Caught

Disclaimer

I do not own Inuyasha.

Summary

Everyone was going crazy. Youkai, in a frenzy, began a conquest of whatever person was most convenient or most liked.

What is a girl to do when she has her nemesis on her tail?

XOX

Her breath caught in her throat when she saw the wild eyes of her hanyou friend focused on her little miko friend. Kagome was breathing hard from their half-battle with their nemesis when something, a terrible feeling, passed over all of them. The white mist rushed into their bodies and passed by in a mere moment. It was still long enough to have an effect. Inuyasha had looked sick at first then almost feral. Sango had seen that look before.

"Kagome! Run!" The taiji-ya screamed. "I don't care where you go but get away from here!" Kagome looked over her shoulder at her friend and understood that the situation needed to be handled in that way. Miroku...he was fighting the incarnations. Hopefully, he was able to hold off Kagura.

I wonder...was anyone else possessed by this awful thing? What happened, exactly?

Humans weren't exactly sensitive to feelings or sounds that youkai experienced. The taiji-ya felt hot breath on the back of her neck and turned around, her mahogany eyes widening immediately. Naraku was standing behind her, his crimson eyes leering down at her. She had never felt so scared in all of her life. The look in his eyes spelled lust. The look froze the blood in her body. She could hear the pounding of her heart in her ears. That was something she couldn't deal with in battle. Not to mention that her Hiraikotsu had been broken in half. So, she did the only thing she could. Sango ran for her innocence; ran as though the devil were at her heels.

"What the hell is going on?" She whispered; hearing his footfalls on the dirt behind her. He didn't have to say anything for her to know exactly what was happening. How was the question on her mind.

Some kind of mating frenzy is going on. What is causing this sudden occurrence? Father always said...something about mating and youkai. I didn't really pay attention to that, though, did I? I should be glad that Kirara and Shippou are back at Kaede-sama's village. Their injuries were too much... It's almost a blessing now.

She was keeping just ahead of him by dodging in and out of trees. Her breathing was still quick from the battle but she knew that if she stopped, Naraku would take the last things she had left. She cursed her luck. If it had been any other youkai, she could most likely defeat them but this was her nemesis. It wasn't that she couldn't defeat him on her own but she was still wounded from her last battle, which had only been a couple of days prior.

Damn!

Her legs wouldn't last too long... How much longer she had left, she had no idea. A village was just ahead. Sango ran right through it. She continued on until she got to a stream and an idea formed in her head. Without hesitation, the taiji-ya launched herself into the freezing water. When she was completely saturated, she got out and rolled in the dirt and grass, not caring how it felt. It would help to conceal her scent and even give her some camouflage. She had learned it when she had passed her first test as a taiji-ya.

"Thank you, Father..." She praised him as she once again got to her feet and began running at a steady pace. Almost sure that the village had distracted her hanyou foe, she was confident at the pace she had set.

If I gain some ground, it will be to my own advantage. I really hope that this works...

A leaf was sticking to her neck but she didn't want to take it off and toss it for fear that he would catch her scent on it. She had no choice but to continue on.

XOX

Sango was panting heavily, her mind forcing her to slow her breathing. Naraku was quick and no matter how many villages she passed, he still caught up to her. It was blacker than coal in the woods and she could hardly see her dirty hand in front of her face, much less any roots in the ground. How many times she had stumbled... It had been dark for a while, which gave her some clue as to how long she had been running. Many hours that seemed like days. When morning dawned, it would be almost a day.

My body is strained and sore. If I don't stop soon...

Her legs would give out. There was no doubt in her mind that she would collapse from exhaustion. The taiji-ya entered a clearing before diving back into the cover of trees. She fell to the ground and felt pain consume her. There was no way she could get back up after that. Three tries to get to her feet and she just gave up, her face pressed into the dirt. Perhaps this thing would pass soon. At least, she hoped it would. Before another thought crossed her mind, she felt darkness try to consume her.

I can't... I can't go to sleep! Stay awake, Sango!

No matter how much she fought it, she was eventually taken by it.

--

Her vision was a little blurry when she opened her eyes. Her entire body felt like dead weight. What was going on? Blinking, the taiji-ya attempted to sit up when searing pain flared through her body.

