Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form own InuYasha, as it's owner is the manga-ka Rumiko Takahashi. Nor do I own the Wizard of Oz.

this chapter is Dedicated to chapter 1's reviewers,

Pogo, who reviewed first

Kim, who reviewed 4 times

Kai19, who knew the last chapter's quote

Kagome15, for her enthusiasm

Twil and Miko Youkai, who added me to their favorites list

Japanese Dictionary*

Kiyohsi~ quiet

Kita~ female name, meaning is north (random, I know, but I thought the name suited her, not the meaning...)

Cho~ female name, meaning is butterfly

youkai~ roughly translated means demon

hanyou~ short for hanyoukai, or half demon

*Jap. words from the last chapter will not be re-defined

Chapter 2

A Common Prejudice

o)(o

Lost in the darkness

silence surrounds you.

Once, there was morning,

now endless night.

If I could reach you,

I'd guide you and teach you,

to walk from the darkness,

back into the light.

~ from Lost in the Darkness, which is in the musical Jekyll & Hyde

o)(o

I can easily recall the day when Kagome entered our lives. Upon mistaking her for my younger sister, Kikyo, we soon fell into silent company.

Pardon me, I forgot to name myself; I am Kaede, and am recording the following events due to a request from Kagome's okka-san.

When she had decided to go explore the village, I of course allowed her. I didn't have the patience to put up with a bored sulking teenage girl all day. Nice she may be, but she was still an adolescent. However, I wasn't about to let such a suspicious stranger--despite my own positive feelings towards her--go around unescorted. So, I naturally called upon a boy I knew to follow her for a small fee.

He overcharged me, too.

***

Kiyoshi was ecstatic that Kaede-sama was sending for him. Things had been dull today, and working for the miko was _always_ interesting....

Kiyoshi lived up to his name. He was quiet, and unlike most boys his age (said age being 12), he could keep a secret. From growing up with a bossy older sister, he had soon learned how to sneak away from her, leaving him free to his own devises. After all, how dare she try to control his life! He valued his independence, thank you very much! And so he contentedly walked to Kaede-sama's hut.

When he arrived at her hut, he found the miko in a slightly more pondering mood than usual. Still, he wasn't one to question his employer, and tactfully said nothing. Her request was normal, though. She often had him follow others around. The only additional orders this time was to keep the girl out of trouble, and make sure that she was back by 3.

"And where shall I find her?" said Kiyoshi--his first words spoken to her today.

"It's a small village, you'll find her. She is dressed in the miko clothing that I gave her."

Kiyoshi nodded. It _was_ a small town, and everyone knew a miko's garb.

"Well? What are you waiting for?! Be off!"

Kiyoshi scurried out the door.

***

He soon spotted Kagome. She stuck out like a sore thumb, wandering around with a dazed expression in a miko outfit. Studiously he followed her around the town, never letting her out of his sight for an instant. In general, all went well, and the boy was thinking that this would be easy pay, when the girl stepped into the town square. She appeared to be in shock; he didn't know why. What was so unusual? Everything was in its place. The houses were clean, the streets paved with farmers on their way to their houses to get some lunch, while others crowded around the cage.

Still, he studied the girl as she halted and gasped, her cry lost in the cacophonous crowd. Emotions played on her face; first shock, than outrage, anger, and sorrow....Well, he had better get her out of there before she started a scene or something...

"Excuse me, miss? I'm Kiyoshi, nice to meet you," he paused, waiting for her name.

"Hmm? Oh, I'm Kagome--"

"Are you new around here? I don't believe we've met before." He frowned slightly as she cast a surreptitious glance at the cage. He subtly moved her along, away from the cage to a quieter area. Sighing in defeat, Kagome surrendered herself to the pushy young boy, following him around the town. He showed her the fields, the nearby wood for which the town was named...he certainly was a meticulous lad. And he only gave the briefest of commentary, his introduction being the most he spoke at once. Silently, she resolved that she would not let what she had seen exist. It was Wrong to keep a creature locked up so and to taunt and poke at him. What had been locked up? All she had seen of it was a mane of white hair and the blood that had soaked the cage. A dog perhaps, the poor mutt!

"Excuse me, but I have to go. I told my host I'd be back by 3..."

Hurriedly she left, walking back to Kaede-sama's hut while contriving a plan.

