As Declared By Fate


Raised on the streets of New York, Kagome Reynolds knew all the basic skills of survival and domination. Dating one of the most notorious gang leaders and earning herself a formidable reputation as a champion motor racer, she was on top of the world. Yet, by some twist of fate, Kagome found her life turned completely upside down when she ended up in her homeland and reunited with her mother while pretending to be her estranged twin sister. Suddenly, she was thrust into a completely new world as she found herself attending one of the most prestigious schools in England. Now the rules are completely different.

She hated everything they stood for. They looked down upon everything she was. A new battle for survival erupted for Kagome in the academy where only bloodlines and money mattered. As she waged her daily wars against the upper class, the heirs of the two most powerful families found themselves waging for her love. The Winstons and the Montgomerys were already in a long epic battle to claim the highest wealth and influence in England's upper society, but when the future leaders of the massive empires fall for the same woman, the rivalry may turn deadly indeed.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, but I sure as hell wish I did. If I offend someone with a remark in the story, please don't take it personally. Think of me just as a desperate amateur writer who has only the best intentions of entertainment in mind.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

CHAPTER ONE: Reclaiming old ties

Welcome to the underworld. Sin in its purest form. The brilliant lights. The crashing music. The sweaty bodies grinding against each other in pure erotic bliss. Welcome to Utopia.

This is my life. This is my society. These are my people. Dirty money circulated around more often than gossip, but not even cold cash could buy the one essential thing necessary to survive here. Honor.

With honor, came respect and loyalty. With respect and loyalty, came business and money. And thus it was honor that bought money here, not the other way around.

I could feel the burning lust of the surrounding sea of bodies as I moved through them with practiced grace. There is not a single person in this whole underground club that did not regard me with respect. There is not a single person that did not acknowledge me with suspended awe at what I have accomplished at the age of 16. Shining my way out from the shadows of my late infamous gangster father Tyler Reynolds, I have become one of the most feared characters on the streets of New York City. A true enigma in the night. With my trademark supercilious smirk, I approached the group of dashing men I have come to know so well.

"Where've you been Kags?" called the fallacious ringleader. Kouga was the man of the hour. The Alpha of the pack. The head of his men. However said, he was the leader of one of the most notorious gangs on the city streets. Hookers called him the undeniable devil, and for once, I admit that they may not be too far off.

"Just here and there." I answered with a mysterious wink. "Miss me?"

"Of course" he purred seductively before pulling me in for a deep satisfying kiss. To put it simply, Kouga and I have, what they call, an open relationship. Translation, he nails whomever he wants and I don't get jealous. And of course, vise versa.

"So what's on the agenda for our fair lady today?" asked Brian, interrupting the passionate pause. Although the man does have his entertainment values, he seems to have a big problem with not knowing when to shut up. And thus, he was granted the title of Omega in the pack.

"Shut up Brian..." muttered John beside him with a chastening glare. But fortunately, both Kouga and I were in a very good mood right now, so we let it slip.

"Well, as to your question Brian, I've got a meeting with your boss tonight." I answered with a wink. Sly smirks were exchanged around the tight nit pack as all comprehended my meaning.

"Well, I don't like to keep a woman waiting" Kouga smirked as he draped an arm on my shoulder. "Especially not such a dangerous one."

"Indeed" I acknowledged with a smirk to rival his own. Both of us possessed vanity in abundance. "So you boys behave tonight."

"Why of course ma'am" promised Frankie, the wiz of the pack. It's a shame the guy didn't have the financial credit for college.

"Well guys, close up the club in the morning and if the Sharks come looking for trouble, call me." Kouga demanded. "It's time we taught them to stay off Wolf turf, especially this club."

"Understood" they replied in unison, truly impressing me in their obedience. But Kouga was a man who demanded complete obedience and loyalty out of his pack. As a twenty-year-old, he was truly an effective leader surpassing even most of the old timers.

"A note of wisdom" I warned before my departure with Kouga, "word on the street is Garis is hooking up with Neil. They're thinking of overriding the shipment on...." I stopped in puzzlement as the guys gawked at something behind me with hanging jaws. Kouga was equal in his confusion. Seriously, was the chick THAT hot to cause them, what I've known to be pretty self- controllable guys, to stare at in such......shock? "Let me guess, she's topless and rubbing herself?"

They shook their head in unison and urged me to look behind. Damit, this has better be good! I turned around with Kouga to glimpse at the wonder that had caused such a reaction from his pack.

And we were not disappointed. For in front of us stood the mirror image of myself.