Damn... I remember now. Naraku...

Sango was stuck in a position she really didn't want to be in. A thought struck her just as she was trying to move again. It could be a trap. He could have found her...but why would he wait? Was it for the thrill of the chase?

Not like it matters anyway. I can't get up.

With a silent scream, she rolled herself to the tree next to her and sat up. A noise made her duck back down immediately, forcing herself to forget the pain.

Shit! He can't find me! I don't want to lose anything else to him!

She moved quickly and quietly through the trees, trying her hardest to keep moving. The poor taiji-ya had no sense in what direction she had taken off in when she had started fleeing. Her senses were all out of whack. Though, she was right when she thought that Naraku was screwing with her. He was behind her, only she didn't know it, didn't hear it.

And he was enjoying his chase.

XOX

Kagome hadn't been able to run as long as Sango had nor did she have the idea to cover her scent. Therefore, she hadn't lasted very long. Keeping Inuyasha at bay had been a fight and she hadn't been able to stop him. The miko opened her eyes and rolled over, hitting Inuyasha's chest.

"Stop moving around, would you?" The hanyou sounded horribly irritated. She was surprised he had stuck around... Though, he would never leave her by herself in the midst of other lust-filled youkai.

"Inuyasha...what happened?" He looked guilty and just plain embarrassed. "What made all of this happen?" She sat up and realized she was only in his haori. Her clothes were in a sad little pile on the side.

"I don't really know. My youki... All I wanted was you. It made me chase you and...take you." The hanyou suddenly got a bad feeling. "Where did you last see them?"

"The battlefield. Sango told me to run and she was left alone with..."

"Fuck!"

--

Sango stumbled, her breathing labored. She had gone at least a couple of miles in that state. Her chest burned and all she wanted to do was let the darkness consume her once again. The taiji-ya finally did collapse, her breathing nothing more than short ragged gasps.

"Having a little bit of trouble?" His dark voice made bile rise in her throat. Sweat dripped down her face as she looked back at him. He had been toying with her the entire time. "You're finished, aren't you? I am tiring of this chase." Her bright eyes were dark with loathing.

"Stay the hell away from me." He grinned at her. His fangs caught her attention. If those grazed her neck... "Leave me alone!"

"As fiery as a youkai, aren't you, taiji-ya?" Disgust rose inside of the woman as she stared at her enemy. He was moving forward once again, ready to take her, to make her his.

--

Miroku was quite confused when Kagura stopped fighting. In fact, the way she was staring at him made him a little disturbed.

"Kagura?" He held his beads in his hand, ready to unleash his Kazaana. The houshi suddenly had a very bad feeling about the youkai. She snapped her fan closed and began walking toward him, her red lips widening slowly into a smirk. "W-What are you doing?" The look in her magenta eyes made him want to run.

"You are a very flirtatious houshi, aren't you? Why do you back away from me?" Her voice was low with a trace of disappointment in her words. The way she walked screamed seduction. "Do you not like what you see?"

"W-What?" When had he developed a stuttering problem? Kagura loosened her obi and widened her smirk. "O-Oh..." A red flush engulfed the houshi's face.

"Are you shy in the face of a real woman, Houshi-sama?" He could see her fangs now. She was kind of scary when she wanted him instead of wanting to kill him. "Come on now, houshi. I won't bite...much." His lecherous side wanted to have a nice little chat with the beautiful youkai but the side that really loved Sango told the lecher to cool off.

"I-I cannot do such a thing on mere impulse." She raised a thin brow, her lips forming into a cute pout.

"Oh, come on. You flirt with any pretty little thing in a kimono yet you tell me no?" Well...if she put it that way, he just sounded stupid.

"I promised Sango-"

"The taiji-ya is probably preoccupied with her own problems right now. Naraku could have possibly been affected by that." His face was completely red with anger instead of embarrassment.

"What!? Then I've-" He was cut off when she suddenly appeared in front of him.

"Got to stay here."

--

Sango felt his blood splatter all over her dirty face. She grit her teeth and pushed harder with her arms so that she could sink her blades deeper into his skin.

