, the corpse of the mercenary's boss collapsed to the ground.

"He must've been dead for a few days, judging by the reek. The crow ripped out his heart and made its nest in there- bloody cowards, these birds." She looked as if she was going to sniff disdainfully, but thought better of it. After all, she did have a sensitive nose.

Inuyasha murmured an embarrassed thank you, but Kagome wasn't interested.

"I didn't do this for you; I want the jewel! Please tell me you didn't do something stupid, like losing it?"

"Of course not!" Inuyasha couldn't believe the nerve of the girl. Here he was, apologizing—something he never did, and she just threw it pack in his face! "The dumb thing's right here in my…" he trailed off, as his search of his pockets revealed no jewel.

Kagome had looked up during his little musings. A demon boar snuffled into the clearing. She debated killing it, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. Only upon hearing Inuyasha's rather more frantic searching did she notice the small glint of pink in the grass.

She sprang, but the boar beat her to it. It swallowed the little pink thing before she reached it, and bolted.

"You IDIOT!" Kagome was livid. Inuyasha quailed. Some girls were hot when they were angry. This one was just plain terrifying!

"I… uh…" he stuttered.

"Save your explanations, dimwit, it's getting away!" Before he realized what was going on, she had pulled him, piggyback style, onto her back. Inuyasha found himself blushing against his will, but the cat demon had other plans. Seeing one of the mercenaries' swords lying on the ground, she picked it up and tossed it back to Inuyasha. Unprepared for its weight, he nearly dropped it.

She then took off full-tilt after the boar. "Sesshoumaru was a master swordsman. You'll be able to see where the jewel is in its body, right? So you can aim way better than I could at a run."

"Are you crazy?" Inuyasha found that he could barely stay on Kagome's back with two arms, let alone swinging an oversized sword. "It's been years since my last kendo lesson, and I never had the opportunity to practice it while playing chicken!"

"Just cut the damn thing open before it decides to transform into something nasty!" Kagome said through gritted teeth.

"A-alright." As the pair approached, the boar sped up. Inuyasha leaned out to strike…

WHAM!

He hit the ground with a loud thump, knocking the wind out of him.

"Erm… You're not lying about whatsisface being a master swordsman, are you?"

Kagome boxed his ear, rather painfully. "No, you idiot! But it looks like we're too late…!"

Indeed, the boar had nearly doubled in size, and was pulsating unpleasantly. Not to mention the third and fourth eyes that had somehow popped up.

It reared, and doubled back, jumping straight over Inuyasha's dazed head. In that split second, he saw a glint of pink and blindly stabbed upward.

BAM!

In the second sound effect in mere paragraphs, Inuyasha proved once again the downside of thinking with testosterone. He felt something crack before being laid flat on his back yet again, wondering how in the name of Dante's Inferno he had managed to make a pig explode.

Little pink flashes flew by. He wondered, still dazed what they were. Sticking out his palm to catch one, he suddenly yelped in pain. A little pink shard of glass had embedded itself in his hand.

But wait. Pulling it out, he realized that it was too hard to be glass. And the color matched-

Inuyasha laughed nervously. "Oops."