Black raven locks framed a delicate creamy complexion with a set of beautiful feminine features. With big chocolate brown eyes, the only feature contradicting my own blue ones, high cheek bones and full luscious lips set in a nervous tremble, it was definitely like looking in the mirror. And dam, I was beautiful. But wearing a pair of clean blue jeans and a white coat, the girl could not look more out of place. If not for her face, she would not have been even allowed into the club. But my face was all she needed to get by on the streets here. And there was only one person that I know of with my face.


"H-Hello Kagome" she greeted softly. "C-Can we talk somewhere?" The reaction of the pack would have been a thrill to watch if I were not so preoccupied at the moment. Apparently, they didn't expect me to know this girl. Even Kouga couldn't withhold his surprise.

"Sure." I replied with an arched eyebrow. What else could I say to the twin I haven't seen for the past six years? I motioned for her to follow me outside where my new RC51 motorcycle stood waiting in the VIP spot.

I waved to the guys behind me, whom have barely registered my departure with their continual disbelief. They didn't know I had any relatives besides my deceased father, let alone a twin sister. But alas, we all have our own little secrets.


I silently led my twin down the slimy fifth floor corridor tainted with urine and blood. She could hear the sounds of violence and screaming behind the closed doors of my neighbors, a sound I have grown accustomed to in my three years of residence here. But she shook with such fright that a pang of sympathy passed through me, an emotion I have not felt for a very long time.

As I reached the door to my apartment at the very end of the hall and dug into my pockets for the keys, I heard the sound of a child crying next room. I knew the story well. The girl was five. Her mother was a hooker, and the roommate a stripper earning money to put herself though college. A sad but abundant story in these parts of the city.

As I heard the click of the lock with the turning of the key, I pushed the door open to my own dainty apartment. Although it was small and located in a bad neighborhood, it was all I could afford by myself. And I didn't regret living here, in fact, I liked it. With more surplus of money than any other tenant in this building, I have turned the once shabby one room apartment into a beautiful decorated chamber.

I stepped back to let Kikyo in. I could tell she was surprised at the sudden change from the dirty hall to my warm clean room painted in a cheerful light violet. It's something of a habit to keep things clean in my personal space. A habit that my mother had instilled in me upon childhood that has yet to be broken.

"Your apartment is very nice" she complimented softly as she looked around at my freshly made bed in the left corner and my well-kept kitchen dominating the right side. Furniture I had personally spent limitless time picking out was set up throughout the remaining space as I saw fit. Kouga was still amazed at the contradiction between my apartment and personality. I guess in a way, I was too.

"Thanks" I replied as I closed the door behind us. "Want something to drink?"

"No thanks."

"Alright." I motioned for her to take a seat with me at the small square table in the kitchen. I smiled inwardly at her sophisticated British accent and lady like posture. "But before we begin, I just HAVE to ask, how the hell did you find me?"

Kikyo shrugged in response. "I guess I just asked around."

"Really.....?" I replied with the arch of an amused eyebrow. "And you expect me to believe that?"

"" confessed Kikyo with a nervous sigh. "I...I have an old friend that moved here some years ago. We still keep in contact. One day she said that she saw someone that looked exactly like me in a club. Of course she doesn't know about you, but I guess from then on, I've been thinking about you a lot."

I shook my head in response at the coincidental amusement of the entire situation. "So how'd you know I was at Utopia tonight?"

"Well, I knew it was stupid to go out by myself at night looking for you. But as I got downtown, so many people began addressing me as you and asking if I was going to meet someone named Kouga at Utopia, which my friend told me earlier was a very exclusive club. And I guess then I just headed there in hopes of finding you....and..... there you were."

I clapped with a smirk as she finished her explanation. "Very good detective work. But really, why did you go through so much work just to find me?"

She looked at me with sorrowful chocolate brown orbs. The eyes that were filled with such happiness during my childhood years now stared at me with an edge of desperate pleading. Truly, my heart felt a second pang tonight.

"We were best friends. I really missed you."

"Well, I guess I kinda missed you too over the years." I replied with a shrug. I suppose we were very close once, but as all friendships, it must be eventually broken as people change and grow apart.

"I missed the connection we shared as twins. The day you.....left, I- I.....felt a part of me leave with you as well." Kikyo spoke softly. "And I've been looking for you ever since."

"Kikyo," I sighed. "I know it was hard for the both of us at the beginning, but hey, life moves on. I guess it all worked out for the best in the end."