"Wench." He still had that menacing smirk on his face. "Do you believe you can hold me off?" Her eyes shone with determination. She wanted him off of her just as much as she wanted him dead. He had begun to take his clothes off. The taiji-ya feared what would happen if he accomplished that.

"I will never let you take me... Not so long as I live." Her mahogany eyes were narrowed and she constantly had to blink because of the blood and dirt that attempted to run into her eyes.

"I doubt if anyone will save you now, Sango. You certainly are not strong enough to fight me off." He chuckled darkly. "I will have you for my own by will or by force. Make your choice." In a surprising burst of strength and anger, she shoved her blades deeper. He jumped away to detach himself from those blades before going right back at her. She tried to fight him off with her fists but he was overpowering her. It seemed like it was almost too easy for him as he held her arms above her head with one hand while the other opened her kimono. "You will be mine." Before he could touch her skin, he was jerked back by a hand on the back of his neck. How could he have been so involved? Sango's eyes were wide with shock. Someone came for her...but it wasn't the someone she'd expected. Sesshoumaru stood there with his amber eyes narrowed in contempt at the back of his foe's head. Naraku began to fight with his hold and finally broke free to turn around.

"Finally...you let your guard down enough for me to take your life." The cold, chilling voice went right through the taiji-ya's body even if he wasn't talking to her. She quickly sat up and covered her exposed flesh. Luckily, Naraku hadn't had time to break her bindings. Without questioning why the Daiyoukai was there, she took advantage of the distraction and took off before she was noticed again. Naraku's crimson eyes narrowed directly at Sesshoumaru's pale, cold demeanor.

"You will pay for interrupting me." Inuyasha's brother almost wrinkled his nose from the disgusting scent of arousal and lust coming from Naraku. He also smelled of different women, which made it worse off for him. Sango's fear had been potent. Her desperation was enough to match it. It had reached him from quite a distance. Strangely enough, as potent as Naraku was, her scent had been amplified.

"Why would you want to take a human woman? They are far too fragile." Those crimson eyes glittered.

"She is pure... Can you not smell it?" A dark chuckle escaped his pale lips. He was smirking. Like he had won. Something was not right. Sesshoumaru was a little thrown off by the hanyou's behavior. Usually, Naraku was cunning and devious. He wouldn't allow anyone to come within a five-mile radius of him. This hanyou in front of him didn't even bother to sense his presence.

"You are not worth my time." The Daiyoukai lashed out suddenly, gaining the upper hand easily. "Die."

--

Sango eased to a stop in front of a hot spring. Her tired muscles screamed at her and her mind formed a plan that would keep her safe for the time being. At least...until the horrible mating frenzy wore off. The clearing was small, being only large enough to house the spring. A couple of large rocks rested on the one side, half submerged in the steaming water. The trees had gotten thicker as she went along. She had to admit that she was relieved. Sesshoumaru had shown up just in time.

Of course he would go after Naraku if he could sense him. But how could Naraku allow himself to get so distracted? Sesshoumaru is one of his greatest enemies...

She took her blades off, making sure to clean them well before hiding them in a bush. Then she proceeded to peel her clothing from her sweat-coated body. As she climbed into the water, a thought occurred to her. Why wasn't Sesshoumaru affected? With a shrug, she shoved the thought off with the simple answer that he was a Daiyoukai. The taiji-ya washed her clothes and hid them behind the rocks before ducking herself under the surface. She came back up when she ran out of oxygen and hid herself in the shadows of the rocks. The water was dark to her eyes. It ran pretty deep, which made her weary. She wasn't sure if there were any youkai there.

At this point, if they aren't Naraku then I don't care.

She sighed and tried to relax her muscles. She was ready to fight anyone that came close to her little clearing.

--

Inuyasha stared at the battlefield, his eyes narrowed. Her scent was over a day old. There was no way that the taiji-ya could kill off a lust-filled Naraku by herself. He cursed himself for being weak enough to submit to the primal instincts that had taken over his mind. All he could remember was the white mist and the high-pitched sound. It must have triggered that portion of his brain into activity.

"This is fuckin' great! Now how the hell are we supposed to find her? She ran off that way but he was hot on her trail." Kagome's large chestnut brown eyes filled with tears. She was worried for Sango. If not for the taiji-ya, the miko could have been a target for Naraku as well as Inuyasha. But since Sango had reacted so quickly, Kagome was able to escape a possible confrontation with the evil hanyou.

