|Much Like Falling
Author: Aiffe PM
-First place winner at iyfic contest- High school AU. "They say girls of the Higurashi line have a gift." Now continued!Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural - Kagome H. & Kagura - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,809 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 10-02-08 - Published: 09-21-08 - id: 4552227
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Originally written for iyfic contest's "High school AU" theme. Everyone was doing it! I just wanted to be popular!
That's her over there. Kagura, the principal's daughter, smoking a cigarette behind the school. Her hair's been dyed so many times the color refuses to take, leaving her with a muddy rainbow. Her makeup is equally unnatural, though it fails to distract from the livid bruise on her left cheek. There are rumors, of course, about her father. No one would be surprised. With a mouth like that, anyone would hit her. But it could just as easily be the tough boys she hangs out with. No one knows where she goes, what she does, what's been done to her.
Kagome freezes when Kagura turns her gaze on her, angry, accusing. "What are you looking at?" Kagura demands. Kagome falters. Kagura's nails are long and sharp, not acrylics but real nails, the kind that could draw blood. She's heard stories. Everyone has.
"I, ah," Kagome starts unevenly. "Can you spare a smoke?" She doesn't smoke, of course. What would her mother think? What would Kikyou-nee-chan say? But she takes the cigarette from Kagura, and puts it in her mouth. Kagura looks at her intently, holding the lighter underneath her chin, but not flicking it. She blows a plume of smoke in Kagome's face, and Kagome nearly collapses coughing, accidentally spitting her cigarette onto the grass.
"You don't even smoke. Idiot," Kagura says, picking up Kagome's cigarette and shoving it back in her pack. "So what do you want?"
"I don't know."
Kagura regards her with suspicion. "If this is some attempt to 'save' me...if you're offering to dye my hair back or help me with my homework or reform me in any way—"
"No. That's not it."
"You want something, though. Drugs, maybe? I don't have any, but I can tell you who—"
"No." Kagome shakes her head. "Nothing like that." She takes a deep breath. Kagura isn't making this easy. "Do you ever..." she pauses, uncertain, "have weird dreams?"
"No," Kagura says easily. "Never."
"I don't dream." Kagura shrugs lightly. "I never have."
Kagome wants to say that that's impossible, that maybe she forgets her dreams, but she surely dreams them, everyone dreams...but she sees Kagura's face, calm, beautiful, her eyes gleaming just a little too red, and in that moment she believes that Kagura has never dreamed.
"Then," Kagome says, searching, "a feeling, maybe. Like we should be somewhere else."
Kagura exhales smoke, and watches it thread through the air. Kagome thinks, strangely, that she doesn't smoke for the high or to rebel; she smokes to become a part of the air, to fly. "All the time," Kagura says. "But there's nothing else to do, nothing else for us to be." She looks suddenly at Kagome again. "You're her sister, aren't you? You used to have longer hair."
Kagome puts a hand to her short-shorn hair, self-consciously. "We're twins," she says. "I hated getting confused with her."
"She's quite popular."
"I know. That was the problem." Kagome doesn't say any more. She doesn't need to.
Kagome shivers, and Kagura takes off her torn denim jacket and hands it to her. Kagome takes it and puts it on, even though it smells of smoke.
"Does your sister have these dreams too?" Kagura says, the scorn almost gone from her voice, giving way to curiosity.
"At night? I don't know," Kagome says. "Maybe. We're close, but...she doesn't tell me everything. But as you know, she faints sometimes, due to her medical condition. She wakes in a terror, crying that she dreamed she was dead. She seems very strong about it, but she's always afraid of passing out again, as though it really were like dying."
Kagura closes her eyes, listening. "Is that really so scary?"
"What, dying? I'd say so."
Kagura shrugs, again. "There's this guy. Wild guy. Older than me. We go for motorcycle rides. The way he rides, you'd think he was immortal. I'm not, but I ride with him. When we're the fastest thing on the highway, when we go too fast around the turns on mountain roads, or pass a whole string of traffic on the wrong side of the road, I see death. My death. You'd think I'd scream for him to slow down. Stop riding with him. But I don't. I only say one word: 'faster!' Like if we went fast enough, we could outpace death, outrun life itself, and be free." For a moment she's lost in her own words, seeing the road blur and feeling the cutting wind.
"One of my dreams was about you," Kagome says, a new urgency in her voice. "They say girls of the Higarashi line have a gift...so please, be careful, Kagura-san." She puts her hand on Kagura's shoulder, and Kagura looks at her, surprised. There's something between them then, something unsaid, maybe something that can never be said. Kagome's eyes plead with her, and surely, if she hadn't before, Kagura knows she is mortal.
Before the surprise can give way to contempt, a deep voice calls their attention, and both girls whirl around guiltily. "Smoking again, Kagura?" It's the principal, Kagura's father, Naraku. Kagura looks at him like she wants to put her cigarette out in his eye, but drops it, and grinds it out slowly beneath her school-regulation pennyloafer. She glares at her father all the while, and her face colors, darkening her bruise.
"Higurashi-san," Naraku says, "were you—"
"Of course not," Kagura cuts in. "This goody-goody? She was just lecturing me, trying to save me. The idiot." She sneers. "I told her not to, but she doesn't listen very well." Kagura looks at Kagome meaningfully as she says this.
Naraku smiles genially. "I do appreciate your efforts, Higurashi-san, but really, delinquents like this one are best left to the professionals."
Kagome can't explain why or how, but her heart fills with terror. She knows that what she fears isn't detention, or the ruining of her reputation, but something deeper, more primal. Her vision darkens, and she thinks that she must have inherited her sister's weakness after all, because it feels as though death itself has come to swallow her. She tries to focus on Kagura's brave, foolish words, tries to see the road speeding past and feel nothing but the wind, clinging to the back of some strange, reckless man, but as Kagura and her father walk away she falls to her knees, and sees only an empty field of flowers.