Toga and his unwitting human companion were walking around the ancient woodland. Or rather, Toga was keeping a track on the strange human woman who seemed to be wondering aimlessly at that point. She appeared to be in some state of shock, Toga mused.
“It has to be here”, she muttered once in a while to herself.
There might as well have been a gaping crater on the ground; the demon doubted she would have even seen it there. It was pointless of her to search for a well in that condition. He shook his head lightly. This charade had gone on long enough. He was getting hungry and bored and the girl would not satisfy either of those needs. Toga gave a last glance at that peculiar creature and headed back to his pack. What nonsense.
Kagome was still trudging along without direction. She hardly even realized that Toga had left her. Neither did she notice when her feet came to a halt. Her backpack glided off her shoulder and she slumped down next to it. For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what had happened that day. There had been absolutely nothing out of the ordinary when she had woken up that morning. No, everything had been perfectly fine. She even had managed to get a good night’s sleep. Nothing unusual during her morning routines. Everything had gone just accordingly until she had climbed out the well. She had sensed it then. She had arrived at the wrong place. Or perhaps at the wrong time. She didn’t know.
Kagome sat still for some time until she decided that she would get nowhere if she didn’t keep moving. There had to be something, someone, who knew what was happening. This wasn't the first time the well had acted up. There had to be something behind it. She would find out the cause and fix the problem. It's that simple. She dusted her skirt and picked up her bag.
‘I should head… that way’, she decided.
When she turned, once again, Toga was standing right in front of her. He had appeared almost from thin air.
“What the…!” She yelled and tried not to fall over. She balanced herself against a tree trunk. “Would you mind not doing that every time!” Kagome said slightly startled. Toga didn’t pay any attention to her. “Phew,” she sighed and looked at him suspiciously, “Where were you?”
“Duck.” Toga grumbled.
“Huh?” Kagome frowned at him. But before she could turn to face the direction Toga was looking at, he knocked her down.
Kagome’s face was greeted by a damp hummock and she furiously spat moss out of her mouth. She was prepared to give that man damnation when she’d get up. Before she could move, a bright flash arched over her body.
Powerful blast of black light shot out of a katana that had appeared in Toga’s hand.
Kagome could barely make out what was happening, being blinded by the forceful discharge of light. Toga ran off to the direction of the light and she heard the screech of metal clashing with metal. Someone was grunting and moaning until another wave of light made everything quiet down.
Kagome crawled up and rubbed her eyes. Further away, on the bed of hummock laid limbers and lumps of flesh. What she was able to make out of the remains there had been a small pack of demons lurking in the forest. Toga had been just in time to save her. Kagome cursed herself for being so caught up in her own worries that she had forgot to secure the area.
Toga was hunching over the bodies and tore a piece of cloth from one of the corpses. He straightened up and cleaned off the dark streaks of blood that tainted his blade. Kagome met with his gaze and watched how the urge of adrenalin was dissipating from his eyes.
“Thank--“ she began until her eyes veered to the katana in Toga’s hand. She gaped at it with stupefying disbelief. There was no way she could forget something like it. That ominous jewel in the handle. The narrow blade in its slumbering form. The sight of Inuyasha being absorbed by that very weapon and turning to its slave.
‘So’unga.’ Her mind whispered the name carefully like it was a curse word.
She had thought it impossible that anyone could wield that blade. No one else, but…
Kagome’s eyes very slowly, almost too afraid to, turned back to Toga’s. The red glow had completely disappeared and two familiar amber orbs looked back at her. Amber orbs that for years had always offered her comfort, love and an endless source of infuriation.
The young priestess was hit by such a shock of realization that it almost threatened to shake her out of her state of consciousness.
“Y-you are… Inu no Taisho…” She stuttered and backed away.
The man sheathed his katana and hid it neatly to his clothing while simply stating, “I am not. I am the son of Inu no Taisho.”
Numbness crept up from the soles of her feet to her entire legs. Kagome began falling when Toga hurried to her and grabbed a hold of her, forcefully keeping her from dropping to her knees.
“This place is not safe.”
The girl watched his brow furrowing with something that might have been annoyment of his close proximity to a human or the perpetual stick chafing his ass. Had Kagome been in a more coherent state she would not have done what her foggy brain deemed as a good idea at the moment.
She glided her palm over his cheek, unable to tell where Inuyasha began and where Toga ended. She felt the warmth of his skin creep though her touch.
Afresh her audacity left Toga flabbergasted. His immediate impulse was to throw her off his arms. He was disgusted by the fact that he had even decided to help her, let alone save her life and let her clammy hands run over his face like he was a pet dog.
He tried to distance her from his face while trying to hold her up by her shoulders, but her persisting hand didn’t leave his cheek. Her half-lidded eyes slid from his eyes to his tightened lips.
Some kind of recognition lit her eyes so wonderfully that it lured Toga to pull her just a bit closer. When she looked at him, her eyes held something he had never seen in the eyes of his lovers. They were full of love and adornment. It confused and scorned him.
Unwillingly his mouth relaxed and partly opened when he pulled her closer again.
Just as he was reaching back to her in his own unintelligent trance, the girl slipped out of awareness. Toga snapped out of his trance when her body suddenly turned limp and he had to struggle to keep her from slipping from his embrace.
In a flying brief moment, her glow was gone. Toga was left standing in the woods with a woman who had dark rings under her eyes and cracking lips from dryness.
The dog demon sensed that others of his kind were on a scout not far. They were closing in on him and the girl. He sighed deeply through his nose. How was he supposed to explain this?