"Inuyasha, we have to go after her. I know that she's okay. She probably needs our help." The hanyou looked down at her with a frown.

"First things first, we need to get the houshi. He's closer." Inuyasha wasn't excited about it. In fact, he just knew that Miroku had done something stupid. Call it his sixth sense. Kagome didn't argue and set out after him. She was still wearing his red haori because her clothes were useless. She had her arms through the slits that were halfway up the arm of his sleeves and she had tied the lower portion together. It only covered her to about mid-thigh but that wasn't any concern to her. It basically covered what her school uniform did. She had been pleased to see that her underwear had been in one piece...which was more than she could say for her bra. They walked for a little while and came to a sight that made Kagome turn away. "Lech. Get the fuck up and get your shit around." Kagura was sleeping next to the houshi, only covered by his robes. Her kimono was spread out underneath them. Miroku squinted up at Inuyasha before stretching.

"Sango-san isn't around...is she?" Inuyasha shook his head and turned around.

"Just hurry up and dress. We have to find her."

"You mean she's still out there?" Part of him was ashamed at being caught with the incarnation. He knew it would get back to the taiji-ya, courtesy of Kagome.

"Whether she was taken by Naraku, we have no idea. But the possibility is there and strong." Inuyasha's voice was hollow and slightly pissed. Miroku roused Kagura and told her what had to be done. She made no protest and dressed in her kimono while he was pulling on his robes. The four of them set out in grim silence.

"Naraku is not dead. My chest is still hollow. The chances are too high. She must have gotten caught by now." Kagura's voice was empty of compassion. She didn't really care what happened to the taiji-ya. They were not friends, that much was clear. Miroku said nothing and tried to convince himself otherwise.

--

Sesshoumaru was fighting with Naraku. The Daiyoukai was winning. He was without a mark, while Naraku wasn't doing so well. That white mist was most certainly working to Sesshoumaru's advantage. He hadn't been affected by it. However, he did have to lock Rin away from Jaken because he knew the toad wasn't strong enough to resist whatever it was. As soon as he had seen it, he knew what to do. He locked Rin and Jaken in different places altogether. That way, there was no way in hell the toad could do anything to the little girl.

"Get out of my way!" Naraku was too preoccupied with trying to find the taiji-ya. Sesshoumaru didn't care what happened to her. He just wanted Naraku dead.

"You are going to die and all you can think of is mating with a human woman?" Obviously, Naraku wasn't strong enough to handle such a primal instinct. Sesshoumaru had been trained to lock those things away so he wasn't affected. The Daiyoukai missed a swipe with Tokijin but succeeded in punching the hanyou in the face. His vision was just getting tinted red when a cloud of miasma went up in front of him and Naraku vanished.

--

Sango was sitting on one of the smaller rocks with only the pink part of her kimono on. She was still hidden by the rocks, which was the only reason she decided to sit there. Her mahogany eyes took in the clearing as she peeked out from behind her rock fortress. She sensed someone getting close so she climbed quietly back into the water and dragged her other clothes and her shoes with her. Just as she disappeared under the surface of the water, Sesshoumaru stepped into the clearing. Her scent was there. It was hardly there but he knew he smelled her. He walked to the edge of the water and narrowed his eyes.

"Taiji-ya." Sango didn't emerge. With a frown, he merely jumped to the tallest rock and sat there, staring down into the water. She came up when she could no longer hold her breath. "Why do you hide yourself from me?" The taiji-ya's pride wouldn't allow her to answer with the whole truth so she settled for something close. In truth, she was so tired that she couldn't tell it was his youki she was sensing. Not to mention the reason she was tired. That white mist...

"How do I know you won't kill me?" He could sense the lie. Though, it wasn't a complete lie so he let it pass. When he said nothing more, she climbed out of the water and sat down on the little rock shelf she had been sitting on before his arrival. "Why are you still here? Did you kill Naraku?"

"That is none of your concern. He is off your back, is that not enough?" His voice concealed a lot. His words concealed even more. She shrugged and let out a sigh. The chances were that the hanyou was still out there. Not dead. Defeated for a brief period of time.