"HOW CAN YOU SAY IT ALL WORKED OUT BEST?" burst Kikyo with no forewarning as tears began streaming down her face. "Father took you and left us! Mom was heartbroken! She didn't sleep nor eat for days, just staring out the window, hoping he would come back. Not even a phone call from him over the past six years! NOTHING!"

Wow. To say that I was shocked would not begin describe my face. She went from being completely calm and collected to having a nervous breakdown. I simply couldn't believe that she was holding this in all this time. It's been six freaking years for crying out loud! It happened when we were ten! It amazes me as to how she has not made her peace with it yet.

"Look Kikyo, I know what dad did wasn't the smartest move he's ever made, but I still think it all worked out for the best in the end. I mean, let's say that he had stayed on, it would've just made things worse. I mean, although he did love mother very much, let's face it, our father just wasn't well....husband material. He would've eventually cheated on her or landed himself in jail, thus breaking both mother's reputation and heart. So really, although I didn't approve the way he suddenly left, I do feel that it is for the best he did."

"But why did he take you!" demanded Kikyo as hurt and betrayal shone in her eyes. "He knew the kind of life he was brining you to, yet he went ahead and did it! Why, you'll end up no better than him in this environment!"

"Wow, what's with the personal attack?" I asked as I raised my hands in defense. "I'm doing fine. I'm healthy and sane. And as to why he brought me, well, he didn't' want to leave mother responsible for both of us, so I guess he took one of us to share the responsibility, and that just happened to be me. Really Kikyo, he did try his best to be a father to me."

"And he supposed that leaving a woman alone with ONE child to take care of was fine?" Kikyo spat in bitterness. Apparently, there is still some deep unresolved issue she had with our father. "So where is he know? Out getting some other woman pregnant?"

"Kikyo," I paused. "He's been dead for two years now."

I could see all the blood draining from her face instantly as the message hit her full force, leaving her once flushed cheeks as white as paper.

"Oh god..." she murmured as regret began to take root in her eyes. The all- expressive eyes that I've confided in so much during my childhood years. I guess we really were close. "Oh my god....I-I didn't know...How?"

"He got hit. Shot in the chest four times."

"Oh god...did the authorities ever catch the party responsible?"

"Nope, but I extracted my own form of revenge." I assured with a sadistic grin. "Well, now you know. So I guess it's time you forgave dad and just moved on. Don't let this haunt you for the rest of your life Kikyo."

Kikyo shook her head before suddenly bursting into a fresh set of tears. I quickly reached over to hug her. I don't know what prompted me to do so, but I guess I allowed her to express the tears I never shed during his funeral. I just couldn't allow so many people there to see me so emotional. An emotion is weakness in its simplest form.

"Shhhh." I comforted softly. "It's alright." I held her tightly as I felt her tears seeping through my black shirt. I guess a sort of old connection was re-established between us at that moment. It was as if I was a ten year old little girl once again with my sister right by my side.

At last, her sobs subsided and she once again looked up at me with sad tearful eyes. "Kagome," she spoke softly in a voice hoarse from crying, "W-Will you go back...go back to see mom?"

"No" I answered firmly as no regret coursed through my veins.

"Why?" she demanded as hurt once again found the surface of her orbs.

"Because it just simply isn't the right time now. It'll just make things more.....complicated if I go back now."

"But don't you miss her?"

"Yes" I admitted with a sigh. "But I guess it's just tough luck."

"K-Kagome...what....what went back in my place?" she asked nervously.


"What went back as me?" Kikyo tried again, nervousness quaking her body.

"" I answered, giving her a confused look. "Why would I do that?"

"B-Because..... I need to get away for a while."

"What? WHY?" I demanded as another shock surged through my body.

"Well, lately.....over the past year, I...I have been feeling so lost. Mom and my friends and even Souta tried to help, but....this is something I need to figure out on my own. I just need a place to be alone and away from my life right now."

"Hey, back up a minute" I halted. "First of all, who the hell is Souta?"

"He is our little cousin. Aunt Marcy left him to mom when she died in a car crash. He's been living with mom and I for four years now."

"Alright...." I tried to reply, although I couldn't recall a single memory of a little cousin or an Aunt Marcy. "How old is he?"

"He's turning thirteen and acts though he's twenty." Kikyo answered with a found smile. "He's always coming home early from school to take care of mom when she's sick. He's way too mature for his age, that's what mom and I keep telling him."

"Alright. So onto my second question, what exactly do you need to figure out on your own?" I asked with a cocked eyebrow. What the hell could she possibly be stressing over? She lives in a little neighborhood with a well caring family and probably on her way to college. In my eyes, her future, although boring, was set.

