"Uhh...Inuyasha? Didn't you say that Miroku and Shippo were still waiting here for us?" Sango asked hesitantly. "Yeah, why? They're still here aren't they?" Inuyasha asked, walking up behind Sango to find them both gone. "Where could they've gone at this hour?" Kagome asked worriedly.

"Oh, I hope they're okay..." Sango said to no one in particular. Kagome gave her friend a comforting hug. "Don't worry, Sango. Miroku and Shippo are probably fine. Besides, they're both pretty strong and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves." Inuyasha reassured her. "I know that, Inuyasha...but I won't be satisfied until I find them both alive and well. They're both good guys and I couldn't stand losing either one of them." Sango stated sadly, fighting back tears. 'Who am I kidding? They both know I mainly care about Miroku. Grr... They're wrong! I care about Shippo the same way I do about Miroku.' Sango thought angrily.

'You may care about Shippo, but you care about Miroku in a different way. It's okay to feel this way. Isn't it?' her mind told her. "Sango?" Inuyasha said ripping through her thoughts like a sword through water, quirking an eyebrow at the worried taijiya. "You didn't listen to a word I just said, did you?" Inuyasha asked, obviously annoyed. Sango shook her head slowly. Inuyasha sighed.

"I said...that I want you and Kagome to stay here at the village. And I want you to stay INSIDE Kaede's hut. Don't you two dare leave it for any reason at all. Okay?" Inuyasha repeated himself. "Okay…but why do we have to stay inside?" Sango asked, still oblivious to what was going on. Inuyasha sighed, a rather large vein throbbing in his forehead. "Because I don't want anything to happen to you two either." Inuyasha spoke through gritted teeth. Sango simply nodded, showing that she understood what the young hanyou was indicating.

Inuyasha escorted them into Kaede's hut and sat on the floor, leaning his back against the wall. He wouldn't stay with them long, just until they had fallen asleep. Kagome was obviously tired as she snuggled deeply into the warmth of her sleeping bag that had served her well over the past few years and fell quickly into a deep slumber. Unfortunately for Inuyasha, Sango was reluctant to sleep. She knew he wouldn't stay all night and that he had only stayed so long because he was waiting for them to fall asleep. It wasn't her fault she couldn't sleep, she was just simply unable to without the houshi around. For Inuyasha's, and her friends' sake, Sango pretended to sleep. Inuyasha sighed quietly in relief, while tiptoeing out of the hut, careful not to wake the girls.

As soon as she was sure that Inuyasha was far away enough so that he couldn't hear her, she ran out of the hut with Kirara close behind. She didn't know where she was going to go, but she knew she wanted to get there fast. 'Hang on, Miroku. I'm coming for you. Wherever you are, I'll save you, and Shippo too!' Sango thought, feeling very determined to find her fiancé. She rode on Kirara's back, not too high above the trees, trying not to be seen by the hanyou that had instructed her to stay in the hut. She knew he would be furious to know he had been deliberately disobeyed. Sango sighed. 'Inuyasha, I love and respect you, but I can't sit back and wait for something to go wrong. If anything happens to Miroku, then I don't know what I'd do…I trust your strength and abilities, but I can't stay away.' Sango thought truthfully. Kirara landed in a small clearing in the trees below when she knew Inuyasha had spotted them.

'Dammit! Why does she have to be so damn stubborn?! I tell her to stay at the hut, and she ends up here. I swear I don't know which one's worse, her or Kagome.' Inuyasha thought angrily. "Sango, what the hell are you doing outside of the hut?!" Inuyasha demanded. "I told you I'd find them! Don't you even trust me to keep my own friends safe?" Inuyasha asked, making Sango feel like a kicked puppy. She trusted him, but she felt that she couldn't stay away if she wanted to.

