There once existed a girl, though a woman in her time, in the Muromachi Jidai. She possessed powers beyond the comprehension of a mortal mind and used them to help humanity. She was a kind soul to those around her, both adult and child. She was both firm and yielding in her actions, depending on the severity of the situation.

Her hair was long and as pitch as a raven's wings. She possessed a cool face, always schooling it to non-expression to never give a glimpse of ways to use it against her. She possessed smooth, pale skin, as white as the clothes she always wore. Her eyes were soft to the needy and ruthless to her enemies.

She was the perfect woman. Beautiful, collected, wise, powerful, giving...but only human. She was a human in an ongoing scuffle between the demons that also lived there. She fought the bad ones that tried to harm those near her. Her powers were great. Her entire soul was full of good and she channeled that in the uprisings to bring peace. She was a sure-shot with a long bow - her preferred weapon. Her knowledge of spells and the like made her one to awe.

She led an important, pure life. It was devoted to the fight and the village. She harbored no injustices in her mind.

Until a demon entered the area. He sought power to increase his rank, but strayed too far into the maiden's territory for it. By rights she could've and should've killed him. But her compassion was also great and when she looked into his eyes, she found a kindred spirit.

The demon became entranced with the powerful maiden and was drawn to her. She managed to befriend him and in the depths, a connection bloomed. They fell in love and the maiden's mind soon slipped from her full duties. She wanted to become human...just like those she helped. She wanted to need the strength of someone else. The demon represented a gift she could have for the first time in her life. They made a pact to be together over a special trinket she guarded and could use for good. They picked a secret location for the demon to use the trinket and parted.

Fate, however, was a cruel and fickle thing.

The maiden's heart of kindness blinded her to some evil. She missed the signs and it cost her the naiveness she possessed. A man pined for her with carnal urges and invoked nearby demons to his aid. His black heart wanted her and hated the love she and the demon shared. He was a trickster of the deepest evil. He created hate and chaos wherever he breathed. He tricked both of them with disguises and laughed at their despise.

The tricks won. The maiden was mortally wounded by the image of her love and hunted down the real thing. She cursed him with what little magic she possessed and regained the trinket. Instead of using it to heal her, she sacrificed herself with the bit of good left in her heart.

But though fate is fickle, it does not let loose ends stay undone.

The maiden returned to the demon in two forms. Both returned to him through magical means, but only one possessed the soul. The soul of the maiden, innocent of her past life, freed the demon who went to exact his wrongful revenge.

The soulless maiden was born into her original body through evil magic. She disobeyed her master and came face to face with the demon when he came to see if the body had been reborn. She took her soul from the reborn maiden, uncovered all the hate she felt upon her death, and punished the demon upon finding her curse broken.

The reborn maiden took most of her soul back, but the original escaped before losing it all, keeping the hate and love she felt toward the demon.

Many months passed. The near soulless maiden soon found she was cruelly played with and set about finding the trickster who inflicted it all. She spoiled his evil plans and regained part of her old life. But she never forgave or forgot. The once pure maiden became an unchanging, undying beauty who helped some and ignored some. She became like normal people and didn't risk the second chance she gained for anyone...not even the demon she loved. She wandered the lands to fight the trickster, eventually helping the demon and the small group he and the reborn maiden acquired. But she would not give up the rebirth she gained.

She continued to walk the land, helping where she can with what she can. Her body is primarily fueled by love and hate and though she feels both, she will not give it back to the other maiden. Her soul is the thing that allowed the reborn maiden to find the demon through all obstacles. And while the one soul is splintered and shared between the two, the reborn maiden has managed and will manage to stay next to the demon she has also come to love. When the soul is given back to the owner of the new body, they will forever be separated with no means to be together.

The undying maiden in the end managed to succeed in her original plan. To be a normal woman and also to love the demon...her first and only love. As long as part of the soul loves him, they both will.

Through time, both maidens will grow physically and / or emotionally. They will become powerful...twin powers of one large fire. The lands will revere them as goddesses, but the people they came to love and know will know them as Kikyou and -

"Kagome?"

She jumped a mile and the pen scrawling in symbols for her name skipped across the page.

With a scowl, fighting embarrassment, a hand slammed the writing notebook closed before he could see it. With as much of a fuss as she put up in the beginning, he would throw a fit if he found out what she was so engrossed in. He wasn't THAT stupid to not put the pieces together.

"Inuyasha! Look what you made me do!"

"Keh! You wouldn't have done whatever you did if you paid more attention to your surroundings." With a huff, he plopped down beside her and cradled Tetsusaiga. "What are you doing all the way out here anyway?"