***

When I first saw Kagome, I could tell that she was a determined youth. Determined and idealistic, a foolhardy combination. She lead a sheltered life. Her hands showed that she had never used them in hard labor for prolonged periods of time. She was the type of person who, though certainly aware of danger, had never actually experienced firsthand the horrors of society.

She was also a bubbly and lively adolescent. So, when she returned to my hut in an unnaturally quiet mood, I knew something was up. After dinner, I pretended to sleep. She waited until roughly midnight, and then she started to get up. She failed dismally in her attempt to silently sneak out of the house, but I didn't let her know that.

***

Kagome tip-toed through the town. She felt bad about sneaking out, but she didn't feel that she knew Kaede-sama enough to let the miko in on her plan. It wasn't much of a plan, anyway, and Kagome had the most peculiar feeling that the miko would laugh at her for not thinking it out more. Well, she hadn't had time! She had let that poor dog (for she had decided now that the creature was a dog) free tonight! She looked around, startled to find herself in the town square already.

Kagome was not aware of being followed.

So without any hesitation she stepped up to the cage. The dog was sleeping, curled up in a ball in such a way that, combined with the dim light, all she could really see was the dog's coat and ears. They were adorable ears too, and she felt hypnotically drawn to them. Unthinkingly, she reached out her hand, as if to pet them, when she was stopped by a snarl.

For the second time that day, Kagome gasped in surprise.

The creature leapt to its feet, snarling while backing away. Well, it wasn't a dog, that was for sure...

As if in a trance, Kagome stood still while absorbing the creatures features. It appeared to be a man, but he had long white hair, dog ears, and with his mouth open in a growl, she could just make out a pair of glinting fangs. He was dressed in red, with his claws positioned to strike his prey at any sign of a threat. He was beautiful. Shaking her head to get out of her dazed state, Kagome took a deep breathe before speaking.

"Shhh, it's alright! I'm here to help, I want to set you free! Calm down, everything's gonna be fine,"

"Kikyo? What in the seven hells do you want?! Come here to gloat? Are you happy now?!!" he said, his voice husky and hoarse from lack of any use except for screams...

Confused and intimidated, Kagome took a step back.

"What are you talking about? My name is Kagome,..."

"Trying to trick me Kikyo, eh? Well, it won't work this time!"

Kagome's follower took that as her cue to step into view and speak.

"You must be the InuYasha whom Kikyo spoke so much about. I would have done something if I had known you were here, but I rarely visit the town square, and don't pay attention to gossip. She isn't Kikyo, her name is Kagome. She does look remarkably like my sister though."

"Who in all the hells are you?"

"I am Kikyo's elder sister, InuYasha. Calm down, and cease your growling at once. It isn't helping you at all you know. Stop with the tough act, it's obvious that you are fatigued and severely hurt. Let me guess, too many serious injuries in a short period of time for you youkai blood to heal at once?"

'No wonder he looks so strange! He must be a youkai....Wish Kaede-sama would tell me who Kikyo is, why she was following me, and what on earth is going on!' thought the befuddled Kagome.

Kaede gestured to Kagome to come help, and together they searched for a set of keys to open the cage's door. After a minute or two, InuYasha, who was slumped down in a sitting position, leaning on one of the cage's walls with his eyes closed, offered some advice.

"Keys, hanging on hook by the podium," he tiredly panted out.

Kaede nodded, that made sense, and she walked over to the rough little podium which was only a yard or two from the cage. Something was wrong though. She had thought up a plausible, though albeit shaky, excuse for InuYasha's current condition, but that still didn't explain why he didn't just tear through the cage's flimsy barred walls. Nor could she explain how the he had been captured in the first place...but she said nothing, and swiftly took the keys off the hook before striding over to InuYasha. Unlocking the cage, she was once again astonished that the proud InuYasha did not jump out. Instead, he remained as he was.

"InuYasha? What's wrong? Why isn't he coming out?" cried Kagome as the climbed in and gave him a little shake. "Oh! The poor guy's blacked out! Well, that's alright. He seems pretty light--probably hasn't eaten for a while. I can carry him back I think, it's not that far...." Kagome lifted him up. It wasn't that difficult. She was a strong, healthy girl, and he was incredibly light, maybe only 100 lbs. They'd have to get him some proper food she thought distractedly. She giggled slightly. How ironic! Not only was the woman saving the man, but she was carrying him to safety too!