"What was that white mist?"

"There is an ancient god that releases one of those every hundred years. Its purpose is to keep the population of youkai going in a steady rate." His voice was quiet, as though he had been there during the last one. He had been there. It was not fun. The primal urge to release himself inside a woman and take a bite of her tender flesh... He had resisted it because it was a part of his father's training. Inu no Taisho had forbidden him to take a woman to bed; had forbidden him to take a mate. He had been forced to resist the women that threw themselves at him. His father... Inu no Taisho had actually admitted to being proud that his son resisted.

"This proves that you are special. You are one of the Daiyoukai. Superior to all of those that bow to need."

In the end, his father had eaten his words. He had needed Izayoi. It hadn't even been the mist that fueled the Great Daimyou's need.

"It doesn't affect humans, then." Sango's voice broke his chain of memories. He said nothing. "I knew it wasn't right. Then...Inuyasha looked so strange to me. I think he took Kagome." She looked up at the Daiyoukai. "How can I repay my debt to you?"

"You are a human. There is nothing I need from you." He had refused to look at her the entire time, with the exception of her face. When she shivered and moved to put more clothing on, he caught sight of her body. He remembered the bodies of the youkai women. He remembered why he was able to resist them. Their flesh was hard with muscle and their bodies were constantly exposed. Sango's small attempt at modesty forced him to notice her. From what he could remember, she had never exposed herself like the usual women did. Bruises marred her skin; some decorating her neck and some spotting her legs. He peered closely at the ones on her neck. Naraku hadn't gotten to mark her, had he? Without a word, he slid down his rock and stood next to her. She looked up at him with a slight frown.

"What is it?" No, Naraku had not marked her. He could see no bite mark and could detect no youki in her body. Sango was standing before him in only a part of her kimono, tied loosely at the waist. She concealed mostly everything from him but that one slip up that had shown him a little flesh had made her blush modestly. Something about it affected his mind; it made that mist effective enough to give him thoughts of a human.

"Nothing." He answered after she voiced her question again. He was agitated, that much was obvious.

"Sesshoumaru..." She was blushing again. He was such a sight up close. She had never been close enough to witness his true beauty. Now that she was face-to-face with him, it was hard not to notice him. "Would you mind if I...got dressed now? I have to find Inuyasha and the others." He almost let a scowl slip onto his face at the mention of his little brother. The Daiyoukai was about to turn around when he stopped and stared. Sango had pulled the pink kimono tighter, enhancing the curves he couldn't see when she had it tied loosely. He completed his turn around in a huff.

How could I resist a hundred youkai women better than I can resist one little human?

Her skin looked tempting; so soft and delicate. His sharp hearing could detect the rustling of her clothes as she attempted to complete her goal. It was a little awkward with wet clothes and damp skin.

"Ah-" She lost her balance on the slippery rocks when she started to turn around to get her sandals. He caught her arm and pulled her against him, his back pressing against the rocks. Sango felt like her face was on fire. Her heart was racing. Her muscles were still aching and her legs didn't want to work properly. The taiji-ya dared to look up and found him staring down at her with a frown. "Thank you..." She breathed quietly, unable to speak any louder.

"Hm." He glanced up briefly before returning his gaze to her. Her scent began to get stronger as she began to dry off. Her eyes stared straight into his and she brought her hand up, her fingers lightly tracing his maroon stripes. His body seemed to react on its own, bringing his hand up to touch her dark hair.

"Sesshoumaru..." She was pressed closer than he had originally thought. Her eyes were wide and her breathing was fast and shallow. So...he was affecting her. She was definitely affecting him. Her body felt so soft compared to youkai women. Her skin was far more delicate. It would be so easy to cut her, to make her bleed. Sango was afraid of the way her body reacted to him. She couldn't describe it. She had never had that feeling around anyone, not even Miroku.

"Taiji-ya." Her eyes narrowed at him as though he ruined a moment.

