Kagome had not expected the kind of reception she got at Karakura High. After the brief introduction to some of Ichigo's friends, she had mostly kept to herself. She didn't know where to sit so she just lingered by the window, content to watch the students that were still making their way into the building. But, she was surprised to find multiple people approaching her and introducing themselves. Mostly boys, but a few girls here and there.
If she had expected to keep her space from everyone, she was sorely wrong. Everyone seemed too interested in her as the new student to give her any time alone. So far the only name she could really remember was that of Momohara-san, though. She wasn't the best with names and she certainly was out of practice. But everyone was so nice.
She was trying to keep up with what the group in front of her was saying but it was hard. She had forgotten how social high school students were and the most conversation she'd had was the small talk with Urahara, Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu. As some of the students wandered off, one boy remained.
"So, Kagome-chan," the dark hair boy in front of her said. Although, she wasn't sure when he had dropped the san and picked up the chan. But, she wasn't one to fuss. "Did you just move here?"
She nodded, it was something like that. "Yes…" she grasped for a name of the fit looking boy in front of her. He was probably on a sports team, he looked like a runner.
"Daisuke Hara," he filled in for her, smiling. "But, you can just call me Daisuke."
"Ok, Daisuke-san." His smile wilted a bit at the little formality, but he continued. He thought her shyness was cute. Except, he didn't know that she wasn't shy. She was just adjusting to adequate casual speech with a classmate. And, she was completely oblivious to the fact that Daisuke and the other boys that had introduced themselves to her were not doing it out of simple friendliness.
"You know, since you just moved here, you probably don't really know your way around. I can show you around sometime if you like," he offered.
"Ah, thank you," she said, not accepting his offer but not knowing how to reject it either. But, he seemed to take it as a yes as he simply nodded and continued to talk at her, not seeming to notice her awkward replies.
Ichigo, though, was more than aware of the attention Kagome was attracting and though he tried to listen to what Orihime was saying, he couldn't stop noticing her. Right now, that stupid Hara boy was talking to her and that irked him. Kagome clearly didn't know she was attractive and all these idiots were going out of their way to introduce themselves. And even though he knew she was unaware of the sort of attention they were giving her, he was still irked that she was talking to them. Couldn't she just stand there and not talk? Stare out the window or something? Why couldn't she have just been ugly? Then he wouldn't have to worry about the people talking to her and he could focus on the important matters. Like Shinji Hirako who was good naturedly conversing with Tatsuki.
"Ichigo," Uryu tried to snap him out of his daze but he barely registered his name. "Ichigo," Uryu tried again earning an irritated response.
But, at that moment they were all saved by Ochi-sensei striding into the classroom. Kagome promptly excused herself politely from Hara and scurried up to the teacher. After a brief conversation, Misato Ochi addressed her class.
"Good morning, class!" She said cheerily and received a back a mix of 'good mornings' that ranged from bright and chirpy to less than enthusiastic. Clapping her hands together she continued, "We have a new student! She will introduce herself and then I will take roll call."
Kagome quietly shuffled to the blackboard and took the piece of chalk offered to her by Ochi-sensei. It had been a long time since she had written anything, so her writing wasn't exactly pretty to look at. But, she slowly wrote out the characters to her name and turned to face the class.
"Hello, I am Kagome Urahara. Let's all have a good school year together," she bowed and waited for Ochi to tell her to sit.
And, it looked like the only empty seat was behind Ichigo and between Daisuke Hara and an unknown girl. As she took her seat, Daisuke looked over and said something but she didn't quite catch it. Nodding with a pleasant smile, Kagome turned her attention back to the front of the room.
Phew, she had made it through. The introduction was probably what she had been most worried about. She was never good at speaking in front of people, and now she was sorely out of practice. But, if she pretended she was a ghost again, she could pretend that they couldn't see or hear her. Because she had certainly spent her fair share of time speaking to the living in the beginning, hoping that someone would hear her. They never did, though.
