"Inuyasha!" "Inuyasha wake up!"
The young man was vaguely aware that someone was calling his name, but whom? He was so tired. He wished they would shut up so he could sleep.
"Em tieing to peep." he mumbled.
"Inuyasha I swear on all that's holy if you don't get up this second, I'll your kick ass into next week!"
"Now now Sango I don't believe it's wise to injure him further."
"But Miroku we need him to find Kagome."
Kagome? Did something happen to her? Was she alright? Fighting against the drowsiness trying to keep him under, Inuyasha struggled to open his eyes.
"K'gome" Violet eyes slowly blinked into awareness as Inuyasha began to gain his bearings. Peering over to the left to he was met with Miroku and Sango’s inquisitive stares.
"What?" Inuyasha said irritated by their unwavering attention.
"What happened to you?" Sango asked him. He tried to think back to the moment just before he’d gone unconscious, but the moment escaped him.
"I’m not sure. I remember wondering the halls, but not much after that. Where am I? Where's Kagome?"
"You’re in the servants quarters. Sango and I found you passed out in the hall a few hours go, and it seems that Kagome went to speak with Princess Kikyou for an unknown reason this morning. Sango hasn’t seen or heard from Kagome since. " Miroku filled him in.
"Then what hell are you standing here for? We should be trying to find her." Inuyasha said jumping out of bed and bounding out of the room.
"By the way guys, thanks for picking me up off the cold hard ground and letting me rest on your nice warm futon." Sango mocked, doing a poor imitation of the gruff prince.
"Oh my sweet Sango, you still have so much to learn about our dear friend." Miroku replied heading in the direction Inuyasha took off in.
You’re nothing more than a peasant.
Kagome sniffled, rubbing her puffy eyes and sore nose. The young girl just couldn't catch a break these days. Not only was Naraku out to get her, but apparently Princess Kikyou was too.
Kagome walked over to a bed of multi-colored flowers. She gingerly fingered the petal of a soft pink flower and gave a heavy sigh.
'Oh mama how I wish you, daddy, and Souta were still here.' Kagome continued to sit and stare at the flowers getting lost in their beauty.
He’ll never choose you.
The harsh words of the Princess ricocheted against her ribs, each syllable a sharp jab to fragile heart. She’d done everything right, taken every precaution, and still the prince had found a way to become a significant part of her life. She’d done all she could do by telling him to stay away and subsequently avoiding his presence, but she couldn't deny the fact that she wanted to see him. She missed him.
'Maybe I really do love him.' She thought admitting it to herself would give her some comfort, but all it did was make her sad.
Kagome thought about what life would be like if her and Inuyasha could be together. She blushed at the image of small children with midnight hair, and violet eyes running across her vision. Her dream was interrupted when the doors to the garden slammed opened.
"Kagome! Are you in here?" Inuyasha ran through the gardens searching for any sign of the girl. He noticed he was running circles, when he passed a bed a blue flowers twice.
"Inuyasha?" Inuyasha turned at the sound of his name, only to be met with the sight of the girl he'd been searching for. He sighed in relief.
"Kagome where have you been? Are you okay?" He slowly walked up to her and was hurt when she took just as many steps away from him.
"What are you doing here Inuyasha?" The fear swimming in her eyes made his stomach churn, just what did the princess do to her?
"Miroku and Sango told me you went to see Kikyou earlier but you didn’t come back. I was worried." He took another step toward her, only for her to take another step back. "Kagome what's wrong with you? Why won't you let me near you?"
"Inuyasha I already told you! You have to stay away from me. For both our sakes!"
"Why, because of Naraku?!" he yelled. Her eyes widened with surprise.
"How do you know about him?" she whispered.
"I saw him. I know what he did your family-"
"Stop it! That just makes everything worse, now he'll be after you too! Why didn't you just stay away from me like I said!" Tears were once again streaming down Kagome's face. Before she could move away Inuyasha enveloped her in a tight embrace. She wiggled and squirmed trying to get herself free.
"Let go of me!"
"No Kagome! Not this time. I meant what I said, I’m not gonna leave. Let me help you, let me keep you safe." Her thrashing slowed and her body became limp with the force of her sobs.
"Please...you can't help. If anything ever happened to you because of me, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t think I could live with the guilt." She sobbed.
"Don't worry about Naraku or Kikyou or anyone else. I'm gonna protect you, got that?" his arms tightened around her and he was relieved when he felt her arms come around him in return.
