Don't tweak out over the retelling of the legend of InuYasha and Kikyou at the beginning of this chapter. It happened here exactly as it did in the series, but you'll understand why it's being told this way once you see who is telling it. And yes, the first person Kagome meets in this fic is Sesshoumaru, but this fic is purely InuKag. No sparks between those two at all. -- I also want to make note that this is not a retelling of the InuYasha story in modern times, in fact--- I wouldn't even classify it under action/adventure, and there really isn't a main villain. There is some action and battle, but most of all… the story is really just about life, and new beginnings. ;
All right, all done with the immensely long author notes. Please take time to review after you read, your comments mean a lot to me.
Note- All chapters have been revised as of 4/21/06
The Beginning of Tomorrow
Many hundreds of years ago there lived a powerful Miko whose abilities surpassed even some of the most menacing youkai. Her heart was so pure, and her strength so great- that she was given the duty of protecting an infamous jewel called the Shikon no Tama. The Shikon no Tama was known across the lands as something of great evil and at the same time-- great good. In the right hands it could be an object of much benevolence, but in the wrong hands it could be evil enough to destroy the world.
Now perhaps this Miko's only downfall was that she was too kind at times. She cared deeply for those around her, and when presented with someone who needed help she was always quick to their side. In any other person, this would have been a good thing, but the Miko's job was to always be on guard and one day she let something evil break through her defenses.
He was a Hanyou, half youkai, half-human, but his youkai half made him incredibly powerful and equally sinister. The Hanyou descended upon the priestess one day, and after unsuccessfully trying to get the Shikon no Tama from her grasp-- decided to fool her into becoming his companion and friend. He planned to steal the jewel from her in the end, and gain more power by becoming full youkai. Using the excuse that, as a Hanyou he was never accepted by humans or youkai, the Miko took the Hanyou as her companion out of pity. Gradually though they began to spend more and more time at each other's sides, and the Miko began to develop feelings for him.
Spring cast its spell, and it wasn't long before the young Miko found herself falling into the trap of the Hanyou, and in love with the false image he presented. That of a bashful, lonely, and cautious boy who was really only looking for a place to exist in the world. After a while, she came to grips with her feelings, the Miko offered him her heart, and he accepted. But in the end only ended up ripping it to shreds- like the horrible creature he was…
"Jiichan?" A small girl interrupted, shifting to a more comfortable position on her grandfather's lap.
"What is it Kagome?" The elderly man replied, disappointed his legend had been interrupted. The eight-year old girl known as Kagome bit her lip.
"Umm I have a question about the story you're telling…" She trailed off twirling a piece of long black hair around her finger. The gray haired man gave a questioning "Hmm?" and Kagome continued, "Why are you making the H-Hanyou out to be so mean?" Her grandfather gave her an odd look.
"Because he is evil! Let me---"
"But even though he's half youkai, he's half human too, so shouldn't that make him at least half good?" Kagome questioned using the strange logic of her young mind.
"No no! Any youkai is all evil!" Jiichan waved his arms a bit to emphasize his statement, "Now let me continue the story so I can show you that…" But the little girl had already pushed herself off his lap.
"That doesn't seem fair Jiichan," Kagome shrugged and let out a loud yawn, "I'm tired… you can tell me the rest another time." Kagome hugged a small tattered light pink plush kitten to her chest and began to walk upstairs, leaving her grandfather sighing deeply.
"Children these days," He shook his head and walked into the kitchen, pouring himself a cup of hot green tea. "Perhaps I should think of another story to tell her tomorrow night…" And so Jiichan never did finish telling young Kagome the tale of the Miko and the Hanyou.
Seven Years Later.
The early morning sun shone down on the Dusk shrine house, streaming into a certain Higurashi Kagome's window, and eliciting a groan from the sleeping teenager. "Mmm," she snuggled her face into a soft pillow, hiding her eyes from the bright beams of light, "Don't want to wake up," Kagome continued, her voice muffled by the pillow. Her attempt at getting back to sleep was quickly interrupted by a sudden shrill blaring otherwise known as an alarm clock. Ignoring the sunlight that was blinding her vision, Kagome quickly shot her head up and slammed the alarm clock off. I really need to get a new alarm clock, the dark haired girl thought to herself, Or maybe it's because I was out too late last night… The previous day had been Kagome's fifteenth birthday, and she had gone directly to her friend Eri's house after school, where she had stayed until fairly late, having a bit of a party and working on homework with her other friends Yuka and Ayumi. Kagome rubbed a bit of sleep from her eyes and began the task of preparing for a long day at school.