"My name is Sango." He raised a brow as though asking her if it mattered. Just when she was about to say something else, he covered her lips with his. When she gasped, he took advantage of it. He explored the taste of her and discovered something. Humans did not taste or smell of death, as he often thought they would. Youkai were rough and unresponsive. Sango, a human woman, was sensitive and very responsive. Every move he made got a different noise or reaction. That one kiss was all it took. Sesshoumaru knew he wasn't going to stop there. Sango trembled at his every touch. He left her lips to taste her flesh. The Daiyoukai went down her neck, his tongue brushing against her skin. She got chills from the sensation. Before she knew it, she was beneath him and her kimono was open. She didn't feel the light breeze as it brushed her hot, flushed skin.

XOX

Inuyasha followed her scent as fast he could. Almost a full day of searching turned up nothing. He had lost her scent for a while but Naraku's kept him moving. He set Kagome down when Miroku declared that he really needed to stop running.

"We can walk but I feel as though I can no longer run." His breath was quick and shallow. His chest felt like it was on fire.

"I don't know what the hell to think about this. How fucking far did she run?" The hanyou was edgy and nervous. There was no way he would ever make fun of Sango again for not being fit. They walked until he caught the scents of Naraku, Sesshoumaru, and Sango all mixed. Naraku's blood was on the ground. Inuyasha didn't voice that his brother had been there. He wondered why the Daiyoukai was there at all. Suddenly, he ran right into a barrier. Powerful youki surged across the surface. All of them knew who had formed it. His powerful presence was all over. "What the hell..."

--

Sango groaned as she woke up. She was aching all over. Her body felt like it had been dragged through Hell and back with an additional trip over every mountain.

"Tired? You have been asleep for four hours." The taiji-ya blinked before sitting up and rubbing her eyes. "My brother is waiting outside of the barrier." The breeze blew across her bare skin, this time causing her to shiver. She quickly stood and snatched up her kimono. "Perhaps you should bathe before going out there. My little brother may not enjoy my scent all over you." Her light flush caused him to raise his brow.

"Yes... That is true." Her soft voice and thoughtful actions made him curious. What was she doing? "Sesshoumaru... What happened-"

"Do not question me about it now, Taiji-ya. I did not impregnate you. Spawning offspring is dangerous at this time." Her face went completely red and she turned away from him. With slow movements, the woman edged closer to the hot spring. He watched her with a guarded gaze. When the water was up to the juncture of her neck and shoulder, she hissed in pain. The heat made the scar burn and it drew her attention immediately.

"O-Oh Gods!" Her fingers ran over the small scar. It didn't take a genius to figure out that it came from fangs. "You... You marked me!" Sango's eyes were wide as she took in the tall figure of the Daiyoukai.

"Of course I marked you. You are mine now and no other male shall have you." Mahogany met pure amber as they stared each other down. That meant that her promise to Miroku meant nothing.

"But I was already promised to another!" She was about to stand and fight him. Suddenly, he was standing right over her with a feral expression on his face. Those fangs that he had pierced her with glinted in the light.

"You are mine. End of story." The way he stated it froze her blood in her veins. It was matter of fact with no room for questions.

"Why do you want me?" He had turned around; not really wanting to show her any of his emotions. He stiffened at the sound of her soft tone. How often had a tone such as that been used with him? "I am merely human. I am nothing to you." The smell of salt rushed to his nose. She was...crying? "I do not wish to be bound to someone that cares nothing for me."

"You will grow used to it. Hurry and bathe so that you can go with my imbecile of a brother." Without another word, she did as he said. Sango was not eager to see her friends. Not with the information that she was going to give to them. After she was dressed, he stood in front of her. "We will meet again soon. I leave you in his care until then." Thinking it over briefly, the taiji-ya decided to go for it. If she was his then she had some right to him, didn't she? She quickly leaned up and brushed a gentle kiss on his lips before turning on her heel and walking away to gather her weapons that were still in the bushes.

"Until then, Sesshoumaru." A soft smile graced her pink lips at the thought of their next meeting. True, she didn't want to be with someone that didn't love her. However, she had little choice. The scar on her neck proved that much. As a woman, Sango could not deny that their night had been amazing. He had been far more gentle than she could ever imagine him to be. The Daiyoukai seemed to feed on her passionate responses. She could remember a couple of things that she hoped he would do again. His barrier vanished along with him and she was instantly faced with Inuyasha and the group. Kagura was with them and standing unnaturally close to Miroku.