Kagome wanted so badly to trust him, to sincerely believe that he could actually save her. Though she knew it couldn't be done. By the time this hellish ordeal was over blood would be shed, she just prayed her loved ones made it through this time.
"Naraku I thought I told you that Inuyasha was mine? You are not to touch him!" Kikyou was enraged. Apparently Inuyasha and Kagome weren’t phased by death threats.
"All I did was knock him out, cocky twat, be lucky that is all I did." Naraku met the princess head on, irritation swirling within his own crimson eyes.
"Whatever. What is your next plan? And remember the point of our arrangement is to keep them apart."
"Calm down Princess Kikyou. With what I have planned Inuyasha should be yours and Kagome will be out of the picture." Naraku walked up to Kikyou whispering sinisterly in her ear. The more she heard the wider her smirk became.
"Excellent! Now begone and put your plan in motion." Kikyou waved him off and turned around to reenter her bedroom.
"Do not forget our deal Kikyou, my services are not free." Naraku said before exiting the room. Kikyou shed her silk robe as she climbed into her large bed, shivering with anticipation and excitement.
'Inuyasha you can resist all you like, but everyone has a breaking point. I'll find yours'
Lady Izyaoi walked around her castle grounds to occupy herself. Inuyasha and Miroku had been gone for almost three weeks now, and she missed them terribly.
"The castle has become so boring without their constant running around." she mused to herself.
"Lady Izyaoi!" The lady turned at the sound of her name to see a servant racing toward her.
"Slow down boy, is everything okay?"
"I'm not sure. A strange man delivered this message and demanded it be given to you at once." Her guard went up immediately but didn’t allow the skepticism to show on face. It be would best if she kept her suspicions to herself.
"Thank you. You may go." the young man gave a quick bow and left as quickly as he appeared. Lady Izyaoi opened the letter and gasped at the contents inside.
Dear Lady Izyaoi,
It's been so long since I've last seen you. Though I'm sure you haven't changed a bit. I heard your son has grown up to be quite the little prince. I met him once...he looks just like his father. I didn't sign this letter but you know who I am. I know everything about you Izyaoi, from your favorite flower to your favorite kind of tea. I also know of the common blood coursing through your veins. Do your people know that about you Lady Izyaoi? Do you think that they would continue to serve you if they knew? I mean who would take orders from a simple peasant? I figure it’s also safe to assume your beloved son also had no idea. It's strange to me, for someone who’s never met their father your son knows how to follow in your husband's foot steps, for he has falling in love with a mere servant girl. I'm sure you care about your son's well being ne? If you'd like keep your son alive and your castle from being burned to the ground you will do as I say. Have Inuyasha marry Princess Kikyou.
Izyaoi stared at the letter long after she had read the final line. There weren’t many people in the world who knew of her secret. Did Inuyasha know? It mattered not, if the letter was from whom she thought it was then there was no room for error. The sender would make good on his threat and would certainly leave her kingdom in shambles.
So tomorrow she would set out for Aomori Castle and stop Inuyasha from making the biggest mistake of his life. No way would she stand by a let history repeat itself.
She lost her husband all those years ago, and she would not lose her son as well.
"How is she?" Sango looked to Inuyasha with worried eyes. She and Miroku had lost Inuyasha's trail and decided it would be best to head back to the room to wait. Fifteen minutes later Inuyasha came in carrying a teary eyed and red nosed Kagome, who was sound asleep cradled against his chest.
"Sango... do you know who Naraku is?" judging by the small gasp he heard from her he guessed she did know.
"How do you know about him?"
"When I was attacked earlier today, it was him. Tell me who he is."
"He killed Kagome's family eight years ago. He and a group of bandits desecrated her whole village. She was really shaken up. I was living alone in a village not too far from her old one. She stumbled in one day and we became close. Eventually we left and came to Aomori Castle."
"No one cared that two young girls just left and never came back?" Miroku inquired.
"We were orphans, they didn't care about us."
"So why is he back now? It doesn't make any sense to me." Inuyasha grumbled.
"He's after me." Everyone whipped their heads in surprise to see Kagome slowly sitting up in on the futon Inuyasha had gently laid her in. She crawled over to them and took and seat next to Inuyasha.
"I never took his words seriously. I thought he was just toying with me. He always said he would be back for me but I... I guess I chose to believe he was bluffing, just trying to get a rise out of me." Kagome said.
