A/N: Hey everyone, I am The Azure Guardian and I would like to welcome you all to my newest story; InuYasha: Resonance. Some of you might remember a little story by the name of Threads Of Fate that I had up for a while back when my account name was originally Azurekite4. Well, this is my revisit to that story in an attempt to make it even better than its previous incarnation. Just like Threads Of Fate and my one-shot Present Affairs stories, this one will also have a Michiru/Kagome pairing going forward. Why Michiru and Kagome? Because I feel they're pretty perfect for each other in a lot of ways. That and most stories based on Secret of the Cursed Mask that have Michiru in them put him with Sango with only my Present Affairs and, more recently, a little fic called Inuyasha SOCM: present love by author ryo tadagachi having Michiru paired with Kagome at all, so there should honestly be some more of that. Now, this first chapter is just to get everyone settled in as it takes place immediately after the end of InuYasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask from the Kagome route on a Michiru playthrough. For anyone unfamiliar with the game, I do explain some key details of the events of the game to get you guys a little up to speed and I'll be bringing up more details from the game as development for Michiru and the others as the story progresses. So without further ado, I bring you InuYasha: Resonance. Enjoy...
Also, for something a bit different, I'll be putting all characters thoughts in brackets (like this) just to try something new for myself.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own InuYasha, it is the proud property of Rumiko Takahashi and without her, we would've never gotten the Secret of the Cursed Mask game!
"Hey Michiru, just checking to see if you made it back okay," read the text message from Kagome Higurashi.
Michiru Kururugi couldn't help but smile a bit at the message as he typed out his reply, "Yeah, I got back just fine. Thanks for checking on me."
After sending the message, the Kururugi boy received a response, "That's good. We were all a little worried, though Inuyasha sure wouldn't admit it." Michiru chuckled to himself knowing his half-demon friend was indeed quite stubborn.
As the festival was dying down and the staff started packing up the stalls while customers left, a man who resembled an older version of Michiru sporting a bit of facial hair and a cleaner hairstyle approached the teenager.
"Michiru!" the older man called out to the boy with his voice raised, startling the teen.
"D-Dad!" Michiru returned, having been a little spooked at his father's stern voice, as he turned around to face the man.
"What were you doing? I ask you to get more amulets hours ago!" Michiru's father said angrily, narrowing his eyes at his son and causing the Kururugi boy to flinch.
"Sorry, dad. I went into the storehouse like you asked, but it was so dark in there I couldn't see. I tripped on something and must've hit my head, cause that's the last thing I remember," Michiru apologized with a partial lie. "I only recently regained consciousness and noticed the festival was ending as I stepped out." (After all, I doubt he'd believe I ended up in the Feudal Era for so much time even though it's apparently only been a few hours here…)
Michiru continued to look at his father with an apologetic expression as the older man held his angered gaze, but then his expression softened into one of apology as well, "I see. I'm sorry no one was able come check on you, we just got too busy. Though I probably should have told you to grab a flashlight."
Michiru shook his head, "No, I should have remembered to grab one instead of going straight to the storehouse."
Mr. Kururugi laughed a bit, "I guess we're both guilty of being forgetful. Head on inside, we'll handle things here."
"You sure?" Michiru asked, to which his father nodded.
"If you hurt yourself in the storehouse, it'll do you some good to get some rest. I'll be in once we're done out here," Mr. Kururugi assured.
"Okay. Thanks, dad," Michiru said before heading into his home. After entering his house and closing the door behind himself, Michiru sighed to himself in relief.
"New text message."
"Hm?" the Kururugi boy wondered as he pulled out his phone again and opened it, seeing the new message was from Kagome again.
"Why don't we meet up sometime?" the message read.
Michiru's heart skipped a beat. Was the girl he had fallen for asking him out on a date? The onmyouji boy swallowed his saliva before coming to a more logical conclusion.
(She probably just wants to see for herself that I'm okay,) the boy thought to himself with a small smile before sending a reply. "Sure, is tomorrow okay? Since it's a Sunday, we don't have school anyway."
Michiru then took off his shoes and made his way to the living room, sitting down on the couch and relaxing like his father suggested. A few minutes later, his phone went off again.
"New text message."
The Kururugi boy opened his phone and read the following message from Kagome, "Sounds good. I remember you mentioning that you live at Kururugi Shrine, so I looked up a map using the bus route that goes by your place and I think I've got a good place we can meet up. If it doesn't work for you, let me know."
Michiru then opened the attached file and looked at the map Kagome had provided, making a note of the marked bus route and meeting location.
"I don't see a problem. It actually looks like it's pretty close. Would 11am be a good time for us to meet up?" Michiru sent as his reply, receiving a response moments after.
