"Now, was that aimed at me?" Sesshoumaru asked, a smirk on his face and amusement lacing his tone as he dodged InuYasha's clumsy attacks with ease.

Kagome, from her position still clinging to the giant bones above, had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. Oh, she was so using that next time Souta gave her an opportunity. Then she blinked. Wait, that's all this was really. A fight between two siblings about stuff that had nothing to do with her. There would be comments and context that she couldn't and wouldn't ever understand, simply because she didn't know either of these two that well.

Really, she didn't actually like InuYasha all that much either, honestly. He'd tried to kill her, he'd barged into her home when she'd finally gotten home and dragged her into a dangerous situation, he was rude, he insulted her, demeaned her, and seemed incapable of realising that she wasn't Kikyo, even though he hadn't said as such explicitly all that recently, it was just heavily implied.

"You fight as though you are still a child," Sesshoumaru scolded.

Kagome, above them, smirked a little bit and rested her chin in her palm, content to watch. Yep, there was history there alright. This was exactly what family was for. Insulting you into bettering yourself. She'd bet anything that InuYasha didn't see it that way though.

"You can't fight him unarmed!" Myoga entreated from InuYasha's shoulder. "Even if you do not want your inheritance, to take the sword where Sesshoumaru was unable would be a blow to his pride, yes?"

InuYasha snorted and smirked. "Alright," he agreed. "If only to see the look on his face."

Kagome leant forward, just as eager to see these expressions. She had to bite back on laughter again when InuYasha couldn't draw it either. The sword was only stuck in by its tip, and there he was straining and grunting and unsuccessful. Hilarious.

"Are you done? I am," Sesshoumaru said, and then he was right there, in InuYasha's face, swiping really quite slowly – and if even Kagome could tell that, then she was surprised that InuYasha couldn't – and when InuYasha ran away, Sesshoumaru caught him easily, then forced him up against the wall. "I don't think you've met my poison claws," Sesshoumaru said, almost pleasantly.

Kagome blinked in surprise. That was slightly more deadly than a moment ago. Oh, but he'd let InuYasha escape his grip.

"Running?" Sesshoumaru asked.

InuYasha made a swipe, but Sesshoumaru just jumped back into the air. And a golden whip appeared from his fingertips. It struck InuYasha once, twice, the younger brother was flung across the skull-strewn ground.

"Don't worry milord," the toad called, a cruel laugh in his voice and waving his staff like he was going to clobber InuYasha with it. "Everything is taken care of."

Kagome frowned. No, that wouldn't do. That would be interference. Myoga's goading was one thing, physically and actively getting in on it was not permitted. She didn't hesitate to jump down, bringing her feet to bear on the imp's back and crushing him down.

Actually, this interference was just the latest in a long line of reasons for Kagome to particularly dislike him. She was beginning to warm up to the older brother, but the toad was just a scheming, ill-natured sycophant.

"I don't think so," Kagome said, stepping off him.

"Why you!" the green thing said when it had recovered its feet, and swung the staff at her.

Kagome caught it easily enough. "You stinking toad," she said with a growl.

"Stinking human!" the toad answered in a yell.

For how little he was, he was actually kinda strong, Kagome was having trouble pushing back on the staff. All the same..."This human's going to kick your -"

"I don't think so!" he cut her off, and then swung at her with the staff she was still holding onto, sending her flying.

"Kagome!" InuYasha yelled.

Aw, he was worried. That was almost sweet. That punch to his gut by Sesshoumaru was sweeter though.

"What's the matter, is that all you got?" the toad called, waving the staff around like it was a baseball bat.

"Not even started," Kagome answered, pulling herself up slowly – only for what she was pulling herself up on to fall down. "Ah!" she yelped, and turned to see what she'd grabbed onto. "Oh you're kidding me!" she exclaimed, loudly, drawing the attention of the two feuding brothers – as she'd already had the imp's gaping-mouthed attention when it happened. "Those two can't pull this stupid sword out, and then when I touch it the thing just pops free?"

Then Sesshoumaru was in her face, faster than anything. Which was more than a bit surprising and not a little intimidating. Oh, and he was gorgeous close up. Not that he hadn't been great eye-candy from a distance, but this was definitely an up-close-and-personal type of encounter.

"What are you and how did you draw the sword?" he asked quietly, and he seemed genuinely curious.

"Not really sure how to answer that," Kagome admitted, quietly, and very nervously.

"Sesshoumaru! Leave her alone, she's not involved in this!" InuYasha yelled from where he'd only just gotten up from where he'd been left by his older brother.

Kagome fought to roll her eyes. Well, no, she hadn't been involved, but she was the one who the sword popped free for, so clearly she was now. Idiot.

Sesshoumaru turned from Kagome (who breathed a mental sigh of relief, as those beautiful golden eyes were no longer studying her so intently) and levelled a blank look at InuYasha. "For some unknown reason, I was unable to draw Tetsusaiga. Fortunately, you were unable to draw it either. It is obvious that she must die."

She nearly choked.

"You're right. It is weird that she could pull it out and we couldn't, but she's still just a human girl!" InuYasha argued, almost calmly.