"What the hell happened?" Inuyasha looked pretty pissed off. She frowned and opened her mouth to explain when he walked closer, bending down until their noses almost touched. "Why was my brother with you?" She explained the whole thing about Naraku's chase and stopped after telling him about when Sesshoumaru saved her. By then, they were all sitting around the clearing. The hanyou knew she was leaving something out. He wasn't stupid. She kept looking at Miroku like she was ashamed of something. Then there was the mixed scent in her body. It definitely wasn't Naraku. It was someone else. Someone he knew well. Sango volunteered to go gather wood. Inuyasha was stuck with hunting. Miroku went to gather water and ingredients with Kagome and Kagura. The houshi was hesitant to talk to Sango after what he had done. Inuyasha was happy with that, since he was hell-bent on grilling the taiji-ya.

"Why are you following me?" He stopped, looking up at her. She was leaning against a tree with her arms crossed. Her mahogany eyes steadily took him in.

"Look, taiji-ya, I know you didn't completely escape from this. Want to tell me what you so brilliantly left out?" He was expecting anger or despair for finding her out. However, she took it with stride.

"I belong to your brother now, Inuyasha. I know you're not pleased by this but that's how it is. I...believe I know what happened between Kagura and Houshi-sama." Her eyes were suddenly brimming with emotion. Kagome had looked at him like that before. Sango was not prepared for life with the Daiyoukai. He didn't care as long as he didn't have to see Sesshoumaru's face all the time.

"Whatever." He was surprised how uncaring he was. "What the fuck do I care what you two do? Kagura and Miroku probably did the same, except I don't think he's marked. Male youkai are usually the ones to claim their prizes."

"Did... Did you mark Kagome?" He shook his head.

"I held back. I knew she wouldn't really want to be bonded to me, especially with the pain we would go through if she left this era." He didn't need to say anymore so he didn't. Sango understood. Whenever she left, he would be subject to terrifying pain and agony. She didn't exist in their era and so marking her would be fatal for both.

"Inuyasha..." She gave him a light punch on the arm before smiling at him. "You'd better catch us some meat before Kagome-san gets mad at you for delaying dinner!" The corners of his mouth twitched upward just a little but the sight made her feel lighter. Sango knew he didn't need or want pity. He was just like her.

"Fuck you, bitch!" His cross attitude returned almost immediately.

"And since you're now technically my brother, I get to boss you around."

"The hell you do! I'm ten times older than you are!" His voice raised, probably scaring away any game that was within a five-mile radius.

"But I'm ten times stronger!" A childish argument began which continued on through the night, confusing the others to no end about what was going on.

--

Naraku wasn't far from their grasp but they knew that somehow, he wouldn't let them get the best of him. Kagura had to return to the hanyou's side, careful that she didn't lose the life she was fighting for. Sango let out a sigh as they walked into the bright sunshine after being in the dark woods for a while. She had made every attempt to hide the scar on her neck from both Kagome and Miroku. Though, it was only a matter of time before they both knew. Inuyasha had taken it quite well and he wasn't any different toward her.

"No, we're not stopping to play around in a fucking field! Are you kidding me? We have to get back to the village and pick up Kirara and the brat." The hanyou's voice was coming out in forced grunts. Kagome glared at him before walking at the front with Sango. The taiji-ya was happy to be in the sun.

It's only a matter of time before I see him again. Sesshoumaru...

"Sango, are you okay?" The taiji-ya smiled and nodded. "Is there anything that you want to tell me?"

"Well, I..." The words almost choked her. "I'll tell you later, okay?"

"Sure." The miko looked at her with a light frown on her face. The hot springs were a definite as soon as they got close enough. She was certain that something had happened.

--

"Sango...did you get caught?" Kagome asked quietly as she undressed to get into the hot springs. The taiji-ya continued to undress and climbed into the steaming water. There was a soft sigh that was followed shortly after by words.