"Yeah, that's actually a perfect time. I'll see you tomorrow, then," Kagome's reply read out.
Michiru couldn't help but smile to himself as he read the message, then closed out of it and laid down on the couch while his mother and father, along with the festival volunteers, finished packing away the rest of the stalls. At dinner, Michiru had told his parents that he had made some plans to hang out with a friend the next day and was met with no objections.
"Just make sure to stay out of trouble," Michiru's mother said.
"I will," Michiru answered. After finishing his meal, he put his hands together. "Thank you for the meal." The Kururugi boy then picked up his dishes and took them to the sink, rinsing them before putting them into the dishwasher and made his way up to his room for the night, though couldn't help but feel a little nervous about meeting up with Kagome.
The following morning, Michiru woke up, had a quick shower, and got himself dressed, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a grey t-shirt. After having breakfast with his parents, Michiru didn't have long to wait before he had to leave to meet with Kagome, grabbing a tan summer jacket out of the hall closet and putting on his white runners before heading out the door to catch the next bus.
Upon getting off the bus at the designated stop, Michiru had a look around until he saw a familiar face glancing at a watch on her wrist before raising an arm and calling out, "Kagome!"
The young girl in question looked up in the direction of Michiru's voice and smiled, waving her hand, "Michiru! Over here!"
The Kururugi boy nodded and, after crossing the street, jogged up to the raven-haired young woman, "Sorry I'm late. I didn't keep you waiting, did I?"
"No, no, not at all," Kagome assured as she waved her hands in protest. "I actually got here a little bit ago, myself. Turns out we both got here early."
"That's a relief," Michiru said with a relieved look on his face. "I didn't want you to think I ditched you or something."
Kagome let out a small laugh, "That's all right. Now come on, we've got some time to kill before lunch."
Michiru nodded in agreement and the two walked together to hang out around the area, though it was at that time that Kururugi boy actually got a good look at what his friend was wearing; a light blue, cropped V-neck cardigan with a breezy, pink summer dress and a pair of blue platform sandals and had a handbag hanging from her shoulder. The pair spent their time walking around to various small shops, stopping in to check out some of the items on sale and having fun goofing around, even going into a photo booth to get some pictures taken, to which the two laughed over some of the goofier faces they made. Noon eventually rolled around and the pair made their way to a nearby Wacdnald's restaurant for lunch and sat down at a table inside to eat.
"Your family must've been really surprised when you got back," Kagome brought up.
"Hm? What do you mean?" Michiru wondered.
"Well you were with us in the Feudal Era for so long with no way to get back, right?" Kagome clarified. "I can't imagine your family not being worried."
"Actually…" Michiru paused, making sure he had Kagome's full attention. "I came back to the exact time that I left."
"Huh?! But how? You were with us for months!" Kagome pointed out.
"I know…" Michiru acknowledged with a thoughtful look on his face, trying to figure out why he returned home to the exact same time that he had been pulled to the Feudal Era, give or take an hour.
Kagome seemed to be thinking on the subject as well, having placed a finger on her chin, before having an idea, "Maybe… Utsugi had something to do with it?"
Michiru was brought out of his thoughts immediately at the mention of his ancestor's name, "Utsugi? How do you mean?"
"Well, you went back home after we finished burying him, right?" Kagome recalled, to which Michiru slowly nodded, the moment still fresh in his mind.
Utsugi, Michiru's ancestor from the Feudal Era, had attempted to perform a secret art call Soul Infusion to try and steal Michiru's soul in an attempt to become human. But Utsugi was also using a shard of the Shikon Jewel that had been heavily tainted by Naraku, which the demon used to revive himself through Utsugi's body in order to gain the powers of the master Onmyouji. After Naraku's final defeat by the group, it had turned out Michiru was saved from having his soul removed thanks to an amulet given to him by Kakuju, another of Michiru's ancestor's, which the old woman put her soul into, leading Utsugi to take Kakuju's soul instead. The strain of being possessed by Naraku, in combination with using what remained of his power at the time to give Michiru and his friends the advantage they needed, took its toll on Utsugi and eventually led to his death.
"And we can probably assume he was the one who summoned you to the Feudal Era to begin with," Kagome added.
"With Naraku's help, yeah," Michiru nodded in agreement.
"Then I think whatever spell he used to summon you had some kind of countermeasure to send you back exactly to where it pulled you from in the chance Utsugi died," Kagome guessed.
"Hm… It's possible. Unfortunately, it's not like we can just ask him about the details now," Michiru said.
"I'm sorry," Kagome apologized.
"No, it's okay," Michiru assured, slowly shaking his head.
"Though I have been wondering…" Kagome paused. "You couldn't use the Bone-Eater's Well, so how exactly did you get to the Feudal Era?"
