Memory of a Soul
Summary: A girl's strange memories, a group of odd friends, and a summoning ceremony all lead to trouble when a familiar member of the past is brought to the future. What will happen nowand how did he die in the first place?
Warnings: This fic is kinda dark It doesn't seem so at first but it gets there in later chapters (such as chapter two for example) I'll only give it PG-13 now, but it may go up. Just be careful.
Disclaimers: I do not own any character related to Inu Yasha found in this story. As to the "original" characters, they aren't really that important to me. And I don't think they're something worth taking. I do hope the plot is close to my own. No one should be as crazy as this story is. (Or in other words, as crazy as I am).
Chapter One: Strange
The young woman stopped, tugging the strap of her bag higher up on her shoulder as she turned. A blur of blue and black was streaking towards her through the crowded sidewalk. Rinako stepped to the side to wait for her friend.
It was indeed the girl she thought it was. The petite woman screeched to a halt before her, brown eyes alive. "Rinako! Guess what I heard!"
Rinako smiled at her friend cheerfully not at all perturbed by her frenzied greeting. Or the multiple eyes that were turned towards them as traffic continued to move past their little niche. "Hey, Azarni." She shifted the heavy book bag on her back again before pushing back the black braid that fell over her shoulder.
Azarni was nearly leaping into the air with her repressed excitement. Rinako was a bit wary of what had her friend so agitated. Usually it wasn't a good thing. She didn't want any part of it is it was. But it would be rude not to at least listen to her, so Rinako hesitantly started the conversation. "So, what did you hear, Azarni-chan?"
The girl in front of her suddenly stopped hopping around and took a quick glance around the surrounding area. Her eyes returned to Rinako's and the excitement still lurked within, bouncing around merrily in the brown depths. "I can't tell you here. Come with me." She grabbed her friend's thin arm and started to pull her out into the traffic again. "We can stop in the park and I'll tell you."
Rinako tried to resist her friend's pull but her efforts were futile. Azarni was always stronger than she was and her excitement now made her doubly so. So she started to jog to keep up with the woman pulling her, whispering hasty apologizes to those they pushed aside. Rinako could almost feel all the annoyed glances that were shot at their retreating backs. But of course Azarni didn't stop.
Rinako couldn't help but be irked by her friend's almost childish behavior. This irrational behavior would have been fine a few years ago when they were both young girls without a care. Rinako had loved to chase her friend through crowds. But things were different now. Both girls were in college now, Azarni at home, Rinako forced to share a dorm with a prissy roommate that she tried her best to avoid. Rinako would have been at home, if not for a certain accident a few years agoin which her only parent—her mother—had been killed.
Yes, things were definitely different now.
The two young women raced around the corner. Azarni was forced to skid to a stop, smoke almost flying up from her heels as they came inches from toppling over a young man carrying a vase of flowers. Rinako stopped just short of running her friend down and stared at the plant. They were white lilies that seemed to shimmer in the hazy city light. Rinako felt a slow smile cross her face. She loved flowers dearly. They were always so beautiful, no matter what color or kind.
The beautiful flowers were replaced with the sight of the uniformed deliveryman's glaring face, breaking the moment for Rinako. "What the hell d'ya think you're doin'?"
"Sorry!" Azarni called out, grabbing Rinako's hand and starting off again. Rinako tried to dig her heels into the ground and give a better apology to the stranger, but Azarni gave a powerful tug and she found herself stumbling after her friend once more.
The two whipped around another corner. Rinako finally decided to speak up. "Azarni—" she started between pants. "Where are we going?"
Her escort suddenly stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk. This time Rinako did stumble into her, slamming against Azarni's back with a breathy gasp. But the other woman seemed to be made of stone and barely flinched under the attack. Her eyes—growing steadily to the size of saucers—were fixed across the street.
"Look!" she hissed, pointing across the way. Rinako followed her finger and saw that it pointed to a small shop. It was one that appeared to specialize in more traditional clothing, if the model in the window was any indication. Rinako gave the building an once-over hoping to find what interested her friend so much. She could see two people through the front display window. One of them appeared to be a salesclerk—dressed in traditional kimono, while the other had to be a customer. A very familiar customer.
Rinako sighed. It was Sachiko. What a surprise. Azarni's older adopted sister was always of the greatest interest to the other woman. Rinako could remember nights years ago at Azarni's house where the girl would spend an hour trying to hear through the wall that seperated the two sisters' bedrooms as Rinako wold read in the moonlight. Or whenever she saw her sister outside of the house Azarni would always have to stop and see what she had been up to. It'd been like that for years.