And, now she was seated near Ichigo, at least. Even though he didn't seem to want too much to do with her. It was weird to think that not too long ago she would have been watching this very class, having never spoken to Ichigo. While they weren't friends, they had come a long way from her silently following him.
It wasn't even an hour into the lesson when Ichigo's badge suddenly went off. Abruptly standing up, he hurried out of the classroom, yelling back to the teacher "I need to go to the bathroom!" And to which Orihime and Chad quickly followed, yelling back the same excuse.
Kagome admitted she would have preferred following the trio, but now she was a student and she had no reason to go following the group when she wasn't even friends with them.
But, she wasn't the only one who wanted to follow. Shinji stood up and asked to go to the nurse before exiting the room as well.
Kagome heard the groans of some of the students as Ochi-sensei dismissed the running off of the group of students. "Well, it's Ichigo and his friends so I'm sure they'll come back. We can let this one slide."
Daisuke even leaned over and whispered to her, "They always find some excuse to leave class and Ochi-sensei never punishes them for it." He clearly disapproved of it. But, Kagome knew that Ichigo was going off to fight a hollow. And that was more important than class at the moment, just as her travels to the feudal era were.
"I'm sure there is a good reason," she replied only to receive a huff back.
She once more directed her attention to what the teacher was saying, absorbing everything she could. It was oddly pleasant to be back in school, even though she had dreaded it in the past. Yet, going without it only gave her an appreciation for the atmosphere and learning. She was scribbling down words in her notebook, albeit slowly and sloppily, when Chad and Orihime reappeared. However, Ichigo and Shinji were not with them.
Kagome admitted a curiosity. Shinji tried to stay inconspicuous, but she knew he wasn't whoever he was pretending to be. He wasn't human, at least. Not from what she could tell of the energy radiating off of him. If anything, it was more similar to that of a hollow then any person she'd ever encountered. But, then again so was Ichigo's if she really thought about it. Was it possible for a Shinigami to have hollow energy? But, it was none of her business to ask or wonder. As much as she was a part of their world now, she was still a complete outsider. Just because she was staying at the shop and interacting with Urahara and Ichigo and everyone else didn't mean she was a part of everything that was going on. It was a coincidence that she even knew anything was happening at all and what she did know was more than limited. She shouldn't fool herself into thinking she was a part of their world. She wasn't. They didn't trust her. Heck, she wouldn't trust herself.
By the time the two reappeared, it was lunch time. Ichigo and his friends disappeared off to the roof and Kagome pulled out her bento box—courtesy of Ururu and Tessai—to eat alone at her desk.
Except, Daisuke took this as the perfect opportunity to talk with her more.
"What do you have there?" He asked to which she tilted the box to show off its contents. Just some rice, fish, and sweet cakes. "Looks good," he continued and then tried to fill the quiet that followed. "So, what kind of hobbies do you have?"
"Uh," Kagome though for a second. She didn't really have any hobbies unless people watching counted. "I used to like archery a lot. Hiking, that sort of stuff," she said, thinking back to the treks she used to go on with the gang around Japan. It wasn't exactly hiking, though, back then.
"Oh that's cool! I like hiking to," he said, enthusiastically. "I'm also the captain of the kendo team. You know, I know it's not a really girly club but if you ever want to try I could teach you."
That's why he seemed so fit, he was head of the kendo team. It had never interested Kagome too much in the past, but now that she thought about it, it sounded fun. It was sword fighting, right? She had never had the chance to learn that before she had died and it was definitely a useful skill. She didn't really know what the Soul Society was like, but it couldn't hurt to go there knowing kendo.
And, she didn't have anything against Daisuke. If he was offering to help, then why not agree? It wasn't like he liked her or anything.
"Actually, that sounds really fun," she smiled to the taller boy who beamed back, "If it's not a bother to you and the team."
"Of course not. We have practice tomorrow after school," he said, taking bites of his own lunch in-between speaking.