"Well… Yesterday was the day of the Doll Festival of Wishes, a family-held tradition for centuries. I ended up getting home late because homeroom class got held up," Michiru started.
"Ugh, I know that feeling," Kagome sympathized. "When you just want to go home and relax but the teacher drags things on…"
Michiru couldn't help but laugh, "Yeah, that's exactly it. Anyway, once I got home, the festival was already well underway so I made my way to my dad to apologize. He told me to go into the storehouse to get some extra supplies before getting changed, but I forgot to grab a flashlight before going in. I stumbled around in the dark until the floor gave in and… that's it."
"Really? You just fell through the floor?" Kagome repeated, trying her best to hold back a laugh.
"Hey, come on…" Michiru said, feeling a little hurt.
"I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't," Kagome apologized. "But really, just falling through the floor and you end up in the Feudal Era?"
"Well… Now that I think about it, I think I saw something on the floor…" Michiru paused as he thought before recalling what it was. "Hold on. You remember the marks on those talismans Kakuju gave us for Miroku?"
"You mean the ones with the star-shaped patterns?" Kagome asked, to which Michiru nodded. "What about them?"
"I think I remember seeing the same mark on the floor in our storehouse before the floor gave in," Michiru said. "Not only that, but we have the exact same markings on the clay dolls we use for the Doll Festival."
"Huh… Now that I think about it, every time you and Utsugi used your Shikigami, the exact same symbol would appear under your feet," Kagome realized.
"Maybe it's something to do with my family?" Michiru wondered. "I mean, if it appeared for both myself and Utsugi…"
"Maybe you could try looking into it?" Kagome suggested.
"Yeah, otherwise it's just going to bug me," Michiru said, letting out a sigh. "By the way, what will you guys be doing now that Naraku's gone?"
"Well the Jewel Shards are still out there, so we still need to collect them," Kagome answered. "Plus it kind of is my fault we have to hunt the shards anyway…"
"How exactly did that happen, anyway?" Michiru asked out of curiosity.
"Well…" Kagome then went on to explain how she had first gone to the Feudal Era after trying to get her cat, Buyo, out of the shed that the Bone-Eater's Well was kept in only to be pulled into the Well by the revived Mistress Centipede, then how she encountered Inuyasha pinned to a tree and eventually undoing the seal that held him in the hopes the half-demon would fight Mistress Centipede, then continued to how she shot the Shikon Jewel after it had been eaten by a Crow Demon, resulting in the Jewel shattered and its shards flying all across Feudal Japan. Kagome also mentioned various events, such as when she and Inuyasha met Shippo, Miroku, and Sango, meeting Koga and why he's so obsessed with making Kagome his wife, Kikyo's resurrection along with briefly mentioning the backstory of Inuyasha and Kikyo, their initial confrontation with Naraku, how Inuyasha came to possess the Tessaiga, the information she had gotten about Sesshomaru from Inuyasha and Myoga, their initial encounters with Kagura and Kanna, Naraku's other incarnations Goshinki, Juromaru and Kageromaru, and the time Kagome had been cursed by Tsubaki, intentionally leaving out any mention of Inuyasha's time of powerlessness under the New Moon, believing Inuyasha would rather tell Michiru when the half-demon believed the young Onmyouji was ready, as well as leaving out details concerning Inuyasha's uncontrollable full-demon form. Kagome also mentioned Jinenji, a kind and gentle half-demon, and her encounters with the demonic Noh Mask and the Soul Piper in the Present, which surprised Michiru that demons were still around to this day.
"Wow, you've sure been through a lot," Michiru said, then sighed inwardly. "I really wish I could help you guys again."
"We miss you too, Michiru," Kagome assured him with a soft smile. "Though Inuyasha would be too proud to actually admit it, you were a big help. Without you, it might've taken forever to truly defeat Naraku." Michiru chuckled a little, knowing Kagome was exaggerating a little. "Well okay, maybe not literally forever, but you know what I mean. Because of your help, Miroku is free of the Wind Tunnel's curse and Sango has her brother back."
"Thank you, Kagome. It means a lot to hear that," Michiru said with a grateful smile, which the Higurashi girl returned.
"Oh! That reminds me," Kagome said in sudden realization before she opened her handbag and started to dig through it. "I know I put it here somewhere… Ah! Here it is!" Michiru raised an eyebrow in curiosity as Kagome pulled her closed hand out of her bag and set it on the restaurant table. "This got left behind when you were returned home, and I thought maybe you would like to have it."
Kagome opened her hand before pulling it back, revealing that the item she had set on the table was a small, wooden amulet roughly the size of a 100-yen coin with a familiar red, star-shaped pentagram carved into it and embedded in the center was a small red gem. The amulet itself was tied with a thin hemp rope. Michiru took the amulet into his hand and looked at it closely.
