Before you get started, I wanted to make one thing nice and abundantly clear-
This is a reincarnation fic. For the first couple chapters, names have been (temporarily) changed.
It shouldn't be too hard to pick out who's who of the usual Inuyasha cast. I left lots of hints. ^.^ Once you're past this prologue, you can even check the chapter titles to see who's in the chapter. At the end of each chapter, (and at the end of this prologue) I'll tell you who is who, what their names mean, and why I picked them.
So, that said...have fun!
"Onee-chan, come on, hurry up!" a little girl urged her elder sister, holding her hand and tugging as hard as she could, in an attempt to drag the fourteen year old to greater speed.
"Mai-chan, Mai-chan, slow down or you'll bump into someone," the elder warned, a light smile on her lips. A person would think she'd never seen a festival before, the way the girl ran around so excitedly. It was slightly rare for the two of them, though this was not Mai's first time in a pretty child's kimono or looking at vendors. With a large cloud of pink cotton candy in one hand, her sister's hand in the other, Mai was taking advantage of her new status as a seven year old. Finding out the matsuri was on her birthday only served to make it more special; Kagami intended to see to that. She'd saved her allowance for the last two months to be able to splurge on whatever candy the girl wished for. The current favorite was cotton candy, freshly spun.
Strangers started to give way for the two siblings, some in annoyance at their breakneck pace, others in amusement for the elder girl's predicament, and a few teenage boys in appreciation of the older one, with her petite, willowy body and seemingly exotic, flowing white hair. Though had they looked into her eyes, they, like most others, would have turned away. The black eyes of Kagami left an ordinary admirer chilled.
"Mai-chan, where are you dragging me?" Kagami finally managed to gasp out when the younger girl stopped, eyes darting to and fro as she decided her next destination.
"I don't know. I want to see everything." Her face brightened again as Kagami placed an exasperated hand to her forehead, barely sounding a sigh before they were off again, sandals clipping on the hard surface of the ground underfoot. She wished there was a way to hold up the hem of her kimono to free her legs, but the pale blue fabric and white obi were terribly constricting.
'Precocious' was usually a word reserved for toddlers, but it still reminded Kagami of Mai's behavior at times. The two appeared so different, to any casual onlooker. Kagami was quiet, withdrawn and regarded with an eerie kind of respect by her classmates, some of whom were also at the fair. To see her with a smile on her face would have been startling; but then, Mai was hauling her around joyously, and somehow the elder girl's expressions softened slightly when caring for her.
The red ribbons in her black hair fluttering, Mai began swiveling around again, looking for something interesting. No, she'd gone goldfish dipping earlier, that was boring to do again, and besides, she stunk at it, no patience. She'd have to find a better game, and now there was an entire row of game booths! Her eyes brightened, and Kagami braced herself for another run. There were more kids in this aisle, milling around and shouting to each other. Some boys were apparently playing tag or hide and seek.
Her eyes alighted on one of the empty booths, looking up at the prizes to be won. There were lots of stuffed animals, but she didn't particularly want one of those. Her and Kagami's room was cramped enough already, and they looked cheap anyway. Just as she was about to get distracted by another booth, she happened to notice a rack of paper fans beneath the toys, several of them spread out in neat array. Delight widened her eyes and she pointed with her cotton candy.
"Onee-chan, can I get a fan? They're pretty, like the geisha used!"
Kagami looked at her little sister for a long moment, tilting her head to the side thoughtfully. "So you like fans, then, Mai-chan?"
She nodded vigorously, eyes now fixated on the display behind the counter. "The geisha we saw danced with them...they were so pretty. I want one like that, to go with my kimono," she explained, releasing Kagami's hand and gesturing at the pretty vermillion fabric of her dress. A white obi was wrapped around her waist, with dark blue wisteria patterned onto it. "One with white and red!"
Bending down to face her sister, Kagami searched her face thoughtfully for a moment. "All right. But they're not just for sale. You have to win them. See?"
With the game brought to her attention, Mai noticed it was a ball toss game. She would have to knock down the bottles from across the counter. She shrugged. "That? That's no problem at all. I can do that easy."
"Okay then, if you're so sure. Here," there was a quick exchange between yen and cotton candy. "Just give it to the man."
"I know, I know," Mai muttered, hurrying over to hand up the coins. "I've done it before. This is easy."
Kagami didn't seem so convinced. Mai barely cleared the table. She'd have to lob the balls into the air just to get them over. The amused, rotund man behind the counter accepted the money, setting the softballs down in front of the eager girl, who snatched up the first one quickly and hurled it as hard as she could. It flew wide, slamming into the back of the tent, causing Kagami's eyebrows to lift. Maybe she was wrong. What were they teaching Mai in phys. ed? Shotput? Unfortunately, the second ball swung too low, crashing into the ground with a thud and rolling around. No control. Just wild tosses. Plenty of strength, but no aim. The fact she could barely see the bottles probably wasn't helping either.
"You suck," another voice interrupted, and Kagami snapped out of her thoughts to see a dark headed boy from the alley sneering at her sister. She began to open her mouth to scold him, but suddenly hesitated a moment, allowing Mai the extra second to rally to the challenge.
"I do not!"
He snorted, looking around the corner of the tent flap. The gang of other children were running around wildly, obviously missing the member of the group. "Do so. I saw you. You suck."