Kagome stirred her eyes in a place without sunlight. Her hands explored the surroundings and she found herself lying on a bed of fur. When the girl’s eyes came accustomed to the dimness, she made out that she was in some kind of a shed. There was nothing else inside except her makeshift bed. Soft voices murmured irascibly outside the shed. It sounded like a woman arguing with a man. After the woman ceased talking, she heard shuffling and someone entered.
“You have awoken.” Toga’s voice stated above her.
She was about to ask where they were until her stomach gave a mighty growl.
“Uh, I’m sorry.”
Toga didn’t remark in any way, but just simply tossed her something that was tied in a lump of clothing.
“You lost consciousness earlier due to exhaustion. Eat and dress, I’ll be waiting outside.”
Kagome tried to stand up, but she felt awfully wobbly. Besides, as she soon came to realisation, she wasn’t wearing any clothes. When the fur slipped off her chest and revealed her state of undress, she blushed fiercely and grabbed the hairy piece of animal skin to cover her from Toga’s eyes.
The man simply gave her an accentuated stare to eat what she was given and without saying anything, left her.
Well, it’s not like Kagome had really expected him to ask about her health or even pretend to be interested in such trivial things. She reached for the sag and opened it. There was a small array of berries and some dried fish with a flask made out of skin. Kagome pulled out a wooden cork and drank greedily. She hadn’t had anything to drink for almost a day. The cold water hurt in her empty stomach.
After she had finished with her “meal”, she checked what was left of the sag. It contained only one unceremonious rag made out of animal skin. It was worn and there were patches of fur here and there. Kagome tried to search the shed for her own clothes, but to no avail.
She decided against going out in her birth suit, so she resignedly inched into her new outfit. It looked more like a potato sag jumpsuit that was mix-bred with a hairless cat. The girl wrinkled her nose at how the material braised her skin.
She had to bend on her way out of the shed and when she stood up she saw dozens of dog demons gathered around small bonfires. As soon as she had stepped out, twenty pairs of eyes were on her. Most of the gazes she was given were either gleeful or disgusted.
The males were all tall and well built. Some of them repairing their weapons in the light of the fire. The females were all gorgeous with their slender physique, fountains of silver hair and flawless skin.
Most of the females were in a small group. All had been gathered around a particularly beautiful demoness that was dressed in a seifuku.
‘What?’ Kagome’s mind immediately shrieked. It didn’t bother her too much that she was midst powerful demons of which any could kill her in a flash if she just looked at them funny. Nobody screwed with her school outfit. They cost a fortune.
Kagome marched straight to the group of females who all stopped talking as she approached. The one in the seifuku gave her a particularly dismayed stare.
“Um, excuse me, miss. I believe you are wearing my uniform.” Kagome called her out.
The demoness moved aside some of her friends and walked up to Kagome. The human girl almost felt intimidated when the 6 feet-something supermodel-like demon goddess came up to her.
“This is a far too luxurious item for a peasant slave like you, human. Besides, it looks much better on me, even if your belly flaps have loosened the waist some.”
Kagome felt like protesting at the demoness’ attitude when her head fast-replayed what she had just heard and caught a word in the middle of the female demon’s sentence.
“A slave? What are you going on about? I’m here to… Uh… I’m… Umm… Anyway. I am not a slave and I want my dress back. So, could you kindly return it to me? ”
The seifuku demoness gave her companions an amused look and they all burst out laughing.
“What a bundle of joy you humans can be,” she smiled joylessly. She bent her head down and almost whispered to Kagome “If you don’t like being a slave, in that case, you can be my dinner.”
An elegant hand was just about to lash across the fragile neck of Kagome when a stronger hand caught the demoness’ hand mid air.
“Ishu, that’s enough.”
Toga threw the offending hand away and stepped between the human and the demoness.
“She’s not for your amusement, Ishu.” Toga rumbled.
The woman called Ishu sneered at Toga. “Spoilsport.” But as Toga was the son of the clan leader, Inu no Taisho, Ishu did not challenge his authority. She backed away and left with her entourage.
“Hey, my dress!” Kagome yelled after them, but Toga stopped her from lunging after them.
When she wasn’t able to claim back what was rightfully hers, Kagome aimed her blazing anger at Toga.
“Oh boy, you’ve got some explaining to do!”
Toga didn’t really feel obliged to explain anything to her, but to avoid any further commotion he decided it was best to talk to her in private. He guided her outside the dog demon camp. One of the male demons yelled an extremely offensive remark after them. Implying that Toga was off to “do a dive in the dark” with his new human toy.
Kagome was so enraged that Toga had to carry her kicking and clawing away from the offender she had tried to attack. As Toga was doing his best to keep Kagome away from manslaughtering the demon, the human girl gave that foul mouth a good bloody stare as she was being carried away from the camp.
When they were a good distance away and Toga was sure that no one would interfere with their discussion, he began, being true to his style, very laconically explaining that he had brought Kagome back to their camp after she had passed out and the other demons had found them. Because her outfit raised too many questions, he thought best to get rid of it. (At which point Kagome wasn’t sure if she was supposed to be more mad about her dress or the fact that Toga had manhandled her while she slept.)
“Okay, I understand. What about the slave bit?” Kagome raised her eyebrow at him. “I’m not about to play some personal laundry lady for you, do you understand?” To emphasize her words, she raised her hand and a small fuchsia energy ball exploded on her palm.
“I do not think you have other alternatives at this point. It is too lengthy a walk for you to get to human population without any knowledge of the land or skills of hunt.”
Kagome crossed her hands and weighted her options. He did have a tedious point there.
Kagome walked up to his face and keenly started at him.
“But I will do no laundry.” She stressed.
Toga was captivated by the fire he saw in her. She was so close that her priestess energy clashed with his youki. It was almost like static electricity had surrounded him. He could sense her power and determination. It fascinated him against his will.