"Sesshoumaru saved me from Naraku, that much you already know. Naraku was about to rape me when he showed up. He grabbed that bastard by the back of the neck and pulled him off me. I ran and hid myself in the water." She began washing her hair and paused to duck under the surface. Then she continued after a breath. "The only problem was that Daiyoukai's sensitive nose. He waited for me to come up and we talked a little. I almost fell and he caught me. We kissed and...he took me." The young miko gasped when she noticed the bruise on the juncture of the woman's throat and shoulder.

"He marked you as his mate? What about..." Kagome then shook her head and placed her hand over her mouth.

"I know what happened between Houshi-sama and Kagura. I kind of figured it out. He doesn't know about what happened with Sesshoumaru, though. I don't know how to tell him. Kagura didn't mark him..." She bit her lip in guilt. "But gods... Sesshoumaru was amazing." Her eyes closed and a blush spread across her face at the thought of her lover.

"He is very beautiful." The miko suddenly grinned. "So, what does he look like under all that cloth?"

"He is something the gods must envy. We'll leave it at that."

--

Sango woke up in a cold sweat, her eyes wide and her face pale. Another nightmare had plagued her unconscious mind. She stood and walked away from their camp. She didn't know that she had a follower. The taiji-ya followed the path to the springs and wet her face, trying to rid herself of the disorienting fear that struck her. Another nightmare about being caught by Naraku... It would have happened if Sesshoumaru had not shown up. She knew that well.

"Sango-san..." She gasped and turned around, knowing exactly who it was.

"Houshi-sama!" Her heart pounded in her chest. He had obviously come to tell her about Kagura and no doubt apologize for it. "Did you need something?"

"W-Well..." He flushed and walked closer with his eyes on the ground. She decided to let him get it off his chest. Otherwise, she might say something wrong and make him even more upset. "I wanted to speak with you about that night..." He proceeded to tell her what had happened. She listened calmly and patiently, already knowing what it was he was struggling to say. "I didn't mean to betray you... I should have fought her more." When he looked up, she was staring at him with a small smile on her face.

"You're forgiven, Houshi-sama." His surprise was a little amusing. He had probably expected her to steal his Shakujo and beat him over the head with it. "Actually, I have something that needs to be said as well." He stared at her with wide eyes. "The story I told you about Sesshoumaru wasn't completely the truth. He did save me. I escaped after that and..." Though it was harder getting the story out to him than to anyone else, she did feel better about having it off her chest. The houshi took it with grace, emitting the same amount of forgiveness to her. "However, I am afraid that after all of this, we can no longer be wed."

"What?" His voice rose slightly with the shock and fear expressed in his voice.

"Sesshoumaru is a male youkai, Houshi-sama. He marked me as his." She pulled her kimono aside and ran her finger over the scar. "It is no fault of yours or my own. It is the road Fate has pushed us down. Though we may travel separate paths now, I hope we can always be friends and keep our memories close to us."

"Sango-san..." He looked away from her. It was difficult for him to hear that he could no longer hope to ever have Sango as his own. She stepped closer to him and touched his arm before embracing him lightly.

"I will always remember you. I will always be there for you in times of need. I will always harbor a love for you that differs from others. However this may turn out, you can always come to me for anything." She kissed him on the cheek and walked back to camp. It had taken a lot not to cry in front of him. After all, she had loved him for some time. As her mind turned over her words, she found herself smiling. Even if she was no longer with the houshi, she would look forward to her future as Sesshoumaru's mate. It was the only way for her to go and so she would accept it. At the very least, she would try to show him how to love. He did have the little human follower, Rin. Perhaps the two human girls would change the Daiyoukai.

Perhaps I will love him and perhaps I will not. Either way, I will not make myself miserable thinking about what could have been. Sesshoumaru saved me from becoming Naraku's mate and also from being raped by the hanyou. I gave myself to Sesshoumaru. I didn't fight him. He will protect me and I will protect him, even if he doesn't need it. Perhaps when we are ready, we could have a family...

The taiji-ya showed her true strength that night. She had faced her nightmares head on after that and thought only to free her brother and be a good mate to the Daiyoukai. It was that strength that had earned her respect from everyone.

--

So, is Sango strong or what!? She overcame that obstacle without any problems.

I hope you liked this and maybe I will continue it with a Part II if you think it might be worth it. It was meant to only be a one-shot but we'll see.

Please let me know what you think!

-Angel