This Mess We're In

Prologue: The City Sun Set Over Me

Disclaimers: I own nothing.

Rating: PG 13 for now, but will probably be changed to R or NC17 later on.

Summary: Kagome has gone back where she belongs, but so has someone else. What exactly happened? They don't know yet either. K/Sess.


In the hills beyond the Higurashi Shrine, the sun was setting.

Kagome turned towards the sky's red glow and cursed as she wiped sweat from her damp brow. "Shit," she groaned. She held her waist-length hair off her neck with one raised hand, praying for a breeze. "I still have to get my lab report finished before tomorrow's lecture. I haven't even finished cleaning the grounds yet." Her baleful glare fell on the plant debris littering the stone pavement surrounding the shrine, and she blinked in confusion as her vision blurred.

"And I desperately need to sleep," she muttered. It was her own fault; she hadn't really been on top of things lately. Who would have thought that slacking off in her coursework and procrastinating on the household chores could lead to something so awful?

Souta's head poked out of the door of the Higurashi home, investigating the source of those strange groaning and muttering noises. His eyebrows shot up as he noted the dark circles around his sister's eyes, and the way she was using the dangerously tilting broom to support all her weight.

"Hey! Kagome, are you going to pass out standing up or something?" Souta asked. His clear young voice penetrated the dense fog that had been settling in Kagome's head. She straightened, lucid once more.

"Whuh? Souta?"

Souta shook his head with his fists on his hips. "You don't look so good. Mama!" Souta turned towards the woman who was approaching the door.

Mrs. Higurashi took a good, long look at her daughter, who at the moment looked far older than her nineteen years. "Kagome. . . are you okay?" Kagome nodded wearily, but the droop of her shoulders and the slight sway of her body gave her prevarication away.

"Kagome, get into the house. You are going to eat something." Mrs. Higurashi hadn't seen Kagome eat much in the past week, and had assumed that she was buying food at school and having her usual snacks at home. Looking at her now, though, she wasn't so sure. "Then you're going to go straight to bed. Are you getting sick?"

"No, mama. I don't think so. I'm just so ti-" Kagome yawned so widely that her jaw hurt.


Kagome took a bath, ate a few bites of food, and did as much of her lab report as her bleary eyes would allow. Finally, she collapsed into her bed with a sigh. Sleep claimed her in seconds, but she twisted and turned. Dreams she would not remember in the morning kept her restless throughout the night.

A few blocks away, a young man with silver hair murmured something under his breath and twisted onto his side, his brows drawn as though in some remembered pain.

Nineteen years before, a man in Tokyo opened his door to find a newborn, naked baby boy lying on the rain-drenched concrete of his doorstep.

Hundreds of years before, another Kagome smiled, relaxed into the arms of a youkai, and slept.

And in a place where time does not exist, a creature awakens, opens its jaws, and howls.


Author's Note: Soundtrack available for subsequent chapters. Head to my website for song list and downloads. The address is: