Disclaimer: No, I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters… sigh.

Chapter One: A Stormy Night

The clouds were gathering rapidly in the sky around Kaede's village. The people bustled around restlessly trying to get things done before the rain hit. In Kaede's hut Miroku, Sango, Kirara, and Shippo sat inside around a hot fire that was cooking their dinner.

"I hope Inuyasha comes back late so he doesn't try to eat all of our food," Shippo said crossly. Sango giggled and nodded in agreement while Kirara concurrently let out a "Mew!"

Miroku fumbled with his fingers nervously while staring at the floor; letting out an uneasy laugh at Shippo's comment. Sango watched the monk then cocked and eyebrow, predicting his movements.

She pretended to look away and shifted her weight around. Miroku's temptation gave way and he slowly reached out to stroke her bottom. Sango was silently laughing to herself at her lecherous monk's behavior, but put on an angered face.

The moment contact was made she smacked him clean across the face leaving a bright red handprint. She turned her head quickly so Miroku could not see her laugh.

Miroku smiled but his face looked as if he was in a dazed trance. He stared at Sango affectionately then broke his gaze and stood up. He walked to the door of the hut and peered out. "I wonder when Kagome will be back since she went home for a little bit. She said she would be here for dinner," Miroku said, turning around and returning to his seat beside Sango.

The sky was dark and blackened. The wind had stopped so it was eerily quiet. Kagome stood by the Bone Eater's Well looking in her backpack for an umbrella. She paused and looked up at the black mass of clouds moving swiftly across the sky.

'Not like an umbrella would help me in a lightning storm,' Kagome thought to herself. She buckled her backpack and looked up at Goshinboku expecting to see Inuyasha there staring down at her from up in the tree.

"I'm really not in the mood to go back yet," Kagome spoke aloud. She pulled her yellow bag onto her shoulders and started to walk.

Kagome had been feeling a strange aura ever since she had returned from the long journey she was on the day before. She was now the new holder of the Shikon no Tama.

For some reason Naraku had given up the rest of the purified pieces of the jewel. Kagome was under the impression that the evil monster had found something more reliable and powerful which worried her greatly.

Kagome trudged on through the rich grass and lush trees. She knew the storm would start soon since the forest was still and the humidity was hanging in the air. 'I wonder what Naraku has found, to give up the possession of the Shikon jewel,' she thought.

'Wait!' Kagome stopped abruptly, 'I know that aura, but why do I feel it here?' Kagome looked around but saw nothing. She shrugged her shoulders and continued on towards Kaede's village. 'I think I'm going to sit down and relax for a few minutes,' Kagome told herself.

Kagome walked up to the bridge of the river that, when crossed, led to Kaede's village. She stopped and took a step back.

"This is a perfect place to relax for a bit, the calm before a storm strikes is so relaxing, I might as well enjoy it," Kagome mumbled. She walked away from the bridge and found a low section on the bank that was pretty flat and sat down.

Kagome looked at the clear water that flowed without viscosity. The fish swam freely through the currents and Kagome smiled. 'This era is just so beautiful; at home the best example of this would be going to the aquarium.'

Kagome removed her shoes and then took her socks off. She stood up and waded into the river. A shiny sleek stone was large and tall enough for her to stand on. Kagome stepped on top of it and stood. She could smell the rain from the distance and felt a cool breeze rush past her that rustled her hair.

She lifted a hand to smooth her black locks back when a large gust of wind came. It hit Kagome with force and she lost her balance, flailing her arms as she tried desperately to regain her balance. Her attempts were in vain and just before hitting the water she heard a loud crack of thunder and lightning flashed across the landscape.

Kagome gasped for breath and hit the water as it cascaded around her. She opened her eyes and saw fish darting around and bubbles everywhere. Stroking hard, she swam for the surface noticing that it was blurry and distorted looking. She hit the surface only to be pelted by a complete downpour.

The rain shattered through the nighttime and Kagome couldn't see her hand in front of her face.

Every time she tried to open her eyes she was welcomed to rain stinging her eyes like thousands of bees. Pulling her chin to her chest, Kagome waded towards what she thought was the bank and hit a tall wall.

'Shit!' This must be the wrong side, this is way too high, I can't get out, I can't see, and I have no clue where I'm at in the river!' She thought, panicking. Kagome's heart sped up as she felt an evil aura coming close to her.

'Oh no, I don't have my bow, it's on the bank with all of my other stuff, and I'm so vulnerable right now,' Kagome thought rapidly.

A cold chill ran down her spine as she felt a hand grasp her around her neck. She was lifted out of the water, dripping, by her neck. Kagome thrashed and flailed but to no avail, the hand would not loosen its grasp. She tried to gasp for air but only got mouthfuls of water, causing her to choke.