***

When they reached Kaede's hut, they quickly put InuYasha in the backroom. The area was cramped, most emphatically not the ideal spot for nursing a patient, but it was out of the way so any visitors would not suspect a thing. The two women were exhausted. It was conceivably a bit after 2 in the morning, and the day had been eventful. Still, despite Kaede's protests, Kagome insisted on assisting the miko, claiming that she would have difficulty sleeping anyway.

"If you change your mind, you know where your blanket is set up," offered Kaede. The escapade had improved her opnion of Kagome from "the girl" to her rightful name, Kagome. The girl--no, Kagome, had proved to be humanitarian, unlike most of Yuurin's various incompetents. They wouldn't have done anything, preferring to laugh at other's misfortune instead of doing the right thing and putting an end to such idiocy. In all her travels, such stupidity never ceased to amaze Kaede.

Cleaning wounds was a gruesome task, one which Kaede thought would be good to get over with. She nodded to Kagome, and then began taking off InuYasha's outer shirt. The first thing she noticed (besides the scent of infection and blood, that is) was a bulky necklace. Frowning, Kaede leaned in closer to inspect it.

The necklace appeared to be made up of rosary beads, the pattern being 5 black beads then 1 white bead. There was something wrong about this necklace.

"Kaede-sama? Wha-what's wrong?"

"Perhaps nothing, but I imagine a lot. Hush, child, I need to see something," and with that the miko closed her eyes.

"..."

Kagome hushed despite her skepticism about seeing with one's eyes closed.

Upon closing her eyes, the miko concentrated on the rosary. When dealing with unknown but powerful magics, her failing eyesight proved to be more distracting than helpful. Focusing on its image, Kaede settled into the rhythmic breathing pattern she used during meditation. Ever so slowly, colors began to dance around the beads as she mentally dissolved spells to prevent her from finding its intent. After analyzing the remaining colors which made up the rosary's aura, she opened her eyes.

"Umm...Kaede-sama? What was that about?"

The confused Kaede blinked. Kagome shouldn't have seen anything other than herself closing her eyes for a minute, but Kagome's words suggested otherwise.

"What do you mean child?"

"Well, you know what I mean; that thing you just did, with the colors. The rosary lit up with all these colors..."

Eyes widening, Kaede decided to avoid the question. It seemed she had a young miko on her hands, but now was not the time to begin training her.

"I was simply discovering the nature of this necklace. Normally, despite being only a hanyou, InuYasha's youkai blood would have--"

"A hanyou?!"

"Oh, that's right. I didn't have time to tell you, and also didn't deem it necessary. Now, as I was saying, his youkai blood would have dealt with his injuries and heal them immediately, but this rosary prevented that. It also dulled his senses considerably as well as taking away his demonic strength and powers. Even if the necklace is removed, his youkai powers will return slowly, so we will still have to heal him. Do you understand? Good. Remove the beads while I gather hot water, bandages, and some herbs."

With that, Kaede walked out of the room, a smirk on her face. She could feel it when Kagome removed the necklace. Only a powerful miko could remove the necklace, and it pleased Kaede that Kagome could do so easily.

***

Bandaging InuYasha's wounds was, as Kaede has predicted, not pleasant. But it had to be done. At 4 they finished, and then promptly staggered to sleep. Habit woke Kaede at dawn, though Kagome slept until 10 before awaking.

The day started off well. Kaede went about her tasks with Kagome help, and they checked on the hanyou every hour or so. At noon, however, came a knock at the door. It was the woman who led Kagome to Kaede's hut.

"Kaede-sama!! You won't believe what happened!" she said while bustling in and then sitting down.

"Good day, Kita. Tell me, what is the news?"

"Why, it's all over the town!! The hanyou escaped, the nasty thing! Everyone's guarding their stuff. You should too. Make sure it doesn't steal anything, you know. I thought I'd tell you, seeing as you don't get out much. I knew something bad would happen today! I felt it in my bones. Why, I was just telling Cho the other day so,..."

Kaede and Kagome patiently sat through the women's chatter. After 2 cups of tea ("...my poor nerves! Nothing helps so much as a cup of tea..."), Kita left, informing them that she needed to speak with her neighbor about the event.

"How dare she! How could she talk that way about InuYasha!"