Kagome felt her expression shift down into that "I am so not amused, or impressed, or at all liking what you've just done, brat" expression that Souta so frequently evoked. She was a breath away from invoking the beads around his neck.

"Kagome, give him the sword. There's no choice," InuYasha instructed firmly.

Kagome snorted indelicately. "I'll think about it," she returned, tapping the back of the sword on her shoulder as she looked between the two, a frown on her face.

"Don't be stupid," InuYasha said. "You're only a human. So back off, shut up, and butt out!"

"Butt out?" Kagome yelped indignantly, swiping the sword down to point at him – past Sesshoumaru. "Osuwari!"

"Argh!" InuYasha cried as he was slammed into the skull-strewn floor.

Sesshoumaru huffed in amusement – reminding Kagome that he was there, and she promptly brought the sword back close to her.

"InuYasha, your patience with this creature is astonishing to me," Sesshoumaru said.

"Only because generally he doesn't possess any patience at all," Kagome grumbled softly.

Sesshoumaru smirked, having heard her, and catching her eye he nodded in confirmation, but proceeded to monologue about InuYasha's weaknesses.

Kagome tuned it out. Until he abruptly turned and stinging green stuff was flying from his palm at her, pushing her back and melting the bones behind her. On top of her. Melted bones were heavy, and harder to push her way out of than molasses probably was. Of course, she'd never been covered with molasses to know, but it was famously difficult to move through. Melted bone, Kagome felt, topped it just a little as she finally gasped for air.

"Ya know," she said, as she heaved in relatively fresh air. "If there's any more of your family alive, I don't want to meet them. So far both of you have tried to kill me shortly after meeting me. I didn't think I was quite that bad."

"Hey, how come you're still alive?" InuYasha asked.

Kagome took another deep breath, put the sword over her shoulder again, sat down, and shrugged.

"The sword. That's what protected you," Sesshoumaru informed them.

Kagome smirked. "Well, that is interesting," she said, then straightened. "Hey, what happened to your armour?"

Sesshoumaru smirked. "For insulting the memory of his mother, and for 'killing' you, InuYasha decided to finally fight," he answered. Only an idiot wouldn't see that Sesshoumaru was actually pleased that InuYasha had landed a hit on him. Of course, InuYasha, Myoga, and Jaken were all idiots, so it went right over their heads, but Kagome got it, and smirked back.

"Aww, you care InuYasha?" Kagome asked. "I'd never have guessed!"

"Of course I care!" InuYasha yelled.

Kagome sighed and turned her gaze to where the sword had been displayed. Without much thought she walked over and climbed up, then thrust it back in with all her might. It didn't go far, but it was in again, and when she let go it stayed upright. Kagome nodded to herself and hopped down.

"Hey, what did you do that for Kagome?" InuYasha demanded.

Kagome shrugged. "I can't use it, so why should I keep it?" she answered calmly.

"You could have given it to me!" InuYasha yelled back.

"Neither you or your brother could pull it out InuYasha," Kagome said, giving him a flat look. "I'm not about to give it to either of you. Not when you don't want it, and he hardly seems to need it."

Sesshoumaru raised a delicate eyebrow in momentary surprise.

"I require it," Sesshoumaru informed her. "Mine is the path of supreme conquest."

"Seriously?" Kagome asked, raising an eyebrow of her own. "You like being stuck behind a desk and surrounded with paper that much?"

"What are you talking about?" Sesshoumaru asked, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Well think about it," Kagome said. "If you're ruling the world then you'd have to put up with all sorts of boring administrative work. Reports on crops, road conditions, census, taxes, and of course there would be politicians to put up with. I'm sure there would be more, but even just that much sounds really boring to me."

Sesshoumaru blinked. He hadn't thought about it that way before. He'd been more interested in just surpassing his father.

"And then," Kagome continued, "there's the question of what you'd do with yourself once you'd reached the top. I mean, all that paper-work of course, but what else? Would you have people you care about around you, to make all that worth while, or would you just be cold and alone at the top of the food chain?"

"He'd be cold and alone," InuYasha quipped. "Sesshoumaru doesn't care about anybody but himself."

Sesshoumaru walked up to Kagome, and somehow that was even more intimidating than when he'd just suddenly been there, because this time she could see him coming.

"What are you?" he asked for the second time since they had met. He leant in closer and breathed in deeply through his nose. "Why do you not smell like all the other humans?" he asked, even more quietly.

"Well, that could be because I bathe a lot, or it could be because I just crawled out of a puddle of melted bone," Kagome answered quickly, but unable to raise her voice above a mere murmur.

"You are interesting," Sesshoumaru decided. "You will come with me."

"Oh will I?" Kagome answered, frowning. "I'm afraid I'm normally a bit busy trying to retrieve all the shattered and scattered pieces of the Shikon no Tama that was wrenched from my side, and then of course I also have to keep up my education."

Sesshoumaru arched an eyebrow, and one corner of his mouth tilted upwards. "Even a stone will have a scent, and such a relic as the Shikon no Tama would have a unique scent. It should not be difficult to find it, and you will satisfy my curiosity as I assist you in this duty of yours. You raise more questions without giving any answers than I had given you credit for, and I am a curious being."