Kagome was roughly thrown onto the ground. 'This is the aura I felt earlier, I know who it belongs to, but why would they be doing this?' Kagome wondered. She held her hand up against the falling rain and saw a black silhouette hovering above her. Thunder cackled and lightning lit up the landscape.

Kikyou stood there, glaring down upon the soaked and exhausted miko.

"Why are you doing this?" Kagome shouted against the howling wind. Kikyou grinned, "You have taken everything from me, my jewel, Inuyasha, and part of my soul. It amazes me that my reincarnation has such power and I have to watch you use it while I stand here as a rotted piece of clay," Kikyou stopped and closed her eyes. "We will meet again, today is not the day." With that she turned and walked away into the darkness and soon disappeared.

Kagome sat up, wind cutting across her soaked body that made her shiver. "Why would she leave like that? There must be something…" "Kagome! Where are you?" Kagome instantly recognized the voice to belong to Inuyasha. "Inuyasha! Over here! Help me!" Kagome yelled into the stormy night.

A warm hand touched her shoulder and though she couldn't see it because of the rain she knew it was Inuyasha. "Oh Inuyasha, thank goodness, I was so scared," Kagome said and nestled her head into his arm.

"You idiot! What are you doing out here? You should be back at the village!" Inuyasha yelled.

"Well I'm sorry I'm such an inconvenience to you, don't you even care? Why don't you just leave me here and I'll find my own way back," Kagome said harshly. But in her head she was deeply upset that the hanyou was being so rude to her after her dangerous experience.

Inuyasha put his hand on her head and whispered, "Well, I'm just glad you're okay and didn't get hurt or drown." The hanyou felt a little guilty about his outburst before since it looked like she had been through hell.

He lifted his head and pulled off his fire rat robe. "You're shaking, cold, and wet, here, this should help," Inuyasha said, as he wrapped it around her.

Its instant warmth enveloped her body. She was very happy that Inuyasha had found her. Kagome reached up and grabbed the side of his head and pulled it down.

"My stuff, it's probably soaked, but I can't leave it here, will you please get it?" She asked pleadingly.

Inuyasha grinned and a fang popped over his lip, "Only if you have some Ramen in there for me." Kagome giggled, "How could I forget, of course I brought you Ramen." With that, Inuyasha stood up and took long strides over to the bank to pick up Kagome's things.

He had disappeared because of the rain but Kagome waited quietly for him to return. Within seconds Inuyasha returned and crouched down.

"Hop on, you need to get back to the village so you can get warmed up." Kagome roughly got up from her spot on the ground and put her hands on his broad shoulders. She gave a little push and hopped on his back, her stiff joints and muscles twisting in pain. Kagome grimaced and Inuyasha looked back at her.

"Hey are you okay?" he asked very concerned.

"I am just really stiff, and cold, I'm sure everything will be fine when I get warmed up," Kagome tried to smile.

'I don't know, at the least I'm going to get a nasty cold from this,' she thought.

He pushed off and started running quickly towards the village. As they crested the hill Kagome and Inuyasha could see the glow of the village as the rain started to lighten. Inuyasha ran towards Kaede's hut.

"Oh Kagome!" Sango screamed running out from inside the hut. "Oh Kagome, I didn't know what had happened to you- oh my god, you look horrible!" Sango touched Kagome's forehead and quickly removed her hand.

"She's really warm, we need to get her changed and dry," Sango said. Inuyasha nodded his head and waited for Kagome to slide off his back. Inuyasha turned so he could see her face and saw she was snoozing peacefully on his shoulder.

Inuyasha walked into hut and laid Kagome gently onto the floor. Water dripped from his long white hair onto her face, but the miko didn't stir.

'She must be absolutely exhausted, I wonder what happened to her, oh well, questions can wait until she gets her strength back,' Inuyasha thought to himself.

He reached under her and pulled on his red robe gently so he could remove it from her. He took it off her and walked to the corner of the hut and laid it out onto the floor. Inuyasha was soaked himself, but not nearly as bad as Kagome.

"She looks like she went for a swim," Miroku said.

"I actually think she might have, I found her near the river," Inuyasha replied.

"I think ye all are in need of a good night's rest," Kaede said as she walked into the hut. "Kagome needs to rest, she be tired and in need of some rest as do ye all."

"I agree with Kaede, that's what we all need to do, right boys?" Sango said, looking expectantly at them.

Miroku knew this glare as the 'If you don't do what I tell you to I am going to throw a fit.' look.

"Yes Sango, I agree," Miroku said sheepishly.

"Feh." Inuyasha said with distaste, receiving an angry glare from Sango.

Inuyasha sat down in the corner of the hut, far away from everyone else. He tilted his head forward and closed his eyes. Images of Kagome limp on the ground, cold and shaking flashed through his mind before the darkness of sleep took over.