"Just some...things." Kikyo sighed. "I-I can't describe it. I have this feeling of if I don't know where I'm going in life. I know what is expected of me, but...I just feel trapped now. If I don't fix this right now then I'm afraid I'll just..... lose it one day. I just need some time alone to think without the responsibilities of my life right now. Just some time alone."

"Ok....and you need me to sub in for you because....?" I hinted for an explanation. She may feel entrapped, but I don't see how thrusting me into her shoes will help.

"I...I just don't want mom and Souta to worry. She's been sick again lately, and I don't' want to add to her concern, but at the same time I really need to figure things out before I snap. I just need you to be me for a little while. I'm sure no one at school would notice."

"Kikyo" I sighed at her naïve plan. "Do you really suppose mother wouldn't know that I'm not you? She may not have seen me for six years, but she sure as hell has seen you. So what makes you think she'll fall for it?"

"Kagome, I just need you to make her believe you're me for a little while! She's sick and I don't want to worry her. Every morning she gets up for work with what little strength she has and comes home looking like she has aged beyond her years. Mom is a beautiful woman. I just don't' want her to age anymore."

"Kikyo, a woman aging cannot be stopped." I stated. "It's called the process of life. I'm not filing in for you. Look, if you need to be alone so bad, why don't' you just talk to mother and I'm sure she'll understand."

"You don't understand Kagome," Kikyo shook her head. "I cannot do that."

I sighed in exasperation. Really, the woman is insane. "Kikyo, you're being completely irrational here. Look, as your sister, I do want to help you the best I can, but this is a request I simply cannot fulfill!"

"Please Kagome!" pleaded Kikyo with an amount of desperation in her eyes I had never seen anyone else posses, even men that pleaded for their life on the streets before an execution. "You have no idea how much I need this!"

"No" I answered firmly once again. "Out of the question."

"PLEASE" she insisted.



"No" I shook my head as I watched her eyes give up all hope. She finally allowed her perfect posture to dwindle as she put her face in her hands.

A pregnant pause settled over the room.

Perhaps it was the sight of her pitiful defeated form. Perhaps it was my own sense of guilt for never being there for the family I have left behind. Or perhaps it was both that finally prompted me to agree to a duty I know I will regret later. Maybe I wasn't purged from the weakness of emotions as I have initially thought as I found myself uttering the very word I dreaded to.

"Yes" I murmured with a defeated sigh. I am definitely aware of the role I've just agreed to, but a part of me still rejoiced in the fact. That is, a very small naïve part of me that was still the ten year old little girl. I suppose by agreeing to this, I was either making her come alive again or crushing her once and for all. As the saying goes, what doesn't break you only makes you stronger.

Kikyo suddenly looked up with a renewed sense of hope in her shinning orbs.

"Really?" she dared to whisper.

"Really" I answered. Her once sobbing lips stretched into a smile, as if at last a deep desiring wish has been granted.

"Oh Kagome, you have no idea how much this means to me!" she cried as reached over for a crushing hug. "THANK YOU SO MUCH!"

"Alright," I tried to pull out of before the supply of oxygen ran out in my lungs. "How long exactly do you need?" I knew I was gonna hate the answer.

"Five weeks."

"That's over a month!" I exclaimed. "Kikyo, I know you need time to find yourself and all, but do you think you could do it just a tad bit faster?" She shook her head in response.

"Kagome, I really need time to figure things out. I want to be ready when I come back. I want to be strong and ready."

"Kikyo, what exactly are you running away from?" I asked softly.

"Myself in that life" she whispered as if it were a deep secret uttered for the first time. Although I had no idea what the hell she meant, I decided it was wise not to pry any more. Obviously, she had some problems she didn't want to share and I knew that feeling better than anyone, so I let things be in the mean time.

"So when do you need to leave? I trust that mother thinks you're here for Christmas vacation? Broadening your horizons?"

"I'm here on a program sponsored by the school." Kikyo smiled.

"Alright. When's your plane leaving?"

"In two days." She answered softly before she got up from the chair. She pulled a large orange envelope from the inside of her white coat. Looks like the sly girl had been planning this all along. Maybe I gave her less credit than she deserved. "Here is all the information you need. Although I don't have a number for you to reach me by, I did give you my friend's number, incase of an emergency."

"Alright" I replied as I accepted her envelope before she began walking towards the door. "Hey, where're you going?"

"I need to pack and leave."

"Tonight?" I asked in amazement. "Hey relax, you have five weeks by yourself. Why don't you crash here tonight?"