"Well that bastard ain't gettin' no where near you, understand?" Inuyasha wrapped an arm around her shoulders pulling her closer to him. Kagome gratefully took in the warmth of his body and snuggled deeper against his shoulder.
"Thank you Inuyasha." She whispered.
Sango and Miroku could only sit and stare at the sight. It seemed as if the couple completely forgot about them and were trapped in their own little world.
All they could do was exchange a knowing look and smile.
Inuyasha couldn't sleep. There were too many thoughts running through his head. He slowly got up making sure not to be as quiet as possible, the last thing he wanted was to wake anyone up, especially Kagome. She had been through enough today and needed the rest.
He crept over to the door and opened it, wincing at the creek coming from it.
"Shut up you damn door." he whispered harshly.
As he slunk out the room, missing the brown eyes curiously watching him from the futon.
Inuyasha really had no idea where he was going. He tried remembering his path so that his steps would be easily retraceable but as always, he was lost. He continued to wonder when he ran into something, or someone to be more exact.
"Ouch." said the female voice.
"Sorry, are you okay?" Inuyasha asked. He peered down to help up the young woman when he noticed it was Princess Kikyou.
"Oh Prince Inuyasha! We really have to stop meeting like this." She said with a giggle. She reached her hand out asking for help off the cold floor.
"What are you doing up so late?" Inuyasha asked her.
"Oh I couldn't sleep, so I thought a midnight stroll might help. I would guess the same with you ne?"
"Yeah, I’ve got a lot of mind. You know I heard you talked to Kagome today, do you mind me asking what about?" Inuyasha slipped easily into the conversation.
"Just some servant stuff, duties and things I'd like to have her to do for me." she said easily. The answer was valid, but Inuyasha got the distinct feeling she was lying.
"Hey enough about servants. I hear you've been here almost three weeks yet we haven't seen each other very much. Are you not fond of me Prince Inuyasha?" She pouted and took a step a closer to him.
Inuyasha gulped loudly but didn't make a move to step back. "Um, why wouldn't I be?" Inuyasha said, his voice squeaking at her proximity.
"Why don't you tell me? Because I'll have you know that I'm very fond of you." her voice dropped into a tone surely meant to be seductive and before Inuyasha could react her lips were on his.
“I wonder where Inuyasha ran off to?" Kagome had watched Inuyasha leave the room and became curious as to where he was going. She slowly crept out of the room as to not wake Miroku and Sango.
She had been hot on Inuyasha's trail when something had distracted for no more than a second. By the time she turned around Inuyasha was gone, and so began her blind search for the boy.
"I'll never find him like this." Kagome said to herself. Rounding the next corner Kagome stumbled upon a scene that had her stepping back into the shadows. She watched as he distractedly ran into someone. Being brave and taking a few steps closer she saw it was Princess Kikyou.
Fear knotted in her belly, but she forced herself not to move. She wished she could hear everything they were saying but she could only make out bits and pieces.
"What are you doing up so late?" Kagome guessed from deep voice that was Inuyasha speaking.
Couldn't sleep and midnight stroll were the only words she heard Princess Kikyou say in return. Kagome a took and deep breath and dared step just a little closer. She couldn't stand not being able to hear.
"You know I heard you talked to Kagome today, do you mind me asking what about?" Now Kagome could both see and hear Kikyou and Inuyaha clearly. She just hoped she stayed unnoticed.
"Oh just servant stuff, duties, and things I'd like her to do for me." she heard the princess smoothly reply.
'Liar!' Kagome screamed in her head. Kagome was so busy yelling at Kikyou in her head she missed Inuyasha's response.
"Hey enough about servants. I hear you've been in the castle almost three weeks and we've barely seen each other. Are you not fond of me Prince Inuyasha?"
Kagome could only roll her eyes at Kikyou's pout. She did, however, notice the way Kikyou swayed her hips a little more than necessary when walking towards Inuyasha.
"Uh why wouldn't I be?" came Inuyasha's squeaky retort. Kagome's eyes bulged at what she saw and heard next.
"Why don't you tell me? Because I'll have you know that I'm very fond of you." When Kikyou placed her lips on Inuyasha's and he made no move stop her, Kagome could have sworn her world stopped spinning.
Her heart ripped in two and she quickly turned away so that they wouldn't hear her sobs. How could he do this to her? Did he ever truly care about her?
You’re nothing more than a peasant. He’ll never choose you.
This whole time...how could she have been so foolish? Inuyasha was a prince and she was a nothing. She knew that they couldn't be together.
Society wouldn't allow it.