Mai's face puckered up and her eyes widened in righteous anger. She snatched up the last softball while Kagami watched curiously, and the vendor prepared to duck. Chucking the ball into the air, it slammed into the nets of stuffed animals and dropped dead to the ground in a pile of dust.
"I told you," he repeated drolly, voice dripping all the sarcasm a pre-pubescent boy could muster. "You suck. Girls."
"Girls?" Mai shouted back, outraged. "You can't talk! I bet you can't hit it either!"
He hauled himself up to his full height, pompously puffing up his chest to make himself look bigger, attempting to loom over the slightly shorter girl. "Of course I can!"
"Prove it!" she hollered back, pushing her face up to his and glaring into a set of blue eyes. She'd seen boys fight at school before. Backing down was not a good idea if you wanted to win.
He nearly growled as he searched his pockets, finally pulling out a couple coins. "Here!" he slammed it onto the table in front of the vendor, who reluctantly handed over more softballs and prepared to hide under the table. The boy sent the first one sailing over the row of bottles, earning a cheer of delight from the stupid girl who was standing next to him. A growl became nearly audible as he flung the second one, and to his chagrin, only managed to skim the surface of the table. Damn girl and her stupid smug face...he looked at the bottom bottle and took aim, letting it sail forward straight this time, and managing an impact. He grinned triumphantly, as the expression on the girl soured into a pout. "I told you!" he crowed, looking a little perplexed as the vendor handed him a closed up fan. "What? I don't want a fan!"
"Sorry kid. It's a fan or one of the fuzzy pink bunnies," he motioned at the nets of animals, then at the targets. "You only got one of the sets down." There were three triads of bottles to be broken. "And would you all please step back now, because I'd like to keep my stand going the rest of the night?"
"Of course, sir," Kagami replied, ushering the other two forward, though it barely distracted them. The boy just looked disgusted, and Mai was furious.
"What the hell am I going to do with a fan?" he snarled at Mai, holding it out like it was poisonous. She blinked once, then a sly smile tugged at her lips as she thought of something.
"I don't know, maybe you can dance with it. I mean, geisha use fans...I bet you actually like wearing skirts!"
"The hell I do!"
Mai began imitating the geisha from that afternoon, dancing around as though she had a fan in her hand. "You'd look so lovely in a skirt too...wanna dance with me?" She batted her eyelashes at him.
"Shut up! I don't want your stupid fan!" he flung it at her, and she turned just in time to catch it, a big grin plastered on her face as he realized she'd just beaten him after all. "Oh...just...go to hell!" he shouted at her, spinning on a heel and stalking off, leaving Mai to beam triumphantly after him as he ran back into the crowd.
The smile ended abruptly when she felt Kagami's hands settle on her shoulders, and she remembered she did have a chaperone, after all, and that scene probably just got her in trouble. Looking straight up, she saw her sister shake her head despairingly, and sigh. "Mai-chan, will you promise me something?"
Those were not quite the words she'd been expecting, and she nodded reluctantly, but seriously. "Sure. What?"
"If you ever see that boy again, be nicer to him."
She wrinkled her nose. Ew. He probably had those cootie things some of the stupid giggle squad in her class talked about sometimes. But he wasn't at her school, so whatever. She'd never see him again anyway and Kagami'd be happy and she'd be out of trouble. "Yeah, I guess. Okay."
She was rewarded with a smile. "Why don't you open your fan then?"
Mai looked down and unfolded the paper, revealing a white background with twin red stripes across the top. Her eyebrows drew together in puzzlement for a moment, and she ran a finger over the surface.
A fan. Her fan. She liked it. A delighted smile formed and she waved it once, experimentally.
No, not like. She loved it.
So, anyone want to take a wild guess who Mai is, at least?
I kept the names as simple as I could make them. Mai is of course Kagura, Kagami is Kanna, and the still nameless boy is Kouga. When we meet him all grown up (er, well, in high school, anyway...) I'll tell you the meaning of his 'new,' albeit temporary name. As the story progresses and everyone rediscovers who they are, I'll return to the actual canon names.
Kagura- Mai (dance) Kuraino (of dark)
Kanna- Kagami (mirror) Kuraino (of dark)
'Mai' is a word for dance, the same as 'kagura,' and is also a part of Kagura's Fuujin no Mai attack. 'Kagami' means 'mirror,' and is Kanna's main mode of attack. Both names also start out with the letters 'Ka.' I hoped the words would associate easily. ^^;
Also, I'm going to do a little experiment this time around- I've never written any non-canon pairing before at all, so...this should be interesting. ^^; Weirdly enough, I've grown fond of the Kouga/Kagura pairing. I'm usually such a canon, traditional girl. Odd. It's also probably one of the closest to AU-ish things I've done, though I've tried to keep things to conform to canon, though since at the time of writing this, the series is incomplete, so I had to assume, guess, or make up my own stuff just to write the fic. Hope you don't mind. Anyway, this is my first shot with the two of them together. There will also be oodles of good Miroku/Sango-ness as well. ^_^ After writing my last fic, 'Through A Mirror Darkly' I wanted to do something fun and a little sexy to get my brain out of the angst, angst, angst department. This is the result. Maybe not terribly original as far as ideas go, but then, it's not really meant to be. Sit back, relax, have some fun. No, it's not comedy, and yes, it has dark moments (it's me, I can't help it! I write depressive stuff!) but the future I made up isn't too bleak. So, on with the show!
First, raw posting: April 21st, 2003
First regular posting: August 30th, 2003