She pushed off the well and stretched. She'd been writing for longer than she thought. "Inspiration." She mumbled, quickly putting the book out of reach.

His nose wrinkled. "Are you doing more of that scribe work?"

Her eyes rolled. "For the last time, it's called creative writing!" She leaned against the well again and looked to the sky. "I have to if I'm going to get good grades and finish like I want. I'm mostly doing it for you guys -"

'You most of all.'

"- so quit complaining. Would you like me to have a job or other major that kept me more preoccupied than senior high?"

"Feh! You don't need that shit. You waste your time there when you should be HERE."

'With me.'

She looked over and smiled, seeing how disgruntled he was over a mere mention. Years ago she managed to read his moods, especially when they pertained to her.

Her face slowly became thoughtful as it moved to the surrounding trees. It was funny how she almost finished with a story that all but revolved around the one person she was insanely jealous of. How could a person be jealous of themselves?

Her major was the easiest in the world, with a plethora of ideas at her command. The best thing was, what was real to her was a great fairytale to anyone else. It was kind of a tribute to write a story on the basics of Kikyou's life. It was all true too. She refused to give up her life, even if it was one of hatred, and wandered into different areas. She was still out there, collecting souls to move and helping those that needed it.

There was speculation about the end. It was all generic that she didn't know would come true. Everyone already revered Kikyou, but she didn't know about her. The few things she knew she was right about was the well and Kikyou's current life. She always thought and pondered her portal to the past. The tama initially got her here and with it back in her body, she figured she would always have a dual road. But what about Inuyasha? He didn't need shards like she did, so unless it had to deal with her powers, there had to be another explanation.

The first trip back helped give her the answer - or at least good theory - to a few questions that cropped up the more she thought. She always wondered why she was able to fall in love with Inuyasha so strongly and quickly. She had nothing but problems with reciprocation, but otherwise it was pure. The answer was simple when she stopped separating herself and accepted the obvious.

She WAS Kikyou. She was the reborn maiden who now owned almost all of THEIR soul. The love for Inuyasha still carried over, regardless of the body and mind it was born into. It was a first love, an eternal love, that would never fade from the bright mark on her soul. Thay was why she was able to go back and why he was able to always come to her unaided. Their love was the support that eventually brought them together again if one was locked out. As long as one of them loved Inuyasha as in the beginning, they could find a way back to each other. And as long as Kikyou held part of their soul, she would also be able to return. One soul as large as theirs would not stand to be hundreds of years being apart.

The fan of warm breath on her cheek startled her and she instinctively jumped her head on the lip. "ITAI!"

"What are you so spaced off for?! I mentioned we should head back so you and Sango can start lunch and you didn't even hear me!"

She squinted a pained glance, hands gripping her head. "Gomen." She muttered. "I was just thinking of my latest story."

He blinked, a brow rising. "What's so important about your scribe work that it interferes with lunch? Worry about it later." Hands fisted as a brow ticked in annoyance. She didn't expect him to understand the career needs of a future working girl. He stood and extended a hand, patiently waiting for her to look up and take it. "Let's head back already. I'm hungry."

Her brow ticked again, but her head rose at his less irate tone and looked to his hand. Without thought, she took it and was quickly on her feet. He let go and started back, hands going to his sleeves. She quickly snatched the notebook and followed, eyeing his back.

Inuyasha had become such a deep part of her life and had so much of her heart that it was hard to imagine a life without him. Even though it was possible she would've fallen here some time or other, the circumstances might not have been the same. If Kikyou gave up on wanting to be with Inuyasha, she might not've been born with this soul. She might be someone else entirely and probably married to Houjou right now.

It was more than just stupid to be jealous of yourself; it was wrong. She couldn't be mad at Kikyou because the woman helped them get together. She paused and looked to the sky with a wistful smile. 'I don't know what connection we have for sharing this soul, but I'd like to thank you Kikyou.'

"Hurry up Kagome!"

'I don't know how you did it.' With a musing shake, she jogged to catch up and clasped his hand as they continued walking.

Not even five steps later, it was gripped without hesitation.

-----

There ya go...my little introspective bit about Kikyou, and Kagome's and IY's journeys through the well. Most is speculation, but I've read the online manga translation, so I have more to go by. I'd like to think the way the story pans out is one possibility for Kagome to always be able to come back. I know the tama brought her back initially, but as I wrote, that doesn't explain IY. Perhaps the tama is a catalyst? ::shrugs:: Who knows.