When Rinako had asked her friend about it Azarni had insisted that her sister was up to something. She could feel it. Azarni had always thought her sister to be strange, and Rinako couldn't blame her. Sachiko was a bit eccentric. What with her hundreds of history books and the odd stories she used to write—ones about demons and ancient secrets, and then her insistence of dyeing her hair white constantly. But Rinako could overlook that. Sachiko was a very nice girl once you got past her normally stoic exterior.
When they were younger Sachiko used to play with both of them. Of course they would have to act out her demon stories, but it was still fun. Rinako was always given the role of the kind human girl, which suited her just fine. Azarni was always the loud half-demon—which Sachiko had explained to be a mix of both human and demon—while Sachiko always acted the part of the sophisticated full demon. They had had countless of adventures, in which the two sisters had bickered constantly, and in the end had always gotten the prize. They were always searching for a key chain Sachiko had received once from an old shrine near the outskirts of Tokyo. Rinako didn't remember what she'd called it. She could only remember that it was a circular pink stone that would always reflect misty pink lines whenever it hit the light.
Yet as time went on they had drifted away from such childish games and now Rinako barely ever saw Sachiko. The older girl now spent most of her time with a large group of friends that Azarni openly declared to be "past strange". They were rather creepy Rinako had to admit, from the few that she'd met. Most of them looked normal enough, wearing modern clothes and carrying standard book bags. There were a few however that dressed all in black and had strange tattoos and all sorts of things Rinako would rather not think about. Yet there was something about all of them that always set Rinako on edge. Just something about the way they looked at her, with a sort of condescending apathy that chilled her. Azarni insisted that they had to be some sort of cult or something equally as bizarre. And naturally, the other girl was determined to find out exactly what they were, no matter what.
That obsession of hers was most likely why the two were standing in the middle of a crowded sidewalk staring at an old kimono shop. "Azarni, I don't really see why this matters so much," she mumbled, pulling on her friend's arm in an attempt to move her out of the way. Azarni would have none of it and continued to stare across the street.
"Is she gonna start dressing weird too? Figures," she snorted disdainfully. "Crazy Sachiko."
"What? You think she's weird too! You said so the other day."
"Actually, what I said was that her friends are a bit odd. That's all."
Azarni whirled around and caught Rinako's dark brown eyes with her excited ones. "Yes! That's what I wanted to tell you about. Her friends. I heard them talking about something today. Something only a really odd group of people would do, I'm sure."
Rinako shook her head. "Azarni. You really should stop this nonsense and just get on with—"
"Shhh!" Azarni hissed, grabbing her friend's arm and yanking her behind a parked car along the side of the street. "She's coming out. Let's see what she's got!"
Rinako hunkered down beside her friend, starting to become dizzy with all the topic changes Azarni was going through. She felt as if she'd been left behind somewhere.
The two young women watched Azarni's sister come out of the shop carrying a dress bag on one arm. Her simulated white hair gleamed in the sunlight. Her light brown eyes were scanning the area with a lazy gaze that didn't fool Rinako. She knew Sachiko was aware of everything around her. She'd always been that way. Sachiko walked with a very peculiar grace that Rinako remembered her practicing when they were children.
Rinako had always thought that Sachiko was very pretty. Her skin was very fair and her eyes were long-lashed. Her face had a noble set to it, with high cheekbones and straight perfect nose. She was only average height; a few inches taller than Rinako was now, but she carried herself like a much larger and more imposing figure.
That same Sachiko she remembered was now walking nonchalantly down the street, her hidden sister watching her like a hawk. "I wonder what's in the bag"
"Probably nothing but a simple kimono. No big deal."
Azarni snorted again, getting to her feet as Sachiko continued down the opposite sidewalk. "No big deal... Wait until you hear what I heard. Then it might be a big deal."
Rinako was getting a bit annoyed now. She had homework that needed to be done and here she was listening to her crazy friend babble and repeat herself. "Then tell me already!"
Azarni stared at her as if she'd grown a second head. "Rinako?"
The woman sighed, running her hand through her dark hair. "I'm sorry Azarni. But I don't really have all day to wait for you. I really need to get some work done."
The other woman gave her a soft glance. "I'm sorry too, Rinako. But this is really important. Let's go into that café down the road," she jerked her thumb to the right, " and I'll tell you there, okay?"
"That's fine." They started off again, this time Azarni allowing Rinako to walk on her own. They stepped into the tiny shop, which had some strange western music playing in the background that could barely be heard over the loud buzz of conversation. Apparently this was a big college spot. Azarni lead her over to a small table in the back corner that looked to have just been recently unoccupied. It was litter with muffin wrappers and an empty cardboard coffee cup. Rinako took the time to check her chair before she sat down. Azarni pushed all of the garbage to the side and leaned over the table. Rinako found herself mimicking her friend's posture.
"You see, Rinako, I—"
"Can I help you ladies?"