"Thank you," Kagome said back, somewhat excitedly. Her first day was going surprisingly well. She hadn't completely made a fool of herself during her introduction, she had met Ichigo's friends, and now she had something to do after school instead of just sitting around the shop feeling useless. She could get used to this life.
Except she couldn't, she reminded herself. She wasn't staying. Because she was dead. She wouldn't get too comfortable. Once she saw her family, she was gone. She'd spent too long lingering around Japan and it would finally be her time to move on. But, oh it was so tempting to stay in this gigai forever.
At the end of the day, Kagome waited around. Ichigo had told her he would take her back to the shop and she had no qualms about that. He'd seemed rather stiff, though, ever since he and Shinji had come back to the class.
As they exited the room, a comfortable silence blanketed the two and followed them down the hallway, down the stairs, and all the way out of the school until they were at least a few blocks away.
"So, how was your day?" Ichigo finally said, startling the girl who seemed content to just be walking by his side.
"It was good, everyone was very nice. I'm not used to people talking to me." She said, gazing around as they walked.
It looked like he was about to say something, but his badge suddenly went off, the loud noise making the two jump.
Ichigo let out a loud groan before shooting her an apologetic glance. "I've got to get this, stay right here!" He commanded before running of, badge in hand.
Kagome couldn't get a word out before he was gone, off to fight another hollow. She probably could just walk back on her own, but he had told her to stay put. Maybe she should listen.
"Hmm," Kagome mumbled out, unsure of what to do with herself. She saw other students making their way home, all talking and smiling with each other. It was like any other day, except now she was one of them.
She was brought out of her thoughts, though, as a crash sounded not too far away. She looked around, but no one else seemed phased by the sound. It was like they couldn't hear it.
She tried to see in the direction the sound had come from, but saw nothing. Until Ichigo came flying through the air and into the building she had just been standing by. Dust and debris fell from the crater that Ichigo was currently in, but he recovered quickly and shot off the walls in the direction that he had been thrown from.
Worried, Kagome dropped her school bag and ran over in the direction he was headed. It must have been a tough hollow because she'd never seen him thrown into a wall like that. Whenever she had seen him in the past, he had swiftly dispatched of the threat.
Coming upon the fight, she saw Ichigo in his black attire, dodging attacks from a rather large hollow. Although, it didn't look that special to her. But as she watched them exchange blows, she realized…what could she even do? She couldn't fight it. She had never actually fought hollows in the past as they tended to not notice her since she suppressed her spiritual energy. And, she didn't have any fighting skills. She might have back in feudal Japan, but even then Inuyasha always handled it. She was so stupid. She had just run to the fight without thinking. There was nothing she could do! She was as useless as ever!
She watched, feeling stupid as Ichigo seemed to gain the upper hand in the fight and quickly slashed through the hollow's mask. As it disintegrated, he looked to her with a frown.
"What were you thinking? You're still in your gigai and that was a dangerous hollow!" He said, frustrated. He had watched her run over only to stand there. She could have been grabbed by the hollow! Then what? She had literally run into danger instead of in the direction she should have been going—away.
"Sorry," she mumbled, wringing her hands together. She had been stupid. He should be upset. What was she thinking? A few days in this body and it was already getting to her head! Even dead she knew not to approach hollows, especially if they were engaged in a fight. "It won't happen again," she whispered before the shame was too much and she ran. That was something she was used to. Running. And, running from Ichigo seemed to be a common pastime for her by now.
'I do not belong in their world,' she thought to herself. 'I'm just a dead soul. I'm no Shinigami.'
But she wanted to be part of that world. She had never wanted to be a part of anything like this. She had spent so many years seeing the Shinigami in the world of the living. Yet, she had never really had an interest in them until Ichigo came along. And now she had seen the moon and the sun and everything in-between. She wanted to belong in the world of Ichigo and his friends and Urahara. Because she had never had any other purpose besides waiting to see her family. And while that was always in the back of her head, she suddenly had others in her life.
'When did I become so selfish?' she thought.