Chapter One

Kagome woke to a stabbing pain in her head. Blinking in confusion in the predawn light, she looked at the supine forms of her companions arranged around the campfire, still peacefully asleep under their blankets. Another searing pain, this time seeming to come from behind her eyes, made her wince.

'What the…?," she thought, before the memories of the night before came flooding back: the battle with the moth demons, being picked up by a demon and flown to a dizzying height, InuYasha coming to her rescue…

'Well,' she thought, 'maybe rescue is a bit strong of a word. He did save me from being devoured by the demon but he could have stayed around to catch me after hacking the demon's head off.' InuYasha had slain the demon and let her fall, intent on the battle and no doubt assuming one of their friends would take on the easier task of catching her on the way down. Kirara had come to her aid, fortunately, but Kagome had still taken quite a jolt.

'I guess InuYasha doesn't realize it's not easy on us humans to fall 50 feet and slam down onto a giant cat's back. Not that it could be any easier on Kirara,' Kagome mused.

'I wish….but that is stupid; InuYasha saved me, that's the important thing! I shouldn't be criticizing him for focusing on the battle – if he wasn't focused, he or one of our friends could get seriously hurt. I can't complain about a little bump on the head!' Feeling guilty now for her ungrateful thoughts, Kagome didn't notice her half demon approaching.

"Yo, Kagome!," InuYasha said, "Good thing you are already up – we've wasted enough time here. Let's get moving!"

Kagome looked up at him, startled. "Sure thing, InuYasha," she chirped, her guilt over her traitorous thoughts making her eager to please him.

InuYasha frowned down at her curiously. "So, you're not going to whine about it being too early?," he pressed, apparently surprised at her unexpected agreeableness but lacking the sense to simply take his good fortune.

"No," said Kagome, still using her chipper tone, "I think you are right; we should get a move on if we want to find Naraku!"

InuYasha was still looking at her dubiously, so she smiled a big smile, trying to look like she wasn't tired, in pain, feeling like an ungrateful burden to the group, or any of those things. Nope, she was a Kagome, kind friend, useful jewel shard detector, consummate trouper, ready to go.

InuYasha looked closely at her, still suspicious and searching her face for clues – he really wasn't as oblivious as he sometimes seemed, she mused –but she held onto her façade admirably and, after a few moments' scrutiny, InuYasha seemed satisfied that all was normal. He rolled his eyes, muttered something that sounded like "Unpredictable wench…" and then walked past her to wake the monk, slayer and fox demon kit, all of whom had slept through the entire exchange.

'Yes,' thought Kagome, watching him walk away 'everything is totally fine.' It was a pity that she didn't believe it.