"Inuyasha…I…I…" Sango hung her head, now staring at the ground. "You what?!" Inuyasha shouted, not meaning or wanting to yell at her and make her feel bad. He instantly regretted getting so angry with her when he smelled the salty tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. Sango didn't want to cry. 'No! I won't cry…I'm stronger than that! I don't use crying as a way to get out of things, and I won't start now!' Sango thought proudly. As quickly as the tears appeared, they vanished. Inuyasha was unbelievably confused with the sudden complete vanish of her tears. After a few seconds he understood. He knew she wouldn't berate herself by crying under pressure…not like Kagome. 'Wait a minute! What the hell am I thinking?! Kagome's a strong woman and I can't believe I even thought of her like that.' Inuyasha mentally scolded himself.

He did truly love Kagome, but couldn't stand it when he felt like she was using emotions against him. Sango simply glared at him. She suddenly snapped at him. "Don't just stand there looking off into nowhere! Do you have any idea what could be happening to them right now?! Do you even care?!" she yelled. Inuyasha was stunned and remained silent. "Obviously you don't because each and every second we stand here in silence, is another second farther away those two get!" Sango yelled once more.

***

Meanwhile, Kagome stirred in her sleep. She was now awake, unable to sleep, thinking something didn't feel right. She wanted to get up, to look around, and to leave the hut. She hesitated, not knowing who was with her, and not wanting to wake anyone. She didn't care anymore. She lifted herself upright in her sleeping bag and noticed she was alone except for Kaede, who slept in another section of the hut. 'Even Sango's gone? I thought Inuyasha told us to stay inside the hut.' She thought, feeling slightly dizzy. "What's…going…onnn…?" she asked slowly, before passing out silently in her sleeping bag. She was dragged outside, still half-inside the sleeping bag.

She woke up in a small, cramped gray room. The ceiling was also gray, with a small hole in it, allowing the moonlight to spill into the room. She looked around herself, seeing thick, metal bars. She realized she was in a cage. She looked to her left and saw her two 'missing' companions lying unconscious. "What happened to them? Let…me… out!" she yelled to no one in particular, while pulling on the bars to test their strength. They proved to be quite strong. "Hnn…So…you've awakened…have you now?" a dark and powerful voice asked. She merely blinked and a tall figure with red eyes and a wide form appeared in front of her. He was obviously a demon. "What do you want with me?" Kagome asked, backing away. "Fool…It is not what I want, it is what my master wants." he replied. "Well then-" Kagome started. "Silence!" he yelled. Kagome remained quiet. The tall figure stepped forward and she could not believe her eyes.

***

Inuyasha had tuned her out, but Sango was still ranting on, now pacing and throwing her arms in the air for dramatic effect every few minutes. Inuyasha shushed her. "What are you-" Inuyasha shushed her once more. He grabbed Sango by the wrist and pulled her, signaling that they were leaving. He ran, using his demonic speed, while Sango was using Kirara's flight to keep up. Kirara got close enough and lowered herself to Inuyasha. Inuyasha jumped onto her back. "Inuyasha, where are we going?" Sango asked quietly.

"I smell Kagome's scent…and since we've gone this way, I picked up on Miroku and Shippo's scents too." Inuyasha told her. Sango's eyes lit up and shimmered with hope. Inuyasha noticed this and looked away. He grew bored and could do nothing until he was at his destination. He began to think, but still never let his guard down. 'Come on, where the hell are they? They're close, so I hope I find them soon.' Inuyasha thought impatiently. Kirara slowed to a stop, letting the two down. Inuyasha began to sniff the brisk, night air. He picked up on his friends' scents, now stronger than before. Especially Kagome's…she seemed to be in trouble. "Sango, I'm sorry for leaving you alone, but Kagome needs our help, fast. She's with what seems to be a powerful demon right now. She's scared. I have to help her. Meet me there okay? If you can't find the way, Kirara will guide you there." Inuyasha reassured her. Sango nodded.

Inuyasha fell through the small whole that served as a sky light in the small cave Kagome was in while he was running. Inuyasha stood and dusted himself off. Kagome stared at him, her eyes glimmering with hope. That hope suddenly faded away. She looked back at the demon who she assumed had captured her, and back to Inuyasha. "Inuyasha?" she asked, confused. Both of them looked up. They looked almost identical, except that one was in Inuyasha's demon form. Inuyasha also looked at the demon. "What the hell's going on?!" Kagome yelled.