"Calm down, child. She doesn't know any better. None of them do. Kita is a harmless gossip. She is a sweet woman despite her prejudices."

They had no less than 4 visitors that day. The last one requested for Kaede when representing the villagers to come and help find InuYasha, saying that the town needed their miko. Kaede obliged, and after pretending to use her miko powers informed the town that the hanyou had fled. He was far away, and had no intention of returning to their village. Relieved, the villagers thanked her before returning to their homes.

Satisfied with her charade, Kaede prepared dinner whilst Kagome tended to InuYasha. After changing his bandages she was done, and sat down to eat Kaede's excellent cooking. All that work gathering herbs for spells must have taught the miko a thing or two about spicing a meal mused Kagome.

"Kagome, I think that 'tis time for you to explain a few things."

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"Perhaps you could start with explaining your clothing and the confused look you had when first arriving here."

"Well, as I told you, I'm a foreigner. I come from very far away, and--"

"Nonsense. You never said that, Kita did. You said you weren't from around here. I've been honest with you, Kagome. Return the favor."

"You won't believe me."

"True, I might not. But I might."

"Well, I know this sounds insane and like something out of a movie, but I'm from the future," Kagome paused, anticipating Kaede's reaction.

"Go on, I'm intrigued. However, what is this 'movie'?"

Kagome sweat-dropped. "Never mind that, it's not important." And with that, Kagome proceeded to explain the situation. She talked about her birthday, and how when searching for Buyo, her cat, she had fallen through a well and came to in the same well but in a different time.

"...but the worst part is I don't know how to get home!!" mentally, she groaned. What was this, the Wizard of Oz?

"Your not being sensible, dearie. You got here by going through the well. Logic states that you would be able to go home the same way."

"Should've thought of that..." muttered Kagome.

***

Upon learning about Kagome's time, I was astonished on how easily she had accepted that youkai and hanyous existed. That sort of acceptance--Kagome would call it go-with-the-flow-ness--is a rare trait.

It would be a lie to say that I was not...surprised. It's not every day someone tells you that they come from the future. Still, I had always been an accepting child, and I sensed from the beginning that something was a little off with Kagome. Nothing wrong, mind you, just that she was different. All through my life I had wondered about the Bone-Eaters Well (I immediately recognized the well she was talking about). It was infamous, and in my village which rested on the other side of the forest we often spoke of it. Story tellers would narrate in hushed voices about the mysterious and enigmatic well which could make a youkai's bones disappear...

***

Kagome breathed a sigh of relief. She was generally an honest child, and keeping such a secret from Kaede had bothered her constantly. Now she also had a way to get home, though she hadn't the least intention of testing it out immediately. She knew it was there, and it would stay put until she had dealt with InuYasha. Remembering him, she decided to check on him. Rising from her pallet, she attempted to not wake Kaede. They had finished conversing long ago, and had gone to bed.

Entering the back room, Kagome leaned over the hanyou, memorizing his face. She did this whenever it was her turn to check on him. It was comforting somehow. Just as she was leaning over to look at him once more before leaving to sleep, a shocking thing happened.

His eyes opened.

OWARI of Chapter 2

AN: viola! here it is people!! hope the switch of POV didn't through you too much. every chapter will have a different POV, though later in the story some POVs might be repeated. Kaede was a bit hard to right, and I hope I didn't confuse you by sometimes calling her Kaede-sama and other times just Kaede. that had to do with whether it was the narrator speaking (Kaede was then called Kaede) or someone else (Kaede would then be called Kaede-sama). oh, and please check out my other story, Friend or Foe? it's also an InuYasha story, and I think the writing style gets more defined in each chapter.

please review!! ^-^

Ja!

~sakura

Review Responses

Pogo~ I'm glad you like it! thanks for the review, and I hope you like this chapter ^_^

Kai19~ you got it!!! congrats! *hands over an InuYasha plushie as a prize* thanks for guessing, you were the only person who did... hope you liked this chappie too!

Twil~ I'm glad that you like my writing style, I've been working hard to develop a unique style of mine own. thanks for the review, and hope you like this chappie as much as the last one!

Kim~ wow! 4 reviews... ^.^ sry about the long update-wait! hope this chapter was worth the wait...

Kagome15~ I appreciate the enthusiasm! ^____^

Miko Youkai~ interesting name! here's the next chappie! thank you so much for reviewing! n_n