"I'm sorry, but I have to get my stuff from the hotel. My plane leaves tonight." She replied as she gently opened the door. God, everything the woman did was so lady like. It truly worried me as to how the hell I can pull off being her since practically every move I made so contradicted her own.

"What? Where to?" I demanded. "It's dangerous outside in the dark, especially in this neighborhood. At least let me give you a ride."

"Don't worry, my friend is here to pick me up and drive me to the airport." She assured.

"Can you trust this friend of yours?" I felt my paranoid nature take over.

"Yes" she assured again.

"Where are you going?"

"Some place far away." She called back with a soft smile before closing the door behind her, leaving me in the silence with my own confusion.


It's amazing how in the course of two hours, your life could change so drastically. It's amazing how the twin sister you have not seen for six years could just one day show up in front of you and demand a favor. It's amazing that the dormant clement nature within you could just one day surface and lead you to utter disaster. But thus is the unpredictability of life. Growing up on the streets of New York, I have come to expect the unexpected.

"Hey Kagome!" yelled a frantic Brian waving from the thick crowd of spectators during the street race.

I could hear the distant roar of motor engines as they got ready to take their owners to the thick wad of green bills waiting at the end of the line. I walked over to the front without so much as a hassle. I was a regular during these events and they brought me quite a hefty income. But unfortunately, not tonight. Which is quite too bad since I've heard that there's some rich brat entering the race. Although this scenario happened quite seldom, it did happen and every time I had a piece of the action. The loathing for the rich on here was quite passionate, and I must say that I did share a little of the passion myself.

"Hey" I greeted. A heavy anticipating silence settled over the usual gang members as they regarded me with interest while each held a bud of pot between their forefingers. Well, at least they're not completely stoned right now. From past experience, talking to stoned people is a complete pain in the ass. I looked back with an arched eyebrow, challenging their silence that was drowned by the cheering crowd as the motorcycles set out.

"So what's up Kagome?" Kouga finally spoke with an amused glint in his eyes. "Anything interesting happen the other night?"

"Well," I didn't see the harm in a very brief history. "That was my twin sister Kikyo that I haven't seen in like six years. She came for a favor and I was lenient."

"Twin sister?" Brian hollered, but was immediately silenced by a jab from Josh. Being part of the gang meant also taking turns silencing the loud mouth Omega.

"Yeah, long story" I dismissed with the wave of a hand. "I need to talk to you alone Kouga." He nodded in compliance as both of us began parting a way to the back of the crowd. Our journey ended beside a light post, away from the general population.

"Let me guess," he began with as he brought the pot to his lips for another intake. "It has something to do with the favor you granted." I whistled in approval. The man certainly hasn't lost his edge.

"Can anything ever slip past you?"

"Nope" he replied arrogantly.

"Well," I replied, "to put it short, I'm going back to England for about five weeks."

"Woah, back up. Why are you going to England?"

"Personal reasons."

"Care to share?" he challenged with a grin.


"Alright, I'll respect that." He sighed. "But I don't like it when my woman ends up in a foreign land by herself."

"Your woman?" I responded with an arched eyebrow. "What happened to an open relationship?"

"You know what I mean." I regarded him with amusement.

"Not really...but don't explain. Anyway, you're the only one I told and I would appreciate it if you kept me updated on the latest events here. You know, don't want to fall behind or nothing. I'll call you from there."

"Alright" agreed Kouga. "But you're the only woman that I'll do this for."

"I know" I acknowledged with a sly wink.

"But I have to say that I'll sure miss you. The streets won't be the same with you gone."

"That, I also know" I replied in vanity. "But tell the guys I said bye. I've got a few ends to tie up before I leave tomorrow."

"Alright" he murmured before he really looked me in the eye. "Promise you'll come back?"

"Of course" I replied in surprise. "Where else would I go?" He nodded with a smile before he pulled me in for a deep passionate kiss. Although we have shared many before, I felt a new sense of longing in this one.

"See you later Kouga." I whispered as I pulled pack with swollen lips. I saluted him military style before I climbed onto my motorbike in the corner and sped off into the dark night.

He was a speck behind me as I rode further and further away.


I could see the buildings pass me by in a blur of colors and the road ahead of me bathed in bright morning rays. I must say that I haven't been up this early for almost a year now. The cab driver in front of me hummed along to some old country tune as I glanced out the window at the beautiful high skyscrapers that New York City was famous for.

"Hey girl," the fat driver tried to make friendly conversation. "So you headed out the country for a late Christmas visit to a relative?"

"I suppose" I replied with boredom.

"Where to, if you don't mind me asking?"