"This is… Kakuju's Amulet," Michiru said, recognizing the item as the very same amulet his ancestor, old lady Kakuju, gave to him moments before she died which resulted from an attack by a giant Hitogata doll of Utsugi that attacked the group. Kakuju pushed Michiru out of the way and took the attack that was meant for the boy, fatally wounding her. With her remaining strength, Kakuju put her soul into the amulet as she gave it to Michiru, which would end up saving both the Kururugi boy and, ultimate, Utsugi himself.
"I thought you would've liked to have it, considering it was her final gift to you," Kagome said sympathetically.
Michiru couldn't keep himself from smiling gratefully, "Thank you, Kagome…" Kagome smiled back as the Kururugi boy held onto the amulet briefly before putting it into his pocket.
Kagome glanced at her wristwatch and was surprised to see that it was just a little after 2:30pm, "Oh wow, we've been here that long?"
"Time really flies when you're talking and having fun with friends," Michiru pointed out. "When were you planning on heading back?"
"In two days," Kagome answered. "I usually come back with enough time to visit my family, relax and go to school to hand in my homework or take a test. I wish I could stay longer though, but then Inuyasha would just cross over to take me back."
"Wait, Inuyasha can use the Well, too?" Michiru questioned, surprised that someone other than Kagome was able to cross between time periods using the Bone-Eater's Well. "How?"
Kagome placed a finger on her chin and turned her gaze up to the ceiling in thought, "Hm… You know, I'm not exactly sure. But for some reason, we're the only two who can."
"And here I thought it was something only you could use," Michiru said. "But if someone else can…"
Kagome quickly brought her head back down to look at Michiru, "Then maybe you can, too!"
"Only thing left then would be to figure out how," Michiru said, leaning back in his seat. "You said it was only you and Inuyasha who could pass through, right? Shippo, Miroku and Sango can't?"
Kagome nodded in confirmation, "Though Mistress Centipede was able to partly pass through the Well, but I think that may have been because I was standing so close to it, since the Shikon Jewel was inside my body. And then the hair demon, Yura, was able to send her hair through probably because she had a shard at the time."
"Maybe the Jewel Shards can allow people to pass through the Bone-Eater's Well?" Michiru pondered.
"It might. I've always carried a shard with me since I'm the only one who can purify the Jewel, other than Kikyo," Kagome answered. "But Inuyasha seems to be able to pass through just fine without one." Michiru scrunched up his face as he tried to wrap his head around how exactly the Bone-Eater's Well worked. "Anyway, think we should be heading back?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah," Michiru agreed with a nod and the two got up from their seats, having finished their meal during their conversation, and made their way out of the restaurant, though Michiru's mind kept being drawn back to the working of the Bone-Eater's Well. (Could it be the Jewel Shards? But Kagome's always had them with her, so that's not enough to go off of. And Inuyasha can apparently go through without them…)
Kagome then stopped in front of Michiru and turned around to face the boy, a kind smile on her face, "Well it was great spending time with you, Michiru. And I'm glad you made it back okay."
"Oh, thanks," Michiru said with a slight bow as he rubbed the back of his head. "At least I know there's still someone from the group I can meet with and talk to."
"Of course!" Kagome said, her smile widening a little. "I'll send you a message whenever I come back and so we can meet up and fill you in on how things are going on the other side."
Michiru nodded with a smile of his own, "And I'll let you know how I'm adjusting back here in case the others have any concerns."
"Sounds good. Well, I'll be heading back now," Kagome said as she adjusted her handbag on her shoulder, waving to Michiru as she walked away. "See you later!"
"Take care!" Michiru waved back as he stood outside of the restaurant and watched Kagome disappear into the distance to catch her bus. The Kururugi boy then dug his hand into his pocket, pulled out Kakuju's amulet and looked at it. (There's got to be a way to get back… I want to be able to help them, to thank them all for helping me get back home, and to just see them again.) Michiru then put the amulet back into his pocket as he made his way towards the bus stop to make his own way back home.
A large, muscular figure jumped through a grove of trees until it landed by a cliffside. The sunlight revealed the figure's body to be covered in yellow and white fur with black stripes running down its back and a feline tail with matching fur color and patterns. In its hands, the figure was dragging some dead animals that it had hunted. The figure then made its way around the cliff to a large but hidden cave entrance and walked into it. The figured walked for several minutes but eventually reached the back of the cave, at which point it knelt on the floor.
"Please awaken soon, Master…" the figure said, their voice deep and gravely. "Demonkind requires your guidance…"
In front of the feline-like figure was another, much larger figure that appeared to be sitting against the cave wall in a deep slumber.