Kagome sighed and grabbed her backpack, tipping a bit at the weight of it. Some of the classes she was taking had unusually large textbooks, and she was not yet used to the weight of them in her yellow bag. Walking into the kitchen, she grabbed her Bento box from the counter, wondering what her mother could have made her that day. "Mama, I'm leaving now!" She called, to the living room, where her mother was watching the morning news. Mrs. Higurashi gave a wide smile and said goodbye to her daughter, before returning to the news report. After nearly tripping on the obese family cat Buyo, Kagome was nearly to the door, when she felt her grandfather's hand grasp hers.
"Wait, Kagome!" He requested.
"What is it Jiichan?" Kagome inquired, anxious to get out the door.
"I meant to give you this yesterday, but you were away," Jiichan fumbled around in the pockets of his haori for a moment before pulling out a small pink jewel with a wooden board that read "Shikon no Tama" attached to its cord. Handing it over to his granddaughter, he gave her a stern look.
"Shikon no Tama?" Kagome asked. The old man nodded.
"Yes, surely you remember its legend?" He ventured. Kagome just blinked.
"Not… really," she replied, something very small clicking in the back of her head, but the memory was too indistinct and faded to recall that particular tale her grandfather had told her. She had heard so many from him that they all melded at times. Jiichan frowned.
"Well perhaps I can tell you again later… I'll have to tell a lot of people since I'm selling these at the shrine gift shop!" The elderly man grinned and pulled a couple more out of the sleeves of his top. Kagome gave him a gentle smile and shoved the pink jeweled keychain in her backpack.
"Well ehh… good luck Jiichan!" Kagome waved and made her way out the door, Hopefully this will be more successful for him than selling supposed dried mermaid scales at the gift shop. She thought to herself.
Making her way across the yard of the shrine, Kagome paused when she noticed a tall man standing in front of the ancient tree enshrined outside her home. He stood with her back to him, and Kagome estimated him to be fairly old, considering that his hair, although long and thick was completely silver-white.
Kagome shrugged a bit. It was not unusual for visitors to the shrine to stop and stare at the tree- Goshinboku, as it was called. Its utter enormity and the many legends surrounding it made it a favorite spot for shrine goers. Kagome had always thought it a strange tree. At the base of it, roots snaked up, wrapping themselves around the front in an odd formation, almost as if they were hiding something within their twisted arrangement. Kagome remembered that as young child, she used to climb up those roots, and into some of the tree's lower branches. Usually her grandfather had scolded her for playing on such a precious relic, but sometimes when he was away, she'd spend hours up in the branches, reading or doing homework. Kagome liked the tree. It was comforting, but beyond that, she never thought much on it.
Turning her attention back to the man whom was standing at the base of it, she couldn't help notice even from the back that despite his silver hair, he actually looked quite young. Curious, as to the shrine's strange visitor, Kagome cleared her throat. "Umm sir?" She inquired loudly enough so he could hear her. The man shifted a bit, causing the long black trench coat he wore to sway, but he did not turn around to face her.
"You…" He paused, "are of the Higurashi line, correct?" The mysterious man inquired. Kagome was surprised at both his strange question, and his tone of voice. It also did not sound like that of a much older male, even though it was still quite sophisticated.
"Yes… I am," Kagome ventured, "I'm Higurashi Kagome." She finished. The man did not reply for a moment.
"This tree, do you know anything about it?" The silver haired man asked. Kagome shook her head, slightly annoyed that she still could not see this man's face.
"Jiichan tells a lot of strange stories about it, but I don't really know much, no." The schoolgirl replied. The man was silent for a short time, until Kagome cleared her throat, "Umm Sir," she shifted her backpack a bit, "Are you here to visit the shrine? Because Jiichan is inside and I can go get him…"
"I am not here to do any such thing." He replied simply. Kagome gulped, in truth, the strange man was beginning to creep her out.
"Then… what are you doing here?" She asked. He ignored her demand and reached his hand out lightly to stroke the roots snaking up Goshinboku.
"I am simply here to check on my foolish half brother," the visitor answered cryptically, and pulled his fingers away from the tree, then quickly walked away and began silently making his way down the steps of the shrine, to the streets of Tokyo below
"Wait sir!" Kagome cut herself off. She only caught a brief glimpse of the side of his face as he did so, he wore a pair of black sunglasses, and although she couldn't tell very well from the quick glance, definitely did not appear to be as old as his hair color would denote. "His half brother…?" Kagome rubbed the area in between her eyes, "How strange." She adjusted her backpack to a more comfortable position, and began to make her way down the stairs herself, noting that the strange man had somehow already reached the bottom and was out of sight. "I swear this shrine gets some of the weirdest visitors."
Next chapter- Awakening powers, a broken seal, and a released Hanyou from 500 years past… what is Kagome to make of all this?