"Heard it's beautiful there, but awfully regal too. Everyone in their heavy jeweled gowns and suits going to expensive balls...."

"Well there's a down side to every place." I shrugged. "Most tourists think that New York is made out of a sophisticated business class."

"Sure true missy." The driver replied with downcast eyebrows. "Them fat cats the most noticeable section of population. But us little people don't get enough credit."

"Well, that's the way life is." I chuckled at his preaching. "If everyone where to gain credit for what they did, where would that leave the industry leaders?"

"Why you're right." The driver's good-natured smile returned. "Just glad I've got a family who loves me. I've got a six year old little girl and why just the other day she....." I drowned out the rest of his words as I noticed the orange envelope in my hands for the first time during this half-hour trip. I opened the top once again, letting the contents slip into my lap.

A piece of paper containing the flight number was printed in neat sophisticated letters.

Flight 202, London. Mom and Souta will be there to pick you up at the South Gate. We have a red small Toyota Chevrolet. Home number: 116 244002 In case of emergency, call my friend Chelsey. Her number: 116 253098

I smiled at her full details. The girl didn't miss a beat. She certainly gave me a very well focused destination, although I still didn't quite see the point as to why mother and Souta would come all the way from the little town of Hereford to London to pick me up.

Beside the note was her passport. I am still rather surprised as to how the hell she got on her other plane without this, but I presume that Kikyo had found a way to resolve her lack of passport problem.

The third piece of paper contained a detailed physical and characteristic description of all of my supposed new "friends". I must say she didn't have many on there. And four out of the five of them didn't even go to her school. I guess she must keep a longer category for acquaintances.

The last piece of paper was a picture of mom, Souta and Kikyo. They looked very happy together in front of a little coffee shop. With mom oddly wearing a nice little apron, Souta in a cute green jacket with a matching cap and Kikyo in a pair of blue jeans with a white bunny tee shirt, the three looked very happy. Their smiles held genuine satisfaction with life, but I could see small demons hidden in the orbs of all three. I was hit by the thought of mother and Souta having the same demons plaguing Kikyo, but I suppose that we all have our own little demons in life, no matter how happy.

"Well we're here miss!" Informed the driver, at last finishing his tale about his darling little daughter. Although I was all for breeding children, I was just not the type of person that immediately took a liking to a kid. "That'll be forty seven fifty."

I nodded as I handed him a fifty-dollar bill. "Keep the change."

"Thanks. Well, it's been a pleasure driving you. I hardly get quiet girls like you anymore. Most teenagers these days just talk and talk and talk, but never listen. Hope you have a nice time with your relatives."

"Thanks." I nodded as I opened the yellow door and climbed out. "See you later." He waved in a genuine smile to wish me well. I suppose more people like him in the city wouldn't hurt.

But then again, I might just hurt them.


I walked past the South Gate with a glint of amusement in my eyes. The journey in the plane was pleasant, but rather uneventful. However, there was just something about this entire situation that provoked my humor.

Perhaps it was the irony. Perhaps it was the jolly nature of the British day walkers so contradicting to the brooding angst of the nocturnal citizens I have come to expect in New York. Perhaps it was my entire shift in perspective upon regarding the average family and their naïve ideas of value in the cheerful atmosphere. Or perhaps it was all three factors that set my mood into a lighthearted ease as I came to stand by the benches near the entrance of the gate that was to be the rendezvous point with a family I hadn't seen for a good chunk of my life.

And they were as punctual as ever as I hadn't even sat down before I was struck with a joyful shriek. I blinked once to allow my eyes to adjust to the uncomfortable brown contacts that will remain in its domain for the next five weeks of my life.

"Kikyo!" I heard a woman yell from behind me. One, two, three, show time.

I turned around to be greeted by the sight that I've prepared myself for, but could never except beforehand. There stood my mother with my little cousin Souta with love and welcome in their worm glowing eyes. A certain sense of joy passed through me at that moment, a joy I could not recall feeling for a long time.

"She must still be in shock at leaving the country." Explained Souta in a boyish grin at my unmoving form a few meters away from them. Sure. I was shocked alright. I noticed my mother regarding me with a hidden confusion before a smile once again returned to her lips. Wow. That was a close one.

"Oh we missed you so much Kikyo!" Cried my mother once again as she crossed the few remaining steps to envelop me in a warm hug. I found myself lacking for air as she squeezed me tighter while tears began flowing in her eyes. "My little girl coming back from her very first trip out of the country. Oh, I promised myself I wouldn't cry!"

"Say cheese!" Called Souta as a click and a blinding flash went off before my eyes. And thus I was re-introduced to the average family.