Kagome sighed. "Alright," she said, caving.

"What?" InuYasha yelled.

"Sit boy," Kagome said. "The grown-ups are talking."

Sesshoumaru snorted in amusement. "Fetch the sword," he ordered her. "It seems capable of protecting you, even if you cannot truly use it. That is hardly a thing to shun."

"Point," Kagome allowed, and wrapped her hand around the grip once more. Once more, it came out easily. Looking around, Kagome spotted a sheath and, dull as the sword was, she slipped it over the blade all the same.

Sesshoumaru then wrapped an arm around her waist and, with a single leap, carried her out of his father's bones, leaving InuYasha, Myoga and Jaken behind.

"Wait for me milord!" the toad cried out, climbing as swiftly as he could.

Outside of the bones, Sesshoumaru folded himself – and Kagome – into a small orb of light and flew out and away from the tomb of his father. They did not stop until they reached the Bone Eater's Well.

There, Sesshoumaru unfolded them and set Kagome down on the grass.

"Why is your scent thickest here? I had expected it to be at your home," he said.

Kagome nodded and smiled. "If you want to follow me, you're going to want to cover your nose," she warned him, then vaulted over the side of the well and down into its depths.

Sesshoumaru was surprised to see her disappear, rather than hit the bottom, and decided that he would, indeed, follow.

When he reached the bottom – and he was aware that there had been some sort of magic involved that had changed something about the well he had just leapt into – Sesshoumaru took a deep breath through his nose, scenting the area, and promptly sneezed.

"I told you to cover your nose," Kagome's voice called down to him from the lip of the well above him. "Welcome to the year 1997, five-hundred years forward of when you were just a few seconds ago. Can I offer you tea? Something to eat? Perhaps a mask for your face to block some of the smells of industrialisation?"

Sesshoumaru scowled and jumped out of the well. "It is rare that I smell something so offensive to my nose," he informed her. "But I will not blind myself by covering my nose with cloth. I have endured worse. I may seek to cleanse my senses by taking in your scent however, if we are to be here for very long, as it is exceedingly inoffensive."

Kagome nodded in understanding. "As you like," she said, then turned and exited the hut that had been built around the well.

Beyond, Sesshoumaru took in the sights and smells of the new era that he had entered. He would learn every secret of the strange girl that had drawn his father's sword, and being in her home was a good beginning. Then another scent caught his attention. A familiar scent, though it was old. Very old. It was the scent of his father mixed with the scent of metal and blood and malevolence. So'unga.

"What is that building?" Sesshoumaru asked, pointing to where the scent of the sword was coming from.

"That's the store house," Kagome said. "All sorts of relics are kept there. Why?"

"My father had three swords," Sesshoumaru informed her, resting his hand on the hilt of the weapon that was at his side and looking at the blade that Kagome still held meaningfully.

"We have his third sword in our store house?" Kagome yelped, and ran for the door to said building, throwing it open and weaving through the shelves until she reached where the few swords they guarded were kept.

"That one," Sesshoumaru said from behind her.

Kagome almost jumped out of her skin. She hadn't heard him follow her, but then again, that was just how good he was she supposed. Then she followed his pointing claw to the sword in question.

"Grandpa brings it out every year to air it," Kagome said. "Apparently the sword is rusted in its sheath, so we can't care for it properly or clean it."

Sesshoumaru snorted in contempt. "You should be glad none could draw it," he told her. "So'unga is possessed by a rather controlling spirit from the underworld."

Kagome twitched back from the weapon. "Yeah, definitely a good thing," she agreed. "So does the sword need to be exorcised or just killed somehow?"

Sesshoumaru huffed, amused this time. "I will take charge of it," he answered. "Perhaps I shall visit Totosai, who forged the Tetsusaiga and the Tensaiga for my father."

Kagome nodded nervously, but was still relieved when Sesshoumaru took the sword by its sheath rather than the grip, and simply slipped it into his sash beside the sword he already wore.

"I just realised," Kagome said as she followed him out of the store house. "Your father was a great general or something, wasn't he?"

"Hn," Sesshoumaru grunted. "Or something."

"Well, did you inherit his status when he died, or am I completely off?" Kagome asked quietly.

"I am the current Lord of the West," Sesshoumaru answered. "However, it is this one's mother who holds court. The duties of the Lord of the West are to keep his lands safe from other demons and to produce an heir."

"Right," Kagome said, blinking away a slight daze that had descended on her when he said he was a Lord. She was going to be hunting down slivers of Shikon with a noble? Oh, she was so begging her mother for the money to buy something a little more old-fashioned, or maybe to lend her something from when her mother had worn kimono before she was married. No way she could shame such high company with short skirts. She was fairly sure that InuYasha hadn't cared except to enjoy the view, the perv, but Kagome was aware of how the villagers had reacted. The skirt she'd worn today was a bit longer than her school uniform skirt, but still...

She was going to be travelling through the Sengoku Jidai with a drop-dead-sexy lord, and no chaperone! Hooo boy!

~The End~