Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this revision of canon events... especially for the one whose hackles are up. A nod is bent towards Rumiko Takahashi for her creative prowess.

A Note of Explanation: I have often been told that I can write ANY pairing. Let's test that theory, shall we? This is being written for the fun of it... and for the inherent challenge it represents. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! ::twinkle::

A Few Notes of Warning: 1) Chapters will be short, as in 300 words or less. 2) Updates will be sporadic, for my life is busy. I'll add a chapter whenever I can goof off a little. 3) This story is set in the canon universe, but I diverge big time. It's more interesting that way. 4) Nope, it won't be a 100-chapter epic. This shall be a small story with small chapters. 5) Don't ask me how it ends. I won't tell. Let the story do the telling. ::twinkle::

Chapter 1: Don't Talk to Strangers

The trail Sesshoumaru had been following since dawn fizzled to nothing. Another dead end. More running in circles. With a disgusted huff, the taiyoukai turned back, retracing his steps towards his followers. With every passing day, frustration mounted, for if what his half-brother said was true, then just one shard of the Shikon no Tama remained. Gaining control of the fragment was paramount.

As his steps brought him near the little meadow where Rin and Jaken waited with Ah-Un, a faint scent teased at Sesshoumaru's senses, and his hackles went up. Naraku! Bursting into a run, the inu-youkai hurled himself towards those who relied upon his protection, determined to reach them before it was too late.

For one breathless instant, Sesshoumaru paused on the edge of the clearing to assess the danger. His two-headed dragon dozed in the sun, and his young ward hummed softly as she wove flowers into a wreath. However, a demon he had never seen before sat beside Rin, an adult male with a shameful lack of modesty. She is far too trusting, and Jaken will answer to the sole of my boot for leaving her without a guard.

Ire swelling under a dangerous calm, the taiyoukai stalked forward; the intruder turned toward him, yelping in fear when his fingers closed around his throat. The startled creature's eyes were uninterrupted yellow with slit pupils, and there was something inescapably familiar about the way they bulged in dismay. "M-m-milord," he managed in a strangled whisper.

This scent. It seeped into his awareness, rich, alluring, and entirely out of place, but Sesshoumaru trusted his nose above all else. At the last possible moment, he loosened his hold... letting the gasping demon slip from his grasp. "I know you," he growled.

"Y-yes, milord," the other male stammered. "It's me."

End Note: This chapter was written for the Live Journal community fanfic(underscore)bakeoff and their Secret Ingredient for February 2011—Escape. Posted on February 14, 2011. 300 words.