"Hey guys!" I greeted cheerfully, or at least with the amount of enthusiasm I felt the real Kikyo would show. Now all I have to do is pull off her lady like manner and proper language use. "I missed you all as well!"

"Oh Kikyo, let me see how much you grew for the past two weeks." My mother pulled back with a proud smile. "You're accent even became American! I can't wait till we get home and you tell me all about your trip!"

"Yes of course mom" I smiled in response while trying to rack my brains as to what the hell I would tell her once we did get home. I didn't' exactly know what the typical Kikyo would do. Perhaps visit a library?

"Yeah Kik, Aunt Anna made your favorite" informed Souta as he began to push the cart with my bags. He was adorable in his green jacket and backward cap from the picture. "Baked potatoes and grilled ham."

"Awesome!" I cheered. "So which flight are we taking?"

Both looked at me with puzzlement.

"To where Kikyo?" my mother inquired. Somehow I got the sneaking suspicion that we no longer lived in the remote little town of Hereford any more.

"Why to your....delicious meal mom. I can't wait any longer!" I covered quickly. Note to self, stop asking questions before thinking them trough properly. Mother laughed in delight.

"Oh Kikyo," mother chuckled. "Looks like America has taught you how to flatter an old lady even more. Don't worry sweetie, we'll be home shortly."

"Alright" I nodded as she led me towards the exit of the large airport with Souta following close behind. I glanced at my mother from the side of my vision. I didn't know why Kikyo was so worried. Mother didn't seem ill at all.


"We're here!" Cried Souta, announcing the apparent obvious to anybody else but me. The little two-story house looked very cozy with its smoke producing red chimney and well kept garden. I was reminded of my own apartment I left behind and a sudden homesickness enveloped me. But I quickly dismissed it.

"Wow. It's great to be home again!" I cried as I glanced around the nice, clean neighborhood with similar styled houses. The area projected a friendly atmosphere that I was rather alien to.

"Come on!" Yelled Souta as he climbed out of the red Toyota and began to unload my luggage. I swear the kid had too much energy for his own use.

"Coming!" I called back as I followed his suit in climbing out the car to the front lawn. The three of us began to unload my bags amongst quick chatter and laughter, making me feel as though I have done this all my life. At last we walked up the front square cemented porch and mother began digging around in her purse for the keys.

"Oh here it is!" She announced as she unlocked the door and ushered me into a hall I knew that I was going to love the instant I walked in. The atmosphere, quite like my own apartment, made me feel warm and welcomed. The walls were painted a pleasant shade of light yellow and the floor was carpeted in a soft gray. I quickly took off my shoes at the front door before I threw my bags onto the stairs and ran into the living room with glee.

I looked around at the spectacular brown flowered couch and the small coffee table in front of it. I took note of the elegant blue curtains and the TV set. I took notice of each piece of furniture littered across the room in a homey personalized manner that I have already come to adore. Things were certainly looking up now. Perhaps five weeks would be very good for me here.

"Kikyo, why don't you go to your room and wash up?" mother suggested with a smile. "Dinner will be ready in a few minutes and you can tell Souta and I all about your trip then."

"Sure" I nodded as I walked back into the hall after her and gathered my two bags before beginning to climb the stares. I had a hell of a time buying the kind of clothes I thought Kikyo would deem appropriate to wear.

Upon my pondering, I noticed that I had arrived at the top. Now the problem was that I had no clue as to which one exactly was my room, but I figured the process of elimination has bound to work here.

So I tried the first door to my right. And I knew it wasn't Kikyo's as the room was filled with hanging pictures of cars and airplane models. Funny. I though that a twelve year little boy was into bikini wearing supermodels by now.

The next room I tried was a bathroom with its sea green tiles and a little tub and sink. Heck, it even had a medicine cabinet, something I had always found rather humorous in movies and commercials.

The next room was my mother's. The room suited her personality well with its warm shades of blues and grays. A queen-sized bed dominated the right side and a large beautiful window with blue curtains let in a light that made the whole room glow with warmth.

I sighed as I stepped out and closed the door behind me. Well, there was only one room left. As I opened the door on the left side of the hallway, I was greeted with a sight quite similar to my own apartment. Painted in shades of purple with a single bed occupying the space next to the only window in the room, I realized how much Kikyo and I still had in common. Perhaps we weren't that different in character, as I glanced upon the pictures of some famous paintings I was always rather found of. The only other furniture was a desk and a chair against the left side of the wall. Some books were neatly stacked against the wall, and a few papers were littered on the surface. Overall, the room looked organized and comfortable, and it certainly suited my taste. I dropped my bags on the floor and fell back on the bed with a relieved sigh.