Both women jumped back and whirled around to face the speaker. It was one of the waiters in the tiny café. He was dressed in the cream-colored polo shirt that had the café's name printed on it. Clipped under the logo was a small nametag that said Ryoichi'. And just by looking at him Rinako knew it was one of Sachiko's friends. She could just feel it in her bones.
"Err" Azarni began, but the young man interrupted her easily.
"You're Sachiko's little sister, right?" He gave them a broad grin that was supposed to be disarming. But it did nothing to calm Rinako's nerves at all. Instead it set them on edge.
"Erryeah, I am. What of it?" Azarni became defensive with the last bit, folding her arms haughtily.
Ryoichi waved his arms hastily, his rather handsome face wearing a look of shock. "Hey, no need to get so defensive, girl. I was just wonderin', that's all." He smiled at them again, and Rinako got the impression of an animal for the briefest instant. "So, what can I getcha?" His unique green eyes drifted in Rinako's direction then and seemed to linger there. Rinako shifted uneasily.
"Err" Azarni seemed to be fond of saying that. "How about a mocha? Anda bit of green tea for my friend here."
Pulling his eyes back to Azarni he nodded. "Easily done." He threw them a wink before turning around and heading for the main counter.
Azarni sighed in relief. "Thank God he's gone"
Rinako raised her eyebrow at her friend, trying to hide her own relief behind the sardonic expression. "I hope you're paying, dear."
Azarni sighed again, looking down at her purse. "If I have enough I will"
The two decided mutually to wait for him to hand over their drinks before starting the real conversation. They scrambled for things to talk about; their attention now firmly focussed on the strange waiter moving around behind them at the counter. Rinako just couldn't shake the feeling that he was staring at her back but she didn't dare turn around to see.
Azarni was babbling something about a sociology paper she was going to have to do soon when Ryoichi came back, plunking their drinks on the table with an easy smile. "Here ya go." His eyes scanned the table and caught sight of all the garbage. "Oh, let me clean that up for you." He leaned over beside Rinako's left shoulder and started to clear the table. Rinako shuddered at his closeness. Something was just wrong about himshe couldn't really explain it, but he just gave off this sort of dark presence.
"All clean now," Ryoichi stated pleasantly, giving them what had to be his standardized grin before walking away and throwing out the trash. Again Rinako was reminded of an animal; she could just picture that mouth full of fangs She shook her head. What was wrong with her? He had been perfectly nice to them. These odd thoughts must be Azarni's influence. That's all it was
Azarni watched the waiter long after he'd left, as if to make sure he wouldn't come back. When she was apparently satisfied she focussed on Rinako again, her normally bright eyes dark. "He creeps me out."
Rinako nodded tentatively. "Yeah"
"And to think, he was shamelessly flirting with you."
"What?" Rinako started to shriek but dropped her voice instantly. She stared at her friend with wide eyes. "Flirting with me?"
Azarni nodded, strangely serious. Normally she would have been bouncing all over the place with such news. "You didn't see the looks he was giving you from the counter. They gave me the creeps and they weren't even for me. And then how he learned over near you. It's just scary"
Rinako shifted uncomfortably in her seat, wanting to turn around to see if he was still behind her, but didn't. Instead she took a sip of her tea. "Let's get this conversation over with and get out of here."
Azarni agreed leaning over the table slightly, her mocha left untouched. "I'll make this quick. But promise me you'll believe me, okay?"
"Sure." Anything to get her out of here.
"Okay, you see, I was walking to my last class, and I saw a bunch of Sachiko's friend's hanging around together. I'd seen them all before with her, so I knew it was them. They were talking about something in low voices. It just so happened that I had to go past them, so I took the opportunity to eavesdrop as I went by."
Rinako made a face at that and Azarni sent her an aggravated glance. "Hey, if you saw a whole bunch of strange people talking in whispers together, you would be curious too."
Probably notRinako thought, but let her friend continue.
"Anyway, they were really quiet, so I had to strain to hear. But I did catch a few things and I'm positive I heard them right." Here Azarni leaned over even closer until she was almost halfway across the table. Her eyes glimmered darkly, a mix of fear and wary excitement. She whispered, her voice a soft hiss. "Their gonna do a summoning ceremony'. And if the library was right, then their gonna be bringing someone back from the dead. Tonight."
A/N: Look! My muse lives! ::waves a little flag:: Yay! It's about freakin' time too
Now, I have the next chapter done already. It's the part that got my muse going in the first place. But, before you get to it, please stop and think for a minute. Try to figure out who may be who and what might happen next. I think you may be able to figure it out. And, if you'd be so kind, could you tell me if you did? I'm working on foreshadowing skills. (How fun is that? Hey, the muse works in odd ways) Give me feedback on connections made in this story. That's what I'm aiming for. Thanks! (There, for those of you who never know what to say ::coughlikemecough:: I gave you a focus point!)