"Kikyo dear, dinner's ready!" My mother called from downstairs. I sat up with reluctance on the soft pillows and began to take off my black jacket, one of the few tokens of my own life back in New York. Quickly running to the bathroom to wash my hands and put a comb through my hair, I ran downstairs to be seated at the table with the most delicious dishes I have smelled in quite a while.

"Smells delicious" I commented as I took in another lung full of the aroma.

"I'm glad you like it." Mother chuckled as Souta walked in and sat himself at the small dining table. "Would you like to say grace Kikyo?" The request struck me by surprise. We still said grace? I haven't done that the instant I left our old house.

"Sure..." I murmured as I tried to recall all the graces I said during childhood years. After a silent pause, I began. "Thank you Lord for this meal and for my safe return home. Thank you also for keeping my family safe and happy. Amen." Hey, that was pretty good!

"Amen" Mother and Souta said in unison. And thus the meal began.

"So tell me about your most memorable part of the trip" mother beamed as she buttered her bread. Souta listened in eagerness.

"Well, "I began, putting my brain into full function. This should certainly prove to be a challenge.


For the second time, I found myself stepping out of the red Toyota in front of our little house. The sun was shinning overhead as I smoothed out the wrinkles in the pretty blue dress I adorned. I shuddered to think of Kouga and his pack's reaction to me wearing such an outfit.

Our family of three had just returned from Sunday mass. I must admit that I hadn't set foot in a church all my life in New York and my return to the holy sanctuary was somewhat of an experience that I would be rather reluctant to repeat.

"Where are you going mom?" I inquired as I noticed her rush past me into the house with a panicked expression in her soft features.

"Oh dear, I'm late for work!" She called back before climbing up the visible stairs from the front door.

"She has work on Sunday?" I asked Souta beside me in disbelieve.

"Well she took yesterday off to pick you up, so she has to work double shifts today." He shrugged.

"Is her job supporting us? I mean, don't we get like government support or something?" I tried to cover. "After all, she is a single guardian of two underage kids."

"Yeah, but I don't think it's enough. You know, it's not that much." Souta eyed me with puzzlement. "You ok Kik? Is your new accent affecting your brain or something?"

"Yeah, I mean I'm fine" I replied as I watched her rush out in a white blouse and a black skirt. Engraved across the left pocket of the blouse was "London Coffee House."

Suddenly, I realized that it was the coffee shop from the picture that was taken with the three of them. Now that apron mother wore didn't seem odd at all, as I found it at the time. Great. She had a dead end job that supported a family of three. Perhaps Kikyo did have some things to be stressed over.

"Of course things would be better if Uncle Tyler hadn't ran out" I heard Souta murmur in bitterness beside me. Okay, I guess now I see where Kikyo's dislike for dad comes from.

"See you later kids!" She called as she started the engine. "I'll be back at around seven!"

"Do you need some help mom?" I yelled out. "At work I mean?"

"No thanks sweetie. You just rest and relax before you go back to school tomorrow. And take care of Souta. I love you!" With those last words, she zoomed off down the street.

As both Souta and I waved back with eagerness for her return, one thing kept on hitting my mind.

"Souta, did she say I have school tomorrow?"

"Of course," Souta replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "School starts tomorrow remember?"

"Yeah" I quickly answered, trying to cover my momentary lapse. Nice to know. School. A place I haven't been to since grade nine. Really nice to know I'll be going back to that hell-

"KIKYO!" shrieked someone, interrupting my brooding moment. I looked up to be greeted by a petite brunet with round glasses rushing across the street towards me. From the description, this looks like....Massy. "When did you get back?"

"Hey Massy," I greeted with a smile as Souta left me alone with my friend after a brief wave. "Just yesterday."

"Well awesome, we gotta find Shawn and Erika!" She cheered as she dragged me down the street to an apparent house around the corner. "Look at you! Your accent is all American and everything! You came back just in the nick of time! We were thinking of spending the last day before school without you!"

"Well isn't that a bummer." I murmured under my breath, deep sarcasm intone.

"Well now that you're back, we have got to relax you before you go back to that snobby school!" She continued on.

"Snobby?" I inquired. "Aren't all high schools the same?"

"Not when you're going to Winston Academy!" She objected with the roll of her eyes. "That place is only filled with rich brats with ego's the size of Canada! I mean, don't you remember coming back everyday and complaining about them?"

"Ah... yes" I replied with a groan. "Just great...."